Saturday, September 30, 2006

Evo Morales


Here is an interesting article titled, Morales' U.N. Address Gives His People a Voice.

"In his first visit to the United States, Bolivian President Evo Morales forged his identity as a representative of indigenous groups"

And here is another interesting article titled, How to Solve the Problems of Globalization, with Evo Morales in a debate.

"The Bolivian model is an alternative model. It recognizes the need for an economic and political program to not only stop the current abuse, but also to address the impoverishment and corruption of hundreds of years".

An important man to watch.

Friday, September 29, 2006

American Fascism

14 Points of Fascism
The author of this article compared the regimes of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Suharto, and Pinochet and identified 14 characteristics common to those fascist regimes. Below each of these points is a collection of news articles dating from the start of the Bush presidency divided into topics relating to each of these 14 points of fascism.

1.) Powerful and Continuing Nationalism:: Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2.) Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights: Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc

3.) Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause: The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4.) Supremacy of the Military: Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5.) Rampant Sexism: The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.

6.) Controlled Mass Media: Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7.) Obsession with National Security: Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8.) Religion and Government are Intertwined: Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9.) Corporate Power is Protected: The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10.) Labor Power is Suppressed: Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11.) Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts: Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.

12.) Obsession with Crime and Punishment: Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13.) Rampant Cronyism and Corruption: Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14.) Fraudulent Elections: Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Against Their Own


Future Shock

Evidence of Plans to

Torture American Citizens

In what is known as mass torture technology Americans have invented a new weapon to deal with their demonstrators.

"The idea of subjecting demonstrating Americans to group torture may seem unthinkable today. Yet a few years ago we couldn't have imagined that our government would ban public demonstrations by forcing protesters into "Free Speech Zones" behind fences, miles away from other Americans. The unimaginable has now become real. This is only the next logical step, and it could happen soon".

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

10 Prizewinners

Washington, Sep 25 (Prensa Latina) Ten Nobel Peace Prizewinners, of the only 93 so awarded since 1901, warn that poverty breeds terrorism and demand that the billions spent on weapons of mass destruction be used instead to feed the hungry people of the world.

Gathered at PeaceJam, held in Denver last weekend, the ten Nobel Peace Laureates, together with three thousand youth from around the world, participated in the largest event of its kind in North America.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa declared that if hunger is eliminated, the world will have stopped terrorism. “If we want to live in peace, we have to realize we are all members of the same family,” said the African Nobel Peace Laureate.

John Dear, a Jesuit priest, peace activist and author of “You Will Be My Witnesses” (Orbis) and “Living Peace” (Doubleday) reported on the meeting. Mairead Maguire, Nobel laureate from Belfast, said war simply doesn’t work.

“Nuclear weapons don’t work. I don’t believe in a just war. The war on Iraq is totally immoral, totally illegal, and totally unnecessary. So we need to say no to war, and no to nuclear weapons. We need to learn the way of nonviolence.”

Said Shrini Ebadi, a judge from Iran proclaimed: “Every nation with nuclear weapons should dismantle them immediately. I wish, for example, that after 9/11 the US had built thousands of schools in Afghanistan in honor of each victim.”

President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica pointed out that “the US spends over half a trillion a year on militarism, but only a tiny fraction on food, medicine and education for the world’s poor. Real security means first of all security against hunger, disease, and poverty.”

And Rigoberta Menchu, the Guatemalan indigenous leader, cut US to the core: “If there were no wars in the world, the US economy would not prosper. Therefore, there must not be any more prosperity in the United States, if the world’s poor are to prosper.”

“When I was tortured by the Argentine Junta,” Adolfo Perez Esquivel told Fr. Dear, “I saw on the ceiling of my cell, written in blood, the words, ‘God does not kill.’ We need to learn that lesson, and resist the forces of death and destruction, and struggle for life and dignity for all. If we focus on this task, we can build peace.”

Archbishop Tutu proposed that countries export generosity instead of bombs and exhorted participants to distance themselves from the cynicism of the old that made a mess of the world. “The world is hurting. Go and heal it,” he said.

Comments On Poll #4

This post was provided to allow space for comments that reflect upon or go beyond the poll choices offered.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Transition Plan

The following article by Carolina Cositore titled "A Transition Plan for the United States" appeared in the Opinion section of Prenza Latina.

A comment by Venezuelan writer Roberto Hernandez Montoya, in response to the US throwing millions of tax dollars into a plan to force its "transition to democracy in Cuba", to wit the US and the world would be better served by a transition to democracy in its own country "scratched behind my ears" as a friend would say, or really hit the nail on the head.

Since the United States under George W not only ignores international laws and agreements, but flouts its own Constitution, a transition to democracy there would be a very good idea indeed.

Of course since the US is a sovereign country, such a transition should not be forced from without, or engineered by a fifth column paid for by a third nation, but could be done by a nation of citizens fed up with the undemocratic way the country is being run.

Follows are a few suggestions for a draft transition plan:

First and foremost, the citizens of a free United States would have to get rid of the antiquated Electoral College that unfairly weighs votes by state and puts decisions in the hands of a few or, has happened, even one person.

Second, the two-party system has to go. Well, actually it is a one-party system with candidates usually from Yale"s Skull and Crossbones, but that"s beside the point. People in a free society need choices beginning at the neighborhood level. To do this would mean nominations from the ground up, not from a rich man´s primary system. Also limited but free and equal time campaigning on the issues is a must for a true democracy, and while we"re at it, let"s make elected officials answerable to their constituents, and give the latter power of recall.

Third, with elected officials accountable to the people, the United States might try improving its human rights record; the US is long overdue for an overhaul of its human rights to put it in spitting distance of other developed nations. Things like medical care for all, adequate food and nutrition for everyone, free child care, equally good free education, and a truly blind goddess of justice.

These suggestions are just for starters, I´m sure readers can come up with many, many more, such as control of runaway arms spending, energy conservation, and hands-on concern for the environment to name a few.

Now that I think of it, all of the above suggestions are presently practiced in Cuba.

So, there is an example out there. Implementation of such a plan for the US is in the hands of its still surviving self termed "innocents". May they figure out how to go about it before others further attempts at the task. The best we can do here on the Forum is remind them of the saw "... by any means necessary".

Saturday, September 23, 2006

New World Vision

Of Hugo Chavez

After agreeing to supply discounted oil to the richest city in Europe - London - to help its low income residents use the city's buses at a reduced cost after earlier providing discounted heating oil for the poor in several northeastern US cities including its richest one - New York, Hugo Chavez is at it again. This time he offered to aid the US oil and cash-rich state of Alaska by providing an even greater benefit - free or subsidized heating oil.

