Wednesday, October 31, 2007


YOU MUST SEE THIS FILM TONIGHT WATCH HBO's "To Die in Jerusalem" This is the most incredible, amazing story. The Palestinian mother whose daughter blew herself up in a suicide bombing — who killed another 18-year-old Israeli girl who looked like she could have been her sister -- states her case showing the anguish of what Palestinians go through. The Jewish girl's mother beseeches the Palestinian mother to admit what her daughter did was wrong. I had tears in my eyes watching these two women come face to face. It was riveting. Please go out and rent this DVD or watch it on demand again. Amazing footage of Bethlehem on the West Bank, and the Palestinian encampments.

THis film speaks to everyone who wants to stop all fighting and do everything in our power to achieve peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

To Die In Jerusalem, Premiering TONIGHT, Thursday, November 1 at 9 p.m.—only on HBO!

Two daughters lost in conflict. Two mothers searching for answers. Two nations divided by the land they share. HBO Documentary Films presents the story of two young casualties of terrorism, and of older wounds that have yet to heal: To Die in Jerusalem

To Die in Jerusalem recounts the heart-wrenching story of two teenaged girls – one a 17-year-old Israeli student named Rachel Levy, the other an 18-year-old Palestinian student/suicide bomber named Ayat al-Akhras – who died together in a Jerusalem market in March 2002. The horrific incident ignited international outrage because of the age and similarities of the two girls, and set in motion a quest on the part of Rachel’s mother, Abigail Levy, to arrange a one-on-one meeting with her counterpart, Um Samir. The result was an underscoring of the tension and resentments that persist among Israelis and Palestinians – and undermine the desire on both sides to find common ground and forge lasting peace.


Please listen to our interview this morning with Dahr Jamail, author of “Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq.” You can listen in the archives, as he was just on live. Go to: BASHAM & CORNELL RADIO The show airs weekday mornings at 8 a.m. Pacific Time on AM 1230 KLAV in Las Vegas and simulcast on the web.

He is an American hero, he has shown courage way beyond, even unrealistic expectations, he literally risked his life… in the service of the truth. He is an independent journalist who has covered the Middle East for more than four years. He has reported extensively from inside Iraq, and has also reported from Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.

Dahr Jamail, and he writes for the Inter Press Service, Asia Times, and many other outlets. His reports have been published in the Nation, the Sunday Herald, the Guardian, Foreign Policy in Focus, and the Independent, among other publications.

The term New World Order (NWO) has been used by numerous politicians for many years, and is a generic term used to refer to a worldwide conspiracy being created by an extremely powerful and influential group of individuals (at least at the highest levels) which include many of the world's wealthiest people, top political leaders, and corporate elite, as well as members of the so-called whose goal is to create a One World Government, stripped of nationalistic and regional boundaries, that is totally obedient to their agenda.

The corporate alliance of the NWO is dominated by international bankers, oil companies and pharmaceutical cartels, as well as other major multinational corporations. The decision making nerve centers of this effort are in London, Basel Switzerland, and Brussels (NATO headquarters).

The intention of the New World Order is to gain complete control over every person and to eventually reduce the world's population by nearly two-thirds. This would give the ultra elite of the world the opportunity to create the "perfect society" in their minds.

Many see obvious signs within the political realm that point to this becoming a reality, sooner than we think. The bulging Mideast wars, the rapid collapse of the U.S economy, and the reduction of many of the rights and freedoms previously enjoyed in America.

In 1992, Dr John Coleman published Conspirators Hierarchy: The Story of the Committee of 300. With laudable scholarship and meticulous research, Dr Coleman identifies the players and carefully details the New World Order agenda of worldwide domination and control. On page 161 of the Conspirators Hierarchy, Dr Coleman accurately summarizes the intent and purpose of the Committee of 300 as follows:
"A One World Government and one-unit monetary system, under permanent non-elected hereditary oligarchists who self-select from among their numbers in the form of a feudal system as it was in the Middle Ages.

In this One World entity, population will be limited by restrictions on the number of children per family, wars, famines, until 1 billion people who are useful to the ruling class, in areas which will be strictly and clearly defined, remain as the total world population.

There will be no middle class, only the extremely rich and the extremely poor. All laws will be similar under a legal system of world courts practicing the same code of laws, backed up by a One World Government police force and a One World unified military force to enforce laws in all former countries where no national boundaries shall exist.

The system will be on the basis of a welfare state; those who are obedient and subservient to the One World Government will be rewarded with the means to live; those who are rebellious will simply be starved to death or be declared outlaws, thus a target for anyone who wishes to kill them. Privately owned firearms or weapons of any kind will be prohibited."

The NWO conspirators manifest their agenda through the skillful manipulation of human emotions, especially fear. In the past centuries, they have repeatedly utilized a plan that NWO researcher and author David Icke has characterized in his latest book, The Biggest Secret, as Problem, Reaction, and Solution.

According to Icke, NWO strategists create the Problem by funding,assembling, and training an "opposition" group to stimulate turmoil in an established political power (sovereign country, region, continent, etc.) that they wish to impinge upon and thus create opposing factions in a conflict that the NWO themselves maneuvered into existence. In recent decades, so called opposition groups are usually identified in the media as 'freedom fighters' or "liberators."

Meanwhile the leader of the established political power where the war is being orchestrated is demonized and,referred to as "another Hitler" such as they did with Saddam Hussein.

The war is drawn to the world stage by the controlled media outlets with a barrage of photos and video tape reports of bloody deaths suffered by innocent civilians.

The leaders of all major industrial countries like the United States, England, Germany, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, etc. are active participants in this conspiracy.

In this century, the degree of control exerted by the NWO has advanced to the point that only certain hand-picked individuals, who have been specifically chosen, are even eligible to become the Prime Minister or President of countries like England, Germany, or The United States.

