Friday, October 07, 2005


Happy weekend. Did you think it would ever arrive?

I'll say one thing for Bully Boy, my days are never boring.

Seriously, when Bill Clinton was president, I didn't worry about the country, I felt like we had someone who would do some things I agreed with and some things I didn't but that we wouldn't be headed to hell and collapse.

With Bully Boy in the oval office, it seems like it's one thing after another. Which is a good place to start noting the two items Mike and I will be noting. Mike's site is Mikey Likes It! and a visitor wondered if Mike and I were a couple. I'm a few years too old for Mike and he has a girlfriend (Nina) but I'll take it as a compliment.

My friend Rebecca blogs at Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, my very good friend Rebecca. She needed some time off this summer and she asked me to substitute for her over there. Everyone was very encouraging and very helpful. (And C.I. would stay on the phone just waiting for me to stop typing so I could read my post for feedback before it went up. C.I., Rebeca and I are old friends from before the days of the internet as we know it today.)

But Mike would call and check on me and ask how I was handling the blogging. (Everyone did and thank you to all of them.) Mike loves Democracy Now! and, while I was filling in for Rebecca, we got into the routine of noting the same items and noting our thoughts on them so that someone who visited both sites could have two different views (both from the left). I've carried that over to this site which I started because a lot of Common Ills members and Rebecca readers were very supportive and Mike led this write in campaign from his site to get people to ask me to please start my own site.

Mike is gorgeous, tall, hilarious and kinder than you'd expect when you first see him (he's very kind). But he's also nineteen and I finished with college many years ago. So even if Nina weren't in the picture, having no desire to play Demi & Ashton, I wouldn't be involved with him.
(Though it would be my loss.)

Bush: God Told Me To Invade Iraq, Afghanistan (Democracy Now!)
As President Bush announces his renewed war on what he calls radical Islam, a new BBC series is revealing new details about President Bush's own perceived religious mission. According to the BBC, Bush told Palestinian ministers in 2003 that God had told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq - and to create a Palestinian State. In the BBC program, Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazen and foreign minister Nabil Shaath describe their first meeting with President Bush in June 2003. Shaath quotes Bush as saying at the time QUOTE "I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it,'" Shaath quoted Bush as saying. The White House denied Bush made the comments, calling them "absurd."

The term for Bully Boy's medical condition that prompts delusions is "psychosis."

Rove Faces Grand Jury for Fourth Time (Democracy Now!)
Washington is abuzz with speculation today about possible indictments coming down against multiple senior administration officials over the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame. On Thursday, the special prosecutor heading the investigation summoned senior Bush advisor Karl Rove to appear before the grand Jury--for a rare 4th appearance. Rove appears before the Grand Jury with no offer of immunity with the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, informing Rove in writing that he could face indictment later. Meanwhile, the LA Times reports: "In Washington, talk of imminent indictments -- of Rove alone or with others as part of a conspiracy -- was overheard in the corridors of the FBI, Justice Department and White House." The New York Times is reporting that prosecutor Fitzgerald will likely call on several other White House officials to return to the grand jury to testify about their actions in the case. The Grand Jury expires October 28. In addition to Rove, Fitzgerald is also reportedly re-examining grand jury testimony by Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

It would be amazing if this could happen, if the administration could be held accountability. I'll wait for indictments until I get too excited.

And that's it for tonight. I have plans this evening. Be sure to read C.I.'s "Other Items" today because of Francisco's comment and because C.I.'s talking about Todd S. Purdum's smelly jock. I always laugh when that happens.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Mike's feeling a little better and plans on posting tonight. We're grabbing the same two items. This may be my last Thursday for awhile due to the fact that the group I gave everyone a heads up to awhile back will be meeting on Thursdays. This is a special issues group and it is not a permanent group. It will run through December, however, so do not expect to see new posts up here on Thursdays.