In the richest, most powerful country in the world, federal, state and local governments continue to provide fewer essential services to their citizens most in need like helping them stay warm in winter when they can't afford to do it on their own. The result is many of them don't and some die as a result.

Even without federal help, Alaska easily has enough resources and plenty of oil inside its borders to help its most needy if it chooses to. Currently the state has a Permanent Fund of $34 billion and a $2 billion budget reserve fund for a population of about 660,000 people. Still, each winter thousands of Alaskans can't afford to buy enough heating oil, especially since its price rose so dramatically in the past few years. Alaska has its own federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, but it's woefully underfunded and unable to provide enough help. So if the state and federal government won't do the job, Hugo Chavez said he would step in with financial aid through Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA's subsidiary CITGO Petroleum Corporation.

The money will be donated to state Native non-profit organizations as part of a greater effort that will also help other communities in the state. It's also one part of CITGO's overall program to provide 5 - 10 million gallons of heating oil to help Native Americans nationwide. The goal is to help thousands of poor Alaskans and Native Americans in other states stay warm in the winter in cases where they're unable to get help any other way.

Think of it. Tiny Venezuela has a population of about 27 million people that's 1/12th the size of the US. And it had a 2005 Gross Domestic Product of about $160 billion that's less than 2% of the US GDP of $12.5 trillion last year and less than half of oil giant Exxon-Mobil's $371 billion 2005 sales volume. Still Hugo Chavez is willing to share his nation's oil and financial resources so those in need in the US can get some of the help its own government won't provide and help other nations as well that don't have enough ability to do it themselves. Don't ever expect Exxon-Mobil to offer aid as its game plan is to manipulate oil prices for maximum sales and profit growth with little or no regard for social responsibility that would only lower them.

The Vision of Chavez's Democratic Bolivarian Revolution Vs. Bush's Belligerent Imperialism

Look at the difference between how Hugo Chavez governs at home and shares with others abroad based on the principles of social equity and justice compared to the way George Bush does it. He and his hard-right Republican allies believe it's right to take from the poor and plunder other nations abroad to benefit the rich and powerful at home. To do it he's been waging illegal wars of aggression almost since he took office and just declared a permanent "long war" clash of civilizations against 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide to subjugate and exploit them for the corporate interests he represents.

Hugo Chavez will stand for re-election on December 3 this year. His approval rating is so high (compared to Bush's low one), no opposition candidate can defeat him in a free, fair and open election although the Bush administration is planning an unknown array of dirty tricks trying to do it. Compare that to the way elections are now run in the US where the only sure way George Bush and neocon Republicans can win is by rigging the outcomes.

Things aren't this way in Venezuela and shouldn't be anywhere. Under the letter and spirit of the Bolivarian Revolution, the country is governed under a system of real participatory democracy where the people get to vote and those they elect actually serve them. In the US what's called democracy is only for the privileged few. All others are left behind in a system morphing toward modern-day feudalism based on how an earlier failed 20th century tyrant ruled which he explained in his own words - "(by) a system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligent nationalism." Sound familiar?

The tyrant was Benito Mussolini, and he called it fascism, although despite his claim, he didn't invent it. Nineteenth century born and early 20th century philosopher Giovanni Gentile did, and he's sometimes called the "philosopher of fascism." He explained it in the Encyclopia Italiana saying "Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." Like all good dictators finding an idea he liked, Mussolini replaced Gentile's name with his own and claimed credit for it.

Now in the US under George Bush it's showing up again as a feudal corporatocracy heading straight toward a full-blown version of the Mussolini/Hitler model, US-style with many of the same trappings - a messianic mission and appeal to patriotism to fight an endless war on terrorism sacrificing constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties to do it and enriching corporations that profit from it. And all this falsely couched in the "land of the free and home of the brave" rhetoric and spirit from "The Star-Spangled Banner" anthem all children are taught at an early age to sing in school with hands over heart and never forget.

Hugo Chavez represents a different vision. Among world leaders, he's the best hope to give democracy meaning again throughout the Americas and beyond, and that's why the Bush administration is determined to oust him before he spreads much more of his good will. The Chavez way is gaining ground because it's a new paradigm based on global solidarity, equality and political, economic and social justice that opposes the failed Bush neoliberal imperial world model more people everywhere are fed up with and want no more of.

It's shown up on the streets of Mexico for weeks and again on Sunday when hundreds of thousands of people packed the great Zocalo square in Mexico City in support of winning candidate Lopez Obrador denied by massive fraud the office of president he won in July. They stand with him in solidarity and his intention to set up a parallel government after he's sworn in as its "legitimate president" on November 20. Hugo Chavez stands with him as well, and on Saturday at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Havana accused Mexico's ruling party of stealing the election and destroying the chance for good relations with Venezuela.

There were more signs of discontent with the old order at the 16th annual NAM summit, attended by representatives from over 110 nations. At it, Hugo Chavez declared "American imperialism is in decline. A new bi-polar world is emerging. The non-aligned group has been relaunched to unite the South under its umbrella (in opposition)."

At the summit's conclusion, a final document was drafted expressing support for Venezuela, its constitutional government and democratically elected President Hugo Chavez. It criticized US aggressive policies against Chavez and supported the right of the Venezuelan people to choose their own form of government, their leader and representatives, and their economic and political system free from foreign intervention. The document also expressed "firm support and solidarity for Bolivia" and Cuba including demanding the US end its economic, trade and financial blockade that violates the UN Charter and other international law.

It also acknowledged Iran's right to develop its commercial nuclear industry that's in full compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) based on known evidence about it. Further, it sharply criticized US foreign policy and its wars of illegal aggression as well as Israel's wars against Lebanon and Palestine and the US role in them. It also spoke out by implication against the unilateral US domination of the UN calling on this international body to do more to respect and better represent the needs and rights of smaller nations.

The document affirmed the right of each nation's national sovereignty and was a strong rebuke of the US Bush administration and its imperial policies. In addition, it represented a strong statement of growing resistance to it from around the world that's likely to gain added resonance as long as Hugo Chavez is able to pursue his policies of putting the needs and rights of people ahead of those of wealth and power.

