Thursday, June 30, 2005

Recruiting numbers raise a big red flag.

The Army announced that they had reversed a trend (after 4 months of huge shortfalls) , and in June will exceed their goal. According to reports, they will bring in over 6,150 new members, almost 10% over the goal of 5,650.

Here is where it gets interesting.

Last month they announced a short-fall of about 25% of a new lowered goal. This revision of numbers shifted those May recruits to new higher goals for the last months of the year (September is the last month of the year in the recruiting cycle).

In May the goal was 6,700, lowered from 8,000. In June the goal was another 1,000 persons lower that the downward revised May goal. You have to wonder where did those slots, moved from May, go. After the May report, the Army had 4 months left in the recruiting year. They needed to average over 9,500 men or women each month to hit the annual goal. The recruiting numbers leaked out indicate, not a 9% surplus, but a 36% shortfall, right in line with the recruiting in April and May.

If the Army is serious about hitting it's goal for the year, they will now have to bring in 10,700+ new recruits in each of the next three months.

This doesn't appear to be a victory in recruiting, but a fine example of Author Anderson accounting.

Poverty, Starvation, Sanitation, Indifference

Mark Scott notes Why you will never see a front page like this, compassion overload.

When does 160,000 actually mean 10,400

When it is President Bush talking about how many trained troops there are in Iraq.

From AMERICAblog.

For example, the training of Iraqis to take over their own security -- the single most important task in that country -- is proceeding at a punishingly slow rate. Bush threw out the number of 160,000 troops and then casually mentioned they fall into three categories: trained and ready to fight on their own, trained and capable of fighting with our help and not ready to fight at all.

How many of those Iraqis are trained and ready to fight on their own? Half? A third? A tenth? After the speech, we're told the truth. According to Sen. Joe Biden, only 2,500 are fully trained -- less than two percent. How many can fight with our help? About 8,900. In total, only about 8 percent can fight in any way. Of that 160,000 number he threw out, almost 150,000 are not trained in any meaningful way. Bush refuses to say what's going wrong, how he'll speed up the training or explain why he is refusing the offers of Germany and Italy and others to train soldiers in their own countries. But let's say he doubles the rate of training to 2,500 a year. Heck, let's say he quadruples the rate of training to 5,000 a year. How long will it take for Bush to actually reach the level of 160,000 troops he implies we have today? More than three decades.
emphasis added.

No wonder he refuses to discuss a time table. A thirty year plan would outrage almost everyone.

Interesting cliam from the White House

MR. McCLELLAN: Good afternoon, everybody. I want to begin with one thing the President mentioned last night in his remarks, and then I'll introduce our special guest for the day.

Last night the President let our troops know that during this time of testing, the American people stand firmly behind them. This July 4th is a time for all Americans to express their support and gratitude by thanking our men and women in uniform. The President last night talked about the Department of Defense website,, and this is a website where people can find out about ways they can support our troops in their local communities across the country.

After the President's speech last night, the website was experiencing more than 10,000 hits per second. Prior to the speech, it was about 103 hits per second. The President greatly appreciates the response from the American people, and encourage everybody to do what they can to continue to support our troops, particularly those who are in harm's way.


That would be 600,000 hits a minute.


36 Million an hour


864 Million a day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I wonder if they still think this is true?

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
-Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."
-Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W. Bush

"You can support the troops but not the president"
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Bombing a sovereign nation for ill-defined reasons with vague objectives undermines the American stature in the world. The international respect and trust for America has diminished every time we casually let the bombs fly."
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our overextended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"[The] President is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
-Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."
-Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years"
-Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

I think it is time to note that the conflict that these people were denouncing was a success. We did have an exit plan, we did work with allies and the UN to get the area under control, and our action there is now greatly reduced. All this occurred in far less time the we have been in Afghanistan or Iraq.

So, I wonder why they so loudly denounce those who point out that Iraq is a much bigger mess that the Balkins ever were, and are promoting the same concerns that these folks spoke out so strongly about less than a decade ago.

Thanks to the Poorman

How much damage is Iraq doing to the Army?

This is not damage done by bombings, but damage done by overtaxing the force on what many see as a failed mission. We know about the difficultly in recruiting, but another major issue will be retention of the professional trooper.

A third generation West Point Grad, Lucian K. Truscott IV, has an Op-Ed in the times that is very telling.

My class, that of 1969, set a record with more than 50 percent resigning within a few years of completing the service commitment. (My father's class, 1945, the one that "missed" World War II, was considered to be the previous record-holder, with about 25 percent resigning before they reached the 20 years of service entitling them to full retirement benefits.)

And now, from what I've heard from friends still in the military and during the two years I spent reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan, it seems we may be on the verge of a similar exodus of officers. The annual resignation rate of Army lieutenants and captains rose to 9 percent last year, the highest since before the Sept. 11 attacks. And in May, The Los Angeles Times reported on "an undercurrent of discontent within the Army's young officer corps that the Pentagon's statistics do not yet capture."

The damage done to this nation by Bush's war may not be known for years. It is anyone's guess what state the Army will be left in, but all the signs we can currently see are not good.

57% of Americans now think they were tricked

into supporting the war in Iraq.

so Stageleft asks a good question.

The primary question that arises from this is, what will they do now? When Clinton intentionally misled the country about some oral sex in the Oval Office the Republicans wanted him impeached, specifically he was alleged to have 'willfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony' - given the current state of affairs that sounds like a good place for them to start with George W. Bush.

So do the same standards the Repubican Congress applied to the sex life of the last president, apply to the actions of our current president. Actions that don't involve anyones sex life, but actual lifes (over 1,700 of them)

A Three way tie, still confused.

You scored as Roman Catholic.

You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Modern Liberal


Roman Catholic


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Classical Liberal




Neo orthodox


Reformed Evangelical






What's your theological worldview?
created with

H/T to the Green Knight and many others

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Place your bets

How many times will Bush mention or allude to 9-11 go over to Fr. Jake's and jump in.

Bush to spread his fertilizer at Fort Bragg.

George Bush will visit Ft. Bragg tonight, and try to rally the American public back behind his 'war on terror'. Once again, our President will misuse the military, making them a visual back-drop and a shelter for political gain. No doubt Bush will try to explain away the disaster that Iraq has become, and profess the whole story isn't being told.

All of this in his crusade against terror.

When we invaded Afghanistan the action was greeted with broad support. Al Qaeda had attacked us, and were sheltered there. The attack was logical, proper and necessary.

Next we invaded Iraq. This is a war of another type. For the first time in our history, we initiated combat. To get the nation to do this, the Bush administration talked of Mushroom clouds, Bio weapons and 9-11. Bush's administration claimed that Saddam was building nuclear weapons, He claimed that Saddam possessed vast stockpiles of Biological and Chemical weapons, He claimed that Saddam was working with Bin Laden. With work, Bush sold us his war. He convinced the majority of the congress and the people that a preemptive war was acceptable.

The trouble is, all of Bush's excuses for this war have proven to be un-true.

The support for his war is evaporating. His other policies and initiatives are dying on the vine. So out he will come, with the proper visual props in place, to remind us of the reason for his war.

Will he mention Weapons of Mass Destruction? Will Bush focus on the ties between Saddam and Bin Laden?


Bush will focus on 9-11, the spread of freedom, and the his 'war on terror'. he will dwell on fear, trying to scare the people of the US with terrorist boogie men. He will spout high ideals, that have no relationship to the reality he has created, and he will try wrap himself up in the flag, so that any attack on his failings could be seen as attack on this country.

