Saturday, January 20

Spearhead - Bomb The World

Spearhead - Bomb the World



1 Image = 1000 Words.

Put it to music = 10,000 Words!

Vyan

24 and Fox vs Sleeper Cell and Fact

This past Tuesday Keith Olbermann asked the question...

Is "24" propaganda? Is it fear-mongering? Or is it a program-length commercial for one political party?

The simple answer to that is "Does a Duck go 'Quack'?"

But in all seriousness, I don't think Olbermann's question goes far enough - a better question would be "Is Everything on Fox TV propaganda, fear-mongering and an commercial for the GOP?"

And specifically on "24" how does it compare with other terrorism shows such as Showtime's "Sleeper Cell"?

OUTFOXED: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism

Olbermann presented his question to documentarian Robert Greenwald, Director and Producer of OutFoxed: Rupert Murdock's War on Journalism

"Outfoxed" examines how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, have been running a "race to the bottom" in television news. This film provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public's right to know.

The film explores Murdoch's burgeoning kingdom and the impact on society when a broad swath of media is controlled by one person.

This documentary also reveals the secrets of Former Fox news producers, reporters, bookers and writers who expose what it's like to work for Fox News. These former Fox employees talk about how they were forced to push a "right-wing" point of view or risk their jobs. Some have even chosen to remain anonymous in order to protect their current livelihoods. As one employee said "There's no sense of integrity as far as having a line that can't be crossed."

In his documentary Greenwald describes an internal cultural within Fox News that has a quite overt "Cultural War" perspective. On air hosts who manage to slide anti-Liberal anti-Democrat jibes into their commentary receive an "atta-boy" of accolades and shoulder pats - those who break ranks and dare to criticize the Bush Administration on anything other than not being Right-Wing Enough are discouraged and sometimes punished.

Outfoxed even gained access to internal memos by high-level Fox News exec John Moody who apparently would issue a "Message of the Day" down through-out the entire company in order to "set the stage" on how the news would be presented.

The following is a sample of reporting instructions issued by Moody to the FOX News staff.

Moody on the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal:

[T]he pictures from Abu Graeb [sic] prison are disturbing. They have rightly provoked outrage. Today we have a picture -- aired on Al Arabiya -- of an American hostage being held with a scarf over his eyes, clearly against his will. Who's outraged on his behalf? It is important that we keep the Abu Graeb [sic] situation in perspective (5/5/04).

Moody on the war in Iraq:

As is often the case, the real news is [sic] Iraq is being obscured by temporary tragedy. The creation of a defense ministry, which will be run by Iraqis, is a major step forward in the country's redevelopment. Let's look at that, as well as the deaths of a US soldier in a roadside bombing (3/25/04).

Into Fallujah: It's called Operation Vigilant Resolve and it began Monday morning (NY time) with the US and Iraqi military surrounding Fallujah. We will cover this hour by hour today, explaining repeatedly why it is happening. It won't be long before some people start to decry the use of "excessive force". We won't be among that group (4/4/04).

A more recent example of this type of dictate from on high of Fox Execs was the revelation that following the November 7th victory by Democrats in the House and Senate - Fox News decided they needed to finds some Happy Insurgents.

The elections and Rumsfelds resignation are a major event, but not the end of the world. The War on Terror goes on without interruption. Jennifer Griffin sent in info on Hamas calls for attacks on American interests. And lets be on the lookout for any statements from Iraqi insurgents, who must be thrilled at the prospect of a Dem controlled congress

What we have to realize is that every report - every second - on Fox News is presented in a way that supports the Right-Wing Agenda. From their incessent hyping of White Chicks in Peril ™ to O'Reilly's "We're looking out for the folks" spiel. It's all Naked Right-Wing Propaganda.

And so in major portions is Fox TV.

Before getting into this it has to be pointed out that a great many things going into the creation of each individual show as well as an entire network of shows - many shows can exist on a Network which are independant of the overall editorial view of it's owners simply because of their potential profitabiilty. How true that is of Fox TV remains an open question.

Although the network originally began with a leftward progressiveness that defied the dullness of the big three networks by putting shows that the others had specifically rejected or would never air such as "the Simpsons", "In Living Colour", "The X-Files" and the incredibly quirky "Get A Life" (featuring Chris Elliot). They eventually began a rightward shift which is best displayed by thier transition from consciencious urban shows like "ROC", "South Central" and "Frank's Place" to "Married with Children" (whose supervising producer Ralph Farquar was black man that had essentially taken the tragic black family from his show "South Central" and made their life a comedy by placing them in white skin and moving them from L.A. to the Chicago suburbs). That show which debut in 1987 and lasted for 11 seasons began Fox's eventually devolution into full-on Trash TV, pandering to the fears of middle America while exploiting thier own narcissist self-congratulation at being trashy. That trashy rightward slide was further edged along by the longest running Reality Show in History - "COPS" (which debuted in 1989 and continues today).

Just how many drunken street-walkers can you watch begin slammed into the concrete face-first does it take before you become completely desensitized to the violence of it?

Going even further than "Married", "COPS" showed poor people - both black and white - at their absolute worst moments in life while showing police , on whom the show depends for it's survival, in the very best possible light. As such the show has practically realized the neo-fascist wet-dreams of 50's and 60' s LAPD police chief Bill Parker, who during his tenure managed two full and distinct police divisions to surveil and blackmail hollywood, as well as directly manipulate the media's presentation of his department. For example in exchange for providing producer Jack Webb with "technical advisors" Parker's department demanded and received script approval over his bevy of freshly scrubbed police shows such as "Dragnet", "Adam-12" and "Emergency". Through Webb's shows, Parker was able to completely white-wash the brutal reality of the L.A.P.D., who while these shows were on their air frequently beat and shot unarmed black citizens sparking the Watts Riots which ultimately ended Parker's career.

Meanwhile back on current day FOX you can see the same sadistic voyerism of "COPS" in "American Idol" where half the draw is watching talentless freaks and geeks embarriss themselves - and the other half is continuing to believe in pipe-dream that there but for the grace of Simon Cowell could go you or I into the stratosphere of Super-stardom.

Add to all the above "America's Greatest Police Chases", "America's Most Wanted", the Jackass and Youtube precusor "America's Funniest Home Videos" (aka Take it in the Nuts) and of course trash-news shows such as "Inside Edition" (a direct pre-cursor to Fox News which not so coincidentally featured Bill O'Reilly as an anchor) and Fox's new fascist/trashy direction was set.

Kiefer Sutherland plays Jack Bauer in ‘24’

Which finally brings us to "24" which has become one of Fox's biggest hits. The show was originally fairly unique, begining as it did before 9-11, the original villians were highly mysterious. Who could possibly hate American Counterrorism agent Jack Bauer enough to kidnap his family in order manipulate him into killing then Presidential hopeful Senator Palmer?

The answer at the time was Dennis Hopper, playing a Bosnian terrorist who wished revenge on Jack for being involved in a raid that killed members of his family during the Croat-Serb War and on Senator Palmer for having approved the raid.

Using fast paced action and incessant cliff-hangerism of the old time Penelope in Peril film strip series - "24" managed to hide such a card-board flimsy premise behind chase scenes, shoot-outs and constant (often insane) plot twists.