Other Unexpected Criticism

Chavez isn't alone as other critics are emerging in places as unexpected as the UK where British Labour Party 23-year veteran MP and former Cabinet Minister Clare Short just announced she's leaving New Labour because she's "profoundly ashamed" of the Government and Prime Minister Tony Blair's "craven" support for "US neoconservative foreign policy (that) has dishonoured the UK, undermined the UN and international law and helped to make the world a more dangerous place." She said she was "standing down (to) speak the truth and support the changes that are needed." She's not alone in the Blair government as growing numbers of other party "back-benchers" are joining her in a show of solidarity and disgust for a government allied shamelessly with Washington's corrupted notion of might makes right and the use of it in the pursuit of wealth and power as an end in itself.

Stay tuned for the coming chapters in this epic struggle for a new and better world vision and an end to the old one that doesn't work, never did or will, and that more people than ever are determined to free themselves from. It is the same message South America's great Liberator Simon Bolivar had when he once spoke of the imperial curse he sought to free his people from that "plague(d) Latin America with misery in the name of liberty."

From the NAM summit in Havana, Hugo Chavez echoed similar thoughts in his address to the General Assembly on September 15. In it he said: "....let's unite in the South and we will have a future, we will have dignity, our people will have life....Let's unite to liberate ourselves, to exist, to self-construct the South."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Chavez Speech

Full text of Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez Remarks to U.N. General Assembly, New York, September 20th, 2006

President Chávez: Madame President, Excellencies, Heads of State, Heads of Governments, and high ranking government representatives from around the world. A very good day to you all.

First of all, with much respect, I would like to invite all of those, who have not had a chance, to read this book that we have read: Noam Chomsky, one of the most prestigious intellectuals of America and the world. One of Chomsky's most recent works: Hegemony or Survival?

America's Quest for Global Dominance. An excellent piece to help us understand what happened in the world during the 20th century, what is going on now and the greatest threat looming over our planet: the hegemonic pretension of US Imperialism that puts at risk the very survival of the human species. We continue to warn about this danger and call on the people of the US and the world to halt this threat that is like the sword of Damocles.

I intended to read a chapter, but for the sake of time, I will leave it as a recommendation. It's a fast read. It's really good Madame President, surely you are familiar with it. It is published in English, German, Russian, and Arabic (applause). Look, I think our brothers and sisters of the United States should be the first citizens to read this book because the threat is in their own house.

The Devil is in their home. The Devil, the Devil himself is in their home.

The Devil came here yesterday (laughter and applause). Yesterday the Devil was here, in this very place. This table from where I speak still smells like sulfur. Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, in this same hall the President of the United States, who I call "The Devil," came here talking as if he owned the world. It would take a psychiatrist to analyze the US president's speech from yesterday.

As the spokesperson for Imperialism he came to give us his recipes for maintaining the current scheme of domination, exploitation and pillage of the world's people. It would make a good Alfred Hitchcock movie. I could even suggest a title: "The Devil's Recipe." That is to say, US Imperialism, and here Chomsky says it with profound and crystalline clarity, is making desperate efforts to consolidate its hegemonic system of domination. We cannot allow this to occur, we cannot permit them to install a world dictatorship, to consolidate a world dictatorship.

The speech of the tyrannical president of the world was full of cynicism, full of hypocrisy. It is this imperial hypocrisy with which he attempts to control everything. They want to impose upon us the democratic model they devised, the false democracy of elites. And moreover, a very original democratic model imposed with explosions, bombings, invasions, and cannon shot. That's some democracy! One would have to review the thesis of Aristotle and of the first Greeks who spoke of democracy to see what kind of model of democracy is imposed by marines, invasions, aggressions and bombs.

The US president said the following yesterday in this same hall, I quote: "everywhere you turn, you hear extremists who tell you that you can escape your misery and regain your dignity through violence and terror and martyrdom." Wherever he looks he sees extremists. I am sure he sees you, brother, with your skin color, and thinks you are an extremist. With his color, the dignified President of Bolivia Evo Morales, who was here yesterday, is an extremist. The imperialists see extremists all around. No, its not that we are extremists. What is happening is that the world is waking up and people everywhere are rising up. I have the impression Mr. Imperialist dictator that you will live the rest of your days as if in a nightmare, because no matter where you look we will be rising up against US imperialism.

Yes, they call us extremists, we who demand complete freedom in the world, equality among peoples and respect for national sovereignty.

We are rising up against the Empire, against the model of domination.

Later, the president said, "Today I'd like to speak directly to the people across the broader Middle East: My country desires peace."

That is certain. If we walk the streets of the Bronx, if we walk through the streets of New York, Washington, San Diego, California, any city, San Antonio, San Francisco and we ask the people on the street: the people of the US want peace. The difference is that the government of this country, of the US, does not want peace; it wants to impose its model of exploitation and plundering and its hegemony upon us under threat of war. That is the little difference. The people want peace and, what is happening in Iraq? And what happened in Lebanon and Palestine? And what has happened over the last 100 years in Latin America and the world and now the threats against Venezuela, new threats against Iran? He spoke to the people of Lebanon, "Many of you have seen your homes and communities caught in crossfire." What cynicism! What capacity to blatantly lie before the world! The bombs in Beirut launched with milimetric precision are "crossfire"? I think that the president is thinking of those western movies where they shoot from the hip and someone ends up caught in the middle.

Imperialist fire! Fascist fire! Murderous fire! Genocidal fire against the innocent people of Palestine and Lebanon by the Empire and Israel. That is the truth. Now they say that they are upset to see homes destroyed.

In the end, the US president came to speak to the people, and also to say, "I brought some documents Madame President." This morning I was watching some of the speeches while updating mine. He spoke to the people of Afghanistan, to the people of Lebanon, to the people of Iran. One has to wonder, when listening to the US president speak to those people: what would those people say to him? If those people could talk to him, what would they say? I think I have an idea because I know the souls of the majority of those people, the people of the South, the downtrodden peoples would say: Yankee imperialist go home! That would be the shout that would echo around the world, if these people of the world could speak with only one voice to the US Empire.

Therefore, Madame President, colleagues, and friends, last year we came to this same hall, as we have for the past eight years, and we said something that today is completely confirmed. I believe that almost no one in this room would stand up to defend the system of the United Nations. Lets admit with honesty, the UN system that emerged after WWII has collapsed, shattered, it doesn't work. Well, ok. To come here and give speeches, and visit with one another once a year, yes, it works for that. And to make long documents and reflect and listen to good speeches like Evo's yesterday, and Lula's, yes, for that it works. And many speeches, like the one we just heard by the president of Sri Lanka and of the president of Chile. But we have converted this Assembly into a mere deliberative organ with no kind of power to impact in the slightest way the terrible reality the world is experiencing. Therefore we again propose here today, September 20, [2006] to re-found the United Nations. Last year Madame President, we made four modest proposals that we feel are in urgent need of being adopted by the Heads of State, Heads of Government, ambassadors and representatives. And we discussed these proposals.

