Saturday, December 30, 2006

They Killed The Guy

- You Wonder Why?

The two best expositions I have seen of Bush assassination of President Hussein appeared on the blogs of two of our team members, Puppeteer's Bloody Feast and MarxistFromLebanon's The US Drama Closes Down its Saddam Curtain. You won't find similar on Google News.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Suspicious Suicide

According to a Monterey County News article titled "Lawyer falls to death at Hotel"...
In what police describe as a "probable" suicide leap, a prominent Monterey Bay Area attorney fell at least nine floors to his death at the Embassy Suites Hotel Monterey Bay in Seaside the morning before Christmas.

Shortly before 9:30 a.m. Sunday, officers found the body of Aptos attorney Paul Sanford in the west end of the hotel lobby, where he had landed on a large ventilation grate.
He caused a stir after he joined the White House Press Corps in 2005, making waves as the first reporter to ask then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan whether the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame's name might be considered an act of treason.

"There has been a lot of speculation concerning the meaning of the underlying statute and the grand jury investigation concerning Mr. Rove," Sanford asked. "The question is, have the legal counsel to the White House or White House staff reviewed the statute in sufficient specificity to determine whether a violation of that statute would, in effect, constitute treason?"

McClellan was apparently flustered by the question and replied that "those are matters for those overseeing the investigation to decide."
In the Santa Cruiz Sentinel, the story is being reported just a bit differently
Seaside police believe that Sanford intentionally fell from at least nine stories into the courtyard of the Embassy Suites Hotel Monterey Bay about 9:20 a.m. Sunday, to the shock of hotel patrons who were eating breakfast in the hotel atrium.

Police Capt. Steve Cercone said a note had not been found, but there was no evidence of an accident or foul play. Sanford, who lived in Aptos, was not staying at the Embassy Suites and several hotel employees told police they saw a man pacing the halls of one of the top floors of the 12-story building, the tallest in the area.
So here's Paul Sandord, a Free Speech attorney who defends the homeless and indigent, and progressive activist who hosts a talk show host on KOMY. He suddenly gets a press pass and goes to Washington to ask a very interesting question during a press conference. What did this guy know to convince him to ask this one question knowing full well that the Bush regime will never let him ask another.

Isn't it interesting how anyone who openly criticizes the Bush administration and their crimes, ends up suicided? What did he know?

Monday, December 25, 2006

Poll #10 Results

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Babel Bubble


An ex-vice president of IBM in charge of world trade made some interesting observations of how all non-english speaking countries' natives have developed what he has termed Globish. In addition to the wonderful tool the internet serves global communication, this "English-lite" way of speaking may very well be the healing of mankind's fractious wound in Babel. Now if we could get the doctors, lawyers and priests to quit babbling in latin…

Saturday, December 23, 2006

NIKE = Scrooge

Is it FIFA Approved?

In a Yahoo News article entitled "Nike's dilemma: Is doing the right thing wrong?" the question is being posed, is it better that Nike continues with its practice of hiring contractors like Saga that use child labor, or do they drop those contracts and leave huge unemployment behind.

Saga opened in 1996 with a pledge to prohibit child labor, a common practice in Pakistan. Saga was among several Sialkot-based sporting goods manufacturers that in 1997 signed an agreement with the U.N. International Labor Organization and world football's governing body, FIFA, to phase out children working in soccer-ball stitching centers.

FIFA's commitment to social responsibility
has come to the fore as part of its Quality Concept. Licensees are contractually obliged to ensure that no child labour is used in any stage of the manufacturing process and they have to pledge to comply with the Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights At Work Adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Code of Conduct of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI).

So after ten years of telling people that they don't utilize child labor, and blaming the contract factories for the child labor that does occur, the Nike boycott looks like it's finally working. It looks like they are seeing the demand for non FIFA approved soccer balls drop and had to close a plant as a result. Rather than looking where to save another quarter in the price of making the $140 soccer balls, perhaps Nike should be looking at what the market really wants - an end to child labor and FIFA approved soccer balls. Nike - just do it - quit using child labor.


Friday, December 22, 2006


- For Who?

Eight Marines were charged in connection with the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians. The Marine Corps is sending a clear message to its officers: They will be held accountable for the actions of their subordinates.

This is looks like it will be similar to Abu Graib where only one low-ranking officer (Brig. General Janis Karpinski) was ever charged. The upper stratosphere that set the policies - for example the torture memo remain scott free.

Bush administration officials still have made no effort to hold contractors and their CEOs accountable or compensate victims for indiscriminate shootings of Iraqi civilians. Take a look at this trophy video:

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Syria's A Stick

In Uncle Sam's Eye!

"The Bush Administration has been quietly nurturing individuals and parties opposed to the Syrian government in an effort to undermine the regime of President Bashar Assad. Parts of the scheme are outlined in a classified, two-page document that says that the U.S. already is "supporting regular meetings of internal and diaspora Syrian activists" in Europe. The document bluntly expresses the hope that "these meetings will facilitate a more coherent strategy and plan of actions for all anti-Assad activists.""

The rest to be found here.

One point seems to escape my logic: doesn't the self-proclaimed "intelligent" Intelligence Agency realise the the common people, nay, every person in Syria would damn well better vote for the Devil provided he's not US backed?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wal-Mart Unionizes

And Goes Commie

Wal-Mart, the US retail giant and world's largest retailer, has set up a new branch of the Communist Party at its China headquarters in the southern city of Shenzhen after allowing unions to operate in its China stores earlier this year. The company is known for it's anti-union stance in other countries. None of Wal-Mart's stores in the US has a union. This was reported in People's Daily.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

We the Arabs

On The Holocaust And Palestine

[MFL notes: Special Thanks to Dr. Traboulsi, he linked me with the translation of his latest article on Znet]

[Translator's note: The following article first appeared in the Beirut daily as-Safir of 14 December 2006. Its author, Fawwaz Traboulsi, is a historian, long-time political commentator, and weekly columnist for as-Safir. In this piece Traboulsi is addressing an Arab audience. The original title in Arabic "We, the Holocaust, and Palestine" was thus rendered into "We the Arabs, the Holocaust, and Palestine." -- Assaf Kfoury]

The two-day Tehran conference on the Holocaust, on December 11 and 12, was attended by an assortment of well-known Holocaust deniers from Europe and Australia, by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, by anti-Zionist orthodox rabbis, and by many others. In a speech to the conference, Iran's president Ahmadinejad predicted that Israel would disappear just as the Soviet Union did. The majority of the participants vied in denying the Holocaust, maintaining it is a myth, or putting in doubt the number of its victims. Nevertheless, the conference concluded with the announcement of the formation of an international committee to investigate the facts about the Holocaust.