Reality Check

    The facts and reality of our involvment in ending the Bosnia War completely belay the "24" rationale. U.S. forces were only 1/3 of those sent to Bosnia-Herzgovenia to end the ethnic-cleansing and religious strife which had overtaken the area after the withdrawal of Soviet control of the former Yugoslavia. We the U.S in fact - along with equal parts European and Russian troops - were the heroes in that scenario after President Clinton used Diplomacy and persuasian - and only violence as a last resort - to negotiate and implement the Dayton Peace Accords.

    Not one single American Soldier was killed in this conflict.

    Murderous criminals such as Slobadon Milosovec (whom Hopper's character was clearly emulating) were held accountable by International Courts and eventually died in prison.


Yet even in this early version of the show some right-wing thinking was already evident when Jack Bauer literally stumbles upon the Super-Secret Military Prison Facility which had been holding Hopper on U.S. Soil. (A sequence which in all likelyhood, considering how many neo-cons claim this as their "favorite show" may been may have been at least in part an inspiration for Bush administration own implementation of Secret Prisons).

Personally I felt the show completely jumped-the-shark of credibility half-way through Season One when Jack's wife spontaneous contracted amnesia after seeing the car containing their daughter fall over a cliff and disappear.

Since those early days where Jack has been driven by the constantly tickling clock to commit acts of extreme violence, including - but not limited to - multiple acts of murder, torture, armed robbery and kidnapping or numerous occasions.

Jack Bauer can be nearly always expected to resort to the most brutal and direct means when neccesary, all those pesky rules (i.e laws) are often tossed out of the window as soon as Jack-the-man arrives on the scene. This is considered such a crucial element to that show that the current fan poll question on the 24 Home Page is...

"What other terrorist body part do you think Jack could easily bite off?"

(Click image to view closeup of poll)

At the end of last season he staged a hijacking of Marine One in collusion with the First Lady in order to kidnap then-President Logan and trick him into admitting his complicity in the murder of his predecessor President Palmer in order to cover up his aidding and abetting terrorists gaining access to toxic nerve gas. This was done in order to support Logan's wish to concoct a false "WMD" charge against oil rich states as a pre-cursor to invasion. (Hmm - kinda familiar - but ultimately Re-f-inging-diculous!)

Even in this scenario the batty plans of this President are succesfully thwarted - which further suggests that no President could ever get away with such a thing, right?

Besides the fact that torture doesn't work the final nail in the "24"'s wingnut coffin is the news that the shows co-creator Joel Surnow has teamed with FOX News to develop a right-wing version of the Daily Show.

"The way I look at it, almost every comedy show or satire show I see uses the same talking points against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney," "24″ co-creator Joel Surnow said. "The other side hasn’t been skewered in a fair and balanced way." November 20, 2006

Although there have been several attempts in recent years by various progressive film makers to present a more "balanced" view of anti-terrorism and America middle-east involvement the results have been decidedly mixed. George Clooney's Syriana, which showed the plight of a loyal but disavowed ex-CIA assasin in the midst of international forces was largely a muddle.

Stephen Speilberg's "Munich", which attempted to chronical Israeli intelligences attempts to assisinate those responsible for the murder of their athletes at the 1972 Olympics was just as problematic as it attempted to moralize the actions of the Mosaad agents far too quickly and neatly.

Photo of "Sleeper Cell",  Michael Ealy

Showtime's Sleeper Cell however, is an entirely different animal. Starring Michael Ealy as an African-American muslim FBI agent Darwin al-Hakim (a Sunni) who voluanteers to spend 18 months in prison in order to infiltrate an al-Qaeda cell in Los Angeles. Much of the show frequently discusses and highlights the very real debate within Islam as to the application of violence, and splits between those who advocate peaceful resolution of disputes and those who do not. It has become one of the most faithful representations of the muslim faith on tv including fairly heady debates between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims.

In the first episode Darwin directly faces anti-muslim prejudice in the wake of 9-11 by coming to the rescue of a pair of Indian Sikh's, who are mistaken by a set of street thugs for Arabs due to their head-wraps.

Also in that same episode , which aired before the reality of the Bush's domestic eavesdropping program was revealed, the Cell's leader Fariq al-Farik (played brilliantly Oded Fehr) learns that one member has phoned home to Egypt to brag about their upcoming attack and immediately has that member executed (via stoning) for violating protocol just in case the NSA might have been listening (which on the show they weren't because without a warrant that's illegal - but as we know in reality they have been, warrant or not).

Photo of "Sleeper Cell",  Oded FehrThis is not to say that Darwin doesn't cross some fuzzy Jack Beaur-ish lines, he intervenes in the middle of the stoning to shoot the intended victim in the head and end his pain quickly. This move nearly ends his investigation once it's discovered - and at the end when the cell is ultimately brought down his actions are cited as potential compromising any possible criminal case - therefore the one surviving terrorist who is apprehended (Farik) is relegated to military custody where he is interrogated by the CIA and Military Intelligence who beat him and attempt various psychological tricks to gain his cooperation - none of which are successful. Eventually as a wanted Saudi he is extradited and then severely tortured including shoving a peice white-hot steel into his urethra while the CIA looks on - and he still doesn't talk.

Reality Check

    The FBI highest ranking Arab-American agent, Bassam Yousef, has recently sued for discrimination after being taken off undercover work and placed on desk duty.

    WASHINGTON - Bassem Youssef is the FBI's highest-ranking Arab-American agent. He's fluent in Arabic, ran the FBI's offices in Saudi Arabia and is a terrorism expert. In fact, Youssef's undercover work helping to infiltrate the terror organization of the so-called "blind sheik," Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, earned him the intelligence community's most-prestigious award, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal.

    But now, for the first time, Youssef is speaking out against the agency he loves.

    "I don't believe that the FBI's doing everything it can to combat terrorism," the 18-year FBI veteran tells NBC News.

    Though he's one of only six FBI agents with advanced Arabic skills, Youssef believes that, since 9/11, the FBI has blocked him from playing a significant role in the war on terror. He claims discrimination, and sued the FBI in 2003.

    "To be totally set aside, blackballed since 9/11, makes absolutely no sense," he says.

    Youssef's experience is not all isolated according to the Washington Post.

    Five years after Arab terrorists attacked the United States, only 33 FBI agents have even a limited proficiency in Arabic, and none of them work in the sections of the bureau that coordinate investigations of international terrorism, according to new FBI statistics.

    Counting agents who know only a handful of Arabic words -- including those who scored zero on a standard proficiency test -- just 1 percent of the FBI's 12,000 agents have any familiarity with the language, the statistics show.

    The numbers reflect the FBI's continued struggle to attract employees who speak Arabic, Urdu, Farsi and other languages of the Middle East and South Asia, even as the bureau leads a fight against terrorist groups primarily centered in those parts of the world. The same challenge is facing the CIA and other agencies as the government competes with the private sector for a limited number of applicants with foreign-language proficiency, according to U.S. officials and experts.

