Friday, January 20, 2006


"It's easier to wear slippers than to carpet the whole world." - Stuart Smalley

A method Bush Inc used was "intent to deceive" by word association. An analysis revealed that on over 100 occasions Bush and Gang had used Saddam and 9-11 in the same sentence to convey an association. Bush did it in 8 sentences during one speech. How else could 70% come to believe there was an association? The same technique was used on Saddam-Osama.
- From Political Historian Clarence Swinney
From Ron Kovic, paralyzed from the chest down by Vietnam War wounds, and confined to a wheelchair for almost 40 years: "As I now contemplate another January 20th I cannot help but think of the young men and women who have been wounded in the war in Iraq. They have been coming home now for almost three years, flooding Walter Reed, Bethesda, Brooke Army Medical Center and veterans hospitals all across the country. Paraplegics, amputees, burn victims, the blinded and maimed, shocked and stunned, brain-damaged and psychologically stressed, over 16,000 of them, a whole new generation of severely maimed is returning from Iraq, young men and women who were not even born when I came home wounded to the Bronx veterans hospital in 1968."

"I have come to believe that there is nothing in the lives of human beings more terrifying than war and nothing more important than for those of us who have experienced it to share its awful truth."

"We must break this cycle of violence and begin to move in a different direction; war is not the answer, violence is not the solution. A more peaceful world is possible." To read Ron's entire essay, go to: TRUTHDIG

Yesterday I had the honor of hosting Robert Dreyfuss for lunch at my house. He's the author of the brilliant new book, DEVIL'S GAME: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (Holt/Metropolitan) This is a must-read, and answers all the questions about our Mid-East foreign policy stretching back 60 years, when America forged an alliance with the Islamic right in order to, among other things, combat Soviet atheistic communism. Dreyfuss is an investigative journalist who writes for Rolling Stone, The Nation, The American Prospect, Mother Jones and is a frequent contributor to NPR, MSNBC and CNBC. ROBERT DREYFUSS
From this blog's feisty contributing commenter WORFEUS, who is not aligned with either party:

DON'T BE FOOLED: The increases Bush made in the VA are based on peace-time regular annual cost increases.
In peace-time we don't have many Post Traumatic Stress Disorder cases. And not too many Amputee's.

Right now the VA is dealing with some 16,000 GI's needing prosthetic limbs, seeing eye dogs, physical therapy, wheel chairs and reconstructive surgery.

We have another 30,000 + needing counseling, therapy, medication and hostpitalization for battle related stress and mental illness, family and medical counseling and so on.
VA officials told Congress that the unexpected shortfall occurred because they had used an inaccurate, two-year-old financial model to calculate their spending requests. VA officials said the model underestimated the impact of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and made other forecasting errors

VA Undersecretary Jonathan Perlin said budget forecasts are created two years in advance, meaning that the current year's predictions were made before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. - Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, June 24, 2005

** What Bush did is take the lowest number he could get away with to tend for our nations veterans, based upon Peace Time Projections, then sent them to war, then cut that figure after he got elected by a Billion dollars to help pay for his war.
This is a prime example of Bushonomics. (WORFEUS)

Received this from my friend Doug Basham, whose amazing Progressive Talk-Radio show I did last month. DOUG BASHAM RADIO

Dear Lydia, Just wanted to share this with you. It hit me pretty hard last night. Back on Dec. 16, a little over a week after you appeared on my show, I had Specialist Douglas Barber as my guest, an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran suffering from PTSD. He was telling us how the VA had abandoned Iraqi vets, and how he couldn't get help for his PTSD. Last night, at the top of my 3rd hour, I received this email...

Mr. Basham: I was a dear friend of Douglas; I say was, because Douglas committed suicide today on the front porch of his trailer around 2:30 pm Opelika, Alabama time. I was just listening to your interview with him so I could hear his voice again. Just thought you might like to know.

Here is a link to the interview itself:

GORE "The President of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and persistently."
Click here to hear Gore's electrifying speech at BRAD BLOG (Or read highlights of the speech at end of blog below)

On the eve of the election of 2004, I sent this excerpt and wrote the following letter to a Republican Christian friend:

"Al-Qaeda came into Iraq after the American invasion," claimed Said. He added that, contrary to claims in Washington, the deposed Iraqi leader was probably the most reliable bulwark against Al-Qaeda infiltration into Iraq." - Mohammed al-Sayed Said, deputy director of the Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies and a former Washington correspondent for the Al-Ahram daily.