The Tehran conference epitomizes a kind of discourse on the Holocaust, Zionism and the state of Israel in general, which is in vogue among certain Arab (and Iranian) elites. At one time, such conferences and this kind of discourse were a specialty of the Libyan regime of Colonel Gaddafi. Today, it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that has taken over the role. The discourse in question is fraught with delusions, a form of hallucination which is at once obsessed with the West and incapable of breaking away from it.

One side of this discourse is the urge to engage the West. More specifically, they want to do this on terms understood by Western democrats opposed to Nazism. They thus make analogies between Zionism and Nazism as a way to explain the hideous crimes perpetrated by Israel's aggressive policies. "Just as you fought Nazism in the past, we too fight Zionism today," declared a Lebanese legislator from Hizbullah to visiting Ségolène Royal, the French Socialist Party's presidential candidate, a few days ago. The comparison triggered a political storm in France, still blowing unabated and fanned by right-wing French politicians trying to score points against Royal.

But there is a second side of the same discourse, contradicting the first. This is the desire of some Arabs (and Iranians) to emulate the Nazis and identify with them. Their unstated premise is: "Too bad he didn't finish them off". The "he" is Hitler and the "them" is of course the Jews. To these Arabs (and Iranians) we can apply the saying "the suspect nearly asked to be indicted" -- in that they can barely veil their genocidal intentions. They wish to be associated with the Nazi crime or to complete a crime left unfinished by the Nazis!

What business do the Arabs have in all of this? The crime occurred in Europe, committed by Europeans against other Europeans. Nevertheless, in internal European debates on the Holocaust, many Arabs find it opportune to intervene and take sides -- on the wrong side! Thus, a number of Arab intellectuals hurried to vent their support for Günter Grass this past August, when his confession, that he had served in the Waffen SS as a 17-year-old at the end of WW2, unleashed a fierce controversy in Germany. This should not diminish in any way our concern for the human tragedy resulting from the Nazi crimes, and its implications for the rest of us, in particular Arabs. Between 1942 and 1945, the Nazi regime organized the genocidal extermination of the Jews and the Gypsies, in a massive campaign that also went after anti-Nazi resisters in occupied territories, after Catholics and after communists, of various nationalities and political orientations. But just to recall: While Nazi theories of the master race ranked the Jews among the lowest racial groups, one group they considered still inferior to the Jews were ... the Arabs!

Although the Zionist movement started several decades earlier, the Holocaust was the main event that contributed to the success of its project for establishing a Jewish state in Palestine. The Holocaust supplied Jewish emigration to Palestine with hundreds of thousands of refugees running away from the Nazi inferno, just as it aroused an enormous sympathy for the victims of Nazism that Zionism succeeded in mobilizing to its advantage in pursuit of its project in Palestine.

Yes, Zionism and Israel have exploited the Holocaust to justify their policies in Palestine. Serious critics of Zionism, such as Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein, have shown how the exploitation of the Holocaust was turned into an "industry" after the June 1967 war. Note carefully: The focus on Israel as a refuge for the remnants of the Nazi genocide came after, not before, the Israeli victory in that war! This has become by now a familiar tactic of Zionist propaganda: Claiming the role of the victim while acting as the executioner.

How can we ever hope to make a convincing contribution to the unmasking of the "Holocaust industry" if we deny Nazi crimes against the Jews? How can we ever hope to draw attention to the crimes of the "new Nazis" against the Palestinian people if we decrease the number of victims of the historical Nazis? What is the significance of making comparisons between Nazism and Zionism, in order to denounce the latter, if we also exonerate the Nazis of their greatest historical crime, which is the Holocaust? And is this not the mirror image of what the Zionists have done when they appropriate the role of victims and deny the Palestinians of even claiming they are victims?

Two further remarks must be added.

First, in saying that Israel will disappear just as the Soviet Union disappeared, President Ahmadinejad seemed to draw inspiration from a time-honored practice of the European and American far right, which conflates Judaism with communism and spreads the canard of a "Jewish-communist conspiracy" to control the world. If Iran's president cared for the cause of the Palestinian people, he would know that the "disappearance" of the Soviet Union contributed to the strengthening, not weakening, of the state of Israel in pursuit of its aggressive policies. But closer to home, if President Ahmadinejad had reviewed the reports of the Iranian embassy in Beirut, he would have discovered that, in the most recent international conference in support of the Lebanese resistance and Hizbullah, held in Beirut at the end of November 2006, the majority of the participants belonged to the secular left, including Marxist and communists of different orientations.

Second, would it not be more appropriate for the Islamic Republic of Iran to help instead organize an international commission of inquiry into the crimes committed by the state of Israel against the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples? And into the use of forbidden weapons by the Israeli army in its war on Lebanon in July and August 2006?

This writer is on record for supporting the right of the Islamic Republic of Iran to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, and even to possess a nuclear option until there is an agreement to ban all nuclear arms in the region. But this should not prevent us from criticizing policies pursued by the Iranian regime, both internal and external, and from strongly condemning some of its practices, including its recent campaign against secular activists, among which are now clerics calling for the separation of religion and state. This critique is not just a right, but a duty for all of us.

Deja Vu

- All Over Again

Iran has decided to conduct all international financial transactions in euros rather than dollars according to an article in Al Jazeera. Iraq's attempt to do the same was what brought on the hushed urgency of US invasion.

Terrorism was conveniently (manufactured and?) forwarded as primary excuse. It certainly wasn't the back up flim flam of what the US calls "democracy" among Iraqis. Societies of the US itself as well as allies Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan give lie to that. (no mention of Israel waving its hand and loudly whispering in the not so hidden background.)