Bush gets his time on the stage, and gets to spread his fertilizer on the American public in the effort to grow his poll numbers. When will someone finally compel Bush to explain how 9-11 is related to Iraq? Will anyone ask when it became to responsibility of the US to try create freedom at the point of a M-16?

And, the most important question, can Bush please explain to us how we will know when we have won his 'war on terror'.

Truth that Bush won't mention while at Ft. Bragg.

At the end of his story in the Independent, titled fittingly, Iraq; a bloody mess, Patrick Cockburn lays out some facts.

Then and now

Average daily attacks by insurgents

Pre-war March 2003: 0

Handover June 2004: 45

Now: 70


Figures should be viewed with caution because US military often does not record attacks if there are no American casualties.

Total number of coalition troops killed

Pre-war March 2003: 0

Handover June 2004: 982

Now: 1,930


Number of US troops killed increased sharply during Fallujah fighting in April and November 2004.

Iraqi civilians killed

Pre-war March 2003: n/a

Handover June 2004: 10,000

Now: 60,800 (includes 23,000 crime-related deaths)


Estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths have varied widely because the US military does not count them.

Electricity supply (megawatts generated)

Pre-war March 2003: 3,958

Handover June 2004: 4,293

Now: 4,035


Coalition is way behind its goal of providing 6,000 megawatts by July 2004. Most Iraqis do not have a reliable electricity supply.


Pre-war March 2003: n/a

Handover June 2004: 40%

Now: 40%


More than a third of young people are unemployed, a cause for social unrest. Many security men stay home, except on payday.


Pre-war March 2003: 833,000 (landlines only)

Handover June 2004: 1.2m (includes mobiles)

Now: 3.1m


Landlines are extremely unreliable and mobile phone system could be improved.

Primary school access

Pre-war March 2003: 3.6m

Handover June 2004: 4.3m

Now: n/a


83 per cent of boys and 79 per cent of girls in primary schools. But figures mask declining literacy and failure rate.

Oil production (barrels a day)

Pre-war March 2003: 2.5m

Handover June 2004: 2.29m

Now: 2.20m


Sustainability of Iraqi oilfields has been jeopardised to boost output. Oil facilities regularly targeted by insurgents.

A secret bombing campaign started in Iraq

Months before congress approved of the invasion. These attacks occurred while Bush, and his minions, were professing that we didn't want war, and were working to find a peaceful solution.

This ties right into one of the claims to arise for the Downing Street Memo, and the other leaked memos in the collection. Part of these memos make it clear that, lacking a clear legal cause for war, the US and UK would try to wrongfoot, or goad Saddam in to war.

It is astounding that it took the US Government and military to forget the results of out last attempts at secret bombings. It is even more astounding that this isn't getting any notice in the wider media market.

Our nation, under orders from the Bush administration, attacked another nation. This was done without cause, and without authority to do so given by any governmental or international body.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The 9-11 excuse

It is starting to pick up speed again.

Scott McClellan is using it, there is no doubt Bush will roll it out at Ft. Bragg.

Administration officials are also bringing back talk of 9/11 in an apparent effort to renew the link in some people's minds between Iraq and the 2001 terrorist attacks on the US. On the eve of the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, part of the administration's argument was that Iraq was the central front in the war on terror.

So, exactly, what is the evidence that points to Iraq being 'the central front in the war on terror'? How , exactly, is Iraq or Saddam related to the 9-11 attacks? Why do they keep trotting out this false excuse?

It is a clear indicator that there is no justification for their acts, and that they have only the fear they can create to hide behind. It takes amazing courage (or profound stupidity) to go back and keep trying to replay the same lies over and over again. This is just another point that clearly indicates a total lack of justification for the war.

Another sad reality is clearly exposes by the administration's continued use of fear to cover up their failings, is it works.

More evidence of the lies of the Bush administration

General Moseley admits that we went to war against Saddam long prior to the official start.

THE American general who commanded allied air forces during the Iraq war appears to have admitted in a briefing to American and British officers that coalition aircraft waged a secret air war against Iraq from the middle of 2002, nine months before the invasion began.

Addressing a briefing on lessons learnt from the Iraq war Lieutenant-General Michael Moseley said that in 2002 and early 2003 allied aircraft flew 21,736 sorties, dropping more than 600 bombs on 391 'carefully selected targets' before the war officially started.

and more

If those raids exceeded the need to maintain security in the no-fly zones of southern and northern Iraq, they would leave President George W Bush and Tony Blair vulnerable to allegations that they had acted illegally.

Moseley's remarks have emerged after reports in The Sunday Times that showed an increase in allied bombing in southern Iraq was described in leaked minutes of a meeting of the war cabinet as 'spikes of activity to put pressure on the regime'.

Moseley told the briefing at Nellis airbase in Nebraska on July 17, 2003, that the raids took place under cover of patrols of the southern no-fly zone; their purpose was ostensibly to protect the ethnic minorities.

Well, just more evidence that this was a war of choice, and that our nations actions were aggressive and not defensive as the Bush administration keeps trying to claim.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Republican chairman of the Ethics committee

May face his own ethics investigation, if the committee ever starts to function.

Rep. Doc Hastings, already under fire as chairman of the stalled House ethics committee, accepted a $7,800 trip to England in 2000 from a company he championed for a multibillion-dollar contract at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, records released by an advocacy group yesterday show.

In addition, other records released yesterday by a political Web site show that Hastings, a Republican from Pasco, did not file a required travel report for a 2004 trip to a resort on Stuart Island, B.C. That was paid for by another company also working at Hanford.

When the top 'ethics' man in the Republican party appears as guilty as DeLay or Cunningham, you no longer have ethics in the party.

Campaign for a Cleaner Congress, an advocacy group that says it is nonpartisan, released records yesterday from Hastings' personal disclosure statements that show he went to Edinburgh, Scotland, and Manchester, England, in 2000 as a guest of the firm BNFL.

He also received campaign contributions from BNFL and one of its employees.

BNFL won a $6.9 billion federal contract in 1998 to convert 54 million gallons of nuclear waste into glass for permanent storage. The contract was promoted by Hastings, who offered amendments to the Defense Authorization Act to pay for Hanford projects, including BNFL work.

But in October 1998, the General Accounting Office began questioning the contract as too lucrative for the company. Hastings continued to defend the contract.

The trip to the U.K. took place in January 2000. Four months later, the Department of Energy abruptly terminated the BNFL deal when it learned the cost could soar to $15.2 billion.

They all trade taxpayer money for their own enrichment. They trade our dollars for power and wealth, and we allow it. The people who vote to empower these men and women are voting to destroy our nation, and this fact has to be stressed to the American public.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

More bad poll numbers for George

Maybe this is why Rove's panties are in a wad.

This one is focused on the economy, and what I found most interesting is this.

Among Republicans (36% of adults registered to vote in the survey), 84% approve of the way Bush is handling his job and 12% disapprove. Among Democrats (38% of adults registered to vote in the survey), 18% approve and 77% disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job. Among Independents (26% of adults registered to vote in the survey), 17% approve and 75% disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job as president.

The loss of the independents would mean the loss of political control for the Republican party.

I still can't spell or type

You are a MASTER of the English language!

Huzzah. While your English is not exactly
perfect, you are still more grammatically
correct than just about every American. Others
admire the way you speak and could learn a lot
from listening to you. Still, there is always
room for improvement...

How grammatically correct are you? (Revised with answer key)
brought to you by Quizilla

Thanks to Pulling the Plank

Friday, June 24, 2005

Us admits using torture to the UN

In Iraq, Afghanistan, and Gitmo.

