Saturday, June 25, 2005

Progress Report: Operation Yellow Elephant

As a proud supporter of the General's Operation Yellow Elephant, I must sadly report that it appears that those "elephants" (in this case College Republicans) are remaining resolutely yellow. One would think that they'd be dying to go to Iraq, given their public avowals in favor of Bu$hCo's Iraq War on Terra. But alas, they seem to have "other priorities."

Just to give you a feel for what's up:

Chickenhawks in action quotes a Knight-Ridder article covering the national College Rethug convention:
Young Republicans gathered for their party's national convention... were asked: "Would you be willing to put on the uniform and go to fight in Iraq?"

In more than a dozen interviews, Republicans in their teens and 20s said, some have friends in the military in Iraq and are considering enlisting; others said they can better support the war by working politically in the United States; and still others said they think the military doesn't need them because the U.S. presence in Iraq is sufficient.

"Frankly, I want to be a politician. I'd like to survive to see that," said Vivian Lee, 17, a war supporter visiting the convention from Los Angeles.

Lee said she supports the war but would volunteer only if the United States faced a dire troop shortage or "if there's another Sept. 11."

"As long as there's a steady stream of volunteers, I don't see why I necessarily should volunteer," said Lee, who said she has a cousin deployed in the Middle East [...]

Others said they could contribute on the home front.

"I physically probably couldn't do a whole lot" in Iraq, said Tiffanee Hokel, 18, of Webster City, Iowa, who called the war a moral imperative. She knows people posted in Iraq, but she didn't flinch when asked why she wouldn't go.

"I think I could do more here," Hokel said, adding that she's focusing on political action that supports the war and the troops.

"We don't have to be there physically to fight it," she said.

Similarly, 20-year-old Jeff Shafer, a University of Pennsylvania student, said vital work needs to be done in the United States. There are Republican policies to maintain and protect and an economy to sustain, Shafer said.

Steve Gilliard has More from the College War Avoiders Conference. More undercover convention blogging can be found via Undercover at the College Republicans National Convention

On this day

in 1876:
1876 - Battle of the Little Big Horn and the death of Colonel George Armstrong Custer.

Wake up and smell the coffee

The work week has come and gone, but the news and the opinions that the news invites never takes a break. Nor do I, it seems. This particular Saturday will be a busy one for me - I and my son will be at a Cub Scouts yard sale for his troop. I'm sure there's some yard work to be done as well, along with tests to be graded. No rest for the wicked, of course!

In the meantime, here's some food for thought to go along with that morning cup o' joe:

Leonard Clark - an Army National Guard MP has a blog which offers a soldier's perspective from the streets of Baghdad. Let's just say that he's not exactly toeing the Bu$hCo party line. Nor does he have anything nice to say about Karl Rove!

Robert Steinback opines, Americans inching closer to a reckoning: Do you want to know?.

You should also read World Tribunal On Iraq: Opening Speech Arundhati Roy, which dovetails nicely with the ideas expressed in the previous post.

Friday, June 24, 2005

World Tribunal on Iraq

Almost three decades ago, the International War Crimes Tribunal, created by British analytic philosopher Bertrand Russell and presided over by the French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre convened to investigate the charges that the US was engaged in war crimes - genocidal in nature - against the people of Vietnam. The judgment was, suffice it to say, scathing even if primarily symbolic. Aside from a few individuals at the bottom of the food chain who did eventually end up facing legal charges for their role in massacres, the leaders responsible for the carnage went along their merry way. Nearly three decades hence, it is clear that the more things change, the more they stay the same. As in Vietnam, a few grunts here and there have been prosecuted for some of the atrocities occurring in Abu Ghraib while those who formulated the policies have thus far gone on to maintain or enhance their own fortunes. And once again we have a new tribunal, addressing the sorry state of affairs in Iraq: the World Tribunal on Iraq.

