....Some modern truths.. ..(earlier comments)

9 September, 2007: : Our Soldiers in Iraq A wonderful piece from today's Chicago Tribune front page showing how the war on the ground in Iraq belies all the pompous requests from General Petraeus (he DID betray us!) and Ambassador Crocker for more carnage and waste of Iraqi and American lives..

30 March 2007
Another example of how Bush failure - his ABC (All But Clinton) policies - have accelerated the ruin and the local desires for revenge not just in Iraq, but more particularly in Palestine and the other lands surrounding Israel. We will be paying for these failures for decades to come...
5 March 2007
I thought our relatives need to read this: A United Kingdom of English and Irish! DNA shows that we were from the same stock - no need to fight about it!
And here is another interesting tidbit from The Progressive Populist (see above):
"While pundits have been pondering whether Americans are ready to vote for a woman or an African American for president, a recent Gallup Poll reported 2/20 that their chances are substantially better than, say, a Mormon, someone who's been married three times or someone who was 72 years old." Greg Sargent of TPMCafe.com noted the Republican candidates: Mitt Romney is a Mormon, Rudy Giuliani has been married three times, and John McCain will be 72 in 2008.
 Identification   Percent would vote for him/her
 African American  94%
 Woman  88%
 Married 3 times  67%
 Age 72 or older  57%
 Homosexual  55%
 Atheist  45%

3 March 2007
Ginnie Daley forwarded this: More about the Iraq War, an on-the-mark discussion by Dick Cavett
24 January 2007
I like this look at the Bush lie-detector in his State-of-the-Bush-Onion speech: a contribution from Greg Palast.
23 January 2007
Some security problems existed 107 years ago - but we didn't call it a war, and we did not infringe on public liberties: here are some examples from our family history in 1900.
13 January 2007
- We all suspected - now we know... the Bush colonialism has no bounds Ethiopia's battle plan and operation in Somalia was developed with Bush cohorts and General Abizaid
11 January 2007
- Dual comments on the Bush plan for winning in and on the Bush NCLB plan for winning in US education
20 December 2006
The latest
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists includes a fascinating article on how "Three years after its unveiling, Ready.gov, Homeland Security's supposed go-to source for all things preparedness, is woefully unprepared. "The average user going to the government site comes away flummoxed," says Ivan Oelrich at the Federation of American Scientists. "Plus, many of the instructions are plain wrong." In the spirit of scientific accuracy, Oelrich and his colleagues created their own preparedness website--built in just nine weeks, for the price of a domain name." Compare the 2 sites: Homeland unprepared and The Really-Ready site

9 December 2006
- Comment on the ISG report...
It's Still About Oil in Iraq! Antonia Juhasz, The Los Angeles Times

6 December 2006
- No thanks to the Bush way!!...
The IRAQ Study Group Report (pdf file)
Or just the "letter from the Chairs" & Executive summary - here, as an MS-word file

28 November 2006 - Thanksgiving
- Giving thanks the Bush way??...
Matt Frei's upgrade of Art Buchwald's "Merci Donant"

12 November 2006 - Rumsfeld the quitter...
Lots of cartoons to illustrate this guy's part in "the axis of arrogance" can be found at the Cagle News website
Here are just a couple, followed by 2 other "election cartoons"...
"It's ironic because Republicans always wanted to appeal to minorities. Now they are one." --Jay Leno
"There were many reports of problems with the voting machines yesterday, especially with touch-screen voting machines. In fact, in Congressman Mark Foley's district, some of the machines were touched inappropriately." --Conan O'Brien

12 November 2006 A Chicago Tribune Editorial
Denny and the Do-Littles
A retrospective about the Democratic Party's capture of Congress could begin with these three sentences:
Millions of Americans who decry rampant federal spending and Capitol Hill corruption welcome the demotion of congressional Republicans who once championed conservative causes--but lost their way in Washington.
Angry voters, many of whom had trusted the GOP to be the party of cleaner, leaner government, dethroned House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) by awarding 20-some Republican seats to a relatively moderate-to-conservative class of incoming Democrats. The Guardian of London described the more iconoclastic members of the class in a Friday dispatch from the States: "Pro-gun, anti-abortion and fiscally conservative--Meet the neo-Dems."