It's a start.

Italy wants to arrest 13 CIA operatives

It seems in our lust to find more people to use our neat new tool of rendition on, we may have kidnapped Abu Omar, and shipped him to Egypt.

Italy isn't happy.

How to quantify a failure

Sometimes you just look at the numbers.

This fact has been noted elsewhere, but it is worth paying attention to. It is simply the length of this current war.

For 1382 days we have been fighting a war against those who attacked us on September 11th. The people who did this were collection of just a few thousand men, protected by a government with a ragtag army involved in fighting its own civil war.

1382 days have passed and this war is still going on. The leader of the terror group who attacked us is still free. Some of the leaders of the nation that supported this terrorist are free, and fighting us in their homeland. US troops are still fighting and dying in this very land. In truth, we can actually only claim to control the environs around capital of this nation, the rest is controlled by warlords, who's loyalty will last only as long as the cash keeps coming in.

What is more amazing than our inability to secure this one nation is that our leaders, with this first war still going on, made the choice to attack another nation. They used the false premise that this land was planning to attack us with weapons of mass destruction. The battle here is actually going worse than the first failed front.

Now lets get some perspective.

On December 7th 1941, the US was attacked. We had to fight a global war against the largest powers on the planet.

That battle lasted only 1347 days, from first attack to final surrender.

That is an excellent way to quantify failure.

Rove's attack on half of America was planed and orchestrated

AMERICAblog has all the foul details.

It's pretty clear now that this was a set up orchestrated by the White House in order to deflect attention away from the disaster that is the war in Iraq, and Bush's plumetting polls.

1. The White House released the TEXT of Rove's speech today. According to my sources who know about such things, that NEVER happens. This is prima facie evidence that the White House coordinated this thing from the beginning.

2. The RNC put out talking points today about how the Democrats "blamed America" for September 11. Those detailed talking points were clearly prepared well in advance of this noon today when this thing blew up. WE BLAMED AMERICA?

3. The RNC today reportedly released a new attack web ad going after Durbin for his comments about Guantanamo Bay. Isn't that convenient that something that took at least a few days to prepare was suddenly ready today at the same time that Karl Rove made his comments that anyone who recognizes that Bush has no idea what's going on Iraq is a traitor who loves Osama.

Rove should be removed at once. The fact that it won't happen is just another example of the total lack of character of this administration.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Karl Rove again proves he is a jackass

Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war.

Well, lets look at what Bush's war had gotten us Karl.

Bin Laden is still free, and now our CIA director is indicating we are afraid or unable to go get him.

Al Quada had changed from a terror group, to a terror movement, with international support, excellent work there.

The CIA now confirms that Iraq has become a graduate level terrorist training ground, training the next generation of killers for international action.

Our nation has violated principals of the Geneva Convention, and our own laws, and some of our leaders (including all of your administration) appear proud of it.

International opinion of the US has sunk so low, we are now viewed less positively the China. Remember Tiananmen square, that action has been replaced with Gitmo and Abu Grabe in the worlds eye.

We have killed 1,700 of our own finest, and in the tens of thousands of Iraqis.

and, we have spent 200 to 300 BILLION dollars, with no sign of this cost ending any time soon.

Yes Karl, your plan was just peachy. You have again confirmed why so many view you as the scum of the earth, and maybe the most vile person in politics.

The 'Ethics' of DeLay's best friends.

David Grosh was, by most standards, an odd choice to head a international think tank. That would be for most people, but for Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon he was perfect.

David Grosh was living the mellow life of an off-season lifeguard in Rehoboth Beach, Del., when his childhood friend Michael Scanlon called from Washington in 2001 with a proposition.

"Want to be head of an international corporation?" Mr. Grosh said Mr. Scanlon asked him, almost in jest.

"I was like, sure," Mr. Grosh said.

Collecting less than $2,500, he became director of the American International Center, which used his rental beach house as its official address. "I was not really taking it seriously."

This whole story is amazing, and displays a profound degree of greed corruption on part of both the lobbyist, and their friends in congress. In this story we see a pattern of fraud, and a pattern of shifting around money to both hide it origin, and expand the grasp and power of Tom Delay.

If the House Ethics Committee can get it's thumb out of it's ear and get down to business, we might be able to get a full picture of the corruption of Tom DeLay, and all those who have benefited in the web of contributions, trips and gifts.

A peak inside operation in Iraq

via Daily Kos

By now, you might have the impression that I don't hold my IA couterparts in very high regard. You would be right to think that. None of us like them, they are scum. They are also cowards, it is almost impossible to keep these guys from running in a firefight. If they were ever caught alone by an insurgent ambush, they would be either killed or they would run. They refuse to fight the enemy. But even if that were to change, even if we succeed in training these guys to the point that they can successfully engage the enemy, they would still be a bunch of dirtbags. Thugs pretty much sums it up.

and these are the 'good guys'.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

So, what book was I ?

You're Stranger in a Strange Land!

by Robert Heinlein

Most people look at you and think of you as a Martian, even though you were born on Earth. Silly Earthlings, er, people. Anyway, you've been telling people about free love and relaxing like it's some radical idea. Most of them want you to go back to the '60's (or Mars), but others are in your groove. Grok on!

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Iraq is becoming more like Vietnam

The military tried to avoid using Body Counts to quantify success, it failed. We have had our first confirmed Fraging, and Suburban Guerrilla points out this suspected case of killing civilians, and claiming it was a military action.

A new name in the Cunningham, Wade scandal

Katherine Harris,

Yes, that Katherin Harris , who has announced a run for the Florida Senate seat of Bill Nelson.

She is also a big winner in the Mitchell Wade give away program

Ashdown echoed the comments of former MZM employees in saying Wade strategically targeted MZM's donations.

"A lot of people will throw a lot of money at a lot of different people," Ashdown said. Wade's "strategy was, `I need to make friends with a few very influential lawmakers and really, really schmooze and coddle them and that's how I'm going to make my money.' And that's what he did.

"The first person is Cunningham, a senior guy on the (defense appropriations) committee, and he helps them get business. Then they go to another guy on the (defense appropriations) committee, Goode, who's more junior but has the benefit of getting a facility in his district. And then they go to Katherine Harris, who isn't on the committee but needs lots of money for her Senate race and would be bringing business and new jobs to her area," Ashdown said.

So how much did she get?

Individuals also may contribute separately. PACs are not allowed to give more than $5,000 to any one candidate per election. When a primary and general election are involved, PACs may give $5,000 per candidate in each, for a total of $10,000 per election cycle. Individuals may give up to $4,000 per election cycle.

In addition to the MZM PAC, MZM officials also made contributions to the House members' campaigns. Wade gave Cunningham $6,000 between 2000 and 2004.

MZM officials and their family members gave Harris, who ran for Congress in 2002, a total of $44,000 during 2003 and 2004.

Well, it's not a million dollars, but it isn't a bad downpayment.

Even more on the war on Science.

It is no secret that the Bush administration was been waging a war on science. It is clear that the operational desires of business and faith are being allowed to overrule scientific fact.

This editorial in the IHT, The wages of fundamentalism, takes a look at recent trends, and the path Bush is leading us down.

For decades, "big science" - indeed any kind of science - has been led by the United States. There are warning signs, however, that American science is losing its edge, and may even have peaked. One reason is that as religious and political fundamentalism tighten their grip, they are beginning to sap America's intellectual vitality.

When facts no longer matter, and dogma, or profit are considered more important, this happens.

