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Truth To Power

the strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must

Archive for September, 2005

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

Friday, September 30th, 2005

When your party controls Congress, The White House and increasingly the Judicial branch (in fact, you wouldn’t be in power without them), the words of Lord Acton are again proving to be true.

Such as:

House leader Delay under indictment

Senate leader Frist under investigation by the SEC

Vice President’s Chief of Staff Scooter Libby named as Plame source, Miller released from jail, will testify after being allowed to by her source, Libby

Pentagon staffer and neo-con Doug Feith aide Larry Franklin cops a plea and admits to spying for Israel, and has ties to the phony Niger document that was used in the runup to the Iraqi war

Uber lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who has funneled money all over Congress, but mainly to Republicans, is linked to the gangland murder of a rival

Pentagon brushes aside carnage for porn pictures “investigation”, federal judge orders the release of Abu Ghraib pictures and video which are reported to show images of child rape

Michael Brown, political hack appointee, assists in the destruction of a major American city- one that just happens to be one of the few places of your opposition parties strength in the south

And this is just in the last month or so. The wheels are coming off the bus. It isn’t gonna be pretty (and in fact, it could get extremely ugly- for everyone), but damn, if we live thru it, we could perhaps have a chance of being governed by something other than a corrupt bunch of religious hypocrites bent on the destruction of government and the looting of all the resources of the world.

Maybe.

On speaking the truth to power

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

Heckler, 82, who dared called Straw a liar is held under terrorist law
By Andrew Sparrow

Labour had to apologise to an 82-year-old activist last night after he was roughly thrown out of the party conference for heckling Jack Straw on Iraq.

The leadership faced angry protests from MPs and party members who accused it of stifling dissent and abandoning traditions of free speech.

The Foreign Secretary was telling the conference that Britain was in Iraq “for one reason only” – to help the elected Iraqi government – when Walter Wolfgang shouted: “That’s a lie and you know it.”

We are living in the type of situation addressed by the Chinese curse:

May you live in interesting times.

Cheerleading works!

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

I guess my chant to remove Delay yesterday worked!

House GOP Shaken Up After Delay Indictment
DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent

WASHINGTON – Shadowed by scandal, House Republicans face an uncertain new era after a day of upheaval that left Majority Leader Tom DeLay under indictment and forced to surrender his powerful post.

…DeLay’s indictment marks “the latest example that Republicans in Congress are plagued by a culture of corruption at the expense of the American people,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader.

And the guy they picked to replace Delay as Majority Leader of the House is tied to the same campaign funny business that snared Delay. I thought the right wing were supposed to be somewhat bright. Guess not.

May this prove to be just the first of many interesting developments this fall. How about Frist getting time for insider trading? Rove frog-marched from the White House under indictment for say, treason? Once this house of cards begins to topple, watch the rethugs scatter, attempting to divorce themselves from Bush and his criminal minions.

That and baseball playoffs? SWEET!

Horrible, Part 2

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

You’ll remember back on August 26th I commented on the website that offered US servicemen access to online porn in exchange for pictures of Iraqi war dead.

Well, finally the Defense Department has acknowledged the site, investigated it, and has decided that basically, it’s no big deal:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Army after a brief inquiry has failed to determine whether U.S. soldiers provided grisly photos of people killed in the Iraq war to a porn Web site in exchange for free access to it, officials said on Wednesday.

….The Army Criminal Investigation Command in Iraq conducted the preliminary inquiry within the past week but closed it after concluding no felony crime had been committed and failing to determine whether U.S. soldiers were responsible for the photos and whether they showed actual war dead, Army officials said. (from Yahoo)

Ok, I think a picture such as this can safely rule out whatever bullshit the DoD states:

cookediraqixx.jpg

This is a violation of the Geneva Convention. This is causing outrage across the Middle East. I imagine the DoD will resume an “investigation” once enough ink is spilled about this, and I also understand that like the multiple Abu Grahib cases, nothing will come of it, except for the scapegoating of a few low-ranking troops.

I think a productive tack might be this. Go to the site in question, print out a few of the really horrific shots, run off say 100 of them, and stick them on the windshield of every car with a stupid magnetic ribbon pledging support of our troops. Is that fair? No. The vast majority of servicemen are honorable, proud people doing a dangerous and unpopular job. They deserve our support. But the people who support them blindly, (if not particularly actively, of course) need to see not only what dead people look like, but also, what war will do to a person. A person who may well be their own kids.

Get enough public disgust about this issue, to the point it gets back to the troops in the field, then perhaps they’ll begin to break ranks and question just what in the hell our “president” has gotten us into.

“Hey, hey Tom Delay…

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

time for your corrupt ass to GO AWAY!”

DeLay Probe Winds Down; Charges May Loom

By LARRY MARGASAK
The Associated Press
Wednesday, September 28, 2005; 12:26 AM

WASHINGTON — A Texas grand jury’s recent interest in conspiracy charges could lead to last-minute criminal indictments _ possibly against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay _ as it wraps up its investigation Wednesday into DeLay’s state political organization, according to lawyers with knowledge of the case.

Conspiracy counts against two DeLay associates this month raised concerns with DeLay’s lawyers, who fear the chances are greater that the majority leader could be charged with being part of the conspiracy. Before these counts, the investigation was more narrowly focused on the state election code.

A must read

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

Even more rare yet are the cases in which history delivers justice with a deliciously deserved irony. But George Bush has provided us with just such a case. And the very delicious irony is that he is now being undone by a cynical choice he himself made to go to war in Iraq with other people’s blood and other people’s treasure, for the purpose of enhancing his tenuous self-esteem and the power of his presidency.

Goodbye, George. May you know precisely the rest and precisely the peace someone who would do such a thing deserves.

Continue reading George Bush in Hell

If you’re not doing anything wrong…

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

you’ve got nothing to hide, right?

FBI to get veto power over PC software?

The Federal Communications Commission thinks you have the right to use software on your computer only if the FBI approves.

No, really. In an obscure “policy” document released around 9 p.m. ET last Friday, the FCC announced this remarkable decision.

According to the three-page document, to preserve the openness that characterizes today’s Internet, “consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement.” Read the last seven words again.

As the story explains, this is focused on the use of encryption software- the ones without backdoors that the FBI knows about. But if you have nothing to hide, then you needn’t worry about this. Really.

More FEMA Follies

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

County Judge Carl Griffith said today he has become so frustrated with the federal relief effort that he has instructed all local officials to use police force if they have to to take supplies from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“If you have enough policemen to take it from them, take it,” Griffith said.

His frustration comes as squabbling continues among federal, state and local over what some characterize as a woeful lack of communication.

Continue reading here.

NP

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

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Neal Casel’s “Return in Kind”. A great collection of covers from folks such as The Faces, DQE, and Johnny Thunders. Wonderful voice.

dylan.jpg

And we watched this over the weekend. Its as good a movie about a performer as you’re likely to see. It really expresses well the times in which Dylan worked, and the impression he made. Only bad note, it ends at the period of his motorcycle crash. I hope plans are afoot to do the rest of the story.

Oh, this is nice

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

Group Lists 13 ‘Most Corrupt’ in Congress

By Chuck Neubauer, Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — A watchdog group, naming what it calls “the 13 most corrupt members of Congress,” is calling for ethics investigations of some of the most prominent leaders on Capitol Hill in a report to be released Monday.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says in its report that the 13 members, among them Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), might have violated a variety of congressional ethics rules.

Go ahead, read it. Depressing as hell.