It is said that many of the major wars, economic upheavals and political dissension over the past several years was created and instituted by this elitist group. These various tragedies brought profit to those of the corporate powers involved, the greater gain will be the unveiling of the New World Order.

Is there a New World Order? Was the installation of George W Bush into the presidency, the unwarranted attack on Iraq and soon Iran, the coming economic collapse, and the taking of Americans rights and privacy a part of it?

Perhaps the actions of George W Bush and those who appear to enable him, coupled with famous quotes of the past from those in positions to know can answer that very question.

"Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it." - Woodrow Wilson

"[The New World Order] cannot happen without U.S. participation, as we are the most
significant single component. Yes, there will be a New World Order, and it will force the United
States to change it's perceptions." -- Henry Kissenger, World Affairs Council Press Conference,
Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel , April 19th 1994

Sunday, October 28, 2007



Rumsfeld flees France fearing arrest
Sat, 10/27/2007 - 08:45

Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today fearing arrest over charges of "ordering and authorizing" torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the US military's detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest.

US embassy officials whisked Rumsfeld away yesterday from a breakfast meeting in Paris organized by the Foreign Policy magazine after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the man who spearheaded President George W. Bush's "war on terror" for six years.

Under international law, authorities in France are obliged to open an investigation when a complaint is made while the alleged torturer is on French soil.

According to activists in France, who greeted Rumsfeld shouting "murderer" and "war criminal" at the breakfast meeting venue, US embassy officials remained tight-lipped about the former defense secretary's whereabouts citing "security reasons".

Anti-torture protesters in France believe that the defense secretary fled over the open border to Germany, where a war crimes case against Rumsfeld was dismissed by a federal court. But activists point out that under the Schengen agreement that ended border checkpoints across a large part of the European Union, French law enforcement agents are allowed to cross the border into Germany in pursuit of a fleeing fugitive.

"Rumsfeld must be feeling how Saddam Hussein felt when US forces were hunting him down," activist Tanguy Richard said. "He may never end up being hanged like his old friend, but he must learn that in the civilized world, war crime doesn't pay."

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the French League for Human Rights (LDH) filed the complaint on Thursday after learning that Rumsfeld was scheduled to visit Paris.

Arianna at HuffPo says: "We have a mainstream on the right that supports torture, supports the behavior of Blackwater thugs, supports the gutting of our civil liberties. So, it can no longer be denied: the right wing lunatics are running the Republican asylum.

** Please go to and sign the petition for General Wesley Clark.

Time for a break from politics. Last Sunday night, my family attended a lavish Barmitzvah at the Fairmont Hotel for the 13-year-old Iranian (Persian Jewish) friend of my son's. There were two ballrooms: one for the kids and one for the adults. We entered the "appetizer room" which had a bar with a carving table of roast lamb, grilled chops, and a long table of ten different salads, hummus, Middle Eastern empanadas and a Sushi bar. It was a feast. That was just the beginning.

Then the ballroom was opened and at least 500 people sat down to an amazing celebration of a boy entering manhood. They danced around him, threw him up into the air — seated in a chair — and showed slides of his entire childhood set to Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake music. Then they showed slides of a family trip to Jerusalem and the Western Wall. there were video crews, photographers, and Espresso machines. This party was more impressive than any wedding I've been to. This photo is just a stock photo, not the actual Barmitzvah we went to.

Another buffet feast was served, but first, fruit, tea and figs. There wree huge crystal vases filled with golden raspberries, cucumbers, apples, grapes, olives, figs, and apricots. Then the main course of sea bass, Osso bucco, and roast beef.

Sometimes I wish we were Jewish. There is such a tight-knit culture and so much celebration of life. The kids turn out so confident after being honored this way.

I am a big fan of the Food Network and the Travel Channel. Just watched Giada in Paris last night as she climbed the Arc du Triomphe and ate amazing Parisian dishes. Paris is one of my favorite cities; I remember climbing the steep spiral steps inside Nortre Dame with my sister years ago, up to the roof full of Gargoyles. We sat there looking over the city, mesmerized. We had the best time in Paris. I wrote a novel which takes place there in 1938.

Also watched Rachel Ray on Martha's Vineyard eating fresh lobster and crusted snapper and organic gazpacho.

Johnny Garlic's Cedar Plank Salmon
Show: Guys Big Bite
Episode: Swim the Plank

2 tablespoons oil
2 jalapenos, cut into rings
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 cup apricot preserves
4 (4 by 4-inch) pieces parchment paper
4 cedar plank pieces, food service quality
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skinned and boned
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (3-inch) fresh rosemary sprigs
1 lemon, zested
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small saute pan over medium heat, heat oil. When hot, add jalapenos and saute until caramelized. Add garlic, and before it begins to brown, deglaze with white wine. Next add mustard and apricot preserves and bring to a simmer. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes and let completely cool.

Place parchment paper on planks, add salmon, lightly salt and pepper, place a rosemary sprig on each fillet, and liberally apply cooled apricot mixture.

Place cedar plank on gas burner. When plank has begun to smoke, place into preheated oven.

Cook salmon until medium-rare; remove from oven and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes until serving. Garnish with lemon zest.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


* (read General Wesley Clark's plea below)
* Put Impeachment of Bush and Cheney back on the table by notifying your Senators and Congressmen.
* Right-wing talk radio is so extreme and hateful, it is positively destructive to democracy. Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Michael Savage in particular should all be taken off the air for spreading hatred of their fellow Americans. Glen Beck said, "Some people who hate America are losing their homes in the fires." He meant, of course, Malibu residents who represent "lliberal Hollywood types." I called KABC Talk Radio this morning to protest Glen Beck's hateful statements. This kind of ideology is what is causing the hatred and division in America.

Message from General Wesley Clark:

Please join the Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans at and me -- sign the petition to President Bush today. Urge him to work with our allies and use every diplomatic, political, and economic option at our disposal to deal with Iran. War is not the answer.

