jazzoLOG: Halliburton: Why Dubai? Do Buy!    
 Halliburton: Why Dubai? Do Buy!59 comments
picture12 Mar 2007 @ 09:48, by Richard Carlson

You are never too old to be what you might have been.

---George Eliot

Talk does not cook rice.

---Chinese proverb

My religion is to live---and die---without regret.


The caption for the photo, taken by Eric Case, reads, "I had a ~6 hour layover in Dubai today, so I decided to go snowboarding with Jehane." [link]

You all know where Dubai is. Tiger Woods goes there to play golf. Port city in the United Arab Emirates...over in this part of the world...


Home of the Mall of the Emirates...where you can do a little skiing while you shop. What better location for Halliburton to move its offices?


Halliburton to move to Dubai
Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:31AM GMT
By Mohammed Abbas and Anna Driver

MANAMA/HOUSTON (Reuters) - U.S. oil services firm Halliburton Co. is moving its headquarters and chief executive to Dubai to better position itself to gain contracts in the oil-rich Middle East.

Texas-based Halliburton, which was led by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney from 1995-2000, did not specify what, if any, tax implications the move might entail. It plans to list on a Middle East bourse once it moves to Dubai -- a booming commercial centre in the Gulf.

"My office will be in Dubai, and I will run our entire worldwide operations from that office," said Chief Executive David Lesar at an energy conference in Bahrain on Sunday. "Dubai is a great business centre."

Halliburton has drawn scrutiny from auditors, congressional Democrats and the Justice Department for the quality and pricing of its KBR Inc. unit's work for the U.S. army in Iraq.

The Dubai move drew political condemnation.

"This is an insult to the U.S. soldiers and taxpayers who paid the tab for their no-bid contracts and endured their overcharges for all these years," said judiciary committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat.

Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, might hold a hearing on the implications, an aide to Waxman said.

Halliburton, which has long been involved in the Middle East, generated more than 38 percent of its $13 billion (6.7 billion pounds) in oil services revenue in the eastern hemisphere last year.

"The company as a whole has continued to diversify internationally, and the Middle East is a point that they have targeted," said William Sanchez, a U.S.-based analyst at Howard Weil Inc.

"They are being opportunistic in putting the CEO in the middle of the action."

Sanchez said he believed Halliburton's move to Dubai was not tax related. Instead he viewed it as a strategic play.

Alan Laws, an analyst at Merrill Lynch, said the move would likely help Halliburton's position in negotiating large contracts.

Halliburton said it would maintain its legal registration in the United States and was not leaving Houston, where it was currently based.

But Lesar told reporters: "At this point in time we clearly see there are greater opportunities in the eastern hemisphere than the western hemisphere."

KBR, the engineering and military-services contractor unit that Halliburton is in the process of splitting off, is the Pentagon's largest contractor in Iraq.

KBR has so far booked more than $20 billion in revenues from its work in Iraq and has been the target of several investigations into the company's billing practices. It has also faced complaints from some U.S. lawmakers about the company's close ties to the Bush administration.

Wikipedia on the UAE~~~

Human rights

It is a common practice for employers in the UAE to retain employees' passports for the duration of the employment contract to prevent expatriate employees from changing jobs. This is an illegal practice, but it is almost never investigated, let alone punished by the government. Further, there are court rulings that government departments are also holding their employees' passports. On termination of an employment contract, most categories of expatriates used to be automatically banned from obtaining a work permit in the country for six months and a no entry stamp would be stamped on their passports. However, in 2005, this was revoked and it requires a petition on the employers part for this to occur. A number of employers, especially Indian companies, are misusing this law to punish employees who refuse to work off the contract terms. This has created considerable new labour movement in the market since it was implemented. There has also been an increase in labour agitation as a result.

The United States Department of State has cited widespread instances of blue collar labor abuse in the general context of the United Arab Emirates.

The United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has characterized the United Arab Emirates "as a destination country for men, women, and children trafficked from South and East Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East for involuntary servitude and for sexual exploitation; an estimated 10,000 women from sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, South and East Asia, Iraq, Iran, and Morocco may be victims of sex trafficking in the UAE ..."

The government has been criticized by the human rights agency Human Rights Watch for its inaction in addressing the discrimination against Asian workers in the emirates. Salary structures and treatment based on nationality, sex, age, and race rather than on qualification are common. A plumber or a janitor from U.K. can easily become a General Manager in an Arab managed company and highly qualified expatriates from the South Asian countries would report to him.

According to Ansar Burney Trust (ABT), an illegal sex industry thrives in the emirates, especially in Dubai. This complements the tourism and hospitality industry, a major part of Dubai's economy. A 2004 HBO documentary accuses the UAE of illegally using child jockeys in camel racing, where they are also subjected to physical and sexual abuse. Antislavery.org has documented similar allegations. The ABT, which was featured heavily in the HBO documentary, announced that in 2005 the government of the UAE began actively enforcing a ban on child camel jockeys, and that the issue "may finally be resolved". This started with the 2006 camel racing season.

The UAE's human rights record, particularly in relation to migrant workers, was widely criticized during the trials of Sarah Balabagan in 1995.

A Web site is campaigning to pressure the government of the UAE into signing up to International Labour Organization core conventions on freedom of association. Strikes and unions are currently banned in the UAE and many laborers are virtual prisoners, having paid huge agents' fees in order to obtain jobs and visas.

Homosexual acts are punished by death. The United Arab Emirates is one of seven modern day countries where the punishment for homosexuality is death.

Foreigners found to be infected by HIV will be deported without exception.

Sounds absolutely ideal!!

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12 Mar 2007 @ 12:24 by jmarc : You do know
that George Soros just bought a significant chunk of Halibuton stock don't you? Maybe it's going to be the new home of the "Screamin' Dean Wing" of the democratic party after Hillary banishes them?  

12 Mar 2007 @ 12:31 by jmarc : source
. http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/node/3776  

12 Mar 2007 @ 16:09 by vaxen : Tee Hee:
During the Reagan administration, then-Rep. Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, who was chief executive of the pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle & Co., were key players in a secret program to set aside the legal lines of succession and install a new president in a catastrophe, The Atlantic Monthly reported this month.


Finagles' Law:

1. scibble
2. mangle
3. trash
4. nuke


Game Universe Model (GUM) Zero (0) is known as the Emergency GUM...

Personally? I favor Mastikos Sinaitikos. You?

Cybercortical Warfare: The Case of Hizbollah.org, by Conway, Trinity College, 2003
(alternate source)

http://www.au.af.mil/info-ops/perception.htm (#neocortical)  

12 Mar 2007 @ 16:56 by quinty : The sins of the left

This is from Jmarc's verification for the Soros story.... the opening lines....

"Normally, I'm willing to overlook the hypocrisy of the liberal elite. If Al Gore and his Hollywood cronies want to fly around on gas-guzzling, atmosphere-polluting private jets while railing against global climate change, I'm willing to overlook it.

"But the latest move by globe trotting, hyper-liberal billionaire George Soros borders on being too much. According to papers filed with the SEC, in the fourth quarter of 2006 Soros purchased nearly 2 million shares of ... hold your breath ... Halliburton. The Halliburton shares reportedly went for an average purchase price of $31.30 a share. That puts Soros' total investment in Halliburton at around $62.6 million, or about 2 percent of his total portfolio."

The tone is clearly slanted. But never mind: simply because the author is of the far rightwing persuasion does not necessarily mean he is "stretching the taffy," as Mark Twain liked to say. Soros may have indeed bought a sizable number of Halliburton shares. And, yes, if true, very odd. Or perhaps Soros, in the final analysis, is more a businessman than a social idealist.

But one has a right to doubt this kind of rightwing character assault since often enough it has arisen out of the gutter. Look at the recent assaults on Barack Obama? One particularly foul smear linked him to Islamic jihad because he went to a school in Jakarta. Ann Coulter recently distinguished herself by calling John Edwards a "faggot." On some far rightwing talk radio shows merely being Democrat is to be a "traitor." The far right has not been setting a good standard for itself in its way of presenting its case.

The opening paragraph of that story is interesting, too. Perhaps there is some hypocrisy in Al Gore's behavior, if he spends big on energy to make himself comfortable while criticizing government and corporate waste. But the wording of the comment, without need to read further on, indicates the writer probably does not believe in manmade global warming. So he, the author, is not sympathetic with Gore's aspirations to clean up the environment in the first place. He is merely attempting to rub it in by pointing out Gore is a hypocrite. If (and considering the character of so much rightwing boiler plate I doubt it) he is guilty of selfishness, that is sorry and a loss because it hurts his cause. But this is a cause the writer doesn't even appear to believe in. So what is there in his accusations of Soros to make us believe he himself may not be biased? That this is no more than rightwing boilerplate?

The right keeps us on our toes in this manner. Someone comes up with a ugly smear against Obama, it quickly spreads, and we have to go find the facts. For when first confronted we can only scratch our heads.

Nor do rightwing sanctimony and moral outrage enhance their position, since it so often is founded upon a reckless lie. Frankly, I would like to hear Soros' side of the story before believing that biased rightwing writer. Is it possible he has spread rightwing boilerplate around too? In the matter of telling the truth they have much to live down..... the war, for example?  

12 Mar 2007 @ 18:18 by vaxen : right=left=right
George Soros Buys 2 Million Shares of Halliburton
Nothing says “Bomb Iran” like markets wizard George Soros plunking down $62 million for a nice chunk of Halliburton stock.

The beloved liberal moneybags made the purchase at the end of last year, according to secret public documents revealed by Foreign Policy’s blog. Sure, that’s chump change for the super-billionaire Soros, but the dude didn’t become a super-billionaire by pissing his money away … except for the Kerry campaign, which is pretty much the legal definition of “pissing your money away.” (Soros bought HAL at $31.30, so he already lost about $2 million on the deal.)

What does Soros know, and when did he start to know it? Note to our friends in Iran: This is an awesome time to take a trip abroad. Come to LA! You’ll find things remarkably inexpensive due to our worthless U.S. dollar. And the White House hasn’t destroyed an American city since New Orleans, so …. Actually, Europe is super great this time of year.