The US would like to maintain the status quo of oil, and everything else for that matter, being bought and sold in dollars. With such scheme, it stays by definition the richest of all. It only has to print more of them to remain so. That resulting inflation dogs almost all its people is of little consequence to those who suck up the bucks.

Other nations must have dollars then to buy things. And from where must they acquire them? Why, from the US course by borrowing. The International Monetary Fund and World Bank it controls are only too glad to cooperate. Got a credit card? Same thing. Interest payments keep the borrowers broke and subservient if they want even more loans they are guaranteed to need.

If goods including oil, for which the US hungers, were bought and sold in euros, the US would have to have a way to collect them. That would have to be in the old fashioned manner of selling things in the currency sought. Problem is the US has little of anything anyone else wants. (except maybe military hardware to accompany its decreasingly heeded chant of "Lets you and him fight".)

Hussein was warned not to pursue the money change route but did not cave in. Bombs and invading troops carried the message of mistake. Is Ahmadinejad blind to what is apparent to everyone except Americans, or is he issuing a deja vue dare the US would like to repeat but afraid to conjure?

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Not At All

We have been out of power since last Thursday in North Bend, Washington due to a freak storm that blew down many trees, phone and power lines. Three weeks ago, we had a 500 year flood. This week, it's a 200 year wind storm. (I am posting this from my daughter's gymnastics meet in Kent, WA where they do have power and wireless Internet.) 1 1/2 million people have no electricity in the Puget Sound area. Grocery stores running on emergency power are running low on canned and no refrigeration food, batteries, flashlights, candles, blankets. Gasoline lines are about 30-50 cars long. Many gas stations are closed because there is no power to run the pumps. The food bank is nearly out of food. It's unknown how the homeless are surviving.

At our house, we have no electricity but we do have natural gas, water and sewage. However, our gas furnace does not run because we have no electricity to run the blower. The gas fireplace is good for romantic effect, but has little capability to heat the house. On Friday morning, I got in line to order 40 lbs of propane to run my coleman stove and propane heater. I have yet to take delivery. Our house, without heat, is relatively warm at 58-60 degrees although it's 38-45 outside. It's slightly passive-solar although it was not designed to be that way. We are told we will not have commercial power restored until after Christmas.

While FEMA / and the Department of Homeland defense is busy fighting a supposed war on terror, three weeks ago, we were flooded and never received any help. Albeit a few local policemen kept people from driving down streets that were 3 1/2 feet under water. The dike broke, but I'm pretty much convinced it will never be fixed by the Army Corps of Engineers. It's simply not a priority. We are told we need our Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq to secure our national interests (=oil for Bush's corporate buddies).

Now that our power is out, we are working our way through this emergency. In our town, people have been cooperating in helping each other through this. People have helped each other with chain saws to cut down trees that have been blown over by the winds. I have helped neighbors hook up their generators to provide power for needed for medical equipment like a sleep apnia breathing machine and a nebulizer for astma treatments. The neighborhood hardware store was giving away firewood to help the community. This week, I will volunteer at the local food bank. And, actually, it does not surprise me that we have not had any looting, shootings or other violent incidents so far.

I could not imagine how the Republican paradigm of every woman, man and child for themselves will work in the long run, especially under conditions like these. It takes a community of people helping each other to minimize the death toll in such situations.

We need to fix things, not in Iraq or Afghanistan, but right here at home. We need to make sure that communities are safe from flooding. We need to encourage people to become energy independent or at least to have backup power. We need to encourage passive-solar home designs again. We need to ensure that everyone has access to proper healtcare. We need to make sure that our kids get good educations. If the leadership cannot find ways to help prevent or at least helping find solutions to problems such at these, we will need to find leadership that can. You see, we were flooded and now don't have electrical power, but we're not powerless to do something about it.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I Switched Again

This is a screenshot of my dashboard after my second time switch to beta. For the first switch, I couldn't rejoin the forum because beta accounts were not ready for non-beta blogs yet. The second switch did well, and made my both accounts migrate to one.

I'm waiting for the forum to be upgraded.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Apologists for Terror

With the news that Augusto Pinochet had died from a heart attack, thousands of his supporters pored into the streets. His crimes are well known as are the connections to Henry Kissinger, Milton Friedman and the US administration at the time. Juan Augustin Vargas, who stood wearing badges showing Pinochet's face while singing patriotic military songs had this to say: "They don't recognize or thank him for giving us the liberty, the education, the social security and the economic stability we enjoy."

Aside from the moral issues of weighing your bank account against the murder and torture of thousands, the reality is when Pinochet executed his CIA backed coup,Chilean unemployment stood at 4.3% and poverty at 20%. After ten years of "free market modernization" unemployment hit 22%, poverty rates doubled and real wages declined by 40%, just like everywhere else the "Washington Consensus" was imposed. The economy only picked up after the General re-nationalized the copper industry.

Fanatical right-wingers are the same the world over, their reactionary anti-communist zeal blinding them to human-rights atrocities and forcing them into fantastical fascist apologetics. Here is blogger sonia-belles twisted logic: "Kill millions of innocent people and you're a communist hero. Kill 3,000 future Communist tyrants and your a Devil." I guess it was his idea of a pre-emptive strike!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Annan's Goodbye

Kofi Annan will step down on 31 December 2006. He delivered his final speech as United Nations Secretary General today, Monday 11 December, at the Truman Presidential Museum and Library in Independence, Missouri, USA. The full text of Kofi Annan's final speech follows.

Thank you, Senator for that wonderful introduction. It is a great honour to be introduced by such a distinguished legislator.

And thanks to you, Mr Devine, and all your staff, and to the wonderful UNA chapter of Kansas City, for all you have done to make this occasion possible.

What a pleasure, and a privilege, to be here in Missouri. It is almost a homecoming for me. Nearly half a century ago I was a student about 400 miles north of here, in Minnesota.

I arrived there straight from Africa - and I can tell you, Minnesota soon taught me the value of a thick overcoat, a warm scarf and even ear-muffs!

When you leave one home for another, there are always lessons to be learnt. And I had more to learn when I moved on from Minnesota to the United Nations - the indispensable common house of the entire human family, which has been my main home for the last 44 years.

Today I want to talk particularly about five lessons I have learnt in the last 10 years, during which I have had the difficult but exhilarating role of Secretary General.