Yesterday, the AP reported that the Bush-Cheney Administration has instituted "sweeping new sanctions against Iran Thursday -- the harshest since the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in 1979 -- charging anew that Tehran supports terrorism in the Middle East, exports missiles and is engaging in a nuclear build up."

There are 3 choices in dealing with Iran. You can engage them. You can isolate them. Or you can attack them. These sanctions could be part of any of the 3 strategies. The sanctions themselves can only be evaluated within the context of the overall policy. Currently, the administration has chosen a path of isolation with the threat of an attack.

This is the wrong strategy. The Bush-Cheney Administration's failure to use diplomacy in conjunction with these sanctions is unlikely to change Iran's behavior.

Please join and me. Send a message to President Bush to use diplomacy to deal with Iran. War is not the answer.

The AP reported that Condoleezza Rice says Washington remains committed to "a diplomatic solution" and open to negotiations with Iran. Yet the Bush Administration refuses to speak with Iran unless the Iranians pre-emptively surrender their interests. This is not likely to happen, and the Administration will be left with two options: a nuclear Iran or war.

Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) stated yesterday:

"Unilateral sanctions rarely, ever work...I just don't think the unilateral approach and giving war speeches helps the situation. It will just drive the Iranians closer together...It escalates the danger of a military confrontation."

Diplomacy is about carrots and sticks. Unfortunately, the Administration seems to believe it only has sticks. They have continued their saber-rattling, and without diplomacy, the announced sanctions only serve to escalate the tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

Tell President Bush it is time to begin direct dialogue without conditions. War with Iran is not the answer.

Send a letter to President Bush. If we want to avoid a military showdown with Iran, we must engage them diplomatically.

Thank you for your support.

Wes Clark Action Fund

Kucinich questions Bush's stability, weighs new impeachment effort

At a presidential campaign appearance last Sunday in California, Cleveland Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich said he's considering introducing a new impeachment resolution against President Bush in light of statements the president has made that Kucinich interprets as a prelude to war with Iran.

"This is not a funny thing I am about to say, and I want you to just be with me on it," Kucinich told an audience in Sierra Madre. "It's not funny at all. There's questions about his stability. Because, if he begins to talk openly about World War Three, I don't think anyone in their right mind would want to talk about that. Because we're talking about a nuclear war."

Kucinich's comments were recorded on this video, posted on YouTube. His impeachment remarks are in its final half.

Kucinich introduced a measure to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney in April. That effort has 21 cosponsors, but has not gone anywhere because House Democratic leaders insist impeachment is "off the table." Kucinich suggested impeaching Cheney first to avoid a Cheney presidency if Bush leaves office.

"I actually am going to be talking to the Speaker about this," Kucinich told the California audience. "I tried to reach her and missed connections. I don't think that Congress can any longer say that impeachment is off the table."

Kucinich has also discussed forcing a House floor vote on the Cheney impeachment measure through the use of a privileged resolution. Posted by Sabrina Eaton October 24, 2007 11:51AM



Beautiful Rim of the World High School

It's a good thing Blackwater didn't build their massive artillery storage camp in San Diego near Portrero, on 827 acres. Imagine the explosions and KABOOMS that would have gone off during these wildfires.

And since the President was so concerned about "socialized medicine" that he vetoed SCHIP expansion, can we assume that his trip tomorrow is to deliver a lecture about the evils of socialized firefighting? (Greg Saunders at HuffPo)

RUNNING SPRINGS residents flee while firefighters try to slow fiery onslaught. By Ryan Lillis -

In the darkness, you feel surrounded. The village's 700 residents fled, but their best escape route – a winding two-lane road – was suddenly blocked by the fire, forcing them onto even more treacherous mountain passes, said Rick Mull, a longtime resident. Firefighters were also forced to retreat, fearing the flames would surround them.

Trees explode, giving off jarring echoes. The heat bears down from every direction, the moon is shrouded in an orange glow. With each gust of wind, another house can be devoured.

This is the battle to save Running Springs. It began Monday morning with 30 local firefighters trying to save their community, and continued through Tuesday night.

Running Springs is a member community of Rim of the World, one of the most beautiful places in America — an inhabited stretch of the San Bernardino Mountains and wholly contained in the San Bernardino National Forest.

With all of the indiscriminate fury of a hurricane, a wild brushfire descended on this isolated mountain village before dawn Monday, forcing the evacuation of every resident.

By nightfall, the fire had made its way to the outskirts of Running Springs, threatening dozens of Alpine-style homes and rustic cabins. With just 75 firefighters on the scene by then, crews had to keep to the roads and were told not to venture into the forest to save homes.

That didn't stop a group of volunteer firefighters from the Wilmar Volunteer Fire Department in Sonoma County who arrived to help the locals Monday afternoon and fought the blaze into the night.

Seeing that a two-story red home with a wrap-around porch was about to be engulfed, they raced a fire hose down a steep driveway. Next to the house the shell of a cabin burned out of control. The wind began to gain strength as the clock rolled past midnight, and spot fires sprouted from the ground, roaring like jet engines. The crew stood guard on the house until being ordered out.

"If we can save the house," Capt. Chris Jacobsen said, "it's worth the risk."

In the end, the house, along with several others on the street, was saved.

But in a briefing of fire officials the next morning, Smith tried to convince his weary staff that "no house is worth jeopardizing your safety."

Seriously I need a technical answer: Why aren't we using more aerial resources? If there is a legitimate answer, such as 'the winds prevent aircraft from large water drops' or some other reason — please let us know by leaving a comment here. And WHY does CANADA have Super Scoopers but we don't? And why so late? "On the fourth day of the fires, helping out that big DC-10 in the aerial attacks is a Martin Mars aircraft from Canada. It's the world's largest scooping water bomber, capable of dropping 7000 gallons."