In the original mini-series sequel Sleeper Cell:American Terror Darwin is actually faced with bigotry himself by other members of the bureau and even his Case Agent who suspects his loyalties simply because he's a muslim (echoing Youssef), while battling this he has to delicately balance the needs of maintaining his cover and appearing o help the terror plot proceed so that he can work his way further into the network. Information is compartmentalized under "Operational Security", even Cell leaders don't know the ultimate target or exact method to be used in the attack until neccesary, therefore capturing minor members and trying to "beat the truth out of them" is literally pointless. They don't know anything - yet. (Which according to the 9-11 Commission Report is exactly how the trade center and pentagon attack cells operated).

Update:In one direct contrast to 24's phony Bosnia bad guys, Sleeper Cell featured one Bosnia cell member who eventually went home ten years after his original indoctrination into the Mujahadeen during the violent ethnic-cleanings of the Bosnia War to find that his homeland has now become a realitive "paradise of peace" (Thank's the President Clinton as I mention above). As a result he begins to renounce his membership in al-Qaeda, until he's spotted and kidnapped by other members of the brotherhood intent on dragging him back into the fold.

Sleeper Cell isn't perfect, and being on Showtime it can be extremely violent and filled with sexual content (including a n explicit gay relationship with one Iraqi cell member) - but with the help of Islamic Technical Advisor Omar Haroon and Military advisors Mir Bahmanyar and James Dever it's tried hard to put realism on the screen, not neccesarily pander to any particular ideological viewpoint.

Update: Some have argued that 24 is "just a TV Show" and that is demonstrably true, however the scenarios shown on this show have had an impact on the national discourse involving issues of national security.

Cal Thomas

If the Army nabs a person it suspects of knowing the location of a nuclear bomb about to wipe out an American city, would the interrogators and their military and civilian superiors refuse to use torture to squeeze the information out of the captive?

That was precisely the scenario on "24." Agent Jack Bauer rightly chose the greater good -- saving millions of lives -- over the niceties imposed by those whose manual seems inspired by "The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette."

Melanie Morgan.

SUSSMAN: And of course, right off the bat, they talk about the very issues that we've already discussed, with the exception of one -- my advocating the use of torture on the battlefield, which was -- actually, it was a bit. Lee, this particular bit that's gotten me in all sorts of hot water in the blogosphere was actually a scripted bit entitled "Jack Bauer in Baghdad."

ALL: [laughs]

SUSSMAN: OK, it was Jack Bauer --

MORGAN: In reference to 24.

SUSSMAN: -- from the TV show 24, on the field of battle. A bunch of his buddies, a bunch of his fellow soldiers had just been taken hostage by a group of insurgents. He was able to hold one of the insurgents back, and now he realizes time is limited: "All right, where are my buddies? Where did your guys take them? I want to know now." And he starts out by threatening the guy: "If you don't talk, I'm going to cut off the tip of your little finger. And if you still don't talk, I'm going after your private parts." So he begins with the tip of the finger, and guess what? The guy talks. The guy talks.

RODGERS: The ticking-clock thing.

Whereas 24 jingoistly exploits our fears of international terrorism, Sleeper Cell gives a inside view of how terror cells operate and how the internal struggles of bigotry within our nation mirror the struggles within Islam.

No TV Show is a perfect representation of Reality, not even so-called "Reality" shows due to the natural skewing tendencies of the editing process. Also most television shows and movies are a largely collarborative effort, with the final result being a combination of many different voices and viewpoints. But when you are clearly dealing with an Network with a clear idelogical agenda as FOX does, it's wise to understand what that agenda is and how it might be affecting the final work, shifting it from potentially enlightening education to merely diverting entertainment and finally naked propaganda.

Exactly how the FX Network which has shows such as "Rescue Me", "Nip/Tuck", "30 Days", the decidedly post-Parker corrupt Cop show "The Shield" and briefly the one Iraq War show ever on the air "Over There", has so far escaped the overall Murdock/FOX ideological bent remains a mystery to me - it could just be dumb luck or maybe the fact that those shows are all good and most neo-con tripe isn't - but clearly nothing in Hollywood is absolute.

Vyan

Friday, January 19

Suicidal Tendencies - You Can't Bring me Down

Suicidal Tendencies - You Can't Bring me Down



Lyrics -


What the hell's going on around here?

First off-let's take it from the start
Straight out-can't change what's in my heart
No one-can tear my beliefs apart, you can't bring me

You ain't-never seen no one like me
Prevail-regardless what the cost might be
Power-flows inside of me, you can't bring me

Never-fall as long as I try
Refuse-to be a part of your lie
Even-if it means I die, you can't bring me

You...can't...bring...me...down!

Who the hell you calling crazy? You wouldn't know what crazy was
If Charles Manson was eating fruit loops on your front porch....

Time out-let's get something clear
I speak-more truth than you want to hear
Scapegoat-to cover up your fear, you can't bring me

You ain't-never seen so much might
Fight for-what I know is right
What up-you got yourself a fight, you can't bring me

Stand up-we'll all sing along
Together-ain't nothin' as strong
Won't quit-we ain't in the wrong, you can't bring me

You...can't...bring...me...down!

Bring me down-you can't bring me down!
Bring me down-you can't bring me down, no!
Bring me down-you can't bring me down!
Bring me down-you can't bring me down, you can't bring me down!

Tell them what's up Rocky!

You...can't...bring...me...down!

Bring me down-you can't bring me down!
Bring me down-you can't bring me down, no!
Bring me down-you can't bring me down!
Bring me down-you can't bring me down, you can't bring me down!

So why you trying to bring me?
Well you can't bring me down...No, no, no, no
Can't bring me down....No, no, no, no, no, no
Can't bring me down....No, no, no, no, no, no
Can't bring me down....No, no, no, no, no, no
So why you trying to bring?
Well you can't bring me down

Just cause you don't understand what's going on don't mean it don't make no sense
And just cause you don't like it, don't mean it ain't no good
And let me tell you something;

Before you go taking a walk in my world
You better take a look at the real world
Cause this ain't no Mister Roger's Neighborhood

Can you say "feel like shit"?
Yea maybe sometimes I do feel like shit
I ain't happy 'bout it, but I'd rather feel like shit than be full of shit!

And if I offended you, oh I'm sorry...
But maybe you need to be offended
But here's my apology and one more thing...fuck you!


Cos you...can't...bring...me...down!

Bring me down-you can't bring me down!
Bring me down-you can't bring me down, no!
Bring me down-you can't bring me down!
Bring me down-you can't bring me down!
Bring me down-you can't bring me down, no!
Bring me down-you can't bring me down, no!
Bring me down-you can't bring me down, you can't bring me down!

Can't bring me down!
Can't bring me down!
Can't bring me down!

Suicidal!

Thursday, January 18

Bush's Endgame : Circle the Wagons, Scorch the Earth

The last few days have brought some rather strange events. All of a sudden Bush has done an about face on his Domestic Spying Program (or has he?)

At the same time 11 U.S. Attorney's have found themselves suddenly jobless, while AG Gonzales blamed the lawyers for Bush's lack of successful terrorism prosecutions and decided yet again to threaten Judges not to mess with the President - and oh yeah - the "Scooter" Libby trial has begun selecting it's jury.

Could all this just be a coincidence?

I think not.

