Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Unholy Alliance

Christian fundamentalism and Zionism

Time To Terminate This Unholy Alliance?



By Alan Hart



23/08/08 "ICH " -- - In the light of the revelation (devine or not) about Pastor John Hagee’s assertion that Hitler was God’s agent, is it too much to hope that Jews everywhere, and Jewish Americans especially, will insist that Zionism terminate its unholy alliance with Christian fundamentalism?



This isn't the first time I've heard this come out of the mouths of fundamentalist preachers and/or members of their flocks



This alliance has always seemed to me to be the greatest madness and also the biggest obscenity in the continuing story of conflict in and over Palestine.



AMEN



Historically speaking, Christian fundamentalists were classic Jew haters on the grounds, they said, that the Jews were the “Christ killers”. So what explains Christian fundamentalism’s support for Israel right or wrong - support which today includes much of the money to fund Zionism’s on-going colonisation of the occupied West Bank?



They still are classic Jew haters. Nothing has changed in what they say behind closed doors. They have cleaned up their public image a bit, but how can anyone make the mistake that the christian-crackpots don't hate the Jews when they see them as cannon fodder for Armageddon.



The evangelical preacher Jerry Falwell gave this answer.



The creation of the State of Israel in 1948 was the most crucial event in history since the ascension of Jesus to heaven and


“proof that the second coming of Jesus Christ is nigh… Without a State of Israel in the Holy Land, there cannot be the second coming of Jesus Christ, nor can there be a Last Judgement, nor the End of the World.”. (So, Jesus is off pouting somewhere until the U.S. causes Armageddon?)



Another answer is that provided by Yakov M. Rabkin, the Jewish Canadian Professor of History at the University of Montreal. In his book A Threat From Within, A CENTURY OF JEWISH OPPOSITION TO ZIONISM, he writes:



“The massive support extended to the State of Israel by millions of Christian supporters of Zionism is overtly motivated by a single consideration: that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land will be a prelude to their acceptance of Christ (when he returns) or, for those who fail to do so, to their physical destruction.” (My emphasis added).


This comes from the book of Revelations and has nothing to do with this time in history, except the obvious; there is another cruel empire afoot in the world and there is trouble in the so-called holy land.



Simply stated, Christian fundamentalism’s only interest in the Zionist state of Israel is in assisting it to become the instrument for bringing about, as foretold by the Christian Bible, the end of the world in a final battle at Armageddon between the forces of good and evil. In this scenario the Jews will have a choice - either to junk their Judaism and become Christians, in which case they will be beamed up to heaven, or to be annihlated… It seems to me that there’s a case for saying that Christian fundamentalism is, potentially, a far bigger threat to Jews and Judaism than all the Arabs and other Muslims of the world put together, including a nuclear-armed Iran!



So why is Zionism in alliance with Christian fundamentalism?



The short answer needs only two words - political expendiency.



And for that the Zionists will pay a huge price, one they do not want to pay.



On its own and in its various manifestations, the Zionist (not Israel!) lobby is awesomely powerful. It is even more influential, in America especially, in association with Christian fundamentalism. In May 2002, the BBC’s admirable Stephen Sackur presented a remarkable radio documentary, A Lobby to Reckon With. It was honest, investigative journalism at its very best. The programme explained why it was no longer accurate to talk about the Zionist lobby (which in my view was wrongly called the Israel lobby) as the main influence on American policy for the Middle East. There was now a more powerful lobby, one that had been formed, effectively if not institutionally, by the Zionists joining forces with Christian fundamentalism. As Sackur observed, It is an alliance of the two best organised networks in the U.S.



Another way to put it would be to say that America’s elected representatives, almost all of them including their Presidents, are frightened of offending Zionism too much and sometimes at all, and terrified of offending Zionism in alliance with Christian fundamentalism.




The day is coming, and soon, when the politicians of America will be scared witless to support the

religiously insane of any ilk.



A truth about Zionism is that it’s always been ready, willing and able to use or be used by any power or interest when doing so advanced its own cause. It has never needed a spoon, long or short, to sup with the devil. Those who are familiar with the most intimate details of Zionism’s history know that in 1940 there was a Zionist offer to collaborate with Nazi Germany - to participate in the war on Germany’s side and to assist the establishment of Hitler’s New (totalitarian) Order in Europe.



To this day Zionism and all supporters of Israel right or wrong deny there was ever a Zionist proposal for collaboration with Nazi Germany, just as they deny Zionism’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948/49 and on-going; but 45 years after the offer was made in writing, Yehoshafat Harkabi, Israel’s longest serving director of Military Intelligence, made the following observation about it in his book, Israel’s Fateful Hour:



“Perhaps, for peace of mind, we ought to see this affair as an aberrant episode in Jewish history. Nevertheless, it should alert us to how far extremists may go in times of distress, and where their manias may lead.” (My empassis added).