I think it is especially fitting that I do that here in the house that honours the legacy of Harry S Truman. If Franklin D Roosevelt was the architect of the United Nations, President Truman was the master-builder, and the faithful champion of the Organisation in its first years, when it had to face quite different problems from the ones FDR had expected.

Truman's name will for ever be associated with the memory of far-sighted American leadership in a great global endeavour. And you will see that every one of my five lessons brings me to the conclusion that such leadership is no less sorely needed now than it was 60 years ago.

My first lesson is that, in today's world, the security of every one of us is linked to that of everyone else.

That was already true in Truman's time. The man who in 1945 gave the order for nuclear weapons to be used - for the first, and let us hope the only, time in history - understood that security for some could never again be achieved at the price of insecurity for others.

He was determined, as he had told the founding conference of the United Nations in San Francisco, to "prevent, if human mind, heart, and hope can prevent it, the repetition of the disaster [meaning the world war] from which the entire world will suffer for years to come".

He believed strongly that henceforth security must be collective and indivisible.

That was why, for instance, he insisted, when faced with aggression by North Korea against the South in 1950, on bringing the issue to the United Nations and placing US troops under the UN flag, at the head of a multinational force.

But how much more true it is in our open world today: a world where deadly weapons can be obtained not only by rogue states but by extremist groups; a world where Sars or avian flu can be carried across oceans, let alone national borders, in a matter of hours; a world where failed states in the heart of Asia or Africa can become havens for terrorists; a world where even the climate is changing in ways that will affect the lives of everyone on the planet.

Against such threats as these, no nation can make itself secure by seeking supremacy over all others. We all share responsibility for each other's security, and only by working to make each other secure can we hope to achieve lasting security for ourselves.

And I would add that this responsibility is not simply a matter of states being ready to come to each other's aid when attacked - important though that is.

It also includes our shared responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity - a responsibility solemnly accepted by all nations at last year's UN summit.

That means that respect for national sovereignty can no longer be used as a shield by governments intent on massacring their own people, or as an excuse for the rest of us to do nothing when such heinous crimes are committed.

But, as Truman said, "If we should pay merely lip service to inspiring ideals, and later do violence to simple justice, we would draw down upon us the bitter wrath of generations yet unborn."

And when I look at the murder, rape and starvation to which the people of Darfur are being subjected, I fear that we have not got far beyond "lip service".

The lesson here is that high-sounding doctrines like the "responsibility to protect" will remain pure rhetoric unless and until those with the power to intervene effectively - by exerting political, economic or, in the last resort, military muscle - are prepared to take the lead.

And I believe we have a responsibility not only to our contemporaries but also to future generations - a responsibility to preserve resources that belong to them as well as to us, and without which none of us can survive.

That means we must do much more, and urgently, to prevent or slow down climate change. Every day that we do nothing, or too little, imposes higher costs on our children and our children's children.

My second lesson is that we are not only all responsible for each other's security. We are also, in some measure, responsible for each other's welfare.

Global solidarity is both necessary and possible. It is necessary because without a measure of solidarity no society can be truly stable, and no one's prosperity truly secure.

That applies to national societies - as all the great industrial democracies learned in the 20th century - but it also applies to the increasingly integrated global market economy we live in today.

It is not realistic to think that some people can go on deriving great benefits from globalization while billions of their fellow human beings are left in abject poverty, or even thrown into it.

We have to give our fellow citizens, not only within each nation but in the global community, at least a chance to share in our prosperity.

That is why, five years ago, the UN Millennium Summit adopted a set of goals - the "Millennium Development Goals" - to be reached by 2015: goals such as halving the proportion of people in the world who do not have clean water to drink; making sure all girls, as well as boys, receive at least primary education; slashing infant and maternal mortality; and stopping the spread of HIV/Aids.

Much of that can only be done by governments and people in the poor countries themselves. But richer countries, too, have a vital role.

Here too, Harry Truman proved himself a pioneer, proposing in his 1949 inaugural address a program of what came to be known as development assistance. And our success in mobilising donor countries to support the Millennium Development Goals, through debt relief and increased foreign aid, convinces me that global solidarity is not only necessary but possible.

Of course, foreign aid by itself is not enough. Today, we realise that market access, fair terms of trade and a non-discriminatory financial system are equally vital to the chances of poor countries.

Even in the next few weeks and months, you Americans can make a crucial difference to many millions of poor people, if you are prepared to save the Doha Round of trade negotiations.

You can do that by putting your broader national interest above that of some powerful sectional lobbies, while challenging Europe and the large developing countries to do the same.

My third lesson is that both security and development ultimately depend on respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Although increasingly interdependent, our world continues to be divided - not only by economic differences, but also by religion and culture.

That is not in itself a problem. Throughout history human life has been enriched by diversity, and different communities have learnt from each other.

But if our different communities are to live together in peace we must stress also what unites us: our common humanity, and our shared belief that human dignity and rights should be protected by law.

That is vital for development, too. Both foreign investors and a country's own citizens are more likely to engage in productive activity when their basic rights are protected and they can be confident of fair treatment under the law.

And policies that genuinely favour economic development are much more likely to be adopted if the people most in need of development can make their voice heard.

In short, human rights and the rule of law are vital to global security and prosperity. As Truman said, "We must, once and for all, prove by our acts conclusively that Right Has Might."

That is why this country has historically been in the vanguard of the global human rights movement. But that lead can only be maintained if America remains true to its principles, including in the struggle against terrorism.

When it appears to abandon its own ideals and objectives, its friends abroad are naturally troubled and confused.

And states need to play by the rules towards each other, as well as towards their own citizens. That can sometimes be inconvenient, but ultimately what matters is not convenience. It is doing the right thing.

No state can make its own actions legitimate in the eyes of others. When power, especially military force, is used, the world will consider it legitimate only when convinced that it is being used for the right purpose - for broadly shared aims - in accordance with broadly accepted norms.

No community anywhere suffers from too much rule of law; many do suffer from too little - and the international community is among them. This we must change.

The US has given the world an example of a democracy in which everyone, including the most powerful, is subject to legal restraint. Its current moment of world supremacy gives it a priceless opportunity to entrench the same principles at the global level.

