Thursday, December 30, 2004

9/11 Was a Hoax: How and When I Knew It

Do you know the name "Tom Clancy"? Are you familiar with his work? He writes novels. His first book was called "The Hunt For Red October". Have you read that? Have you ever seen the movie? Sean Connery is in it, and so is Alec Baldwin. Does any of this ring a bell?

In my opinion it was a great book, much better than the movie. It's about a Soviet sub commander, played by Connery, who either decides to defect or launches a sneak solo attack against America. The Americans can't tell what he's up to at first. All they know is that he is headed for the East Coast of the USA, in a nuclear-missile submarine, and against orders. A really good read, and like all of Clancy's work, notable for the accuracy of its descriptions of both American and Russian military equipment, procedures, and nomenclature.

It is so accurate, in fact, that shortly after "Red October" was published, Clancy was summoned to the White House. Ronald Reagan lived there at the time, and he had read the book. Everyone in the White House had read the book, it seemed, and they had called Clancy in to find out how he had learned all the details which he had put into his novel. According to the story that came from that meeting, they were amazed to find out that everything he had written was based on material that was available in the public domain! Yes, it was all out there, tools, tactics and jargon: it was all public knowledge if you knew where and how to look. Clancy, who had spent many years playing and developing table-top war-simulation games, knew where to look, and he told them so.

After that, his books kept getting better and better, and the White House kept reading them. Clancy is the perfect author as far as those guys are concerned; all his stories paint the US military as Good Guys in a fight against Evil, and they always win, eventually. I wouldn't be surprised if the White House offered Clancy the same deal the Pentagon offers Hollywood: Say nice things about us and we will give you virtually unlimited assistance! But I am not sure about this part. I'm only speculating on that one, even though it makes a lot of sense. And I want to be careful about speculation because I want to keep this article as factual as possible.

Clancy's masterpiece, in my opinion, was a tale of global warfare called "Red Storm Rising", in which he demonstrates a knowledge of the Soviet Union which rivals or exceeds anything I have ever read elsewhere. And I have been reading American and Soviet history for a long time. But that's another story -- maybe later.

In 1996, Clancy published a novel called "Executive Orders", which by the way is dedicated to Ronald Reagan, whom Clancy calls "the man who won the war". The main plot line of "Executive Orders" concerns a terrorist attack, using biological weapons, in which the USA triumphs over evil again, after many close calls, of course. But then ... in the climactic scene of that novel, a demented JAL pilot kills his co-pilot and takes control of his passenger plane, which is full of fuel, of course, and he crashes it into the Capitol building, killing all the members of both Houses of Congress, who are assembled there for a joint session, waiting to hear a speech from the President. Fortunately for the President, he and his wife escape death by a scant few feet; they are just about to emerge from an underground tunnel as the plane strikes. The President sees the flash and goes back into the tunnel, his life is spared by a matter of seconds! Wow! What a finish! What a book!

The CIA has long had a policy of reading every book that ever gets published. Fact or fiction, English or foreign languages, they read everything. They say they are looking for new ideas, new techniques, new ways to commit a crime. They say they don't want to be surprised by a case where life imitates art. That's what they say. They are possibly using the ideas for other purposes, of course, so I don't know how much to believe. But I do believe that they are reading everything they can get their hands on. And even if they are not reading absolutely everything that gets published nowadays, with the so-called information explosion happening everywhere, they are certainly reading Clancy.

As well they should. He's a master of suspense, a gifted storyteller, and his knowledge is first-rate. Hell, I read Clancy. I read "Executive Orders" in 1999, when it finally came along in deleted paperback for only $7, rather than the $35 or so that it cost for the hardcover edition.

Now: What did I see on September 11, 2001? Here's my story. I usually sleep late. We usually don't turn on the TV until late in the day. And so we knew nothing until about 10:00 AM (Eastern Time). The phone rang, my wife answered it, and after only a few seconds she yelled "Come quick! Something's happening! Turn on the TV!"