According to a survey in Physical Review, reported in May 2004, the number of scientific papers published by West European authors had overtaken those by U.S. authors in 2003, whereas in 1983 there were three American authors for every West European. The percentage of patents granted to American scientists has been falling since 1980, from 60.2 percent of the world total to 51.8 percent. In 1989, America trained the same number of science and engineering PhDs as Britain, Germany and France put together; now the United States is 5 percent behind. The number of citations in science journals, hitherto led by American scientists, is now led by Europeans.

As battles have raged in Kansas and elsewhere in America over evolution and Genesis, reputable biologists have spoken up in favor of Darwin's theories, but who knows how many students have already been turned off biology by these skirmishes?

As a result of fundamentalist opposition, America is already falling behind in cloning and stem cell research, now led by South Korean, Italian and British scientists. In February the New Scientist reported a survey in which fully half the scientists working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said they had been pushed to alter or withdraw scientific findings for political reasons.

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the number of Chinese and Indians traveling to America to study has fallen by more than 50 per cent - they are going to Europe instead. There are now as many Asian PhDs being produced as U.S. ones, more and more of them familiar with Europe.

Yet history shows that fundamentalism leads only to stagnation and disaster.

Yet another disaster served up by the Bush Administration.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Time to try to punch up those poll numbers

Bush panders to his radical right base, and again promotes an anti gay marriage amendment

A most interesting 'college'

A much needed accessory in Bush's war on science is a school where the next generation can be indoctrinated.

No More Mister Nice Blog introduces us to the world of Patrick Henry College . A school where knowledge is feared, and world domination is the goal.

The part I find most appealing in a institution of higher learning is it's Statement of Biblical Worldview.

Any biology, Bible or other courses at PHC dealing with creation will teach creation from the understanding of Scripture that God's creative work, as described in Genesis 1:1-31, was completed in six twenty-four hour days. All faculty for such courses will be chosen on the basis of their personal adherence to this view.

My Gosh, another Republican caught telling a lie

or rather he misrepresented prior contact , in this case, with the White House.

Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, the head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, has stated all along that he had no contact with the White House about PBS. That all his plans for recasting the CPB and PBS into the Fox News image were his and his alone.

But good ol' Ken has been caught with his pants down. A collection of his E-mails are now public, and it is clear that he was not only in regular contact, but getting instructions and doing as he was told.

Of course, this isn't the only creative truth the management of CPB will have to deal with. W. Kenneth Ferree has been caught trying to claim that a study data has been released, when it has not.

Members of Iraqi parliament demand troop withdraw

In another blow to the Bush administration plans, 82 elected members of the Iraqi parliament are calling for the withdraw of all foreign troops from Iraq.

This is just another call for a plan for the US to remove the troops and get them home. Fifty Democrats have formed the Out of Iraq Caucus in congress. A far more positive sign is some Republicans are noticing the truth. Walter 'Freedom Fires' Jones has co-introduced a resolution demanding that the Bush administration develop a plan to withdraw troops from Iraq.

Jones's district in North Carolina is the home to Camp Lejeune and may be seen to represent the distaste that the average military man or woman has developed for mission with no end. Jones is not the only Republican to note the need for a reassessment of policy. The rumbling from the right is getting quite noticeable.

Then we have Condi Rice, who is spinning a new lie, and trying to convince us that out presence in Iraq is a generational commitment.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Warriors, Chickenhawks and Yellow Elephants

From DailyKos, a look at Iraq and manpower.

This was a lie, but is it a crime?

"I have not ordered the use of force. I hope that the use of force will not become necessary."

Bush said this in the fall of 2002, in the run up the getting Congressional approval for the use of force in Iraq. Bush professed that he had no desire to go to war. He claimed he needed this approval for action as a tool to find a peaceful path in Iraq. Bush promised that war was the last option.

The trouble is, it was all a lie.

We know from a collection of UK memos, that in the spring of 2002 the US was already committed to war. Scott Ritter claims that in the late spring of 2002 (a year prior to the start of the war) Bush ordered Special Forces into Iraq. We know that the US and British air forces started bombing Iraqi targets in the summer of 2002, and that the UK judged that these bombings were Illegal under international law.

The Downing Street Memo, and those that have followed, make clear the lie. They also make a strong case that many in the British Government consider this war illegal.

The question that the US will have to face is; Are Bush's actions and statements criminal. As early as June 2003 there was talk of finding grounds for impeachment simply in the lies that led to war. Now we have evidence of direct and covert acts that Bush ordered, while continuing to lie about his plan for peace. John Bonifaz and Dave Zweifel now strongly argue that there is a clear case for impeachment.

Amazing disregard for the intelligence of Americans

can be see in last weekends presidential address. He again tried to float the old claim that the United States was forced into war because of the September 11 terror strikes.

I ask again, exactly what tie can Bush point to between the World Trade Center attacks and Saddams's Iraq.

This administration has a chronic addiction to telling lies.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

It's not Napalm, it is 'Firebombing'

In what may be the most entertaining effort to use semantics since the consideration of is.

During the war, Pentagon spokesmen disputed reports that napalm was being used, saying the Pentagon's stockpile had been destroyed two years ago.

Apparently the spokesmen were drawing a distinction between the terms "firebomb" and "napalm." If reporters had asked about firebombs, officials said yesterday they would have confirmed their use.

What the Marines dropped, the spokesmen said yesterday, were "Mark 77 firebombs." They acknowledged those are incendiary devices with a function "remarkably similar" to napalm weapons.

Rather than using gasoline and benzene as the fuel, the firebombs use kerosene-based jet fuel, which has a smaller concentration of benzene.

So, the technical truth is we didn't Napalm anyone in Iraq, we 'firebombed' them. I wonder if they are any less burned, maimed, or dead since we didn't use napalm, but an advancement of napalm.

Iraqi Pre-Invasion bombings Illegal

The Times (of London) does it again.

A SHARP increase in British and American bombing raids on Iraq in the run-up to war 'to put pressure on the regime' was illegal under international law, according to leaked Foreign Office legal advice.

The advice was first provided to senior ministers in March 2002. Two months later RAF and USAF jets began 'spikes of activity' designed to goad Saddam Hussein into retaliating and giving the allies a pretext for war.
emphasis added

and the most interesting part.

Although the legality of the war has been more of an issue in Britain than in America, the revelations indicate Bush may also have acted illegally, since Congress did not authorize military action until October 11 2002.

The air war had already begun six weeks earlier and the spikes of activity had been underway for five months.
emphasis added

We started our Military aggression in the war on Iraq 6 month prior to congressional approval. This approval was granted after Bush had promised that this authority was to be used only as a last resort. He claim to have no intent to start this war, but needed the power to negotiate. Now it is confirmed that he had started this war 6 months prior to asking authority to do so.

Any bets if and when the US media will notice.

Bush submarines Blair's G8 anti-Global Warming Efforts

In another battle against science, the Bush administration has worked hard to scuttle Blair's efforts to address the issue at the G8.

Extraordinary efforts by the White House to scupper Britain's attempts to tackle global warming have been revealed in leaked US government documents obtained by The Observer.
These papers - part of the Bush administration's submission to the G8 action plan for Gleneagles next month - show how the United States, over the past two months, has been secretly undermining Tony Blair's proposals to tackle climate change.

The documents obtained by The Observer represent an attempt by the Bush administration to undermine completely the science of climate change and show that the US position has hardened during the G8 negotiations. They also reveal that the White House has withdrawn from a crucial United Nations commitment to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions.