First: expansion. Yesterday Lula said the same, the Security Council, its permanent as well as its non- permanent seats, must open up to new members from developed, underdeveloped and Third World countries.

That's the first priority.

Second: the application of effective methods of addressing and resolving world conflicts. Transparent methods of debate and of making decisions.

Third: the immediate suppression of the anti-democratic veto mechanism, the veto power over Security Council decisions, seems fundamental to us and is being called for by all. Here is a recent example, the immoral veto by the US government that freely allowed Israeli forces to destroy Lebanon, in front of us all, by blocking a resolution in the UN Security Council.

Fourthly: as we always say, it is necessary to strengthen the role, the powers of the general secretary of the United Nations. Yesterday we heard the speech of the general secretary, who is nearing the end of his term. He recalled that in these ten years the world has become more complicated and that the serious problems of the world, the hunger, poverty, violence, and violation of human rights have been aggravated, this is a terrible consequence of the collapse of the UN system and of US imperialist pretensions.

Madame President, recognizing our status as members, Venezuela decided several years ago to wage this battle within the UN with our voice, our modest reflections. We are an independent voice, representing dignity and the search for peace, the formulation of an international system to denounce persecution and hegemonic aggression against people worldwide. In this way Venezuela has presented its name. The homeland of Bolívar has presented its name as a candidate for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council. Of course you all know that the US government has begun an open attack, an immoral global attack in an attempt to block Venezuela from being freely elected to occupy the open seat on the Security Council. They are afraid of the truth. The empire is afraid of the truth and of independent voices. They accuse us of being extremists. They are the extremists.

I want to thank all countries that have announced your support for Venezuela, even when the vote is secret and it is not necessary for anyone to reveal their vote. But I think that the open aggression of the US Empire has reinforced the support of many countries, which in turn morally strengthened Venezuela, our people, our government. Our brothers and sisters of MERCOSUR, for example, as a block, have announced their support for Venezuela. We are now a full member of MERCOSUR along with Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay. Many other countries of Latin America, such as Bolivia and all the CARICOM nations have pledged their support to Venezuela. The entire Arab League has announced its support for Venezuela. I thank the Arab world, our brothers of the Arab world and of the Caribbean. The African Union, nearly all of the African Union countries have pledged their support for Venezuela and other countries like Russia, China and many others across the globe. I thank you all deeply in the name of Venezuela, in the name of our people and in the name of truth, because Venezuela, upon occupying a seat on the Security Council will not only bring to it the voice of Venezuela, but also the voice of the Third World, the voice of the peoples of the planet. There we will defend dignity and truth.

Despite all this Madame President, I think there are reasons to be optimistic.

Hopelessly optimistic, as a poet would say, because beyond the threats, bombs, wars, aggressions, preventative wars, and the destruction of entire peoples, one can see that a new era is dawning.

Like Silvio Rodríguez sings, "the era is giving birth to a heart."

Alternative tendencies, alternative thoughts, and youth with distinct ideas are emerging. In barely a decade it has been demonstrated that the End of History theory was totally false. The establishment of the American Empire, the American peace, the establishment of the capitalist, neoliberal model that generates misery and poverty- all totally false. The thesis is totally false and has been dumped. Now the future of the world must be defined. There is a new dawning on this planet that can be seen everywhere: in Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania. I want to highlight that vision of optimism to fortify our conscience and our will to fight to save the world and construct a new world, a better world.

Venezuela has joined this struggle and for this we are threatened.

The US has already planned, financed and launched a coup in Venezuela. And the US continues to support coup plotters in Venezuela. And they continue supporting terrorism against Venezuela.

President Michel Bachellet recalled a few days ago… pardon, I mean a few minutes ago… the terrible murder of the former Chilean Foreign Minster Orlando Letelier. I would only add the following: the guilty parties are free. Those responsible for that deed, in which a US citizen was also killed, are North Americans of the CIA. Terrorists of the CIA.

In addition, we here in this room must remember that in a few days it will be the 30th anniversary of that murder and of the horrible terrorist attack that blew up a Cubana de Aviación airplane in mid-flight killing 73 innocent people. And where is the worst terrorist of this continent, who admitted to being the intellectual author of the airplane sabotage? He was in prison in Venezuela for some years, but he escaped with the complicity of CIA officials and the Venezuelan government of that time. Now he is here living in the US, protected by the government even though he was convicted and he confessed. The US government has a double standard and protects terrorism.

These reflections are to demonstrate that Venezuela is committed to the fight against terrorism, against violence and works together with all people who struggle for peace and for a just world.

I spoke of the Cuban airplane. Luis Posada Carriles is the name of that terrorist. He is protected here just like the corrupt fugitives who escaped Venezuela. A group of terrorists who planted bombs in embassies of various countries, murdered innocent people during the coup and kidnapped this humble servant. They were going to execute me, but God reached out his hand, along with a group of good soldiers, and the who people took to the streets. It's a miracle that I'm here. The leaders of that coup and those terrorist acts are here, protected by the US government. I accuse the US government of protecting terrorism and of giving a completely cynical speech.

Speaking of Cuba, we went happily to Havana. We were there several days. During the G-15 Summit and the NAM Summit the dawning of a new era was evident with an historic resolution and final document. Don't worry. I am not going to read it all. But here is a collection of resolutions made in open discussion with transparency. With more than 50 Heads of State, Havana was the capital of the South for a week. We have re-launched the Non-Aligned Movement. And if there is anything I could ask of you all, my brothers and sisters, it is to please lend your support to the strengthening of the NAM, which is so important to the emergence of a new era, to preventing hegemony and imperialism. Also, you all know that we have designated Fidel Castro as President of the NAM for the next three years and we are sure that compañero President Fidel Castro will fulfill the post with much efficiency. Those who wanted Fidel to die, well, they remain frustrated because Fidel is already back in his olive green uniform and is now not only the President of Cuba but also the President of NAM.

Madam President, dear colleagues, presidents, a very strong movement of the South emerged there in Havana. We are men and women of the South. We are bearers of these documents, these ideas, opinions, and reflections. I have already closed by folder and the book that I brought with me. Don't forget it. I really recommend it. With much humility we try to contribute ideas for the salvation of the planet, to save it from the threat of imperialism, and god willing soon.

