Sunday, September 21, 2008

Looking back

[Posting links from my archives is a pain. If anyone wants the link to the items below, let me know in comments and I will provide them.]

Dan Rather was in hot water over reports about George Bush's National Guard service (or lack thereof). Because Bush won't allow records to be released, we may never know.

Ah, the smell of democracy in the air....

September 21, 2004
The Last Deception

It's Ayad Allawi week. President Bush, starting with his address at the U.N. today, will try to present Mr. Allawi - a former Baathist who the BBC reports was chosen as prime minister because he was "equally mistrusted by everyone" - as the leader of a sovereign nation on the path to democracy. If the media play along, Mr. Bush may be able to keep the Iraq disaster under wraps for a few more weeks.
Anybody remember Fahrenheit 911?
Inside dusty, barricaded camps around Iraq, groups of American troops in between missions are gathering around screens to view an unlikely choice from the US box office: "Fahrenheit 9-11," Michael Moore's controversial documentary attacking the commander-in-chief.

"Everyone's watching it," says a Marine corporal at an outpost in Ramadi that is mortared by insurgents daily. "It's shaping a lot of people's image of Bush."

The film's prevalence is one sign of a discernible countercurrent among US troops in Iraq - those who blame President Bush for entangling them in what they see as a misguided war. Conventional wisdom holds that the troops are staunchly pro-Bush, and many are. But bitterness over long, dangerous deployments is producing, at a minimum, pockets of support for Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry, in part because he's seen as likely to withdraw American forces from Iraq more quickly.

"[For] 9 out of 10 of the people I talk to, it wouldn't matter who ran against Bush - they'd vote for them," said a US soldier in the southern city of Najaf, seeking out a reporter to make his views known. "People are so fed up with Iraq, and fed up with Bush."

Someone reporting on the post-Katrina scene in Bogalusa:
I went to check on my little 80 year old ladies today and stopped at another house with TWO TREES still through it and the couple living there...14 days AFTER the hurricane hit, they put a sign out on their lawn that said "this is how the government treats you"...FEMA went there the next day, gave them a $2k check and wished them good luck.

These people sent their kids to Texas and want to go's a town south of Houston, the name escapes me now. These people have NOT seen the RC and scavange for food/water. She drove for an hour and waited in line for 9 hours to fill out the paperwork for getting RED CROSS vouchers and then was given a NUMBER and told to come back on MONDAY. Now you might think, well they must be in the middle of no where...WRONG, these people are on the ROAD THAT ALL THE GOVERNMENT agencies take to the main control center at least 10 times daily. FEMA never even got people to remove the trees off their roof, they had FRIENDS show up finally.

At my little 80 year old ladies home, I find out they haven't seen the RED CROSS for 2 days and they were out of food and water and needed medical attention and meds. I got them all of that.
While there, their young neighbor talked with the photo journalists who requested I talk to him and I find out that the RED CROSS REFUSED to talk to him, much less help him. This is a 36 year old man who has a wife with POLIO and they are living in a church with NOTHING. FEMA won't talk to them, they have no phone, etc.

A Romanian who had been tortured, was freed, lived in several countries then came to the United States, chats about the bad things he foresaw under Bush.

"I think the same thing will happen as in Romania when I grew up there. It starts with fixed elections. First the 2000 election was fixed and then the 2004 election was fixed. It happened in Communist elections just like it happened here. The people who count the votes are all in the government that's in power. And even when it seems like people have had enough, the tyrant will always somehow come out winning just enough to make your conspiracy theories seem ridiculous. Just like in Romania and Bulgaria of the sixties and seventies, the press may even report problems with elections, but Bush knows that Americans are lazy. I am sorry my friend. Maybe not you. But Americans are lazy and they will not seek their freedoms. Because it is always frightening to fight the government. But you are mistaken if you think you will avoid trouble by going along with the government. One day you will write a letter to the editor and sign your name, and then the next time you are at a train station, they will tell you `you cannot ride'. Or at the airport they will say you cannot get on a plane. Or they will stop you are the border, and just like Romania and the other Communist countries, America will become your prison. When the 2000 elections happened, my 89 year grandmother-in-law asked if we could go back to Bucharest. You see, this smells just like the communists in Europe to her. Corrupt. Incompetent. Totally controlling the media, the elections. Once they have that, and a lazy press, that's it. I mean that's it. They will continue to install an overbearing government where idiots who wear white gloves and badges, low-level-small-paycheck bureaucrats get to stop you at airports and demand to know where you are from and where you are going and what your business is. They will ask if you support the Party, or "who did you vote for?' It will come down to the day when you will see the police jump on someone for no reason and you will turn your heads and act like you have seen nothing. Your neighbor's wife will knock on your door desperately at 3 in the morning and tell you her husband was arrested out of his sleep last night. And she will cry and ask where he is. And you will make her coffee and call the local police and they local gendarme or sheriff or whatever will come by and pat her on the shoulder and will say he was taken by the Feds and they have no idea where he is going."

"You will notice more and more changes. The leash will get shorter, little at a time. And so slowly even you will not protest because you will hardly notice. You will lose your freedoms little at a time. One day you will speak out against the president in hushed tones even at a party. Then you will drive home from the party and steam at yourself for being so much like a little pussy cat. Then you will wonder who heard you."
Executive power and the environment:
Wed Sep 20, 2006 at 04:24:15 PM PDT

The lead editorial in Nature vol 443 p 121 discloses another instance of the arrogant power grab by the Bush Administration.

...the Bush administration has reversed two decades of precedent and declared that important whistleblower protections in the Clean Water Act do not apply to federal workers.
I have not posted anything on torture in ages. How's this for a reminiscence?
The Road to Hell
No one can argue that the Iraqi people would be better off with the thugs and murderers back in the palaces. Who would prefer that Saddam's torture chambers still be open?
George W. Bush
Speech Marking First Anniversary of Iraq Invasion
March 19, 2004

Torture in Iraq is reportedly worse now than it was under deposed president Saddam Hussein, the United Nations' chief anti-torture expert said Thursday.
Manfred Nowak described a situation where militias, insurgent groups, government forces and others disregard rules on the humane treatment of prisoners.
"What most people tell you is that the situation as far as torture is concerned now in Iraq is totally out of hand," said Nowak, the global body's special investigator on torture. "The situation is so bad many people say it is worse than it has been in the times of Saddam Hussein."
Associated Press
Torture reaches new depths in Iraq
September 21, 2005
Something I still worry about in a major way: Back to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. -- Will The Next Election Be Hacked?

Will The Next Election Be Hacked?
Fresh disasters at the polls -- and new evidence from an industry insider -- prove that electronic voting machines can't be trusted

No comments: