Date: Thursday, January 31, 2008
Dateline: Brussels, Belgium
There are an impressive number of D.C. suits who could face criminal charges when the Bush Administration leaves the offices of this despicable government. Of course Bush and Cheney are the most culpable but if the demise of the Nixon Administration is anything to go on most of them will get off with small fines and light sentences. What a great pity, Norman Podhoretz probably won't even face trail. He's a neocon who reportedly came up with the term Islamofacism which makes him a Jewish fascist. A particularly odorous specimen of humanity dedicated to world war, I don't think he had an official position in the administration.
Bush has a bad habit of appointing advisers and department heads who are against what they are suppose to be defending but that is his way of destroying a democratic government. A perfect example is Bush's adviser to the environment, James Connaughton. In December, 2007, he represented the U.S. Government at a world conference on global warming in Bali, Indonesia. His qualifications? 'He had a career defending chemical manufactures and aluminum smelts against environment lawsuits.' That's the way it is most government departments.
For Democrats, the best option now is to push for a constitutional amendment to allow Congress to impeach members of the Supreme Court. Also, the Democrats should be pushing for legislation preventing voter fraud and for citizen rights to vote. Extra security out of party funds for Brack Obama would be helpful too. You also bring back Al Gore. Republicans love to hate him.
For the Republicans, I would advise sticking to the game plan, declare martial law or a national emergency and try to stay in power for as long as possible. The would-be successors to the Bush-Cheney reign are all wild cards. None of them have a chance but one will win the party's presidential nomination. No, not another Bush clone from Arizona, an East Coast Mormon, an ordained Baptist minister appealing to crazy evangelicals, a Catholic war monger like the former New York mayor or maybe a Jew like the governor of New York. How long will Dick manage to hide out in his bunker? Will they take George at his Crawford, Texas, ranch or Kennebunkport? Will they try to string him up in the oval office or does that only in happen France? No, not Sarkozy, McCain? He looks the likely nominee but do Bush and Cheney want him as their replacement? McCain's religious views are suspect among Bush's evangelical flock.
About prosecutions, in the Nixon era the list includes, wire tapping, breaking and entering, burglaries, money laundering, embezzlement, accepting brides, tax evasion, obstruction-of-justice, perjury and probably more. Nixon's staff was mostly made up of advertising thugs. The Bush-Cheney administration faces more serious charges. Genocide and Crimes against humanity are possible, violating international law, the Geneva Conventions, the United Nations' 1948 Declaration of Human Rights. Subverting the U.S. Government and the U.S. Constitution could result in charges of treason. Then there is torture, 'a felony under U.S. law, illegal in international law, forbidden by U.S. military manuals. For that they should all go down, Bush, Cheney and his deputies, plus his chief of staff, David Addington, add John Yoo, Alberto Gonzales, the Jewish neocons, and anyone else who raped the principals of democracy like Donald Rumsfeld and Karl Rove for instance. Hope to see you at the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
Incidently, in my last blog, on Torture, I mentioned that I'd seen no evidence that the Nazis used water-boarding as a torture technique but American columnist Jay Bookman claims the Nazis were fond of it and it was also used during the Spanish Inquisition. I still haven't seen evidence on the Nazis but during the Inquisition and in England during the Middle Ages simpler forms were used like lowering a victim by rope from a bridge in a river. Unfortunately, surviving the water torture was another heresy against the church and the victim was often burned at the stake. Use of ducking-stools, according to Wikipedia, began in the 13th Century and phased out in the mid-18th Century. For other techniques depicting torture in English history I recommend the film Witchfinder General
starring Vincent Price and released out of Norway in 1968.
Do criminals and religion have something in common? Take American prisons, please, they hold a quarter of the world's inmates and nearly half of them are doing time for nonviolent drug related offenses. The question is, why do so many prisoners take up religion. I don't know. Maybe it's because they think that's they way to an early furlough, a get out of jail pass for good behavior. I doubt if there is a Bible in every cell but it's possible. Maybe they get tired of tired of pumping iron all day. Maybe reading the scriptures is a way to avoid torture. Another reason for walking a righteous path in prison is the King of the Hill, a 6 foot-four, 300 pound tattooed torso who thinks he's Jesus. Amen brother.
More on religion in the next blog.
Date: Friday, February 29, 2008
Dateline: Brussels, Belgium
Back in Morocco (See Gris-Gris Blog, 2006 ) my two colleagues are still working on
Evgeny Podkletnov's anti-gravity light beam but learning that you can't clone wings
on camels and expect them to fly. In Texas, citizens are seeing UFOs and since many
of them have mobile phones with cameras and video recorders, you too can see on your
computers that there's something unusual up there. But no contact, not ever, except
in movies and on televison. And there they are, a lot of them, mostly ugly, the film
industry's contribution to our understanding of the cosmos. For sky watchers a clear
night can be fascinating, especially if you're viewing from a telescope connected to
the edge of your hot tub.
Curiously I think right-wing Christians, particularly evangelical fundamentalist
types who have always had their heads screwed on wrong, think that UFOs are just
smoke and mirrors, like their religious convictions, incidentally. They might even
have dumber religious views than members of the Church of Scientology, all the
Catholics and Mormons too. Their ignorance of Worldly matters certainly proves
Darwin's observations on evolution. So why do they delude themselves with false
scriptures when they can't pay the mortgage on their homes? Compared to major
dominations, evangelical and fundamentalist sects must be among the most primitive
people on the planet.
Ever wonder about how many religions there are? Scanning a list of major
denominations on the Internet were many I'd either forgotten or never heard of
before and I studied religions for a year at university. Since religion was created
by man to create order and make some money my guess, including tribes, with over
four billion people on the planet is, too many. You do the maths. In the U.S. at
least 95% of the population is religious, God fearing Christians and assorted
minorities In Holland, supposedly one of the freer countries in the world, 60% per
cent are believers but recently one of their TV networks bought a nature series from
the British BBC narrated by David Attenborough. Evolutionary material about the age
of Earth was deleted. The Dutch have had a right-wing government for eight years,
the economy is strong, following the U.S. model, human rights have deteriorated. A
few years ago the prime of minister of Holland, Jon Peter Balkenende and Russian
President Valdimir Putin were lunching at the Yacht Club in Amsterdam and nothing
Which brings me to atheism. There aren't many nonbelievers out there licking their
chops, pondering chaos, wondering about charming nature and I doubt if most of them
believe in UFOs. On that one I remain skeptical because researching the subject
convinced me that something is flying about in our atmosphere. Too many sightings.
Remember, all the building blocks for life are in space. And while our planet is a
long, long, way from home, there are at last 10 billion stars and half a trillion
planets on the way to the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Incidently, the first
planet was identified in 1996. So the lights in Texas? Local stuff. No aliens in
their right minds would want to visit the Lone Star State. Go pester the Air Force.
Not believing in a God, a Supreme Being or Biblical bull shit, has its advantages.
You don't, for instance, have to tell anyone to go to hell. Believers who attack you
with conversion on their
minds can be beaten up with words. You don't try to convert them, that's their turf,
you just destroy the charade of religion and racism at the same time with a forceful
tirade. Ever since conservative religious zealots obtained political power, they've
created wars, and destroyed the environment to create empires. Religions don't
create peace, neither does the military, and now in the corporate and political
world, we're still at it. For Centuries we've been trying to conquer nature instead
of harmonizing with it. Forests are treated like our wood pile without being
replaced, mountains are stripped for minerals, oceans are polluted and over fished,
coral is destroyed. Dams are built, marshlands disappear, birds die. We are nearing
the edge of a world wide catastrophe and it is not because of a vengeful God. It's
us and it's past time to show nature some respect.
Heard this one? The U.S. National Park Service 'pressured' by fundamentalist stooges
in the Bush administration has forbidden park rangers from revealing the age of the
Grand Canyon to visitors. That's because there is a creation book in the park's book
stores and the author claims the canyon was created during the time of Noah's
Deluge. However, there is no evidence of a universal flood and the Gand Canyon has
an Earth history of one billion years, long before humans arrived on the scene. And,
according to a recent BBC documentary, 99% of all creatures created on Earth are now
extinct without ever coming into contact with humans.
Three books on atheism, well received by critics, have recently been published,
The End of Faith
by Sam Harris, The God Delusion
by Richard Dawkins,
and god Is Not Great
by Christopher Hitchens. One at a time, Harris was born
in 1967 and reportedly claims he was raised by a Jewish mother and Quaker father.
That doesn't wash well when you see a photo of Harris. He looks exactly like a Jew
and none too handsome either. Sorry about that. Sam studied at Standard University,
says he read over a 100 books on religion and according to Wikipedia on the Internet
(consulted here for biographical material on these writers) is currently pursuing a
doctorate in neuroscience. As a science oriented very intelligent geek he thinks
'religion is an impediment to progress.' Who would disagree? Certainly not Richard
Dawkins. Born to an affluent upper-middle class family in Kenya in 1941, he moved to
England when he was eight and as a popular science writer and evolutionary
biologist, turned out pretty well. He is probably one of the most intelligent men on
the planet but he does have critics concerning his theories on gene evolution. He
also raised Cain when he compared religious education of children to 'mental child
abuse'. For him, I think, being an atheist is just common sense. An interest or
background in science would be helpful for readers of Harris and Dawkins. Anyway,
escaping the clutches of the church always seemed reasonable to me.
