Saturday, July 28, 2007


So as mentioned in previous entries, the New York Times reports that we have to arm the Middle East to the teeth “because of Iran.”

Let’s see, how many unwise actions has the U.S. justified over the years by saying (either in so many words or just through implication): We’re doing this “because of Iran.” If you can think of more examples, please feel free to leave them in the comments or email them to me and I will add them to the list, which follows:

“Because of Iran....”

1. We supported Saddam Hussein throughout the 80s

2. We had to invade Iraq in 2003–that’s a post-invasion justification

3. We have to stay in Iraq because if we don’t, Iran will take over

4. We’re losing the Iraq war

5. We have to put missile defense systems in Europe, to Russia’s chagrin

6. We have to sell arms to the Saudis, the people who attacked us on 9/11 (according to the official story)

I’m sure there are many more examples of this kind of warped thinking. But let’s debunk this idea that we’re forced, yes, forced into feeding the military-industrial complex all because of Iran.

Why “Because of Iran” excuses are bullshit:

1. We overthrew Mossadegh in 1953, using fake terror, fake stories in the press, etc.

2. We then installed the shah–we toppled a democratic government and replaced it with a monarchy, and the shah was not a nice ruler

3. We cut off diplomatic relations in 1979 because of the Tehran embassy hostage crisis, which was a direct result of our continuous support of the shah

4. We gave chemical and biological weapons to Saddam for him to use against Iran

5. Iran is a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which entitles them to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, among other things.

6. Iran expressed great sympathy for the U.S. after 9/11

7. Bush said Iran is part of the “axis of evil”

8. In 2003, Iran offered to open a dialogue with the U.S. and put everything on the table: support for Hezbollah, nuclear programs, recognition of Israel, etc.–Bush administration ignored Iran’s advances. You can read the offer for yourself here.

Looking at these lists, surely anyone can see that what we have done is use Iran as our bogeyman, our go-to country for demonization, overthrow, and weakening. Then when they naturally react against the things we’ve done to them, we say they’re evil and the biggest threat in the world.

We say they’re violent and outrageous and can’t be trusted. However, the Iranians know that’s just projection–that the U.S. is really the state that’s violent and can’t be trusted.

Friday, July 27, 2007


The more I read of this New York Times story about this Saudi arms deal, the more peeved I get. This whole deal is supposedly to help counter Iran:

"Worried about the impression that the United States was starting an arms race in the region, State and Defense Department officials stressed that the arms deal was being proposed largely in response to improvements in Iran’s military capabilities and to counter the threat posed by its nuclear program, which the Bush administration contends is aimed at building nuclear weapons."

How many different ways can these fuckers twist the bogeyman of Iran? Iran is why we have to stay in Iraq, Iran is why we have to sell weapons to dictatorships, Iran is why our troops in Iraq are getting killed, Iran is why we have to subvert Hamas even though they were the democratically-elected choice of the Palestinians, etc. Iran should start charging royalties whenever Bush or his administration invokes their name. They'd be a superpower tomorrow...

The story also has this to say:

"Along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are likely to receive equipment and weaponry from the arms sales under consideration, officials said. In general, the United States is interested in upgrading the countries’ air and missile defense systems, improving their navies and making modest improvements in their air forces, administration officials said, though not all the packages would be the same."

Since when did the navies of Middle Eastern countries become, well, ours? Why are we interested in improving the navies of other countries? I would guess it's so they can attack other countries more efficiently, tearing up their infrastructure a little more so that we can have Halliburton come in after we help provoke some more wars over there?

Oh hell...I just gotta go to sleep...
TILLMAN EVIDENCE, SAUDI ARMS DEALS, HAGEE'S WET DREAM...who says the U.S. is not the cause of all the wars in the world?

Pat Tillman murdered?

$20 billion arms deal with Saudis?

Hagee wants war with Iran?

Read on...

