A companion to the official Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign website.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Battle of Perceptions

Requires login but you can read my copy. Here you go.

U.S. Effort Aims to Improve Opinions About Iraq Conflict

By Dana Milbank and Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, September 30, 2004; Page A20

The Bush administration, battling negative perceptions of the Iraq war, is sending Iraqi Americans to deliver what the Pentagon calls "good news" about Iraq to U.S. military bases, and has curtailed distribution of reports showing increasing violence in that country.

The unusual public-relations effort by the Pentagon and the U.S. Agency for International Development comes as details have emerged showing the U.S. government and a representative of President Bush's reelection campaign had been heavily involved in drafting the speech given to Congress last week by interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. Combined, they indicate that the federal government is working assiduously to improve Americans' opinions about the Iraq conflict -- a key element of Bush's reelection message.

USAID said this week that it will restrict distribution of reports by contractor Kroll Security International showing that the number of daily attacks by insurgents in Iraq has increased. On Monday, a day after The Washington Post published a front-page story saying that "the Kroll reports suggest a broad and intensifying campaign of insurgent violence," a USAID official sent an e-mail to congressional aides stating: "This is the last Kroll report to come in. After the WPost story, they shut it down in order to regroup. I'll let you know when it restarts."

Asked about the Kroll reports yesterday, USAID spokesman Jeffrey Grieco said, "The agency has restricted its circulation to those contractors and grantees who continue to work in Iraq." He said that the reports were given to congressional officials who sought them, but that the information will now be "restricted to those who need it for security planning in Iraq." An agency official said the decision was unrelated to the Post story and was based on a fear that the reports "would fall into insurgents' hands."

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's office has sent commanders of U.S. military facilities a five-page memorandum titled "Guidance to Commanders." The Pentagon, the memo says, is sponsoring a group of Iraqi Americans and former officials from the Coalition Provisional Authority to speak at military bases throughout the United States starting Friday to provide "a first-hand account" of events in Iraq. The Iraqi Americans and the CPA officials worked on establishing the interim Iraqi government. The Iraqi Americans "feel strongly that the benefits of the coalition efforts have not been fully reported," the memo says.

The memo says the presentations are "designed to be uplifting accounts with good news messages." Rumsfeld's office, which will pay for the tour, recommends that the installations seek local news coverage, noting that "these events and presentations are positive public relations opportunities."

The memo anticipates controversy. "It is well understood that the efforts and sacrifices associated with Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom have resulted in a significant human toll," it says. "As such, emotions and apprehensions may run high in response to the conduct of these visits." The memo offered reassurance that those on the tour "are not political policy makers" and said commanders at each base "are in the best position on how to market this voluntary attendance program effectively."

Lt. Col. Joe Richard, a Pentagon spokesman, said most of the Iraqi Americans are teachers who will emphasize improvements made to the Iraqi education system. He said they want to "provide some perspective on the operation" in Iraq. "I wouldn't characterize it as unusual. There are provisions that allow for it."

At the White House, National Security Council spokesman Jim Wilkinson said the Iraqi Americans have "a legitimate perspective, and that perspective should be heard."

White House spokesman Scott McClellan, asked Tuesday about similarities between Bush's statements about Iraq and Allawi's speech to Congress last week, said he did not know of any help U.S. officials gave with the speech. "None that I know of," he said, adding, "No one at the White House." He also said he did not know if the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad had seen the speech.

But administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the prime minister was coached and aided by the U.S. government, its allies and friends of the administration. Among them was Dan Senor, former spokesman for the CPA who has more recently represented the Bush campaign in media appearances. Senor, who has denied writing the speech, sent Allawi recommended phrases. He also helped Allawi rehearse in New York last week, officials said. Senor declined to comment.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and British Foreign Service officials also helped Allawi with the text and delivery of his remarks, said administration officials who were involved. The State Department and officials elsewhere in the government took the lead in booking Allawi's interviews. Administration officials said that the Iraqi Embassy in Washington consists of just a few officials and has only a dial-up Internet connection, so was incapable of preparing for the high-profile tour.

Staff writers Al Kamen, Thomas E. Ricks and Robin Wright contributed to this report.

Rewarding Zell

GOP takes care of Zell for taking care of Kerry
Rebel Ga. Democrat gets his pet projects paid for in approps
By Alexander Bolton

The Republicans are making sure that Sen. Zell Miller, who launched a withering attack on presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry last month, gets his pet projects paid for in appropriations legislation.

Miller, the Georgia Democrat who was the keynote speaker at the GOP convention in New York and who alienated his party by excoriating Kerry, has been told not to worry about losing his earmarks in the new fiscal year, which begins Friday.

The week that Congress returned after the GOP convention, Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) grabbed Miller’s arm outside the Senate chamber and assured him, “Don’t worry about appropriations, I’ve already put that stuff of yours in there.”

The New Mexico Republican is chairman of the Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee, a panel that small-government advocacy groups say doles out far more pet projects than most other spending subcommittees.


Sunday, September 26, 2004

Baghdad Year Zero

Baghdad Year Zero

"Pillaging Iraq in pursuit of a neocon utopia"

By Naomi Klein

Harper's Magazine, September 2004 --

It was only after I had been in Baghdad for a month that I found what I was looking for. I had traveled to Iraq a year after the war began, at the height of what should have been a construction boom, but after weeks of searching I had not seen a single piece of heavy machinery apart from tanks and humvees. Then I saw it: a construction crane. It was big and yellow and impressive, and when I caught a glimpse of it around a corner in a busy shopping district I thought that I was finally about to witness some of the reconstruction I had heard so much about. But as I got closer I noticed that the crane was not actually rebuilding anything - not one of the bombed-out government buildings that still lay in rubble all over the city, nor one of the many power lines that remained in twisted heaps even as the heat of summer was starting to bear down. No, the crane was hoisting a giant billboard to the top of a three-story building. SUNBULA: HONEY 100% NATURAL, made in Saudi Arabia.


Operation Lion Heart

Learn about Saleh's story!

Video part 1


Video part 2


Video part 3


Full collection of articles and photos about Saleh


I have put this picture up in my room


This 9 year old Iraqi boy did nothing to deserve losing his older brother, his hands, his eye, his body and brain to an American bomb.

His story is one of thousands, tens of thousands, we will never hear.

I pray, pray that we recognize this suffering, this evil, and the first step is to say that it is WRONG.

Please believe your eyes and your minds my fellow citizens, and make wise judgements in what we support from our leaders.

Saturday, September 25, 2004


It has been four weeks since the launch of THE WRITING ON THE WALL.

Here is a full list of all the up-to-date stories that have been published in the first four weeks.

Rummy Takes A Cut
Mad Allawi
Hager FDA Appointment
Online Video Clips
Jimmy Swaggart's Hate Speech
Time for a Wake Up
SF Weekly's Advice for Kerry
Can You Feel the Draft
Kerry's Position on Iraq
Hijacking Catastrophe movie online
That funny looking cloud
100% Authentic Chickenhawk
K Kelly and S Hersh
On The Issues: Abu Ghraib
Is Kerry A Good Catholic?
Busting Up BCCI
Rock For Change schedule
10 Year Olds Don't Vote
JFK's 1961 Inaugural Speech
Open Forum submission for SF Chronicle
Clip Show
Why I'm voting for John Kerry
The Hero and the Zero
A finding from the blog.johnkerry.com. Is it righ...
Documentaries Online
Two Questions
A Message for Mr Blackwell
The Official Heinz Stance on Partisanship
Safe and Saferer
Are you better off?
The politics of fear and the audacity of hope
"A Catastrophic Success"
The Depths of Abu Ghraib
A Few Good Men
Bush, Cheney, Rummfeld, Ashcroft v. The United States
Ben Barnes Helps Bush Dodge Vietnam
To Uncover (An Election Year Checklist)
Butting Heads
Kerry's speech on Iraq War Resolution
Democractic National Convention speeches
Vietnam-era Military Records
Remember the Bill of Rights?
Fay and Schlesinger reports
Review of Four Trials, by John Edwards
Music to read along to



Friday, September 24, 2004

Rummy Takes A Cut


Rumsfeld Sold Stakes in Pentagon Contractors

Wed Sep 22, 4:09 PM ET

By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sold stakes this summer in at least five companies after they were identified as doing business with the Pentagon, according to his latest financial disclosure form, made available on Wednesday.