So I turned it on and started flipping through the channels. But it didn't matter where I went because every station was showing the same thing.

They were running the same short clips over and over again: a passenger jet hits the WTC, sending up a big fireball. Then a tower collapses. Over and over.

At some point we heard about the attack on the Pentagon. At some point we saw video of the second tower collapsing. I had started rolling a videotape within seconds of turning on the television, and I watched that tape a bit, later. Unfortunately, I didn't keep the tape. I thought it was too morbid, too scary, too awful to keep. I wish I still had that tape today. All I have is my memory... But I have a pretty good memory.

What did I think when I saw those clips? The first thought that came into my mind was "Message from bin Laden: 'Ignore us at your peril'" ... and the next thought that came to me was "But how? How could this happen? They know about him. Hell, if I know about him then surely they do! And how could hijacked airplanes fly freely in the most heavily defended airspace on the planet?"

All this came to me within 10 seconds after I turned on the television. Then my wife's voice came to me -- virtually disembodied, and seemingly from a great distance. She was saying: "What's happening? Is this World War Three?" I said: "I dunno." But I was thinking: "Oh yeah".

I spent parts of the day watching TV, looking at all the major networks as well as the local coverage out of NYC. The rest of the day I spent pacing and thinking and trying very hard not to lose my marbles completely. Eventually all the action seemed to have stopped, and no more planes were in the air, so no further hijackings were possible. And it seemed that everyone had suddenly become so completely stupid that nobody could imagine that terrorists could possibly attack in any other way, which of course they could. But they didn't, so we all started to relax, and after a while the networks shifted into something that approximated 'analysis'.

And I began to notice something strange: all the major networks were bringing in scads of talking heads and many of them were former or current national security dweebs. I know that current and former national security dweebs don't normally give scads of interviews, so I was curious to see so many of them, seemingly everywhere, and all at the same time.

And I paid close attention to what they were saying, particularly Henry Kissinger, who said, as did all the others, "Well of course it's a tremendous tragedy, but we have to remember that this was an attack not just on America but on the entire world, and the whole world needs to work together to eliminate international terrorism."

Maybe this is not the exact wording of Kissinger's message, but it is very close. It is very close to what they all said. They may have used slightly different words, but they were all saying exactly the same thing. And as I paced around and tried to hold onto my marbles, I started to realize some of the implications of what I had just seen.

On 9/11 we saw all kinds of different reactions from all kinds of different people, and all of them were just bowled over by the event: the magnitude, the ferocity, the skill and knowledge that must have gone into the planning. And I began to wonder: How could it be that during this completely unexpected, completely unprecedented, completely new kind of event, an event so startling that many people on the ground in Manhattan said they felt as though they were watching a movie rather than reality, all these national security dweebs were not only taking it all in stride, but also, and even more tellingly, all saying essentially the same thing about it? How could this happen? I kept pacing, holding tight to my marbles, and asking myself some very tough questions.

Later in the afternoon, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld gave a short briefing in which he said (I'm paraphrasing again) "We had no idea that something like this could be possible. We could never have imagined terrorists using passenger planes as weapons, crashing them into buildings; this is just so outrageous that nobody could have imagined anything like this, let alone prepared for it or defended against it."

To me it sounded as if Rumsfeld had just said "We don't read Tom Clancy".

National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice appeared on TV that day too, and she said essentially the same thing. The official White House transcript of Rice's 9/11 press conference gives her words as: "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile."

Maybe she really could not have predicted what "these people" [whoever they were] would do. But then again, maybe her sentence was deliberately structured in such a way as to make it impossible to disprove.

But to me it sounded as if Condoleeza Rice had just said "We don't read Tom Clancy".

Clancy is an expert on the Soviet military. Rice is a Soviet specialist too. And she doesn't read him? She had no idea that anyone "would try to use an airplane as a missile"? Yeah, right.