I am wondering why Canada has the large sooper scooper planes but we don't. Where are the large water dropping aircraft? Apparently we have something called the Evergreen Supertanker but we aren't allowed to use it. Why? Where are the planes that could have saved these 500 homes?

Please call the Red Cross or log on to: and see how you can help. Any amount you can send will help. Many senior citizens need help.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Guest Post by Bartlebee

We hear a lot of talk about patriots these days. In fact the word is literally used "left and right" to describe all sorts of people from politicians to pundits. One person you won't hear the term attributed to however, at least by the right wing in this country, is Valerie Plame

And here's why.

Valerie Plame first entered the world in 1963, the daughter of a Lt. Colonel in the United States Air Force. In fact, she was born on a US Air Force Base — Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage Alaska. Her father was not only a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force, but worked for the National Security Agency for about three years when Valerie was young, giving Valerie her first look at the clandestine world of national intelligence, and no doubt helped shape her future career plans, which involved one thing and one thing only.

Serving her country.

A career choice Ms. Plame was well suited to, given her superior intellect and skills not to mention remarkable good looks which are no doubt an asset in the clandestine world. In 1985 Valerie was accepted into the CIA's Officer training program, and never looked back. She was installed as a Non Official Cover Officer which is the most clandestine role the CIA has to offer. As a covert operative who speaks 4 languages, assignments took her to Greece, Iraq, Turkey and parts of Europe. She worked to protect US officials including George H W Bush during his visit to Greece, whose native tongue is included in her repertoire of languages. Plame was a rising star in the CIA with a BA from Penn State, and not one but two Masters degrees, one from London School of Economics and Political Science, and one from The College of Europe, in Belgium. Plame speaks English, German, French and Greek and is an expert in nuclear anti-proliferation.

Then, in 2003, it all came to a screeching halt.

ry 2002 the CIA asked Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame's husband, to travel to Niger to confirm the validity of a report of that Iraq had an agreement to purchase Uranium from Niger to be used by Saddam Hussein to manufacture nuclear weapons. Wilson traveled to Niger, met with the former Prime Minister who was the one approached by "an Iraqi businessman" who discussed strengthening trade agreements with Niger. Wilson researched the events and concluded there was nothing there and reported back to the Select Committee on Intelligence that the accusations of a sales agreement between Niger and Iraq was clearly false.

However in January 2003, President George W Bush announced in his State of the Union address, the opposite, with these 16 immortal words; "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa". Naturally Wilson was astounded that the President presented this information to the world as fact, even after Wilson had reported almost a year earlier to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee that the story was false.

This bothered Wilson, and on July 6, 2003, Wilson wrote in a New York Times Op-Ed piece that Bush had misrepresented the intelligence and wrongly used it to help justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Although several committees including the Butler Report, the Senate Intelligence Commission and the Senate Select Committee on intelligence at various times attempted to disprove Wilson's conclusions, none were ever able to produce any solid evidence to validate the claims that a sales agreement for Yellow Cake existed between Iraq and Niger, or that it was ever discussed with the former Prime Minister of Niger, Ibrahim Hassane Mayaki. In fact the US State Dept agreed with Wilson, as did the CIA, that the claims were false and thus discredited.

Eight days after writing his Op Ed piece reprimanding the White House for using the discredited information, his wife, and covert CIA operative, Valerie Elise Plame Wilson, was outed as a CIA Covert Operative, in a column in the New York Times titled, "Mission to Niger".

And just like that, her career as a CIA covert operative, was blown.

In Sept 2003, President Bush stated that if there had been a leak, then he would prosecute anyone in his administration found guilty of such a leak. The CIA had already contacted the Justice Dept. to request a formal investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of classified intelligence in leaking Plames status to the press. Then, in February 2004, Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed as Special Counsel to lead the investigation. During the investigation Fitzgerald filed papers naming Karl Rove and Scooter Libby as the primary leaker's of the information to the press, and not just to Bob Novak. However during the investigation Rove and Libby stonewalled, lied and did whatever they could to obscure and obstruct the facts of the investigation, most often resorting to age old "I don't recall" to avoid prosecution.

Fitzgerald knew Rove had leaked the information, as did Libby, but their diversionary testimonies and stonewalling made it impossible for Fitzgerald to prove it. Then on October 28, 2005, Libby was charged a 5 count indictment for lying to the Special Prosecutor Perjury and Obstruction of Justice. Libby, Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff, following his indictments, resigned in disgrace, and on March 6, 2007, he was found guilty of all but one of the indictments, and sentenced to 30 months in prison. a 250,000 dollar fine, and 2 years probation. President Bush immediately intervened, and overruled the courts ruling, granting Libby Clemency, and thus discarding the justice process.

Libby never denied that he learned of Plame's identity from Vice President Cheney, and thus while the Grand Jury's commission was expired and Fitzgerald returned to his "day job", the investigation is by no means over. But what we know is this. Rove and Libby leaked Plames identity, to discredit her husband Joe Wilson's report to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee to sell the war in Iraq to the American people and the Congress. This act alone would be enough for all but the most deluded of Bush followers, to abandon him as a traitor to the country. But the right wing has staved off a mass exodus by claiming over and over, that Plame "never was a covert op", which of course is a lie. Court records filed during the Libby hearing, and subsequent CIA information proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Plame was indeed covert and working on several clandestine anti-nuclear proliferation operations, including providing Iran with bogus data on the construction of nuclear weapons. But the right wing ignores this information, and continues to smear Plame, her husband, and her 20 year career as a covert CIA operative.