New evidence has come to light about the death of Pat Tillman. You may recall that the story evolved in the following manner:

1. Pat Tillman was killed by enemy fire and he is a hero

2. OK, we lied–he was killed by friendly fire but is no less a hero

Now we find out that Army doctors found the evidence surrounding Tillman’s death to not be indicative of friendly fire. Prison Planet has a good summary:

“Army medical examiners concluded Tillman was shot three times in the head from just 10 yards away, no evidence of "friendly fire" damage at scene, Army attorneys congratulated each other on cover-up, Wesley Clark concludes "orders came from the very top" to murder pro-football star because he was about to become an anti-war political icon”

It sounds incredible, that Tillman would be murdered, but apparently the propaganda value of a pro football player turned soldier in helping the Bush administration could have a lot of reverse propaganda value for the antiwar movement. And surely the Bushies realized that...

Arming Dictators–and the Iraq insurgents?

The New York Times says we’re about to sell $20 billion worth of weapons to the Saudis–and their neighbors:

“WASHINGTON, July 27 — The Bush administration is preparing to ask Congress to approve an arms sale package for Saudi Arabia and its neighbors that is expected to eventually total $20 billion at a time when some United States officials contend that the Saudis are playing a counterproductive role in Iraq.”

And don't miss the part where they buy off Israel, who's understandably nervous about this deal:

"Senior officials who described the package on Friday said they believed that the administration had resolved those concerns, in part by promising Israel $30.4 billion in military aid over the next decade, a significant increase over what Israel has received in the past 10 years."

The Several Things Wrong With This Picture

OK, there are several things wrong with this picture. Fifteen of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, remember? None was from Iraq or Afghanistan. Or Iran. Of course 9/11 was an inside job, but the story the Bush administration wants us to swallow is that Osama bin Laden, also a Saudi, convinced 15 other Saudis and a few others to fly planes into buildings.

All right, that’s problem number one–we’re literally selling weapons to the “people that attacked us on 9/11.” Won't some enterprising reporter ask that question of George Bush/Tony Snow/any neocon? Why is it our policy to hold hands with and sell arms to the people that actually (according to the official story, anyway) attacked us on 9/11 while we bomb the living shit out of countries that literally had nothing to do with it?

Problem number two–the Saudis are still technically in a state of war with Israel, our supposed ally. Jews are not allowed inside Saudi Arabia. Also, Saudis oppress women, commit gross human rights violations, and have a dictatorship. I also covered this here.

Some ally, those Saudis, eh? And you thought George Bush’s mission was to bring God’s gift of democracy to all people. Who are you going to believe, Bush or the overwhelming evidence against everything he says?

Problem number three–most of the foreign fighters in the Iraq insurgency are from–you guessed, Saudi Arabia.

“An article in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times detailing the national origins of foreign insurgents in Iraq has punctured a large hole in the Bush administration’s relentless propaganda against Iran. For months, the White House has been demonising Tehran for “meddling” in Iraq by establishing networks to arm, train and finance anti-US insurgents. Most foreign fighters, however, come, not from Iran, but Saudi Arabia, a close American ally, with which the Bush administration in particular has intimate ties.

According to military statistics provided to the Los Angeles Times, about 45 percent of the hundreds of foreign militants involved in attacks on US troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia. Another 15 percent are from Syria and Lebanon and 10 percent from North Africa. Nearly half the 135 foreigners currently held in US detention facilities in Iraq are Saudis.

A senior American military officer told the newspaper that Saudis are believed to have carried out more suicide bombings in Iraq than those of any other nationality. He estimated that half of all Saudi jihadists come to Iraq as suicide bombers, who in the past six months have been responsible for killing and maiming at least 4,000 Iraqis.”

Is it not conceivable that these weapons could be used by Saudi insurgents against our troops in Iraq? If that is not conceivable, shouldn’t we say, avoid selling military equipment to the Saudis as an incentive to get them to stop the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq? At the very least?

But it appears that the real concern of the Bushies is to get back the petrodollars from Saudi Arabia. You know the deal–we buy oil from them in dollars, and then sell them weapons to get the dollars back. Arthur Jensen summed it up in “Network”:

“The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity. It is ecological balance.”

So what if Saudis have committed the most suicide attacks in Iraq? To the Bushies/corporatists, it’s a small price to pay to get their money back.

One more thing--don't forget that Bush 41 was meeting with Saudis, bin Ladens even, on the morning of 9/11!!!!