Soros buys Halliburton http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/node/3776 [Foreign Policy]
Ever hear of the Devils' Advocate?
The clashing rocks of Iolcos?
The Golden Fleece job?

Bit O a ditty from wonkette:


And you could always google: +"george soros" +"halliburton"
For starters...

Do you own an assault weapon?  

12 Mar 2007 @ 19:58 by Quinty @ : Soros, the Demos, etc.
Since the issue isn't Soros, but the "hypocrisy" of critics of the Bush administration, as sneeringly referred to above, I just thought I would point out that Henry Waxman (perhaps Soros hasn't contributed to his campaign?) will be opening hearings....

This thanks to Truthout....

Rep. Waxman Calls for Hearings on Halliburton Move to Dubai
Halliburton, the energy services giant and controversial defense contractor,
said Sunday it is opening a new corporate headquarters in Dubai in the Middle
East. The planned move surprised longtime critic Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif.,
chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He called
for Congressional hearings on the move, saying, "I want to understand the
ramifications for US taxpayers and national security."

For the LA Times story: {link:http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-halliburton12mar12,0,7232090.story?coll=la-home-headlines}  

12 Mar 2007 @ 20:23 by quinty : Touchy, touchy

But why?

Because too much crap has circulated about in I don't know how many years. The Christian right began to take up where the old right left off sometime in the seventies or eighties (The old right believed, and still believes, that fascism was a hedge against Communist expansion.... but let's not go down that route.) and has spun outlandish fairy tales which in the Age of Bush have become thicker than the fog in Pacifica on the California coast. Now, cynics (as opposed to that word’s ill usage for skeptics) among us may sneer at such naive concerns. The desire for a clean debate in which (mirabile dictu) one side answers the other and both strive for truth. Bush and his gang jumped into the fray early on with lurid tales of the Evil Empire seeking and finding hiding places beneath our beds. If we don't fight them there we have to fight them here. And the result of all this is the prospect of one very "Long War" - perhaps lasting into the next century.

So rightwing crap has to be called out. The moronic among us may buy that stuff wholesale without criticism. I guess the poles show that Bush is scraping on that bottom thirty percent. But those of us who hope to see through the fog are not deserving of sneers. Nor are we necessarily naive,

Though I will be the first to admit that my awkward striving to find the mot juste may at times come on as pompous.  

12 Mar 2007 @ 20:46 by jmarc : yeah. Just slighly.
But then the facts are there to ignore as you please. Maybe Waxman can get a non binding resolution passed that says Halliburton is evil or something. Carry on.  

12 Mar 2007 @ 22:56 by b : Hey, Dubai is a great place
You can sit on a beach and smoke big chillams of hashish and no one says anything. You can look at women in bikini's and those women sweating in burka's under a blazing hot sun. You've heard of five star hotels, well they have ten star hotels there. I am sure Halliburton and Soro's will receive a huge welcome.
Allah worshipped first, then money...just bring it. Don't steal money though or your hand will be non binding to your body. Sweet justice!  

12 Mar 2007 @ 23:25 by quinty : Well,
your easy shot aside (which I provided you with! Won't you at least thank me?) the Democrats, whatever their faults (and, yes, they are many) are at least attempting to find a way out of this insane war. (I’m referring to those “facts” you mention above.)

They lack, however, the focus and concentrated power of the Commander in Chief, who could end it, if he ever chose to. But he doesn't. So those in the Senate and House (both Demos and and a few Repubs) who wish to end the needless slaughter and waste have to find a means for doing so. Not easy.

My point being, if you haven't already seen it, that they do not merely wish to "micromanage" the war, as rightwing pundits have recently been saying: they wish to find a means of ending it. Which, not having the power of the president, is quite difficult to do. And there being approx. 300 members of the House and Senate opposed to Bush's homicidal folly finding a consensus isn’t easy. Some do, after all, think for themselves.

My wording here, I admit, was tortured. And I'm sure I could have found a more elegant and clear way of expressing this simple observation. I only wanted to point out, once again, that the right in this country is not actually interested in fairness or truth. They never have been. For they have interests, desires, needs which are often merely narrow and selfish: and upon that basis they concoct the arguments which will help them forward.

‘The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” John Kenneth Galbraith

Do government regulations, for example, protect consumers? Nonsense, the conservative will say, those regulations only stifle individual liberty and initiative. Because government is greedy, government only desires to tax and spend and doesn’t know that all that tax money belongs to us, not to the government. So who uses the parks, roads, schools, libraries, hospitals government builds? Who should be able to respond to a national emergency, such as Katrina? As if anybody in the world (except corrupt politicians of either party) wished to tax only for the sake of taxing.

When Bush lied to us about the need for the war there was nothing new about his approach. Bush Junior has simply brought us to new unprecedented depths or heights of mendacity. (A pompous word, I admit it.) Perhaps we as a nation need this. For the trend has existed as far back, at least, as I can remember. American corporate capitalism may take us off a cliff. The news from Brazil is that Bush has made an agreement with the Brazilian government for more ethanol. Now, is Bush concerned with the environment? Or with corporate profit? (At the expense of the Amazon forest!) I haven’t heard the whole tale regarding this and perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe there won’t be more deforestation as a result of this deal.

But does anyone actually believe Bush is an environmentalist? Do you Jmarc?  

13 Mar 2007 @ 10:04 by jazzolog : Soros & Democrats
Be sure to read the Wonkette link Vax cites up there---and the comments. Lady Wesley's idea is one that came to me too. Without effective branches of government to oversee corporate shenanigans, the only way to check and balance is to influence stockholder meetings. Of course since Soros plunked down his cash a month ago http://today.reuters.com/news/articleinvesting.aspx?view=CN&storyID=2007-02-14T233646Z_01_WAO000067_RTRIDST_0_SOROS-HOLDINGS-ADDITIONS-URGENT.XML&rpc=66&type=qcna , one does wonder if he's merely riding the wave of profits.

I am one of millions of Democrats currently who never have voted that party's lineup with total enthusiasm. They too often are like needy little dogs yipping at the ankles of the well-heeled. IF Waxman can't pull something together with the hearings on both Plame and Halliburton, I predict many more of us will be looking with utmost seriousness at any 3rd party candidates that show up during the next year...and we'll vote for them this time, no matter what it does to the Democrats.  

13 Mar 2007 @ 11:50 by jmarc : what's an environmentalist?
Is there a litmus test? Does it require signing international agreements that you know will trash your country's economy while giving those who don't sign it an undeserved economic boost? Does it mean signing an international agreement that you know will not be lived up to by any signer? Because that's kyoto, the agreement that got all of the environmentalists in such a tizzy. Anyway, this post isn't about the environmentalist president, but I suppose you could read what I posted at the confrere and critique that. ( i posted in the comments, not the initial article) {LINK:http://www.newciv.org/nl/newslog.php/_v288/__show_article/_a000288-003398.htm|LINK}.

I know it sounds unbelievable, but republicans enjoy the environment and require clean air and water to survive, just as democrats do. They do see the appproach to cleaning things up quite differently. The president and his vice(heheh), though rumoured to be reptilian, I'm sure also require a clean environment to ensure the survival of themselves and their progeny.
Now I have to abandon this for now to go to work. On the way out the alley out back, I'll end up stopping two or three times to pick up trash which gets left out there by people who seem to enjoy emptying their cars trash cans in it every night. Any neighbor who sees me doing this will, I assume, think that I'm a good democrat. Think what they may, it doesn't matter to me, as long is the trash gets cleaned up.  

13 Mar 2007 @ 14:34 by vaxen : Wonkette wins!
Right now in Austin, millions are celebrating the announcement of the 2007 Bloggie Award Winners. And guess who won the Best Political Weblog? That’s right, your beloved Wonkette!


13 Mar 2007 @ 14:37 by Quinty @ : No,
being a good environmental president does not mean making half assed attempts and empty gestures at cleaning up the environment. It means, rather, striving to move your country and the world forward toward a meaningful effort, which, as your post implies, Bush has not done. You may be on top of this question: I'm not, but has Bush admitted yet that manmade global warming exists? Or is that issue still "controversial?"

But if Republicans stoop to pick up the trash on their lawns, hurrah for them. Though I'm sure they would never do it if it conflicted with profits. (Which is not to imply that Democrats are not self-serving too.)  

13 Mar 2007 @ 14:42 by rayon : Serious Stuff..
No Quinty not pomp at all, just well informed with heart. Unfortunately US politics are above my reach, but t'is good, v good to see considered topical discussion such as these. These logs have reduced seriously my ability to concentrate on TV news items, they appear scandalously scanty, and the newscasters all nice people but not quite real. This should show my level of appreciation for dedicated articles as these. Historic towns and cities guilty of gross excess in the past have met doomy ends. Couldn't drag me to Dubai environs; so now just register my precence in form of grateful audience. Thanks.  

13 Mar 2007 @ 16:04 by jmarc : manmade global warming
is indeed still very controversial. I think we can all stipulate that pollution exists, and steps have to be taken to stop it, if that helps your cause any, but no, global warming (manmade) is far from a given, despite what others may claim. (short work day here).

I'll agree with nraye, television news is quite useless.  

13 Mar 2007 @ 19:59 by quinty : How would I answer that argument?

Well, allowing for uncertainty, and even a certain human propensity to be often wrong, can we dismiss more than ninety percent of reputable science because there is a "possibility" it may be wrong? Should we? Can we afford that luxury?

I'm a lay person, so - like most of us here - I can't speak as a scientist. But I do know a little about the history of this debate, and that those who originally withstood environmental laws and reforms had a strong economic interest to do so. This reveals motive: a self interested desire to not believe the scientific consensus. A desire to withstand environmental laws and regulations because they can cut into profit.