The documents show that Washington officials:

· Removed all reference to the fact that climate change is a 'serious threat to human health and to ecosystems';

· Deleted any suggestion that global warming has already started;

· Expunged any suggestion that human activity was to blame for climate change.

I suspect that this may have been one of the last acts of Mr. Cooney, prior to his return to his first love.

Among the sentences removed was the following: 'Unless urgent action is taken, there will be a growing risk of adverse effects on economic development, human health and the natural environment, and of irreversible long-term changes to our climate and oceans.'

Another section erased by the White House adds: 'Our world is warming. Climate change is a serious threat that has the potential to affect every part of the globe. And we know that ... mankind's activities are contributing to this warming. This is an issue we must address urgently.' The government's chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, has dismissed the leaking of draft communiques on the grounds that 'there is everything to play for at Gleneagles.' However, there is no doubt that many UK officials have become exasperated by the Bush administration's refusal to accept the basic principle that climate change is happening now and is due to man's activities.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Falluja Napalmed - UK report

The Sunday Mirror is reporting that the US used Napalm against urban targets in last battle for Falluja.

Since the American assault on Fallujah there have been reports of "melted" corpses, which appeared to have napalm injuries.

Last August the US was forced to admit using the gas in Iraq.

A 1980 UN convention banned the use of napalm against civilians - after pictures of a naked girl victim fleeing in Vietnam shocked the world.

America, which didn't ratify the treaty, is the only country in the world still using the weapon.

This, if true will put immense pressure on Blair, since as noted earlier, the US had in the past denied use of Napalm, and has since admitted lying to UK officials.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Christian leaders plan on vetting Republican candidacy

The tie between the religious radical right and the Republican party is getting even tighter, and more obvious.

WASHINGTON Leaders of conservative Christian organizations plan to jointly interview Republican contenders for the 2008 presidential nomination, perhaps even endorsing one of them steps that could expand their already considerable political influence.

The want to be sure that they will have full and total control of the next president. So, who will be sitting on the presidential selection committee.

Those who plan to participate include leading figures of the Christian right: James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation, the Rev. Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association, Perkins and Bauer. Others also would join them.

In years to come this group will be know as the Christian Council of Guardians.

Words of love from the Religious Right - Part 6

We are going to hear from Pat Robertson, again.

Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history.

Yes, we want you to be able to go to church, raise your family, do your job etc. We want you to be able to live your life as you see fit. We don't want you to tell us what church we have to go to, how to raise our family, or preach to us at our job. We want to be able to live our lives as we see fit. That included not having your prayers forced upon us or our children, not having your standards of what is proper determining what we watch on TV or at the movies, and not having you involved in our life at all.

Yep, those liberals sure do sound just they what to act like the Nazi's.

The wars of extermination have given a lot of people trouble unless they understand fully what was going on. The people in the land of Palestine were very wicked. They were given over to idolatry. They sacrificed their children. They had all kinds of abominable sex practices. They were having sex apparently with animals. They were having sex men with men and women with women. They were committing adultery and fornication. They were serving idols. As I say, they were offering their children up, and they were forsaking God. God told the Israelites to kill them all: men, women and children; to destroy them."

Now we see that he thinks that mass extermination of those who don't meet his moral standard can be a good thing. I guess this means the end for Gays and all Non-Christians (by his standard, this may include Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians and all who don't agree with him). The likes of Neal Horsley should be shaking in their mule loving boots, for there appears to be no way out.

For some of past editions of this continuing but only occasional feature, just click on the name of interest.

James Dobson,
Pat Robertson.
Ralph Reed
Jerry Falwell
Randell Terry

Friday's places you should visit.

The Day Shift reflects on truth in adverting and the current Army Recruiting Ads.

Visit the Whiskey Bar, and consider if the slogan "America -- Still Better Than Stalin," is really what we want.

The right wing media assault on Dick Durbin and his statements on the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are examined at Orcinus.

Not a blog, but a very important bit about Facing facts in Iraq, from H.D.S. Greenway.

From Public Theologian, was the US involved in the disappearance of Abu Omar ?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

US forces used napalm, then lied to the UK

According to reports in The Independent, US forces in Iraq used napalm type weapons in combat.

Mr Ingram said 30 MK77 firebombs were used by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in the invasion of Iraq between 31 March and 2 April 2003. They were used against military targets "away from civilian targets", he said. This avoids breaching the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), which permits their use only against military targets.

Britain, which has no stockpiles of the weapons, ratified the convention, but the US did not.

The confirmation that US officials misled British ministers led to new questions last night about the value of the latest assurances by the US. Mr Cohen said there were rumours that the firebombs were used in the US assault on the insurgent stronghold in Fallujah last year, claims denied by the US. He is tabling more questions seeking assurances that the weapons were not used against civilians.

What is interesting is this bit.

Despite persistent rumors of injuries among Iraqis consistent with the use of incendiary weapons such as napalm, Adam Ingram, the Defence minister, assured Labour MPs in January that US forces had not used a new generation of incendiary weapons, codenamed MK77, in Iraq.

But Mr Ingram admitted to the Labour MP Harry Cohen in a private letter obtained by The Independent that he had inadvertently misled Parliament because he had been misinformed by the US. "The US confirmed to my officials that they had not used MK77s in Iraq at any time and this was the basis of my response to you," he told Mr Cohen. "I regret to say that I have since discovered that this is not the case and must now correct the position."

How does that song go, 'I am proud to be an American'.

The Intelligence was being cooked

Michael Smith, of the London Time, and Downing Street Memo fame was involved in an on-line chat with the Washington Post. In reply to one question about use of language and intent of the speaker he had this to day:

There are number of people asking about fixed and its meaning. This is a real joke. I do not know anyone in the UK who took it to mean anything other than fixed as in fixed a race, fixed an election, fixed the intelligence. If you fix something, you make it the way you want it. The intelligence was fixed and as for the reports that said this was one British official. Pleeeaaassee! This was the head of MI6. How much authority do you want the man to have? He has just been to Washington, he has just talked to George Tenet. He said the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. That translates in clearer terms as the intelligence was being cooked to match what the administration wanted it to say to justify invading Iraq.

OK, it isn't any clearer, Bush lied, and we are now at war.

A solution to the recruiting pinch

has been found by Jesus General.

On Friday, June 24th, you will have an opportunity to do something about it. That's the day you speak at the 56th College Republican Biennial Convention. You'll have an audience of hundreds of enthusiastic, hyper-patriotic, war supporting, military age men and women, each listening closely to the words you speak. Those words should be, "Your nation needs you in Iraq.

And in humor there is great wisdom. They question becomes, if you supported the war, how are you justified in avoiding service in a war you wanted.

Watch the Downing Street Memo hearings

C-Span3 will have these hearing live, and for those who's cable system doesn't offer this, they will have a webcast of the hearings Thursday afternoon. This will be coming live from the Capital, with the meeting chaired by Rep. J. Conyers.

After Downing Street, a collections of groups supporting peace, veterans, and truth have been pushing to have this document, and it key phrase 'Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy' investigated.

Since this memo came out, additional memos have been leaked that make it clear: The US wanted war, and was making no effort to find a peaceful solution (despite the claims of administration officials). That the US had decided on was in the winter or spring of 2002, and that the US had no plan about how to recreate Iraq once Saddam was disposed.

For more on the importance of this hearing, and additional options for following this important meeting, visit Freiheit und Wissen.

'Duke' Cunningham (R-Ca.), just how corrupt is he?

Well it appears Tom DeLay's support of Duke was very reasonable. Both men are helping to establish new lows in the level of ethical behavior from the Congress. It has come out that 'Duke' is living on a 43 foot yacht (the Duke Stir), owned by (now pay close attention here) Mitchell Wade.

Classic Scum

Downing Street Memo forum at 2:30pm

Representative Conyers will chair a forum investigating the Downing Street Memo, and additional memos that raise questions about the pre war intelligence, and veracity of public statements made by members of the Bush administration.

This hearing will be in room HC9, in the Capitol. If additional space is needed to accommodate interested viewers, the Democratic National Committee has set up a viewing in their offices at 430 S. Capitol St. SE.

This forum will also be carried on C-Span 3.

In addition to the forum, Representative Conyers will deliver his letter demanding an investigation to the President. This letter is co-signed by about half a million US citizens and over 100 members of congress. There are plans for a public demonstration in Lafayette Sq. starting a 5pm.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Mission accomplished, operative comes in from the cold

With his cover blown, Philip Cooney was compromised. After over 4 years of work behind the wall he has been exposed, forcing his returned home, and to his true love, Exxon.

And the damage done to US environmental policy may never be known.

Doctors to avoid; Dr. B. Frist and Dr. D. Weldon

The two have demonstrated that the time spent away from their practice in the political arena, may have severely impacted their professional abilities.

A quote from Dr. Frist

he said in a lengthy speech in which he quoted medical texts and standards. "She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli."

and then from Dr. Weldon;

"She responds to verbal stimuli, she attempts to vocalize, she tracks with her eyes, she emotes, she attempts to kiss her father."

Maybe next time they will actually visit the patient before making politically motivated (and not scientifically based) statements, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Thanks to Think Progress

No More Mister Nice Blog has noticed a couple of more people who should step up and explain themselves. The first is Father Frank Pavone, one of the parents religious spokspersons, and the parents medical expert William P. Cheshire.

These persons must be held accountable for their actions.

Then they came for Jeremy

What happens when a person uses photoshop and fliker to express a political opinion?

On June 7th, Two Secret Service agents showed up at my place of employment and asked to speak with me. One agent said they wanted to talk about something I posted online.

You can read about the whole event of here.

What I find most interesting is this part of the visit.

He said "You could 'retract' them". I asked what he meant -- "Remove them from online? Replace them with a statement saying I don't advocate violence against the president?" "what?" Both agents resounded to this specific question, with a generalized "yes" that would be a good step.

It makes you ask, is this about the physical safety of the president, or his political safety?

Thanks to Suburban Guerilla for spotting this.

An amazing moment, Tom DeLay defends the ethics

of San Diego Republican Congressman Duke Cunningham.

Tom, a man of high ethical standards, has come forward to affirm that Duke Cunningham is a man of honor, and maintains the same high ethical standards that Tom upholds

Slime defending scum.

An excellent collection of Downing St. Memo reports

can be found at Freiheit und Wissen, check some of them out.

Six new Iraq war documents have come out

The Downing Street Memo was just the first. Now a number of other secret UK memos have come out, that offer more evidence that the US wanted war, and went to great lengths to start it.

This new series of memos express the UK's concerns about the legality of the war and the lack of planning for the end of the war. It is clear from looking at these documents that the UK understood the Bush administration plan was not to find a way to resolve the issues, but to find an excuse for war. What is written is important, but what we don't see is damning.

We do not see discussion about ways to get Saddam to agree, but ways to wrongfoot Saddam. There is no discussion about finding a path to peace, the talk is focused of coordinating the story to create a climate for war. Missing are talks about UN partnerships for peace, what we do see are ideas about how to make the war legal.

One memo focuses on the legal grounds for war. It makes it clear that great legal gymnastics would be needed to find a legal ground for war. Two of the memo's are relating information from Bush administration leaders. C.Rice is the subject of one and her commitment to regime change is made clear. Paul Wolfowitz was the topic of the other memo. Paul was still preaching on the Saddam ties to terror at this time.

The Ricketts memo of March 22, 2002 points out that, despite the claims of Wolfowitz and others the ties to Al Qaida are 'frankly unconvincing'. It also notes that Saddam had not really changed, but our level of fear had changed. It is noted that even a very complete review of Saddam's WMD capacity would not show much evidence of advancement and that from both a international law, and PR point of view 'regime change' as a reason for war would not work.

One bit that is amusing in the memo is this little line;

He can help Bush make good decisions by telling him things his own machine probably isn't.

It is clear that the Blair administration was very aware of the quality and honesty of the White House staff.

The Crawford memo runs four pages long. It starts with this warning The rewards from your visit to Crawford will be few. The risks are high, both for you and for the Government. , and in light of the past election, it was quite prophetic. This memo again touches on international law, the absence of ties between Saddam and Bin Laden and what the war was to achieve. Again, the tone makes it clear, peace was not an option, Bush wanted to attack.

The longest memo lays out the objectives of the UK. This one notes that containment had been at least partially successful, Saddam was not seriously threatening his neighbor's. Again the British focus on that fact war for regime change needed a legal justification and stresses that regime change has no basis in international law. The document list a number of obstacles to going to war. These obstacles are actually evidence of a successful policy of containment, and following international law.

What is missing in all of these pages is any considerations of a non military option. The British knew that we were marching to war, despite the public proclamations of our leadership. The total focus of creating an environment for war is obvious, and the final intent was not to protect the US or the UK, but destroy Saddam.

A classic war of aggression.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The path to war, a time line

is on The Raw Story. Check it out.

US Shields blood-thirsty tyrant

The US, with Russia's support, took action that prevented NATO from calling for an International investigation into the mass murder that occurred in Andijan, Uzbekistan. You have to wonder why we don't want to investigate this. Allowing a despotic leader to kill his people is something we claim to be opposed to, but when he is a friendly despot (at least to us) we see a different standard applied.

When we attacked Iraq we claimed that it was because of weapons of mass destruction, and ties to Al Quida. When those were proven to be false, The Bush administration tried for focus on the crimes of Saddam. While they demanded the death or capture of Saddam, they have gotten quite friendly with Islam Karimov . This man may, with time, be even more murderous than Saddam. Aside from the latest mass murder, He has a long list crimes that he stands accused of, including boiling his foes alive.

Such an overt double standard may bother some, but is nothing new from the Bush administration. They have been screaming anti-terrorism rhetoric for 4 years now, but when we have a terrorist that we like, we shelter them. Luis Posada Carriles is an anti-Castro terrorist. He is wanted by other nations to face trial for his crimes. The position of the Bush administration is to shelter him in the US.

The Chicago Tribune has a report of what did happen there.

Monday, June 13, 2005

A Franz Ziereis protege? Meet Rev. Banuchi.

The Reverend appears to think we need to look to the past for a solution to the gay problem. He has proposed that gays should be labeled.

I think the pink triangle was used at one time, maybe he should go all they way and propose this.

Mitchell Wade, the perfect home buyer

It appears that Mr. Wade has come up with a highly creative way to improve and expand his business. His company is in the defense industry, but has discovered the earning potential of real estate investment.

You just have to be willing to take a risk on a property, even if it means overpaying a little.

Of course if can be really helpful if the home seller is Rep. Cunningham, and he is a member of the defense appropriations subcommittee. Just one little home purchase, and all of the sudden all those contracts that you were not getting, start to come your way.

Mitchell Wade bought the San Diego Republican's house for $1,675,000 in November 2003 and put it back on the market almost immediately for roughly the same price. But the Del Mar house languished unsold and vacant for 261 days before selling for $975,000.