Can anyone still really believe that George Bush and his supporters care one iota about democracy? Or freedom? Those words are curses in their mouths.

Hagee and his war

Just watched the Max Blumenthal video on the Christians United For Israel convention. That is some scary-ass, fucked-up, way-out-there shit, dude.

Rapture Ready: The Unauthorized Christians United for Israel Tour from huffpost and Vimeo.

Hagee desperately wants a war with Iran. When he says that the U.S. should consider a pre-emptive strike on Iran, the crowd goes apeshit. There’s also some fucked-up scene of an American soldier marching through the crowd, going up onstage and comforting some Jewish woman. It’s unreal.

Hagee is a scary monster, that’s for sure, as I pointed out here.
And here I thought Jesus was the Prince of Peace. He did say “blessed are the peacemakers,” right? He didn’t say “blessed are the warmongers.”

What in holy fuck is wrong with these fucking people?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


So they arrested Korey Rowe for desertion on Monday night. There's speculation about whether he is or isn't really a deserter and whether or not this move is meant to chill the 9/11 truth movement.

I can't say for sure on either question, but if he's been a deserter for two years--he left the military in 2005--why are they just now arresting him? They've had more than a year to arrest him and he hasn't exactly been laying low. I don't know when the final cut of Loose Change is supposed to hit theaters, but one would assume it's supposed to be sometime soon, hence the arrest to try to discredit Loose Change and the 9/11 truth movement by association.

Because that was one of the Loose Change guys' strong points--they have a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan on their team. Seems to me that Bush is making a trial run of his new executive orders...

Today makes the 14th Wednesday since Yuri Wainwright was locked in jail for supposedly threatening someone online. He's been held on $1 million bond. We still haven't been told what it was Wainwright wrote that got him arrested.

Compare Yuri's case to that of a similar case that made the news today:

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A college fraternity president and aspiring rapper who was accused of threatening a "murderous rampage" similar to April's deadly shooting spree at Virginia Tech pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

A gun dealer had alerted federal authorities about Olutosin Oduwole, saying he had seemed overly anxious to get an online shipment of semiautomatic weapons, according to an affidavit filed in court by a police detective.

The Southern Illinois University student was arrested Friday after police said they found a handwritten note in his car demanding payment to a PayPal account, threatening that "if this account doesn't reach $50,000 in the next 7 days then a murderous rampage similar to the VT shooting will occur at another highly populated university. THIS IS NOT A JOKE!"

-Unlike Wainwright, this student had recently ordered semiautomatic weapons online.

-Unlike Bob Hopkins, the police in this case revealed what the student had written that got him locked up. In Wainwright's publicly available writings, he's never said anything remotely like that, nor has Bob Hopkins ever alleged that Wainwright said anything close to that.

-Unlike Wainwright, police found a loaded gun in this student's dorm room.

-Like Wainwright, this student is in jail on $1 million bond.

This new Illinois case is an example of the police and the courts responding appropriately (at least based on what we know so far). The Wainwright case is an example of the police and the courts overreacting and almost certainly violating Wainwright's civil liberties. Again, we can't know that for sure because Bob Hopkins STILL won't tell us what Wainwright wrote that was so bad and the DA ain't talking either.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Wrote a letter to the editor last night about avoiding war with Iran, even though the House and Senate have each overwhelmingly approved amendments saying that Iran is very, very bad.

Way to go, al-Maliki! I wonder how long he will live now:

BAGHDAD - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki shrugged off U.S. doubts about his government's military and political progress yesterday, saying his forces are capable and American troops can leave "any time they want."

One of his top aides accused the United States of embarrassing the Iraqi government by violating human rights and treating his country like an "experiment in a U.S. lab."

When aides of the PM of Iraq say your behavior is embarrassing, you know we're doing some shameful shit over there. And Maliki's quote says it all: the U.S. can leave "any time they want," and that's just it--Bush doesn't want to leave. The majority of the country wants us to leave and believes the war was a mistake, but Bush doesn't want to leave. And Cheney doesn't either. That's why these fuckers must be impeached and removed, impeached and removed.