Sold were all his shares in Millennium Chemicals Inc., St Paul Companies Inc., Sonoco Products Co., VF Corp. and Zebra Technologies Corp., according to an aide's handwritten note on the disclosure report.

The note, dated June 28, said the companies had been "identified as DoD defense contractors." The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a query about the threshold for such identification, nor about the reasoning behind the sale.

The 20-page form, released by the Office on Government Ethics in response to a request from Reuters, showed Rumsfeld's assets, liabilities and transactions for the year ended Dec. 31, 2003.

Described in ranges rather than exact amounts, his largest holdings included a trust in his name valued at $25 million to $50 million, farm land in New Mexico valued in the millions and a stake in Gilead Sciences Inc. worth $5 million to $25 million.

Rumsfeld served as chairman of Gilead Sciences, a Foster City, California, biotechnology company, before being sworn in as President Bush's defense secretary on Jan. 20, 2001.

As of July 27, Rumsfeld's designees were "in discussions" about divesting his shares in Community Health Systems Inc., which also was identified as a Pentagon contractor, according to the Pentagon's Standards of Conduct Office, which reviewed Rumsfeld's report for any perceived conflicts of interest. Community Health Systems was held via a venture called FLC Partnership.

Rumsfeld appeared to be under no legal requirement to sell the shares of any of the companies identified as Pentagon contractors, according to Alex Knott of the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington-based government watchdog.

"It appears as though Secretary Rumsfeld wanted to hold himself to a higher ethical standard when it comes to public perceptions," he said.

The form showed Rumsfeld accepted no gifts, reimbursements or travel expenses big enough to meet the government's modest thresholds for reporting. Among these are a requirement to report gifts from one source totaling more than $260.

(Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa)

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Mad Allawi

I wonder why this story never appeared in an American newspaper or TV segment?

Allawi shot prisoners in cold blood: witnesses
By Paul McGeough in Baghdad
July 17, 2004

Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq, pulled a pistol and executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station, just days before Washington handed control of the country to his interim government, according to two people who allege they witnessed the killings.

They say the prisoners - handcuffed and blindfolded - were lined up against a wall in a courtyard adjacent to the maximum-security cell block in which they were held at the Al-Amariyah security centre, in the city's south-western suburbs.

They say Dr Allawi told onlookers the victims had each killed as many as 50 Iraqis and they "deserved worse than death".

The Prime Minister's office has denied the entirety of the witness accounts in a written statement to the Herald, saying Dr Allawi had never visited the centre and he did not carry a gun.

But the informants told the Herald that Dr Allawi shot each young man in the head as about a dozen Iraqi policemen and four Americans from the Prime Minister's personal security team watched in stunned silence.

Iraq's Interior Minister, Falah al-Naqib, is said to have looked on and congratulated him when the job was done. Mr al-Naqib's office has issued a verbal denial.

The names of three of the alleged victims have been obtained by the Herald.

One of the witnesses claimed that before killing the prisoners Dr Allawi had told those around him that he wanted to send a clear message to the police on how to deal with insurgents.

"The prisoners were against the wall and we were standing in the courtyard when the Interior Minister said that he would like to kill them all on the spot. Allawi said that they deserved worse than death - but then he pulled the pistol from his belt and started shooting them."

Re-enacting the killings, one witness stood three to four metres in front of a wall and swung his outstretched arm in an even arc, left to right, jerking his wrist to mimic the recoil as each bullet was fired. Then he raised a hand to his brow, saying: "He was very close. Each was shot in the head."

The prisoners were against the wall and we were standing in the courtyard when the Interior Minister said that he would like to kill them all on the spot. Allawi said that they deserved worse than death - but then he pulled the pistol from his belt and started shooting them.

The witnesses said seven prisoners had been brought out to the courtyard, but the last man in the line was only wounded - in the neck, said one witness; in the chest, said the other.

Given Dr Allawi's role as the leader of the US experiment in planting a model democracy in the Middle East, allegations of a return to the cold-blooded tactics of his predecessor are likely to stir a simmering debate on how well Washington knows its man in Baghdad, and precisely what he envisages for the new Iraq.

There is much debate and rumour in Baghdad about the Prime Minister's capacity for brutality, but this is the first time eyewitness accounts have been obtained.

A former CIA officer, Vincent Cannisatraro, recently told The New Yorker: "If you're asking me if Allawi has blood on his hands from his days in London, the answer is yes, he does. He was a paid Mukhabarat

[intelligence] agent for the Iraqis, and he was involved in dirty stuff."

In Baghdad, varying accounts of the shootings are interpreted by observers as useful to a little-known politician who, after 33 years in exile, needs to prove his leadership credentials as a "strongman" in a war-ravaged country that has no experience of democracy.

Dr Allawi's statement dismissed the allegations as rumours instigated by enemies of his interim government.

But in a sharp reminder of the Iraqi hunger for security above all else, the witnesses did not perceive themselves as whistle-blowers. In interviews with the Herald they were enthusiastic about such killings, with one of them arguing: "These criminals were terrorists. They are the ones who plant the bombs."

Before the shootings, the 58-year-old Prime Minister is said to have told the policemen they must have courage in their work and that he would shield them from any repercussions if they killed insurgents in the course of their duty.

The witnesses said the Iraqi police observers were "shocked and surprised". But asked what message they might take from such an act, one said: "Any terrorists in Iraq should have the same destiny. This is the new Iraq.

"Allawi wanted to send a message to his policemen and soldiers not to be scared if they kill anyone - especially, they are not to worry about tribal revenge. He said there would be an order from him and the Interior Ministry that all would be fully protected.

"He told them: 'We must destroy anyone who wants to destroy Iraq and kill our people.'
"At first they were surprised. I was scared - but now the police seem to be very happy about this. There was no anger at all, because so many policemen have been killed by these criminals."

Dr Allawi had made a surprise visit to the complex, they said.

Neither witness could give a specific date for the killings. But their accounts narrowed the time frame to on or around the third weekend in June - about a week before the rushed handover of power in Iraq and more than three weeks after Dr Allawi was named as the interim Prime Minister.

They said that as many as five of the dead prisoners were Iraqis, two of whom came from Samarra, a volatile town to the north of the capital, where an attack by insurgents on the home of Mr Al-Naqib killed four of the Interior Minister's bodyguards on June 19.

The Herald has established the names of three of the prisoners alleged to have been killed. Two names connote ties to Syrian-based Arab tribes, suggesting they were foreign fighters: Ahmed Abdulah Ahsamey and Amer Lutfi Mohammed Ahmed al-Kutsia.

The third was Walid Mehdi Ahmed al-Samarrai. The last word of his name indicates that he was one of the two said to come from Samarra, which is in the Sunni Triangle.

The three names were provided to the Interior Ministry, where senior adviser Sabah Khadum undertook to provide a status report on each. He was asked if they were prisoners, were they alive or had they died in custody.

But the next day he cut short an interview by hanging up the phone, saying only: "I have no information - I don't want to comment on that specific matter."

All seven were described as young men. One of the witnesses spoke of the distinctive appearance of four as "Wahabbi", the colloquial Iraqi term for the foreign fundamentalist insurgency fighters and their Iraqi followers.