That analysis may shock Americans who cling to the notion of a world of partisan equilibrium: Liberals vote for Democrats, conservatives for Republicans. But American voters haven't been afraid to veer from one major party to the other--especially in the quarter-century since Republican Ronald Reagan invited millions of "Reagan Democrats" into his tent.
Yes, Democrats triumphed on Tuesday. But the larger lesson may be that both liberal and conservative voters gave a thumpin' to Denny and the Do-Littles--entrenched congressional Republicans whose message boiled down to this: It's sweet that all you voters want your concerns addressed, but our big priority is staying in power.
That's truth-telling on which even Barack Obama and Rush Limbaugh can agree:
In a pre-election fundraising letter for Democratic Senate candidates, Obama convincingly lambasted the incumbent majority's "can't-do, won't-do, won't-even-try style of governance."
Limbaugh told his Wednesday listeners: "It wasn't conservatism that lost. Conservatism won when it ran as a Democrat. It won in a number of places. Republicanism lost. Republican-in-name-only Republicans, country club blue-blood Republicans, this non-partisan Republican identity, that's what went down in flames."
Score one for the liberal senator from Illinois, one for the conservative broadcaster.
Particularly in the last two years, cautious GOP leaders in Congress squandered one opportunity after another to resolve problems. Retiring Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) deserves a share of the blame. And in the House, well, Hastert has been good for Illinois, which this page noted last month in endorsing him for re-election. But under Frist and Hastert, the supposedly disciplined conservatives whom voters had been sending to Congress since 1994 became an undisciplined rabble of big spenders, more devoted to crowd-pleasing earmarks than to constructive work on hard issues.
Hastert lent little but lip service to President Bush's efforts to confront the pending crisis in Social Security; worse, Hastert essentially let Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi of California get away with denying that a serious problem even exists. Hastert also chose to exploit immigration as a hot-button political issue rather than a recurring American debate that needed to be resolved.
Most damaging: His tepid ho-hummery to scandals that cost three of his members their seats--Duke Cunningham, Tom DeLay and Bob Ney--telegraphed laxness toward corruption. The image of Hastert and his staff as slow-footed in reacting to reports of Rep. Mark Foley's flirtations with pages sealed many Americans' verdict that Congress needed a scrubdown.
Americans did not, though, choose a classically liberal path on Tuesday. They took generally (although not exclusively) conservative tacks on major ballot referendums (see next editorial). And they did send many moderate, in some cases even conservative, Democrats to Washington.
Republicans can munch popcorn now as Democrats run the House and Senate--or they can refocus on the principles that gave them the congressional majorities they've lost. Potential House leaders such as Indiana's Mike Pence and Arizona's John Shadegg and Jeff Flake grasp the first rule of American conservatism: Government has to live within its means.
The GOP can find one upside to losing the House and Senate. It stands to gain a new generation of leaders.
Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune

11 November 2006
Thanking King George W.: A letter in the London Guardian...from martin.kettle@guardian.co.uk
The US conservative project has taken an existential hit. Thanks to Bush and Iraq, the Republican coalition that has come to dominate America suffered a huge crash
In spare moments since Tuesday's American elections I have been replying to a backlog of emails. Big deal, you may say. But these were not run-of-the-mill correspondents. They were Americans who wrote to me after last week's column. This argued - correctly, as it turned out - that the Democrats were about to win the midterms, perhaps handsomely, while warning that the party should not mistake a revolt over Iraq for a wider political endorsement.
When you challenge the gospel according to King George, you should don a tin helmet. Last weekend was no exception. The electronic abuse started early and kept coming. I was a pinko jerk who had no right to comment about America. I would have been writing my article in German had it not been for Uncle Sam. I would be eating crow come Tuesday. The reader who invited me to "pound sand, you fucking lib foreign moron dipshit" was not alone in his views.
It was not the rudeness that made me write back after Tuesday suggesting that some apology might be in order. It was the denial about what was so clearly going to happen in the midterms. Every poll for months had signalled a serious Republican defeat. Reporting from America in May, I was told that no Republican strategist believed they could hold the House of Representatives. As David Broder, the dean of American political reporters, wrote this week: "Never was a political wipeout better advertised in advance than the one that hit the Republican party on Tuesday." Which part of the word defeat did my correspondents not understand?
What happened this week was not complex. It was the crash of the conservative political project begun by Newt Gingrich in 1994 and crystallised under George Bush since 2000. It was the crash heard round the world. It came in the form of a nationwide protest against the Iraq war and Bush's presidency. A new survey of actual voters, conducted since election day by Bill Clinton's former pollster, Stan Greenberg, confirms that Iraq was by far the most important issue that influenced Americans' votes. The divide among those for whom Iraq was the most important issue went 3:1 in favour of the Democrats. That, in a nutshell, explains what happened.
The use of the word crash is important if we are to understand the new situation in Washington. This was not an election in which the traditional Democratic vote finally roused itself to overturn Republican rule. It was an election in which the Republican coalition that has gradually come to dominate America since the civil-rights acts of the 1960s suffered a huge existential hit as a result of Bush and Iraq.
The Democrats did not just win among the usual groups such as the poor, women and black people. This time they won among the middle class too, among small-town voters, among every age group and - crucially and emphatically - among independents and moderates. Even where the Democrats lost they polled significantly, taking 45% in the south, 28% of white evangelical Christians, 20% of conservatives and 15% of people who voted for Bush in 2004. These strong showings among unlikely groups help explain why Democrats won congressional seats in so many "red" states this week and why the win that finally gave them control of the senate came from the near south.
No one can say if this is an epochal hit or one from which the Republicans will bounce back in 2008. But the implications of the 2006 crash are fascinating. This is not the creation of a new majority, Greenberg stresses, but a lot of space has nevertheless opened up in which the Democrats could do even better in future. Clearly such optimism has to be highly contingent. Only a fool would overstate it. Karl Rove has not become incompetent overnight. But this week defies the argument in influential recent books that America is a conclusively conservative country.
It will take time for this to sink in among conservative Republicans. This election has been a major blow to their self-image and world-view. Like the Thatcherites, they got used to assuming that they were always right and would always be victorious. On Tuesday the voters told them they were wrong. It has taken many false starts for the Conservative party to get back in the game in Britain. Something similar could happen to the suddenly weakened Republicans. But there's nothing they like more than a fight.
What will this traumatic domestic political event mean for America's relations with the rest of the world? Three main answers suggest themselves. The first is the reminder that the problem is not America but this American administration. Foreigners have had the useful reminder that Americans are not nuts. Greenberg's poll shows that in modern times Americans have never been more multilateralist in foreign policy than they are today, with 58% agreeing that America's security "depends on building strong ties with other nations" compared with 34% who think it depends "on its own military strength". I doubt that many American politicians will trust that finding, but in the long run nothing is more important than the change from America as part of the problem to America as part of the solution.
Second, a weakened presidency inevitably means a weakened America. And that means less not more American foreign policy during Bush's final two years. The Democratic agenda is a domestic one, Iraq apart. In the short run that may be a relief all round. But it means fewer good initiatives as well as fewer bad ones. The fall of Donald Rumsfeld does not portend the rise of Condoleezza Rice. Bush will have his work cut out dealing with Congress and trying to extricate America from Iraq. Rice is manoeuvring to be her party's vice-presidential nominee. It's stay-at-home time for America. Good news for Iran, which now more than ever must believe it is playing a winning hand. Bad news for Palestine.
And Iraq? Those who expect a sudden sea change may be disappointed. It won't be a 180-degree shift, a senior British Washington-watcher suggests. But maybe a 60-degree shift is now on the cards. The name of the game now is minimising the damage of a lost war. With Democratic approval, American policy has been explicitly subcontracted to James Baker and his Iraq Study Group. But that doesn't in itself solve the problem. The damage of Bush's Iraq adventure has just got bigger, not smaller. It now stretches from the streets of Baghdad and Basra into the heart of the once triumphalist and now humbled Republican party.