Reading Christopher Hitchens doesn't require a background in anything, he's a
journalist. Born in England in 1949 he became a U.S. citizen in 2007. Like Harris
and Dawkins his book received favorable reviews but talk about a flip-flopper. He
started out as a Trotskyist, held some left-wing views and was critical of the
Reagan and Clinton administrations. Also on his hit list was Mother Teresa, and
Henry Kissinger and he apparently believes 'Islam has a Fascist face.' Asked if he
had come up with the phrase Islamofacism he attributed it to Scottish religious
writer and historian Malise Ruthven. That's clever, Norman Podhoretz is dropped out
of the Jewish equation. When Hitchens flips or flops he usually has hypocrites on
his mind. For a fellow who thinks that all religious belief is sinister and
infantile, Hitchens is currently critical of the Bush administration for violations
against human liberties, warrant-less arrest, domestic spying, and religious views.
That's seems reasonable without quotes but then he flips around and says he's Jewish
and attracted to neocon ideas without actually being one. I think it was Hitchens's
brother who said, 'Yeah, we're thirty-second generation Jews.' Have you ever known a
Protestant or Jew named Christopher? I think he has a grudge against the Catholic
Church and so does the Catholic Church. Meanwhile, working the neocon circuit he
befriended Paul Wolfowitz, who should be behind bars. But other neocon Jews don't
trust him because he was too critical of Reagan polices. From the start he supported
the war in Iraq and Israel's right to exist but is critical about how the Israelis
are going about it. Charming.
In May of 2007 Hitchens appeared briefly on BBC TV for his reaction on the death of
the American televangelist the Rev Jerry Falwell. Well, Hitchens has a reputation
for heavy drinking and he certainly didn't disappoint on that score. Completely in
his cups he proceeded to trash the former Baptist as scum of the Earth while
Falwell's bloated body and dead brain was still in the morgue. Readers might recall
that in 1983 Falwell sued Larry Flynt the publisher of Hustler
a cartoon that depicted Falwell having sex with his mother in an outhouse. Falwell
lost the lost the case on appeal in the Supreme Court in 1988. I suppose Hitchens
despises televangelist Pat Robertson too. Who knows? Falwell and Flynt eventually
As for Hitchens, he has a razor sharp mind, even when he's drunk, but hasn't come to
terms with Americans wearing the jackboots of the World. Given the opportunity to
spue his venom, that might be interesting. And since the U.S. Government can't
deport an Englishman to England if he has a U.S. passport, his book should be
available in cow pasture country. Best of all, I don't think he'll write 'Oh My God'
on every page. If you see his book in an airport, I'd be surprised.
More news, just in, in the second of week of February, Bush signed a 'a massive
defense authorization bill.' Then, according to a Marie Cocco column he made some of
his 'signing statements' on the bill. I take it that he wasn't pleased with 'four
laws' attached to the bill by members of the Democratic party, so he disavowed them.
One law thrown out would have forbidden him from using federal funds to build
permanent military bases in Iraq He claims he can bypass Congress to use those
funds. Law two is that he can ignore protection for those who want to expose
corruption among government contractors and members of the administration's 16
intelligence agencies. Law number three would forbid intelligence agencies from
turning over reports to Congress and law number four is an objection to setting up
an independent commission to investigate contracting abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Most of this words is this paragraph are attributable to Marie Cocco. She gives us
all the Big Picture. All the administration needs is one incident, like a natural
disaster, or some rotten legislation to create a riot. Marital law could be declared
and Bush could assume dictatorial powers under directives NSPD-51 and HSPD-20. So,
if the banks foreclose on all those mortgages this summer and the disposed take to
the streets, look for martial law to be declared.
Also remember, according the to Bush Administration, unless they've backdown a bit,
if one of those 300 prisoners at Guantanamo had all his healthy teeth pulled with
rusty pliers--without an anesthetic--it wouldn't be torture unless he died. As they
say in some countries, 'Don't be a terrorist target, hit and run.'