Dear Tristan (name changed)
For years I've done research on Islamic fundamentalism, Christianity and the Middle East. I am not implying that life under a madman was anything but terrifying, so please don't distort or spin my words, but do read TIME Magazine's article on "Iraq's Persecuted Christians" written by Iraqi Christian leader, Munir Mardirisosian. "The current violence in Iraq threatens one of the oldest Christian communities, dating back 2,000 years....Under Sadaam, Christians coexisted more or less amicably with the Muslim majority. Easter services were broadcast on state television, and Christians were allowed to own and operate liquor stores, beauty salons..."

Tristan, there is only one truth — but many distortions, manipulations and hidden agendas. I hate the way politics polarizes people; you seem to imply that people like myself (pro-environment, anti-guns/NRA, pro-peace) are not PATRIOTIC and madly in love with our country!! There are millions of faith-filled Democrats who support our troops but despise this illegal war — and it's corrupt how the extreme right-wing has smeared anyone against the war for lacking morals, faith or patriotism!

After much soul-searching and constant prayer for months, years — asking God to fill my heart with answers — without a doubt, the answer that keeps coming up over and over is that this war is wrong and our president is morally corrupt (as well as lazy, unconscious, severely misguided and resistant to truth.) There is something inherently wrong with the principles of current administration, their enablers and right-wing lawmakers. These are not true conservatives. The Republican party is hardly recognizable, though it used to be a party of balance. Please read Gore's speech below.

It says in the Bible, that we must go to God in private to hear God's voice, and follow God's leading in our heart. If you get out of your head and go to your heart, and take away all intellectual arguments as well as personal profit or money motives, you will know this administration is morally wrong. In fact, they are behaving the opposite of any real Christian.

No matter what, as a follower of the Prince of Peace, no Christian can say that bombing an entire country to remove one man (among other reasons) is the method Jesus would have used. His teachings were very clear. I sent you an article that tells how much we are hated in the world because of Bush, and therefore in MUCH more danger. You don't have children yet, but now I'm really scared about the increasing hatred Bush has brought upon us.

"All Arab and Muslim peoples are convinced that (US President George W.) Bush is persecuting Muslims and Arabs and is targeting only the Arab world," said Makram Mohammed Ahmed, editor-in-chief of the semi-official Al-Mussawar magazine.
And this, he said, "increases tensions and hatred. The whole Arab world hates America and the Bush administration." Said said he found it even more disturbing that "the Americans do not have any regret for what they did to the Iraqi people as a result of their mistakes."

And you never answered my question: how do you explain Christ's explicit instructions for dealing with our enemies? Why don't Bush "Christians" take Christ's words literally, fundamentally: Bless those who persecute you, resist NOT evil, return love for hate, love your enemies? Even if we can't always follow this, at least we should never be the invaders, torturers or aggressors. Defense is one thing, a preemptive strike based on a lie is another. As Robert Dreyfuss put it: "Bush is like a kid with his hand stuck in the candy jar; he wants the oil, and he won't let go until many more of our troops have died.

I used to be a Republican, but I finally had to check my motives. To be conservative is admirable, but to be fear-based and withholding (as in conservative with your charity), motivated by increasing your own profits at the expense of others, and interested only in self-preservation (as these "new-conservatives" are) -- rather than elevating mankind and helping others, this to me is primitive and shameful. God is love and should never be used to justify war, "moral righteousness, hatred or judgment of others. And the bible is still being written because we are still living our history. Why do people think it all ends, when it's still going on! Every spiritual thinker is writing the living Bible right now. Our battles are truly within ourselves. Love is the essence of everything.

I am dismayed that our president was actually proud of the fact that he didn't like to read or think deeply! (He later denied it, but he did actually bragged that he didn't read books or newspapers!) He’s proud of himself for never changing his mind, never enlightening himself, never reflecting. 

All great men REFLECT, go within, read the great books, consult spiritual advisers with the big decisions -- and ponder the meaning of life. And a wise judge or leader always investigates, considers all sides, puts himself in another’s shoes. Remember Solomon?

I don’t want a Supreme Court justice that doesn’t change his or her mind in 20 years -- a quality Bush finds desirable! This would be just plain STUPID.

A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government. Our Founding Fathers were adamant that they had established a government of laws and not men. Indeed, they recognized that the structure of government they had enshrined in our Constitution - our system of checks and balances - was designed with a central purpose of ensuring that it would govern through the rule of law.
The President and I agree on one thing. The threat from terrorism is all too real...Where we disagree is that we have to break the law or sacrifice our system of government to protect Americans from terrorism. In fact, doing so makes us weaker and more vulnerable.
In the 70's and 80's, the oversight hearings in which my colleagues and I participated held the feet of the Executive Branch to the fire - no matter which party was in power. Yet oversight is almost unknown in the Congress today.
It is the pitiful state of our legislative branch which primarily explains the failure of our vaunted checks and balances to prevent the dangerous overreach by our Executive Branch which now threatens a radical transformation of the American system.