Friday, August 18, 2006

Cheney And Friends Cooking The Books On Iranian Uranium Claims

So if you were Vice President, who would you turn to for matters of intelligence. The CIA, NSA, FBI? Not if you are Dick Cheney, you ask your friend Abram Shulsky, former director of the Office of Special Plans in the Defense Department. Former, you ask? Yep, now he’s a consultant, and member of the Neocon Project for a New American Century.

I guess it’s not surprising, since this administration is guided by their ideals and beliefs rather than fact. If the facts don’t fit, make them up. And that is apparently what’s happening with the intelligence on the nuclear programs of Iran. According to a story printed today in "Raw Story":

"Several foreign policy experts, who wish to remain anonymous, have expressed
serious concern that much like the OSP, the ID is manipulating, cherry picking,
and perhaps even -- as some suspect -- cooking intelligence to lead the U.S.
into another conflict, this time with Iran."

The ID is the Iran Directorate, a spin off from the OSP and an organization that has Shulsky as a consultant.

If this all sounds familiar, it is. Remember the Niger Yellow Cake Uranium crap? Looks like this "special" intelligence division, which has earned the skepticism of real intelligence organizations like the CIA is feeding Cheney and Bush what they want to hear and more importantly, what they can use to keep our country afraid. Read a little Machiavelli, and you’ll find how useful fear is in controlling a population.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Yet Another Flaw In Diebold Voting Machines

Diebold electronic voting machines are back in the news. Seems a study released yesterday by Election Science Institute of San Francisco, Calif., shows the machines did not keep accurate matching records to a paper backup of the votes. Needless to say the fine folks at Diebold, heavy contributors to the Republican Party, claim the study is flawed.

This should add yet another bullet to the ammunition targeted at these electronic machines. The previous flaw found that the machines could easily be tampered with and votes changes with the simple flick of a switch.

What’s wrong with a paper ballot? So what if we can’t get results instantaneously? At least you can have a fair recount with paper.

Need A Job? Send Gov. Rick Perry A Bushel Of Bucks.

Rick Perry must have gone to the Jack Abramoff School of Politics. He has given 10 of his top donors plum contracts or choice appointments with the state of Texas. Though Perry denies a pay-for-play scenario, it doesn’t take a genius to figure this scam out. Case in point, even the right-wing rag The Dallas Morning News calls this action questionable. And in an election year, the Dallas News running any negative stuff on a Republican is very unusual.

Though personally I find Kinky Friedman appealing, I am going to vote for Chris Bell this year. We need all the registered Democrats we can in Austin. The "ledge" has been out of control for long enough. Time to reign them in.

Free Market Works, Afghanistan Opium Production Hits Record High

Under the Taliban, opium production was eliminated, but now under the benevolent gaze of the free market, it's back and bigger than ever! The production is up over 40% since 2005 hitting a record high, accounting for over 90% of the world’s supply. And for Afghanistan? Well opium now makes up over 52% of the country's gross national product.

Congratulations to all the people in the Bush administration for creating another narco-state! Wonder how bad we can screw up Iraq?

And for those folks who think I am glorifying the Taliban, here’s my answer. They were a bunch of religious zealots and extremists. I have little sympathy for them and pity the Afghan people who had to live under such a repressive regime. Theocracies are always a bad thing; not one has ever worked out well, and most end up committing atrocities in the name of their God. Something to remember here in this country as well.

Homeland Security Chairman Calls For Ethnic & Religious Profiling

Well, yesterday it was a trial balloon on Faux News, today it’s for real. The chairman of the House Homeland Security Commission is calling for extra screening for people of Middle East or South Asian descent. Peter King (R-NY) made the suggestion even though most law enforcement agencies dismiss such and idea.

I suspect the Neocon think tanks have issued this new call in one of their talking point faxes and being a good Republican clone, King is just marching in goose-step with the party line. Coming up next, resettlement communities also known as concentration camps.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fox News Pundit Calls For "Muslim Only" Line At Airports

The NeoCons have a test site for their wacky ideas to see if hey have any merit at least with possible voters and more importantly campaign contributors. It’s called FOX News. More than once I have seen wacky far right ideas floated by FOX pundits. Some eventually reach the mainstream, while others dies as quickly as they were born.

The latest trial balloon comes from right-wing radio host Mike Gallagher, a guest on "Dayside". He proposed "Muslim Only" lines at airports to assure the screening of Muslims while traveling. Furthermore he said, "most Americans want prejudice. Let’s be prejudiced against those who want to slaughter innocent American men, women and children. It’s time we start exercising some prejudice and stop these bloody terrorists."

To be fair, something FOX rarely does, the host seemed dismayed at his suggestion, but as most people who follow the media know, FOX News does almost nothing that is not carefully scripted or influenced by the Republican spin machine. Was his remark a fluke? Not a chance. This was the old tactic of running it up the flag pole and seeing who salutes. My hope is that America will not fall for this ploy. It’s ultimate extension would be internment and perhaps worse, and that would be about as un-American as things could get.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bush Cuts Back Presence at World AIDS Conference - Affraid Of Dissent

With the biggest AIDS conference ever in Toronto, in typical Bush fashion, our government cut back out presence from 230 to 50 attendees from the HHS department. The reason? Well seems like Tommy Thompson, HHS director in 2002 was booed by critics because of the meager contributions of the US to the Global AIDS Fund. Guess they don’t like appearing in front of an audience that isn’t hand picked by the GOP to eliminate dissenters.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Lie Detector Tests To Sceen Passengers At US Airports

The Transportation Safety Administration is testing automatic lie-detector booths for possible use in airports. The booths designed in Israel are being tested in the Knoxville, TN airport. I am reminded of the movie "Minority Report" and have to wonder when the psychics will be put into play to detect intent of possible terrorists. Who hates freedom? Funny, looks like the US is behaving that way.

FBI Clears Men Michigan Says Are Terrorists.

So who is telling the truth? Well the FBI now says the 3 Texas men arrested in Michigan with 1000 cell phones have no ties to terrorism. Local prosecutors in Michigan have charged them with terror related activities. Gonna be a hard case to prove with the FBI ringing in like that. Of course they could be held as "enemy combatants" forever and then no one could say anything. Wonder if local folks in Michigan know about that little loophole?

Wonder how many free minutes they have?

Bigots Loose attempt To Get Anti-Gay Initiative On Illinois Ballot

It seems like a small thing, but maybe it’s the beginning of a change in the political wind. Illinois neocons failed to get an initiative banning gay marriage on the November ballot in that state. Of the signatures raised, only 91% proved to be valid and failed to meet requirements for the election.

Ultra right-wing activists with the so called Illinois Family Institute have filed suit against the state saying the process is burdensome and unconstitutional, however observers say getting this discriminatory initiative on the ballot will be impossible this time around.

Now I admit, Illinois is already a pretty blue state, but the radical right insists on beating the God, gays and guns drum for every election. I suspect the nation is starting to march to a different beat, one that wants real issues, like health care, education and real homeland security. Let’s hope real American values win out. Values like tolerance, honesty and fair mindedness.