Early in this century, god willing, so that we ourselves can see and experience with our children and grandchildren a peaceful world, under the fundamental principles of the UN, renewed and relocated. I believe that the UN must be located in another country, in a city of the South. We have proposed this from Venezuela. You all know that my medical personnel had to stay locked up in the airplane. The Chief of my security is locked on the plane. They would not let them come to the UN. Another abuse and outrage Madame President that we request to be registered personally to the sulfurous Devil. But God is with us.

A warm embrace and may God bless us all. Good day.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Demonising Muslims

It’s our foreign policy, stupid
Oscar Reyes

September 2006

The latest terrorist scare is being used to demonise all Muslims and suppress dissent over British foreign policy. We should be as worried about this as we are scared by the threat of further terror plots.


When the news came in that Britain’s security services had foiled a terrorist outrage on the scale of 9/11, I should have felt relief at mass murder averted, shock at the audacity of the plot, and fear that Britain was once again under attack. But five years on from the collapse of the Twin Towers, I find those instincts clouded by thoughts of a more troubled kind: that prejudice and moral indignation will close down the space to ask why, and that the threat of terror will, once again, be put to such dangerous political uses that it breeds more of the same.

This should not be confused with cynicism about the existence of a terrorist threat, even though the record of the past five years – WMDs, the ricin plot, the Menezes killing and the Forest Gate raid – has provided ample reasons to be cynical. It is likely that several of the 24 suspects detained in raids on 10 August played no part in any terror plot. But the signs are that, this time around, the police did disrupt a plan to blow up trans-Atlantic flights.

To be caught in a game of truth about the plausibility or otherwise of a failed terror plot – or, worse, to fantasise about conspiracies – is to risk losing sight of the key issues in the debate on terrorism. ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ is a vital principle, but it is not a sufficient political response. And there are several examples of specious reasoning that we need to confront.

The most glaring is the idea that foreign policy should not be invoked to explain foiled terror attacks. Such reasoning is ‘dangerous and foolish’, says transport minister Douglas Alexander. But he makes the fatal confusion between explanation and justification – as though the US and British occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, and complicity in the Israeli destruction of Lebanon, had not fanned the flames of resentment and injustice that fuel terrorism.

John Reid claims that it is ‘a dreadful misjudgement’ to believe Britain’s foreign policy should be shaped ‘under the threat of terrorist activity’. Yet domestic policy is made in precisely these terms, with new police powers, anti-terror laws and surveillance following each and every terrorist threat. On 9 August, Reid launched a pre-emptive strike on the critics of such measures, arguing that we should ‘modify some of our own freedoms in the short term’ to counter those who would ‘destroy all of our freedoms in the modern world’. A dreadful misjudgement, indeed.

Not all politicians are in denial about the bigger picture. George Bush’s response to the London plot was to join the dots between ‘Islamic fascists’ in the UK, Lebanon and Iraq. Tony Blair will likely make the same connection in slightly less offensive terms, extending his ‘arc of extremism’ from Beirut to Birmingham.

This is politics in the moral register, or a different way to deny the impact of foreign policy. If our enemies are fundamentally evil, then there is no need to understand causes or alleviate grievances – but rather, to destroy our enemies and promote ‘our values’, a communitarian response to foreign policy that has been mirrored, unsuccessfully, on the domestic front.

Muslims are not a monolithic community, and the idea that they should indulge in a new bout of self-policing to unearth the ‘terrorists in their midst’ cannot fail to reinforce the alienating sense that they are being held collectively responsible for the criminal intent of a small, extremist group. Worse still, right-wing commentators are already editorialising against the threat of an ‘enemy within’, to quote the Sunday Times editorial of 14 August.

This comes on the back of a trial by media, which has given the private lives of the accused the kind of going over normally reserved for Big Brother contestants. The suspects fail to conform to the bearded, hook-handed norm. They seem ‘all too ordinary’, ‘living “normal” westernised existences in neat terraced houses’. It is not hard to find a racist undercurrent here, the fantasy that even ‘moderate’ Islam is a façade for extremism – expressed, by the Sunday Times, as a ‘sneaking admiration for jihad even among seemingly sensible Muslims’. This is the real cynicism.

If we are serious about counteracting terrorism, then an understanding of politics and power should be our guide. For over a century, terrorism has mostly involved responses to military occupation by outside state powers. It has been conducted on behalf of (rather than by) the poor in contexts where the perpetrators perceive no legitimate channels to advance their political demands. Religion has sometimes been used to legitimise such actions, but has rarely been a cause.

Attacks by British-born Muslims seem little different, except that their political sympathies, fuelled by internet videos and 24-hour news broadcasts, express a more ‘globalised’ struggle than that of their predecessors. For as long as the British government acts with impunity and supports state terror abroad, there can be little hope that we can resolve the problem of terror at home.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Mexican Politics

How politics are done
in Mexico
“We are tired of a Mexico that just helps the rich, the big companies. Those of us who are here asking for justice are the poor, the lower class."

The article below tells some of the details of Mexicos struggle with an election fraud and how it is being handled. The article is biased but one can get the feel for what is happening.

Analysts see shrewd strategy in Mexico

MEXICO CITY – September 18, 2006

Mexico awoke yesterday with a new political dilemma: The country now has two presidents-elect, one of them chosen at the ballot box and the other self-anointed.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the leftist who lost the July 2 election, was proclaimed Mexico's "legitimate president" by nearly 200,000 supporters Saturday at a carefully orchestrated rally in Mexico City's historic central plaza.

In a moment of high theater, López Obrador asked his supporters to help him choose the date for his inauguration. After a show of hands, they chose Nov. 20 – a national holiday commemorating the Mexican Revolution. To heighten the drama, López Obrador will be "sworn in" 12 days before Felipe Calderón, the conservative from President Vicente Fox's National Action Party who won the election by 234,000 votes.

Although López Obrador's decision to appoint himself president will not be recognized by the Congress or by a majority of Mexicans, he plans to set up a "parallel government" complete with a Cabinet. He said he would end the marches and sit-ins in Mexico City and launch a nationwide movement.

"He's very canny at making news, at getting media attention, at saying things that at first sound outrageous but that are actually very carefully crafted," said political analyst Federico Estevez.

"Whether he should be called a virtual president or just the leader of the movement, it's all sort of nonsense. He can be offered crowns in the plaza but it just doesn't make any difference. He's obviously not the president. His big offensive is over in the capital city. He's cutting it off while he still has some political capital."