It could also that there was a financial consideration in Zionsm’s decision to use and be used by Christian fundamentalism. At some point in the future it’s not impossible that the more American and European Jews realise that Zionism is their enemy, the less they will be willing to pump money into the Zionist state.. In that event, Zionism may have calculated, it will need Christian fundamentalist money more than ever.




But, will the Zionists also like the hatred brought their way by the Fundies? They, of all people, should recall what hatred can do.



I’ve never believed that enough Americans would be stupid enough to put Senator John McCain in the White House, and hopefully his better-late-than-never rejection of Hagee’s endorsement will guarantee his defeat.

The only “end of times” I wish for is the termination of the unholy alliance between Christian fundamentalism and Zionism. Amen.



AMEN!!!!



(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.


OMG! It's Time To Demand War Crimes Trials Or Get The Hell Out Of Here!

May 22, 2008
Editorial

What the F.B.I. Agents Saw

Does this sound familiar? Muslim men are stripped in front of female guards and sexually humiliated. A prisoner is made to wear a dog’s collar and leash, another is hooded with women’s underwear. Others are shackled in stress positions for hours, held in isolation for months, and threatened with attack dogs.

You might think we are talking about that one cell block in Abu Ghraib, where President Bush wants the world to believe a few rogue soldiers dreamed up a sadistic nightmare. These atrocities were committed in the interrogation centers in American military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. And they were not revealed by Red Cross officials, human rights activists, Democrats in Congress or others the administration writes off as soft-on-terror.

They were described in a painful report by the Justice Department’s inspector general, based on the accounts of hundreds of F.B.I. agents who saw American interrogators repeatedly mistreat prisoners in ways that the agents considered violations of American law and the Geneva Conventions. According to the report, some of the agents began keeping a “war crimes file” — until they were ordered to stop.

These were not random acts. It is clear from the inspector general’s report that this was organized behavior by both civilian and military interrogators following the specific orders of top officials. The report shows what happens when an American president, his secretary of defense, his Justice Department and other top officials corrupt American law to rationalize and authorize the abuse, humiliation and torture of prisoners:

— Four F.B.I. agents saw an interrogator cuff two detainees and force water down their throats.

— Prisoners at Guantánamo were shackled hand-to-foot for prolonged periods and subjected to extreme heat and cold.

— At least one detainee at Guantánamo was kept in an isolation cell for at least two months, a practice the military considers to be torture when applied to American soldiers.

The study said F.B.I. agents reported this illegal behavior to Washington. They were told not to take part, but the bureau appears to have done nothing to end the abuse. It certainly never told Congress or the American people. The inspector general said the agents’ concerns were conveyed to the National Security Council, but he found no evidence that it acted on them.

Mr. Bush claims harsh interrogations produced invaluable intelligence, but the F.B.I. agents said the abuse was ineffective. They also predicted, accurately, that it would be impossible to prosecute abused prisoners.

For years, Mr. Bush has refused to tell the truth about his administration’s inhuman policy on prisoners, and the Republican-controlled Congress eagerly acquiesced to his stonewalling. Now, the Democrats in charge of Congress must press for full disclosure.

Representative John Conyers, who leads the House Judiciary Committee, said he would focus on the F.B.I. report at upcoming hearings. Witnesses are to include John C. Yoo, who wrote the infamous torture memos, and the committee has subpoenaed David Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff. Mr. Conyers also wants to question F.B.I. Director Robert Mueller and Attorney General Michael Mukasey, both of whom should be subpoenaed if they do not come voluntarily.

That is just the first step toward uncovering the extent of President Bush’s disregard for the law and the Geneva Conventions. It will be a painful process to learn how so many people were abused and how America’s most basic values were betrayed. But it is the only way to get this country back to being a defender, not a violator, of human rights.


Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Settle Down, Rabbi

McCain has already tossed Hagee.

What you should be concerned about is the alliance of the NeoCons, the TheoCons and Likudniks. Talk about and unholy trinity!

Those Israelis, or Jewish people living anywhere, for that matter, who align themselves with the war-mongers and the twisted, christian, crusading-crackpots clearly are asking for the worst to happen to them. Surely, Sir, you know that from your own holy scripture.


Prominent Rabbi Demands an Explanation from Hagee
By Frederick Clarkson Thu May 22, 2008 at 11:45:00 AM EST



Bruce Wilson's recent video post on how John Hagee has claimed that God sent Hitler and the holocaust as a way to force the Jews to emigrate to Israel -- is rapidly gaining public notice. Yesterday, Sam Stein, a political reporter at The Huffington Post, picked-up on the story. And last night, Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC's Countdown did a segment based on Bruce's shocking discovery.

The New Yorker
magazine's Ryan Lizza told Olbermann that
"on the offensive scale of one to ten, claiming that God sent Hitler to hunt down the Jews and force them to Israel, is about a 20."

Today, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union for Refomed Judaism demanded an explanation from Hagee.