He said: "The Wahabbis had long beards, very short hair and they were wearing dishdashas [the caftan-like garment worn by Iraqi men]."

Raising the hem of his own dishdasha to reveal the cotton pantaloons usually worn beneath, he said: "The other three were just wearing these - they looked normal."

One witness justified the shootings as an unintended act of mercy: "They were happy to die because they had already been beaten by the police for two to eight hours a day to make them talk."

After the removal of the bodies, the officer in charge of the complex, General Raad Abdullah, is said to have called a meeting of the policemen and told them not to talk outside the station about what had happened. "He said it was a security issue," a witness said.

One of the Al-Amariyah witnesses said he watched as Iraqis among the Prime Minister's bodyguards piled the prisoners' bodies into the back of a Nissan utility and drove off. He did not know what became of them. But the other witness said the bodies were buried west of Baghdad, in open desert country near Abu Ghraib.

That would place their burial near the notorious prison, which was used by Saddam Hussein's security forces to torture and kill thousands of Iraqis. Subsequently it was revealed as the setting for the still-unfolding prisoner abuse scandal involving US troops in the aftermath of the fall of Baghdad.

The Herald has established that as many as 30 people, including the victims, may have been in the courtyard. One of the witnesses said there were five or six civilian-clad American security men in a convoy of five or six late model four-wheel-drive vehicles that was shepherding Dr Allawi's entourage on the day. The US military and Dr Allawi's office refused to respond to questions about the composition of his security team. It is understood that the core of his protection unit is drawn from the US Special Forces units.

The security establishment where the killings are said to have happened is on open ground on the border of the Al-Amariyah and Al-Kudra neighbourhoods in Baghdad.

About 90 policemen are stationed at the complex, which processes insurgents and more hardened offenders among those captured in the struggle against a wave of murder, robbery and kidnapping in post-invasion Iraq.

The Interior Ministry denied permission for the Herald to enter the heavily fortified police complex.
The two witnesses were independently and separately found by the Herald. Neither approached the newspaper. They were interviewed on different days in a private home in Baghdad, without being told the other had spoken. A condition of the co-operation of each man was that no personal information would be published.

Both interviews lasted more than 90 minutes and were conducted through an interpreter, with another journalist present for one of the meetings. The witnesses were not paid for the interviews.

Dr Allawi's office has dismissed the allegations as rumours instigated by enemies of his interim government.
A statement in the name of spokesman Taha Hussein read: "We face these sorts of allegations on a regular basis. Numerous groups are attempting to hinder what the interim Iraqi government is on the verge of achieving, and occasionally they spread outrageous accusations hoping they will be believed and thus harm the honourable reputation of those who sacrifice so much to protect this glorious country and its now free and respectable people.

"Dr Allawi is turning this country into a free and democratic nation run by the rule of law; so if your sources are as credible as they say they are, then they are more than welcome to file a complaint in a court of law against the Prime Minister."

In response to a question asking if Dr Allawi carried a gun, the statement said: "[He] does not carry a pistol. He is the Prime Minister of Iraq, not a combatant in need of any weaponry."

Sabah Khadum, a senior adviser to Interior Minister Mr Naqib, whose portfolio covers police matters, also dismissed the accounts. Rejecting them as "ludicrous", Mr Khadum said of Dr Allawi: "He is a doctor and I know him. He was my neighbour in London. He just doesn't have it in him. Baghdad is a city of rumours. This is not worth discussing."

Mr Khadum added: "Do you think a man who is Prime Minister is going to disqualify himself for life like this? This is not a government of gangsters."

Asked if Dr Allawi had visited the Al-Amariyah complex - one of the most important counter-insurgency centres in Baghdad - Mr Khadum said he could not reveal the Prime Minister's movements. But he added: "Dr Allawi has made many visits to police stations ... he is heading the offensive."

US officials in Iraq have not made an outright denial of the allegations. An emailed response to questions from the Herald to the US ambassador, John Negroponte, said: "If we attempted to refute each [rumour], we would have no time for other business. As far as this embassy's press office is concerned, this case is closed."

This story originates from the Sydney Morning Herald and can be seen here, if you register with them.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Hager FDA Appointment

Copy and send out via email:

President Bush has announced his plan to select Dr. W. David Hager tohead up the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA)Reproductive Health DrugsAdvisory Committee. The committee has not met formore than two years, during which time its charter lapsed. As aresult, the Bush Administration is tasked with filling all eleven positions withnew members. This position does not require Congressional approval.The FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee makes crucialdecisions on matters relating to drugs used in the practice ofobstetrics, gynecology and related specialties, including hormone therapy,contraception, treatment for infertility, and medical alternatives tosurgical procedures for sterilization and pregnancy termination.

Dr. Hager, the author of "As Jesus Cared for Women: Restoring WomenThen and Now." The book blends biblical accounts of Christ healing Women! n withcase studies from Hager's practice. His views of reproductive health care are far outside the mainstream for reproductive technology. Dr. Hager is a practicing OB/GYN who describes himself as "pro-life" and refuses to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women.

In the book Dr. Hager wrote with his wife, entitled "Stress and theWoman's Body," he suggests that women who suffer from premenstrual syndromeshould seek help from reading the bible and praying. As an editor andcontributing author of "The Reproduction Revolution: A Christian Appraisal ofSexuality Reproductive Technologies and the Family," Dr. Hager appears to haveendorsed the medically inaccurate assertion that the common birthcontrol pill is an abortifacient.We are concerned that Dr. Hager's strong religious beliefs may colorhis assessment of technologies that are necessary to protect women's livesor to preserve and promote women's health.Hager's track record! rd of using religious beliefs to guide his medicaldecision-making makes him a dangerous and inappropriate candidate toserve as chair of this committee. Critical drug public policy and researchmust not be held hostage by antiabortion politics. Members of thisimportant panel should be appointed on the basis of science and medicine, ratherthan politics and religion. American women deserve no less.

There is something you can do. Below is a letter to be sent to theWhite House, opposing the placement of Hager. Please copy all the text ofthis email and paste it into a fresh email; then sign your name below and


Copy the following letter into a new e-mail and send to:


I oppose the appointment of Dr. W. David Hager to the FDAReproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. Mixing religion and medicine isunacceptable in a policy-making position. Using the FDA to promote apolitical agenda is inappropriate and seriously threatens women'shealth.

Members of this important panel should be appointed on the basis ofscience and medicine, rather than politics and religion. Americanwomen deserve no less.


Posted by EPV101773 on http://blog.johnkerry.com at September 19, 2004 04:49 PM

Online Video Clips

Jon Stewart interviews Michael Moore


Jon Stewart on Iraq (September 15, 2004)


Jon Stewart on Zell part 1


Part 2


Lots of videos of Bush gaffes


Jon Stewart interviews John



Moment of Zen: Sensitivity (feat. Dick Cheney)


Moment of Zen: Progress (feat. Condi Rice)


Ali G interviews Andy Rooney


Ali G's alter ego Borat interviews Republican candidate(James Broadwater is a candidate for Congress in Mississipi's 2nd Congressional District)


A Daily Show mockumentary of George Bush and his prickly relationship with words.


Michael Moore waving during McCain's speech.


Bill Maher laying down some "new rules" on RNC protestors and Hummer cologne.


Zell Miller challenges Chris Matthews to a duel.


Barney, the first pup, takes a poo as Bush says "progress on the ground"


DNC speech videos


Bill Maher acts out "My Pet Goat" moment


Jimmy Swaggart's Hate Speech

In the Blogs, on the Issues:
Jimmy Swaggart Hate Speech


This tape was available online for about a week. Now it seems to have been removed.


I am looking for a saved copy of the sermon. It is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and was broadcast on September 12, 2004. Jimmy gets to this point at minute 36.