As Harry Truman said, "We all have to recognise, no matter how great our strength, that we must deny ourselves the licence to do always as we please."

My fourth lesson - closely related to the last one - is that governments must be accountable for their actions in the international arena, as well as in the domestic one.

Today the actions of one state can often have a decisive effect on the lives of people in other states.

So does it not owe some account to those other states and their citizens, as well as to its own? I believe it does.

As things stand, accountability between states is highly skewed. Poor and weak states are easily held to account, because they need foreign assistance. But large and powerful states, whose actions have the greatest impact on others, can be constrained only by their own people, working through their domestic institutions.

That gives the people and institutions of such powerful states a special responsibility to take account of global views and interests, as well as national ones.

And today they need to take into account also the views of what, in UN jargon, we call "non-state actors". I mean commercial corporations, charities and pressure groups, labour unions, philanthropic foundations, universities and think tanks - all the myriad forms in which people come together voluntarily to think about, or try to change, the world.

None of these should be allowed to substitute itself for the state, or for the democratic process by which citizens choose their governments and decide policy. But they all have the capacity to influence political processes, on the international as well as the national level.

States that try to ignore this are hiding their heads in the sand.

The fact is that states can no longer - if they ever could - confront global challenges alone. Increasingly, we need to enlist the help of these other actors, both in working out global strategies and in putting those strategies into action once agreed.

It has been one of my guiding principles as Secretary General to get them to help achieve UN aims - for instance through the Global Compact with international business, which I initiated in 1999, or in the worldwide fight against polio, which I hope is now in its final chapter, thanks to a wonderful partnership between the UN family, the US Centers for Disease Control and - crucially - Rotary International.

So that is four lessons. Let me briefly remind you of them: First, we are all responsible for each other's security. Second, we can and must give everyone the chance to benefit from global prosperity. Third, both security and prosperity depend on human rights and the rule of law. Fourth, states must be accountable to each other, and to a broad range of non-state actors, in their international conduct.

My fifth and final lesson derives inescapably from those other four. We can only do all these things by working together through a multilateral system, and by making the best possible use of the unique instrument bequeathed to us by Harry Truman and his contemporaries, namely the United Nations.

In fact, it is only through multilateral institutions that states can hold each other to account. And that makes it very important to organize those institutions in a fair and democratic way, giving the poor and the weak some influence over the actions of the rich and the strong.

That applies particularly to the international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Developing countries should have a stronger voice in these bodies, whose decisions can have almost a life-or-death impact on their fate.

And it also applies to the UN Security Council, whose membership still reflects the reality of 1945, not of today's world.

That is why I have continued to press for Security Council reform. But reform involves two separate issues.

One is that new members should be added, on a permanent or long-term basis, to give greater representation to parts of the world which have limited voice today.

The other, perhaps even more important, is that all Council members, and especially the major powers who are permanent members, must accept the special responsibility that comes with their privilege.

The Security Council is not just another stage on which to act out national interests. It is the management committee, if you will, of our fledgling collective security system.

As President Truman said, "The responsibility of the great states is to serve and not dominate the peoples of the world."

He showed what can be achieved when the US assumes that responsibility. And still today, none of our global institutions can accomplish much when the US remains aloof. But when it is fully engaged, the sky is the limit.

These five lessons can be summed up as five principles, which I believe are essential for the future conduct of international relations: collective responsibility, global solidarity, the rule of law, mutual accountability, and multilateralism.

Let me leave them with you, in solemn trust, as I hand over to a new Secretary General in three weeks' time.

My friends, we have achieved much since 1945, when the United Nations was established.

But much remains to be done to put those five principles into practice.

Standing here, I am reminded of Winston Churchill's last visit to the White House, just before Truman left office in 1953. Churchill recalled their only previous meeting, at the Potsdam conference in 1945.

"I must confess, sir," he said boldly, "I held you in very low regard then. I loathed your taking the place of Franklin Roosevelt." Then he paused for a moment, and continued: "I misjudged you badly. Since that time, you more than any other man, have saved Western civilisation."

My friends, our challenge today is not to save Western civilisation - or Eastern, for that matter. All civilisation is at stake, and we can save it only if all peoples join together in the task.

You Americans did so much, in the last century, to build an effective multilateral system, with the United Nations at its heart.

Do you need it less today, and does it need you less, than 60 years ago? Surely not.

More than ever today Americans, like the rest of humanity, need a functioning global system through which the world's peoples can face global challenges together.

And in order to function, the system still cries out for far-sighted American leadership, in the Truman tradition.

I hope and pray that the American leaders of today, and tomorrow, will provide it. Thank you very much.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Real Lebanese Unity

Took Place During The July War Only

In his famous book "The German Ideology", Karl Marx speaks of change in the society, more precisely on real change taking place through social interaction. This is the role placed on the Marxists through out the world to be done. Lebanon is not a different situation (even though the Stalinist Lebanese Communist Party is there, it sold out its ideology/sciences). The aim of this post is to equate both reactionary camps and denounce them as stabbers of the working class.

I tackled how each leader isolates his sect (and I still say his rather his/her becuase of the situation that only the male political figures got their goons on Sectarian basis) and acts the defenders of the Sect. The media (Radio/TV/Newpapers) works more on dividing the public opinion. Noam Chomsky argues that the media should simply report the public opinion, and not create it. His arguement was based on the US media in specific and anywhere the Media breaches its major role. Actually, John Steward Mill Jr. argued that the Media should be as objective as possible despite the odds facing the reporters. Trotsky argued that the Media should be as informative and objective as possible as well, since the facts reflected what would be part of the history archives.

In Lebanon, you would see on Future TV (Harriri-Sunni based) which family opposes the "opposition" while the extreme case would be al-Manar (Hezbollah - Shiite based) refering to the Government as "Unconstitutional Government". The varieties of channels also target specific audiences. Hence, as I argued last week, each Sect/Audience lives in a world of their own.