Believing, as I do, that it is important to look at our history and to apply its lessons to the present, I thought that I would share with you some excerpts from an essay written by Sartre in the aftermath of the IWCT, titled, "Vietnam: Imperialism and Genocide." The essay was originally published in the New Left Review (1968) and later reprinted in an anthology of essays and interviews, Between Existentialism and Marxism (1974, pp. 67-83). Some highlights:
These massacres are genocidal in character: they involve destroying 'a part of the group' (ethnic, national, religious) to terrorize the rest and to destructure the native society. (p. 70)


In point of fact, colonization is not a matter of mere is, of necessity, cultural genocide. Colonization cannot take place without the systematic elimination of the distinctive features of the native society, combined with the refusal to allow its members integration with the parent country, or to benefit from its advantages. Colonialism is, in fact, a system: the colony sells raw materials and foodstuffs at preferential rates to the colonizing power which, in return, sells the colony industrial goods at the price current on the world market. This curious system of exchange can be established only if work is imposed on a colonial sub-proletariat for starvation wages. The inevitable consequence is that the colonized peoples lose their national individuality, their culture and customs, sometimes even their language, and live, in abject poverty, like shadows, ceaselessly reminded of their 'sub-humanity'. (pp. 70-71)


However, there do exist cases where genocide as a response to a people's war is not restrained by infrastructural contradictions. Total genocide then emerges as the absolute basis of anti-guerrilla strategy. And in certain circumstances, it may even appear as the ultimate objective - to be attained immediately or gradually. This is exactly what is happening in the war in Vietnam. This is a new moment in the imperialist process which is usually called neo-colonialism - because it can be defined as aggression against a former colony, which has already obtained its independence, to subject it once again to colonial rule. From the outset it is ensured - by financing of a putsch, or by some other machination - that the new rulers of the State will not represent the masses but those of a thin layer of privileged people and, consequently, those of foreign capital. In the case of Vietnam, what happened was the appearance of Diem - imposed, supported and armed by the US - and the announcement of his decision to reject Geneva agreements and to set up the Vietnamese territory situated below the Seventeenth Parallel as an independent state. What followed was the necessary consequence of these premises: a police force and an army were needed to hunt down former combatants who, balked of their victory, became ipso facto and before any effective resistance the enemies of the new regime; in short, there was a reign of terror, which provoked a new uprising in the South and rekindled the people's war. (pp. 72-73)


...their first aim is military: to encircle communist China, the main obstacle of their expansionism. For this reason they will not allow south-east Asia to slip through their fingers. They have put their men in power in Thailand, they control two thirds of Laos and threaten to invade Cambodia. But these consequences will have been to no avail if they find themselves faced with a free, united Vietnam with a population of thirty-one million. This is why military chiefs are apt to talk of a 'key-position'; this is why Dean Rusk says, with unwitting irony, that the American armed forces are fighting in Vietnam 'to avoid a third world war'; either this phrase has absolutely no meaning, or one must interpret: 'to win it'. In short, the first objective is dictated by the need to establish a Pacific defence line. A need, be it added, that only arises within the framework of a general policy of imperialism.

The second objective is economic. General Westmoreland defined it in these terms at the end of last October: 'We are waging war in Vietnam to show that guerrilla warfare does not pay.' To show this to whom? ... It is the others who must be shown that guerrilla warfare does not pay. All the exploited and oppressed nations who might be tempted to throw off the Yankee yoke by a people's war, waged first against their pseudo-government and the compradores supported by a national army, then against the 'special forces' of the United States, and lastly against the GIs. In other words, in the first place Latin America. And, more generally, the Third World as a whole. Replying to Guevara who said 'We need several Vietnams', the United States government says: 'They will all be crushed as I crush this one.' In other terms, America's war, above all, is an example and a warning. ... So this cautionary genocide is addressed to all mankind; it is by this warning that 6 per cent of mankind hope to succeed, without too much expense, in controlling the remaining 94 per cent. ... At this stage in the argument three points have been established: what the United States government wants is a bas and an example. To attain its first objective it can, with no difficulty other than the resistance of the Vietnamese themselves, liquidate a whole people and establish the Pax Americana over a deserted Vietnam; to achieve the second, it must effect this extermination - at least in part. (pp. 74-75)


The statements of American statesmen lack the outspokenness of those made by Hitler in his time. But such frankness is not vital: it is enough that the facts should speak. The speeches that accompany them, ad usum internum, will be believed only by the American people; the rest of the world understands quite well. Those governments which are accomplices keep silent; the others denounce the genocide, but the United States government finds it only too easy simply to tell them that there has never been any question of such a thing, that they are simply revealing their biased attitudes by these unproven accusations. In truth, say the Americans, all we have ever done is put this option to the Vietnamese - North and South: either you cease your aggression or we will break you. There is no longer any need to point out that this proposition is absurd, since the aggression is American and since, consequently, only the Americans can put an end to it. And this absurdity is not uncalculated: it is clever to formulate, with apparent innocence, a demand which the Vietnamese cannot satisfy. In this way the United States government retains the power of deciding whether or not to cease hostilities. But even if one translated this as meaning: 'Declare yourselves beaten or we'll bomb you back into the stone age', the second term of the alternative is still genocide. (pp. 75-76)