SWAGGART: "I get amazed, I can't look at it about 10 second, at these politicians dancing around this, dancing around this, I'm trying to find a correct name for it, this utter absolute asinine idiotic stupidity of men marrying men."

(shouts from crowd)

"I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry."

(shouts, applause)

SWAGGART: "And I'm gonna be blunt and plain, if he ever looks at me like that I'm going to kill him and tell God he died."

(laughter, applause)

"In case anybody doesn't know God calls it an abomination. It's an abomination!"

"It's an abomination!"


"These ridiculous, utterly absurd district attorneys and judges and state congress and 'well, we don't know'... they ought to have to marry a pig and live with them forever."


"I'm not knocking the poor homosexual, I'm not, they need salvation like anyone else... I'm knocking our pitiful pathetic lawmakers."

SWAGGART: "And I thank God that President Bush has stated,"


"we need a Constitutional Ammendment that states that marriage is between a man and a woman."




To Bush Camp, Kerry Camp, ALL rational thinking people!! It is HATE SPEECH plain and simple to say you would kill someone for their race, or their religion, or their SEXUAL ORIENTATION. Jimmy Swaggart actually said he would kill a gay man and lie about it "to God". Like God wouldn't know he killed someone. Like God doesn't know the hate in Jimmy's heart. If there is a God, he doesn't support executing homosexuals and both BUSH and KERRY should denounce this type of politicized HATE SPEECH.

To write to the media about this outrage, please check out Daily Kos's media contact list.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Time for a Wake Up

It's all been done before people...

The First Great Awakening (1730s - 1740s)
"Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God"

The Second Great Awakening (1820s - 1830s)
Baptists, camp meetings, and the South

The Third Great Awakening (1880s - 1900s)
Darwin, atheism, and secular humanism

The Fourth Great Awakening (1960s - 1970s)
hippies, Beatniks, and New Age

Although the Great Awakenings influence and are influenced by religious thought from throughout the world, the cycle of Great Awakenings appear to be unique to the United States. This could be because the United States is home to many different denominations and sects, while remaining largely Protestant Christian. The lack of a single dominant faith or state-sanctioned religion means that new ideas can be spread without having to slowly reform existing institutions from within, or allowing pressures to build up until the existing institutions are violently overthrown. On the other hand, the established sects have enough prestige and inertia that the pressure for new ideas build into a regular cycle of (relatively - there are riots involved) bloodless revolution.

Since religion dictates morality, or at least provides its justification, the Great Awakenings exert influence on the politics of the United States. For example, the abolition movement, part of the wider Second Great Awakening, eventually contributed to the American Civil War.

Great Awakenings in the United Stateshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Awakenings

Friday, September 17, 2004

SF Weekly's Advice for Kerry

Please Read everyone!! From SF Weekly, San Francisco CA.


Making Kerry Kerry On

What will it take to make John Kerry mad enough to speak the plain truths that will win the election?

john.mecklin@sfweekly.com For the third time in four days, I found myself making the same complaint.
"Why can't he just explain what happened?" I fumed at my captive audience of one. "'The president took a bunch of your money and gave it away, in tax breaks, to rich people. Elect me, and I'll go get the money and give it back to you.'

"How hard is it to say that?"

Apparently, it's very hard for John Kerry, the least politically adept Democratic presidential candidate since America endured the pasty puling of Walter Mondale.

How I long for John Kerry to be direct, to explain that he's not the one who put the economy in the ditch, but he'll have the tow truck ready to pull it out the instant America puts him in the White House. I ache for John Kerry to leave off, already, with the cadences ... that ... say ... he's ... orating ... in ... an ... echo ... chamber ... because ... he ... must ... get ... bellowing ... nuance ... into ... this ... sentence.

Three decades ago, Kerry was an authoritative voice for an angry generation that said no to official lying, and no to war. Back then, as a war veteran, he spoke eloquently, but directly and from the heart. How we need that young, angry Kerry now. Kerry needs him, too; another three weeks of the bellowing, nuanced Kerry, and we'll be reading about a Bush landslide for the rest of history.


So what would it take to really piss John Kerry off, to make him mad enough that he just started telling the truth as he saw it, in language that ordinary Americans could understand? I went to the 911 Power to the Peaceful Festival over the weekend hoping to find or think up an answer, but expecting, actually, to do little but gather color for a column on a depressive reality: In San Francisco, there is a lot of interest in this presidential campaign, but San Franciscans will have nothing to do with choosing the next president.
It's a simple fact: According to every poll known to mankind, John Kerry is going to win California and its vast trove of Electoral College delegates easily, no matter what. The election will be decided in the Midwestern battleground states, and I've never known a Midwesterner who wanted Californians to tell him how to vote. And I grew up in Chicago.

Given San Francisco's electoral irrelevance, I have to give it to the Power to the Peaceful folks; they sure know how to promote and organize a political rock concert that draws. (Disclosure: SF Weekly was a sponsor of the concert; I have nothing to do with such sponsorships.) Late on Saturday morning -- that is to say, on the third anniversary of al Qaeda's attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon -- Speedway Meadow was full of hip and hip hop types of every stripe, spreading their blankets and loading their bongs in front of the stage. They were surrounded by a solid ring of booths that created the feel of a county fair in the Land of the Left of Center.

As at any mass San Francisco gathering of leftists, the fair included something disgraceful: In this case, on the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, a series of posters listed the names of people who had been shot by Bay Area police, thereby suggesting that the use of force by American police in individual cases scattered over time equates with the deliberate murder of more than 2,700 utterly innocent human beings, all at once.
There was, of course, stupidity, in the form of the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance, which I watched arranging itself under a banner at the far end of the meadow. The group, which apparently holds to the loony belief that American leaders were actually involved in planning the 9/11/01 attacks, had a tough time getting a chant together but eventually managed to work it out. "Bush, Cheney, CIA/ How many kids get killed today?" a dozen or so misguided youths shouted into the beautiful day.

By and large, though, it was a beautiful day and a wonderful event, dominated by entertaining left politicking and commerce and, it seemed, genuine yearnings after peace. One T-shirt shop, for instance, offered the "Try Me" president, a doll that looked very vaguely like George W. Bush. I tried him -- meaning I pulled the doll's extended right forefinger -- and a familiar but unplaceable song was played. I looked on the box and learned the title: "Farts and Stripes Forever." The peacemonger.org booth, meanwhile, sold the best collection of anti-Bush and anti-war memorabilia, including a set of refrigerator magnets produced by http://www.reefermagnets.com/ and titled "Now I Can Dress Myself." The kit includes a naked President Bush, his privates covered by a red, white, and blue map of the state of Texas, and ways to dress the unclothed emperor. (My favorite is the Napoleon outfit.)

I listened to Xavier Rudd, an Australian who played music that seemed oddly reminiscent of Paul Simon's recent work, and greatly enjoyed myself within a throng of thousands of young people who had gathered to call for an end to the incompetent, illegitimate, and counterproductive American occupation of Iraq as they got stoned, listened to music, and tried to hook up. After a while, though, Peter Camejo, Ralph Nader's running mate, began talking, and I had to leave.

It had been a pleasant way to kill a couple of hours on a Saturday, but I knew that California could hold a thousand pleasant political rock concerts in the next two months and they would have no more effect, one way or another, on the presidential election or the war in Iraq than a squeaky outdoor speech by a perennial fringe candidate.


So if Californians can't influence the election with votes, could they at least make the new, nuanced John Kerry mad enough to speak like the old, truth-to-power John Kerry? I don't know, but let's try this:
In Golden Gate Park this weekend, thousands of young, idealistic, politically active people gathered to demand that their government end an untenable war, much as John Kerry did 30 years ago. On this weekend, though, one booth was selling a T-shirt on which was silk-screened a depiction of U.S. Sen. John Kerry, grinning foolishly. The text on the shirt touted a vote for:

John Kerry
The Lesser Evil
We'll Go Backward Less Fast

The shirts seemed to be selling.


