Advice for weary, wandering Democrats Note to Democrats: "Barack Obama put it exquisitely in his victory speech: "Government can help provide us with the basic tools we need to live out the American dream." Here's a dirty little secret. The Republicans know this. Nothing scares them more than us returning to our simple answers. ..."
NSA,FISA, and Privacy It is of course the president who finally approves of actions that may or may not be deemed legal but before 9/11, this is what he had been advised to consider "The largest U.S. spy agency warned the incoming Bush administration in its "Transition 2001" report that the Information Age required rethinking the policies and authorities that kept the National Security Agency in compliance with the Constitution's 4th Amendment prohibition on "unreasonable searches and seizures" without warrant and "probable cause," according to an updated briefing book of declassified NSA documents posted today on the World Wide Web. If this is the sort of reading you enjoy, then by all means dig about here: But then Windows allowed NSA to have a sure access to your machine . And by now we all know that Google will fight the government on making its search data base available in order to protect your privacy.(Reality: to protect Google stuff). And if you worry about search engines tracking you and making data available, then here is a workaround
The DeLay-Abramoff Money Trail The U.S. Family Network, a public advocacy group that operated in the 1990s with close ties to Rep. Tom DeLay and claimed to be a nationwide grass-roots organization, was funded almost entirely by corporations linked to embattled lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to tax records and former associates of the group.
Wahhabi U. A top U.S. diplomat recently revealed Saudi Arabia still teaches students to hate non-Muslims and the West. So why are we making it easier for Saudi students schooled in that hatred to visit the U.S.?
Governors Work to Improve H.S. Education The nation's governors offered an alarming account of the American high school Saturday, saying only drastic change will keep millions of students from falling short. "We can't keep explaining to our nation's parents or business leaders or college faculties why these kids can't do the work," said Virginia Democratic Gov. Mark Warner, as the state leaders convened for the first National Education Summit aimed at rallying governors around high school reform.
Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling Documents obtained by CNN reveal the United States knew about, and even condoned, embargo-breaking oil sales by Saddam Hussein's regime, and did so to shore up alliances with Iraq's neighbors. The oil trade with countries such as Turkey and Jordan appears to have been an open secret inside the U.S. government and the United Nations for years.
Little-Known U.S. Document Signed by President Adams Proclaims America's Government Is Secular Some people today assert that the United States government came from Christian foundations. They argue that our political system represents a Christian ideal form of government and that Jefferson, Madison, et al, had simply expressed Christian values while framing the Constitution. If this proved true, then we should have a wealth of evidence to support it, yet just the opposite proves the case. Although, indeed, many of America's colonial statesmen practiced Christianity, our most influential Founding Fathers broke away from traditional religious thinking. The ideas of the Great Enlightenment that began in Europe had begun to sever the chains of monarchical theocracy. These heretical European ideas spread throughout early America. Instead of relying on faith, people began to use reason and science as their guide. The humanistic philosophical writers of the Enlightenment, such as Locke, Rousseau, and Voltaire, had greatly influenced our Founding Fathers and Isaac Newton's mechanical and mathematical foundations served as a grounding post for their scientific reasoning.
On the Great Atlantic Divide Published on Sunday, October 26, 2003 by TomDispatch.com. By Susan Sontag. I came across this piece at dailyKos "Two weeks ago during the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Association of German Publishers and Booksellers awarded the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels (the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade) to Susan Sontag. She was cited for standing up for "the dignity of free thinking" and for her role as an "intellectual ambassador" between the United States and Europe. The association's director Dieter Schormann commented, "In a world of false images and distorted truths, she defends the honor of free thought." In its over half-century of existence, the Friedenspreis Prize has been awarded to Chinua Achebe, Max Frisch, Jurgen Habermas, Yehudi Menuhin, and Vaclav Havel among many others. An excerpt from Susan Sontag's acceptance speech was published today in the Los Angeles Times Book Review section, but I thought the whole speech, which focuses on the increasingly embattled relationship between Europe and the United States, or rather between much of Europe, especially the various peoples of Europe, and the Bush administration, was well worth reproducing as a whole. Near its end is a rare moment in which Sontag considers an aspect of her early life in public. Her most recent book, by the way, is Regarding the Pain of Others. What follows then, with her kind permission, is her full acceptance speech. (The title and subheads are, however, mine.) Tom "
Endorsement: Kerry for President Ok. The NY Times endorsed Kerry. And now the Washington Post. But now the Orlando-Sentinel, a paper that has not endorsed a Demcorat in the past 40 years! "Four years ago, the Orlando Sentinel endorsed Republican George W. Bush for president based on our trust in him to unite America. We expected him to forge bipartisan solutions to problems while keeping this nation secure and fiscally sound. This president has utterly failed to fulfill our expectations. We turn now to his Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry, with the belief that he is more likely to meet the hopes we once held for Mr. Bush. Our choice was not dictated by partisanship. Already this election season, the Sentinel has endorsed Republican Mel Martinez for the U.S. Senate and four U.S. House Republicans. In 2002, we backed Republican Gov. Jeb Bush for re-election, repeating our endorsement of four years earlier. Indeed, it has been 40 years since the Sentinel endorsed a Democrat -- Lyndon Johnson -- for president...."