But over the years we have gone beyond that original resistance, and it has entered into the culture of the right. Even if they lack a sufficient amount of science to back their claims they still deny the overwhelming preponderant claims of objective science. And when Exon Mobil sponsors a study the results which the “scientists,” with all their degrees, find are fairly predictable. This is a simple fact.

None of we lay persons have invented any of this. This bad news is what is being given us by ninety percent or so of objective scientists. Can they be wrong? Sure. But ask yourself what the motives are for not believing them. And, coolly, logically, without emotion, who we should believe? Which side is more likely led on by the results of their inquiries, rather than seeking a confirmation for their claims.

Alright. On the other side, there are indeed "tree huggers" and fanatics. But the vast majority of environmentalists today are concerned citizens who (a) believe the claims of science, and (b) do not want to see their world or environment despoiled. Just like those upstanding Republicans who pick up the garbage from their lawns. And they also know that at the very least the claims the “anti-environmental” movement are tainted by the profit motive.

Do we have a right to despoil our environment? Surely you must agree that there are those persons (and I’m not including you) who do not really care. Who see the world merely as a place designed for their own immediate comfort and convenience. And if dumping pollutants into the water or fouling the air makes life momentarily easier and more profitable then so be it. We know this attitude was common throughout the United States up the mid twentieth century. And considering how much land, water, and clean air there was until fairly recently such a lack of concern may be understandable. But not any more. Out of simple decency we don’t have a right to treat our world as a vast garbage dump. And even if science may be wrong we should certainly head their warnings. For a “possibility” they may be wrong based upon a refusal to see is not a convincing argument for doing nothing.  

13 Mar 2007 @ 23:38 by b : Oi!
There is nothing religious about global warming. The Pope said so. There are many, many beautiful places on this planet. And the planet is beautiful, in space. What can we do to improve the global climate should be the question if you really care. Pointing fingers doesn't provide agreement that something can be done and that people will cooperate in getting it done.
Conservatives are a minority in the Reepublican Party. Republicans are the party of the individual(so why shouldn't some be selfish?) as the Democrat Party is a communal Party. And liberals are a minorty who are mostly sponsored by foreign government operations in US.

14 Mar 2007 @ 12:32 by rayon : Gravitas actually
was the intended word Quin!. For the other side of the argument, I have personal knowledge of certain efforts in the environmental department which positively do not seek media coverage, but the opposite. So we have here the covert environmentalists, like the French Resistance, no advertising, just getting on with it, in ded of night. They are leaving the scientists to deal with whoever signs their paychecks, and just getting on with it. I first came across Professional covertness in the influential spheres 15 years ago. If it protects them to say no more, we are surely all happy to do that BUT without complacency, and Quinty is precisely that, not complacent.

On otherhand, we also all know that the situation is being manipulated by the expert manipulators, so the this argument of JM stands too. It does not mean we join the manipulators by saying this, but that we have to at least be aware that is going on, a factor which must importantly be taken into account.

Where are you Jazzolog here, for the adjudication your Halibut Log?

Dubai sounds a place of total Dubiousness. Natives in plain clothes, and all that. Take your most thrilling of thrilling adventurers and dangerous places, and it will still not compare with these for potential riskiness, for the Heart, Physique or Soul or Mind. So if Halibut wishes to transfer to Dubai, what is all the fuss? All the same, I do tend to agree, it seem a very interesting turn of events, as with the Sorrows connection. As a girl, it is a hat only rather reluctantly worn, as with discussion in this Dubai area. To my mind it is threatening, and therefore all instincts suggest to me, "stay out".

Perhaps this is the inherent tension of the subject and its ultimate awe? so placed by Jazzo, and forgiven.

On global warming, I am resigned to it. I have said my prayers, I believe in another life after, I try to tend my local patch, and there is nothing else I can do. You have to be mad not to be aware of Warmer days, drier desert lands. The terrible weather news must be strictly controlled within national boundaries, because last year Poland to mention one had unbelievable weather non stop heat.

As for the Catholic inspired take on global warmth, I haven't even begun this chapter yet, on NCN here, but it is there!!! I promise, then everyone will be covert ed!! I keep testing the water, but its still icy.  

14 Mar 2007 @ 16:09 by jazzolog : Sorry
A bit under the weather today. Will be back in action anon.  

15 Mar 2007 @ 01:48 by From me to You @ : ~!~
lovelight angel, hope you feel better soon *hugs*

15 Mar 2007 @ 08:33 by jazzolog : "Doomy Ends"
Nicola's phrase Tuesday, along with "Halibut Log," delighted me as much as the peaceful interlude we've just enjoyed from an anonymous benefactor just above. I don't always understand everything people say in comments, but I try more to learn from them than to adjudicate rivaling views. I save scolding for true nastiness which fortunately has not been plaguing NCN so much lately. Actually I love it that a few such distinguised thinkers regularly grace jazzoLOG with your posts. I was thinking yesterday how we all are trying to figure out the contrived mysteries this Yankee power structure is foisting onto the world. To that end, incidentally, I recommend Tom Englehardt's essay Tuesday on Seymour Hersh's latest revelations from the Cheney underworld. http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=174764

As to my condition, so kindly nursed along by From me to You---which felt a lot like *sindy* though I haven't seen her in here in ages, I recently gave up on my West Virginia snake healer skin doctor and made an appointment with some guys on this side of the River up in Lancaster. I spent the '60s naked in the sun at the Ocean and we've since learned Swedes are crazy to have done that. So it's important for me to have a dermatologist look me over from time to time. The West Virginia guy had said, "Don't bother with it," but these new guys are cutters---sooo, I had some facial surgery Tuesday that I guess sapped my energy more than anticipated. I went to work and all yesterday but just was dragging by the afternoon. Better today, so let's get back to it!  

15 Mar 2007 @ 22:28 by vaxen : What's legal:
Is what you can get away with. Lots of finger pointing going on and the madness continues unabated with more madness being ushered in by the supposed 'opposition' party.

Right... same old same old, doing ''business'' as usual.

Guns and oil, and whatever else can be snuck in under cover of night, but really right out in the open 'legally.'

Commerce is so wonderful. In Commercial law, what you are under, there is a remedy for everything under the sun.

The guys in the White House know it, businessmen should know it, and many do, but the so called 'man and woman' in the street? Well, they're homeless, so who cares?

Plastic surgery jazzolog? Hope all is well now and you seem to be a bit better. Chin up, what doesn't kill you... etc., etc.


"If the people of this land ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." - President, Thomas Jefferson


15 Mar 2007 @ 23:41 by quinty : Madness
makes the sane look like fools.... you know that, Vax.

But if the sane have a responsibility to rectify the messes the mad create, and are constrained by certain rules - intended, perhaps, for saner times - then the relatively sane become obliged to ride on top of the absurd situations they have been forced into. And nobody looks good but to the descerning.

That, as I’m sure you know Vax, is our destiny. Not to tout my specific ethnic kind but you’ve read Don Quixote, haven’t you? This (the first novel?) was not merely a reflection back on Spanish society in the 17th century but on humankind. And it's interesting that what drove the Don nuts was reading romance novels. Is that all that different from watching TV?

We may, in fact, have gone so far overboard that not even current day philosophers concern themselves with “The Absurd.”

Been there, done that. (Camus is really old hat. And something far worse than what we had in his time has come along. Television! The trembling electronic filigree which holds American culture (so enviable) together.)

You may or may not have been referring above to today’s debate in the Senate of the United States on the war. I am. The Republicans always amaze me. Not that I want to defend the Democrats though there some I respect and admire greatly. That’s true. Cynics who say “they are all the same” refer only back upon themselves. A “difference” does exist. Bush and his gang were anomalies, even among Republicans. Most would never have taken the Neocon coolaid launching this insane war. (“Coolaid:” a term which should be banned. It appears recklessly today in numerous meaningless embodiments. Which brings me to what I have been getting at since starting on this.... finally!)

The REPUBLICAN verbal scam!!!

They never quit. The conclusion, listening to them on CSPAN today, is that either they are morons or totally intellectually dishonest. For their logic is often worthy of the VFW in Terre Haute, Indiana on a Tuesday night. When the lights are low, the atmosphere sullen, and the beer warm. (I know, you like your beer warm in Britain. But American beer doesn't always taste good warm. Not Budweiser at least.)

Love it or leave it. If we don’t fight them there we’ll have to fight them here. Micromanagement. If Bush is for it then the Demos will be against it. We love the troops: keep them out there so that our enemies can kill them more. Stay the course. A veritable hairball of moronic illogic.

If the sane are still sane after dealing with all this, attempting to cut through the fog, to make them SEE, they are surely made of iron. It’s curious that nearly all the Senate Republicans still back Bush’s war. His conduct of it. The vote was 48 to 50. Which means the rhetoric will continue. Those Republicans who voted against the Reid resolution will continue explaining, telling us why they voted against it. Even if they don’t truly back Bush’s war. Many of them are facing reelection in 2008. Yes, madness rules the reeking hen house. Each desires to be a rooster, standing tall.

For a proud country we have sunk very low.

Good to hear that you seem to be alright, Richard.......  

16 Mar 2007 @ 09:47 by jazzolog : What Will The Weekend Hold?
Yes, on the mend Paul, thank you. By the way, indeed it was *sindy* sparkling through here the other day. Her Log still exists here but towards the end she didn't allow comments http://www.newciv.org/nl/newslog.php/_v34 . If you get interested let me know and I'll direct you to where she writes these days.

So today we get Valerie Plame in a Waxman hearing http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17632448/ but not Fitzgerald http://news.yahoo.com/s/thenation/20070315/cm_thenation/3175736 . There should be some value in it although I suppose it's too easy for the rightwing to declare the proceedings an entertainment circus. But you know, that charge might not be so easy to pass off were the outed CIA undercover agent not a beautiful woman. What if Cheney had outed a distinguished male intelligence officer just because he was involved in disagreeing with his scheme to invade a sovereign nation? Here's hoping we get something of substance before day's end over here.

We also will hear today whether the White House will cooperate with Congressional demands for Karl Rove to show up for questioning on his role in firing US prosecutors 6 years into Bush's regime. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=2956251 Some legal eagles are predicting Gonzales won't last through the weekend. The process of taking this administration apart may be slow, but it can be done.  