Meanwhile, Cunningham used the proceeds of the $1,675,000 sale to buy a $2.55 million house in Rancho Santa Fe. And Wade, who had been suffering through a flat period in winning Pentagon contracts, was on a tear – reeling in tens of millions of dollars in defense and intelligence-related contracts.

In an interview Wednesday, Cunningham conceded that the circumstances surrounding the transaction could raise "fair" questions, but he insisted that the real estate deal was legitimate and independent of his efforts to help Wade win contracts.

I wonder if Mr Wade would be interested in a 3 bedroom home in Columbia S.C.. It is a great family home, and I suspect that it could be his for just over a million.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Dick Cheney is happy, War profiteers going strong

The crimes continue, Custer Battles executives, who behavior was so bad they have been banned from working for the US, have sprung back up.

The new companies (there are at least three) are all headed by Rob Roy Trumble, who previously was operations chief for Custer Battles, according to state records.

The fledgling companies have different names but all are housed in the same office as Custer Battles — Suite 100 on Hammerlund Way in Middletown, R.I., 3,000 square feet on the ground floor of a squat building in an industrial park.

Meanwhile, Custer Battles’ former chief financial officer Joseph Morris, accused of submitting fake invoices to the government, has been working for another American contractor in Iraq, according to interviews.

The military was not aware of either the new companies or Morris’ new employment, a Pentagon official said, speaking only on condition of anonymity.

As long as there are fortunes to be made, there are those who will lie cheat and steal to get it.

Flying Dinosaurs save the day

Just when Noah was afraid he might fail. His son's astride Flying Dinosaurs arrive with the animals he couldn't collect.

Just more evidence that when science, logic and the bible might appear to conflict, fundamentalist can find the truth.

My head hurts. :-D

More evidence, Bush lied.

The Times (not the New York, the London) does it again. This time they report on a July 2002 meeting where this was learned.
The warning, in a leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier.

The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair's inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was "necessary to create the conditions" which would make it legal.

This Memo is clear, War was the one and only goal of this administration.

So we have more confirmation that backs up the crux of the Downing Street Memo. We see more evidence that the war was desired as early as the spring and summer of 2002, despite Bush's lies otherwise. We see that the British did consider it a violation of international law, and we again see confirmation that we were engaged in a game to try to goad Saddam into war.

This demands action. Visit After Downing Street, they off a number of direct actions that you should consider. These include, Writing to Your Congressman or Senator, Signing Conyers' Letter demanding an investigation, Sign Kennedy's Petition or Contacting the Media. Without action the truth will be burred by Bush and his staff. The only way the truth will be discovered is if the people act.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Recruiting shortfall, again

Despite the ten day delay in the report, there is nothing new. The army missed the target by 25 percent. This despite the lowering of the goal by 17%. This makes the real shortfall about 40%, and consistent with the April reported shortfall.

In a new and far more troubling development, the U.S. armed forces are now lowering standards for new officers, and allowing violations that in the past would end carriers to be ignored. All of this is being done in the name of keeping the force viable.

This give me the sad opportunity to say I told you so.

Fascism, Sin, Faith, Sex and Fatigue, we have it all

Father Jake has a short list about an old illness,fascism. So, are we on our way?

Frank at Pulling the Plank notes that Al Mohler as found a new group of people to denounce.

A miracle has been spotted by the The Green Knight, MSNBC has found an new and interesting group of people, liberal Christians

Pam's House Blend has found a blog that gives you an inside look at the fear faced by teen being sent to a faith based gay to straight program.


It's only Thursday and in one week we may have scandal fatigue, from the Carpet Bagger Report.

Congressional action is coming

Rep. John Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, has announced plans on holding hearing on the Downing Street Memo. Plans include testimony from Ray McGovern, John Bonifaz, Joe Wilson and others.

Rep. Conyers office has indicated that they have new documents that will buttress the suspicion that the Bush administration wanted war.

and , as noted in Pam's House Blend, Rep. Conyers adds.

This hearing is just one step in an investigation that I am commencing that will literally span the Atlantic. I am in touch with British officials and former U.S. intelligence officials and I am determined to get to the truth.

This additional line of attack is vital. The Democrats are out of power in every arena in the US government, and will be without bi-partisan support. Aid from the investigations in the UK could be priceless.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Repression in action

More love from the religious right, from Pam's House Blend.

More evidence of the stupidity of invading Iraq

One of the biggest reasons to not invade Iraq, was the damage that act did to our reconstruction of Afghanistan. We removed the government, took control of the capital, declared victory, and then ignored the whole show.

What have we gained?

Thousands of soldiers are deserting Afghanistan's new British- and American-trained national army, their morale undermined by poor conditions and the threat from the Taliban.

Since the 205th Afghan National Army corps became the first unit of the new national army to be deployed outside Kabul, joining US forces fighting the Taliban in the south of the country, half of its strength has deserted.

"Between 1,200 and 1,500 have run away since September," said one officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, at the 205th corps base near Kandahar. "Morale is going down fast. Four to six hundred soldiers have deserted in the last two months."

A stable and peaceful country side and a viable national defense force is required to keep this land from again becoming a failed state. They need a strong army, not one with no moral, and depleted by desertion. Our mad dash to get assets to Iraq, and our lack of additional resources for Afghanistan is just assuring that this necessary war will fail.

Abstinence based sex education again found lacking

This time the children of Ohio are the losers.

There have been trouble with these programs in the past, and is should not surprise anyone, Ohio's problems are a lot like those seen in other states.

Overstate the failure rates of condom use, blame contraceptives for poor mental health among youths and erroneously suggest that birth control pills will increase a girl's future chances of infertility.

Misrepresent religious conviction as scientific fact. One program urges teens to "follow God's plan for purity," while another recommends books that are religious in nature.

Contain inaccurate or misleading information about the transmission or detection of sexual diseases. One curriculum described HIV as a virus that can remain undetected either by test or physical symptoms for six months to 10 years, when in fact most antibodies are present within two to eight weeks after exposure. The curriculum also suggested incorrectly that HIV can be transmitted through tears and open-mouth kissing.

In the end it is the same old song, lie to the youth in an effort to scare them.

It should be clear by now that just say no about both drugs and sex is a failed policy. How can the government justify supporting this ongoing lie?

Do we have an opportunity to find an exit?

There are strong indications that some of the various Iraqi resistance groups are expressing a willingness to talk. We need to jump on this opportunity.

Any form of short term stability can give us the opportunity to exit, and that is what we need. In time there will be a full blown civil war in that nation, and we do not want to be the referee in the middle of that.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

An ode to Gov. Sanford, your laugh for the week.

The song is now up on a couple of sites. To hear it go to Laurinline , or download it from Crack The Bell.

A story, not about the memo, but the media's reaction to the memo.

The Washington Post, while still avoiding actually covering the Downing Street Memo, does report that others are starting to do a little reporting on the memo.

A weak effort at best, but they do add some reason for hope at the end of their bit.

Far from being a dud, the Downing Street Memo may generate more stories to come.

Now you just have to wonder if one of those future stories may actually be from the Washington Post.

Bush's war on science continues

Be it for reasons of faith or commerce, we can count of the truth being 'worked' to fit the desired results. The latest example are the efforts of Philip A. Cooney. Mr. Cooney, who while working for the Council on Environmental Quality in the white house, reviewed and modified a number of documents on the Global Warming issue.

For example, a sentence in an October 2002 draft of a regularly published summary of government climate research, "Our Changing Planet," originally read: "Many scientific observations indicate that the Earth is undergoing a period of relatively rapid change...."