But tonight, on CBS's 60 Minutes, Katie Couric interviews Valerie Plame for the first time since her cover was blown by the Bush administration. In the interview, Couric will outline some of the actual damage done to the CIA, their long term covert operations, and the absolute danger the outing has placed numerous CIA covert operatives around the Globe. Couric will report how the day the Novak story came out, embassy's all over the world began frantically researching to see if the stealthy Mrs Plame had entered their country, and who she had contacted during her visits. Intelligence agencies began investigations all over the world to determine the extent of Mrs Plames activities and the persons associated with those activities, thus compromising potentially dozens of CIA covert operations and potentially hundreds of CIA covert operatives around the globe. We will hear how the work she performed was actually designed to stop Iran from ever developing nuclear technology, and thus averting the threats that President Bush claims to be so utterly concerned with. We will learn, how a President, and his staff, caused the country to be placed in greater threat from nuclear war, simply because they wanted to invade the nation of Iraq.

So with all the talk of patriotism and patriots that we hear from the right, tonight, CBS news, and Katie Couric, will give the world a birds eye view of an actual Patriot. One who dedicated her entire adult life to her country, and to keeping it safe from nuclear weapons. And we will hear first hand how the President who cries so loudly about his fear of those nuclear weapons in the hands of countries like Iran, destroyed the operations the CIA had worked so hard to develop, to keep those nuclear weapons from countries like Iran. And perhaps more importantly we'll get a keen glimpse into the tactics and strategy of the right wing Bush supporters, and their never ending efforts to provide lies and misdirection to real questions and real issues.

Thanks to Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation we know that both the President's and Vice President's Chiefs of Staff were the source of the leaks, which implicates the President and the Vice President as their source. If it had been just one Chief of Staff working alone, then perhaps one could argue it was a solitary self motivated effort. But both Chiefs of staff along with the White House Press Secretary and the Deputy Secretary of State indicate that it was not a solitary effort, but a combined, decisive attempt to smear two American Patriots, and in doing so, they destroyed years worth of highly classified work that was designed to keep America safe from nuclear threats, something the President claims is his primary goal. And since the right wing knows that most Americans know that Bush and Cheney were the original sources of the leak, their strategy has changed over the last year to discredit the notion that Valerie Plame was a covert operative. But in just one short hour, their collective denial of "Yes they did it, but she wasn't a covert op and her job wasn't classified, so therefore no crime was committed, no harm was done" is about to be dismantled once and for all.

Tonight the entire country will learn what only the educated and informed blogger's and web surfers are currently aware of. That Valerie Plame was indeed a covert operative, and that her work was not only highly classified, but was designed to keep the one thing from happening that George W Bush claims is the primary reason he was willing to invade Iraq and cost us so much in American lives and treasure and commit so much destruction of a people that has never once attacked us, and the reason he is now threatening to attack yet another country, and butcher a few hundred thousand more people and turn the entire global community against us. Her work, was to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of countries like Iran and Iraq. And George W Bush, and Dick Cheney, destroyed that work for their own purposes and ruined the 20 year career of a covert CIA officer who's classified mission was to do precisely what George W Bush claims is his number one goal, and the reason he's using to blow the middle east back to the stone age.

Tonight we'll see a true American Patriot, who works for one of the most patriotic organizations this country has, the unsung heroes of the CIA, who's mission is to stop wars before they get started. Tonight we'll see what the crowd "calling" themselves Patriots, do to the actual Patriots of our country. Tonight we'll see why this Patriot, who dedicated 20 years of her life to serving her country in an organization where accolades are given only in secret, and medals are seen only by the recipient, had her career and work destroyed by the President and Vice President. To sell their lousy war. A war that if they had only let the CIA do their jobs, would never need to have been fought.
UPDATE: Katie Couric introduced the story this evening by pointing out that Valerie Plame was no "glorified secretary" as the Bush administration and the right wing have falsely labeled her. Couric announced unequivocally that Plame was not only a covert op, but an officer, in charge of "dozens of agents" and a highly classified operation to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
The 60 Minutes Interview has just aired. For those of you who missed it you can catch recaps and excerpts here on CBS's website.

Friday, October 19, 2007


THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE: Bush's approval rating is at 23%, the lowest of any president in history. And 80% of all Americans, want low-income children to have health coverage. But only one president and 14 Republicans with 14 votes stand in the way of the will of the people. What kind of man is President Bush?

Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) was more than a little upset after the SCHIP veto override failed. The 18-term lawmaker, stirred the pot Thursday when he attacked President Bush and congressional Republicans for backing hundreds of billions of dollars for the Iraq war, but blocking a $35 billion expansion of a children's health insurance program.

"You're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement," Stark told Republicans on the floor of the House.

The remarks during the debate over Bush's veto of the children's health bill drew howls of outrage from House Republicans and conservative commentators. His words were replayed endlessly on cable news and talk radio. By Friday, even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi - who praised Stark for his leadership on the children's health bill a day earlier - was distancing herself from his comments.

What Pelosi also meant: Stark had handed Republicans an easy way to distract the public from what Democrats view as a winning stance on the popular children's health bill. Stark, 75, declined a request Friday for an interview.

He began: "First of all, I'm just amazed that the Republicans are worried that we can't pay for insuring an additional 10 million children. They sure don't care about finding $200 billion to fight the illegal war in Iraq. Where are you going to get that money? You are going to tell us lies like you're telling us today? Is that how you're going to fund the war?

"You don't have money to fund the war or children, but you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."
He went back to the same point moments later: "But President Bush's statements about children's health shouldn't be taken any more seriously than his lies about the war in Iraq. The truth is that Bush just likes to blow things up in Iraq, in the United States, and in Congress."

On the left, Stark's comments drew rave reviews. They were posted on the blog, DailyKos, stirring applause from the site's anti-war, anti-Bush readers: "Wow, this guy kicks ass" wrote one blogger.

But Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, who followed Stark on the floor, said: "It is despicable to have a member of this Congress accuse this president, any president, of willfully blowing the heads, quote, blowing the heads off our young men and women over in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The GOP spin machine went into hyperdrive. House Republican Leader John Boehner's press aides alerted reporters to Stark's comments. The National Republican Campaign Committee issued a press release, titled: "Democrat Disgrace: Pete Stark Drags SCHIP Political Circus to All-Time Low."

But Stark continued: "What are you going to do for that 200 or 300 billion bucks, folks, that you're spending to kill these kids when they grow up? You can't answer that, can you? You look at your shoes, look up here, you don't know," he said.
"So you don't even want to talk about 200 or 300 billion bucks to kill innocent Iraqis and young men and women. There is no member of this House that has an enlisted child over there. There is no risk for you guys."

Republican tried unsuccessfully to have his words stricken from the official record.

From Arianna Huffington: At Wednesday's press conference, President Bush insisted that he is still "relevant." Normally, it's an immutable law of politics that if you have to say you're relevant, you're not. But in Bush's case, his role as the primary Decider on the war in Iraq is keeping him tragically relevant -- in the same way that the driver of a bus careening toward the edge of cliff is extremely relevant to his passengers. Okay, so Bush is relevant. And deeply deluded if he truly believes, as he also claimed, that he and Congressional Democrats are "finding common ground on Iraq." Beating your opponent into the ground with vetoes and filibuster threats is not the same as finding common ground.

* No Child Left Alone: 2-year-old S-CHIP recipient Bethany Wilkerson is new target of right-wingers.
* Mitch McConnell’s staff DID write emails interested in smearing the Frosts, and then lied about doing so.

My Letter to Congressman Pete Stark:

Thank you for standing up to Bush on his atrocious, un-Christian, warmongering behavior. Over 80% of the country agrees with you and believes Bush does not have his priorities straight. He cares about frozen fetal cells and the unborn, but cares nothing about real, live BREATHING CHILDREN! He cares nothing about the poor or "the least among us." Bush flies across the country in the middle of the night to intervene in the Terry Schiavo case, a private family matter, but sees no reason to help the low-income families and children of America — or the Katrina victims for that matter.

Many Americans believe George Bush is not only un-American, but is a war criminal. We also believe Bush, Cheney, Haliburton and Blackwater among others, are all guilty of war profiteering — a treasonous crime. They are guilty of dividing our country through politicizing this war, of breaking the Geneva Convention, of illegally wiretapping U.S. citizens and of violating our 2nd and 4th Amendment rights, and of myriad of other crimes including breaking the right to writ of Habeas Corpus.

You are right Congressman Stark — Bush should should apologize for lying in a rush to war, for violating our Constitution, and for never being honest about his reasons for this war.

Bush has also chipped away at our freedoms and the morale of our troops by hiring private mercenary armies like Blackwater — at taxpayer expense — whose only loyalty is to cash.

WE THE PEOPLE are horrified at what has become of our beautiful democracy.

Congressman Stark, though we may not have chosen the provocative words you chose, we applaud you for your strength in STANDING UP TO the CORRUPT, FRAUDULENT, UNCHRISTIAN BUSH ADMINISTRATION. Our war planes bombed small children in Iraq. Countless children are dead because of this "war on an abstract noun" the so-called 'war on terror.' Why are Iraqi children less valuable than American children? Why doesn't Bush care about human life?


A caller on Randi Rhodes show called in to say "if you're innocent, what does it matter if they wiretap you?" Randi let him have it. She said, "My father would roll over in his grave to hear you say he fought in vain. He fought in WWII, marching over Normandy to fight for our freedoms — for our Constitutional rights of privacy, freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, freedom to protest." My theory is this: who is to say they won't accuse you or take you away for "perceived liberal bias or treason in speaking out against our Fuhrer (Bush) one day, or misinterpret one of your phone calls? But all of our freedoms are being stripped away right now. We are no longer allowed to assemble except in organized "pens" far away from the object of our protest. We are afraid to speak out loud on the phone or in our homes for fear we will be misunderstood or taken as an enemy of the STate for disagreeing with this absurdly unAmerican president.

If Bush, Cheney and the NSA went to Qwest, Verizon and AT&T to put wiretapping in place seven months before 9/11 doesn't this mean they ied when they said they were wiretapping Americans to catch terrorists as a result of 9/11? Isn't this treason?

Thank you,
Lydia Cornell
www.Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk
The ONLY Progressive Talk show in Las Vegas, broadcasting live daily at 8 AM on KLAV 1230 AM.


As you know, media consolidation poses a tremendous threat to authentic journalism and diversity of opinion.

And it may soon be worse. At this very moment, the FCC is trying to pass new media ownership rules that will hand Big Media a Big Win. If the changes are approved, one company could own the major daily newspaper, eight radio stations and three television stations in the same market. Worse yet, once the digital television transition is completed in 2009 -- allowing stations to broadcast multiple signals - a single company could control up to 18 television channels in one market.

As it stands now, six huge conglomerates - whose combined 2006 revenues reached more than $293 billion - dominate media ownership.

You can bet those six companies are more interested in turning a profit than in publishing or broadcasting a diverse range of news and opinions. And the progressive viewpoint? Forget it!

That's why it's more important than ever for progressives to unite online. By harnessing the power of the Internet, we can share information and inspire each other to take action.

Unlike the General Electrics, the Viacoms, and the Walt Disneys of the world, isn't interested in making a profit.

God Bless you!

Monday, October 15, 2007


Ann Coulter, a "Perfected Christian"

Ann Coulter's remark that Christians want Jews to be "perfected" proves she knows nothing about Christianity. Maybe she didn't mean it the way it sounded, but I have done enough research on Coulter to know she prefers a "cream-colored" ethnically cleansed population of "non-swarthy" types. Her comment that Jews need to be perfected is the kind of talk that sparked the Holocaust.