So ... I have been suspicious of the 'official story' ever since 9/11. Or perhaps I should rephrase that. Suppose Rumsfeld had come on TV and said "You have just witnessed a military coup d'etat. We are in control now. No further dissent will be tolerated. That is all." If he had said that instead of what he did say, I would not have been surprised. Let's put it that way.

I kept watching the video of the WTC towers falling. And it looked like they had blown up, at least to me, even though the talking heads kept saying they had "collapsed.". I kept thinking about what Rumsfeld and Rice had said that day, and how the towers had fallen, and none of it made any sense ... except if they were hiding something.

But then denial kicked in. I didn't want to believe what my eyes had seen, what my ears had heard, what my brain told me it all meant. And so I didn't accept the obvious truth of the matter right away. But I kept my eyes and ears open.

Over the next few days and weeks I began to see more holes in the story, more impossible coincidences, more utterly unbelievable aspects to the tale. Eventually I was able to convince my sentimental heart that what my brain had figured out on the afternoon of 9/11 was indeed true.

It was an inside job. They knew it was going to happen, and it coincided with their secret agenda completely, and they took full advantage of it. Or maybe rather than sitting back and allowing it to happen, they actively made it happen. It doesn't really matter how you phrase it; these are two ways of saying the same thing. In an event of this nature, allowing it to happen is the same as making it happen.

I did a lot of pacing and wondering during the week of the tragedy. And I paid close attention to everything. Some of the things that happened after 9/11, happened so soon after 9/11, that it's impossible to imagine they happened in response to the event. But I am getting ahead of myself here.

At some point, early in the afternoon, I believe, the talking heads on all the TV stations started to talk about Osama bin Laden, although they were spelling his first name "Usama" back then, and eventually it was reported that bin Laden was holed up in Afghanistan, and by suppertime we had most of the details that we would ever get: names and grainy photos of the hijackers, news of a rented car found abandoned at Logan with a flight manual in the back seat -- written in Arabic! And news that among the zillions of tons of toxic grey dust that covered Manhattan, someone had managed to recover an alleged hijacker's passport -- and it was intact, although it was singed around the edges, of course. By the end of the day the outline of the story was out -- and by the end of the next day the 'whole story' was out: 19 hijackers had taken control of four planes and done all this damage. And the leader of this whole evil bunch was a guy by the name of Osama bin Laden, who just happened to be hanging out in Afghanistan.

It seemed strange that they didn't have any idea what was happening or who was doing it at 9:00 in the morning but by 9:00 at night the whole complicated plot had been solved. Very strange indeed. It seemed strange that the national security wonks came on TV at the same time and said the same thing. It seemed strange that Rice and Rumsfeld both said "this could not have been expected". All these things made no sense... except if it was a 'black op'.

In black ops -- clandestine operations -- the 'official story' is called a 'legend'. In a classic black op, the legend is carefully constructed and documented long before the crime is committed, and then the details are slowly leaked to the stunned public. The same thing happened when JFK was killed. At 2:00 in the afternoon, JFK was dead but we didn't know anything else. By midnight the whole story was out: the crime had been committed by a communist sympathizer acting alone, who had already been arrested and charged. Everyone was safe, the nation was told. And the 'case' was 'closed'.

But in the week or so after 9/11, I spent a lot of time thinking about the term 'legend' and reflecting on how, if this were a black op, the legend had been disseminated. It all seemed too pat. It all seemed too conclusive. It all smelled so fishy. And I thought: Maybe the reason why it smells so fishy is because it's fish! In other words, you're watching a legend develop.

Late on the night of 9/11, there were huge vigils in Manhattan. People had brought pictures of their lost loved ones, whom they called 'missing'. There were flowers and candles all over the place, people sitting quietly holding hands or just staring into the tiny flames of the candles. It was a heartbreaking scene, repeated over and over all over lower Manhattan. At many points it was too painful to watch.