Tax Man Bush says tax cuts stimulate the economy. Unfortunately, he's fallen more than 2.2 million jobs short of the projection made by his own economists.
Clinton’s Former Aide Drops Windfall in the Lap of Bush Campaign "...Presidential challenger Kerry will have to think twice before attacking Bush on national security issues lest he lay himself open to reminders that a former Clinton aide and his own adviser was caught red-handed misappropriating classified materials that revealed how a Democratic president mishandled the threat of terror...."
In policy reversal, US signals possible acceptance of theocracy in Iraq Bringing democracy to the area...Ladies: do we have some surprises in store for you. Is Iran to be the model? "The United States signaled its readiness to put up with an Islamic theocracy in future sovereign Iraq, with Secretary of State Colin Powell saying the US administration "will have to accept" any government created as a result of free and fair elections there. ..."
France, stung by Libyan WMD deal, admits US policies showing results Ok. Agreed. You don't like Bush. And the French government does not like Bush. But here is what the French now say about Libya: [...] The media, which have long criticised the US war and invasion of Iraq, grudgingly allowed that that conquest had borne fruit in terms of putting pressure on other countries Washington considers "rogue states" or part of an "axis of evil"[...]
Contractor Halliburton served troops dirty food in dirty kitchens Well, Bush served up clean turkey and these guys were busy overcharging the Pentagon on energy so they could reap big bucks...Cheney remains in his gopher hole.
Dominance and Its Dilemmas Noam Chomsky.What more be said? Those on the Left: Appaud. On the Right: sneer. If you are brither than a 15 watt bulb : read and then decide.
Important expose and interview runs on Salon today. "This evening the site the aritcle features is shut down. As soon as we get that new server up we'll host the materials (yes, we have a copy) that Diebold doesn't want the public to see. Diebold cannot silence everyone. " The links (2) for this piece can be found at URL given here. "If you're not outraged you are not paying attention. " The Agonist, as usual, is both outraged and paying attention.
The other side of liberty "At the very moment they were in Philadelphia declaring that all men are created equal, many of America's Founding Fathers were slave owners. Activists are now demanding a fuller accounting at democracy's birthplace."
USA intelligence agencies revealed Ok. But we get 5% of our oil from there. You decide.
U.S. Vows to Disarm Iraq with or Without U.N. We lead. You follow. Or get out of the way. How this will play out in terms of the very existence of the UN in the near future, the EU, and our attempt to maintain good relationship with Arab countries is anyone's guess. What is yours?
DEA leaked report on Israeli spy ring Leaked report with blacked out names and no title etc? Note that the spies, if such they are, were gathering info dealing with drug enforcement and not with American military. Is this good? No Bad? yes. But seemingly not bad enough to anything other than shipping them out. Israeli mb big on Ecstasy and DEA well aware of this (If I am, why wouldn't they?). pdf file
BOUTIQUE MEDICAL PRACTICES The answer to very good health care in America. If you can afford it. Otherwise....
Who killed John O'Neill? If the lads on the Right have their Vince Foster "mystery" death, the folks on the Left now have their John O'Neill "story."
The U.S. and the U.N. and small weapons. We seem once again at odds with the world as we defend the right to bear arms.
Summit of the Americas A very complex set of issues that are being discussed in Canada, but for most of us, all we see presented is the police, the tear gassings, the forces gathered in protest. Here, a summary of the complex issues at stake and being discussed.
What the Pentagon has lost The American spy plane carried very sophisticted andf important snoopware...did they destroy what they could before landing?
A British writer's view of the recent American election We report. You decide. An issue that will not go gently into that good night.
One nation or two? An interesting critique from afar of wehre our nation might be heading, given two separate and distinct cultures