Pentagon Analyst Pleads Guilty In Israeli Spy Case (Democracy Now!)
A top Pentagon analyst has pleaded guilty to handing over highly classified intelligence to members of the pro-Israeli lobbying group AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The official, Larry Franklin, also admitted for the first time that he handed over top secret information on Iran directly to an Israeli government official in Washington. Franklin said he personally met with an official from the Israeli Embassy in Washington eight times. The Washington Post reports that Franklin's guilty plea casts doubt on long-standing claims by Israeli officials that they no longer engage in any intelligence activities inside the United States. In 1987, U.S. Navy intelligence officer Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life in prison after he admitted to spying for Israel. As part of a plea agreement Franklin pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy and a third charge of possessing classified documents. He faces up to 25 years in prison. As part of the plea agreement, he has agreed to testify against the two former AIPAC officials, who are facing trial.

"Secret information." Is that classified information? The issues raised are serious issues and this isn't a top story on Yahoo or one that many people seem aware of. Is Israel spying on the United States? The case suggests it is. So why is there silence on this? Is it okay that we're spied on by some countries but not by others?

A Pentagon employee, "top analyst," has admitted to divulging classified information to another government. This should be a huge story. Where are the jowly Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts? Cat got their tongues? I'd watch This Week on Sunday if there was a chance the two who cast themselves as the moralizers of our time (in the nineties) were going to address this issue. But maybe the silence is because it doesn't provide the opportunity to grind an axe against Bill Clinton which really seems the whole reason for This Week's existance in the nineties.

Clear Channel Seeks Rewrite of Media Ownership Rules (Democracy Now!)
In other media news the radio giant Clear Channel is asking Congress to ease media ownership laws to allow it to purchase more stations. Clear Channel is the country's largest radio-station operator with over 1200 stations around the country. Clear Channel wants Congress to rewrite the rules to allow a single company to own up to 12 different stations in a single market.

More Clear Channels? I can't imagine anything more frightening. Localism and regionalism has been destroyed across the country as Clear Channel has been allowed to set up their own little monopoly which has included "dee jays" that aren't in the area, automated "broadcasting" which consists merely of a person hitting the play button every few hours. It's a monopoly, it should be broken up under Anti-Trust legislation. It should not be granted the ability to own and operate more stations.

Some whiner wrote C.I. today about "How dare you write about Robert Kagan's Hurricane Katrina commentary! Kagan didn't give Hurricane Katrina commentary!" I think C.I. was too nice in the reply (but I haven't read the e-mail that was sent in). Knowing C.I., I can hear the attempts to go through it all slowly for the benefit of the non-reader but I really think ___ is right and C.I. needs to stop spoon feeding whining children.

C.I. never wrote about Kagan commenting on Hurricane Katrina. Some whining baby who can't even bother to find out what C.I. wrote about fires off a how-dare-you e-mail attempting to correct something that C.I. never wrote about.

Read the thing, it's a good entry on C.I.'s part. But I wish C.I. had let it rip. How?

"A stupid idiot e-mails me today wanting a correction. I'd suggest stupid idiot spend less time worrying about what I wrote and more time wondering why stupid idiot flaunts illietarcy. I never wrote about what stupid idiot is whining about."

I also think when those e-mails come in, C.I. should name the idiots. If they're going to whine about things that didn't happen, put their name in so they can embarrassed in front of the whole world that they've taken the time to whine in an e-mail about something they are severely ignorant of.

Kyle e-mailed to ask if I knew who the idiot was. I don't. I haven't spoken to C.I. today. I will call tonight and ask who the idiot was but, if I'm told, it will be due to our long friendship so I won't be able to turn around and post about it. But Kyle's feelings are that the whole community had to be put on hold today because some idiot didn't know what he or she was talking about and Kyle thinks, when that happens, the idiot should be named.

Kyle said that even without knowing who the idiot was he enjoyed reading the entry. I did too. And I was running down likely suspects in my mind. I've narrowed it down to four choices (if I'm told and one of my four is correct, I'll note that tomorrow but I won't pass on the name).