16 Mar 2007 @ 15:09 by vaxen : Dulcinea...
Yeah, quinty san, read the obligatory. One thing everyone seems to miss in all the scamming is that the root cause of all this tinkering is not in the least being addressed. The Federal Reserve Gang of Crooks and the issue of ''central banking'' and why Jefferson said what he did. The Monstrosity in Washington has nothing to do with the, ah "people." It is a machine devoid of humanity.

Legal Fictions can do pretty much what they want without fear of sanction. And the Private Corporation, for profit, that you think is your ''government'' long ago became occluded with thoughts of...

Plame and the Wax man/ Horror stories from the hill. Lovecraft isn't it? Well, back to Arkam for another quill. TaTa

PS: She's (Lady Valerie) not so beautiful. Especially when you see her feet... moles feet. Sheesh! Brick by brick... that was done long ago, thus the present mess.

"Several of her CIA colleagues from the class of 1985, now retired, are gathering in Washington Thursday night to take her out to dinner.

Fellow former covert agents, Larry Johnson and Jim Marcinkowski, who have both spoken out publicly in support of Plame, are planning to dine with their now famous classmate at an undisclosed location."

Sweet, so melodramatically... sweet. Hah! ;)  

16 Mar 2007 @ 15:58 by jazzolog : Taking Vax Literally
Behold---Valerie's feet!


16 Mar 2007 @ 16:19 by a-d : I personally
don't need a Government -regardless what "ideology" they purport to follow -as long as it isn't "Be Kind To ALL. /// Do No Harm. /// Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You" -and the rest of the cliches in this Spirit. : )
I am perfectly capable of governing myself and my Life -without someone else thinking that their thinking is better than mine for me!!!... Hell, NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ; )

I agree with Vaxen, when he says: there's only one way out of the mess: FLUSH DOWN THE EVIL,UNFAIR MONETARY SYSTEM and the rest of the System built around this "Sacred" "GOLDEN Cow" ( to support its existence). "How" we choose to flush it down the toilet we would do good in agreeing! ; )
In other words; FORCE the BRATT, the physically "Grown-Up" but emotionally stagnated at the Terrible Two's age human, to MATURE, so that his/her emotional = intelligence would better match their Chronological age!  

16 Mar 2007 @ 16:26 by Quinty @ : Well,
they don't appear as if they need size 12 shoes. Has anyone here ever seen Reese Witherspoon's feet? She displays them in "Walk the Line." Now Joaquin Phoenix appears not to be actually acting when distracted by la Witherspoon's feet. No need to. Besides being talented she is rather distractable.

Ah, if only we had her for president instead of Bush. (By the way, did you see "Legally Blond" Richard? Most of it takes place at Harvard. And it's a wonderful movie.)

But getting back to business...... The Bush administration has done much to take down our country. Having taken it down it is now necessary to take them apart, brick by brick. Surely a slow process since they will lie, obfuscate, finagle, attack, smear, and do whatever they can to get out from under the responsibility for their behavior. The Bush years will make a very, very interesting history book. Many have already been written outlining small parts of the overall scandal. Let's hope a great historian and writer will tackle it.  

16 Mar 2007 @ 21:25 by b : Thank You, Quinty
Jazzo, I hope you are back on the mend, loved Plames feet. Personaly, I think that Plame was a fed employee who got fired. The method of dismissal might seem unusual but the object of it remains the same. She's fired.

I am about to endorse and finance an exploratory committee for Chuck Norris to be the republican candidate to become the US president in 2009. I believe that as a populist he demonstrates true American values in both his career and personal life. He has been a shining example to Ameican youth. The morality of his tv presence is unquestioned. He is a clean example of diet, exercise, fitness. Just what the electorate needs to chew on. That he has no specific political experience should not matter at all.  

16 Mar 2007 @ 21:59 by jmarc : i'll second that bee
I heard that Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas to bed.  

16 Mar 2007 @ 22:26 by jazzolog : HaHaHa
Despite the desperate attempts at relaxed humor, the rightwing comments are neither funny nor liberating. My 15-year-old daughter tells me her social studies teacher took a day to introduce them to Dubai, the oasis "b" tells us is "a great place." See that building sitting out in the bay in the pictures above? That thing is a hotel. It costs 100 Euros to step inside...like to just look around, or maybe take a piss. A Euro today is worth $1.33 US. Fun city! Let's have some more jokes guys...or how about blaming it all on the Clintons. We haven't had that talking point yet.  

16 Mar 2007 @ 22:56 by jmarc : ok I'll play
Killer fact.
Bill Clinton fired every single one of his US attorneys while he was in office, except one.
Feel better?

Anyway, I'm sure Soros will be able to take a piss in that building if he wishes. As long as he doesn't give too much of that Haliburton blood money to the democrats in the next election.  

16 Mar 2007 @ 23:04 by jmarc : of course you'll need a source

So once again, it's illegal to be a republican.  

16 Mar 2007 @ 23:08 by quinty : Did anyone catch
Donald Trump sound off on Bush tonight? On CNN? In a few words he said all that needs be said, succinctly, sweetly, and briefly.

Regarding the enormous, incredible, unbelievable folly in Iraq - he said "Get out." And he thinks that should be now. This is the opinion of the “master of the deal.”

Why entertain such a radical, UnAmerican, leftwing, loony idea? Because, the Trump opines, there will be chaos there whether we stay there or not. And by staying we will continue to pay an enormous price (at least two, three dead a day and billions more of dollars.) Not a very good “deal.”

Were we not caught up in the theology of the far-right (and I'm not talking organized or disorganized religion here but politics) we would more readily see the obvious. As Trump says, the place will explode anyway when we leave. So why prolong the agony? Not, as Trump says, a very good “deal.”

Once again, let's ask. Why do we stay?


The inability to admit to ourselves we have lost a war?

Or that we made a mistake? That we were wrong and continue to be?

Unfortunately, American politics play a big part in our carrying on over there. (Mesopotamia is not exactly our backyard.) And this has become an entirely politically motivated war. (As opposed to a mere American desire to control the oil and region by imposing a US hegemony.) We are stuck in the quagmire of our own political ideology, world view. We are acting out our fantasies in those distant deserts. And many Americans continue to do so merely because they can not face the facts. Reality. (The phantom of “if we don’t fight them there we will fight them here” haunts us. The mindless among us believe this.)

Trump also had a nice observation on Condaleezza Rice. He said, simply, that she doesn't like to make deals. She goes off elsewhere throughout the world, has her photo ops shmoozing with some foreign dictator, and comes home with nothing. The old Trump, master of the "deal," has seen this lapse in Condee Rice. And put it succinctly.

I don't know about you, but Rice has always struck me as a climber, a very ambitious lady. We run across such people everywhere throughout life and the world. Those with far more ambition than talent who know how to climb. And inevitably they become destructive, even if they don't intend to become so. Brownie is a good example. And now our AG Alberto Gonzales is being unveiled in all the glory of his mediocrity. As for Bush, well...... Polite society has finally caught up with the rest of us regarding him. He's an incompetent moron. Not that any of we “Bush bashers” necessarily have anything against morons. It's just that one perhaps shouldn't be President of the United States? Is that too much to ask?

Donald Trump let go on Bush tonight. He did well. In a few words he said what many of us have been thinking for a long time. And having once seen the inside of Trump’s Manhattan digs - it's all gold - I had thought the maestro of the deal was merely another pretentious vulgarian with money, merely advancing the business ethic.

I must have been wrong.  

16 Mar 2007 @ 23:30 by quinty : Now, now, JM,
why so defensive? Why so quick to defend your guys? Aren't you becoming exhausted by defending so much? After all, it has been years now of the same old thing. Week after week. Bad news, more bad news, corruption, folly, incompetence, stupidity, madness, unending violence: there's no end. Every week there is a new scandal emerging from this White House. We don't know what it is to live anymore in a country free of scandal. Serenely moving forward, proud of our successes. Buttressed by our sound faith in the future.  

16 Mar 2007 @ 23:38 by jmarc : Nope not defensive
actually laughing, much to Jazzologs discontent, I see. And since I don't watch all of those "news" programs, I guess I just don't see all the doom and gloom that everyone else does. I see alot of gullible people, and alot of gutless republicans. So, this is all for the best. Clean out the bad blood, and let the democrats handle things in the meantime, because as they've shown, it's so easy to attack those in charge. How's that congressional majority going for you democrats anyway? Feeling a bit frustrated, are ya?  

17 Mar 2007 @ 05:01 by a-d : Maybe this is a little of a sidetrack
but I think it is a "Good" Side track! ; )

A Modern Parable

A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (General Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River . Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the "Rowing Team Quality First Program", with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year's racing team was outsourced to India.

The End  

17 Mar 2007 @ 09:57 by jazzolog : Now THAT'S Funny
Thanks Astrid, and glad you're still around NCN.

By now everyone's heard the answer to the righties' complaint that Clinton "fired" all those attorneys as soon as he came into office: you'd keep Papa Bush's attorneys on if you were Slick Willie? or even if you were just you! Presidents of different party always do it WHEN THEY FIRST COME IN. Six years down the road is a different kettle of stinky fish...and let's see a chronicle of just how it all went down: excellent timeline here (with footnote links) http://talkingpointsmemo.com/usa-timeline.php . But listen Repubs, if what Clinton did was so wrong, why did Bush do it? Bush claims "mistakes were made;" yeah, that anybody found out about it. Is that why Gonzales will be gone later today?

I haven't cared much for Associated Press coverage of (or their headlines for) Valerie Plame's testimony yesterday. I prefer facts simply stated in such stories, as Greg Mitchell does here at Editor & Publisher:

UPDATED: Plame Testifies Before Congress, Confirms She Was 'Covert' -- Calls Outing a 'Travesty'
By Greg Mitchell

Published: March 16, 2007 10:45 AM ET updated 11:25 AM

WASHINGTON Valerie Plame told a congressional committee today that she indeed did work in a "covert" status at the CIA, and referred to the "travesty" of the disclosure of that by administration officials and the media.