Date: Monday, March 31, 2008
Dateline: Brussels, Belgium
(1) Although he's not particular popular with his own party it's looks like Arizona Senator John McCain has secured the nomination as the Republican candidate to be the next president of the United States. That is, if George Bush and Dick Cheney are willing to step down. Meanwhile, McCain continues to be the Bush clone I predicted he would be and a speech he made in early February clearly qualifies him for the cast of Stanley Kubrick's >i>Dr. Strangelove.American General Curtis LaMay also comes to mind, LaMay wanted to nuke Vietnam and China. Here's what McCain is quoted as saying: 'There's going to be other wars. ...We will never surrender but there will be other wars.' He goes on, 'I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed, but I do say no more than 10 to 20 million killed-tops!' So much for him.
(2) What do you hear from Iraq? Is the war costing the U.S. Government $3 trillion or $4 trillion? For sure it is costing $10 billion a month, up from $4 billion in 2004. The sad truth is that the Iraqi people were better off with the tyrant Saddam Hussein. On all fronts the civilians, no matter what tribe, suffer the most. An estimated 2.5 million are reportedly homeless. The cream of the crop, two million have fled the country. What ever happened reconstruction has gone down a sink hole. Sanitation is deplorable, food and drinking water in short supply. The world's third or fourth biggest oil producer can't even supply its needy population with affordable prices to warm them selves and cook some food. And the electricity grid output is about the same as when Saddam was in power. America has that in its face, not Iraqis. The number of causalities continues, over 4,000 for the Americans, probably over 100,000 for the Iraqis. Promise me a war crimes tribunal on this war.
(3) Afghanistan is another war that can't be won. It never was winnable, history is a testament to that. Reporting for The Sunday Times, Simon Jenkins says the situation in the Afghan capitol, Kabul, is like Saigon when the Vietnam War was winding down in the 1970s, a decadent rich set married to corruption, refugees streaming in to escape the chaos elsewhere in the country. Where Jenkins goes wrong in his comparison is that in Saigon there were a a lot of bars, good beer, whiskey, American cigarettes, strong marijuana and topless dancing girls, many of whom were available for a convenient price. But the comparison does come back to haunt. The U.S. command, according to Jenkins, has even resorted to the ploy of General Westmoreland in the Vietnam War, changing kill ratios to convince the American public that the war is being won while they are in fact annoying all their allies and the UN forces. Brute force and ignorance never won a war.
(4) The American economical outlook is not good but least people there don't have to pay a million Zimbabwe dollars for a banana. In American it's all about greed and screwing lower and middle class families out of their homes. When homes were sold at low interest to people on low income, that was fine until the contracts were sold off, interest rose and the bank foreclosed. In February 63,000 jobs were lost. Homes were stripped, vandalized, and torched. The mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, is suing a slew of New York's Wall Street banks. From the figures I've seen, you can expect at least a million a people losing their homes this year.
(5) I've been reading Christopher Hitchens book, God is Not Great
. It's autobiographical, historical, and intellectually tedious. According to the publisher I'm not allowed to quote him so I won't. But I did his enjoy his religious bashing because it was based on reason and not faith. Incidently I saw some religious pie charts in a March issue of Time
magazine and these pies show percentages of Americans and what domination they belong to. For instance, the Largest pie, at 26.%, is Evangelical Protestant, Roman Catholics were second at 23.9% and mainline. Protestant came at 18.1%. Then came the pie I was most interested in, the unaffiliated. At 16.1%, most didn't believe 'in everything particular', Agnostics had a small slice and Atheists just a sliver.
For a reading digression and because someone had left a copy of Albert Camus's A Happy Death
on the floor of a café I frequent, I took it home with me. No one objected to my taking the book as it was in English, and anyone I know in that café would in read it French or Dutch. Anyway, the previous owner, I surmised, was probably either American or Australian. He was not a serious reader, just curious about a name he'd heard of, a novella, something he could read quickly and pick up a little culture. The 38th page was folded in on itself. I hate that. About 20 years ago I read one of Camus's novels and it had a North African feel to it. This one reads like Flaubert in a hurry.
(6) I'm sick of politics and religion so I'll close was with an anecdote. One afternoon in Amsterdam a friend of mine took his ten year old son to a café, the one where I picked up the Camus book. This was the first time boy had been to a café. At the bar they had sandwiches and drinks but the real purpose of this visit was for my friend to teach his son about the evils of gambling. There was a fruit in the corner. This was before the euro came to town, the guilder was the exchange and a rijksdaalder was a hefty piece of a change. Compared to current rates the rijksdaalder is worth about two euros but it was an impressive coin. One went into the slot. 'Now see how fast that disappears,' he told his son. About three minutes later he'd won fifty guilders. The lesson? 'Not good but I did cash in.'
NOTE: To preserve the intergrity of the story, blog entries are in chronological order. First post first, last post last.