I'll also note C.I.'s comments re: Harriet Miers and the Democrats' silence because they are important:

Focus on the Fool's James Dobson claims to have "inside" information from the one responsible for converting her (presumably, either the preacher at her church or Miers' phone chum who's a judge) and has spoken to Karl Rove. He's vouching for Miers. Kirkpatrick notes that Dems are on the sidelines here. Why is that? She's not qualified. If George Will (of all people) can make that point, why can't Democrats?
The attitude seems to be "Oh, let them fight amongst themselves and then we'll step in." That's not how you defeat this nomination. Ed Gillispie and others are being sent out. The "debate" will be shut down at some point. Now is when Democrats need to be speaking up and raising the issue that she's not qualified. This is the highest role for a judge in this country. They failed to make that point (as a party) with regard to Robertson. They appear unable to today as well. Why Republicans are squabbling and questioning the nomination, Democrats should be repeating, "She's not qualified" over and over.
There's a real danger here and it's when the squabble dies down. The nation may look at it, the squabble, as a vetting process in and of itself. And if Dems wait to bring up serious criticism until the "debate" is over, people may take the attitude of "This has already been settled. Why are they bringing it up now?"
Democrats need to take (and show) some leadership here. Harry Reid won't do it. He doesn't know how to be a leader. But the way you defeat the nomination is by raising questions while Republicans are as well. Not waiting to see what stuck because the reality is that its highly unlikely that they won't stifle their own disagreements (Republicans) and come together around Miers. When that happens, it's too damn late for Dems to try to raise issues and concerns.
You do it now. While people are seeing Republicans question Miers' capabilities. Let's use an example. Rebecca, Mike, Seth, Dona, Cedric and Betty are going to lunch. Rebecca and Mike argue over where to go. They finally agree on one place. At which point, after they've agreed, Seth says, "I don't want to go there, I want to go ___." Betty, Cedric and Dona may look at Seth and think, "Why did you wait to bring this up? We've already decided."
That's what will happen if Democrats don't start getting vocal. This could even be smart strategy on the part of Republicans. Before they come together, they air the appearance of a debate (from their own party) and it then appears that all issues were raised and addressed. So when Dems finally find their voices, the public may be weary and think, "Let's just go eat already!"

"Peace Quotes" (Peace Center)
War would end if the dead could return.
Stanley Baldwin

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Hottest fires in hell are for the neutral

Mike will NOT be noting the same things from Democracy Now! so don't look for it tonight.
Mike is sick as a dog. He's got the flu. He had a flu shot but, like I told him on the phone tonight, it takes a bit of time to build up in the body and he obviously was already infectious before he got the flu shot yesterday. He did his post and was hurrying because he also had a friend, Tony, who was doing a debate tonight. He goes to post his entry and gets this huge error message. Why? Blogger's gone down again. (Again!) He calls me and asks if I'm posting. I was, I was about to start on the "Peace Quote." He said do not hit publish because I will lose everything since Blogger is down yet again for maintance. The same thing would happen if I tried to save it. So I just let the compose screen stay up. Hopefully I've waited long enough and I won't lose this when I try to post.

But he's sick as a dog. I told him he shouldn't go to the debate but it's his best friend and he couldn't miss it. He should have then gone home and gotten into bed (truly, I made those doctor's orders). So don't expect a post from him tonight. I told him I would tell everyone in my post and no one was going to be upset because a) Blogger is the problem and b) he's sick as a dog. He really sounds bad on the phone. Then he remembers Rebecca and has to call her because she usually posts around the same time.

we spent 2 hours on the phone together, Rebecca and i, talking as we waited for the Blogger program to be up and working. She said she was going to put the actual time on her post, she was leaving her's up in the compose screen as well. I'm not changing the time. The time on this is when I started the post. It's now 11:52 p.m. If anyone's wondering during the whole time Blogger's down, "Where is Elayne?" I couldn't post because Blogger was down. If I lose this, I was able to save a copy outside of Blogger but this really is nonsense.

Mike shouldn't have to be sick and upset because Blogger can't give people a head's up to when they're going down. The introduction is new and I did add on the "Peace Quote" but otherwise, I'm not changing anything about my post which would have been up on time were it not for Blogger going down.

