Thursday, September 11, 2003

Today's Favorite Quote

From the op-ed Freedom or Security?

My initial reaction was that giving up a "little freedom" is very much like giving up a "little virginity."

Don't Reinforce Failure

From an op-ed by Brian Cloughley:

Bush and Rumsfeld boast that ‘vast numbers of countries are with the US’. Good. That should be enough. The rest of the world should stay out of Iraq. Don’t reinforce failure

Bush has been making messes all his life and has had plenty of enablers to bail him out. This time, he needs to hit rock bottom.

Let's Mark 9-11 With Peaceful Thoughts and Actions

Check out this organization: Peaceful Tomorrows.

From their mission statement:

Our Mission

Peaceful Tomorrows is an advocacy organization founded by family members of September 11th victims who have united to turn our grief into action for peace. Our mission is to seek effective, nonviolent solutions to terrorism, and to acknowledge our common experience with all people similarly affected by violence throughout the world. By conscientiously exploring peaceful options in our search for justice, we hope to spare additional families the suffering we have experienced—as well as to break the cycle of violence and retaliation engendered by war. In doing so, we work to create a safer world for the present and future generations.

Our Goals:

To promote a safe, open dialogue on alternatives to war.

To provide support and fellowship to others seeking peaceful and just responses to terrorism.

To educate and raise the consciousness of the public on issues surrounding war and peace.

To call attention to threats to civil liberties and other freedoms at home as a consequence of war.

To promote U.S. foreign policy that places a priority on principles of democracy and human rights.

To encourage a multilateral use of sensible and appropriate means to bring those responsible for the September 11th attacks to justice in accordance with the principles of international law.

To recognize our fellowship with people of all nationalities afflicted by violence and war, and to extend to them the same compassion that we received from people around the world.

To demand a full, fair and open investigation into the September 11th attacks that took the lives of our loved ones.

I was talking earlier about learning important lessons from the 9-11s of our history. This group has done precisely that, and are actively sharing those lessons with all who will listen. Also check out the personal statements that appear on the website -- powerful stuff. Keep on keepin' on.


Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Annals of the Wicked

While we're talking about the aftermath of 9-11, here's a convenient summary of the lies and the lying liars who told them as the Bush cartel prepared to launch an unprovoked war in Iraq. Courtesy of Michael Ventura.

9-11 Means Different Things to Different People

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center twin towers and the Pentagon were a terrible tragedy. But let's not forget that September 11 marks the anniversary for numerous other events: some tragic, some inspirational.

1. We shall also remember that 30 years ago, the democratically elected government of Chile and its President Allende were overthrown in a US-backed coup that resulted in Allende's death. Countless thousands of people were executed or "disappeared" during Pinochet's reign of terror that subsequently followed this tragic day in history. Let's remember the victims of the coup and its aftermath.

2. On this day in 1959 the US Congress authorized food stamps for Americans living in poverty. For those congressional leaders who voted to aid those in need, let's remember them.

3. On this day in 1851, in Christiana, Pennsylvania there was a stand-off between several ex-slave families (led by William Parker) and a posse of several armed white men led by a slave owner (Edward Gorsuch). This was one with a somewhat happy ending, as Parker and the remaining ex-slaves prevailed, and Gorsuch paid for his attempt to re-enslave these families with his life. That day was a stark reminder of the struggle that lay ahead for those endeavoring to break the bonds of slavery in the U.S. Let's remember Parker and those brave families who were willing to stand up for their human rights and dignity by any means necessary.

This day marks the anniversary of numerous events, some tragic, some uplifting. But bear in mind that ultimately today is another day on the calendar. We need not be straight-jacketed by the events of the past, nor need we forget them. There are many lessons to be learned from the events mentioned above with regards to human freedom and dignity. Let's spend some time today pondering those lessons.

For me personally, September 11, 2001 will be remembered as a day when we saw the schizophrenic character of American society in sharp relief. The acts of courage and helpfulness by countless individuals, their willingness to reach out to others was truly inspiring. On the other hand, the American tendency to engage in belligerent jingoism and to immediately blame and attack people, nations, and cultures for the bombings reared its ugly head that day and in the aftermath, which to me was truly sickening. Sadly, the latter won out in the aftermath leading to an America that is on the warpath, with little regard for the consequences. Let us hope that the tide will turn soon.


The Biggest Lie

A must read by Natasha from Pacific Views.

Monday, September 8, 2003

Things To Do With $80 Billion

Some ways to spend the money more constructively than what Bush is proposing.

So where are all those WMDs?

Could all the questions the UN inspectors had regarding Iraqi compliance with the UN be boiled down to clerical glitches? And for this we spend $4 billion per month, witness a tremendous number of troops and civilians die or suffer injury, and have to watch President Whistle-Ass beg for yet another $87 billion of our tax dollars to pour into this quagmire.

We went to war over WMDs. Then the spin changed to "we went to war because Iraq had WMD programs." Now the spin is "we went to war because there was some chance somewhere that someone in Iraq might fantasize about initiating a WMD program."

Allegations of a former Blair cabinet member: It's all lies!

Check out the link. The springboard for the post is an article appearing in the Guardian. If what's written here turns out to be true, it's some explosive stuff -- the stuff that ends presidencies.

Update: A collection of articles on former MP Meacher's contention that the US knew ahead of time about the 9-11 attacks, courtesy of Take Back the Media. A sampling of what you will find:

"Michael Meacher, who served as a minister for six years until three months ago, today goes further than any other mainstream British politician in blaming the Iraq war on a US desire for domination of the Gulf and the world.

Mr Meacher, a leftwinger who is close to the green lobby, also claims in an article in today's Guardian that the war on terrorism is a smokescreen and that the US knew in advance about the September 11 attack on New York but, for strategic reasons, chose not to act on the warnings.

He says the US goal is "world hegemony, built around securing by force command over the oil supplies" and that this Pax Americana "provides a much better explanation of what actually happened before, during and after 9/11 than the global war on terrorism thesis".

Mr Meacher adds that the US has made "no serious attempt" to catch the al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden."

Sunday, September 7, 2003

GOP takes on 'leftist' education

Apparently, the Colorado state GOP is cooking up a plan to require Colorado colleges and universities to increase their proportion of conservative faculty, presumably on the premise that state universities are hotbeds of "leftist indoctrination." Give me a break! Universities are hardly leftist institutions, and there is some hard data to support my assertion. For example, the DAS Survey of Delaware University Professors showed that as of 2001, 32% of faculty described themselves as liberal, 41% considered themselves moderate, and 17% considered themselves conservative. Approximately 10% of the faculty surveyed responded as "dont know/other". We might expect that a subset of these 10% may indeed be true leftists, but these are hardly the sort of numbers that would be expected given the ravings of right-wing pundits. By the way the results from the 2001 Delaware survey were very similar to their 1998 survey, and also very similar to a national survey of university faculty conducted by NAS/Roper. In other words, there is no evidence to support that universities are leftist propaganda machines. About the most that can be said is that there is a higher proportion of liberals in higher education than in the population at large, but that's a good thing in my opinion. In any event, students do already have access to faculty from a variety of ideological perspectives. As for our wonderful Colorado GOP, those weasels belong on the Top 10 Conservative Idiots list!.

While you're at it, maybe it's a good time to remind yourself of The myth of political correctness