Saturday, November 25, 2006

Rumsfeld Authorized Torture At Abu Ghraib

Time to hold people accountable, starting with Rumsfeld! Former Brigadier General Janice Karpinski, who supervised Abu Ghraib prison under the US forces in Iraq, said in an interview with a Spanish newspaper that Donald Rumsfeld authorized the cruel and inhumane torture of prisoners.

If this is true there must be a full investigation and if the evidence shows it, prosecution for war crimes. Rumsfeld may have figured he could retire and step into oblivion, but if he is guilty, he must be called to account for his crimes.

Then, turn to his boss, George W. Bush and find out how much he knew or authorized. The American and Iraqi people must have an explanation.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Shiites Burn Sunni's Alive - Peace Is On The March

Gotta love that old time religion! Shiites grabbed 6 Sunni worshipers as they left a mosque today and doused them with gasoline and set them ablaze. Funny, I have read the Koran and I found nothing about this practice in there. If these guys are acting in the name of their religion, they must be reading a different Prophet.

Of course religious teachings never stopped Christians from lynching blacks in the South not so long ago, so I guess the words of the Prophet Mohammed might go just about as far with his followers. For that we should all morn. Iraq has descended into a crazy religious holy war and our presence is fanning the flames. (OK bad analogy.)

Tragedies like this will only increase as long as we keep our troops as occupiers in a nation in the midst of a civil war, and we do nothing to stop it. We must either become real peace keepers, by actually stopping this kind of stuff, or we should get out. Yes we broke it, and now I suspect no amount of armed force can put it back together again. I would suggest sending Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld over to personally try to stand between the warring factions and stop the war. Needless to say that will never happen, and it would do no good. What it would do is act as a wake up call for our alleged leaders to the gawd awful mess they have made. Somebody has to be made accountable.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Here in Texas it’s a slightly warmer than usual Thanksgiving Day. 75 expected to be the high temperature, so no snow on the ground. Still it feels like Thanksgiving. I rose early to put the Turkey in the oven and later my family and friends will gather for the traditional food orgy that accompanies most Thanksgivings in the US.

I am reminded that while we feast much of the world starves. Americans will average over 3500 calories a day in the food we consume. Compare this to sub Saharan Africa where the average is only 2000 calories a day. That alone should be reason enough to give thanks. We are very lucky people.

For those who would challenge that claim saying, "luck has nothing to do with it, it’s hard work that makes us great". I would remind them that the subsistence farmer in South America works harder than most of us and he still barely ekes out a living. For that matter in this country there are hundreds of thousands of people working at minimum wage jobs, barely able to feed themselves without public assistance, and they work hard, very hard.

Hard work is important, but most of us are just plain lucky. Lucky to be born into a family with enough money to send us to school. Lucky to have the contacts and wealth to afford a good university. Lucky to be born with the right skin color or the right sexual organs to be successful with a minimum of obstacles in our way. For that we should be truly grateful, and give thanks.

Most importantly is the way we give thanks. I personally choose to show my gratitude to God and to my fellow human beings by making sure that at least a few people who might go to bed hungry are fed. I shop for several families’ Thanksgiving meal as part of my church benevolence program. I donate to charities to provide food and health care to the poor and underinsured. I pray with all my heart that my country can find a path to help the less fortunate of the world and ease the crippling affliction of hunger.

Not to be didactic, but for me, service is the best form of giving thanks. I only wish I could do more, but that is our lot as human beings. We can never be perfect, but we can strive for perfection and follow our better instincts.

At this festive time of year, I am grateful and wish everyone a joyful and bountiful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Jobless Rate Grows By 12,000 Last Week

The jobless rate jumped 12,000 people last week, even after adjustment for seasonal changes. This means that "good economy" Bush brags about is an illusion for at least 12,000 Americans last week. Isn’t it time we started doing something about it? Tax cuts for the rich do nothing to boost the economy. They already have all the Mercedes and Lexus they need and their investments don’t create jobs, only more money for speculators and the markets.