Bush Fails to Answer Questions About CIA Leak (Democracy Now!)
At the same press conference President Bush was questioned about the ongoing investigation into the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. On Sunday, ABC News host George Stephanopoulos said his sources told him that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were involved in the discussions about Plame. Meanwhile the Washington Post has reported special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald may be planning to bring criminal conspiracy charges against White House officials, possibly Karl Rove and Lewis Libby. On Tuesday Bush refused to answer whether he had discussed the case with Rove or Libby.

Fitzgerald may be trying to bring conspiracy charges against the White House. And this isn't big news in every outlet? Am I crazy or were missing files "national interest" during the Clinton era? One scandal after another the press teased out, whether they had any facts or perceived facts, it was all fodder. But now it's not even a big news item.

Bully Boy may have spoken to Rove and Libby but that's not important to most news outlets, nor is his refusal to answer the question big news.

C.I.'s been noting George Bush's early lie. Though his daughters weren't born for many years after, he had to keep quiet about his drunk driving conviction because what if they modeled his behavior? So is he keeping quiet because he feats that if he isn't, someday Jenna and Barbara may want to out a CIA agent and he doesn't want to inluence them?

Bill O'Reilly Calls For Assassination of Syrian President (Democracy Now!)
For the second time in two months a prominent conservative television host has called for the assassination of a foreign leader. Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said the U.S. should consider assassinating Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if he fails to help the United States with the war in Iraq. That was Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. In August, teleevangelist Pat Robertson called for the assassination of Venezulean President Hugo Chavez during a broadcast of his show the 700 Club.

What is it with these blowhards with a mcrophone calling for the assassination of foriegn ledears? They don't think they're sitting in the stolen oval office, do they?

So Patty Robertson gets away with issuing his fatawa against Hugo Chavez and now Bill O'Relly wants an ear from his "kill."

This isn't a big deal to the Repubes. Janet Jackson's breast was a big deal to them. But they've never minded violence.

Is any government agency looking into Bill O'Reilly's statements?

This is why our image is so poor in the world. To others it appears that we operate under one standard for ourselves and another for everyone else. So if someone in another country makes a threat against Bully Boy, don't be surprised when the rest of the world yawns.

It's this nonsense that explains why Dick Durbin shouldn't have backed down. He didn't say anything wrong but the right-wing attacks started and he backed down. Democrats need to quit backing down. I'm not going to slam Durbin for it because if he'd had any prominent Democrats coming to his defense, he might not have felt so alone.

When Dick Durbin got attacked, Harry Reid should have gone on the offensive but Harry Reid is a lousy minority leader. He has no spine and he's not a fighter. The only fight in the party comes from the grassroots. They could be riding high in poll after poll if they'd stop apologing every time the Republicans whined.

Instead, Rush can make jokes and justify Abu Ghraib and no one really holds him accountable but Dick Durbin makes a wise statement and is forced to apologize.

It's not just foreigners that see the double standard, it's also people in this country.

And when they see Democrats back down time and again, some don't think the party is strong enough to represent us.

Yesterday, I wrote about Diane Feinstein and all but one e-mail was pleased with the post and that Feinstein was being held accountable. However, one e-mailer felt the need to accuse me of planning my posts with Seth. (Seth went on to post about Hillary Clinton.)

It was orchestrated. I've never spoken to Seth (or e-mailed him). I think he's doing a great job and he's a community member so we share opinions like others in the community.

Seth wrote about Hillary Clinton earlier and he was responding (last night) to an e-mail he had received. If someone needs to see that "as a conspiracy."

Both women were held accountable. The visitor who e-mailed felt that neither Seth nor myself should have written about either woman.

If either woman had been called on it strong and hard (their positions on the war) maybe they'd grasped how unpopular their stance it?

Have you read Betty's latest?

