Friday, May 26, 2006

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Mike Farrell on Baghdad ER

This is what "BJ Hunnicutt" had to say about the film..... Isaac Peterson

I saw "Baghdad ER" on HBO last night (Sunday, May 21). I'd heard that the Defense Dept. had issued warnings urging servicemen and women back from Iraq to be wary of watching as it might trigger PTSD symptoms. Perhaps they hoped those about to go wouldn't watch as well, for fear they might not show up."Baghdad ER" is a documentary about a "CASH," a Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad. I recommend it for every American, but the queasy be warned: it is excruciating.

I cringed at the gore, was sickened by the death, wept at the frustration and resignation of the medics, at the faith of the chaplain, at the simple, shocked, blank expressions on the faces of kids younger than my son – victims of this fool's war. Listening to the bravado of some, aching to comfort those who came in knowing they were hurt but not how badly, made me want to scream. Watching this horrifying, endless process, the tears on my face kept drying from the heat of my anger. Glorious, generous, talented, dedicated human beings forced to be part of this circus of carnage made me so furious I couldn't speak at the end.

I loathe the people who have created this monstrosity. I want the criminals who lied and cheated and pretended and twisted and perverted reality - and those who rationalized their crimes - so they could send over 2400 servicemen and woman to their death, nearly 18,000 to come home torn - some never to be whole again - thousands more to suffer mental damage, and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians to be swept into the garbage can of "collateral damage," to pay.

These bastards and their apologists should be stripped naked and forced to walk the main streets of America, allowing every city and town that has lost a loved one to injury or death in this shameful catastrophe to heap on them the scorn they deserve.

John F. Kennedy said America would never start a war. Well, it has now, and its architects have damaged our character, poisoned our standing in the world and soiled the soul of what was once the greatest nation in the history of the world.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sunday Morning Musings

I just had this Sundays' "THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE" with my breakfast. This is a very good issue. Of special interest to me was a story about President Thomas Jefferson. For some reason the thought came to mind and I asked myself, when did the Right, the Republicans or the Religious ever produce a brainy, intellectually gifted radical as a President determined to move this country forward? These are certainly are not the three RRRs that made America the greatest nation on the face of the Earth.

These three RRRs have made us the laughing stock of the civilized world

Mussolini was a good man compared to our people up in the bridge with banners that claim lies to be truths. Our vessels no longer ship oil they just ship muddy water and that is a good sign because our ship of state is aground. At least Mussolini had things running on time. These men of God cannot do anything right they are hitting the toilet cover more times than what is going in the bowl so they had to sit down for while.

Methinks that they have begun to hit some heavy seas and this is good because while they are not killing they maybe losing their "Big Mo" as Daddy Deep Do Do said when he came North to kick a little ass. The worst kicks that the greatest nation on the face of the Earth can receive comes from the moral indignation of better countries.

Most of my youth was lived as the orphan of a canvas sailor, but I was lucky to be my maternal grandfather's first grandson. He was loved by everyone and he adored me. He was famous for his saying, "You can afford to believe me, you can," and I will repeat that these rotten bastards are in trouble and they will never stand up and piss on the world again. Folks, the will and desire for collective survival are the new forces gathering steam.

Our Empire is no longer an Empire, we cannot organize a coalition and we will never be able to do that again. This world is about many things but most of all it is about people because they make things happen. America and Israel since the end of World War 2 have made many things happen that were bad, but they no longer have the support to make to make decent things happen because neither of these countries of God can use their ultimate weapons without being annihilated. ............Carl Johnson, NY

Monday, May 15, 2006

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We Have Heard Much About Taking Back Our Country......

I hope that if Rove is to be indicted that Fitzgerald will put it off as long as he can until after the end of June. American politics is similar to these new frying pans from China, black on the insides with bright shiny bottoms. Just fry a few pieces of bacon in them and the outside is just as black as the inside and they are not worth anything after six months.

I read a report about Barbaro, the colt that won the Kentucky Derby. That horse is going all the way. There is a photo of Barbaro on the front page of the New York times Sunday Sports. In terms of haughtiness the horse's looks matched the look of joy on the face Mr. Matz his trainer. I happened to know Mr. Wolfsenson the owner of Secretariat as a customer. His trainer was Mr. Fitzgerald. I went to see Secretariat train. A few days later Mr. Wolfsenson came into the bank. I told him I saw your horse and he is solid nobility. Mr. Fitz who was training him for the Kentucky Derby asked, "Does he look like a Triple Crown winner?" I told him, "Mr. Fitz its in the bag."