We already know from prior experience that Bush doesn't do anything unless he basically has no choice. He didn't go to Congress over his Military Commissions and decide to eviscerate Habeas Corpus until after the Hamdan Decision cut he previous AUMF and Unitary Executive arguments to ribbons and exposed his administration to possible War Crimes charges.

He didn't deciderer to finally run Dumpsfeld over with the Bus - despite his three previous resignations - until after the November election clearly didn't go his way and he was looking a string of democratic subpeonas square in the face.

Hamdan and Rumsfeld were his biggest potential criminal liabilities - so like any good chess player, he sacrificed those peices essentially placing his primary scapegoat for Abu Ghraib outside the government and off his table.

So just what could it be this time?

Maybe it was the fact that further evidence that U.S. has been spying on innocent Americans - who just happen to lawfully oppose the War and Bush Policy - was revealed on Tuesday.

A Defense Department database devoted to gathering information on potential threats to military facilities and personnel, known as Talon, had 13,000 entries as of a year ago -- including 2,821 reports involving American citizens, according to an internal Pentagon memo to be released today by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Pentagon memo says an examination of the system led to the deletion of 1,131 reports involving Americans, 186 of which dealt with "anti-military protests or demonstrations in the U.S."

Titled "Review of the TALON Reporting System," the four-page memo produced in February 2006 summarizes some interim results from an inquiry ordered by then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld after disclosure in December 2005 that the system had collected and circulated data on anti-military protests and other peaceful demonstrations.

Pardon me, but when exactly did the Defense Department find a loophole around Posse Commitatus so that they could perform law enforcement on U.S. Soil?

And now that they've chosen to delete all that data, no one will be able to discover exactly where they got their information (NSA, AT&T?) who they were targetting, why, and who else they might have shared their information with (the FBI, local law enforcement, the IRS?)

All of these numerous criminal violations for torture, war crimes and domestic espionage have all stemmed from a demented interpretation of a single clause in the Constitution.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

According to the Bushites this clause gives the President near absolute power to conduct War and Espionage - even against American citizens on American soil. They have told the courts that they have "No business" meddling in National Security. From Gonzales.

"We want to determine whether he understands the inherent limits that make an unelected judiciary inferior to Congress or the president in making policy judgments," Gonzales says in the prepared speech. "That, for example, a judge will never be in the best position to know what is in the national security interests of our country."

Apparently Judge Ann Diggs-Taylor vehement disagreed with this view in her NSA Wiretap ruling.

On August 17, in the first and only ruling by a federal court to strike down the controversial program, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that the warrantless wiretapping program is illegal.

"There are no hereditary Kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution. So all ‘inherent powers’ must derive from that Constitution," Judge Anna Diggs Taylor said in a widely quoted opinion.

Now we have the revelation that Bush had decided to completely reverse himself on not going to the FISA court with his "Terrorist Surveillance Program" - sort of. From Thinkprogress.

Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) criticized the Justice Department’s new approach to warrantless domestic spying, charging that it relies "on a blanket, ‘programmatic’ approval of the president’s surveillance program, rather than approval of individual warrants." Administration officials "have convinced a single judge in a secret session, in a nonadversarial session, to issue a court order to cover the president’s terrorism surveillance program," Wilson said.

In any case, the shift yesterday "doesn’t mean the government can’t still gather personal information about Americans without a court order," a USA Today editorial states. "How? Through something called a National Security Letter. Unlike the warrantless wiretapping program, these letters don’t violate any laws, though perhaps they should."

So apparently Judges have no business involving themselves in National Security - unless the Bush administration gets them to do as their told. Interesting.

And let's not forget that in addition to National Security Letters, Bush still has his illegal Data-mining program up and running.

Just in case their attempts to bully Judges doesn't work, Bushites have decided to take another take - Kill the Lawyers.

First there are the ones who would dare to fullfil their obligation and oath to represent "Enemy Combatants".

CULLY STIMSON, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Somebody asked, Who are the lawyers around this country representing detainees down there? And you know what? It‘s shocking. The major law firms in this country, Pillsbury Winthrop, Jenner and Block, Wilmer Cutler Pickering, Covington and Burling here in D.C., Sutherland Asbill Brennan, Paul Weiss Rifkin, Mayer Brown, Weil Gotshal, Pepper Hamilton Venable, Alston and Bird, Perkins Coie, Hunton and Williams, Fulbright Jaworski, all the rest of them, are out there representing detainees.

And I think, quite honestly when corporate CEOs see that those firms are representing the very terrorists who hit their bottom line back in 2001, those CEOs are going to make those law firms choose between representing terrorists or representing reputable firms. And I think that is going to have major play in the next few weeks.

Clearly this is a replay of the sacking Lt. Cmd Swift for winning the Hamdan case. Let's create a deterent for reputable and competent firms to take these cases - cause gee-whiz they just might win them and we can't have that now can we?

Now with the Libby Trial coming fully-online and the Vice-President slated to testi-lie we have Gonzales latest Gambit - knee-cap anyone who might be inclined to come after his boss for perjury (or obstruction, or war crimes) in the same way that so-to-be former US Prosecutor Carol Lam came after Duke Cunningham.

In her tenure leading the Southern District, which covers San Diego and Imperial counties, she prioritized prosecuting political corruption and health care fraud. She oversaw the government's case against Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the former Republican congressman who pleaded guilty to taking $2.4 million in bribes, and her office won corruption convictions of two San Diego city councilmen.

Not exactly the kind of prosecutor the Bush wants to keep around - not while they can circumvent Congress to get their own private hack into that position thanks to Arlen Specter.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) confirmed that as Judiciary Committee chairman last year he made a last-minute change to a bill that expanded the administration's power to install U.S. Attorneys without Senate approval.

Seizing upon the new authority granted by Congress last March, the White House has pushed out several U.S. Attorneys, and begun to replace them without the Senate's consent.

"I can confirm for you that yes, it was a Specter provision," a spokesperson for the senator wrote to me in an email earlier today, responding to repeated inquiries.

So with the lingering help of the 109th Congress, Bush is doing everything he can to dive for the finish line of his Presidency. He's implemented this surge, while defying the both the ISG and Congres merely to stall for time.

It's all part of his End-Game Strategy, which can be summed up simply - Get out without Getting Impeached and Prosecuted.

And his primary aider and abetter in this remains Alberto Gonzales. Jonathan Turley on Countdown last night.

TURLEY: Well, you know, Gonzalez has always acted more general than attorney in his position. He seems just inherently hostile to the rule of law. This administration for a long time said the problem was with these defendants. They shouldn‘t be allowed in court. And then the problem became the attorneys. And they prevented attorneys from meeting them. Then the problem became habeas corpus. And now the problem is the judges.

What‘s exactly left? I mean, everything is the problem, because they‘re acting outside the rule of law. And so, they‘re really hearing whistles down the track here, one coming from Congress, one coming from the courts, and both saying the same thing, that this president has been routinely and flagrantly violating the constitution that he took an oath to uphold.

That he has, but the game isn't over yet - there are still several moves to be made, subpeona's to be issued - witnesses to grill over a slow fire - and revelations to uncover which are far more likely to drive Bush's approval rating and the resistance to outright impeachment and removal from office ever lower and lower.

And the one thing they don't realize, is that the crazier and more desperate their tactics become - the less likely their are to win this game, especially in front of the Senate Judiciary Commitee (where Gonzales is scheduled to appear today- only under oath this time!)

