Recent Entries in Politics

With scarcely a mention in the mainstream media, President Bush has ordered up a plan for responding to a catastrophic attack.

Under that plan, he entrusts himself with leading the entire federal government, not just the Executive Branch. And he gives himself the responsibility â..for ensuring constitutional government.â.

He laid this all out in a document entitled "National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51" and "Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20." The White House released it on May 9.

But it says flat out: â..The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government.â.

Bush Anoints Himself as the Insurer of Constitutional Government in Emergency | The Progressive

Why would Hitler and his associates turn a blind eye to an impending terrorist attack on their national congressional building or actually assist with such a horrific deed? Because they knew what government officials have known throughout history â.. that during extreme national emergencies, people are most scared and thus much more willing to surrender their liberties in return for â..security.â. And thatâ..s exactly what happened during the Reichstag terrorist crisis.

Suspending civil liberties

The day after the fire, Hitler persuaded President Hindenburg to issue a decree entitled, â..For the Protection of the People and the State.â. Justified as a â..defensive measure against Communist acts of violence endangering the state,â. the decree suspended the constitutional guarantees pertaining to civil liberties.

How Hitler Became a Dictator by Jacob G. Hornberger

  Fuck the South

File this under "Humour" as well. It's hilarious.

Fuck the South

Fuck the South. Fuck 'em. We should have let them go when they wanted to leave. But no, we had to kill half a million people so they'd stay part of our special Union. Fighting for the right to keep slaves - yeah, those are states we want to keep.

And now what do we get? We're the fucking Arrogant Northeast Liberal Elite? How about this for arrogant: the South is the Real America? The Authentic America. Really?

Cause we fucking founded this country, assholes. Those Founding Fathers you keep going on and on about? All that bullshit about what you think they meant by the Second Amendment giving you the right to keep your assault weapons in the glove compartment because you didn't bother to read the first half of the fucking sentence? Who do you think those wig-wearing lacy-shirt sporting revolutionaries were? They were fucking blue-staters, dickhead. Boston? Philadelphia? New York? Hello? Think there might be a reason all the fucking monuments are up here in our backyard?

Ramode: YOU GO BACK TO AFRICA AND DO YOUR GAY VOODOO LIMBO TANGO AND WANGO DANCE AND JUMP AROUND AND PRANCE AND RUN ALL OVER THE PLACE HALF NAKED THERE AND PRACTICE YOUR GAY MORALS OVER THERE THAT'S WHERE YOU BELONG....I AM REPORTING YOU AS SPAM AND ADDING YOU TO MY BLOCK SENDER LIST SO I DO NOT HAVE TO HEAR FROM YOU AGAIN....

Here's some of the email exchange

AlterNet: 737 U.S. Military Bases = Global Empire

Once upon a time, you could trace the spread of imperialism by counting up colonies. America's version of the colony is the military base; and by following the changing politics of global basing, one can learn much about our ever more all-encompassing imperial "footprint" and the militarism that grows with it.

The total of America's military bases in other people's countries in 2005, according to official sources, was 737. Reflecting massive deployments to Iraq and the pursuit of President Bush's strategy of preemptive war, the trend line for numbers of overseas bases continues to go up.

Interestingly enough, the thirty-eight large and medium-sized American facilities spread around the globe in 2005 -- mostly air and naval bases for our bombers and fleets -- almost exactly equals Britain's thirty-six naval bases and army garrisons at its imperial zenith in 1898. The Roman Empire at its height in 117 AD required thirty-seven major bases to police its realm from Britannia to Egypt, from Hispania to Armenia. Perhaps the optimum number of major citadels and fortresses for an imperialist aspiring to dominate the world is somewhere between thirty-five and forty.

http://www.worldmapper.org/

The world mapped out in new ways - total population, insect infestation.

  How Do I Get to Gitmo?

No mention of getting there from Canada. Very interesting ....

How do peace protesters get to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba? - By Daniel Engber - Slate Magazine

On Thursday, a group of American protesters stood at a fence near the Guantanamo prison and demanded its closure. The activists, among them Cindy Sheehan, held a press conference in Havana before heading to the eastern end of the country to march on the military base. How do you get to Cuba to stage a protest?