Letter to editor
Here's the letter, followed by a post I made on the forum on basically the same topic.

The Guardian newspaper has reported that “Bush is not going to leave office with Iran still in limbo.” On top of that, the Senate recently passed an amendment stating–with little to no evidence–that Iran is “murdering” our troops in Iraq.

Suppose for a minute that this is true. As Stephen Kinzer has pointed out, Chinese-manufactured weapons killed our troops in Korea but we didn’t invade China. In Vietnam, we knew the North Vietnamese were using weapons from the Soviet Union, but we didn’t invade the USSR. What’s so different about Iran?

What’s happening is that Bush is looking for someone to blame for his failure in Iraq, a war of aggression we should never have started in the first place. Iran fits the bill perfectly, even though Iran has not violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has not invaded any other nation, and is years away from having even one nuclear weapon.

For years now, the Bush administration has demonized Iran, laying the groundwork for war, even though in 2003, Iran offered to start a dialogue with the U.S. with everything on the table–acceptance of Israel, nuclear programs, etc. The Bush administration rejected the offer. After all, you can’t have perpetual war if you go around making friends all the time.

Any U.S. military aggression toward Iran will be unprovoked, immoral and catastrophic, both for the Middle East and for us here in this country. As James Madison said: “If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

For the sake of innocent people across the Middle East and our own civil liberties here at home, we must demand that the United States stay out of Iran and withdraw immediately from Iraq.

And the forum post:

Blame Bush for Osama/al Qaeda

Just like the CON-serviles around these forums like to blame Clinton for 9/11 because he didn't get Osama when he supposedly had the chance.

Well, why doesn't Bush get Osama now when he has the chance? "Intelligence" officials are saying that al Qaeda is now stronger than they were last year at this time. And these same "intelligence" officials "know" where al Qaeda (and presumably bin Laden) is--in Pakistan.

So why doesn't Bush invade Pakistan rather than Iran? There's a whole lot of noise about invading Iran, but al Qaeda's not in Iran. Tom Fingar, an intelligence official recently testified before Congress that it's Bush's policy not to go into Pakistan without their permission.

Say what? Since when does Mr. "War President" Li'l Bush have to ask permission to go kill people? Apparently, he even has to ask permission from ol' **** Blossom, who recently said "The United States has concerns about taking unilateral action in a sovereign nation without their approval.”

When he said that, the audience laughed, as well they should have.

So if we're in a "war on terror" and our main problem is al Qaeda--according to the Bushies--why won't they go get them? Because that ain't what the "war on terror" is about, don'tcha know. It's about making money and keeping George Bush in power. Oh, and indiscriminately killing brown people. Just like always.,20867,22065811-601,00.html
(Rove clip starts around 1:22)

Saturday, July 14, 2007


On June 21, I posted a list of mistakes I've heard in songs I love. Just heard another one, in "Hot Burrito #2." So here's the list so far, with my man Larry G.'s contribution from the comments on June 21:

1. Vince Guaraldi-"Linus and Lucy" finger slip on piano keys on return to first section :50
2. Neil Young-"After The Goldrush" finger slip on piano keys after the line "hoping it was a lie" (the first time) 1:46
3. Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoads-"Crazy Train" notes in solo not doubled exactly (after joining back in unison following a harmony section) 3:05
4. Soft Machine-"10.30 Returns To The Bedroom" finger slip on organ 2:07
5. "Deliverance" soundtrack-"Dueling Banjos" 3:03 the guitar starts to go back around while the banjo is doing an ending lick. The guitar abruptly stops when he realizes that's the end of the song. (Larry G)
6. Flying Burrito Brothers-"Hot Burrito #2" finger slip on piano 0:47...lyrics on top are "And you want me home all night..." Dig the horn-like steel going on in that section..

Also, I listend to the Bad Religion tune "Let Them Eat War" about 30 times in a row last night...I love that song!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I just head about the Jena 6 today, on Democracy Now--I gotta say, not that it's news to anyone, but Amy Goodman kicks ass.