Just imagine what will happen to the Democratic Party if this Mr. Fitz can bag Carl Rove. All this Round Robin losing, religious hatred and graft is bad for America, OUR COUNTRY. Although the Republican Party is not as old as the Democratic Party ---our Party--- the Republicans have never done anything right for the American people in its entire history. I have just begun to pay attention to John Mc Cain. I hate to use the term because someone may think that I am referring to Barabro, but McCain is a real horse's ass. That is not the horse, but the jackasses that carries the oats for the nobler steeds.

For the first time in over sixty years there is hope from better sources with regard to the Palestinian people. The Muslim World finally united in support of Palestine. Economic help now flows to those beleaguered people. The Council for the National interest Foundation has started a program to counteract the Propaganda of the Israeli Lobby in America. A new dynamic came to the battle when Drs. Mearsheim the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and Dr. Walt Academic Dean at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University decided to publish their paper, "The Israel Lobby."

We have heard much about taking back our country and that is laudable. However, we will never take it back until we admit how we lost it. Communications and Transportation are the heart and blood of all politics. The story must be told and we need a way to get around. America has been going on wild goose chases hurting those who never did us anything until they could take no more and decided to hurt us. If we were on the right side in supporting Israel for so many years, we are definitely on the wrong side now because the tide or world opinion when it comes to Israel is Germany all over again. This new showdown will not be won by bombs, success will come from the weight of people and human opinion. The score is one hundred and fifty billion people to about twelve million eternal losers, except for money and precious metals.

We all want a better world for our children and grandchildren and we could have had that before now if our politicians and the media had cared more for America than they did for Israel. Here is what two super Zionists had to say.

>>>Eliot Engel (D-NY the United States House of Representatives) called the Mearsheim and Walt piece, "The same old anti-Semitic and anti-Holocaust drivel Given what happened in the Holocaust, it's shameful that people people would write reports like this."<<<

>>>Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz, a colleague of Walt, denounced both authors and called them liars and bigots and compared their arguments to neo-Nazi literature."<<<

New Study of Israel Lobby

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Let us try to make this wonderful undertaking a roaring success and a credit to human deceny'................ Carl Johnson, NY

Sunday, May 14, 2006

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Will the Real Traitors Please Stand Up?

FINALLY! A Journalist with the courage to say what many of us have been saying for 5 years!

WHEN America panics, it goes hunting for scapegoats. But from Salem onward, we've more often than not ended up pillorying the innocent. Abe Rosenthal, the legendary Times editor who died last week, and his publisher, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, were denounced as treasonous in 1971 when they defied the Nixon administration to publish the Pentagon Papers, the secret government history of the Vietnam War. Today we know who the real traitors were: the officials who squandered American blood and treasure on an ill-considered war and then tried to cover up their lies and mistakes. It was precisely those lies and mistakes, of course, that were laid bare by the thousands of pages of classified Pentagon documents leaked to both The Times and The Washington Post.

This history is predictably repeating itself now that the public has turned on the war in Iraq. The administration's die-hard defenders are desperate to deflect blame for the fiasco, and, guess what, the traitors once again are The Times and The Post. This time the newspapers committed the crime of exposing warrantless spying on Americans by the National Security Agency (The Times) and the C.I.A.'s secret "black site" Eastern European prisons (The Post). Aping the Nixon template, the current White House tried to stop both papers from publishing and when that failed impugned their patriotism.

President Bush, himself a sometime leaker of intelligence, called the leaking of the N.S.A. surveillance program a "shameful act" that is "helping the enemy." Porter Goss, who was then still C.I.A. director, piled on in February with a Times Op-Ed piece denouncing leakers for potentially risking American lives and compromising national security. When reporters at both papers were awarded Pulitzer Prizes last month, administration surrogates, led by bloviator in chief William Bennett, called for them to be charged under the 1917 Espionage Act.

We can see this charade for what it is: a Hail Mary pass by the leaders who bungled a war and want to change the subject to the journalists who caught them in the act. What really angers the White House and its defenders about both the Post and Times scoops are not the legal questions the stories raise about unregulated gulags and unconstitutional domestic snooping, but the unmasking of yet more administration failures in a war effort riddled with ineptitude. It's the recklessness at the top of our government, not the press's exposure of it, that has truly aided the enemy, put American lives at risk and potentially sabotaged national security. That's where the buck stops, and if there's to be a witch hunt for traitors, that's where it should begin.
Well before Dana Priest of The Post uncovered the secret prisons last November, the C.I.A. had failed to keep its detention "secrets" secret. Having obtained flight logs, The Sunday Times of London first reported in November 2004 that the United States was flying detainees "to countries that routinely use torture." Six months later, The New York Times added many details, noting that "plane-spotting hobbyists, activists and journalists in a dozen countries have tracked the mysterious planes' movements." These articles, capped by Ms. Priest's, do not impede our ability to detain terrorists. But they do show how the administration, by condoning torture, has surrendered the moral high ground to anti-American jihadists and botched the war of ideas that we can't afford to lose.