Fly in from the Bahamas, or another nearby country. The U.S. government keeps tight restrictions on any financial dealings with Cuba, which include travel to and from the country. The Treasury Department does grant travel licenses to certain people, like journalists, athletes, and Americans with immediate family in Cuba. But the feds aren't likely to make exceptions for peace protesters. Without a government license, the activists have to buy a round-trip ticket to Cuba from a third country, like the Bahamas or the Dominican Republic.

Kill Hitler? You would have to be mad to do so. Yet that is undoubtedly what we would have done if he hadn't killed himself in 1945. Hussein is not in the same league as Hitler, but, nevertheless, in a small way his execution represents a wanton and vandalistic destruction of important research data.

He should have been locked up, by all means. Kept him in jail for the rest of his life, to be sure. But to execute him was irresponsible. Hussein could have provided irreplaceable help to future historians of the Iran-Iraq war, of the invasion of Kuwait and of the subsequent era of sanctions culminating in the invasion. Uniquely privileged evidence on the American government's enthusiastic arming of Hussein in the 1980s is now snuffed out at the tug of a rope (no doubt to the relief of Donald Rumsfeld and other guilty parties; it is surely no accident that the trial of Hussein neglected those of his crimes that might â.. no, would â.. have implicated them).

Saddam should have been studied, not executed - Los Angeles Times

The Associated Press quoted an unidentified adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as saying the man arrested was â..an official who supervised the execution.â.

Al-Maliki announced Tuesday that he had ordered an investigation into the conduct of the execution team, who could be heard taunting Saddam in the moments before his hanging.

Arrests made in Saddam video case - Conflict in Iraq - MSNBC.com

Interesting page with links about the execution of Saddam.

Cynical-C Blog - Saddamâ..s Execution

"Rather than an orderly execution, done with proper professionalism, it appears from the audio that the executioners were taunting Saddam Hussein with a chant of â..Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtadaâ., and other wholly improper conduct, which seems to suggest that Saddam Hussein was handed over to the same Shiite militia elements responsible for kidnappings, murders, and other crimes against the Sunni civilian population of Iraq. Everyday 5 bodies or more that show the signs of torture and are handcuffed are found in river that runs through Baghdad by police patrols, most probably victims of the same Shiite militia group that carried out the execution of Saddam Hussein. Generally about 50 bodies a day, generally of Sunni citizens are found murdered, torured and handcuffed in the streets of Baghdad. These persons are denied a fair trial as well."

Holding the Muslim holy book, the Koran, and refusing a black hood, Saddam Hussein faced the same fate many common criminals suffered during his more than 20 years as Iraq's president.

At shortly after 6 a.m., the former strongman was hanged. The execution took place at a former military intelligence headquarters in Baghdad's Shi'ite neighborhood of Kazimiyah, outside the heavily fortified Green Zone.

VOA News - Former Iraqi Leader Saddam Hussein Executed in Baghdad

In the BBC interview, Annan agreed when it was suggested that some Iraqis believe life is worse now than it was under Saddam Hussein's regime.

"I think they are right in the sense of the average Iraqi's life," Annan said.

"If I were an average Iraqi obviously I would make the same comparison, that they had a dictator who was brutal but they had their streets, they could go out, their kids could go to school and come back home without a mother or father worrying, 'Am I going to see my child again?'" he said.

Annan: Life for Iraqis worse than with Saddam - Conflict in Iraq - MSNBC.com

John Russo has been a victim of identity theft. So when he was asked to fork over a photo ID just to be seated at an IHOP pancake restaurant, he flipped.

"'You want my license? I'm going for pancakes, I'm not buying the Hope diamond,' and they refused to seat us," Russo said, recounting his experience this week at the Quincy IHOP.

The restaurant now has agreed to reverse the policy of requiring customers to turn over their driver's licenses before they can order -- a rule that was enacted to discourage "dine and dash" thefts.