TOMORROW ON HBO: "RUN, GRANNY, RUN" follows the unique experience of 94-year-old Doris "Granny" D. Haddock as she runs for the U.S. Sentate in this inspirational documentary premiering tomorrow at 9 pm October 18 on HBO. Proving that age, sex, and social standing don’t necessarily determine political campaigns, "Run, Granny, Run" shows the “everyman” (woman) can make a difference when it debuts TOMORROW THURSDAY, OCT. 18 at 9:00 p.m. ET, exclusively on HBO. Check Granny D’s Official MySpace Page and see advanced clips from the film including what happens when Granny D tries to meet Howard Dean:

Read the amazing new book "THE CONSERVATIVES HAVE NO CLOTHES: Why Right-Wing Ideas Keep Failing" by Greg Anrig, Vice President of Programs at the Century Foundation. We just interviewed him and you can listen in the archives at: Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk Radio The Basham and Cornell Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 a.m. Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern) on AM 1230 KLAV in Las Vegas.

Three items to discuss:

1. Blackwater down: Is Blackwater prolonging the war in Iraq? Iraqis want them out of Iraq. Erik Prince's Blackwater Mercenery Army was paid over $300 million of our taxpayer dollars
2. Wiretapping set in place PRIOR to 9/11
3. Ann Coulter's remarks and her enablers in the media.

Blackwater is hurting our troops. From "Given the choice, the right-wingnuts always choose Blackwater over our own troops. They're not on the same side, and haven't been ever... The whole "screw them" thing four years ago was exactly that -- the wingers were more outraged over four Blackwater mercenaries killed than they were about the five Marines that had died that very same day... I was pissed that the sacrifice of those Marines merited less attention that those of a private, profit-motivated, unaccountable militia.

It's always been clear where the US military has stood in regards to the mercenaries. Soldiers complain about them:

"They act like they're God's gift to combat operations" complained one soldier to me, "Swanning around with weapons and equipment every bit as powerful as anything in our armoury, but without any of the legal framework that we have to work within. They're rude, aggressive and to be honest, their attitudes piss us guys off so I dread to think how the Iraqis view them".

The top brass have been complaining about their ill effect for years:

In the post-9/11 world, demand for the commandos is not only soaring within the military. Private firms and government organizations - including the CIA - are luring away troops with bigger salaries. "It is a very lucrative opportunity right now for special operations folks to get out and take very high-paying jobs" with private security firms, says General Brown. A 20-year veteran leaving Special Operations receives about $23,000 in retirement pay, but can earn $100,000 to $200,000 in private industry, military officials say.

With no end to the demand in sight, the military must carefully allocate SOF while increasing their ranks. To fill the current gap, it is accepting added risks with less experienced forces.

Blackwater in Iraq: Killing for Profit By Saul Landau

The words "Support Our Troops" stain the rear bumpers of thousands of cars. The slogan, however, conceals a more pernicious demand: "Support Our Mercenaries." Yes, in Iraq, the mercenaries--euphemistically called "paid contractors"--outnumber US troops, 180,000 to 160,000. These contractors do more than provide armed security for US personnel. They do chores that previously belonged to regular army staff.

Private security companies employ for high pay former US soldiers, ex-kidnappers and torturers from Pinochet's secret police, death squad heavies from a variety of Central and South American countries and a few leftover South African apartheid thugs as well. The companies collect billions from US taxpayers. A typical U.S. soldier serving in Iraq makes about: $57 a day. The estimated daily take for a Blackwater security guard there runs between $500- $600. (FACING SOUTH A News and Politics Report Sept. 26, 2007)


From Lydia: There was a time when I was a Republican, but that was before I got sober. It was when I was in my ego stage: very self-centered and full of myself. And in fear of losing what I had or not getting what I wanted. As we shed our ego, we become more compassionate toward others, more concerned about social justice and saving our earth and helping other flawed humans — not judging them, but helping them.

I am reprinting this letter from Dennis Taylor of Phoenix, Arizona. I think this man is very intuitive — which we are all capable of being when we open our minds.

"Dear Lydia, I have to share something that my wife said after reading your blog. Without sounding flakey…I’m convinced that my wife is correct and that this goes hand in hand with your statement regarding the next frontier being the center or the middle. We both have a strong internal sense of something impending that is difficult to explain. A feeling that many of us are going to be called to stand out for what is right and rescue the Constitution of the USA so that the country can get back to being a democracy. It seems like while America slept, we were slowly and silently robbed of Democracy. The irony is the fact that so many people who call themselves Christian as well as conservative played a big role in America silently surrendering Democracy to those who regard the constitution as a mere technicality to work around in order to promote their self-serving agendas.
Respectfully, Dennis Taylor

Tribal divisions and ethnic chauvinism seem so primitive. We can't survive without each other. It's also pretty clear that storing up material treasures on earth is useless. We are learning not to depend on material sustenance, but to depend on charity. Love for our fellow man -- there is nothing else worth talking about. And that is why the Gate is narrow: it's hard to love your enemies -- and I'm not just talking about terrorists. It's hard to love people you can't stand to be in the same room with. With my relatives this weekend, I kept asking myself: "How can I be of love and service to people who are incredibly annoying?" Very few will make it through this gate of loving their enemies, not fighting, and embracing those morally bankrupt people who disgust, offend and threaten them. But that's what we are called to do, and that's why the Way is narrow.

I want to start focusing on all the good we can do. Look at this incredible universe – it would take a blind slug not to see God everywhere. This is heaven and it is here now, if we choose to see it. I was at a peacock farm with my kids, chasing peacocks all over the place -- and in the design of a peacock's feathers, you see God’s artistry. In the calligraphy of a Monarch butterfly you see perfection. And in a baby's face, you see heaven. Why do people debate whether or not God exists when God is simply love? Who can argue with love, kindness, compassion? Asking to prove the existence of God is like asking to prove you love your kids. I actually believe that Einstein was on the cusp of proving God through science, for he said that 'goodness, truth and beauty are laws of the universe'; hence God and science are not mutually exclusive.