Here is his statement, published on the web site of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism:


Hagee Quoted as Blaming Jews for Holocaust: Yoffie's Letter Calls for Explanation


Washington, DC, May 21, 2008 - In response to reports that Pastor John Hagee has made statements suggesting that Jews are responsible for the Holocaust, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, sent the following open letter calling for an explanation:


Dear Pastor Hagee,


I have received questions from many of my members who have read recent articles (The Huffington Post, IsraelENews, Talk2Action) about themes in your speeches and writings. You have been quoted as suggesting that the Holocaust was part of God's plan to force the Jews to go to Israel and that the Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves by defying Herzl's Zionist dream to have all Jews go to and settle in the land of Israel.


I am deeply troubled by these quotations. The Holocaust was the work of a deranged, bigoted, and anti-Semitic figure supported by a racist government. To suggest otherwise is surely an affront to the 11 million individuals, 6 million of whom were Jews, who lost their lives in the ashes of what is unquestionably the greatest tragedy of the 20th century. To blame the victims for the Holocaust and to suggest that they brought it on themselves is a desecration of their name and their memory, and an insult to the survivors and their descendents who thankfully remain in our midst today.


I am aware of the work that you have done on behalf of the State of Israel, and for that reason I find your remarks especially troubling. Please help me explain to the members of my movement the statements attributed to you. Are these sentiments representative of your current feelings and perceptions of the Jewish people and the people of Israel? Were they at one time representative? Have you in some way been grossly misquoted? Are these views which you have now repudiated?


As a Pastor to one of our nation's largest churches, your influence is widely felt and your model of leadership is surely one that will influence many Americans. I hope that you agree with me that justifying the Holocaust or blaming it on the Jews is anathema to all who repudiate group defamation and cherish tolerance and respect. I look forward to your response.


Sincerely,

Rabbi Eric Yoffie



(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Hillary Drinks The Political Hemlock

Like nearly everything else in politics, one's outward reaction to Hillary's latest lollapalooza will largely depend on which side of the partisan partition one stands.

Her defenders will again rail against the biased, sinister forces who plot disingenuously for her political demise, blah, blah, blah; her detractors will launch a fresher and higher intensity of outrage, such as Keith Olbermann's last night which damn near achieved orbit, blah, blah, blah.

But inner reactions, I suspect, are far more closely aligned, even to the point of superimposition. Her detractors would privately confess the mitigation of exhaustion and sleep deprivation having undoubtedly scrambled Hillary's brain; her defenders would privately confess that her comment was, nevertheless and sure enough, unmitigated evidence of a calculating, cold-hearted mind.

Both sides would agree that what she said was a damn stupid and inexcusable thing to say. Period.

Excluding Mr. Olbermann's, initial reaction from the universe of cable punditry, which presented a mixture of the above, was a fascinating thing to watch. They were the Astaires of commentary, dancing with unprecedented grace around the obvious.

From Chris Matthews to E.J. Dionne to John Harwood to Rachel Maddow, cable's voices of authorized observation intoned, one after another, that they just couldn't bring themselves to believe that Hillary had in mind the happy prospect of triumph through elimination, rather than the chronological lethargy of past primary seasons.

Only the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson -- based, that is, on my circumscribed viewing -- finally encountered reality in a rousing flurry of disgust and disbelief.

To paraphrase Robinson: What in God's name are you people talking about? She said it. It's right there on tape. "Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June." What other interpretation or spin could one possibly put on it? She was saying, point blank and in plain English, that it's not nearly too late. Stuff happens, dear troops, so don't give up hope.

A few years ago, when I was engaged in research for a historical manuscript on American demagoguery and the rise of the New Right, a wise rhetorical studies professor offered me this advice: Don't assign motive when none is clearly stated. Don't play psychiatrist or psychohistorian.

Or, at least I, said the professor, can tell you that we rhetorical studies professionals have stopped doing so. All we can know is what a politician says. Why he or she said it is beyond our scope. Only what is said can be competently analyzed.

And that is all Mr. Robinson was doing.

The professor's advice, in the world of partisan politics, is exceedingly difficult to follow with any consistency -- except against one's enemies. When we strike the assignment of rhetorical motive from our arsenal of analytical weaponry, we also sit by and watch all the fun slowly drain from the possibilities of assault or counterattack.

We have known for years why George W. Bush did what he did and now know why John McCain says what he says, even if what we have known or presently know doesn't always square with what's recorded in print. In the absence of such unshakable knowledge, political commentary and partisan firepower would evaporate overnight.

Still, there are always those fortuitous occasions upon which we claim, with considerable justification, the purest of objectivity. Yesterday's was one of them.

Hillary said what she said, just as Eugene Robinson said what she said, and there simply aren't any two ways about it. It transcended mere stupidity. It exceeded the forgivable boundaries of the effects of sleep deprivation. It soared far above and beyond mere historical, chronological analysis.

It was, rather, quite simply a chilling public admission of what swims in any desperate politician's mind: "My opponent might die, so there remains hope."

That is, indisputably, what she said. It's on tape. No interpretation is required, no creative assignment of motive is necessary -- not when it's right there, in printed black and white or video color, right in front of you.

It would be the height of naivete to claim that "normal" politicians don't think such things. Of course they do, all of them, just as any of us would if we were in their racket and, in this case, in Hillary's shoes.

But there's an insurmountable problem with that as an excuse: such a thing is simply not said in public. For countless reasons that rule is perhaps the last, absolutely inviolable rule in the political book. You violate it and you're out. There is no appeal.

The only question remaining: Will Hillary finally have the personal class to concede the obvious -- that she's got to go, now, for having transgressed that one unalterable law of political life.

Hell no. Hillary will go on "'til the last dawg,"(or political opponent) dies or maybe until the whole damn party is dead. Who cares? It is all about the Clintons and their absolute right to the White House, after which they will pass it off to Jeb.


Please respond to P.M.'s commentary by leaving comments below and sharing them with the BuzzFlash community. For personal questions or comments you can contact him at fifthcolumnistmail@gmail.com

THE FIFTH COLUMNIST by P.M. Carpenter



(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

World court: Indict Bush, Cheney and Yoo, among others

The World Court could indict, but our government would protect the war criminals, even if it meant great suffering for the American people as a result. Unless, that is, the American people took charge of the situation and rendered the bastards to the Hague.
Robert Jackson was one of the exemplary figures in American history, not to mention one of the nation's greatest patriots and one of its greatest jurists.

Here was the last of the great bootstrap lawyers like Clarence Darrow who did not attend law school but picked up their educations working under skilled lawyers and judges and achieved lasting greatness.

When it came time to pick someone to lead the U.S. team in prosecuting Nazi Germany at the Nuremberg Trials the ideal choice was then Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Robert Jackson. Those were the days when we had judges who were capable of independent thought and were not hacks pushed through the Washington process by the Federalist Society.

A basic principle enunciated by Jackson at the historic Nuremberg tribunal was that individuals were responsible for their acts and could not slide by with a variation of the Flip Wilson "The devil made me do it", which the late great comic meant as a joke and not something to be emulated.

There is also the "Ah, shucks" George W. Bush response when it was learned that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, no matter how many Limbaugh dittoheads and Fox zombies continue to believe that they really do exist, contrary to all evidence and reason.

There were but two members of the House of Representatives that took the U.S. Constitution seriously about impeaching for crimes and misdemeanors committed against the nation, the patriotic Congressman from Ohio Dennis Kucinich and the equally patriotic Congressman from Florida Robert Wexler.

Let us therefore look elsewhere for justice and beseech the World Court at The Hague to do its duty under international law and as a first consequential step indict the highly culpable, based on the available evidence, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and John Yoo.

The aforementioned represent scurrilous violators of one of the fundamental precepts enunciated at the Nuremberg Trials.

I refer to Principle VI and spell it out herewith in detail:

The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace;

(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

(b) War Crimes:

Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation of slave labor for any other purpose of the civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.

(c) Crimes against humanity:

Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.

The aforementioned language resulted to a significant degree from assertive leadership by Justice Robert Jackson and his team.

These were individuals who would decry the likes of raping prisoners, kidnapping prisoners and sending them to other nations for hostile interrogation, and indeed for waging war against a sovereign nation that posed no direct threat to its life and liberty.

In the specific case of Iraq, it had been supported by individuals in the same administration that decried the conduct of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who assumed office in a coup with assistance from the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States.

While Bush and Cheney initiated a war of aggression, they also dispersed teams from international corporate giants and New World Order designates Halliburton and Bechtel. These corporations have reaped obscene profits from a war launched in violation of international law.

The profits derived therefrom are consequently illegal under international law and should be disgorged. An international class action should be initiated to disgorge obscene and illegal profits.

These monies, along with punitive damages, should go to the victims of these catastrophic policies that have led to destruction in Iraq in the form of some 1.2 million deaths of citizens according to the respected British journal Lancet and some 2.5 refugees, many of whom are helpless and homeless, crowding the borders of neighboring Middle East nations.

John Yoo is a particular subject of interest for delivering "legal opinions" from the U.S. Justice Department providing the commander in chief with the right to do anything to anyone on the constitutionally unwarranted pretext that since 9/11 the nation has been at war and hence there are no limits on the executive branch; no type of torture designated too heinous to practice.

Meanwhile we live in a political climate where waterboarding and rape are practiced under the guise of "interrogation" and the U.S. Congress has been collectively missing in action in addressing unconstitutional grievances that they are duty bound under oath of office to vigorously prosecute.

In the interest of combating international lawlessness carried out by individuals with dictatorial mentalities, it is time for the World Court to take notice of this steady pattern of lawless disrespect for international law and elementary principles of human decency.



(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Clinton Is Going To Tie The Democratic Party In Knots.

Maybe she will do for the democrats what W. has done for the republicans or, at least, start the process.

Glory Hallelujah.

Here is America's grand opportunity to escape from the dualistic lie of the two party system. We had better be thinking of a way to capitalize on it within the next 2 to 4 years.

By Eugene Robinson

WASHINGTON—Commentators trying to discern the Hillary Clinton campaign’s endgame strategy have posited any number of wheels-within-wheels scenarios worthy of a spy novel. The simple truth has nothing to do with logic and everything to do with instinct: Keep moving forward until you drop.

It’s not that she’s making a calculated play for the vice presidency or trying to set herself up for another campaign in 2012 or 2016. To those who know her, it’s that she really wants to be president, and that she has come tantalizingly close, and that she’s going to keep moving toward that goal even if there’s no obvious way to reach it. At this point, her campaign is about getting to tomorrow, and then getting to the next day, and then getting to the day after that.

Long ago, the Clinton campaign took to heart the Talking Heads’ advice to “Stop Making Sense.” Back in January, the campaign’s position was that amassing delegates was the only true measure of who was winning the nomination. But when Barack Obama surged ahead in the tally of pledged delegates, winning 11 primaries and caucuses in a row, the Clinton brain trust started making a case for “the popular vote” as the most reliable indicator of the party’s wishes.

Does an aggregate count of votes mean anything when some states held closed primaries where only registered Democrats could participate, some states held open primaries where independents and/or Republicans could also vote, and some states held caucuses that basically involved a show of hands in gymnasiums and community centers?

It means nothing. But the Clinton campaign has found a way to claim that if for some reason you did this ridiculous exercise of lumping together apples, oranges and bowling balls, and finally came up with two numbers, hers would be greater than Obama’s. Since Obama now leads substantially in both pledged delegates and superdelegates—and since he has enormous leads in fundraising and the number of states won—the spurious “popular vote” metric is all that Clinton has. So she’s playing the hand she was dealt.

Even this tenuous advantage, however, requires counting all the votes cast for Clinton in Michigan, where Obama wasn’t on the ballot, and in Florida, where neither candidate campaigned. A few months ago, Clinton had no problem with the fact that votes in those two states—which defied Democratic Party officials by moving their primaries up in the calendar—wouldn’t count. Rules, after all, were rules.

Now, maybe rules aren’t rules after all. Keep moving forward until you drop. In a speech Wednesday, Clinton evoked the Declaration of Independence, the abolitionist movement, the civil rights struggle and the campaign for women’s suffrage as she demanded that the votes from two unrecognized primaries be counted.

“Over the top” is an inadequate characterization of the speech Clinton gave in Boca Raton, Fla. She spoke of “a shared civic faith ... equal justice under the law ... extending the frontiers of our democracy,” and even the men and women who “knelt down on that bridge in Selma to pray and were beaten within an inch of their lives.”

“Now, I’ve heard some say that counting Florida and Michigan would be changing the rules,” Clinton said.

Yes, it would be.

“I say that not counting Florida and Michigan,” Clinton went on, “is changing a central governing rule of this country—that whenever we can understand the clear intent of the voters, their votes should be counted.”

Any Democratic politician who goes to Florida and rails about the “clear intent” of voters is making a not-so-subtle reference to the post-election mess in 2000, when the nation learned more than it ever wanted to know about hanging chads.

It won’t work, though.

Clinton knows that even the disputed delegates she “won” in Florida and Michigan won’t get her to the magic number she needs to win the nomination. Some commentators have speculated that she wants to have the votes counted simply so that she can semi-plausibly claim to have had more popular support than Obama, a distinction that would serve her well if she ran again in four or eight years. I say dream on; the Clintons don’t do moral victories.

Hillary Clinton is after the White House, and if that means using the Florida and Michigan “issue” to tie the party in knots until the convention, so be it.

If that’s not what party leaders want, they’d better do something. Because Clinton is going to keep moving forward.

Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.

© 2008, Washington Post Writers Group


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Oil Prices Too High? Just Wait. You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

If Americans had the sense God gave a dead jackass, they would begin drastic changes in their consumer habits, especially energy consumption.

For those of us who began making the needed shifts long ago, 15 cheers and keep up the good work!

Think oil prices hurt now? Just wait


Sky-high oil prices are causing pain at the pump, but bills for air conditioning this summer and heating next winter -- combined with rising food costs -- promise to squeeze U.S. consumers even more."For the areas of the economy that rely on heating oil, high fuel prices are going to be another blow to the consumer this winter," said Jack Kyser, chief economist at the LA County Economic Development Corp. "The hotter states will feel the pinch during the summer months but in the mid-America states where you get hot summers and cold winters, it's going to be very uncomfortable," he said. "This is going to eat into the disposable income of American consumers -- supposing they have any left."


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Daniel Berrigan: The Worst Time Of His Long Life


Me too, Father Berrigan.....me too, and there are many more of us who feel the same. God Bless you, Sir, for your leadership back then


Posted on May 22, 2008


Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges recently spoke to Father Daniel Berrigan, who at 87 is observing the 40th anniversary of a crucial act of civil disobedience in Catonsville, Md. The priest offers Hedges a frank assessment of our times: “I have never had such meager expectations of the system.”