It ain't over till it's over Mr. Bush, and I despite all this thrashing about by AG Gonzales - it won't end well for you (particularly when you have witless dolts like Dinesh D'Souza on your team)

Now it's our move, let's make it a good one.

(My own personal recommendation would be to Impeach Gonzales First for the total B.S. he's about to unload on Congress over their off-again on-again support for the FISA Court)

Vyan

Follow For Now - Holy Moses

Follow for Now - Holy Moses


FFN was a great Black Rock Band out of Atlanta, although inaccurately compared with Living Colour this group led by guitarist/vocalist David Ryan Harris displayed a rare diversity that has only been seen in groups such as Fishbone. This particular song shows much of their lyrical flair as well as their intense grooves.

Lyrical Samples:


I've been listening closely to all your lies
With with a mumbo jumbo I despise

Jack Splat, chewing the fat
We don't trust you imagine that?

The blind leading the easily led,
Circling, spiralling, losing our faith.

Wednesday, January 17

24-7 Spyz - Break the Chains

24-7 Spyz - Break the Chains


Lyrics -

Crazy ways on the streets
It's a freak show
Times have changed since I was day one old
There he lies on the ground with his torn up clothes
Gotta help this man but he is not alone

There's got to be a way
That's what I say to myself
But if I try too hard
I'm right back on that shelf
You give and give and give
You think you've won the race
People crying - people dying
Seems like it's lost in space

Break the chains! Of this freak show
Clear my brains - I can't take no more
Break the chains! Of this freak show
Clear my brains - I can't take no more

Crazy ways on the streets
It's a freak show
Times have changed since I was day one old
There he stands with no hope
And his pride in chains
Gotta help his man because his soul's in pain
There's got to be a way
That's what I say to myself
But if I try too hard
I'm right back on that shelf
You give and give and give
You think you've won the race
People crying - people dying
Seems like it's lost in space
Break the chains! Of this freak show
Clear my brains - I can't take no more


End Poverty, End Hunger - in our lifetime!

Vyan

Tuesday, January 16

D'Souza : Cultural Left Responsible for 9-11

Dinesh D'Souza, author of "Illiberal Education" and "The End of Racism" has decided to set us all straight and let the world know that the "Cultural Left" are the true culprits responsible for 9-11 in his new book "The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11" (Random House).

From Newsmax

Although it has been officially embargoed before its release on Tuesday, January 16, it is already drawing some heavy gunfire from the left.

Their anger begins with D'Souza's own words: "In this book I make a claim that will seem startling at the outset. The cultural left in this country is responsible for causing 9/11."

For sure, even some conservatives may do a double-take on that charge.

Would they? Obviously not Chris Wallace.

Newsmax continued...

But before every liberal in America blows a collective gasket, the term "cultural left" to D'Souza doesn't refer to the Democratic Party, or to all liberals. Nor is he saying that anyone on the cultural left actually attacked us on 9/11. And the book avoids much of the strident rhetoric seen in other "liberal-bashing" books.

Oh really? Count me among the skeptical on that point...

Despite the protestations of Newsmax, this argument is far from unfamiliar coming from the Right.

They still blame the Hippies for much of what is "Wrong" in America.

America won't win another war until the 1960s flower children are pushing up petunias.

Radicalized, the flower children morphed into lefty loonies who now masquerade as social progressives. No matter what they rename themselves, however, their agenda hasn't changed.
And that agenda would be what - Peace and Freedom in our Lifetime? Those Bastards.

However Dinesh's book apparently attempts to make a somewhat different point.
"I am saying that the cultural left and its allies in Congress, the media, Hollywood, the nonprofit sector, and the universities are the primary cause of the volcano of anger toward America that is erupting from the Islamic world," explains D'Souza.

These are the true "root causes" liberals are always looking for, but seem to always miss or get wrong.

What he means by this is that the secular progressive left during the past few decades, with its focus on promoting and even glorifying (at home and abroad) what most of the world's more traditional societies see as depravity and atheism, has provoked a backlash among traditional, moderate Muslims who see their religious and moral values threatened by an aggressive, immoral, anti-religious crusade.

That's right boy and girls - it's the War on Christmas Gambit again.

Secular-Progressives (Or "S-P's" as Bully O'Lielly likes to say) have been waging a veritable jihad against religion and morallity - and that is the reason and "root cause" for the anti-American violence we've seen over last half-decade.

If Liberals have their way it'll be Gays and Straights Living Together, Chaos in the streets... and true religious traditionalist simply aren't having that, ok?

Gee, where have I heard that idea before? Hm, could it possibly Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson who on September 13, 2001 said...

FALWELL: And since 1812, this is the first time that we've been attacked on our soil, first time, and by far the worst results. And I fear, as Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense said yesterday, that this is only the beginning. And with biological warfare available to these monsters; the Husseins, the Bin Ladens, the Arafats, what we saw on Tuesday, as terrible as it is, could be miniscule if, in fact, if in fact God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.

PAT ROBERTSON: Jerry, that's my feeling. I think we've just seen the antechamber to terror. We haven't even begun to see what they can do to the major population.

JERRY FALWELL: The ACLU's got to take a lot of blame for this.

PAT ROBERTSON: Well, yes.

JERRY FALWELL: And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen'.

Yep, I was right. And did Pat Robertson step up and knock down this ridiculous fantasy? Er, not so much.

PAT ROBERTSON: Well, I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government. And so we're responsible as a free society for what the top people do. And, the top people, of course, is the court system.

JERRY FALWELL: Amen. Pat, did you notice yesterday? The ACLU, and all the Christ-haters, the People For the American Way, NOW, etc. were totally disregarded by the Democrats and the Republicans in both houses of Congress as they went out on the steps and called out on to God in prayer and sang 'God Bless America' and said 'let the ACLU be hanged'. In other words, when the nation is on its knees, the only normal and natural and spiritual thing to do is what we ought to be doing all the time- calling upon God.

Call me silly if you will (just not to my face please), but I think I see a similarity between the Falwell/Robertson view - which was ginned up just two days after the tragedy and long before any specific culprit had been identified - and D'Souza's.
In a sense, he says, Muslims are right: The West (led by the American left) is waging a war against Islam, just as it is waging a war against traditional Christianity.

Muslims are not enraged by our political freedom or democracy, but by the left's abuse of that freedom, specifically the excessive sexualization of our society.

This decadence repulses most of the world's traditional and religious societies, just as it repulses and angers religious conservatives at home. D'Souza argues that American Christians and traditionalists have more in common with moderate traditional Muslims than they may realize. Ultimately, we should make common political cause with them to fight the cultural radicals, says D'Souza.
So let me get this one straight, Christian Conservatives have a lot in common with the Taliban (a point on which I happen to concur) and therefore should find common-cause with them against the left and their abuse of "freedom"?

Hmmm...