As he travels across Mexico, López Obrador says his objective will be to "observe, listen and capture the feelings of all the sectors and all the regions of the country."

He will evoke images of Benito Juárez, Mexico's beloved Indian president who was forced in 1863 to flee the capital and run his government from clandestine locations across the country after the French conquered Mexico and overran Mexico City.
Analysts say, the goal is to draw attention away from Calderón, who will be inaugurated Dec. 1.

Some say López Obrador's new role will be as a critical observer who can comment on the wrongs without being expected to make them right.

"By not having any responsibilities, the opposition can offer options that seem perfect," historian Lorenzo Meyer said. "The best possible government of Felipe Calderón is going to have defects. The opposition can always criticize him because reality is imperfect."

López Obrador, the former mayor of Mexico City, appears to relish such a forum, Meyer said.

"In some ways, he seems happier and freer in this role than in the role of an elected official who has to deal with the bureaucracy of the government," he said.

López Obrador's move from Mexico City to towns and villages in the countryside once again has raised questions about his strategy.

"How long? With what kind of calendar? Is it just a road show or will it be about organizing the movement and allies for the party and another run for the presidency?" Estevez asked.
López Obrador could become a powerful voice for Mexico's poor and oppressed, analysts said.

"He can turn this into a responsible examination of government policies to make sure that Calderón doesn't backslide on his commitment to uplifting the poor," said George Grayson, an expert on Mexico who teaches at the College of William & Mary. "But if he runs around in his own presidential sash, calling his loyalists to demonstrate here and there, he risks becoming a comic figure."

His antics already have cost his Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, much of the gains it made in the months leading up to the election. After winning more seats in the Congress than in any election during its 18-year history, recent polls show the PRD's support sharply eroding.

"The price they're paying for what they've done over the past 2½ months is that their reputation is in tatters," Estevez said. "Their credibility has disappeared and everyone perceives them as unreliable."

Even as PRD legislators search for ways to shore up their credibility, they are threatening to block Calderón's inauguration.

"This is not going to be a normal inauguration for Calderón," Meyer said. "No one knows what the PRD legislators are going to do in the Congress. But they are going to do something."

With Calderón and López Obrador set to be inaugurated in less than three months, Mexicans are bracing for a protracted political crisis.

"It's going to be a long, long war," Meyer said.

By S. Lynne Walker

Welcome New User

This was left as a comment on another post and moved here.

Dear Comrades/Citizens,Can you please add me to your blog list as well?I could also add Further Left Forum to my links as well.Yours Fraternally,C.Bruce Milne.C.B.Milne.

# posted by cbmilne33: Mon Sep 18, 01:52:00 PM UTC

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Comments On Poll #3

Which is the greatest
danger to world peace?

This post is provided to allow space for comments that reflect upon or go beyond choices offered in the current poll.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


By Antoaneta Bezlova

BEIJING, Sep. 15, 2006 (IPS/GIN) -- China has intensified its long-term quest to integrate the remote land and people of Tibet by building new infrastructure and drawing up plans to tap the Himalayan region's virgin water sources and its rich reserves of copper, gold and hydrocarbons.

Chinese communist leaders insist their intentions are to make Tibet part of the country's economic miracle by expanding trade and tourism, and creating wealth in the backward region that many Westerners see as the last refuge of spiritualism.

But detractors say Beijing sees Tibet as the new "El Dorado" for energy-starved and resources-limited China. Some 40 percent of China's natural resources are located in Tibet, whose Chinese name "Xizang" translates as "Western Depository."

International activists and Tibetans-in-exile have warned that the new wave of Chinese investment in the region would be detrimental to Tibetan culture and autonomy. They say the new infrastructure would lead to further militarization of the Tibetan plateau because China, which occupied the region in 1951, would be able to move troops and supplies more rapidly and maintain a more effective garrison there.

While they welcome breaking the physical isolation the region has lived in for centuries, many worry that non-Tibetans would be the biggest benefactors of China's latest assertion of control over this disputed land.

"It is wrong to say that Tibetans are opposed to development. The question that needs to be asked is development for whom?" Yudon Aukatsang, an elected deputy in the Tibetan government-in-exile located in India, told IPS correspondent Ranjit Devraj during an interview on Friday. "We also need to define development better," she added.

Economic migration of China's Han majority, which now controls most of the tourist industry as well as trade between Tibet and the rest of China, has markedly intensified after Beijing built the first highway linking the province of Qinghai with Tibet in the 1950s.

"The exploitation of natural resources and the influx of Han population into Tibet through the highway were bad enough, but these are certain to multiply with the new railway," Aukatsang said. This summer China opened the "world's highest railway," linking the garrison town of Golmud in Qinghai and Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.

Built at a cost of around $4.2 billion, the railway is 1,140 kilometers long and runs over severe terrain with unstable permafrost at extreme altitude, which made its construction one of the most difficult railway projects ever built.

At the opening ceremony, Chinese President Hu Jintao hailed the project as a "miracle" that proves the Chinese are "among the advanced peoples of the world."

Apart from the symbolic importance of the new railway as a project of national prestige, the line provides faster, cheaper and more comfortable access to landlocked Tibet. The train ride from Beijing to Lhasa (via Golmud) now takes only 48 hours and is less expensive than a flight.

"Strategically important to Tibet's development, this railway is an infrastructure project for public welfare rather than for commercial purposes," Sun Yongfu, vice minister of railways, said before the inauguration of the line on July 1.

Although the Chinese government touts the railway as a successful development project, the new railway has clear economic goals -- to stimulate trade between Tibet and the rest of the country and allow for more tourists to visit this remote mountain-bound region.

The government expects Tibet's tourism revenue to exceed 5 billion yuan ($700 million) per year by 2010, with the number of annual visitors rising sharply from 1.8 million in 2005 to some 10 million by 2020.

Already, in anticipation of rising tourist numbers, the daily entry quota into the Potala, the winter palace of the Dalai Lama in Lhasa, has been raised from 1,500 to 2,300.

"Our guidebook to Tibet is a best-seller," Yi Xiaoqiang, an official with the China Youth Press, says of the stylishly presented "Zangdi niupishu," or "Ox-hide Book of Tibetan Lands." "It has sold more than 100,000 copies since its release -- a real record for a guidebook."

Just a month after launching the new line this summer, the Chinese government announced it would extend its run from Lhasa to Xigaze, the region's second-largest city and the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama, one of Tibetan Buddhism's venerated spiritual lineages. Work on the Xigaze line in southern Tibet will begin next year and take three years to complete, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

This year, Chinese leaders are also planning to start building 21 highway projects and nine other major roads in Tibet, while upgrading the highway to the neighboring Himalayan country of Nepal.