"I know I am here under oath, and I am here to say that I was covert," she said, disputing claims to the contrary.

She said she was "shocked" by some of the revelations in the recent Libby trial. She also denied recommending that her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, be sent to Niger in the 2002 mission. After noting that she was happy to say this under oath, she called the allegation "incorrect" and "doesn't square with the facts."

Plame said a CIA colleague had mentioned that Wilson was qualified to do this assignment. She said she was "ambivalent" about that, as she was concerned about looking after the couple's two-year-old twins at the time. But asked to pass this request on, she did.

She said an email she sent was "taken out of context" by Republicans in Congress and made to seem as if she had recommended him. A colleague who was cited as the source for this told her, with tears in his eyes, she said, that his words had been "twisted" and wrote a memo to this effect.

Rep. Henry Waxman, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, kicked it off, by revealing what the CIA had cleared for him to state. Despite long claims by conservatives, she was indeed a "covert" agent, the CIA said, and "undercover," despite not being abroad at the time of her outing.

Plame then said she was honored to testify and "grateful for this opportunity to set the record straight."

She said she had served her country "honorably and as a covert agent" until her name was exposed in the media "after a leak by administration officials." Both the CIA and Plame declared that she was "covert" on the day Robert Novak outed her in a column in 2003.

She said she had worked as a covert officer and classified position on Iraq's presumed WMD programs in the runup to war. While working out of Washington she also traveled to foreign countries on vital missions: "I was dedicated to this work. It was not common knowledge on the Georgetown cocktail circuit that everyone knew where I worked. ... But all that service was abruptly ended when my name was disclosed. ...

"In the course of the trial of Vice President Cheney's former Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby, I was shocked at the evidence that emerged. My name and identity were carelessly and recklessly abused by senior government officials in both the White House and the State Department. All of them understood that I worked for the CIA, and having signed oaths to protect national security secrets, they should have been diligent in protecting me and every CIA officer."

She stated that while some of them may not have known that she was covert, they did know she worked at the agency and this should have produced a "red flag."

"The harm that is done when a CIA's cover is blown is grave," she said. She referred to the "travesty of what happened to me."

Noting that the CIA tries to hide identities from foreign officials, she found it "a terrible irony that it was administration officials who destroyed my cover." She added: "My exposure arose from purely political motives."

She denounced the "creeping, insidious politicizing of intelligence operations. ... politics and ideology must be stripped from our intelligence services." That's why she was happy to assist Congress, she said.

After her five-minute statement, Plame answered questions. She said no one -- such as Vice President Cheney, or Scooter Libby or Karl Rove -- approached her to ask if her name could be disclosed.

Asked if she had any theories on who told Rove about her status, she declined to speculate.

How did she feel about Rove telling Chris Matthews that she was "fair game." She said she would feel awful about hearing that about any CIA agent.

She said no one who had leaked her name had expressed any apology or misgivings to her.

Questions from the Republican side raised issues about whether those who leaked her name knew she was covert. She said she they should ask the federal prosecutor about that.

Asked about the famous Vanity Fair photo of her, she said her identify had already been "blown" by the end of 2003.

Former prosecutor Victoria Toensing, who has long claimed that Plame was not "covert," will testify later today.

When the hearing ended at noon today, protestors in the back of room chanted loudly, "Impeach Now!"


Related E&P story: White House Security Chief Reveals -- No Probe of Plame Leak There

To watch a video clip of Valerie Plame's opening statement, click here.
Greg Mitchell (gmitchell@editorandpublisher.com) is editor.


I do like The New York Times final couple of sentences in their coverage~~~

"The audience sat rapt, all eyes fixed on Ms. Wilson, even when congressmen were talking, as if she could vanish at any moment.
"And then, all talked out, she slipped out a side door."


PS The White House did NOT respond in a timely fashion yesterday to Congressional requests for Rove testimony and documents. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/17/washington/17attorneys.html?th&emc=th  

17 Mar 2007 @ 13:59 by quinty : JM -

Well, if I could wave a magic wand and cure the nation's ills (which is what the Democrats are being asked to do) I would. As you would too I'm sure. And, what's more, I'm not even a Democrat. If Bush wore the donkey's tail believe me his critics would still go after him. There are genuine issues here. That's why your remark that "It is so easy to attack those in charge" is so inappropriate. And when you tell us that you are “laughing” isn't that laughter misplaced too? Considering how many are dying as a result of Bush's mistakes? Or was that comment merely an effort to express your superiority? I apologize if I'm wrong. But if that’s all it was it doesn't reflect well on you....

Have a good day....  

17 Mar 2007 @ 15:12 by quinty : It's hard to believe
that anyone who stands out as much as Valerie Plame does could ever be "covert." Anywhere.

Frankly, the Repubs often project, accuse others of that which they constantly do themselves. The level of pettiness in the White House is quite high (or low) and nasty and mean. This is not a partisan accusation, as many Repubs tell us, but the only conclusion any fair minded person, Demo or Repub, can come to surveying the facts. The manner in which they, the White House's apologists, scrambled to obfuscate and deflect blame is truly appalling. Now we have the CIA itself telling us Plame was "covert." And the documentation shows Plame never recommended her husband go to Niger (as if that would matter.) And large in the background is the fact that there never was any WMD to begin with. No potential mushroom cloud. And that Wilson was one of the first to expose the scam the White House had offered the American people. A solitary act the White House hoped wouldn't become a habit. (Though it has... and anyone less foolish could have told them that eventually it would.)

But it was all just a conspiracy to make Bush look bad, right?  

17 Mar 2007 @ 15:20 by jmarc : Really find it hard to believe you are
not a democrat, since all I ever read from you are democrat talking points, but if you say so, I'll believe you. Me, I'm a libertarean, usually, but being the pragmatic sort, I will usually vote for whoever will beat the democrats. Next election cycle, I'll vote for anybody other than the incumbant in the republican primaries, and whoever I think has the best chance of beating the democrats in the general election. I think a house cleaning is in order for both sides. People aren't dying because of Bush's mistakes, they're dying because of terrorists, and the lack of unity worldwide in dealing with it.  

17 Mar 2007 @ 17:07 by bushman : Again,
What was it, that created the terorists in the first place?, what was it that made a religion decide someone was evil? Still whos killing more innocent people? Who cares of the politics, when whats going on, on both sides is just plain criminal? People chalk it all up to this group or that group when the stats plainly show whos doing most the killing of innocent people. Its that simple. Americans are so duped, like 3 of our guys get wacked, and 100 of there innocent people get wacked, and we say they are evil, what a joke.
Oh these people must be biased, because the show the truth:

17 Mar 2007 @ 18:39 by vaxen : Heh, heh...
Quinty san that was good. You are absolutely right. Check out (do some research on) the two agents escorting her to din din at some secret covert undercover restaurant deep inside the old market place where everyone is always glad to see you...

Yeah, moles. Well, since she is so pretty maybe Playboy or even (God forbid) Penthouse? Of course then there is always Pablos' Harem.

Heh, notice the two bags our fair couple are carrying? ;) Right...

It's fasionable to be involved in geopolitical intrigue. You know that...

You who sit on the top of a hundred-foot pole,
Although you have entered the Way, it is not yet genuine.

Take a step from the top of the pole

And worlds of the ten directions will be your entire body.

The student of Zen who is stuck in the vast, serene condition of
nondiscrimination must take another step to become mature.

The old pond has no walls;
a frog just jumps in;
do you say there is an echo?

Sound familiar?



Just in case, Vax, at first glance you think those bags say Bloomingdale's, look again. http://www.bloomberg.com/index.html?Intro=intro3



Yeah, bro, caught that one. Thus:

"Heh, notice the two bags our fair couple are carrying? ;) Right...

It's fasionable to be involved in geopolitical intrigue."

;) Cute...  

18 Mar 2007 @ 04:43 by a-d : Eye -opener -besides
bushy's laser sharp comment here above! http://www.adventuresinlegalland.com/index.php?/content/view/58/27/

I find it quite interesting that a comment like mine; where I point out "how truly important" governments are to people who can handle their own lives and how much more realistic a FAIR Monetary System would be etc: NOBODY jumps on such a wagon!.... No.
When Bushy presents a laser sharp factual (dark) truth about the actions of the BEDAZZLING IDIOTS, popularly called "governments"; NOBODY jumps on that wagon either!.... No.
American life is (still -for now-) nothing but Entertainment from Cradle to Grave... Infotainment -at the very most -whenever life in the Land OF The Free gets REEEALLY strained & put to the test!... Sorry to be a Party pooper! :(


Don't mean to overlook you, a-d. You know you've got allies among the anarchy-tribal folk here at NCN. That topic has been argued lots elsewhere. This Log still is trying to bang the republic back into shape.


18 Mar 2007 @ 16:59 by vaxen : Ah yes...
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

*Note: The term "unalienable" (not inalienable) has nothing whatsoever to do with 'aliens' but rather means rights unto which a LIEN cannot be attatched. Get it? Find out what a ''LIEN'' is then maybe that will clear up some confusion that seems to be very rampant...  