"The situation in Iraq is a disaster that can't be fixed by American soldiers, and I'll bring the troops home a lot faster than the guy who sent them there."

How hard is it to say that, Sen. Kerry? Really?

sfweekly.com originally published: September 15, 2004

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Can You Feel the Draft


Edwards: No military draft if Democrats win

Vice presidential candidate John Edwards promised a West Virginia mother on Wednesday that if the Democratic ticket is elected in November the military draft would not be revived.

During a question-and-answer session, the mother of a 23-year-old who recently graduated from West Virginia University asked Edwards whether the draft would be reinstated.

"There will be no draft when John Kerry is president," Edwards said, a statement that drew a standing ovation.


[Meanwhile, in a related story,]


In line with today's needs, the SSS' [Selective Service System] structure, programs, and activities should be re-engineered toward maintaining a national inventory of American men and (for the first time) women, ages 18 through 34, with an added focus on identifying individuals with critical skills."

This document is dated 11 February 2003 and was written by several Undersecrataries at the Department of Defense. Surely this document is known by Doug Feith, the #3 man at the Pentagon (he is Undersecretary of Defense for Policy).



Kerry's Position on Iraq

Courtesy of Dr Ron Chusid, a Freedom Fighter for Kerry.


"My vote was cast in a way that made it very clear, Mr. President, I'm voting for you to do what you said you're going to do, which is to go through the U.N. and do this through an international process. If you go unilaterally, without having exhausted these remedies, I'm not supporting you. And if you decide that this is just a matter of straight pre-emptive doctrine for regime-change purposes without regard to the imminence of the threat, I'm not going to support you." --John Kerry, October 2002.
(Quote from Walter Shapiro's One-Car Caravan.)


From his Senate Floor Speech:
Mr. President, I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force - if necessary - to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security and that of our allies in the Persian Gulf region. And I will vote "yes" because on the question of how best to hold Saddam Hussein accountable, the Administration, including the President, recognizes that war must be our last option to address this threat, not the first, and that we should be acting in concert with allies around the globe to make the world's case against Saddam Hussein. As the President made clear earlier this week, "Approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable." It means that "America speaks with one voice."

Let me be clear: I am voting to give this authority to the President for one reason and one reason only: to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction if we cannot accomplish that objective through new tough weapons inspections. In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days - to work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out "tough, immediate" inspections requirements and to "act with our allies at our side" if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force.

If he fails to do so, I will be the first to speak out. If we do go to war with Iraq, it is imperative that we do so in concert with others in the international community. The Administration has come to recognize this as has our closet ally, Prime Minister Tony Blair in Britain. The Administration may not be in the habit of building coalitions, but that is what they need to do - and it is what can be done. If we go it alone without reason, we risk inflaming an entire region and breeding a new generation of terrorists, a new cadre of anti-American zealots - and we will be less secure, not more secure, at the end of the day, even with Saddam Hussein disarmed. Let there be no doubt or confusion as to where I stand: I will support a multilateral effort to disarm Iraq by force, if we have exhausted all other options. But I cannot - and will not - support a unilateral, US war against Iraq unless the threat is imminent and no multilateral effort is possible.

And in voting to grant the President the authority to use force, I am not giving him carte blanche to run roughshod over every country that poses - or may pose - a potential threat to the United States. . .
Mr. President, Congressional action on this resolution is not the end of our national debate on how best to disarm Iraq. Nor does it mean that we have exhausted all our peaceful options to achieve this goal. There is much more to be done.


In December 2003 Kerry was interviewed by William Rivers Pitt:

PITT: Do you feel a kinship with the peace movement that exploded around this Iraq invasion, given your background? Or do you feel alienated from them because of that vote?

KERRY: I felt enormous understanding, empathy, sympathy and respect for the voice they were articulating. I completely understood it. I came from there. I understood the confusion over why someone with my long history, why there was confusion over my position, why people were questioning it.

KERRY: But I felt my decision was absolutely consistent with the counter-proliferation efforts I have been making as a Senator for my entire career. I felt proliferation was a critical issue. I thought a President ought to get inspectors back into Iraq. I thought a President ought to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. But I knew how to do it right, and my regret is that this President proved he not only didn’t know how to do it right, but was prepared to go back on his promises, be deceptive, and mislead the nation. I regret that he did that, and I regret that I put any trust in him at all. I shouldn’t have, obviously.

KERRY: Put it this way: Given the circumstances we were in at the time, the decision was appropriate, but in retrospect I will never trust the man again. That’s why I am running against him. He deserves to be replaced with someone who is trustworthy.


Salon Interview May 28, 2004:

SALON: According to recent polls, more than 50 percent of the American public now believes that the war in Iraq has not been worth the cost. Do you agree with that assessment?

KERRY: I've always believed that the president went to war in a way that was mistaken, that he led us too rapidly into war, without sharing the cost, without sharing the risk, without building a true international coalition. He broke his promises about going as a last resort. I think that was a mistake. There was a right way to hold Saddam Hussein accountable and a wrong way. He chose the wrong way.

SALON: But you voted in October 2002 to give Bush the authority to use force in Iraq. Was that vote a mistake?

KERRY: No. My vote was the right vote. If I had been president, I would have wanted that authority to leverage the behavior that we needed. But I would have used it so differently than the way George Bush did.

SALON: Would there have been a war in Iraq if you had been president?

KERRY: I can't tell you that. If Saddam Hussein hadn't disarmed and all the world had decided that he was not living up to the standards, who knows? You can't answer that hypothetical. But I can tell you this. I would never have rushed the process in a way that undoes the meaning of going to war "as a last resort."

SALON: And that's what you thought you were authorizing -- war as a last resort?

KERRY: Absolutely. You know, we got a set of promises: We're going to build an international coalition, we're going to exhaust the remedies of the U.N., respect that process and go to war as a last resort. Well, we didn't.

KERRY: And not only [did we] not go to war as a last resort, they didn't even make the plans for winning the peace. They disregarded them. They disregarded [U.S. Army General Eric] Shinseki's advice, disregarded Colin Powell's advice, disregarded the State Department's plan. The arrogance of this administration has cost Americans billions of dollars and too many lives.

Hijacking Catastrophe movie online

Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 225 stations in North America.Pioneering the largest public media collaboration in the U.S., Democracy Now! is broadcast on Pacifica, community, and National Public Radio stations, public access cable television stations, satellite television (on Free Speech TV, channel 9415 of the DISH Network), shortwave radio and the internet.

This film is produced by the Media Education Foundation and features former government officials combined with many of the leading scholars and thinkers of our time including Noam Chomsky, Norman Mailer, Chalmers Johnson, Daniel Ellsberg, Tariq Ali and more. The film is narrated by Julian Bond.




Sunday, September 12, 2004

That funny looking cloud

John Kerry's Sept 12 statement on a possible nuclear test in North Korea.


“The mere fact that we are even contemplating a nuclear weapons test by North Korea highlights a massive national security failure by President Bush. During his administration, North Korea has advanced its nuclear program and a potential route to a nuclear 9/11 is clearly visible. North Korea’s nuclear program is well ahead of what Saddam Hussein was even suspected of doing – yet the president took his eye off the ball, wrongly ignoring this growing danger. What is unfolding in North Korea is exactly the kind of disaster that it is an American president’s solemn duty to prevent.”

The AP story that everyone is going to read about soon originates from a South Korean news agency called Yonhap. Some officials are claiming the blast was not a nuclear explosion.