Now I mentioned on the title of this tiny article that Real National Unity did occur, and I meant it. The only time national unity occured is during the July War. The basic interaction took place from the refugees fleeing the Dahhieh region and the South due to the brutal aggression of the Israelis towards the Christian areas in Achrafieh. I will not go into details how long it took to get those schools to open (as I actually wanted to place this section within my Lebanon, Israel, and Class Struggle series), but the first wave of refugees faced major social difficulties; at least the refugees who fled to those areas. Some supermarkets over even refused to even sell them their commodities. Locals in several areas simply shut out their doors and pretended they were never present. The displaced also expressed fear, due to the fact that it is the first time they enter a "Christian" area, and some even expressed fear of being killed. I couldn't believe it when they said so (and vice versia btw), so for the first time in my life I refered myself as a sect and told the refugees: "Listen, I am labeled a Christian on my passport, do I appear like a scary creature?"

Our team units everywhere had to break this cultural difference. The refugees in general were Shiites since Israel was bombarding Shiite populated areas mostly. The mothers or girls were embarrased to be regarded as "low-life" creatures, since the myth among the Sects goes by that the Christian community is superior. Some have heard insultive comments regarding the veil. Nevertheless, as the war became bloodier, those refugees and the locals in the Christian areas (well in reference to Beirut) interacted. I highly recommed the website Samidoun for details on such interactions. I know some stories would be stunning about how both "sect" streets feared each other, but in the end humanity called. I am not sure whether humanity or nationalism struck at the same time, since the more the war was lasting, Hezbollah during the war got more support as the Israeli Army recieved damage. Plenty of Sects interacted with each other, and the major complaint I have was blocking the entry of Palestinians living outside the camp to enter the schools because they lacked the Lebanese Passport, but we broke through that problem where we were present.

People forgot their Sect differences and political "Lebanese honest" demands. The majority of Lebanon are after all Lower Middle and Lower classes. Nobody bothered to hear the political disputes of the Sect leaders and "intellects" like those opportunists General Aoun, Saad Harriri, Samir Jaajaa, Ghazi Aridi, S. Frangieh...etc. The dividing means were cut out. The media was not reaching the ears of the majority of the Lebanese. The audiences thought that hearing their words are a waste of time since none of them can do anything during the war. Actually, most of the Lebanese were worried on:

1) Where the Israelis were bombing
2) How many were killed
3) What villages were under siege by the Israelis
4) Damages inflicted on the Israelis
5) What was going on in the international level.
6) No Sect was threatened by the other
7) Viewing the Zionist army as the enemy and did not politicians to tell them so

The supporters of Hezbollah seem to forget that it was not only their weaponry that allowed the Lebanese proletariat to stand victorious in face of the Zionist aggression, rather it was the Civilian resistance which brought food, medicine, psychological treatement to the children, and everything else. After all, 1/4 of the population was displaced. Some people working on relief didn't even know that the war was over till days later because they didn't have time for them as they were busy doing medical checklists on the displaced.

Now when the great divide returned? After the war was over of course! The politicians sought to isolate the Proletariat as Sects again, and the supporters returned like followers to hail them. Real national unities transcend the elites' policies and programs. Those who call for National Unity like Nasrallah & Jaajaa (and all the rest of the duo camps) would not want real national unity among the Proletariat because then they would be out of business. Even their priests and clergies would be out of business.

No War But Class War!!!


Stay The Course

Friday, December 08, 2006

Poll #9 Comments

Lame Duck Congress

This week, the lame duck Congress is building a new feeding trough for the mega-weathly and their favorite corporations. They rushing to pass a few bills -- mostly extending tax cuts, last minute tax credits for sales tax payments and breaks so that research and development is paid for by the tax payer instead of the corporations. Think of all of this as pork-barrel corporate welfare spending. It's a good thing Congressmen are not used to working too hard. They are not getting finished with all their business. Also, they're opening a new prison in Guantanamo Bay although many of the detainees are going to be moved to another secret location. Many of these people have been detained without due process for almost five years - their families don't know where they are at, they have not seen council, few have been charged with crimes... Why are we spending money on a new court building in Cuba when our laws don't apply there?? The US could have built the prison facility in the Florida swamps - near Krome Detention Center for example. That's pretty clear - so that you or I can't observe the secret court proceedings. US laws would fully apply on our soil. Perhaps people would hear that torture has been going on or that an innocent person is being shafted because the savage Bush needs his numbers. So why are we continuing on this path on one side saying we're the beacon of Democracy and on the other side these secret prisons, extraordinary renderings, torture... We live in a Fascist dictatorship and we're too snowed over to notice any different.

Is this really acceptable? No. We should demand a return to our values of personal freedoms and guarantee of civil rights.

World Problems

Forum Profile

I would like to see what the priorities for world problems, including suggested solutions for each, held by the visitors to the Further Left Forum are. What must be done to make this forum unnecessary? Problems that come to mind off hand are: Imperialism, Oppression, Global Warming, Pollution, Population, Poverty, Hunger, Terrorism, Injustice … Listing your top three problems and solutions will be sufficient for this survey, but further elaboration is welcome and encouraged.

Since it was my curiosity that prompted this fill in your own blanks poll, I will go first, with no intention of influencing anyone else, as unavoidable as that seems to be.

Priority #1 - War must be abolished and any weapons of war and means of their manufature must be destroyed.

Priority #2 - Population growth must at least be stopped, if not reversed. Poverty, famine, and pollution are the direct result of a never ending attempt to produce more food to feed the unchecked, always starving increase in population. Growth economies rape and poison the earth in the production of more for endless profit. Since our food supply is artificially abundant we must educate and encourage the entire world population about contraception, despite religious arguments otherwise.

Priority #3 - Central governments rule over populations too large to be considered representative or feel responsible. Returning to tribal responsibilities with administration handled within the tribe and between tribes for interdependent dealings, with only a clan of “fair witness” environmental overseers coordinating larger projects. This should relieve a great portion of oppression due to nonrepresentation in ones own welfare.

Okay, have at it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Fire The Fürer

So you have a study group telling him to cut his losses. The burn rate is simply too high to acheive a dubious mission. They are loudly telling him You can't solve the situation in Iraq militarely. But they never addressed how on earth they dragged us into this war in the first place.

If the Fürer can't listen to expert advice and continues to stay the course, I believe it's time to impeach the bastard. What on earth did we elect the new Congress critters for if they can't follow through?