"The lies Thomas Friedman tells" (Thomas Friedma Is a Great Man):
I was a chapter into my book when Thomas Friedman shoved the coloring book at me. Thinking maybe he had managed to stay inside the lines, I took it only to find his latest op-ed "A Letter From the Shores of Iraq."
I was appalled. He was still pretending to be in Iraq. "You can't lie like this," I told him but he just giggled, rolled over on his back, played with his belly and started singing, "There ain't no more room here, no more room here, no more room on this planet to go."
I have no idea what he was singing but he said the song held the answer to why we were in Iraq.
I told him a shorty robe did not make him the Dahli Lama. I then told him, quoting from a Carly Simon song "Love You By Heart," that:
The lies that you tell
Will leave you alone
They'll keep you down
They'll catch you
And trip you up.
Thomas Friedman told me I just didn't "get it." If I "got it" I would understand that no one was ever in real trouble for schilling for the administration. Sure Judy Miller got her bangs singed but only because she wanted to go "mano o mano with Fitzgerald." If she'd just done like Tim Russert and the others and testified to the grand jury to begin with, no one would say a word. Look at how pleasing the tales became about Matthew Cooper once he came around?
"We all protect each other," Thomas Friedman said ignoring my disbelief.
"Even old Cohen," Thomas Friedman said pointing to the man he'd urinated on who was now to be found splashing himself with ocean water, "he won't say one word. That's the game, Betinna, that's the way it works."
"But Thomas Friedman, the war is wrong. I was in D.C. and I can tell you that the country has turned against it."
"Doesn't matter," Thomas Friedman said digging lint out of his belly button before examining and then tasting it. "The administration wanted a war and people like me gave them the war, got the public to taste it and want it. That's the way it works."
"Well that is just disgusting."
"That's life," Thomas Friedman chuckled.
We really had nothing else to say to one another after that.I was aware he made up the cabbies and airline passengers and all the rest. But that he would deliberatly lie about something other than imaginary people feeding him compliments honestly shocked me.
Even when we went back to the car and saw the police had put a boot on Billy's car, we had nothing to say to one another. One of us asked, "Cab?" and the other shrugged.
I had seen the face of true malice, a face with an unruly, ungroomed mustache over yellowed teeth, a face that would never be lined with concern over the mounting casualities and fatalities.
I had a feeling nothing would ever be the same.

That's a sample. Things are heating up in the online novel Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man. You won't want to be miss out.

"Peace Quotes" (Peace Center)
The hottest fires in hell are reserved for those who remain neutral in times of moral crisis.
Edmund Burke

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Refuse to bear injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame

Mike and I are doing the same items from Democracy Now! so be sure to check his site.

Justice Department to Investigation Ojeda Rios Killing (Democracy Now!)The Justice Department confirmed on Monday that it will investigate the FBI killing of Puerto Rican independence leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios. The killing has sparked widespread outrage in Puerto Rico. On Sept. 23, over 100 FBI agents surrounded the house of the 72-year-old Ojeda Rios. After he was shot, the FBI let him lie wounded in his house for nearly a day during which time he bled to death. The FBI claimed Ojeda Rios fired first, but his wife said this is not true. Ojeda Rios had been on the FBI's most wanted list for his role in a $7 million bank heist but he was a legendary figure in Puerto Rico for his lifelong resistance to U.S. colonialism. Tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans attended his funeral services last week.

At The Third Estate Sunday Review this weekend, Ava did a report on this:

Ava: C.I., in Brazil a judge has been sentenced to fifteen years for the murder of a security guard. While a portion of detainees held in Guantanamo enter the second month of their fast, the U.S. military tells the BBC that it's simply a bid for media attention.Last week saw the assassination, in Puerto Rico, of Filiberto Ojeda Rios. Little reported on the corporate media, but noted in Pacifica's WBAI extensive coverage, the assassination included shutting down the power to the area. As the FBI surrounded the home of Ojeda Rios, wanted for a 1983 bankrobbery, he asked that his wife be spared. The FBI was kind enough to tape her eyes shut as they then placed her under arrest for 24 hours. Ojeda Rios is said to have fired ten times, hundreds of times is said to be the FBI's record. It's being called a "shoot out." Though the FBI now says, in the face of growing outrage, that they'll attempt to determine whom fired first. They'll also attempt to determine why Ojeda Rios was allowed to bleed to death for twenty-four hours from a wound to his shoulder. Puerto Rico was seized by the U.S. in 1898 and has long sought its independence. In March of 2005, U.S. prosecuters attempted to seek the death penalty but the verdict was life imprisonment instead. Puerto Rico's 1952 constitution bans the death penalty but a U.S. federal court ruled in 2001 that federal law trumps the Puerot Rican constitution. These events and the continued use of Puerto Rico for military testing add to the tensions and the cries for the right to autonomy that some say the assassination of Ojeda Rios will only further inflame. In addition to WBAI, more news on this can be found at Democracy Now! and at Puerto Rico Indymedia, in both Spanish and English.