Chris Hedges in The Nation:


Forty years ago this month, Father Daniel Berrigan walked into a draft board in Catonsville, Maryland, with eight other activists, including his brother, Father Philip Berrigan, and removed draft files of young men who were about to be sent to Vietnam. The group carted the files outside and burned them in two garbage cans with homemade napalm. Father Berrigan was tried, found guilty, spent four months as a fugitive from the FBI, was apprehended and sent to prison for eighteen months.


Father Berrigan, unbowed at 87, sat primly in a straight-backed wooden chair as the afternoon light slanted in from the windows, illuminating the collection of watercolors and religious icons on the walls of his small apartment in upper Manhattan. Time and age have not blunted this Jesuit priest’s fierce critique of the American empire or his radical interpretation of the Gospels. There would be many more “actions” and jail time after his release from prison, including a sentence for his illegal entry into a General Electric nuclear missile plant in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, on September 9, 1980, with seven other activists, where they poured blood and hammered on Mark 12A warheads.


“This is the worst time of my long life,” he said with a sigh. “I have never had such meager expectations of the system. I find those expectations verified in the paucity and shallowness every day I live.”

Read more


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Straight Talk Express: Nasty With The Smell Of K-Street


By Joe Conason

Disturbed by troubling connections and unflattering publicity, John McCain has just purged several prominent Washington lobbyists from his presidential campaign. Surely his intentions are laudable, but if Sen. McCain is consistent in ridding his campaign of such compromised people, he will find himself riding lonesome on the Straight Talk Express. That’s because nearly all of his advisers, fundraisers and top staffers have worked on K Street, starting with his campaign manager, Rick Davis, and his senior adviser and spokesman, Charles Black.

From the beginning, the McCain team has been thoroughly infested with representatives of corporate special interests, from the campaign’s national co-chairs, finance chairs, policy and political directors, and deputies of all descriptions down to the chairman of Young Professionals for McCain, who just happens to lobby for Airbus, the European aviation firm that benefited from the Arizona senator’s long inquest against Boeing.

Perhaps the senator hasn’t been paying attention for the past few decades, for he somehow seems to have surrounded himself with exactly the kind of Washington hustlers he professes to despise. How this happened is a question that McCain must answer for himself. What must be truly impressive to anyone glancing over the résum&ecute;s of Davis and Black, as well as the lesser members of the McCain entourage, is their magnetic attraction for the most questionable clients in the world.

Consider Charlie Black, a longtime Republican operative, whose lobbying activities first drew negative attention during the Reagan administration, when he represented such august figures as Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire and Angolan rebel Jonas Savimbi. Marcos and Mobutu were infamous despots with a penchant for looting their own nations’ economies, as well as any American aid that came their way (presumably as a result of Black’s assistance). The theft of funds from taxpayers by those two crooks eventually mounted into the billions, and they savagely repressed democratic forces with U.S. arms. As for Savimbi, he was merely an authoritarian thug, a Maoist ideologue and, according to some reports, a sometime cannibal.

We safely can assume that Black never returned any of the stolen blood money that paid for his services. Recently, he has suggested that U.S. government support for those dictatorial regimes somehow justified his profiteering, as if he weren’t involved in shoring up that support.

Meanwhile, Davis was toiling in the Reagan White House as a Cabinet functionary, where his jobs included liaison with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, site of a major domestic looting scandal during those years. When he testified about his role in those events, his recollections of the influence peddling that had given housing contracts to well-connected Republicans were dim at best. But when he left the public payroll, he landed at the lobbying firm of Paul Manafort, who had gotten one of the most profitable of the HUD sweetheart deals, for a $30-million development in New Jersey.

Aside from the usual roster of deep-pocketed corporations paying to have their way with Congress, the White House and the federal agencies—which horrifies Sen. McCain, lest anybody forget—the McCain advisers have attracted a number of particularly noisome accounts.

For several years, Davis represented GTech, the lottery and gambling conglomerate that has been embroiled in bribery scandals in several countries, including the United States. During that same period, his firm also represented the government of Nigeria, among the most flamboyantly corrupt regimes in the world, at the time under the boot heel of the murderous Gen. Sani Abacha.

More recently, he has cultivated the business of Oleg Deripaska, the Russian mega-billionaire, who made his fortune by seizing control of Russia’s aluminum industry during the violent “Aluminum Wars.” That history earned him a reputation as an unscrupulous mafioso and put him on the State Department’s visa watch list until certain American lobbyists fixed the problem. According to The Washington Post, Davis arranged at least two meetings in Europe between Deripaska, a close ally of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, and Sen. McCain, a critic of Putin’s oligarchic and undemocratic government.

These episodes scarcely begin to describe the careers of Davis, Black and their colleagues on the McCain team. They’ve put lipstick on a lot of pigs.

But the question is why, at this late date, the Republican nominee-in-waiting is pretending to be shocked by “conflicts of interest” in which he stands neck deep and why he dismisses four or five lobbyists while keeping dozens of others, including his top advisers, because they claim to be “retired” or on “leaves of absence” from their businesses. He knows that a press release won’t change the habits of a lifetime in Washington’s corrupt corporate culture, but apparently he hopes we will think so.