18 Mar 2007 @ 18:11 by a-d : Yeahh, I hear you, Jazzo
and you know that I'm with 100% you in your efforts in banging the old republic back into shape.THAT is not the point /question that was "disturbing" me. It is more that "fact" what people consider as being worthwhile things to respect and ponder as if they were genuine reality with any Goodness in them -to begin with. THEY ARE NOT!!! The WRONG FOUNDATION = ALL the LIES & the rest of the DECEPTION needs to acknowledged AS EXACTLY SUCH -instead of "continuing debating" its errouneous "VALUES " in/to oblivion.
THERE ARE NO MERITS IN THEM TO BEGIN WITH!!! To continue debating the Wrong -as if there was something right in it is to make the Wrong slightly Right -only needing a "slightly bigger" "slight correction" -and now All IS Good, eh?! You know, Jazzo, as well as I, that THAT IS NOT the case/the Truth (of the matter)

So, now comes the question do we STILL choose to continue the Charade -or do we indeed start to look for a NEW FOUNDATION as in 'FROM SCRATCH'!!!
If I want to build a House and I hire somebody who poses as a Contractor, saying he knows Everything about building Houses. I trust him and let him start the Project. But then the House he built turns out not to function the way it is supposed to. I tell him and he makes some adjustments... This scenario repeats a thousand times -and in the process kills members of my family right and left. But...well... instead of acknowledging the fact that he is a phony contractor, who knows (almost) nothing about How-to-build-a-solid-stable-House, with Solid Foundation (at the bottom) -and non-leaky -roof at-the top of it all... I can see he built the roof structure where the foundation should be etc etc!... yet I refuse to acknowledge the obvious... Eventually the House collapses on me and now I'm dead and all the rest of my family had that same fate already before me.
Now, where is the Logic in this??? Where is the Good in this? Whom does it benefit that I had all these fancy discussions with my Neighbours about How the wrong construction of the House(-building) should be corrected?!?...
We are repeating a miserably failed history AGAIN if/when thinking we can circumvent the errors just by small adjustments!

You know, JAzzo, I'm all with you! I send you constantly proofs about the Socio-political Wrongs, because I too think it is vital to acknoledge the errors, but I also send you totally new concepts to ENTIRELY REPLACE the OLD, ERRONEOUS ones! I personally don't need to repeat the history of destruction one more time!...Quite frankly, I don't believe we can afford it any longer. We don't have the luxury of complicity and complacancy any longer.We have acknowldge that we hired an IMPOSTER to do the Job, so to speak.Man with the arrogant attitude that He, the Human, himself a creation of the Universe -not the other way around, doesn't need to CO-CREATE WITH UNIVERSE, but thinks of himself as better Builder than Life and his Rules being better than the Cosmic Rules WILL BE DELETED THIS TIME!.... just like the guy who refuses to obey the speed law on Mt Baldy road: Those guys UNFAILINGLY end up in the ravine, all mangled, dead. Just because thy could speed up to fifty one time, maybe three times....and now they think they can go sixty-five. We dropped the Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And WE survived -who cares that hundreds of thousnad of People of thos citites (and Japan overall) died in that destruction. If we now blast ten -much bigger & stronger Bombs... will we survive?????
I could go on making my point, but you guys either get it already with this bit -or you don't -with all the words in the world!!! ( read Bushy's & my comments again! )

WHO is with me in trying to work for the NEW more Life sustaining (= co-operating WITH/in the Cosmic Laws, ) and who wants the end up pulverized??? Come clean guys!
Jazzo, I want you to understand that this is a pleading to ALL Humankind -and not an attack just on you & the Boys here, per see. I just wish a web-site that at least to its name purports working for a NEW, more cosmically attuned, life for ALL, yet I see MORE of the opposite going on here!.... Very SAD. ...and doesn't look very promising for Mankind -when the very Bastions For the New, refuses to live up to its Officially ascribed Mission.

18 Mar 2007 @ 23:33 by quinty : Starting from scratch
And where would that begin?

There changes I would like to see made to the Constitution of the United States. But I oppose any Constitutional convention because changes would be made which might undermine the progressive genius of the founders. In other words, human nature hasn't truly changed since the 18th century. No matter what system of government we devise it is still the basic problem.

In the words of a modernday philosopher: "We have met the enemy and he is us." Thank you Pogo.

We struggle on because our limitations are defined by ourselves, our human nature. I think I see failings in the thoughts of others.... some of which have been and continue to be truly catastrophic, such as all those rationalizations which won't permit us to live peacefully with one another. Avoiding war would be a basic human goal, it seems to me, in terms of self interest. There was a time when war was thought of as adventuresome, manly, and noble. Like many wars in the past there were those who believed the Iraq war would be over in two or three months.

Only those today who have seen war in a sanitized version (John Wayne charging up over the hill) could ever possibly believe such fairy tales.

The young men and women who come back with only one leg have the rest of their lives to think about it. If we are going to demand such a sacrifice from our young, those who put their faith in their elders, their government, the wisdom of their nation's leaders, we had well be better damn sure we are sending them off to distant foreign parts because it is absolutely necessary to do so. That is known as "backing the troops." Backing the troops is not stupidly wasting their lives because we are unable to face a mistake.

One is forced to wonder at the souls of those persons who believe waving the flag is more important than the lives of the young men and women who put their trust in their country. Those flag wavers who call those who wish to stop the needless slaughter "traitors."

But that's what we are facing today.

Do I expect Jmarc to change his mind? No. Of course not. For me it has been a challenge attempting to pin him down on particular points. To directly answer his arguments. But like one of those games where you attempt to push a pop-up down he pops up elsewhere, and the chace never ends. If he sees an "Islamo fascist" threat everywhere there is nothing I can do about that. I think this “clash of civilizations” argument is a paranoid delusion. An extremely dangerous fiction which bolsters our unwanted intrusion in the Middle East’s affairs, and which will lead only to more violence. I, for one, am not looking forward to a “long war” over oil, energy resources, and American hegemony in the Middle East when there other routes toward self sufficiency. If only we had spent the half trillion we have spent so far on Iraq on a “Manhattan project” for renewable clean energy.  

19 Mar 2007 @ 01:38 by a-d : Yesss,Quinty,
I would agree with you!: "What to do".... But see this is exactly why -I think- we can only heal OUR SELVES.... You know the Classic "lead a horse to the water", but the horse still has to do the act of drinking; swallowing the New,Healing Essence of Life; the Water, himself! There really isn't any other way around! Once we have come to that point where we are willing to live & let live as a PRACTICAL Life-PRINCIPLE, a starting Platform for ALL Life, then we can start sharing our own experiences HOW we are putting this Principle into tangible action in our own lives. This task alone is monumental!
I feel , just like you Quinty, very sorry for the American Soldiers who come back Home mangled, mutilated, but I can not feel more sorry for them than for ANY other person who has been mangled, mutilated! Wasn't is ALL as "thanks" to some weird-as belief in the Myth of ???? GOD KNOWS WHATEVER!!!.... Yes, I heard all the suggestions, all the arguments -and NONE is agreeable, sense making, intelligent. NONE! Live & Let Live. Be Kind to ALL. Do Unto Others..." whichever we way we choose to say this LIFE -BASIC Cosmic Demand/RECUIREMENT. IF we don't want to live within these borders , we have put forth our own Doom! Period! NO religion, no family, no country, no political affiliation, no ANYTHING goes before this -or can change this BASIC LIFE-RULE!
So, the question is who of us humans is willing to accept this, healed enough to truly see the Truth of this to the very core of Life Itself?
Now, HOW in the world does Dems or Reps /pretzels or Ginger Snaps compare!?!??! come close to the Question of our very life on Earth????.... Very soon we have put in our collective vote of what we prefer; life -or annihilation... forget the single individual, when the collective vote was against Life! (-if indeed that is how it turns out.... and it really is in the Balance today!)
I totally agree with Quinty in what you say. But let's go forward, we who have the desire, and let's make sure we CAN -as in be'ing response-able to Life and let's go with Life instead.  

19 Mar 2007 @ 01:45 by jmarc : well
happy to be your whipping boy quinty. I'll leave you guys to your echo chamber again, as I always do. Good luck in your endevours, whatever they are, I'm still not clear on that.  

19 Mar 2007 @ 11:35 by jazzolog : The Folks Who Brought You Dubai
are celebrating 4 years of Freedom in Iraq today. Mission Accomplished! (mission being of course profits for investors in war) Yesterday Frank Rich published a brilliant list (with dozens of linked footnotes) of TerrorWar's Greatest Hits. Get your copy today!
The Ides of March 2003
By Frank Rich
The New York Times

Sunday 18 March 2007

Tomorrow night is the fourth anniversary of President Bush's prime-time address declaring the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In the broad sweep of history, four years is a nanosecond, but in America, where memories are congenitally short, it's an eternity. That's why a revisionist history of the White House's rush to war, much of it written by its initial cheerleaders, has already taken hold. In this exonerating fictionalization of the story, nearly every politician and pundit in Washington was duped by the same "bad intelligence" before the war, and few imagined that the administration would so botch the invasion's aftermath or that the occupation would go on so long. "If only I had known then what I know now ..." has been the persistent refrain of the war supporters who subsequently disowned the fiasco. But the embarrassing reality is that much of the damning truth about the administration's case for war and its hubristic expectations for a cakewalk were publicly available before the war, hiding in plain sight, to be seen by anyone who wanted to look.

By the time the ides of March arrived in March 2003, these warning signs were visible on a nearly daily basis. So were the signs that Americans were completely ill prepared for the costs ahead. Iraq was largely anticipated as a distant, mildly disruptive geopolitical video game that would be over in a flash.

Now many of the same leaders who sold the war argue that escalation should be given a chance. This time they're peddling the new doomsday scenario that any withdrawal timetable will lead to the next 9/11. The question we must ask is: Has history taught us anything in four years?

Here is a chronology of some of the high and low points in the days leading up to the national train wreck whose anniversary we mourn this week [with occasional "where are they now" updates].

March 5, 2003

"I took the Grey Poupon out of my cupboard."

- Representative Duke Cunningham, Republican of California, on the floor of the House denouncing French opposition to the Iraq war.

[In November 2005, he resigned from Congress and pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from defense contractors. In January 2007, the United States attorney who prosecuted him - Carol Lam, a Bush appointee - was forced to step down for "performance-related" issues by Alberto Gonzales's Justice Department.]

March 6, 2003

President Bush holds his last prewar news conference. The New York Observer writes that he interchanged Iraq with the attacks of 9/11 eight times, "and eight times he was unchallenged." The ABC News White House correspondent, Terry Moran, says the Washington press corps was left "looking like zombies."