The battle we fight with Radical Extremists has nothing to do with the application of U.S. Foreign Policy, it's simply all 'dem Libruls fault? That's a great theory, too bad that isn't what Bin Laden says (From Imperial Hubris Page 129)
For God's sake, what are the documents that incriminate the Palestinian people that warrant the massacres against them, which have been going on for more than five decades at the hands of the Crusaders and the Jews. What is the evidence against the people of Iraq to warrant their blockade and being killed in away that in unprecedented in history. What documents incriminated the Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina and warranted the Western Crusaders, with the United States at their head, to unleash their Serb ally to annihilate and displace the Muslim people in the region under UN cover. What is the crime of the Kashmiri people and what documents do the worshippers of cows possess to make them sanction their blood for more than fifty years. What have Muslims in Chechnya, Afghanistan, and the Central Asian republics committed to warrant being invaded by the brutal Soviet military regime and after it communisim's killing, annihilating, and displacing tens of millions of them. What evidence did the United States have the day it destroyed Afghanistan and killed and displaced the Muslims there. It even launched prior to that the unfair blockade of [the Afghans] under UN cover. Under the same cover indonesia was ripped apart; Muslims were forced to leave Timor... Under the UN cover too, it intervened in Somalia, killing and desecrating the land of Islam there. It is even the first to urge the Crusader ruler in the Philippines to annihilate our Muslim brothers there.

There are many other countless issues.

We say that all the Muslims that the international Crusader-Zionist machine is annihilating have not committed any crime other than to say God is our Allah.

Bin Laden sees what he is doing a defensive war against not just the social and cultural attacks of the west that D'Souza describes but also the physical and murderous attacks against Muslims by Christians and Jews in many parts in the world as a result of the actions and often inaction of the U.S. Government.

But let's be frank for moment, Bin Ladin is full of shit. It was America - and specifically Bill Clinton - who made going into Bosnia and ending the ethnic cleansing and genocide that was taking place against Muslims and Serb alike, a priority. Al-Qaeda tried to disrupt our efforts and were thwarted. We aren't responsible for what Russia did in Afghanistan, nor are we responsible for what is currently happening in Chechnya. It's not like Putin is really listening to us these days is it? We do not support Bush's hands-off response to the Israels aggressive policies with Palestine and Lebanon. The Left is not in accordance with Bin Laden's view of American foreign policy.

Yet there is one small glimmer of truth to Dinesh's argument in that Bin Laden does not want to conquer us - he wants to find common cause with us, only not exactly on D'souza's terms. In fact, he practically sounds like a dirty-hippie Liberal with his anti-materialism talk. Hubris Page 154.

A message to the American people: Peace be upon those who follow the right path. I aman honest adviser to you, I urge you to seek the joy of life and after life and to ridyourself of your dry, miserable and spiretless materialistic existence. I urge you to become Muslims, for Islam calls for the principle of "there is no God but Allah," and for justice and forbids injustice and criminality. I call on you to understand the lesson of the New York and Washington raids, which came in response to some of your previous crimes. The aggressor deserves punishment.

We call you to Islam; the last religion that has replaced all previous religions; the religion of good manners, sincerity, mercy, fear of Allah, kindness to others, justice between people, giving the rights to the people who deserve them, protection of people from oppressors and unjust acts; the religion which calls upon it followers to amr bi maroof (enjoin the good) and nahi an al-munkar (forbid the evil) with hand, tongue, and heart.

With this book D'Souza is yet again playing the blame the Liberals card that was his stock in trade a decade ago when he wrote "Racism" and "Illiberal Education" before that. Way back then I happened to write a detailed rebutal to "Racism" which is still comes up as the number 2 selection on Google beneath his own listing on Amazon.com. A rebutal which pointed out that that book nothing more than a 500 page long screed against Liberalism filled with false assertions and faulty logic - and that went it finally concluded exactly how racism could be "Ended" presented the completly laughable conclusion.

Back then on my rusty old geocities page I said...

And the "End" is what?

In the final chapters of his book D'souza claims that the solution to racism in this country is to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and replace it with a new law that expressly prohibits ANY recognition of race within the government, but allows ABSOLUTE freedom of use of race by private industry in determining how it should operate (pg. 544). He claims that the only racists of any worth any serious danger in America today are black (pg. 412) - this contrary to the evidence that racial violence against blacks and other minorities persons is increasing, and he continues to absolve all (what I tend to call "unconscious" bigots) such as cab drivers from any and all responsibility to even OBEY the law (they are specifically prohibited from discriminating against their fares), let alone curb their discrimination against blacks (pg. 252) when they refuse to serve them for fear that they will be "robbed" by "young black thugs". This is considered "acceptable" to D'souza even though these people are criminals for this behavior. D'souza would make anyone who attempted to stop this activity - a criminal.

Dinesh would essentially have us make discrimination legal in order to cure racism. It's not the racist or discriminators fault...it's those pesky laws against discrimination and racism.

Yeah, Right.

Just where was that Zen mantra of the modern Conservative - "Personal Responsibility" - hiding when he thought of this?

This is his idea of the "End of Racism", to cripple government and law enforcement from any realistic preventative or even punitive measures, and to allow any and all types of discrimination by private industry as if market forces alone will be able to succeed when nearly 400 years of prior experience with those same forces show us just how likely that is.


I expect this new book with be nothing but more of the same, another screed on the "evils" of Liberal/Secular-Progressive thinking -- and how everything that has ever gone wrong on the face of this earth stems from such wrong-headedness.

This is a view that flies directly in the face of history and fact (Not that has stopped very many Conservatives in the past) as John Dean notes in his own book "Conservatives without Conscience" (Page 15)

In their efforts to present conservatism as an Ameican tradition, conservatives have also reinterpreted the U.S. Constitution. One of the key elements of the Constitution is the establishment of a unique republic, in that a federal system would coexist with state and local governments. Before it was ratified many opponents attacked its progressive and innovative nature, for far from representing teh status quo, the Constitution was dramatically liberal.

James Madison defended it in The Federalist Papers by explaining that the founders "have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom" but rather employed "numerous innovations... in favor of private rights and public happiness." Madison sid that "precden could no be discovered," for there was no other government" on the face of the globe" that provided a model. Madison, the father of the Constitution, clearly saw his work as the opposite of conseratism.


I'm certain Dean would see D'souza as a Right-Wing Authoritian. A Follower. A Brown-Shirt. One who would be ...

"especially submissive to established authority"; as showing "general aggressiveness toward others when such behavior "is perceived to be sactioned" by established authorities, and as highly compliant with "social conventions" endorsed by society and established authoritees.


Or to put it another way - a Boot-licking Neo-Con Attact Dog. But then again, what kind of behavior would you expect from Laura Ingraham's ex-boyfriend at Dartmouth? (According to David Brock's "Blinded by the Right" page 255)

Like Brock himself in his former life as a Right-Wing Attack Dog for the American Spectator who only wished to "Take A Scalp" and make a name for himself while "getting those dirty Liberals". For D'Souza it's not about elevating the discourse of society, or possibly truly looking at the schism between liberlisms demands for ever increasing personal freedom and gratification vs the need to maintain our communal bounds through the excersize of personal and public responsibility.

Actually having a serious review of both liberalism and conservatisms relative advantages and flaws are not on D'souza's plate.

It never has been and it isn't now.

Vyan

The Fixx - One Thing Leads To Another

The Fixx - One Thing Leads to Another.