WCVB-TV in Boston reported the Quincy restaurant's policy had been enacted without corporate approval.

Customers unhappy over IHOP's policy to ask for IDs - Boston.com

UCPD officers shot a student several times with a Taser inside the Powell Library CLICC computer lab late Tuesday night before taking him into custody.

No university police officers were available to comment further about the incident as of 3 a.m. Wednesday, and no Community Service Officers who were on duty at the time could be reached.

At around 11:30 p.m., CSOs asked a male student using a computer in the back of the room to leave when he was unable to produce a BruinCard during a random check. The student did not exit the building immediately.

The CSOs left, returning minutes later, and police officers arrived to escort the student out. By this time the student had begun to walk toward the door with his backpack when an officer approached him and grabbed his arm, at which point the student told the officer to let him go. A second officer then approached the student as well.

[BREAKING NEWS]: Student shot with Taser by UCPD officers

  Bush's hell starts today

After snatching the House with the closest thing to a crushing mandate ever likely in a system biased in favour of the incumbents, the Democrats now have their hands on the investigative machinery of Capitol Hill.

They can hire lawyers and detectives; they can subpoena documents and compel witnesses to testify under oath; they can mount show trials - or indeed real trials - subjecting their enemies to torment under the glaring klieg lights of the world media.

This is a powerful weapon, as Bill Clinton learned when Newt Gringrich stormed the House in 1994, breaking the half-century stranglehold of the Democrats. Newtâ..s Republicans did not rest until they had impeached the president for perjury and abuse of office in the Paula Jones/Lewinsky saga - even if the meaker Senate later opted for acquittal.

Telegraph | News | Bush's hell starts today

Or are we being premature about all this hand-shaking?

Comment is free: Americans should be proud

The ugly American mark two is dead. Overnight six years of glib European identification of "American" with right-wing fundamentalism is over. The gun-toting, pre-Darwinian Bushite, the Tomahawk-wielding, Halliburton-loving, Beltway neo-con, damning abortion as murder and torturing Islamo-fascists has been lain to rest, and by a decision of the American people. Americans should be proud and the world should take note.

Yesterday's result could hardly have been more emphatic. George Bush's election wizard, Karl Rove, said he would make America's midterm elections "a choice not a referendum". He would ask them to choose a congress not vote on his boss. The electorate did both. In a high turnout the majority rejected the tenets of the religious right and of "big government" neo-conservativism. They expressed concern over the corruption and warmongering of Washington and the state of their economy in Bush's hands. For the Republicans there were no consolations.

In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law (1). It does so by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President's ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions.


Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."

President Bush seized this unprecedented power on the very same day that he signed the equally odious Military Commissions Act of 2006. In a sense, the two laws complement one another. One allows for torture and detention abroad, while the other seeks to enforce acquiescence at home, preparing to order the military onto the streets of America. Remember, the term for putting an area under military law enforcement control is precise; the term is "martial law."

Bush Moves Toward Martial Law : SF Indymedia

  The Worst Congress Ever

To be sure, Congress has always been a kind of muddy ideological cemetery, a place where good ideas go to die in a maelstrom of bureaucratic hedging and rank favor-trading. Its whole history is one long love letter to sleaze, idiocy and pigheaded, glacial conservatism. That Congress exists mainly to misspend our money and snore its way through even the direst political crises is something we Americans understand instinctively. "There is no native criminal class except Congress," Mark Twain said -- a joke that still provokes a laugh of recognition a hundred years later.

Rolling Stone : COVER STORY: Time to Go! Inside the Worst Congress Ever

The discovery of hundreds of US-made cluster bombs among the tens of thousands of unexploded munitions carpeting the south of Lebanon, has led to calls on Washington to impose a moratorium on sales of the weapons to Israel.

Bomb disposal experts are working around the clock to clear the lethal leftovers after Israel fired 1.2 million bomblets in the last three days of the war. The pods containing the 650 bomblets, which burst apart at a pre-determined height, have a failure rate of up to 30 per cent, leaving clear evidence of their American origin.

Independent Online Edition > Americas


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