Joe Conason writes for The New York Observer (www.observer.com). To find out more about Conason, visit the Creators Syndicate Web site at www.creators.com.

© 2008 Creators Syndicate Inc.


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Clinton Raises The Spector of The Unspeakable

Perhaps it should not be so unspeakable. As a matter of fact, it should be spoken about until the truth about it finally emerges.....

By Libby Copeland
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 24, 2008; C01

Smart candidates don't invoke the possibility of their opponents being killed. This seems so obvious it shouldn't need to be said, but apparently, it needs to be said.

"We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California," Hillary Clinton said yesterday, referencing the fact that past nomination contests have stretched into June to explain why she hasn't heeded calls to exit the Democratic race. She was in an editorial board meeting with a South Dakota newspaper, and she didn't even seem to notice she'd just uttered the unutterable.

The nation's political science students, our future strategists and campaign managers, would do well to pay attention to this moment. There are taboos in presidential politics, and this is one of the biggest. To raise the specter of a rival's assassination, even unintentionally, is to make a truly terrible thing real. It sounds like one might be waiting for a terrible thing to happen, even if one isn't. It sounds almost like wishful thinking.

Perhaps it is wishful thinking on the part of quite a few people and not all of them are in Hillary's camp.

If there were any doubt about the taboo nature of discussing such a thing, witness the reaction Barack Obama's campaign put out, which carefully avoided any repetition of what Clinton had actually said. To repeat it would be to repeat the possibility of the terrible thing.

"Senator Clinton's statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign," spokesman Bill Burton e-mailed. (A reporter checking his BlackBerry after an overlong smoke break would have no inkling of what was so unfortunate.)

Clinton issued a statement apologizing "if" she'd been in "any way offensive," and a spokesman tried to clarify what she meant.

If? IF? Of course it is offensive, unless, one is attempting to get to the bottom of the 60s assassinations, why bring it up at all?

"She was talking about the length of the race and using the '68 election as an example of how long the races in the past have gone," Howard Wolfson said, missing the point. What she meant was: We can wait a little longer to know who the Democratic nominee is. What she said was: assassinated.

Yep, Bobby was headed for the nomination, when in June, after winning California, he was gunned down. But let's not forget what happened after that. That year the Democrats lost to two time loser Richard M. Nixon and the first effort at the "Imperial presidency" began.

In fact, she had used similar, more carefully phrased language back in March, in a Time magazine interview: "Primary contests used to last a lot longer. We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A. My husband didn't wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June. Having a primary contest go through June is nothing particularly unusual."

The fear of a president or a presidential candidate being shot or assassinated is horrifying precisely because recent history teaches us that it can happen. We don't need anybody to remind us, and we certainly don't need anybody to remind whatever suggestible wackos might be lurking in the shadows.

Suggestible whackos? Uh huh. Does anyone actually believe that anymore, if they ever did?

In the context of Obama, Clinton's words broke a double taboo, because since the beginning of his candidacy, some of Obama's supporters have feared that his race made him more of a target than other presidential hopefuls. Obama was placed under Secret Service protection early, a full year ago. To be unaware that one's words tap into a monumental fear that exists in a portion of the electorate -- a fear that Obama's race could get him killed -- is an unusual mistake for a serious and highly disciplined presidential candidate.

As I recall, John and Bobby Kennedy were white and their assassinations had nothing to do with race. MLK was, no doubt, killed because of race, but that probably wasn't the only reason. The one thing all three had in common was that they were Democrats.

It's surprising, too, because something very similar just happened last week, when Mike Huckabee made a joke at an NRA convention about somebody aiming a gun at Obama. He later apologized and called his remarks "offensive." He also could have called them "instructive" for any politician paying attention.

If they didn't already know.


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Election Process: Fastened To A Dying Animal

What motivation do they have to change the system by which they've thrived? McCain, Clinton, and Obama must serve the interests of the corrupt corporate class -- or else they would be marginalized.

Here in this crumbling empire once known as the American Republic, here in a nation that, at present, for all practical purposes, only produces Cheetos and killer drones, whose architecture is being winnowed down to thriving rural meth houses and foreclosed upon suburban mchouses, whose corrupt corporate culture has bequeathed upon our suffering planet dying oceans and the hyper-caffeinated tsunami of Red Bull Capitalism -- the essential question confronts us -- how does one retain (not retail) one's humanity amid the catastrophic machinery and inane accoutrement of our age?

"Show your wounds," exhorted the late 20th Century artist Joseph Bueys. The wound becomes the womb, poets tell us.

Out of painful truth, beauty is born. But, antithetical to the orthodoxies of consumer capitalism, there are no shortcuts.

According to legend, Faust sold his soul for a glimpse of eternal beauty and the hidden knowledge of the world. Sadly, we've done likewise (but worse, pathetically) for a glimpse of Paris Hilton's privileged (but hardly gated and guarded) cooter.