But at one point when I was watching, the TV camera found and zoomed in on something that looked very out of place. There amid the flowers and the candles, among all the weeping silent people, there was a hand-painted sign, which, if I remember correctly, said "President Bush: Bomb Afghanistan Tonight". Ever since that night, I have wondered who painted that sign, who planted it in the midst of those grieving people, and who pointed it out to the TV cameraman.

I didn't sleep that night. I didn't sleep much for the next week or two. Maybe it was a month; I can't really remember. But it doesn't make any difference.

I kept listening to the radio and watching TV, looking for clues to what had happened on that horrible Tuesday morning. Items drifted in, large and small. I videotaped some more TV coverage, and I got a copy of the "fireman video", the French crew's accidental shot of the first plane crashing into the first tower. I got piles and piles of footage of the towers falling, and I noticed that it was all the same footage. Every network seemed to have the same cut-and-pasted sequence showing 'highlights' of the day's events. Crash, burn, crumble. So the scene of the second plane crashing into the second tower was everywhere too, and the more I looked at the footage of the two planes, the more suspicious I got.

The two collisions, the two planes themselves, looked very different. Much more so than could be explained by the difference in cameras and the difference in camera angles, and so on. It looked like there were two very different kinds of planes! Two very different kinds of impacts, too. And I remembered hearing early eyewitness reports saying that the impact with the first tower involved a 'small, military-type aircraft'. This report got buried in the avalanche of legend-building, but I always wondered whether it might have been true.

Eventually, I began to hear other news of the day. Some of it came from European radio broadcasts. One such item concerned an 'emergency preparedness drill' that had been scheduled for the morning of 9/11. The drill involved a disabled airplane crashing into a CIA building in Virginia. And the story came out through the CIA's own website. I heard about it on the radio. And that was the last straw. I could no longer trust my sentimental heart. My brain had been right all along. We'd been duped.

The people we trust to protect us couldn't have predicted an event such as a plane flying into an office building, and in fact they were so completely unable to predict such an event that they were preparing to run a drill -- that very day -- based on that very scenario. Oh yeah. Yeah, right! Either that, or our government had been infiltrated, at the highest level, by murderous traitors. I knew that one of these two was impossible. But as far as I knew, everyone else had bought into 'the legend'.

I've known for a long time that there are a lot of kooks publishing kooky stuff on the internet. I had seen for myself many examples of web pages containing blatant falsehoods. And I have never trusted anything I have found on the net, at least not without extensive checking.

But please note: I have not mentioned anything here that came from the internet. Everything -- every single thing -- that made me suspicious of the 9/11 legend came from the mainstream North American and European media. None of these details were presented as refuting the legend, of course. But for those who were paying attention, the refutation was there, right along with the legend.

I've read a lot of analysis since that day. Some of it seems like disinformation to me; some of it seems like it might be accurate. I don't think we will ever know which parts are real and which parts are not. I don't think we will ever know the complete story of what happened on 9/11. But then again I don't think it matters very much. We have seen enough now to know that the legend was false. And that's enough for me.

I can't explain it any better than this quote from Fletcher Prouty:
A conspiracy is a plan, usually an evil or unlawful plan. It involves two or more people. The denial of the fact of a conspiracy, i.e. the cover story, is like a bubble. Once any part of it is proved to be false, it bursts and the cover story is exposed. Like a balloon, it is not necessary to burst a cover story with ten or fifteen pins. It collapses with only one bit of circumstantial evidence that is undeniable.
In retrospect I can see so many parallels between the JFK assassination and the 9/11 attacks that I find myself wondering whether these two national tragedies are all part of the same event: a gradual coup d'etat that has turned America from a more-or-less peaceful liberal democracy into a raging war-mongering tyranny. I don't have any answers, but I sure do have a lot of questions.

And I'm reminded of a beautiful song, a minor hit from the mid-seventies. The band was called "Ace". The lead singer was Paul Carrack. I think he wrote this, although I am not sure. I'll try to find out.