March 7, 2003

Appearing before the United Nations Security Council on the same day that the United States and three allies (Britain, Spain and Bulgaria) put forth their resolution demanding that Iraq disarm by March 17, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, reports there is "no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq.". He adds that documents "which formed the basis for the report of recent uranium transaction between Iraq and Niger are in fact not authentic." None of the three broadcast networks' evening newscasts mention his findings.

[In 2005 ElBaradei was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.]

March 10, 2003

Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks tells an audience in England, "We do not want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas." Boycotts, death threats and anti-Dixie Chicks demonstrations follow.

[In 2007, the Dixie Chicks won five Grammy Awards, including best song for "Not Ready to Make Nice."]

March 12, 2003

A senior military planner tells The Daily News "an attack on Iraq could last as few as seven days."

"Isn't it more likely that antipathy toward the United States in the Islamic world might diminish amid the demonstrations of jubilant Iraqis celebrating the end of a regime that has few equals in its ruthlessness?"

- John McCain, writing for the Op-Ed page of The New York Times.

"The Pentagon still has not given a name to the Iraqi war. Somehow 'Operation Re-elect Bush' doesn't seem to be popular."

- Jay Leno, "The Tonight Show."

March 14, 2003

Senator John D. Rockefeller, Democrat of West Virginia, asks the F.B.I. to investigate the forged documents cited a week earlier by ElBaradei and alleging an Iraq-Niger uranium transaction: "There is a possibility that the fabrication of these documents may be part of a larger deception campaign aimed at manipulating public opinion and foreign policy regarding Iraq."

March 16, 2003

On "Meet the Press," Dick Cheney says that American troops will be "greeted as liberators," that Saddam "has a longstanding relationship with various terrorist groups, including the Al Qaeda organization," and that it is an "overstatement" to suggest that several hundred thousand troops will be needed in Iraq after it is liberated. Asked by Tim Russert about ElBaradei's statement that Iraq does not have a nuclear program, the vice president says, "I think Mr. ElBaradei frankly is wrong."

"There will be new recruits, new recruits probably because of the war that's about to happen. So we haven't seen the last of Al Qaeda."

- Richard Clarke, former White House counterterrorism czar, on ABC's "This Week."

[From the recently declassified "key judgments" of the National Intelligence Estimate of April 2006: "The Iraq conflict has become the cause cél bre for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of U.S. involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement."]

"Despite the Bush administration's claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, U.S. intelligence agencies have been unable to give Congress or the Pentagon specific information about the amounts of banned weapons or where they are hidden, according to administration officials and members of Congress. Senior intelligence analysts say they feel caught between the demands from White House, Pentagon and other government policy makers for intelligence that would make the administration's case 'and what they say is a lack of hard facts,' one official said."

- "U.S. Lacks Specifics on Banned Arms," by Walter Pincus (with additional reporting by Bob Woodward), The Washington Post, Page A17.

March 17, 2003

Representative Henry Waxman, Democrat of California, who voted for the Iraq war resolution, writes the president to ask why the administration has repeatedly used W.M.D. evidence that has turned out to be "a hoax" - "correspondence that indicates that Iraq sought to obtain nuclear weapons from an African country, Niger."

[Still waiting for "an adequate explanation" of the bogus Niger claim four years later, Waxman, now chairman of the chief oversight committee in the House, wrote Condoleezza Rice on March 12, 2007, seeking a response "to multiple letters I sent you about this matter."]

In a prime-time address, President Bush tells Saddam to leave Iraq within 48 hours: "Every measure has been made to avoid war, and every measure will be taken to win it." After the speech, NBC rushes through its analysis to join a hit show in progress, "Fear Factor," where men and women walk with bare feet over broken glass to win $50,000.

March 18, 2003

Barbara Bush tells Diane Sawyer on ABC's "Good Morning America" that she will not watch televised coverage of the war: "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths, and how many, what day it's going to happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

[Visiting the homeless victims of another cataclysm, Hurricane Katrina, at the Houston Astrodome in 2005, Mrs. Bush said, "And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this - this is working very well for them."]

In one of its editorials strongly endorsing the war, The Wall Street Journal writes, "There is plenty of evidence that Iraq has harbored Al Qaeda members."

[In a Feb. 12, 2007, editorial defending the White House's use of prewar intelligence, The Journal wrote, "Any links between Al Qaeda and Iraq is a separate issue that was barely mentioned in the run-up to war."]

In an article headlined "Post-war 'Occupation' of Iraq Could Result in Chaos," Mark McDonald of Knight Ridder Newspapers quotes a "senior leader of one of Iraq's closest Arab neighbors," who says, "We're worried that the outcome will be civil war."

A questioner at a White House news briefing asserts that "every other war has been accompanied by fiscal austerity of some sort, often including tax increases" and asks, "What's different about this war?" Ari Fleischer responds, "The most important thing, war or no war, is for the economy to grow," adding that in the president's judgment, "the best way to help the economy to grow is to stimulate the economy by providing tax relief."

After consulting with the homeland security secretary, Tom Ridge, the N.C.A.A. announces that the men's basketball tournament will tip off this week as scheduled. The N.C.A.A. president, Myles Brand, says, "We were not going to let a tyrant determine how we were going to lead our lives."

March 19, 2003

"I'd guess that if it goes beyond three weeks, Bush will be in real trouble."

- Andrew Bacevich, a retired Army colonel teaching at Boston University, quoted in The Washington Post.

[The March 2007 installment of the Congressionally mandated Pentagon assessment "Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq" reported that from Jan. 1 to Feb. 9, 2007, there were more than 1,000 weekly attacks, up from about 400 in spring 2004.]

Robert McIlvaine, whose 26-year-old son was killed at the World Trade Center 18 months earlier, is arrested at a peace demonstration at the Capitol in Washington. He tells The Washington Post: "It's very insulting to hear President Bush say this is for Sept. 11."

"I don't think it is reasonable to close the door on inspections after three and a half months," when Iraq's government is providing more cooperation than it has in more than a decade.

- Hans Blix, chief weapons inspector for the United Nations.

The Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that 71 percent of Americans support going to war in Iraq, up from 59 percent before the president's March 17 speech.

"When the president talks about sacrifice, I think the American people clearly understand what the president is talking about."

- Ari Fleischer

[Asked in January 2007 how Americans have sacrificed, President Bush answered: "I think a lot of people are in this fight. I mean, they sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible images of violence on TV every night."]

Pentagon units will "locate and survey at least 130 and as many as 1,400 possible weapons sites."

- "Disarming Saddam Hussein; Teams of Experts to Hunt Iraq Arms" by Judith Miller, The Times, Page A1.

President Bush declares war from the Oval Office in a national address: "Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly, yet our purpose is sure."

Price of a share of Halliburton stock: $20.50

[Value of that Halliburton share on March 16, 2007, adjusted for a split in 2006: $64.12.]

March 20, 2003

"The pictures you're seeing are absolutely phenomenal. These are live pictures of the Seventh Cavalry racing across the deserts in southern Iraq. They will - it will be days before they get to Baghdad, but you've never seen battlefield pictures like these before."

- Walter Rodgers, an embedded CNN correspondentt.

"It seems quite odd to me that while we are commenced upon a war, we have no funding for that war in this budget."

- Hillary Clinton.

"Coalition forces suffered their first casualties in a helicopter crash that left 12 Britons and 4 Americans dead."

- The Associated Press.

Though the March 23 Oscar ceremony will dispense with the red carpet in deference to the war, an E! channel executive announces there will be no cutback on pre-Oscar programming, but "the tone will be much more somber."

March 21, 2003

"I don't mean to be glib about this, or make it sound trite, but it really is a symphony that has to be orchestrated by a conductor."

- Retired Maj. Gen. Donald Shepperd, CNN military analyst, speaking to Wolf Blitzer of the bombardment of Baghdad during Shock and Awe.

["Many parts of Iraq are stable. But of course what we see on television is the one bombing a day that discourages everyone."

- Laura Bush, "Larry King Live," Feb. 26, 2007.]

"The president may occasionally turn on the TV, but that's not how he gets his news or his information. ... He is the president, he's made his decisions and the American people are watching him."

- Ari Fleischer.

[The former press secretary received immunity from prosecution in the Valerie Wilson leak case and testified in the perjury trial of Scooter Libby in 2007.]

"Peter, I may be going out on a limb, but I'm not sure that the first stage of this Shock and Awe campaign is really going to frighten the Iraqi people. In fact, it may have just the opposite effect. If they feel that they've survived the most that the United States can throw at them and they're still standing, and they're still able to go about their lives, well, then they might be rather emboldened. They might feel that, well, look, we can stand a lot more than this."

Richard Engel, a Baghdad correspondent speaking to Peter Jennings on ABC's "World News Tonight."


19 Mar 2007 @ 19:11 by quinty : The slip and slide continues

And those of us who knew from the very beginning the war was a fraud - there were millions of us, by the way (I was at the first great demonstration in San Francisco, Oct 2002, where at least 100,000 people marched against the approaching war - though the SF Chronicle claimed it was only 5,000) have had the advantage to watch the tectonic shifts from a clear grounding.

When it began to conclusively come out that there was no WMD, and never had been, the administration (and its supporters) all claimed (as Rich points out) the CIA had given them faulty intelligence. And Tenet readily fell on his sword. Those claims still pop up today. That the mistaken if well meaning decisions to go to war were based upon faulty intelligence. And a haze of lies accompanied and still accompanies these claims. Conflating, for example, Saddam’s ill wishes toward us with an actual ability to carry them out. As well as claims the WMD have been buried somewhere beneath the desert sands. (Heck, I always thought they were buried in New York’s Central Park!)

If millions of ordinary Americans could see the war was a fraud there is absolutely no excuse for those in positions of leadership not to have seen that too.

For as we witnessed Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Rice and Powell lie we also watched - from the perspective or our vantage point - how most of the politicians and journalists in the mass media fell over themselves to get on board the bandwagon. And we were all appalled at the approaching catastrophe and at the lack of professional integrity, courage, and simple sanity which was allowing this disaster to happen.