Gov't Confirms 'Non-Nuclear' N. Korean Explosion

They have two sources, one is an unnamed source in Beijing (capital of China) and the other is an unidentified diplomatic source in Seoul (capital of S Korea).

The NY Times is also getting anonymous scoops. They cite "senior officials with access to the intelligence" who say that for 3 weeks now Bush and defense officials have been hearing about N Korea's plans to openly test a nuclear weapon above ground.

The explosion occured on September 9 at 11 am, and is reported to have been a mushroom cloud 4 km, or about 2.4 miles in diameter.

In 1946 we had Operation Crossroads (cute name, love it really) and that was a 23 kilaton bomb. Remember that is about one thousandth the size of Operation Castle just 8 years later. What is interesting about Operation Crossroads is that it was detonated underwater but the diameter of the mushroom cloud that resulted was about 5km across, not much bigger than the reported 4 km mushroom cloud that supposedly occured on September 9, 2004.

Operation Crossroads

If this nuclear blast and 4km diameter mushroom cloud actually occured 3 days ago I am amazed more information is not being made public. Like I said before this will affect the entire region and perhaps our planet's atmosphere.

It is not possible that they could have missed this with satellite. Take a look at this satellite view of the Korean peninsula. The width of the Peninsula is only about 150 km. An explosion with a 4 km diameter mushroom cloud could NOT be missed! Unless all the TV cameras stay focused on Hurricanes off the coast of Florida, instead of radioactive explosions in the North Pacific region.

Satellite composite of Korean Peninsula

Political Cartoon about N Korea's Nuclear Ambitions by David Horsey

Thursday, September 09, 2004

K Kelly and S Hersh

I say, we make the most of this Kitty Kelley book when it comes out not because it's the best road of attack in questioning the President's credentials and credibility, but because there is another book around the corner that will explain a much more recent outrage- and that is Seymour Hersh's book The Road to Abu Ghraib. It will tell all about what happened between 9/11 and the release of pictures from Abu Ghraib, and the scramble after the release to conceal other pictures from the public and to deflect blame away from the people responsible. This means Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, and Rummsfeld! Not to mention Sanchez, Wolfowitz, Cambone, probably a bunch of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Condi, Meyers, and all the rest. What is so awful about Abu Ghraib is that it is a REAL threat to our national security!! If everyone knew what the Pentagon knew happened in that prison, what they have videotape evidence of that they're not releasing, people would be outraged against George Bush AND the United States. Bush is trying to say that he IS the United States, so that if we don't vote for him we're not voting for the interest of the country. But he's not the United States, the United States would not allow for torture and sexual humiliation, for rape and murder to be allowed by the CIA for whatever purpose the executive branch wants. We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights and Bush is saying, we'll take away those Constitutional rights from you but we're going to call ourselves America anyways. How dare they tell voters that if THEY make "the wrong choice" we'll be attacked. The American people do not make decisions that regard how safe our country is from terrorism. We don't have the duty of scanning our ports and regulating immigration and making planes safe from hijackers. That's the Federal Government's responsibility, and someone sure dropped the ball!

So everybody while the 3rd anniversary of that terrible day is coming up, please remember what this is also the 2nd anniversary of: George Bush's speech to the UN explaining why we should depose Saddam.

The rationale in September 2002 was that Saddam violated the UN.

The rationale for the Senate vote in Oct 2002 was Weapons of Mass Destruction and an imminent threat.
Why was the vote in Oct 2002 but we didn't go to war until March 2003?

The Iraq War Resolution vote was a POLITICAL PLOY. It was held right before the election to put Democrats on the spot, to force them to vote for war or somehow that shows that they don't want to protect America.

Al Qaeda hijacks Islam, 19 hijack 4 planes, and Bush hijacks 9/11 for the purpose of invading Iraq.

It's that simple folks. They wanted to go to war all along and nothing would have stopped them, not even if both Kerry and Edwards voted no in Oct 2002. But what they did vote yes on was,

1. Proof of WMDs
2. Weapon inspections
3. Saddam's compliance
4. UN approval for military action
5. International support

Bottom line: We're there now, like Barack said there were patriots for the war and patriots against the war, but hell we're all in the same boat now. We are putting all our faith and trust in JFK to turn around the WRONG policies of GWB and it seems so clear to me that the Democrats will have the vision and planning to pull us out of this mess.

P.S. Because if they don't we're right F**KED

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

On The Issues: Abu Ghraib

In the Blogs, On the Issues

Abu Ghraib

Why won't anyone link Abu Gharib to the Bush Administration and shoot down these claims of making the world safer once and for all!!!

Posted by Sandie from OC at September 8, 2004 01:11 AM

So glad you asked, Sandie! Great question.

Let's play connect the dots everybody.

Please open your Schlesinger reports and turn to page 109.

Schlesinger Report on DoD Detention Operations


This is a memorandum sent out by George Bush on February 7, 2002, to many members of his staff (Cheney, Condi, Rummy, Ashcroft, Colin, George Tenet, the Joint Chiefs of Staff) declaring:

"I accept the legal conclusion of the Department of Justice and determine that none of the provisions of Geneva apply to our conflict with al Qaeda in Afghanistan or elsewhere throughout the world because, among other reasons, al Qaeda is not a High Contracting Party to Geneva."

Here is Donald Rummsfeld, on page 112 approving of a "tiered system" of interrogating prisoners.
The chart is called Evolution of Interrogation Techniques- GTMO



Multiple Interrogators

Interrogator Identity

Stress positions, like standing

False documents/reports

Isolation for up to 30 days

Deprivation of light/auditory stimuli

Hooding (transportation and questioning)


Removal of ALL comfort items, including religious items

MRE-only diet

Removal of clothing

Forced grooming

Exploiting individual phobias, e.g. dogs

Mild, non-injurious physical contact, e.g. grabbing, poking, or light pushing

Sleep adjustment"


Sometimes what happens in GTMO doesn't stay in GTMO.

Many of these tactics appear in the Abu Ghraib photos, and those are only the photos we've seen. Remember, we have only seen a few dozen photos and there are reportedly a thousand or more, and hundreds of hours of videotape.

They changed the rules of detainees and only Congress is allowed to do that, according to the Constitution. It's in the same clause that gives Congress the sole power to declare war.


Clause 11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Bush has

1. Violated the U.S. Constitution he swore to uphold by subverting Congress to change the rules on captures.

2. Secretly removed himself from the Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan and anywhere else.

3. Covered up evidence of massive abuse, rape, murder, and torture.

This is conspiracy to commit torture.

Let's crack this nut wide open.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Is Kerry A Good Catholic?

Is John Kerry a good Catholic?

By Joan Chittister,OSB

When I was growing up, for a Catholic to eat meat on Fridays was a "mortal sin," the kind of thing for which you went directly to hell, they told us -- no passing go, no collecting $200. But no Catholic lawmaker I know of introduced legislation to close grocery store meat departments on Fridays to protect Catholics from error or to save others from sin.

When I was growing up, Catholics were not permitted to get divorced but no Catholic legislator, as far as I can discover, opposed divorce legislation for the rest of the population.

Hysterectomies, long a moral question for the Catholic church, were unopposed by Catholic doctors, lawmakers and politicians.

Birth control legislation became the law of the land, despite a papal encyclical opposing it, and Catholic legislators accepted it.

Nor did any bishop excommunicate them for doing so.

Lots of things, in other words, that went on in this country violated Catholic discipline or Catholic conscience or Catholic spiritual practice.

But two things prevailed, simultaneously and clearly, in every case: Catholic conscience itself and respect for the conscience of other equally sincere, totally dedicated religious traditions and spiritual people for whom such things were evaluated through a different theological lens.