This is reminding me of the way Fred Hampton was murdered. I think a full investigation is needed, an open investigation.

Senate Panel Oks Allowing Pentagon Spies to Operate in U.S. (Democracy Now!)
The Senate Intelligence Committee has approved new legislation that would allow Pentagon intelligence operatives to collect information from U.S. citizens without revealing their status as government spies. According to the Los Angeles Times, the bill would end a long-standing requirement that military intelligence officers disclose their government ties when approaching any U.S. citizen in the United States.

The Senate did that. The Intelligence Committee did that because they think they know better than us. They think they're so damn smart. But they can't get anything on Sibel Edmonds testimony. They're stonewalled there. They can't get any information on anything. And when they do, they can't share it. Bob Graham left the Senate wanting the Congressional report on 9/11 released and it's still not released.

We don't military intelligence. We've had it before.

It's as though we haven't learned a damn thing. That may not be fair. It might be more accurate to say the "smart" senators serving on the Intelligence Committee haven't learned a damn thing.

Pat Roberts, Kansas Chairman

John D. Rockefeller IV West Virginia, Vice Chairman

Orrin G. Hatch, Utah

Carl Levin, Michigan

Mike Dewine, Ohio

Dianne Feinstein, California

Christopher S. Bond, Missouri

Ron Wyden, Oregon

Trent Lott, Mississippi

Evan Bayh, Indiana

Olympia J. Snowe, Maine

Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland

Chuck Hagel, Nebraska

Jon S. Corzine, New Jersey

Saxby Chambliss, Georgia

Those are the losers who are destroying this country. Republican, Democrat, I don't care, they're destroying the country.

Hagel knows about Sibel Edmonds testimony. Hasn't done a bit of good. He'll say she's believable and her story checks out but America still can't know her story. He should be ashamed.

War monger Diane Feinstein needs to be ashamed to. What's URS Corp? People should know about it since Diane's so damn gung ho on the war.

Richard Blum serves on the board of URS Corp and controls 24% of the stock.

Blum's Feinstein's husband.

And while people are dying in Iraq, Blum's company got a 600 million dollar contract:

to help with troop mobilization, weapons systems training and anti-terrorism efforts is the latest in a string of plum defense jobs snared by URS. In February, the firm won an army engineering and logistics contract that could bring in $3.1 billion during the next eight years.

Why's Diane such a war monger? Does it have to do with the fact that her husband's company profits in the millions and billions from the war?

Halliburton is disgusting, no question. But it's past time Diane Feinstein got called on her own shit.

There's this idea that she did something brave by voting against Roberts. She didn't do anything brave. She blew off the questioning. And she knows she'll lose campaign donations if she votes for Roberts. So she did the weakest thing she could, she voted against him but she gave him a pass in the hearings.

Someone needs to consider mounting a primary challenge to Feinstein because she's quickly become very hated in the state of California. She's lucky because so few people know about her husband's company.

Unlike Diane, the state of California isn't "conflicted" over the war. They know where they stand and Feinstein knows it too.

And here's a question why is the woman on "the Appropriations Committee, where she is the Ranking member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee" married to a man winning contracts? Anyone else bothered by that conflict of interest?

"Peace Quotes" (Peace Center)
Some things you must always be unable to bear. Some things you must never stop refusing to bear. Injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame. No matter how young you are or how old you have got. Not for kudos and not for cash, your picture in the paper nor money in the bank, neither. Just refuse to bear them.
William Faulkner

Monday, October 03, 2005

Violence is shrouded

Mike and I are doing the same items from Democracy Now! so be sure to check out his site.