But of this much I am certain: in the back of my mind I still hear his voice:

How Long?

Oh, your friends with their fancy persuasion
Don't admit that it's part of a scheme
But I can't help but have my suspicion
'Cause I ain't quite as dumb as I seem
Oh, you said you was never intending
To break up our singing this way
But there ain't any use in pretendin'
It could happen to us any day

And how long has this been going on?
How long has this been going on?
How long?

How long has this been going on?
How long has this been going on?
How long has this been going on?
How long?
How long has this been going on?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

What Caused The Killer Tsunami?

An article published today by Independent Media TV raises some very serious questions about the causes of the December 26th earthquake which triggered the tsnumai which -- so far -- has killed more than 50,000 people. Is it possible that these people lost their lives because of reckless use of oil-exploration techniques? At least one reporter is suspicious. Here's a long excerpt from the piece by Andrew Limburg:

On November 28th, one month ago, Reuters reported that during a 3 day span 169 whales and dolphins beached themselves in Tasmania, an island of the southern coast of mainland Australia and in New Zealand. The cause for these beachings is not known, but Bob Brown, a senator in the Australian parliament, said "sound bombing" or seismic tests of ocean floors to test for oil and gas had been carried out near the sites of the Tasmanian beachings recently.

According to Jim Cummings of the Acoustic Ecology Institute, Seismic surveys utilizing airguns have been taking place in mineral-rich areas of the world’s oceans since 1968. Among the areas that have experienced the most intense survey activity are the North Sea, the Beaufort Sea (off Alaska’s North Slope), and the Gulf of Mexico; areas around Australia and South America are also current hot-spots of activity.

The impulses created by the release of air from arrays of up to 24 airguns create low frequency sound waves powerful enough to penetrate up to 40km below the seafloor. The “source level" of these sound waves is generally over 200dB (and often 230dB or more), roughly comparable to a sound of at least 140-170dB in air.

According to the Australian Conservation Foundation, these 200dB – 230dB shots from the airguns are fired every few seconds, from 10 meters below the surface, 24 hours a day, weather permitting.

These types of tests are known to affect whales and dolphins, whose acute hearing and use of sonar is very sensitive.

On December 24th there was a magnitude 8.1 earthquake more than 500 miles southeast of Tasmania near New Zealand, with a subsequent aftershock 6.1 a little later in the morning that same day.

On December 26th, the magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck at the intersection of the Australian tectonic plate and the India tectonic plate. This is the devastating tragedy that we have all heard about. The death toll of this horrific event has reached 52,000 souls and continues to rise.

On December 27th, 20 whales beached themselves 110 miles west of Hobart on the southern island state of Tasmania.

What is interesting about this is that the same place where the whale beachings have been taking place over the last 30 days is the same general area where the 8.1 Australian earthquake took place, and this is the same area where they are doing these seismic tests. Then 2 days after the Australian tectonic plate shifted, the 9.0 earthquake shook the coast of Indonesia.

A great deal of interest and seismic testing has been taking place in this area, as the government of Australia has given great tax breaks to encourage the oil exploration.

Too scary to believe? Too scary not to believe? You can decide right away if you like, or if -- like your humble scribbler -- you prefer to have more evidence, you can sit back and wait, and see what emerges. I'll post more info on this blog if I learn anything more.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Why The Iraqi Elections Won't Be Postponed

The Russians are unhappy with American interference in Ukranian elections, as could be expected. They are also unhappy with American plans for Iraq, as explained in this article in Aljazeera: Russia warns US over Ukraine vote Here's an excerpt:

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week blasted the West for complaining about irregularities in the Ukrainian electoral process while pressing ahead with plans to hold a vote next month in Iraq despite the bloodshed there and the "occupation" by US-led troops.

"We do not understand how there can be an election in a country under conditions of total occupation. ... It's absurd. It's a farce," Putin said.