The point is that Catholics weren't required to do any of these things and, at the same time, others were not obstructed from doing them in cases where their own consciences or religious traditions dictated otherwise.
On the contrary: the U.S. Constitution protected a person's civil rights and honored their religious traditions at the same time. The function of legislators was to do the same. It was not to impose any particular religious code on anyone.

Now we have new questions facing the public arena and voting Catholics at large: Is John Kerry a "good Catholic" if he supports a pro-choice voting position on the abortion question, when, as a matter of fact, few other religious traditions absolutely condemn it under any and all conditions? Or, if John Kerry is not a "good Catholic" can Catholics in good conscience vote for him? And is John Kerry -- or any other Catholic politician -- to function in the U.S. government as a "good Catholic" or a "good American?"

The questions are crucial, not only for Catholics but for the future of the country and the identification of good leadership. The answer depends on what it is to be a "a good Catholic."

Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical "Rerum Novarum," clearly thought Catholic morality had to do with establishing balance between capital and labor. John Kerry supports increasing the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation. That's a very Catholic position.

Pius XI wrote that being a good Catholic involved working against financial monopolies that restrict enterprise. Kerry intends to stop the offshore banking that hides corporate profits from the tax rolls and shrinks the revenue needed to provide public goods and services. That's a very Catholic position.

Pius XII wrote that the right of private property is a lesser right than the rights of all to the goods of the earth. John Kerry promotes legislation designed to support U.S. farmers, the reunification of immigrant families and the restoration of benefits for legal immigrants. Those are very Catholic positions.

John XXIII condemned sexism, the arms race and systemic poverty. John Kerry opposes the wage gap that now exists between men and women workers. He supports arms control and non-proliferation measures. He supports welfare programs. Those are very Catholic positions.

Paul VI taught that social justice includes the obligation of rich nations to honor the rights of poor nations. Kerry has denounced the policies of unilateralism and preemptive war. He promises to renew U.S. alliances around the world so we are seen as an international partner not a bully. Those are very Catholic positions.

The 1971 bishops document on "Justice in the World" called social sin as immoral as personal sin. Kerry sponsored legislation to stop the arms trade to nations that are undemocratic. He worked to create the UN genocide tribunal in Cambodia. Those are very Catholic positions.

John Paul II, in his encyclicals calls for the transformation of structures that oppress the poor in capitalist countries. Kerry has spoken out against racial profiling. He supports the restoration of affirmative action. He has pledged himself to restore civil liberties, lost during the Ashcroft era, to the United States itself. Those are very Catholic positions.

And all of them -- along with subsidized housing programs, educational supports, minimum wage proposals, child-care credits and anti-capital punishment propositions -- are essentially, fundamentally and profoundly pro-life positions.

Can Catholics vote for him in good conscience? If "good conscience" has something to do with upholding the highest ideals of the faith and its commitment to all human life, they can.

Can a Catholic politician be a good Catholic and a good American at the same time? Only if they are, in fact, both at the same time. The Catholic politician who functions in the U.S. government as a good citizen, who lives by his own conscience and at the same time safeguards the sincere conscience of others, is, in fact, functioning as a good Catholic.

Fortunately, most bishops, as in the case of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, realize that the Catholic church is not a single-issue tradition. He said: "One (issue) may be primary, but there are many issues that have to be considered....All these things have to be weighed very carefully -- without giving anybody any direction on how they should vote."

Bishops know what it means to be a Catholic politician in a pluralistic country and, I am convinced, they will defend that to the end. In fact, "The Faithful Citizenship Guide" published by the US Bishops calls us back to "an old idea with new power -- the common good." Surely the "faithful citizenship guide" is calling the bishops, too. Otherwise, Catholic participation in common good, the fullness of the Catholic voice in the public arena, the entire Catholic vision of life, may well be lost here again for decades to come.

From where I stand, that would really be a sin.


A Benedictine Sister of Erie, Sister Joan is a best-selling author and well-known international lecturer. She is founder and executive director of Benetvision: A Resource and Research Center for Contemporary Spirituality, and past president of the Conference of American Benedictine Prioresses and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Sister Joan has been recognized by universities and national organizations for her work for justice, peace and equality for women in the Church and society. She is an active member of the International Peace Council.

Busting Up BCCI


The BCCI Affair
A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations

United States Senate
by Senator John Kerry and Senator Hank Brown



Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) was a major international bank. At its peak, it operated in 78 countries and had over 400 branches and claimed assets of $25 billion.
It was embroiled in the world's worst financial scandal in 1991. It was found to be involved in money laundering, bribery, "support of terrorism, arms trafficking, and the sale of nuclear technologies;... the commission and facilitation of income tax evasion, smuggling, and illegal immigration; illicit purchases of banks and real estate". The bank was found to be effectively worthless. $13 billion was unaccounted for.

-Wikipedia entry, "BCCI"


James Reynolds Bath was a former director of BCCI, and part owner of Arbusto Energy. Arbusto was formed by George W. Bush, with whom Bath served as a member of the Texas Air National Guard. Like Bush, Bath was suspended from flying status in 1972 for failing to accomplish his annual medical examination.

-Wikipedia entry, James R Bath


"During their investigation of Noriega, Kerry's staff found reason to believe that the Pakistan-based Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) had facilitated Noriega's drug trafficking and money laundering. This led to a separate inquiry into BCCI, and as a result, banking regulators shut down BCCI in 1991. In December 1992, Kerry and Sen. Hank Brown, a Republican from Colorado, released The BCCI Affair, a report on the BCCI scandal. The report showed that the bank was crooked and was working with terrorists, including Abu Nidal. It blasted the Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury, the Customs Service, the Federal Reserve Bank, as well as influential lobbyists and the CIA."

-Wikipedia entry, John F Kerry


"BCCI's unique criminal structure -- an elaborate corporate spider-web with BCCI's founder, Agha Hasan Abedi and his assistant, Swaleh Naqvi, in the middle -- was an essential component of its spectacular growth, and a guarantee of its eventual collapse. The structure was conceived by Abedi and managed by Naqvi for the specific purpose of evading regulation or control by governments. It functioned to frustrate the full understanding of BCCI's operations by anyone. "

-Kerry/Brown BCCI Affair Investigation, Executive Summary


In other words Kerry was directly responsible for DISCOVERING and STOPPING this corrupt bank from dealing with terrorists and giving the money to guys like James Bath and Arbusto. Is everybody caught up on BCCI now? Granted this happened in the early 90s and I was about 8 years old. I am 21 now and ready to cast my first Presidential vote for John Kerry because I can READ the writing on the wall and it says Kerry had a fine Senate record busting up guys like George W Bush and James Bath who are in positions of power and influence right now! That is why they are so afraid of Kerry and the Truth he carries with him. He knows them and their tricks. Between him and John Edwards they will expose the massive amounts of criminal wrongdoings in the Bush Administration. This means BCCI, the Plame Affair, the bad intelligence, and Abu Ghraib. Bush has many questions to answer still and we will demand he answer them before election day!!

Rock For Change schedule

There is a newly formed group calling itself "Move on for America" that is running really disgusting ads about Kerry involving Hitler, 9/11, Willie Horton, Mike Dukakis, and Al Sharpton. It's just awful, really. They are trying to drive the level of discussion down to the depths of base human nature. It is the same kind of thinking that leads a person to OK nudity and unmuzzled dogs on GTMO detainees.

Let us not allow "Move on for America" to besmirch the good name of our progressive organization Moveon.org!! Please acquaint yourself with the GOOD WORK Moveon.org is doing to get John Kerry and other progressive, Democratic civil officials elected into office. Let's start with the Moveon.org ROCK FOR CHANGE concert tour, featuring all of your favorite bands!!