It’s time everyone in this country paid their fair share and helped get us back on track. Write your congressman or you newly elected congressman and let them know how you feel.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Video Of US Troops Teasing Thirsty Children - Not Good PR!

If there is any wonder some Iraqi’s hate us here is a pretty good reason. This video posted on YouTube show soldiers tempting Iraqi children with bottled water, then pulling away before giving it to them. Oh yes! That’s a funny joke! A real knee slapper.

Next time a roadside bomb kills an American GI we should have all the soldiers watch this video. Maybe they will understand why they are not winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. Now before I get a thousand flames on this, I know this may be an isolated incident, but still it should not happen. If we are really there to help the Iraqi’s we should do so without making them grovel, teasing them or showing our cruel nature. Come on guys, you can do better than this. I believe in our troops good nature and best motives. Show these people you give a damn about them and they might return the favor sometime. Who knows, it might save your life?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Federal Judge Orders FBI To Celar Up Facts Surrounding Saudi Secret Flights After 9/11

Well anyone who remembers the accusations that Saudi royals and members of the Bin Laden family were secretly flow out of the US following 9/11 during the time when no air travel was allowed will be happy about this. A federal judge has ordered the FBI to clear up the fogy facts they presented in the 9/11 report.

He said their version of events strained credulity and wants things cleared up. This will play out in the courts but it’s a start to the real facts behind 9/11.

13th District Race In Florida Challenged - Recount or Revote Needed

Well it’s about time! The 13 District Congressional Election in Florida is officially being challenged. This is a district that used no-paper-trail electronic voting machines and had an astounding 15% undervote. Undervote means that voters cast ballots for NEITHER candidate in that district, but voted for other candidates and initiatives. That adds up to 17,000 votes and is way too fishy to go unchallenged.

Remember this is Florida, home of Kathrine Harris and the hanging chads. Elections have been finagled here before and this time it’s going to be brought into the open. The real answer is another election, which is part of what the Jennings camp is seeking. Let’s hope it works. The black box electronic voting machines are way too prone to hacking, tampering and downright fraud with no way to trace the problem.

TV's Kramer Goes On Racist Rant

It’s always sad when someone who you always thought was a funny guy turns out to be not so funny after all. This is the case of Michael Richards, Kramer of "Seinfeld" fame. He was apparently being heckled at a recent live appearance at the Laugh Factory in LA when he absolutely lost it. He starts shouting and calling audience members "nigger" and that is the milder stuff. Most of the audience gets up and leaves in disgust.

How can you blame them? He was not being funny; he was just spewing hate. Frustration or not, there is no excuse for what Richards did, and I hope the management of the Laugh Factory will not ask him to return. Pity that my assumptions about him were wrong. I figured he was a pretty nice guy with a twisted sense of humor. Instead he is trying the grab the title from Mel Gibson for "Bigot of the Year".

McCain Now Anti-Abortion - Massive Flip-Flop!

John McCain has sold his soul to the GOP. Who can I say this? Well look at his recent cuddle-fest with the Bush Junta. He was tarred and feathered by Bush operatives during the primaries and now he’s best buddies. Looks like a deal was made somewhere. Second bit of damning evidence? Now after firmly stating that he was pro choice, he now says he favors overturning Roe Vs Wade.

This is not just a "flip-flop" it’s a blatant move toward the hard right and the Falwell camp. McCain want’s a cozy seat as VP before the 2008 elections, and it doesn’t take a genius to anticipate Cheney stepping down soon to allow a possible contender to get a prized incumbency.

Watch for Cheney to suddenly have "health" concerns and move aside to allow a GOP hopeful to fill his seat. My bet is on McCain, but Condi Rice is another strong contender, unless the whole Bush-Rice affair blows up.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Houston Police Trample Union Picket Line

Houston Police, known in my younger days as pretty durn brutal, are earning their reputation again. They used horses to trample protesting members of the Janitor’s union. How heartless is that. Trample people who earn minimum wage and have no health insurance?

Once again they are doing the bidding of Exxon and Chevron who oppose the union. Call your congressman and stop this crap.