Here, now, sprawled upon the detritus of our dignity, we are confronted by the exponential dynamics of decay known as the U.S. Presidential Election cycle. In this, all three corporate candidates are of little use to us.

Although all three have done very well for themselves by the present and prevailing arrangement known as Disaster Capitalism.

What motivation do they have to change the system by which they've thrived? McCain, Clinton, and Obama must serve the interests of the corrupt corporate class -- or else they would be marginalized.

Paradoxically, as we have witnessed, as of late, if they make even the most minute rumblings to the contrary -- as for example, blundering into a steaming pile of the obvious such as the observation that the battered laboring class of the nation might be embittered by their lot --- they risk political immolation by being labeled an elitist.

Of course, Obama is an elitist. (As are Clinton and McCain.)

And he has been put on notice by the Powers That Be that they have no problem with him being among their ranks, as long as he doesn't go rattling off at the mouth about those the rigged system benefits and those it kicks daily in the gut.

Because in a political culture as far down the rabbit hole as is this one, the surest way to be branded an elitist is to refuse to serve the elite. (Not that Obama threatened any such thing.)

This is the modus operandi of the lacquered, autoerotic dudes and dolls of the corporate media and the K Street cash-flushed phonies of the American political classes: Pose as protecters of the beer-bleary multitudes, as, all the while, carrying vintage Cabernet for a privileged few.

This is not a situation fraught with layers of ambiguity in which any deeper meaning can be mined: Below the corporate media's electronic cloud of nebulous phoniness lies a dense core of calcified phoniness.

Thus it is difficult not to harbor contempt for this cartel of narcissistic strivers who have networked the nation into a perpetual state of cataclysmic ignorance.

Seemingly, their creed is: Let the ignorant multitudes languish on the low nutrient, junk news we serve them from the drive thru windows of our corporate media outlets, while the political and business elite cannibalize what is left of the republic.

The ongoing tragedy in Iraq and the ecological and economic turmoil roiling the globe are consequences of the domination-driven mindset that the mainstream media protects. Ergo, increasingly violent responses from outside forces, both of the human and natural variety, are rising across the planet.

America, many shocks and sorrows are coming soon (probably sooner than you think) to that vacuous bubble known as "your way of life."

It should be increasingly clear to see that the corporate media's job has never been to be unbiased chroniclers of the events and circumstances of a free republic.

Rather, they are active agents serving to protect and promulgate the pernicious myths of free market capitalism. And they are a highly partisan lot.

Moreover, they have been highly successful in their mission. Hence, our lives, both inner and outer, have been conquered and colonized by the corporate empire, and a resultant forced occupation dominates our days determining the trajectory of our brief lives upon this earth.

"[S]ick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity."
-- W.B. Yeats

Yet, we, against all evidence, believe we are free actors in a spontaneous, unfolding democratic drama. When, in reality, we have been cast as dehumanized supernumeraries in a lethal farce that renders all concerned both oppressor and oppressed.

This is the central paradox that binds us. And it is why the average American cannot see our imperial occupation of Iraq and our increasingly dangerous belligerence towards Iran for what it is.

How can we have a modicum of empathy for the people of Iraq when we refuse to even glimpse our own degraded condition and our complicity therein?

"God Damn America," the people of Sadr City must rage, as the bombs shake their homes and tear the flesh from their friends and family.

"God Damn, America," I mutter, echoing the good Reverend Wright, as I witness the indifference of the American people to the war crimes committed by our nation's leaders.

By the insidious technique of propaganda by omission, the public has been manipulated into a state approaching criminal obliviousness.

"What is this crazy talk about the calamity of class stratification that defines and divides the nation, and what sort of demented, leftist loser would even raise the topic among decent company?" our present mandarins of media scoff when the topic of class inequity is broached.

Add to that, the ongoing ruse of the ceaseless dissemination of fear perfected by the right-wing media noise machine and then parroted in the mainstream media that goes something like the following:

"There are evil entities afoot in the nation known as radical liberals who scheme to take away your guns and give them to islamofascist terrorists so that those agents of Satan over at Planned Parenthood will be free to rip fetuses from their mothers wombs in order to expose the unborn to porn."

This is the reason for the cacophony of inanity that dominates the coverage of the political events of our time: It serves as white noise that drowns out unpleasant truths. It is the mood music piped into our national bubble.

Accordingly, trivial and specious narratives drive and dominate our national political debate and it has, as a consequence, rendered the nation's public too shallow to even apprehend the extent of the damage inflicted by official treachery, professional cupidity, and the degree of their own degradation therein.

Otherwise, the collective psyche of the nation would be shaken to the core. Tragically, there is no longer any core to be found.

There is merely the surface sheen of the American bubblescape ... its surface taut with inner tension as it is stretched to its limits, as, all the while, reality bristles ever closer to its over-stretched skin.

Phil Rockstroh, a self-described, auto-didactic, gasbag monologist, is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)



The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.