In July, an ancient trade route across the 14,200-foot-high Nathu La pass leading into the Indian state of Sikkim, that had lain closed since the 1962 Sino-Indian border war, was reopened for commercial activity.

The infrastructure-building forms the centerpiece of China's "western development plan," which Communist Party leaders say is designed to usher Tibet into an era of modernity and prosperity now enjoyed in the booming Chinese provinces in the east.

"In reality, it is a political project and the railway marks the culmination of Mao Zedong's dream to irreversibly absorb Tibet into China," says Matt Whitticase, spokesman for the Free Tibet Campaign in London. "It will facilitate the migration of Han Chinese colonists into Tibet, ensuring the further diminution of Tibetan culture and identity within Tibet."

Most of the construction companies benefiting from the railway are from eastern China, and the same is true for mining companies now hoping to use the railway to facilitate their operations in the region.

Once in place, the infrastructure network will speed up the exploitation of the Tibetan plateau's rich deposits of gold, copper, zinc, coal and other resources. Copper is regarded as particularly valuable as it is an essential component in the generation and transmission of electricity.

China has also invited transnational oil giants such as BP and Shell to explore for oil and gas equivalents after realizing that its own companies lacked the expertise known to drill in a region known for its complex geology.

The Free Tibet Campaign, which fights for China's complete withdrawal from Tibet, has mounted a vigorous opposition against Western oil and mining companies helping China extract local resources because it says Tibetans are routinely denied participation in key decision-making surrounding such projects.

"Tibetans are unable to exercise their economic rights to determine how their resources are utilized," Whitticase said. "They live in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation where opposition to an unsuitable project such as hydrocarbon extraction would have dire consequences."

Perhaps one of the most controversial Chinese plans to tap Tibetan resources to date is Beijing's new water scheme, called the "the big Western line."

Encouraged by the success of its civil engineering triumph with the Golmud-Lhasa railway, Chinese planners have come up with an even more audacious scheme to build a series of aqueducts, tunnels and reservoirs that would carry water from Tibet all the way to the parched plains of Northern China.

The partly underground 300-kilometer western line could eventually supply up to 8 billion cubic meters of water a year from the Jinsha and other rivers in the Tibetan region, according to Li Guoying, head of the Yellow River Conservancy Commission. The water will also be used to feed the Yellow River's upper reaches to feed rising industrial demand, Li told the media at a press briefing recently.

Still, the project remains so controversial that no starting date has been announced.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Death Becomes Bush

Was The Headiline

A new film depicting the assassination of George Bush is proving to be successful. Death of a President, opened to a warm reception at the Toronto international film festival on Sunday and US distribution rights are sold.

The movie opens with demonstrations against Bush as he visits Chicago in 2007. He is shot by a sniper in a nearby building as he leaves a hotel. "President" Dick Cheney delivers a flowery eulogy at the funeral. A police hunt leads to the arrest of a Palestinian man on dubious evidence, who is later convicted and imprisoned even as the facts point to another person.

The film's director said "The audience reaction was very good." The movie is due to run on Britain’s More4 channel and will probably be shown widely in the US.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Walking Blind

Why Aren't the American People
Shocked by the War in Iraq?
American Deaths and Corporate Greed
by Don Hazen

Here is an article by an American who realizes why his fellow men do not care about the wars their nation is always having. He is correct in his view of the citizens being numb. But I have little faith in the third section he speaks of that has a chance to save their country. I think it is to late for that, not repairable. The dream dissolved. America needs to finish off its fall to the bottom first before anyone will see what becomes of it.

"The reason the American people aren't shocked is the state of war, or the state of preparation for war, have been going on for so long, decades, even generations, that this has become the norm for the American people. War or the preparation for war have been going on for so long that the American people have been numbed by the processes. For a long time, in there own numb-minded way, they have understood that this is how our very mature American capitalist economy is kept functioning. In their own numb-minded way they understand that war or the preparation for war creates markets for all sorts of products and services. Further, in their own numb-minded way, they understand that we cannot sustain our American capitalist economy by exporting products and services. Therefore, in their numb-minded way, they have arrived at the point where they view war and the preparation for war as necessary and desirable. In this numb-minded condition they accept the new American fascist state with its constant state of war without so much as a weak whimper. In this numb-minded condition they even view the new American fascist state as desirable.

In other words, the culture required in America to accept and support the new American fascist military/police state has existed for quite some time. This is why the creation of the new American fascist military/police state has met so little resistance from the American people.

Is all hope lost? Maybe not! The ultimate powers in American society, which consist of the American capitalist class, Corporate America and the military/industrial complex, are deeply divided on the issue of the creation of our new American fascist military/police state. Along with the deep divided pro-fascist ultimate powers that disagree on how the new American fascist state should be managed there are those ultimate powers that are not enamored with fascism, and are very concerned about the direction the pro-fascist powers are taking America. This third faction among the ultimate powers is concerned about the fascists taking America down the road to military and economic disasters. Further, this third faction understands that the fascists do not have any real solutions to the environmental, social and economic problems confronting America. This third faction also understands that the environmental, social and economic problems must be solved to extend the useful life of the American capitalist economic system.

Our hope for maintaining our political democracy, our civil rights and the rule of law, also our hope for solving our environmental, social and economic problems, also our best chance for extending the useful life of the American capitalist economic system long enough to find a suitable replacement for capitalism and develop a culture that is capable of supporting the new economic system, depends on this third faction in the ultimate powers being able to seize control in this power struggle.

It will be very interesting to see how the power struggle among America's ultimate powers plays out."

Once again, this power struggle thing is going to be scary!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Americans Or ?

This is a comment on the excellent lazatikia blog post of September 8th titled Choosing Ignorance. It would run too long posted there, so I've put it here and posted a link there. I would like to both add and detract from what zatikia said but not at all diminish its import or accuracy of her insight.

Both zatikia and I have advantage in understanding what she calls "Americans". We observe them both from perspectives of homeland lives but also now in too frequent encounters from vantage of extended expatriation. As have so many in similar circumstance, we see the delusory grandeur "America" attributes to itself that when viewed from the outside appears only as a sick joke.

"America's" all pervasive internal fog concocted of hiding history, deceptive propaganda, and willful ignorance is just too thick for truth's penetration. It is our realization gained elsewhere that allows honestly joining in how "Americans" are laughed at for unrecognized stupidity and hated for effects of its application.

I believe however that zatikia's term "American" deserves expansion. The characteristics are exhibited just as strongly and in some cases more so by those of other nations and cultures, including some who in pretense pride themselves in being above it all.

At the same time, it is necessary to subtract from zatikia's "Americans", especially by picking from those often talked of as Afro-Americans, Latino-Americans, Muslim-Americans, Native-Americans, and others commonly tattooed by hyphenated label.

It would appear on surface there are no Christo-Americans, Euro-Americans, or White-Americans. But, they are there. Oh yes, they are there, though not nearly in the majority they pretend. They are the regular "Americans", those who are granted no separation mark to denote difference from a preferred norm of color, language, religion, heritage, and relative access to wealth.

Even from within those regulars, there are a few we might separate out, the daring ones who go beyond merely voicing abhorrance at attitudes of their regular cousins but also risk reputation and welfare by devoting lives to fighting conditions of their own regularity.

For myself then, zatikia's "Americans" is both too small and too large a group to characterize our concern. If there must be a label for what remains after the additions and subractions, there should be one better fitting the ilk.

Geographic latitude of heritage origin seems related, but only loosely so. Skin pigmentation or lack thereof is clearly connected. So are religious expression and preferred language. However, none of those either alone or in combination mold a better definition, for they are all but symptoms artificially fixed to the problem's roots.

There is one I've picked up in the streets among straight talking people of many places who live on the hurting side of hyphenated fences. The specific words and phrasing vary with locale and language, but the intent is always clear, and it reaches to the root.

Try "Fucking Pigs".

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Protect Yourself

"As the US flexes its muscles, Southeast Asian governments should ask themselves if further integration with the US economy on the proposed terms is in their national interest. They may find that they have more to lose than to gain by playing by Washington's rules".
An interesting article from Asia times in their new weekly column, Asia Hand.

Twisted Logic



Why I am a Terrorist

By Charles Sullivan

09/03/06 "Information Clearing House" -- - According to the twisted logic recently espoused by Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, the failure to support illegal, immoral and unnecessary wars defines one as a terrorist. Let me be clear about where I stand: I know who the real terrorists are, and can name each one of them—Rumsfeld among the rest.

Everywhere you go in America you see the slogan, “Support our troops.” You see it on bumper stickers, storefronts, flags and banners, yellow ribbons and even in the windows of private homes. But what does it mean to support our troops? Is it to send them into harm’s way; to invade and occupy sovereign nations in illegal wars for empire? Is it to ask them to commit heinous crimes, to maim and to kill innocent civilians; to torture, insult, and to humiliate people who have done us no harm? Is it to steal the natural wealth that belongs to other nations and turn it over to American corporations?

If that is what it means, then I cannot support our troops. I cannot wish them well if their purpose is conquer other people, and plunder the wealth of other countries that have done us no harm. That would require me to endorse crimes against humanity conducted under the guise of national security and patriotism. I cannot do that—I will not. It is simply wrong.

Neither should we, as we so often do, confuse supporting our troops with supporting the president, or wrongful and immoral policies of corrupt government. The president and his ilk do not support our troops or he would not use them as pawns; he would take care of them when they come home broken and torn with psychic scars. He does not care about them—they are only a means to an end.

No, the best way to support our troops is to take a principled stand; to hold the moral high ground—to bring them home alive and whole. A government must not be allowed to require any of its citizens to engage in immoral or criminal behavior on its behalf. When a government behaves like a crime syndicate it does not mean that the people should follow its example—they must provide a better alternative, and refuse their allegiance to it.

So if the failure to support a government’s wrongful policies makes me a terrorist—so be it. If speaking truth to power makes one a terrorist—sign me up; move me to top of the NSA and FBI lists of suspects. Send forth the assassins with their rifles. If exposing the lies and corruption that attends power makes me a terrorist—I will proudly wear the crown and bear the cost. I will cheerfully take my place alongside other terrorists with names like Thoreau, Debs, King, Gandhi, Einstein, Zinn, and Christ.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

User Log

There is a log of Forum posters. It was created as a management tool with original intent of holding its contents secure. However, It is derived entirely from publicly available information, characterizes Forum usage, and can be a user utility. It is now made available and linked here as well as on the Forum's lead post and left column.

The log lists names of all who have posted or commented in the Forum since its inception. Those are hyperlinked to posters' blogs or websites. The log can thus serve as an expanded user site link list.

Data for each user includes the date of their first post and up to the last five distinct days of any following. Each user's level of activity is summarized with a calculated maximum 100 index that can be loosely considered percentage of possible recent daily participation. Sorting differentiates at a glance the spread from recent regular participants to ones who long ago took a single shot and ran.

The log will probably be updated daily within a couple of hours after midnight UMT. Use as you choose whether seeking to better know this place, using as a link list, gauging progress in a no prize race to first clang the 100 gong, or just plain snooping.

Blogger Change

This was left as a comment on our lead post and has been converted.

I read something about blogger, taking a more Google identity, and having more features. It will mean different signing etc.

# posted by Renegade Eye: Tue Sep 05, 04:52:22 AM UTC

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Results - Poll 2

Mark all those you consider "Terrorists"

This post is provided for comments concerning the current poll that refelect upon or go beyond choices offered.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Voting In The USA

20 Amazing facts

1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.

2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the US voting machine industry.

3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.

4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.”

5. 35% of ES&S is owned by Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.

6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, a long-time friend of the Bush family, was caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.

7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush’s vice- presidential candidates.

8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the US and counts almost 60% of all US votes.

9. Diebold’s new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.

10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.

11. Diebold is based in Ohio.

12. Diebold employs 5 convicted felons as developers. These are the people who write the voting machine computer code.

13. Diebold’s Senior Vice-President, Jeff Dean, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree.

14. Diebold Senior Vice-President Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a “high degree of sophistication” to evade detection over a period of 2 years.

15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.

16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold’s claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it! (See the movie at

17. 30% of all US votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.

18. Bush’s Help America Vote Act of 2002 has as its goal to replace all machines with the new electronic touch screen systems with no paper trail.

19. All—not some—but all the voting machine errors detected and reported went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.

20. Major statistical voting oddities (odds on the order of 250 million to 1!)—again always favoring Bush—have been mathematically demonstrated by experts.


Renegade Eye

This was left as a comment on our lead post and has been converted. Republishing of our group photo seemed appropriate.

Very interesting blog. A colorful team for sure.

# posted by Renegade Eye: Fri Sep 01, 03:13:01 AM UTC

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