Hopefully, Blair can talk some sense into the idiot in charge before the people take it to the streets. Just call it a victory the same way Nixon did.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Sonic Branding

I've been noticing that many companies have been using sonic brands with their commercials. For example, I'm sure you've heard of the sound branding when you turn on your computer, the Microsoft chime, or intel inside tone. Also, you can't miss the T-Mobile tone dah-dah-bing-dah. Well during a commercial yesterday, I heard a sound like a cell phone ringing during a McDonald's commercial. I was compelled to find it. I asked my kids where the cellphone ringing was and they told me it's part of the commercial. I asked them how long McDonald's has been doing that. They told me it's been that way for about a couple months now, where have you been? Indeed the cellphone ring tone is on the background of most of the McDonalds commercials in the morning.

This got me to look around as far as other places noises are used to get people to pay attention to the drone of the television. Once you pay attention, it's really obvious why people are hypnotized to the pro-war news on Fox. What kinds of sounds do you hear in the background of TV programs and commercials? How are they being used to direct the masses?

Mediocre Max

Montana's senior Senator is a lame democrat named Max Baucus. Not the sharpest crayon in the box. He recently invited the US and S.Korean trade delegation to Big Sky, a plush resort near Bozeman, to try to wrap up negotiations on a treaty which will involve the largest amount of trade since NAFTA. Max was on the news with his big, maniacle grin, saying he will support any treaty that allows unlimited export of Montana beef. Max likes to keep things simple. Throw around complicated ideas like worker justice, or small Korean rice farmers unable to compete with US agribusiness and he just gives you that deer in the headlights look. They showed him on TV, surrounded by suits and Korean delegates as he sawed into a big juicy steak and jammed a chunk into his mouth. Demonstrating (for the sake of his rancher constituents) that Koreans don't need to worry anout Mad Cow Disease around these parts. (Max's family owns a huge ranch near Helena)

These trade deals are where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, for those of us interested in halting the unfettered rampage of global capital. We will join our S.Korean brothers and sisters in struggle on Friday and I know Mad Max will be safe and warm somewhere far away from the action. Hopefully choking on that beef.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sinking Dollar

- Will China Back Out?

In a recent article entitled "Will China Lead a Stampede out of the US Dollar?", it was reported that
Beijing is having second thoughts about the composition of its $1 trillion portfolio of FX reserves, with 70% held in low yielding US fixed income securities. “Firstly, long-term US interest rates are falling. Secondly, the exchange rate of the US dollar, which is the major reserve currency, is going lower, increasing the depreciation risk for east Asian reserve assets,” Wu said.

On October 10th, Fan Gang, another member of People’s Bank of China’s policy committee, made similar comments, “China risks an erosion of its holdings because the US dollar will probably decline.” On August 29th, Gang wrote, “The US dollar is no longer a stable anchor in the global financial system, nor is it likely to become one, therefore it is time to look for alternatives.”
Most of the US trade surplus with China is being recycled with US Bonds. China now owns more than a Trillion dollars worth of US Bonds. According to the article, “China's economy would take a big hit if the US dollar weakened sharply due to such factors as a bursting of the US property bubble. The loss for China’s foreign exchange reserves would be extremely serious. If that happens, it will be a tremendous hit to the Chinese economy,” he said.

Aparently, China is caught up in a Catch 22. If they continue to invest in the US dollar, they will lose their capital due to the sinking dollar. If they pull out of the US dollar, they will cause themselves internal economic problems. At some point the losses due to the dropping dollar are worse than the loss of being able to sell their goods in the US and they will pull out of the US dollar. That point is approaching fast.

What will the globalists do?

They are creating all of this. They move jobs overseas, they artificially create wars, set up the dominoes and then deliberately collapse entire economies to collect. It's part of the plan. Since the war on terror is losing its support and costing too much money, they will find a new enemy - China.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Salmon Rivers

- Bush Threatens World's Greatest

According to a recent CNN article, "Drilling may resume in Alaska Bay", U.S. President Bush is deciding whether to lift a ban on oil and gas drilling in federal waters off Alaska's Bristol Bay, home to endangered whales and sea lions and the world's largest sockeye salmon run.

Leasing in a portion of the area rich in oil and natural gas ended nearly two decades ago -- while Bush's father was president -- in the outcry after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989."

Essentially Bush has allowed big oil to set policy -- what big oil has wants, big oil gets. And it now wants to drill off shore in Alaska, where it is estimated there are only 40 million barrels of economically recoverable oil (assuming $30 per barrel). This is enough to supply the U.S. for a little over two days at the current rate of oil consumption. There's 1.27 trillion cubic feet of estimated economically recoverable (assuming $3.52 per million cubic feet). This is enough to supply the U.S. for only 20 days at the current rate of gas consumption.

On the other hand, the Bristol Bay Watershed produces the world’s greatest commercial salmon fishery and internationally renowned salmon and trout runs that attract anglers from all over the world. The waters in this region have long been an integral part of the State’s economy and have provided sustainable jobs, subsistence foods and other benefits to Alaskans for generations. Alaska's Bristol Bay supplies 50 percent of US seafood.

Recently, however, adult sockeye runs in Bristol Bay have declined dramatically, even though counts of both juvenile fish leaving the rivers for the ocean, and adults returning to the rivers to spawn, have indicated strong sockeye salmon production in the freshwater tributaries to the Bay. The last thing this sensitive ecosystem needs is another oil spill.

Even President Bush's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who recognizes that Florida's coastline is of major concern to Florida voters, has been fighting for restrictions on oil drilling in the Gulf for at least 150 miles off the Florida coast.

If Bush and Congress allow drilling in Bristol Bay, it illustrates how deep they are in the pocket of Big Oil. Exxon-Mobil (Esso) ($2.470.000) and Texaco-Chevron ($2.200.000) are some of the biggest donors to the Republican Party coffers.

Wonder About Islam?

This post was left as a comment on the Forum's lead post. Ordinarily, one primarily relating to religion in general or a particular one would be rejected as being outside the Forum's purpose as specified in our Posting Guide. This seemed appropriate however in both manner of presentation and content given the nature of some of today's struggles.