The N.S.A. eavesdropping exposed in December by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau of The Times is another American debacle. Hoping to suggest otherwise and cast the paper as treasonous, Dick Cheney immediately claimed that the program had saved "thousands of lives." The White House's journalistic mouthpiece, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, wrote that the Times exposé "may have ruined one of our most effective anti-Al Qaeda surveillance programs."

Surely they jest. If this is one of our "most effective" programs, we're in worse trouble than we thought. Our enemy is smart enough to figure out on its own that its phone calls are monitored 24/7, since even under existing law the government can eavesdrop for 72 hours before seeking a warrant (which is almost always granted). As The Times subsequently reported, the N.S.A. program was worse than ineffective; it was counterproductive. Its gusher of data wasted F.B.I. time and manpower on wild-goose chases and minor leads while uncovering no new active Qaeda plots in the United States. Like the N.S.A. database on 200 million American phone customers that was described last week by USA Today, this program may have more to do with monitoring "traitors" like reporters and leakers than with tracking terrorists.
Journalists and whistle-blowers who relay such government blunders are easily defended against the charge of treason. It's often those who make the accusations we should be most worried about. Mr. Goss, a particularly vivid example, should not escape into retirement unexamined. He was so inept that an overzealous witch hunter might mistake him for a Qaeda double agent.

Even before he went to the C.I.A., he was a drag on national security. In "Breakdown," a book about intelligence failures before the 9/11 attacks, the conservative journalist Bill Gertz delineates how Mr. Goss, then chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, played a major role in abdicating Congressional oversight of the C.I.A., trying to cover up its poor performance while terrorists plotted with impunity. After 9/11, his committee's "investigation" of what went wrong was notoriously toothless.

Once he ascended to the C.I.A. in 2004, Mr. Goss behaved like most other Bush appointees: he put politics ahead of the national interest, and stashed cronies and partisan hacks in crucial positions. On Friday, the F.B.I. searched the home and office of one of them, Dusty Foggo, the No. 3 agency official in the Goss regime. Mr. Foggo is being investigated by four federal agencies pursuing the bribery scandal that has already landed former Congressman Randy (Duke) Cunningham in jail. Though Washington is titillated by gossip about prostitutes and Watergate "poker parties" swirling around this Warren Harding-like tale, at least the grafters of Teapot Dome didn't play games with the nation's defense during wartime.

Besides driving out career employees, underperforming on Iran intelligence and scaling back a daily cross-agency meeting on terrorism, Mr. Goss's only other apparent accomplishment at the C.I.A. was his war on those traitorous leakers. Intriguingly, this was a new cause for him. "There's a leak every day in the paper," he told The Sarasota Herald-Tribune when the identity of the officer Valerie Wilson was exposed in 2003. He argued then that there was no point in tracking leaks down because "that's all we'd do."

What prompted Mr. Goss's about-face was revealed in his early memo instructing C.I.A. employees to "support the administration and its policies in our work." His mission was not to protect our country but to prevent the airing of administration dirty laundry, including leaks detailing how the White House ignored accurate C.I.A. intelligence on Iraq before the war. On his watch, C.I.A. lawyers also tried to halt publication of "Jawbreaker," the former clandestine officer Gary Berntsen's account of how the American command let Osama bin Laden escape when Mr. Berntsen's team had him trapped in Tora Bora in December 2001. The one officer fired for alleged leaking during the Goss purge had no access to classified intelligence about secret prisons but was presumably a witness to her boss's management disasters.
Soon to come are the Senate's hearings on Mr. Goss's successor, Gen. Michael Hayden, the former head of the N.S.A. As Jon Stewart reminded us last week, Mr. Bush endorsed his new C.I.A. choice with the same encomium he had bestowed on Mr. Goss: He's "the right man" to lead the C.I.A. "at this critical moment in our nation's history." That's not exactly reassuring.
This being an election year, Karl Rove hopes the hearings can portray Bush opponents as soft on terrorism when they question any national security move. It was this bullying that led so many Democrats to rubber-stamp the Iraq war resolution in the 2002 election season and Mr. Goss's appointment in the autumn of 2004.

Will they fall into the same trap in 2006? Will they be so busy soliloquizing about civil liberties that they'll fail to investigate the nominee's record? It was under General Hayden, a self-styled electronic surveillance whiz, that the N.S.A. intercepted actual Qaeda messages on Sept. 10, 2001 — "Tomorrow is zero hour" for one — and failed to translate them until Sept. 12. That same fateful summer, General Hayden's N.S.A. also failed to recognize that "some of the terrorists had set up shop literally under its nose," as the national-security authority James Bamford wrote in The Washington Post in 2002. The Qaeda cell that hijacked American Flight 77 and plowed into the Pentagon was based in the same town, Laurel, Md., as the N.S.A., and "for months, the terrorists and the N.S.A. employees exercised in some of the same local health clubs and shopped in the same grocery stores."