But let us look at the whole matter and consider the terms of the alternative. In the South, this is the choice: villages are burnt, the population is subjected to massive and deliberately murderous bombardments, their cattle are killed, vegetation is ruined by defoliants, crops are sprayed with poisons and destroyed, machine-gunning is indiscriminate, there is murder, rape, pillaging: this is genocide in the strictest sense of the word - mass extermination. What is the alternative? What must the people of Vietnam do to escape this atrocious death? They must rally to the armed forces of the United States or of Saigon, and allow themselves to be shut up in strategic hamlets or in those 'New Life' hamlets which differ from the first only in name - in fact in concentration camps. We have a good deal of evidence about these camps from many witnesses. They are surrounded by barbed wire. The most elementary needs are not catered for: there is undernourishment, complete absence of sanitation. The prisoners are thrown together in tents or cramped airless quarters. Social structures are destroyed: husbands are separated from their wives, mothers from their children, family life - so deeply respected by the Vietnamese - no longer exists. Since households were broken up, the birthrate has dropped. Every possibility of religious or cultural life has been suppressed. Even work - work to ensure the continuation of their own lives and those of their families - is denied them. ... Here the group is reduced to the state of a formless mass, to the extremes of vegetative existence. If it wishes to emerge from this state, the bonds re-established among these pulverized, hate ridden men can only be political: they form clandestine groups of resistance. The enemy guesses this. The result: even these camps themselves are combed through two or three times; even there, security is never attained and the pulverizing forces have to work relentlessly. If by chance a fatherless family is freed, children with an older sister or a young mother, they go to swell the sub-proletariat of the big towns. The oldest sister or the mother, without a breadwinner and with other mouths to feed, complete their degradation by prostituting themselves to the enemy. What I have just described - the lot of a third of the population in the in fact a sort of genocide, equally condemned by the 1948 Convention:

Article II
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children...

In other words it is not true to say that the choice turns on death or submission. Because submission itself, in these circumstances, is genocide. It would be more apt to say that they must choose between immediate death by violence and slow death at the end of a period of physical and mental degradation. Or rather, there is no choice, there is no condition to be fulfilled: the blind chance of an 'operation' or sometimes indiscriminate terror, may decide the type of genocide that an individual will undergo. (pp. 76-77)

Food for thought. I wonder who the WTI's Sartre will be?

Cross-posted at Progressive Blog Alliance HQ

As the previous post has a religious theme,

how about another one - a bit edgier, with darker humor than the previous and sharing a sentiment that I quite frankly agree with:
Dear Lord, Please Smite These Motherfuckers

Our Heavenly Father...
I know that the Universe is a big place, makes it hard to keep track of every detail everywhere, but I need to bring to Your attention some evil-doers who are mucking up your Creation down here.

There's a bunch down here on Earth called "Republicans", I'm sure some of the recent arrivals at the Pearly Gates have mentioned them in passing, who have been lying and stealing and killing, in Your name, and we could use a hand in dealing with them.

Remember Your Commandments, the ones You gave that Moses fellow?? They are being shredded...

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

These Republicans have TWO Gods they esteem higher than You, Power and Money. They will do literally anything to acquire the former, and will let a chosen few hundred do anything to make the latter. I won't bore You with endless details, but remember those excellent mountains You made some 220 million years ago, the ones humans call The Appalachians?? Republicans decided that, to save a few dollars during the rape of Your good Earth, their friends could tear off the tops of any of those Mountains they want to to take the coal from inside them, and since mountaintops are real unhandy to store, they decided it would be okay to dump the mountaintops into the valleys, where You put creeks and Rivers. Only those who worship Money above all else could do that.

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.

You'll love this one. Not only does this bunch pose as being on Your side, they actually started an aggressive war down here and claimed You told them to!! I'm not up on the latest legal definition of "blasphemy" but if that doesn't qualify the word has no meaning.

Thou shalt not kill.

That war I mentioned they claim You told them to start?? Well, they don't bother to keep track of the number of women and children their war has killed, but I'm sure your Reception area has noticed the influx, best estimates down here are well over 100,000...