Lyrics -

The deception with tact, just what are you trying to say?
You've got a blank face, which irritates
Communicate, pull out your party piece
you see dimensions in two
State your case with black or white
But when one little cross leads to shots, grit your teeth
You run for cover so discreet
,

why don't they:
Do what they say, say what you mean
One thing leads to another

You told me something wrong, I know I listen too long
But then one thing leads to another
The impression that you sell
Passes in and out like a scent
But the long face that ynu see comes from living close
to your fears

If this is up then I'm up but you're running out of sight
You've seen your name on the walls
And when one little bump leads to shock miss a beat
You run for cover and there's heat
, why don't they:

Do what they say, say what they mean
One thing leads to another
You told me something wrong, I know I listen too long
But then one thing leads to another.
One thing leads to another

Then it's easy to believe
Somebody's been lying to me
But when the wrong word goes in the right ear
I know why you've been lying to me

It's getting rough, off the cuff I've got to say enough's enough
Bigger the harder he falls
But when the wrong antidote is like a bulge on the throat
You run for cover in the heat why don't they

Do what they say, say what they mean
One thing leads to another
You told me something wrong, I know I listen too long
But then one thing leads to another
One thing leads to another (repeat)


Dedicated to Tom Delay, Jack Abramoff, Duke Cunningham, Scooter Libby and Karl Rove.

Vyan

Quick Truths

From Thinkprogress.

“There is almost no scientific evidence to back up the U.S. intelligence community’s use of controversial interrogation techniques in the fight against terrorism, and experts believe some painful and coercive approaches could hinder the ability to get good information, according to a new report from an intelligence advisory group.”

“The U.S. military has sold forbidden equipment at least a half-dozen times to middlemen for countries — including Iran and China — who exploited security flaws in the Defense Department’s surplus auctions,” the AP reports.

A “much-anticipated” inspector general report to Congress will allege that Interior Department officials “covered up” a problem with oil and gas leases that cost the treasury up to $10 billion. The report “also has been investigating whether Johnnie Burton, head of the agency that collects royalties, might have been told about the problem earlier than she said in congressional testimony last fall.”

“Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said in an interview that Taliban attacks surged by 200 percent in December, and a U.S. military intelligence officer said that since the peace deal went into effect Sept. 5 the number of attacks in the border area has grown by 300 percent.”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “conveniently ignored Egypt’s internal problems during her visit, which include charges of corruption and torture, to name a few. Rice basically thanked Egypt for its cooperation in the region making it clear that, for the United States, ‘stability, not democracy‘ is the priority.”

Monday, January 15

MLK: "Silence is Betrayal"

when he spoke out about the Vietnam War. Many miraculous things inspired by Dr. King will be remembered today but few are as continuingly relevant - and as well hidden by the corporate media - as these words.



The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war. I have chosen to preach about the Vietnam War today because I agree with Dante that the hottest places in Hell are reserved for people who in a moment of moral crisis maintained their neutrality.

There comes a time when Silence is Betrayal.

The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their governments policy, especially in a time of war.




Dr.King being arrested for "Loitering" in Montgomery. 1958
Dr. King inspired much that we should be thankful for and remember today. But he was not alone. He stood up, he spoke out by simply having the courage to the truth when it was the last thing that many in this nation wanted to hear.

But how much of his message have we truly heard?

As I type this the Kingdom Day Parade in L.A. is playing on fTV behind me - a parade that began with synchronized police motorcycle ballet.

Somehow the irony of this display of police precision during a celebration of the accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr (who was arrested numerous times for act of non-violent protest) was completely missed by the perky on-air hosts.

Imagine that?

Another fact that went completely missed - this route began at Western and MLK Jr. Blvd and led to Leimert Park in the Crenshaw District. Just a couple blocks from Western and MLK are the current L.A. offices of the organization that Dr. King led, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Talk about having a Parade and forgetting to invite the guest of honor. They were practically marching past Dr. King's front door and ignoring them. That's just plain rude!

Later in the Parade a phalanx of ROTC students from Garfield High marched by. The hosts comment?

Some of these young men and women will soon join our armed forces


Yes, they will - yes, they will. Some of them might even join the national guard. And I wonder, I just wonder where they might be going after that, hm?

I did notice that they were playing "I'm Black and I'm Proud" by the late James Brown during part of the parade, but no one bothered to mention James recent passing - or the fact that James had single-handedly ended the riots in Boston the night after Dr. King's vicious assasination.

More Silence. More Betrayal.

Many of those who directly fought against Dr. King's goals while he lived would like to co-opt those goals today. But when you bring up the fact that the U.S. Government illegally spied on Dr. King (and used their warrantless wiretaps in an attempt to blackmail him into suicide) as President Jimmy Carter did during the funeral of his wife, Coretta Scott King less than a year ago - those same people go postal. They would claim that honest dissent is traitorous, that to preach peace is tantamount to appeasment.

Polls reveal that almost 15 Million Americans explicit oppose the war in Vietnam. Additional millions can not bring themselves around to support it. This reveals that millions have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history.

Now of course one of the difficulties in speaking out today grows out of the fact that there are those who are seeking to equate dissent with disloyalty.

It's a dark day in our nation, when high level authorities will seek to use every method to silence dissent. Something is happening, and people are not going to be silenced.

The truth must be told.

And I say that those who are seeking to make it appear that anyone who opposes the war in Vietnam is a fool or a traitor or an enemy of our soldiers is a person who has taken a stand against the best in our tradition..



And so it has ever been that those who wish to snatch the reins of power from the people will use violence and readily hurl invective at those who dare to speak truth, while many others continue stand idly by in silent betrayal.

Men do not easily assume the task of opposing their governments policy, especially in a time of war.


It's not easy to speak up. It's not easy to stand and be counted. That is what Dr. King preached. That is what he did - and that is how his legacy will be carried forward by those with the courage and conviction to use peace and persuasion to improve this world.

And why exactly did King begin to speak of Vietnam? Why did he enter this issue?

Many persons have questioned me on the wisdom of my path. "Why are you speaking about the War Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent. Peace and Civil Rights don't mix" they say.

And so this morning I speak to you on this issue because I am determined to take the Gospel seriously. There is the outset a very obviuos and almost facile connection between the War in Vietnam and the struggle that I and others have waging in America.

A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle that seemed, which seems as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor, both black and white, through the poverty program. Then came the buildup in Vietnam, and I saw the program broken as if it was some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war. And I knew that America would never invest the neccesary funds or energies in rehabilitation of it's poor unless so long as advertures like Vietnam continue to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube.

You may not know it my friends, but it is estimated that we spend $500,000 to kill each enemy soldier, while we spend just $53 for each person who is classified as poor, and much that $53 goes to salaries of that is spent on people who are not poor.

So I was increasingly compelled to see the War as an enemy of the poor, and an attack - it is such.



The haze of time has dulled the sting of violence hurled against King and his supporters, the inner turmoil as many then argued for returning that violence in kind, and the true enormity of his eventual acomplishments.

More than inspiring the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and the Public Accomodations Act, Dr. King showed us that an "Eye For An Eye" will eventually only make all men blind. True courage does not come from being willing to strike back, but instead with being willing and able to be struck repeatedly and continue to stand in righteous defiance. Dr. King inspired millions of us to be better people, better Americans than we had previously believed we could be.