I got to reading about the case, and it occurred to me that on the same day Mychal Bell of the so-called "Jena 6" was convicted by an all-white jury (is this 2007 or 1957?) presided over by a white judge who would not give the jury a written copy of the charges and no witnesses were called on Bell's behalf, the Supreme Court basically endorsed segregation in the Seattle school case. Those events happened on June 28--what synchronicity!

Who says racism isn't alive and well in America in the "new" millenium?

Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and chairman of the Homeland Security committee in the House, gave what for to Michael Chertoff's "gut feeling" about a heightened possibility of "terror attacks":

"What color code in the Homeland Security Advisory System is associated with a 'gut feeling?' What sectors should be on alert as a result of your “gut feeling? Over the past five years, tens of billions of taxpayer dollars have been dedicated to standing up and building capacity at the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Homeland Security is charged with deterring, preventing and responding to the threat of terrorism.

To that end, systems have been erected to identify risks and communicate them to the American public. With all the resources you have at your disposal and all the progress that you assure us that you are making, I cannot understand why you are quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying you have a 'gut feeling' that we are entering a period of heightened risk this summer."

I wish Thompson was my representative...

Speaking of "insecurity"...

Saw this on my way home from Jackson out on Highway 49 yesterday--four mobile camera outfits (click the picture for a much larger version). I'd never seen these things before, but the "SURVEILLANCE" splashed on the side kind of caught my's some text from this company's website:

CPS provides customized security answers for a variety of issues including risk management, loss prevention, industrial safety, vandalism, background screening, event super vision, liability claims, employee performance, emergency planning, fire prevention, and overall system consultation.

I don't know about you, but in a day and age where people write letters to the editor proclaiming unironically that freedom is slavery, the Homeland Security director's gut tells him what to do, and so forth, it makes me kinda queasy to see four giant mobile "SURVEILLANCE" cameras rockin' down the highway, headed the same way as me...
"FREEDOM...IS...SLAVERY"--this guy really said it...

Here's a letter that appeared in the local paper today:

Free people must practice restraint

I do not believe in an "Allah" who creates a medical cell of Muslim doctors and associates to kill people in London and Glasgow.

Nor do I believe in an immoral democratic lifestyle which ignores biblical teachings and rebels against a life of holiness under the lordship of Jesus Christ.

Freedom and liberty to practice a sinful life is the worst kind of slavery, in that it destroys and condemns our body and our soul to a godless eternity.

God created Earth, heavens, life and he does not want it to be wasted or destroyed.

Billy R. Mathis


Mathis actually says that "" Who the hell knows what his definition of "a sinful life" is--I would bet being a liberal, a non-Christian, a free-thinker, an antiwar activist, a civil liberties advocate, or any combination of those would fit Mathis' definition.

The thing is, Mathis equates freedom and slavery without irony or any seeming knowing wink to "1984" or anything. This is beyond scary...

Monday, July 02, 2007


...who can? I have never heard a Kelly Clarkson song in its entirety and do not care one whit about her career or her music, but when I see that someone with her popularity (two Grammys, multiplatinum album, etc.) can't 1) draw people to a free, televised show in New York or 2) sell enough tickets to justify a tour, I am simultaneously heartened and brought low.

I'm heartened because I realize that hey, nobody's coming to see my band, but no one's going to see one of the most popular acts in recent memory either. I'm brought low by it because it's further evidence that there's very little to no money in the music biz, no matter how popular or well-known you are or once were.

This reminds me of the new band The Soul of John Black, who I am told is only asking for a $300 guarantee. This is despite the fact that the band's founding member was a guitarist for Fishbone and wrote a song that Miles Davis covered on one of his last albums ("Jilli" from the album "Amandla").
If that guy feels like all he can ask for is $300 and he's done all that, there's no way my band's gonna be able to justify asking for even $50 to do a tour. And that's why we're not doing one...and never have. And never will...

My take (short version): this de facto pardon is only happening so Libby wouldn't start to get sick of prison and start making deals and ratting out his superiors...

Long version follows...

So, not a pardon, but a commutation...hmmm, what's that word mean, exactly? Here's definition #2 at

the changing of a prison sentence or other penalty to another less severe.

Yep, that sums it up. And it came on the same day that it was decided that Libby was most definitely going to have to go jail.