U.S. Confirms Sniper Killed Knight Ridder Journalist (Democracy Now!)
A U.S. military report has confirmed that Knight Ridder journalist Yasser Salihee was killed by an American sniper in June but claimed the shooting was justified. Salihee was shot as he was driving in western Baghdad. He was then left lying dead in his car, splattered with blood. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists U.S. troops have killed at least 13 journalists in Iraq since the war began.

How was the kill "justified." If it was justified, why the delay? In June, Yasser Salihee was shot by the U.S. military and left to die. Was it justified to shoot him? Did he appear to be a "hostile" at that point? If so, why was allowed to die in his car? Did no one check on him?
It's getting harder and harded for the Operation Happy Talkers to keep claiming that journalists are not being targeted.

The total number of journalists killed in Iraq is 72.

Army Suffers Worst Recruiting Year Since 1979 (Democracy Now!)
The Army has suffered its worst year for recruiting since 1979. The Army had set an annual goal of 80,000 new recruits by September 30 but fell 7,000 recruits short. The Army National Guard and the Army Reserve also fell short of their annual goal. Meanwhile the Armed Forces is trying new ways to reach the nation's young. The Army National Guard is now offering to give away three free music downloads from Itunes to individuals who sign up online to be contacted by recruiters.

You read this and you have to wonder, if it continues, at what point do they try to bring back the draft? There's really little to offer and you can see that when they're offering "prizes" for signing up just to be contacted. I can't image anyone saying, "Three downloads! Alright!" Maybe they will? If you're already being harrassed by recruiters, maybe you should sign up just to get something out of it?

If we're not bringing the troops home, and the administration doesn't want to, something has to happen because recruitment's so low. I'd be surprised if they tried anything before the 2006 elections because they want a low turnout. Low turnout helps incumbents and to remain in control of Congress, the Republicans need a really low turnout.

I believe it's Charlie Rangle, a Democrat, who proposed legislation to bring back the draft. His thinking is that if that happened, people would take the war a little more seriously. If there was a strong chance that they might go or their children, they'd take it a little more seriously.

My suggestion if the draft comes back is first draft all the arm chair warriors who blog that we have to stay over there. They really need to put up or shut up. They cheer the war and they aren't in the military.

Why is that?

If it's so important that we remain in Iraq then why don't the little boys and girls who blog "we have to stay over there" put their money where their overflowing mouths are?

They aren't concerned with the death toll of the Iraqis or the soldiers (though one tries to hide behind the soliders with a dopey dedication to them). But they want us over there so why haven't they signed up?

Wars are something that people like that always want . . . as long as someone else is fighting it.

They should be called on it. Every time they type, "We have to stay in Iraq" they should get e-mails asking, "Why haven't you signed up?" Why haven't they? Maybe they're little Cokie Roberts who want to hide behind a sick mother, the way she used her mother as an excuse for not reporting from LA even though it's where she was born.

They lie about the war. They lie about Cindy Sheehan. I think people have woken up to their lies and there's not a big difference, at this point, between them and the Bully Boy. They give cover to the Bully Boy and they can claim they are of the left all they want but when they support the continuation of the illegal occupation they aren't interested in human rights or social justice.

Those people really need to read C.I.'s "Should This Marriage Be Saved" but I honestly wonder if it could even reach them. They're so committed to being "warriors" (from the safety of their homes) that maybe nothing can help them at this point.

By the way, remember to check out Seth in the City. I was the new one until Seth and I know how hard everyone worked to get the word out on me so let me return the favor by helping out Seth whose site is not even a week old yet.

"Peace Quotes" (Peace Center)
There have been periods of history in which episodes of terrible violence occurred but for which the word violence was never used...Violence is shrouded in justifying myths that lend it moral legitimacy, and these myths for the most part kept people from recognizing the violence for what it was. The people who burned witches at the stake never for one moment thought of their act as violence; rather they though of it as an act of divinely mandated righteousness. The same can be said of most of the violence we humans have ever committed.
Gil Bailie