But again, this was not an easy path. He was supported by the press when he stood non-violent against Bull Connor - but when he stood against the violence of War? Not so much.

America and most of it's newspapers applauded me in Montgomery, when I stood before thousands of negroes getting ready to Riot when my home was bombed. And said "We can't do it this way". They applauded me in the sit-in movement when we decided to non-violently sit in at lunch counters. They applauded us on the freedom rides when we accepted blows without retaliation. Oh, the press was so nobel it's applause and so nobel in it's praise when I was saying "Be non-violent toward Bull Connor."

There's something strangely inconsistent in a Press that will praise you when you say be non-violent toward John Clarke, but will curse and damn you when you say be non-violent toward little brown Vietnamese children. There's something wrong with that press.


We owe an obligation to Dr. King for his sacrifice, to ourselves and to each other to strive to live up to that vision of being better than we often think we are.

Jesus Christ stated when asked what he would do when struck. "I would turn the other cheek." Many have interpreted this to mean that he would simply pretend it had not occured, but I think Dr. King interpreted it correctly. Jesus meant - I would offer to be struck again because the wounds my physical body endures will not harm my immortal soul.

Happy 78th Birthday Dr. King - the truth of your deeds will not soon be forgotten, despite those who wish to attack the truth, or to white-wash it into shiny-happy irrelevance - we will honor you, we will remember you. We will not be harmed. We will not be deterred. You have marked our immortal souls with your moral conviction and your courage. You've made us better people.

Peace be with you all.

Vyan

Evanescense - Everybodies Fool

Evanescense - Everybodies Fool



This video rips to shred the cynical phony consumerism that dehumanizes us all, reducing our lives, our values and our bodies into nothing more than products to be bought, sold and traded on the open market. Enjoy.

Vyan

Sunday, January 14

Bush Plans to Punk Congress - if he can

Ok, that's not really a surprising headline is it? Well, this time the Consequences could be devestating to our Republic.

Tonight on 60 Minutes President Bush plans to announce that he doesn't care what Congress says - He Plans to Escalate the War No Matter What.

They could try to stop me from doing it, but I've made my decision and we're going forward.

So much for that bi-partisan consultation on the future of Iraq the president promised just a few days ago.


Just this week Sen Ted Kennedy introduced legislation that would require the President to seek the prior approval of the Congress before adding additional troops to the Iraq Conflict.

In his radio address the President made his response.

From President Bush’s radio address today: "But those who refuse to give this [escalation] plan a chance to work have an obligation to offer an alternative that has a better chance for success. To oppose everything while proposing nothing is irresponsible."

This of course, completely ignore the core of what Kennedy has requested which is that the President first put his plan before Congress and allow them a chance to review it. It's clearly ridiculous to not tell them the details of his plan, and then expect them not to comment or criticize without first providing the details of some theoritical counter-plan.

But then that's par for the course isn't it?

Despite the spiraling death toll in the region, Vice President Cheney continues to argue even today that "we're making progress" in Iraq.

Tony Snow thinks they can attack Iran with impunity.

Condi Rice is playing word games with the upcoming "augmentation" , even though Military manuals always call the addition of resources an escalation.

75% of the public thinks Bush should get Congressional approval for his plan.

The Generals are against it, as are the troops on the ground. Pretty soon he'll be down to just Barney and Laura on this one.

But that's not going to stop him.

Like a petulant child, he's going to do what he's going to do until somebody stops him. It may require, as Kennedy alluded to, a de-authorization of HJ 141 - and possibly even the original AUMF.

This present problems that have been well outlined by Kargo X.

Bush thinks he can do anything he wants - anytime he wants.

It's clear in the writings one of the chief archetects of his Unitary Presidency- John Yoo.

In light of the text, plan, and history of the Constitution, its interpretation by both past Administrations and the courts, the longstanding practice of the executive branch, and the express affirmation of the President's constitutional authorities by Congress, we think it beyond question that the President has the plenary constitutional power to take such military actions as he deems necessary and appropriate to respond to the terrorist attacks upon the United States on September 11, 2001.

Plenary Powers? This means they feel they don't need no stinking IWR or AUMF. They've already got the power (in their own mind), and they plan to use it.

Even if Congress blocks the addition of troops - as Kennedy's suggests and they have several times in the past - he won't stop.

And that's why Congres ultimarely - has to bring this President and his entire Administration down. He (They) won't stop, not until you make him. It may still take some time for the Country and even Congress to come to this conclusion, but I think what we're going to hear today on 60 minutes just brought us one large step closer to the grim ending of this Presidency.

May it come sooner, rather than later.

Vyan

Warrior Soul - The Wasteland

Warrior Soul - The Wasteland



Classic Lyrics -

the bars are open all night but that damn aids test got me so up tight
I said that damn aids test got me so uptight
pay your money to the landlord
donald trump is just a money whore
under my bed there´s a baseball bat
the goddamn taxes gonna break my back
I´m in the wasteland I´m in the wasteland

the gangs are doing drive by´s in l.a.
quinn is drillin´ ink and we´re gettin´ laid
your shotgun cops are goin´ to hell
l.a.p.d.´s got an awful smell

you´re in the wasteland you´re in the wasteland
you´re in the wasteland you´re in the wasteland

you don´t buy what the government sells the goddamn president can go to hell
you´re in the wasteland

Quick Truths

From Randi...

Condi Rice not only “augmented” her legacy of lies yesterday in the Senate, but even Republicans can no longer deny how utterly incompetent she is at her job. She also got busted declaring her love for all things Fox.

Following Bush’s escalation speech, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee pounded Condi, Maliki canceled press appearances, and the freak GOP leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, threatened a filibuster on any escalation resolution.

Bush’s backdoor draft of National Guard troops gets uglier and bloodier as the Pentagon scraps the time limits on how long they can keep citizen soldiers on active duty.

There have already been 4 previous troop increases in Iraq and things just keep getting worse.

The troops Bush used for a photo-op yesterday gave him a tepid response and were barred from speaking to reporters afterwards.

If this escalation happens, US troops will fight under one of Saddam Hussein’s former top generals.

Military officers have dubbed Bush’s escalation plan as “JEL” – Just Enough to Lose.

The US raids an Iranian diplomatic installation and detains five people in the Kurd controlled area of Iraq as the The US raids an Iranian diplomatic installation and detains five people in the Kurd controlled area of Iraq as the Iran provocation campaign continues.

A huge problem is that the office raided is an Iraqi government-approved Iranian outpost in the process of becoming a consulate. Plus, what were once good relations with Iraqi Kurds are becoming increasing strained. Great, more Iraqis to shoot at us.

VIDEO: Chris Matthews nails Tony Snow on Bush’s obvious backdoor escalation against Iran.

POLL: The public is slowly warming on Congress now that the grown ups are in charge again and Bush is at his lowest point ever.

The US Embassy in Greece has been hit by a small rocket (no injuries) and is suspected to be an act of domestic terrorism. Law enforcement is investigating. Man, how many enemies has Bush collected?

House Dems pass a stem cell research bill. Today they take on the big pharmaceutical companies.

And Lieberman abandons Katrina survivors in order to cozy up to Chimpy even more. Geez…