Sure it's absurd. Sure it's a farce. But it's going to happen. No matter what. Bush has made this very clear over and over. But he never tells us why. It seems like a good question.

Why is the USA so anxious to hold elections in Iraq? To bolster the claim that they are 'democratizing' Iraq? No, not really. The upcoming Iraqi 'election' is not about democracy. How could it be? The Bush administration doesn't care about democracy anyway, as has been very clear for a long time. This is about something more important [to them, anyway]. It's about money. You see, it's against international law to plunder a country while you are occupying it militarily. But if it has an 'elected' government, you can legally rob it blind. Naomi Klein explains all this in an excellent essay, Baghdad Year Zero

International law prohibits occupiers from selling state assets themselves, but it doesn’t say anything about the puppet governments they appoint.

I urge you to read the entire article.

Meanwhile, how are things going in Iraq? Big surprise: apparently wishful thinking is still not a viable strategy. Here's an excerpt from Think tanks slam US Iraq strategy:

The Wasington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIC) said on Wednesday that the US is facing increasingly deadly attacks in Iraq because it has failed to honestly assess facts on the ground.

And in a report published on the same day, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group said Iraqi hostility towards the US-led "occupation" means that Washington can no longer achieve its pre-war goals.

The CSIC report, prepared by senior fellow Anthony Cordesman, said administration spokesmen had appeared to live "in a fantasyland" when giving accounts of events in Iraq.

Three cheers for Anthony Cordesman. It of courage to tell the truth these days. It even takes courage just to face the truth. But some of us are still trying.

Oh War / Merry Christmas

Some days I just cannot get past the utter depravity of it all. We've got cold-blooded mass murder, routine torture, blind blinded blinding patriotism, and a media-inspired madness that has self-described Christians clamoring for all manner of grotesque and inhuman cruelty. Merry Christmas to all.

And it gets worse: Now we're supposed to believe that this horror is justified by the president's claim that God speaks through him. Oh really? What kind of God would tell anyone to do this? What kind of America would allow it?

Words fail me. Or at least, I don't have any more words of my own.

Listen to Pye Dubois, writing for Max Webster:

Oh War

Oh war, it's been done before
that's what they say
I wasn't there, they say there's one today
I don't care, I'm not there today

'cause I'd say "fuck you" instead of "thank you"
your choice under your breath
oh say go to hell
I'll go American express

Oh war, history says you're in it
your sister's boyfriend's in it
so so long, soldier, wash your socks and guns
and just remember
if you don't see a profit, sell your stocks and run

'cause I'd say "fuck you" instead of "thank you"
your choice under your breath
oh say no to hell
I'll go American express

Friday, December 24, 2004

Some Dare Call It Treason

Many years ago we used to joke that if you wanted the truth about the Soviet Union you should read the Americans, but if you wanted the truth about the United States you'd have to read the Russians.

This essay proves the point quite nicely. Pravda looks at what has been happening to America during the last four years, and dares to call it treason!

Good call, Pravda!

By the way, I found the link to this article on Bando Bling's blog, 2004 Election Fraud. Good blog, Bando! Thanks for the link.

I'll leave you with a few words from the late Joe Strummer:

A lot of people won't get no supper tonight
A lot of people won't get no justice tonight
Remember to kick it over
No one will guide you
Armagideon Time

Fighting Symbolism With Symbolism

The Canadian flag isn't flying in the province of Newfoudland and Labrador at the moment, and it won't be flying there soon, according to this story from the CBC.

Premier Danny Williams has removed the Maple Leaf from the flagpoles in his province, in protest over the way Newfoundland and Labrador have been treated by the federal government. It's a dispute that's been going on for a long time now, and as I understand it, Newfoundland is getting hit with the short end of the stick. Again.

I applaud the action taken today by Danny Williams. We'll probably hear all kinds of bellyaching from the feds; they've already started whining about how Williams has shown disrespect for a national symbol. But this isn't the first time Newfoundland has been screwed by Ottawa, and it does my heart a world of good to see Williams fighting symbolism with symbolism. It's a great tactic, isn't it? The statement is made loud and clear, in a way that cannot fail to garner national attention, and meanwhile nobody has been hurt. Those Maritimers are so darned clever!