If Democrats — and, for that matter, Republicans — let a president with a Nixonesque approval rating install yet another second-rate sycophant at yet another security agency, even one as diminished as the C.I.A., someone should charge those senators with treason, too.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Did media miss real Colbert story?

Did media miss real Colbert story?

A "blogstorm" is thundering across liberal Web sites. Many liberals are furious at the White House press corps for virtually ignoring Stephen Colbert's keynote speech at the press corp's own White House Correspondents' Dinner last Saturday. To non-liberals, this may seem like an isolated complaint. To liberals, it further justifies their belief that the media, particularly TV news, is a big stinking cabal of conservatives.

The truth is many in the media wrote about Bush's stand-up routine at the dinner as if they had just watched the coming of a comic genius, but they didn't report much on Colbert's funnier, harsher jokes. This may have been a case of the press corps following a standard motto: to the winner goes the spoils, and Bush got more laughs (out of copy written for him) than Colbert did.
How did Bush tickle reporters? He made fun of the fact that he can barely speak English (he is quite simply the worst communicator of all U.S. presidents), that our vice president is a heartless face-shooter, and that Bush is basically an idiot.

Ha ha, our "war president" knows he's a village idiot? To members of the White House press corps, that's some real funny stuff. To non-insiders, this looked like another example of good old boys and gals slapping each other on the back.

Colbert's routine was more remarkable for its unique and creative brazenness. He joked that Bush's presidency is like the Hindenburg; that Bush's wiretappers were monitoring this very event, and that the White House press corps, sitting in front of Colbert, gave Bush a free pass, scandal after scandal, until recently (when his polls numbers dropped).

How's this for a newsworthy lead? It was perhaps the first time in Bush's tenure that the president was forced to sit and listen to any American cite the litany of criminal and corruption allegations that have piled up against his administration. And mouth-tense Bush and first lady Laura Bush fled as soon as possible afterward.

From whom were they fleeing? A star comedian pretending to be a Fox News-like blowhard doing a sort of performance art that America hasn't witnessed nationally since the days of Andy Kaufman. Even if Colbert's bit had been reported as a train wreck, that would have sufficed. Instead, shocking lines like the following were barely covered by any traditional organ except industry magazine Editor & Publisher: "I stand by" Bush, Colbert cracked, "because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble, and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world."
For TV reporters in particular to quote that gruesome line would be an agreement with Colbert, that they helped Bush mix politics with corruption from the ashes of 9/11 ("aircraft carriers and rubble"), and failed to see through Bush's politicization of the drowning of an American city after a hurricane ("recently flooded city squares").

But ignoring a newsworthy keynote speech -- at an event the press corps itself set up -- doesn't go unnoticed anymore. Internet stables for liberals, like the behemoth, began rumbling as soon as the correspondents' dinner was reported in the mainstream press, with scant word of Colbert's combustive address.

This is trouble for the media. It has been losing customers to bloggers and Web sites for years. This won't help. The media's implosion of silence could be one of the final reasons many liberals use to not turn on TV news. It's not like they feel a vested interest in the industry anyway, since it has been bought and parceled by conservatives.

There is Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, that Pravda of GOP propaganda and breeding ground for Bush appointees. There are the networks' Sunday news shows that give more face time to Republicans. There are cable news channels like MSNBC, where Republicans have programmed the shows and hired on-air Republicans and conservatives-lite, from Tucker Carlson to Joe Scarborough and Chris Matthews. Some TV watchdogs even chronicle these conservative media daily, backed up by transcripts and video clips from TV news shows, in the expansive Web site,

On cable, only CNN still plays the journalism-school middle ground most of the time, questioning liberals, moderates and conservatives with equal skepticism and respect. Clearly, in terms of advertising revenue, CNN alone cares to attract the disposable income of American viewers of all political stripes.

To liberals, this must be somewhat puzzling, since the rest of the conservative media primarily sides with a president whose approval ratings stand at 32 percent, a whisker better than Nixon's before he resigned in disgrace.

Liberals find true solace on TV only in the fake news of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" and "The Daily Show," a place where Jon Stewart merely has to show actual clips of Bush speaking, or Condi Rice, or Cheney, or Donald Rumsfeld to elicit laughter at their hubris. If NBC News let in audiences during its broadcasts, those people might also laugh at the president.
But the TV news corps, the unthinking and unblinking herd of pack journalists, prefer to laugh with the president, and kiss many viewers goodbye.

BY DOUG ELFMAN Television Critic