Mr. Cooney's neat, compact notes modified the sentence to read: "Many scientific observations point to the conclusion that the Earth may be undergoing a period of relatively rapid change...."

In places where uncertainties in climate research were described, Mr. Cooney added qualifiers like "significant" and "fundamental."

In effect he was modifying the results of the studies.

Now, what background and training did Mr. Cooney have that makes it proper for him to adjust reports so that it fundamentally changed the tone of the conclusion.

Before coming to the White House in 2001, he was the "climate team leader" and a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute, the largest trade group representing the interests of the oil industry. A lawyer with a bachelor's degree in economics, he has no scientific training.

Not surprising from this administration. Why use science when lawyers and lobbyist are so more efficient at achieving the administrations goals.

One other point of this story is also very interesting, especially in light of the Downing Street Memo.

Myron Ebell, who has long campaigned against limits on greenhouse gases as director of climate policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian group, said such editing was necessary for "consistency" in meshing programs with policy.

when you don't like the facts, just fix them to fit the conclusion. How much do the oil companies control US environmental policy? The Guardian's story about ExxonMobil's opposition to the Kyoto Accords makes it clear.

President's George Bush's decision not to sign the United States up to the Kyoto global warming treaty was partly a result of pressure from ExxonMobil, the world's most powerful oil company, and other industries, according to US State Department papers seen by the Guardian.
The documents, which emerged as Tony Blair visited the White House for discussions on climate change before next month's G8 meeting, reinforce widely-held suspicions of how close the company is to the administration and its role in helping to formulate US policy.

In briefing papers given before meetings to the US under-secretary of state, Paula Dobriansky, between 2001 and 2004, the administration is found thanking Exxon executives for the company's "active involvement" in helping to determine climate change policy, and also seeking its advice on what climate change policies the company might find acceptable.

Well I am glad the Exxon finds our total lack of an environmental policy acceptable.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

John Conyer's "Downing Street Minutes" letter

Needs your signature.

If you think that this must be investigated, you need to go over and add your name to the list. When he started this his goal was 100,000 persons sign on. At this time he is nearing 145,000 names, and his new goal is 250,000.

GM announces major cuts, 25,000 jobs

in an effort to correct years of poor management and executive decisions, 25,000 employees will be let go. In addition, they are going to start to order more of their supplies from offshore operations.

This is not unexpected, since gas is now stuck at $2.00 a gallon, those Hummers and suburban just aren't as attractive to some buyers, despite the tax breaks.

But, to the workers of GM, I say have faith, Wal-Mart is always hiring.

I do have to ask, in a few years, will the new Wal-mart based American workforce be able to afford any GM product?

Bush Iraqi war planning timeline

via Daily Kos.

This is fantastic work. It includes at #23 the Downing Street Memo, and also notes the major increase in US attacks on Iraq prior to the official start of the war.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Iraqi war propionate sees the light?

Newsweeks Baghdad bureau chief reflects on his two year stay, and where we stand.

Here are a few points of interest.

The most shocking thing about Abu Ghraib was not the behavior of U.S. troops, but the incompetence of their leaders.

At last count America has pumped at least $7 billion into reconstruction projects, with little to show for it but the hostility of ordinary Iraqis, who still have an 18 percent unemployment rate. Most of the cash goes to U.S. contractors who spend much of it on personal security. Basic services like electricity, water and sewers still aren't up to prewar levels. Electricity is especially vital in a country where summer temperatures commonly reach 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet only 15 percent of Iraqis have reliable electrical service. In the capital, where it counts most, it's only 4 percent.

The most powerful army in human history can't even protect a two-mile stretch of road.

More troops and more helicopters could help make the whole country safer. Instead the Pentagon has been drawing down the number of helicopters. And America never deployed nearly enough soldiers.

the American enclave is a trash-strewn wasteland of Mad Max-style fortifications. The traffic lights don't work because no one has bothered to fix them. The garbage rarely gets collected. Some of the worst ambassadors in U.S. history are the GIs at the Green Zone's checkpoints. They've repeatedly punched Iraqi ministers, accidentally shot at visiting dignitaries and behave (even on good days) with all the courtesy of nightclub bouncers.

They're overworked, much ignored on the home front and widely despised in Iraq, with little to look forward to but the distant end of their tours—and in most cases, another tour soon to follow. Many are reservists who, when they get home, often face the wreckage of careers and family.

Hezbollah Sweep Vote in Lebanon

Since our administration is so eager to take credit for any democratic development in the Middle Ease, I wonder when some spoksperson will be out praising this.

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - Hezbollah, the armed group considered a terrorist organization by the United States, and its allies swept voting in southern Lebanon during the second round of nationwide parliamentary elections, the interior minister said Monday. Israel, which has long clashed with the group, expressed its concern.

The alliance of the pro-Syrian Islamic militant group and Shiite Amal won, by a wide margin, all 17 seats contested Sunday, Interior Minister Hassan Sabei said. In addition, the ticket had no challengers for six seats.

Hezbollah, which also is backed by Iran, hopes the landslide victory will demonstrate its strength and send a message of defiance as Washington calls for its disarmament in line with a U.N. Security Council resolution.

The DeLay effect

Tom has been working hard to keep a lower profile in the last few weeks. He is hoping to defuse the ethics bomb by being quiet. The trouble for Tom is, once armed these little guys tend to go off, and they tend to create a lot of collateral damage.

Other members of his party have noticed this, and are worried.

Among those endangered are at least two committee chairmen and several other senior members. Congressional districts that traditionally have been safe for Republicans could become more competitive, according to party officials.

Nowhere is the impact of the ethics issue clearer than here in the Appalachian hills of eastern Ohio, where a thicket of weekly newspapers now gives regular coverage to revelations about House Administration Committee Chairman Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) and his ties to DeLay and Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist now under criminal and congressional investigation for the tens of millions of dollars in fees he and a partner collected from casino-owning Indian tribes.

These should be feast days for the media who at one time thrived on scandal. Not only do they have Tom DeLay, and his numerous violations, they also have Tom Noe and his amazing disappearing coins, who also was a major Bush fundraiser and donor.

Overseas we still have the largely unreported Downing Street memo, that clearly indicates the existence of a conspiracy by the US administration to create a cause for war in Iraq. New developments indicate that John Boltons efforts to oust Jose Bustani from his UN post may be related to the total effort to start the war.

The midterm elections are only 17 months away, and every Republican needs to be painted with the slime that DeLay, Noe, Abramoff, Rove and Bush have created.

Couldn't resist

Your IQ Is 135

Your Logical Intelligence is Genius
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

Sunday, June 05, 2005

A tragic catalyst for change

A pro-war republican turns against the Iraq war, but only after the death of his son.

Hart, 46, grew up in a conservative Texas family, served as president of the Republican club at the University of Texas, and voted for President Bush in 2000. His daughters, Rebecca, 18, and Elizabeth, 14, are members of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at Bedford High School.

The peace banner went up in early 2003. That July, John Hart saw the sign as he prepared to leave for Iraq on his first tour of duty with his unit, the 173d Infantry Brigade. John asked his father to help get the sign removed.

Brian Hart wrote to the Board of Selectmen, contending that the peace banner violated the town's historic zoning codes. At a board meeting, he threatened to file a lawsuit. John Eric Gibbons, the Unitarian minister whose congregation had hung the blue-and-white banner, agreed to take it down. Hart was pleased.

Three months later, John was dead, one month past his 20th birthday. First Lieutenant David R. Bernstein of Phoenixville, Pa., was also killed in the attack. Bernstein was 24.