Are you listening, Blue states?

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Who Gassed The Kurds In Halabja?

There's a very disturbing story on Aljazeera at the moment, concerning the gassing of Kurds at Halabja in March of 1988.

The author of the piece, Mohammed al-Obaidi, claims that this grotesque act, commonly blamed on Saddam Hussein, was actually committed by Iran. And he claims to have proof in the form of a 1990 report from the US Army War College.

According to al-Obaidi, we have been misled about the true nature of this crime by Kurdish leaders working with CIA and Mossad, and the lies we have been told about this event are the last surviving basis for the US war against Iraq.

I urge you to read the entire article, but here's an excerpt:

Having control of the village and its grisly dead, Iran blamed the gas deaths on the Iraqis, and the allegations of Iraqi genocide took root via a credulous international press and, a little later, cynical promotion of the allegations for political purposes by the US state department and Senate.

Stephen Pelletiere, who was the CIA's senior political analyst on Iraq throughout the Iran-Iraq war, closely studied evidences of "genocide in Halabja" has described his group's findings:

"The great majority of the victims seen by reporters and other observers who attended the scene were blue in their extremities. That means that they were killed by a blood agent, probably either cyanogens chloride or hydrogen cyanide. Iraq never used and lacked any capacity to produce these chemicals. But the Iranians did deploy them. Therefore the Iranians killed the Kurds."

Would you be surprised if al-Obaidi's article turned out to be true? I wouldn't. And I have seen more good reporting from Aljazeera lately than I have seen from any mainstream American news-site. If you are interested in real investigative journalism, the kind we used to get from American newspapers, bookmark this page and visit it often.

For the record: I think we've been duped again.

James Taylor had it right, friends:

Well it ain't nobody's fault but our own
still at least we might could show the good sense
to know when we've been wrong
and it's already taken too long
so let's bring it to a stop
then we'll take it from the top
let it settle on down softly
like the gently falling snow
let it tumble down and topple
like the temple long ago
let it fall down
let it fall down
let it all fall down

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Some Governments Still Have Standards

Scandals aren't foreign to British politics, but somehow the British have managed to retain the 'quaint' idea that the appearance of propriety is necessary for a government's credibility; thus Home Secretary David Blunkett has resigned today over what appears to be merely the appearance of impropriety.

What was his offense? Did he wage a war based on lies? Did he try to appoint a war-criminal to a high government office? Was he caught pulling improper strings on behalf of his corporate sponsors? Did he hire a software designer to show him how to rig an election?

No, sorry. It was nothing as dramatic as this. Acording to the BBC, David Blunkett has resigned because an e-mail came to light, which appears to indicate that a visa application for his ex-lover's nanny has been fast-tracked.

Here's something to think about: What if the USA had standards like this? What if American politicians were required to maintain not only strict ethical standards but also the appearance of ethical standards? What if American politicians who failed to live up to these standards started losing their jobs? For that matter, what if the American government cared about its own credibility?

Where's James Taylor when you need him? Oh yes, he's right here:

Sing a song for the wrong,
for the wicked and the strong,
for the sick as thick as thieves.
For the faceless fear that was never so near,
too clear to misbelieve.
Well the sea is jumping salty,
and the porpoise has the blues.
My recollection's faulty,
and I cannot find my shoes.
And my wiring is misfiring due
to cigarettes and booze.
I'm behind in my dues.
I just now got the news.
He seems to tell us lies,
But still we will believe him and
together he will lead us into darkness, my friend.
Let it fall down,
Let it fall down,
Let it all fall down...

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

We Hold These Truths ...

A very important and too-often overlooked document says:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Did you catch that last part?
It is our right.
It is our duty.
What are we waiting for?