Islam, is it how the media portrays it? Is it really all about terrorism and extremism? What do the Muslims believe? What is the Islamic concept of God? What does the Qur'an say about Jesus Christ and what do Muslims believe about Jesus Christ? Ever wondered? Well here is your chance to find out, please visit our blog at

# posted by Admin: Sunday, December 03, 2006 4:25:22 AM

Polonium Spy Case

- Some Thoughts

The news is full of articles recently about the russian spy that was poisoned by polonium 210. (see the Yahoo story, Italian Who Met Spy Has Traces Of Poison and the CNN story, Polonium 210 One Of The World's Rarest Elements.)
We know a couple of facts:

1) An ex-soviet spy, Alexander Litvinenko died, poisoned with Polonium 210
2) Polonium 210 poisoning is very difficult to detect
3) Litvinenko was a harsh critic of Putin's Russian government
4) Litvinenko blames his poisoning on Russia
5) His wife and a friend of his also have traces of Polonium 210 on them
6) You just can't find Polonium 210 in your house or grocery store. In fact, only government labs or large universities with a reactor can make it.
7) Polonium 210 has been used as an initiator to detonate nuclear weapons in the 40's and 50's. But, the technology is now obsolete.
8) His friend received an e-mail from a source naming the purported killers of Anna Politkovskaya, the Russian investigative journalist gunned down on Oct. 7 in Moscow. The e-mail reportedly said that he and Litvinenko — a friend of the reporter — were also on the hit list.
9) Politkovskaya had planned to file a lengthy story on Soviet torture practices in Chechnya.
10) Litvinenko was a very vocal proponent of the theory that the Kremlin ordered the assassination of Politkovskaya because she was trying to tie together a story that the Putin government had an official torture policy in the war in Chechnya.


It's not likely to be an accidental poisoning.
It's pretty clear it's a murder
The murder weapon is pretty expensive.
Who ever is behind it, did not want it to be easily detected.
Hmmmm could it be the Soviet government? It's well known the soviets tortured in Chechnya. So why does this need to be covered-up??

Or how about if Chechnya was the destination of extraordinary rendering by a western country that would be repulsed by mass torture? Perhaps the US government? How would that be covered up? Wouldn't it be nice to blame it on a "barbaric" government like the Soviet Union? ...especially when our leader is evangelic and would never dream of torturing anyone.

Why are we bombarded with media blurbs that are trying to get us to accept torture? Why is this propaganda necessary if we are not complicit in torture? Should this not be repulsive to everyone? I'll tell you why there aren't mass protests about these human rights abuses. It's because people show no sign of even recognizing there's a problem with torture in the first place.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Terrorism Score

- How To Change Yours

The Associated Press reported Thursday that Americans and foreigners crossing U.S. borders since 2002 have been assessed by the Homeland Security Department's computerized Automated Targeting System, or ATS. Please refer to this Yahoo News Article.

The travelers are not allowed to see or directly challenge these risk assessments, which the government intends to keep on file for 40 years. Some or all data in the system can be shared with state, local and foreign governments for use in hiring, contracting and licensing decisions. Courts and even some private contractors can obtain some of the data under certain circumstances.

According to FR Doc 06-9026 the ATS--P (Automated Targeting System--Passenger), a component of ATS, maintains the PNR (Passenger Name Record) information obtained from commercial carriers for purposes of assessing the risk of international travelers. PNR may include such items as:

PNR record locator code,
Date of reservation,
Date(s) of intended travel,
Other names on PNR,
Number of travelers on PNR,
Seat information,
All forms of payment information,
Billing address,
Contact telephone numbers,
All travel itinerary for specific PNR,
Frequent flyer information,
Travel agency,
Travel agent,
Code share PNR information,
Travel status of passenger,
Split/Divided PNR information,
Identifiers for free tickets,
One-way tickets,
E-mail address,
Ticketing field information,
Automated Ticketing Fare Quote (ATFQ) fields,
General remarks,
Ticket number,
Seat number,
Date of ticket issuance,
Any collected APIS information,
No show history,
Number of bags,
Bag tag numbers,
Go show information,
Number of bags on each segment,
Other Supplementary information (OSI),
Special Services information (SSI),
Special Services Request (SSR),
Voluntary/involuntary upgrades,
Received from information, and
All historical changes to the PNR
Not all carriers maintain the same sets of information for PNR.

Knowing this published list, it should be possible to change your "terrorism score". So for example if you are a terrorist, make sure your name is Cat Stevens instead of something arabic sounding like Yusuf Islam. Make sure you take baggage on your trip and buy a round trip ticket even though you will not be returning. Don't put Osama Bin Laden's name and e-mail address on your contact list and so on. Get your airline travel done by Expedia, Priceline, or something rather than the travel agency in downtown Timbuktu... etc. And be sure you use Cat Steven's frequent flyer number when making that reservation. When you get to the ticket counter, make sure you're not in a hurry or sweating, or they'll mark your boarding pass with an S. Take your time, relax and enjoy your trip. Afterall, you're going to heaven soon. Do all the weird shaving stuff when you get on the plane, not beforehand.

But if you are like most people and you are not a terrorist, you end up learning the hard way. One way tickets and no baggage are a sure fire way to get pulled over and searched at the airport. But there are reasons for one way tickets. You are travelling the world and took one airline to get from Europe to the US and plan on leaving the US through Mexico. Or you take one airline to get here and another to get back to get a cheaper fare. If you fly out somewhere to buy a car, plan on getting hassled because you bought a one way ticket.

Sometimes it's easier to skip all the hassle of security checks and so on. Lately, they don't want you to bring your toiletry kit containing toothpaste, mouthwash and your dental floss because someone thinks you could make a bomb with that sun-in product that contains a little bit of peroxide barely strong enough to bleach hair. Of course, it's no problem buying all the parts necessary to build a pretty serious rocket after security using Mentos and Diet Coke. (shhhh... or else they won't sell sodas and breath mints behind security) And, your mom has all of that stuff at her house. So you travel without luggage. Wrong. You will get hassled for not carrying luggage. Bring a carry-on.

As you can see it's much easier for terrorists to blend in like ordinary people than it is for ordinary people to behave like ordinary people so they don't look like someone's perverted idea of a terrorist. I really wonder what the cost benefit of this brain fart is. The TSA hassles millions of passengers for hours and hours and catch or prevent how many terrorists?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?