It became a simple case of not having the guts to stand out and claim the emperor had no clothes. Lemminglike the politicians and journalists all rushed forward to the precipice. For none dared stand up and be called a “traitor.” And today - Chris Matthews, Howard Fineman, and others - all carry on as if they had always opposed the war, seen through the lies. Well, better late than never. (Though I have to admit I was originally for the Vietnam War too. Ah, gullible innocence!)

Many of the falsehoods which still circulate today had their genesis in the lies leading up to the war. The conflation between the “war on terror” and the current war in Iraq began then, with claims Saddam was tied to 9/11. That al Qaeda was based in Iraq.

“If we don’t fight them there we’ll have to fight them here,” is another lie grounded upon Bush’s lurid propaganda. Those who can’t see through this claim appear not to have been able to discern Bush’s original fudging of the facts when he simultaneously admitted Saddam was not tied to 9/11 while linking Saddam to terrorism and 9/11. He has done this for many years. A red flag, surely. Or perhaps, more correctly, a stinking fish.

I remember during the leadup my friends and I would sometimes laugh at Bush’s attempts to force Saddam Hussein into rejecting our increasingly impossible demands. And each time he would comply in order avoid the inevitable invasion (he knew it was coming even if the American people were constantly told otherwise!) we would joke: “Bush isn’t going to take yes for an answer is he?”  

19 Mar 2007 @ 21:34 by b : Quinty, I couldn't let that slide:
"And each time he would comply in order avoid the inevitable invasion (he knew it was coming "
Saddem never complied with UN, he constantly defied USA and UN. He paid for training and education(in Isalmic fundementalism)of suicde bombers.
Saddem nuclear technology transfered to Iran and some was taken back to Russia pre a very well announced invasion by US.
Iraq never signed a peace treaty after Gulf war1. Remember, when Saddem invaded Kuwait, robbed all the banks, kidnapped thousands of men and women for slaves and blew up 600 oil wells, setting them on fire to pollute the planets atmosphere for a year?
I know that you have a good heart. Surely your rational enough not to want a coup of USA govt and a junta of progressive people to rule with a dictator? Progressive is the word used these days that has been substituted for success in our vocabularies.  

19 Mar 2007 @ 22:52 by quinty : Well,
now you're forcing me to scratch my head. To Google or not to Google. Though I can't remember the ultimatums offhand Bush offered Saddam he, Saddam, did indeed comply. He did for a simple reason - he was trying to save his ass. And simultaneously the administration told the American people it was attempting to avoid war at all costs. A lie. That I do definitely remember - perhaps because such a twisting of the truth by my own government struck me as a very large crime striking very close to home.

Now this I do remember. The UN was not in favor of going to war. El Baradei gave Saddam a clean bill of health (for more details go to the Rich piece above.) There was no potential mushroom cloud at least as far as the UN was concerned. And as for WMD the UN wanted to proceed with the inspections. In fact Kofee Anan opposed the war. (One of the reasons why he became so unpopular with the Neocons and far right.) Bush was the one who forced an end to the inspections. He wanted to start his war before the weather became bad. After all, the UN couldn't remain there, in Iraq, continuing its inspections during the war.

Okay, your facts are different from my facts. The Rich piece and my comments on it are a reflection of the fog (in my opinion) the far right has created regarding the war and "Islamo fascism." The fog in Bush's case, perhaps reflecting upon the character of his administration, appears far thicker than it has in other administrations, left or right. (That is, if there is a left in mainstream national politics here?)

Saddam did offer money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. That's true. But unless Israel figures very highly in you scheme of things this matter was Israel's concern and not ours - certainly no cause to go to war with Iraq. Other than that, Saddam was contained. He was no threat to anybody. He had no WMD and his military was broken.

Let me repeat: the only threat he posed were his evil thoughts. He wished he could harm us. A far thing from actually being able to do so. And he couldn't.

You tell me I have a good heart. I suppose I should thank you for that. But what I find disturbing is the following comment. "Surely your (sic) rational enough not to want a coup of USA govt and a junta of progressive people to rule with a dictator?" Huh? What do "progressives" have to do with "dictators?" Or with any sort of "junta?" How could this possibly happen?

Now that supposition does strike me as odd.  

20 Mar 2007 @ 07:35 by jazzolog : Soros Speaks, But Not About Halliburton
Early in this thread jmarc pointed out George Soros, billionaire investor allegedly in progressive causes, recently bought stock mightily in the notorious company now moving its headquarters to Dubai. I have not researched the man to discover what his political views are, but I notice he has written an article for the April 12th issue of The New York Review Of Books. Essentially it is criticism of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its position on Palestine. Soros seems dedicated to moves to unify the Middle East, and delares, "I am not a Zionist, nor am I am a practicing Jew, but I have a great deal of sympathy for my fellow Jews and a deep concern for the survival of Israel... Palestine is a place of critical importance where positive change is still possible. Iraq is largely beyond our control; but if we succeeded in settling the Palestinian problem we would be in a much better position to engage in negotiations with Iran and extricate ourselves from Iraq. The need for a peace settlement in Palestine is greater than ever. Both for the sake of Israel and the United States, it is highly desirable that the Saudi peace initiative should succeed; but AIPAC stands in the way. It continues to oppose dealing with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas." http://www.nybooks.com/articles/20030  

21 Mar 2007 @ 16:50 by quinty @ : I think Soros
is right about this. (Whatever his business dealings may be.)

Though I don't think we should pin our hopes on a Palestinian solution before moving to get out of Iraq. The state of sanity in our country (in my perpetually humble opinion) has reached an all time low.  

23 Mar 2007 @ 14:15 by Quinty @ : Soros
showed some courage in his NY Review of Books piece. (My copy arrived yesterday.) His point being that more people have to stand up to the bullying tactics of the lobby.

And of course he's right. He wrote his piece knowing what he would be subjected to.

Frankly, I think it is quite reprehensible that AIPAC bases its smears and accusations of "anti Semitism" on the Holocaust dead.  

3 Apr 2007 @ 10:01 by jazzolog : What Else For Dubai? Art Market!
First Gulf Art Fair lays the foundations
Despite a slow start, most dealers are confident that the Middle Eastern market will grow
By Georgina Adam | Posted 29 March 2007

DUBAI. The desert emirate of Dubai has a seven-star hotel, an indoor ski slope, the world’s biggest shopping mall—and soon the tallest building. Work goes on round the clock to construct three off-shore residential complexes, one of which replicates the globe in a series of islands. All the place needed was an art fair, and now it has that too.

Last month, 41 dealers gathered in the Madinat Jumeirah complex, near the sail-like Burj Al Arab hotel to test the appetite of Dubai’s cosmopolitan residents for art. Among the visitors who turned out were three British football stars: David James, Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole.

The fair was put together in just 16 months by London dealer John Martin and local financier Ben Floyd, but came complete with all the trimmings: a VIP programme, artists’ projects and even a satellite fair. At the beginning of this year the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the authority which controls the burgeoning financial markets in Dubai, bought a 50% stake. “I know nothing about art,” DIFC governor Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman disarmingly admitted at the opening party, “But you can educate us in Dubai to create this new centre of art in the area.”

The emirate is now promoting itself as a hub for contemporary art, seven hours from London and from China. The fair’s art dealers hoped that the huge construction boom would be complemented by an interest in buying art to decorate these new apartments, offices and hotels. A day before the fair, the Louvre-Abu Dhabi agreement was also signed, part of a huge cultural project to build five museums in the neighbouring emirate.

But while there is political will to establish an art market, there are no art museums in Dubai and no art schools either. Selling to the Emiratis turned out to be difficult although there was a smattering of ministerial purchases. Some of the exhibitors, who had come from as far afield as Tokyo, Korea, China and the US, returned home almost empty-handed. But exhibitor Ursula Krinzinger of Austria, who did make some sales, remarked: “You can’t judge this on the first year: it will need five, maybe ten, to become established.”

White Cube had made the journey from London, to show works such as a gold ground Hirst butterfly work, Midas, 2006, priced at £625,000 ($1.19m). Graham Steele, a salesman at White Cube, said: “We have sold small pieces and are in discussion over one or two larger works. This fair has been very refreshing for us—we are going back to basics, explaining the meaning of works [to potential clients].”

Certainly the fair created a great buzz in the region and those galleries with local contacts did well. Michael Hue Williams of Albion gallery, who has a home in Egypt and counts Princess Alia Al-Senussi, great-niece of the former King of Libya, among his staff members, sold two calligraphies by Xu Bing ($60,000-$70,000), two paintings by the young British artist Kristian Ryokan ($12,000-$18,000) and two wax paintings by Jose Maria Sicilia.

The galleries showing Indian and Middle Eastern artists did well. Kashya Hildebrand of the eponymous Swiss gallery said: “The fair has exceeded my expectations at every level.” She sold out of works by Farhad Moshiri, one going to a local government minister. Christie’s recent auction in Dubai of contemporary Middle Eastern artists had raised awareness of some names and “set” prices.

A number of dealers had brought works featuring sand, as well as works showing camels, palm trees and other desert staples. One sand painting (Untitled, 2006) by the Korean Kim Chang-Yeul was sold to an “important personage” by the Korean gallery Gana Art. The same gallery sold a photograph of trees by Bae Bien-U to the British footballer Sol Campbell for $60,000. Jonathan Lahyani, an associate with the gallery, said: “I strongly believe in the future of this fair. In two to three years it will be big, maybe very big, as is typical in Dubai. It is time for education and art to grow here,” he added.

Indian gallery Grosvenor Vadehra sold a self-portrait of Indian artist M.F. Husain, who now lives in Dubai, for $130,000 “We are very happy, it was a surprise how nicely done it was: it is so small and intimate,” said Roshini Vadehra, the executive director of the gallery. There were four Indian dealers taking part in the fair this year, and all reported excellent sales.

After its successful start, the fair will step up a major gear in 2008. It will move to the giant Gate complex and should ­double in size.

16 Apr 2016 @ 08:43 by yll @ : yll
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