Thou shalt not steal.

Just look at their books, they are so blatant that an Arthur Andersen accountant could spot the fraud. They steal from old folks, from Indians, from veterans, hell this bunch is so sleazy they even steal from their own War effort...

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

If telling a lie to two people is worse than telling it to one, this bunch must hold the World's Record for Bearing False Witness. They called the Representatives of all the world's Nations together for the sole purpose of lying about why they needed to start their War, literally lying to every living soul on the Planet. Never in human history have so many been lied to at the same time. For what, You might ask??

Thou shalt not covet any thing that is thy neighbour's.

This brings us full circle; the two things they worship above all else, Money and Power, are currently embodied here on Earth by oil. The Country they brought War to has the second-largest reserves of the stuff on the Planet, so basically they lied and killed in order to steal this oil that belongs to somebody else. Almost a hat trick, but I have no reliable information to indicate they have committed adultery with their Fathers, but that's about all they've missed.

Dear Lord, please smite these motherfuckers. Smite them hip and thigh, and about the head and shoulders. Exactly what form the smiting should take I leave to Your Infinite Wisdom. Boils, frogs, pestilence, plague (a personal favorite of mine), whatever you have handy. No Pharoah or Gomorrahean ever deserved smiting any more than this bunch, and personally I don't think fire, brimstone and lightning would be excessive.

Smite them Lord, this we pray.


Some Friday Humor

Rapture takes two:
OTTAWA — The Rapture occurred March 31, 2005, at 9:43 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time and took both people on the planet whose theology was exactly correct.

Dan Wilson of Ottawa, Canada, was snatched away while sleeping.

"He spent years refining his eschatological scheme," says his wife. "Just last week he told me he had it all right, but I still disagreed with him on a minor point. I regret that now."

Rejna Thanawalla of New Delhi, India, also experienced the Rapture, say friends.

"She knew exactly what the books of Revelation and Daniel meant," they say. "Sadly, none of us listened to her."

In a surprise, Tim LaHaye says he was "slightly wrong on the subject of the Beast," and was left behind. Other prophecy experts say they, too, botched minor points in their end times charts.

"Looks like we'll have to stay and wait this out," said one disappointed pastor.

Wake up and smell the coffee

When everything falls apart, what does the GOP do? Blame someone else! Rove's latest stupidity is of course well known:
"Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Rove said Wednesday night. "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."

Huh. Offer therapy?!? Give me a break! That sure seemed farthest from my mind, and farthest from a topic of discussion among any liberal, progressive, or lefty that I happen to be aware of. Given that there's plenty of reason to believe that suicide bombers are not mentally unstable, why would one want to offer therapy? Maybe the fine folks who still think that 9/11 and Iraq are somehow connected could use some therapy? Heck, Cookie Monster has some nice Thorazine for the wingnuts.

U.N. Uncovers Torture at Guantánamo Bay. Torturegate simply will not go away. The evidence will continue to mount. Where do we Americans stand? Time will tell.

And of course our GOP chickenhawks sure talk a good game about supporting the troops, yet we keep getting news like this: "Appalling" Veterans Funding Shortfall. It sickens me that veterans are getting screwed once more.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Wake up and smell the coffee

The Left End of the Dial is serving up another set of piping hot news items and opinions to enjoy with your morning coffee. No cream or sugar necessary: just the truth straight up.

Now The Left is Hollering "White Man's Burden"? critiques Juan Cole's and others' recent suggestions about what to do about Iraq. A commenter on that particular thread points out quite aptly that there is a distinct difference between being a leftist and what seems to pass for "leftism" here in America. Members of the latter category seem much more prone to the "you broke it you bought it" mentality and seem much more concerned about how the situation in Iraq and possible outcomes there affect them as Americans than is the case with members of the former category.

Eli of Left I on the News calls bullshit on Tom Delay (not a difficult endeavor, of course) in his post, Damning with faint praise.

Kos has the bottom line on Iraq, noting along with Steve Gilliard that the actions of GOP war supporters speak much louder than their increasingly empty words.