Just so everyone will know, neither of the words that Bush used to describe his actions--"clemency" and "commute"--appear in the U.S. Constitution. I wonder if Scalia is comfortable with that, given his "strict constructionism" and "originalism." Also, Bush knows that everyone knows what a "pardon" is--that's why he didn't use that word, even though it is in the Constitution. He knows that the rubes don't know or care what clemency and commutation are, so he's inoculating himself against attacks from the right that he's soft on crime.

There seems to be a lot of inexplicable liberal/progressive passivity about, even approval of this commutation. Here's an example at Slate, from a column entitled "Why Bush Was Right To Spare Libby":

"What Bush did [commuting Libby's sentence]was just and fair. It was the right thing to do...

But Judge Reggie Walton went overboard in sentencing Libby to 30 months.

This was about twice as long as the prison term recommended by the court's probation office, and if Libby hadn't been a high-ranking government official, there's a decent chance he would have gotten off with probation, a stiff fine, and likely disbarment."
This argument is complete crap. Like we're supposed to feel sorry for Libby because he was a high-ranking government official. Well Tim, you dumbass, that's exactly the reason he should receive a more severe sentence--he's supposed to be working for us, not giving out state secrets and then lying about it. He should know better...

Not only that, but Libby wouldn't even have been in the position to do what he did if he hadn't been a high-ranking government official. The circumstances surrounding what Libby did required him to be a high-ranking government official, so how is the fact that he was one then an argument for leniency?

Noah's argument above is just more of that power-hungry, you-scratch-my-balls-and-I'll-scratch-yours "coverage" of goings-on in Washington. It's a prime example of that ass-kissing, suck-up-to-power-in-exchange-for-access mentality that plagues our press.

Why not commute Genarlow Wilson's sentence?

If there was ever a good argument for a commutation, Bush should either pardon or commute Genarlow Wilson's sentence. For those unfamiliar with the circumstances, here's a good recap from Wikipedia:

"...[Wilson's]conviction was based on an amateur video tape showing Wilson [then seventeen] engaging in sex with a 17-year-old girl during a private party, and later receiving oral sex from a 15-year-old girl.

A jury acquitted Wilson of raping the older girl, but convicted him of aggravated child molestation against the 15-year-old. The "aggravated" nature of the charge refers to fellatio (oral sex) rather than a mere "immoral or indecent act." Had the two teenagers had intercourse without oral sex, Wilson would have been charged with a misdemeanor, punishable up to 12-months, with no sex offender status, instead of the 10-year minimum term that the judge gave him.

The 15 year old girl, who has remained unnamed in the press as a 'victim of a sex offense', has repeatedly stated that the act of oral sex was consensual, though she legally could not consent. The jury acquitted Wilson of the rape charge, but as the age of consent in Georgia is 16, they voted to convict him of aggravated child molestation for the oral sex incident, with the forewoman tearfully reading the verdict. Some jury members later complained they had not understood the verdict would result in a 10 year minimum sentence, plus one year on probation."

Got that? Wilson's act was consensual, and had he actually gone ahead and put his penis in her vagina, he would've only been guilty of a misdemeanor and had to serve only a year or less in jail. As it is, Wilson is considered a child molestor and has now been in jail for 2 1/2 years.

Oh, and it gets better. Because of all the negative publicity surrounding the Wilson case, they changed the law in Georgia so that what Wilson did would now be only a misdemeanor. But they didn't make the law apply retroactively, so Wilson's still in jail.

A judge said last month that Genarlow should be released, pointing out the following:

“If this court, or any court, cannot recognize the injustice of what has occurred here, then our court system has lost sight of the goal our judicial system has always strived to accomplish…Justice being served in a fair and equal manner.”

But Georgia's attorney general filed for an appeal of that decision, meaning that the case must now be decided by the state supreme court. And so Genarlow Wilson sits in jail, for 29 months--a month shy of what Scooter's jail time would have been.

I'll tell you why Bush won't commute Genarlow's sentence

Three reasons:

1. Wilson is black
2. His case is about sex
3. He doesn't have any inside information on the Bush administration that could get them all sent to jail