13 May 2006
How about this from today's Chicago Tribune - more about our governing terrorists...

16 December 2005
The Devil's Ducky site, will make you laugh - here is one about Bush's (deep?) understanding of Global Warming" (submitted by Geb)

13 December 2005
Many of us in the family knew Eugene J. McCarthy well, and here are a few commentaries...
Saint Cloud Times article, Sunday, 11 December 2005, which includes some quotes from Arleen
I quote from The Progressive Populist, 12/10/05: "Eugene J. McCarthy, the US senator who stood up for peace in 1968 and who never stopped causing trouble for the powers that be in both major parties, died Saturday at age 89. See Sam Smith's remembrance.
"McCarthy also was a founding contributor to The Progressive Populist. From our archives, see McCarthy's remarks on his career in politics on the event of his 80th birthday, as well as his remembrances of the infamous Chicago convention of 1968 as the Democrats returned to the scene of the crime in 1996.
"Also see more of our archives by or about Eugene McCarthy.
Jamie's obituary to Eugene.
April 2005
Bush Lies, America Cries.. A view from San Francisco, passed on by "The SLANGIST" (Jamie Yeager)
March 2005
The future for Conservatives in the USA They have met their enemy -and it is them!!
No escape from the WAR Another British comment, found by "The SLANGIST" (Jamie Yeager) in Britain's Guardian newspaper

Information from the CNN News Service:
As of April 25, 2004 there have been 812 deaths of Occupation Troops, 708 Americans, 59 Britons, six Bulgarians, one Dane, one Estonian, 17 Italians, two Poles, one Salvadoran, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and four Ukrainians; 3,864 U.S. troops wounded in action, according to the Pentagon.

Comment on November 4, 2004:
Has the number doubled yet? - and how about the reported number of Iraqis killed - somewhere around 100,000 - I think the rate of killing far exceeds the rate of killing by Sadam Hussein.

Bush's face made up of dead soldiers' faces!
Who IS the liar? - the guy in front, or the woman in the back, or BOTH?...(Bush-baby looks a bit vague anyway)
Which regime change!?
Our view too!
Click here for another short comment on the recent election.

The Madness of King George (for your reading pleasure)

{You need Acrobat reader to read this diatribe)

A needed Reagan biography.. I quote from Jamie Yeager: "I didn't want to be disrespectful to the late president by listing all his accomplishments and therefore having to put up a blank screen, so instead i wrote an obituary where my friends could recognize him, as they must have had difficulty doing from the hagiographical portraits on TV and in newspapers..." {An Acrobat file}