Kurt Nimmo covers a Mass Murder of Iraqi Teenagers in Buhriz?, which links to an article worth reading. Nimmo also muses:
As Kraft notes in his short article, he is not certain what the story is behind the killing of the teenagers shown in the photos, but one thing is unmistakable: it is photographic evidence of U.S. troops planting RPGs near several otherwise unarmed Iraqi teenage males, apparently gunned down in Buhriz. I was thinking Rush Limbaugh might come up with a line of t-shirts dedicated to killing Iraqi teenagers in cold blood for the crime of appearing suspicious in their own country (all males of “fighting age” in Iraq are considered suspicious by the U.S. military). Or maybe some small enterprising company might manufacture a new magnetic car and SUV ribbon with the message: “Support Our Troops Killing Unarmed Hadji Kids.” I bet they would sell like hotcakes.

Sadly, I suspect Kurt is right on the money on that last point.

Elizabeth Terzakis has an interesting article in the newest issue of International Socialist Review titled, The New McCarthyism: The assault on civil liberties and academic freedom.

Kathleen and Bill Christison confront Israeli myth-making.

Kevin Zeese interviews Col. Sam Gardiner on The Bush Administration's Psy-Ops on the US Public

An indicator of just how lovely Baghdad is in summer-time: Bomb barrage kills 18 in Baghdad and wounds at least 48 more.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Wake up and smell the coffee

Another strong dose of caffeine, news, and opinion for this Wednesday morning is just what the doctor ordered. What's your brew of choice? The staple for me is Colombian, mainly because I can purchase whatever brand is cheapest at the time and count on a consistently decent flavor regardless. Someone told me Turkish coffee is really good. I've never tried it, but am now intrigued. I get the impression that it might have more kick to it than the typical espresso. Will definitely have to gather empirical evidence. When I can, I love to get a coffee drink called a "red eye" - a large cup of coffee with a shot or two of espresso. I always figured if something like that doesn't wake me up, then nothing will.

And now, on to our program:

When pies are outlawed... looks at a selection of violent acts committed by right-wing extremists against their political enemies from 1990 through about 1992. David Neiwert's blog Orcinus (see blogroll in the right column) has also been a good resource for tracking the violent tendencies of right-wing organizations and their members. For those wishing to disabuse their Faux News-watching friends and family of the notion that groups like Earth First, ALF, and ELF (note: in no way am I necessarily endorsing these groups' practices or views, but merely commenting on the dearth of violent acts committed by said groups) along with the occasional pie thrower are somehow "terrorist threats", this is a good place to start.

Where were the doctors at Abu Ghraib? tackles the question of the role of medical personnel in the torture (which we Americans love to euphemistically call "abuse" if we adress the issue at all) - in this case the role (at minimum) of complicity.

Suicide Bombing Shatters Bush's Faith-Based Bubble is Kurt Nimmo's latest offering at Dissident Voice. Here, Nimmo looks at the myths and realities of suicide bombers and what drives them.

Keep track of the progress on the reading and analysis of the ACLU and AP FOIA documents about the treatment of prisoners over at Daily Kos.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Food for thought:

Mississippi Wounds Still Unhealed offers this summary of the meaning of the Killen manslaughter conviction:

In Mississippi, where Ku Klux Klansman Edgar Ray Killen was convicted today of manslaughter in the 1964 civil rights murders, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal asks its readers a simple question:

Do you think the Edgar Ray Killen trial and guilty verdict will mend the old wounds of the 1964 slayings?

The simple answer? No.

No, the dark cloud hanging over Philadelphia, the state of Mississippi and the South won't be lifted by this single compromise verdict. The wounds certainly won't heal as long as:

  • Mississippi Senators Trent Lott and Thad Cochran withhold their names from the Senate resolution apologizing for obstructing the passage of anti-lynching legislation.
  • Southern Senators like George Allen and Bill Frist cynically use yesterday's racial politics to fight the battles of today and tomorrow. For Frist, who addressed the grotesque "Justice Sunday" event, the lynching apology is merely a part of the struggle over the judicial filibuster. The Senate Majority leader seeks to tar the Democrats, whose southern conservative members (now Republicans) blocked anti-lynching legislation 100 years ago, as the party of the filibuster. And for Allen, a possible 2008 presidential candidate, the apology is a thinly-veiled cover for his previous display of a noose and a Confederate flag at his home, as well as his past declaration of "Confederate Heritage Month."
  • Leaders like South Carolina's Jim Demint, Missouri's Matt Blunt and Mississippi's own Haley Barbour condone the public display of the Confederate flag by state and local governments.
  • Figures like Lott, Allen, and John Ashcroft offer tacit support to the successors of the White Citizens' Councils with statements praising the agenda of Davis, Lee and Jackson (Ashcroft), calling the Civil War "the war of aggression" (Lott) or referring to the NAACP as "an extremist group" (Allen).
  • Hagiographers of Ronald Reagan take stock of the late President's campaign kick-off speech delivered in Philadelphia, Mississippi precisely to send a clear message about states' rights and race to the Republican primary electorate.