Vote for Change Artist Tour Schedule(pending/updated as of August 25, 2004) http://www.moveonpac.org/vfc/schedule.html

Pearl Jam / Death Cab for Cutie

Friday, Oct. 1 Reading, PA
Sunday, Oct. 2 Toledo, OH
Sunday, Oct. 3 Grand Rapids, MI
Tuesday, Oct. 5 St. Louis, MO
Wednesday, Oct. 6 [Buy] Asheville, NC
Friday, Oct. 8 [Buy] Kissimmee, FL

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band / R.E.M. / Bright Eyes*

Friday, Oct. 1 Philadelphia, PA
Saturday, Oct. 2 Cleveland, OH
Sunday, Oct. 3 Detroit, MI
Tuesday, Oct. 5 [Buy] St. Paul, MN
Friday, Oct. 8* [Buy] Orlando, FL

*Bright Eyes not playing Oct. 8th. Special guest TBA.

Dave Matthews Band / Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals / Jurassic 5 / My Morning Jacket
Friday, Oct. 1 State College, PA
Saturday, Oct. 2 Dayton, OH
Sunday, Oct. 3 Detroit, MI
Tuesday, Oct. 5 Madison, WI
Wednesday, Oct. 6 Ames, IA
Friday, Oct. 8* Gainesville, FL

*My Morning Jacket will not perform Oct. 8

Dixie Chicks / James Taylor

Friday, Oct. 1 [Buy] Pittsburgh, PA
Saturday, Oct. 2 [Buy] Cleveland, OH
Sunday, Oct. 3 [Buy] Detroit, MI
Tuesday, Oct. 5 [Buy] Iowa City, IA
Wednesday, Oct. 6 [Buy] St. Louis, MO
Friday, Oct. 8 [Buy] Clearwater, FL

Jackson Browne / Bonnie Raitt / Keb' Mo'*

Monday, Sept. 27 [Buy] Seattle, WA
Wednesday, Sept. 29** Phoenix, AZ
Friday, Oct. 1 [Buy] Erie, PA
Saturday, Oct. 2 Cincinnati, OH
Sunday, Oct. 3 [Buy] East Lansing, MI
Tuesday, Oct. 5 [Buy] Kansas City, MO
Wednesday, Oct. 6*** Des Moines, IA
Friday, Oct. 8*** Jacksonville, FL

*Jackson Browne/Bonnie Raitt/Keb’ Mo’ 9/27 - 10/5
**Special guests Jack Johnson & Crosby, Stills & Nash.
***Bonnie Raitt/Keb’ Mo’ and John Prine.
****Bonnie Raitt/Keb’ Mo’ and Sheryl Crow.

John Mellencamp / Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds

Friday, Oct. 1 Wilkes-Barre, PA
Saturday, Oct. 2 Columbus, OH
Sunday, Oct. 3 Kalamazoo, MI
Tuesday, Oct. 5 Milwaukee, WI
Friday, Oct. 8 Miami, FL

Just go here to buy your tickets!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

10 Year Olds Don't Vote

This explains a lot. So sad though. This President has no respect for the average American citizen.


Card says president sees America as a child needing a parentBy Sarah Schweitzer, Globe Staff September 2, 2004

NEW YORK -- White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card said yesterday that President Bush views America as a ''10-year-old child" in need of the sort of protection provided by a parent.

Card's remark, criticized later by Democrat John F. Kerry's campaign as ''condescending," came in a speech to Republican delegates from Maine and Massachusetts that was threaded with references to Bush's role as protector of the country. Republicans have sounded that theme repeatedly at the GOP convention as they discuss the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the war in Iraq.

''It struck me as I was speaking to people in Bangor, Maine, that this president sees America as we think about a 10-year-old child," Card said. ''I know as a parent I would sacrifice all for my children."

The comment underscored an argument put forth some by political pundits, such as MSNBC talk-show host Chris Matthews, that the Republican Party has cast itself as the ''daddy party."

JFK's 1961 Inaugural Speech


Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, reverend clergy, fellow citizens, we observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom—symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning—signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge—and more.

To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do—for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.

To those new States whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom—and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.

To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required—not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge—to convert our good words into good deeds—in a new alliance for progress—to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.

To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support—to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective—to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak—and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.

Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.

We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course—both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind's final war.

So let us begin anew—remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.

Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms—and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah—to "undo the heavy burdens ... and to let the oppressed go free."

And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.

All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation"—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility—I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Open Forum submission for SF Chronicle

The Writing on the Wall
Or, Flame and Lurking on the Campaign Trail

Right now, at this moment, a tool of immense power is lying dormant in homes and libraries all over the world. As the citizens of America await a deeply divisive accounting of their votes on November 2, many still claim that they are not hearing enough about the issues that truly affect their lives. For these souls, helpless ignorance is an isolation that can be shattered.

The tool I speak of is the Internet. A sort of digital Wild West, the Internet contains everything from news and information to x-rated material and hate speech. The problem with navigating through the Internet is finding your way around once you get inside. Many Internet Service Providers helpfully give their users a “homepage”, from which they can click around and play. Google, AOL, Yahoo, and MSN are popular homepage destinations for millions of Internet users. The problem though is that most of these homepages are owned and maintained by large, publicly traded corporations, and just the same as ABC or NBC control the message on our TV screens, Yahoo and AOL can control the message we see on our computer screens.

This all changes with the invention and integration of web logs. Called “blogs” for short, they allow users to anonymously peruse the expressions of an unlimited number of participants. In the case of blog.johnkerry.com, the forum provided is officially connected to John Kerry’s campaign. Many of the users are dissatisfied with the Bush campaign and desire change in American government policies. Their use of the John Kerry blog is what I call “reading the writing on the wall”.

The official blog of the John Kerry 2004 campaign is a portal that does not limit the thousands of voices of those who use it. Comments can be posted after an easy registration, or one can peruse the comments of others without being registered, called “lurking”. Occasionally, a Bush supporter will take advantage of the openness offered to Internet users and will try to pick a fight with the blog at large. This activity is called “flaming”, and its perpetrators are known as “trolls”. Debate and discussion are actively encouraged, with the basic ground rules that politeness and respect are supreme.

The Internet is sympathetic to our cause. The great impartial Internet provides a mountain of evidence: documents, videos, pictures, and quotes that ultimately the American people have a right and a need to know. It is the combination of openness, information, and independent thinking that make the John Kerry blog such an inspiring concept.

Needless to say, the George Bush campaign is scared of this largely undiscovered freedom of expression most Americans have no idea they have. The George Bush blog does not encourage instant and worldwide communication, probably because much of the information in the impartial Internet does not support Bush’s claims. It is hard to maintain the party line when people keep linking to a declassified Department of Defense memo about human right violations at military prisons, or a picture of Bush picking his nose at a Rangers game.

Still, the Internet and the unlimited possibilities of free expression is a double edged sword that cuts both ways. It is only by using the blog in a way that is informative and productive to anyone who views it that it can be successful.

Just as our electoral process is open to anyone above the age of 18, the Internet is also appropriately open-ended.

The possibilities and progress the John Kerry blog allows for our citizenry is spectacular. We can get everyone on the same page, so nobody is left behind in ignorance or confusion.

For those who have not yet become a part of this online army, I have only one question.

What is it you want to tell the world?

Andrew Podolsky

Is a registered blog.johnkerry user under the nickname “Andrewski”
He is also webmaster of The Writing on the Wall, www.thewritingonthewall.blogspot.com

Clip Show

These videos come from a website called One Good Move. Homepage:



A Daily Show mockumentary of George Bush and his prickly relationship with words.


Michael Moore waving during McCain's speech.


Bill Maher laying down some "new rules" on RNC protestors and Hummer cologne.


Zell Miller challenges Chris Matthews to a duel.


Barney, the first pup, takes a poo as Bush says "progress on the ground"


Ali G and Andy Rooney discuss the Media