The people of Mississippi took an important and difficult step of atonement today. The stain of violent white racial hatred and a complicit public that produced the Cheney, Goodman and Schwerner killings, however, can never be fully cleansed. But all of us, white and black, North and South, can still be redeemed if we view today's verdict as the beginning, and not the end, of a process of deep reflection, positive change and a renewed sense of brotherhood.

Wake up and smell the coffee

Very minimal blogging, as I've been out of town much of the afternoon and evening. I do want to have a few links to go with your morning coffee, so here goes:

The Great Awakening to the Iraq Deception, by Justin Raimondo - a conservative/libertarian gives his take on the Downing Street Memos, Beltway elitism, and the common interests in the Middle East held by both the US and Israel.

Someone Else's Child by Bob Herbert tackles the cowardice of the pro-war crowd.

Riverbend, the woman behind the blog Baghdad Burning has a new post, general update.

And sybil of the Booman Tribune has a take on the latest right-wing tempest in a teapot.

Have a great Summer (northern hemisphere) or Winter (southern hemisphere) Solstice.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Letters to the College Republican National Committee

Mark Garrity has written several letters to the CRNC, requesting that the CRNC post a link to at least one Army recruiter on their website, but sadly to no avail so far (as Mark reports). I did a quick bit of investigating on the CNRC website to verify that what Mark was saying was true. To my disappointment, it appears that our super-patriotic college repubs simply can't be bothered to do their part for President Bush's war effort. The site has a wonderful link for "job opportunities" that would be the perfect place to link to, say, After all, this is the war that Republicans, young and old alike, wanted. One would think that they'd be dying to join up en masse.

As always, I urge my readers to join Operation Yellow Elephant.

Wake up and smell the coffee

The work week begins again. So, how do you take your coffee? Cream, sugar? As for me, cream and sugar just get in the way. Pure unadulterated caffeine is all I need. That, and maybe a doughnut or two.

Now, for something to get you going: National Guard Pay On Hold. Read and weep. This is how the Republicans "support" the troops.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Notable anniversaries for June 19th

Of course today is Father's Day, and we don't need Wikipedia to tell us that. If my dad is reading this today, happy Father's Day, and thank you for everything you ever did for me. Words cannot begin to express how much I have appreciated you.

Now, here's a few events that caught my attention courtesy of Wikipedia:

As the above list shows, certainly the Nazis did not invent the perverted concept of forcing individuals who were considered "undersirables" to wear badges to identify themselves. This sorry practice goes back many centuries at least, and sadly continues to be advocated by right-wing hate groups in the US. Being a long-time baseball fan, I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the first game played under relatively modern rules. The 8-hour work day was a welcome development, and one that should be viewed as vulnerable - increasingly so as organized labor continues its decline. Juneteenth is a reminder of many things, including how slowly news used to travel. The Tasmanian Devil is arguably my favorite Loony Tunes character - I honestly did not know that this was the anniversary of his debut.

Wake up and smell the coffee

It's that time again! Sunday morning arrives and you've got to get ready for church, or perhaps catch up on the morning talk shows, or maybe were planning to sleep in but couldn't. So, let's get those coffee makers brewing, pour a huge mug of piping hot coffee, and check out a few links.

Seems the Downing Street memos are getting more mass media attention. After the novelty of the Michael Jackson verdict wore off, I suppose there was nothing left to report but real news.

Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska): "The White House is completely disconnected from reality". This article is found in the conservative US News & World Report. But hey, don't worry or listen to those Gloomy Guses. Everything's going great. We've turned the corner in Iraq. The insurgency is in its last throes. If we just close our eyes and wish all that bad news away, it'll go away. Right?

New US move to spoil climate accord. The Bu$hCo approach to science capitalizes on Maier's Law: "If the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of." Clearly the data that the scientists are finding regarding global warming are ones that do not conform to the rigid right-wing Bu$hCo ideology, hence they must be doctored, expunged, or whatever it takes in order to make sure that those data do not see the light of day (ideally) or if the data do somehow make it out to public view that the data can't impede the business of expanding US hegemony.