I also love Wayne Dyer's statement that "you'll see it when you BELIEVE it" and "the antidote to depression is kindness". One act of kindness to another human being is an anti-depressant; it actually raises your Serotonin levels. An observer of an act of kindness also gets a Serotonin boost. If everyone in America was engaged in volunteering, in "love and service" work, we wouldn't be thinking about ourselves or what we lack -- and we wouldn't be depressed. Depression is an epidemic in this country and the pharmaceutical companies love promoting our fears & obsessions. Getting out of our self-centered fear by helping others works every time.

My brilliant friend Chaz and I were discussing how the world has changed and how odd it is that something we thought was a given, makes so much sense to us, but make so little sense to right-wingers, and he said that if we weren't saying the truth, it wouldn't upset so many people. Kind of like the film "Good Night and Good Luck" about Edward R. Murrow's battle with McCarthy. He also said that "a frog never jumps out of a pan if you turn the heat up slowly." Which is what the people in power are doing to middle-class Americans: turning the heat up and taking away our earnings, choices and freedoms in such gradual degrees that we barely notice until it's too late.

Another letter from a fan: "I am convinced that if Jesus Christ almighty were to come pay us a visit incarnate today, he would have one thing to say to many of the religious right-wing and republican party as well as a result of the mess they have made. He would call them a 'brood of vipers,' which is what he called the Pharisees of his time. These very same people who did everything in their power to rake Bill Clinton over the coals for an indiscretion with a Whitehouse Intern seem to have absolutely no problem with telling lies, half truths and hiding Bush’s sins and crimes. It’s a sad but true statement when ya consider the fact that Nixon got impeached for things far less offensive then the crimes that Bush is flat out guilty of both locally and internationally..."

"I’m concerned about the future of this country as a result of the dangerous trend of growing lies and deception that the Bush administration and vicious mouthpieces like Ann Coulter and Bill O’ Reilly. Over the course of the last five years, people like this have effectively redefined the word “liberal” to mean a lot of things that it simply is not and never was. Liberal is actually a very positive and progressive term when examined under the light of honesty. However, in the hands of corrupt people like Bush, O’ Reilly and Coulter, it has been used to mislead the American public. Regretfully, they have used the stupidity of most Americans to believe that liberal is something bad, immoral, baby murdering and anti-Christian."


Sunday, October 07, 2007



The Basham and Cornell Radio Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 a.m. Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern) on AM 1230 KLAV in Las Vegas. All shows are simulcast on the Internet (and archived) and can be listened to at BASHAM & CORNELL RADIO

On Thursday October 11, 2007, former Nixon counsel, John Dean will make his 3rd appearance on the Basham and Cornell Radio Show at 8 am Pacific Time on AM 1230 KLAV in Las Vegas. And we have him for the entire hour. First time he was with us, we discussed his then new book “Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush.” Second appearance - his new book was titled “Conservatives Without Conscience.”

When he makes his 3rd appearance with us, we will be discussing his latest book, “Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches.”

John Dean has become one of the most trenchant and respected commentators on the current state of American politics and one of the most outspoken and perceptive critics of the administration of George W. Bush in his New York Times bestsellers Conservatives Without Conscience and Worse Than Watergate.

In his eighth book, Dean takes the broadest and deepest view yet of the dysfunctional chaos and institutional damage that the Republican Party and its core conservatives have inflicted on the federal government. He assesses the state of all three branches of government, tracing their decline through the presidencies of Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II.

Unlike most political commentary, which is concerned with policy, Dean looks instead at process— making the case that the 2008 presidential race must confront these fundamental problems as well. Finally, he addresses the question that he is so often asked at his speaking engagements: What, if anything, can and should politically moderate citizens do to combat the extremism, authoritarianism, incompetence, and increasing focus on divisive wedge issues of so many of today’s conservative politicians?

With the Democrats now in control of both the House and Senate, the stakes for the 2008 presidential election have never been higher. This is a book for anyone who wants to return government to the spirit of the Constitution.

Several points I want to bring up:

1. Iraqi PM's Office finds that Blackwater Committed "Deliberate Murder" in spraying bullets at civllians and killing a mother and child, among eleven others.

2. Bruce Springsteen on 60 Minutes, said silence is unpatriotic — it is unpatriotic NOT to speak out against the Bush administration forits ruinous policies such as illegal wiretapping, torture, voter suppression, and the immoral Iraq war.

3. I believe conservatism as an ideology is over — or at least unraveling. I don't see how any true Christian can ever vote Republican again, at least in the Party’s current “neo-incarnation,” with sociopaths running the asylum.
But still, I have hope that the good conservatives will wake up. This is an article I wrote for a magazine:

Good Conservatives are Liberals at Heart

One of the definitions of ‘liberal’ in the dictionary is “not conservative”. The word liberal also has several other definitions, all including similar qualities, including “marked by generosity and open-handedness, bounteous, broad-minded, unbigoted, tolerant.” Those qualities sound like the kind of qualities most of us would like to see in our children. Now, I wonder which of these qualities Coulter objects to? Does she dislike “generosity” or open-handedness — or is it the broad-minded part that bothers her? Of is it the “tolerance” concept to which she objects?

Following the dictionary definition of liberal as “not conservative,” in other words, the opposite — then it seems a liberal is marked by generosity and a conservative is marked by stinginess. If a liberal is broad-minded, it follows that a conservative is narrow-minded. If it is liberal to be tolerant, then it must be conservative to be intolerant.
Going by the dictionary definitions of these words, I would like for my family to be known as liberals, and surely not the opposite. The dictionary definition of conservative is basically “disposed to maintaining existing views” which is why conservatives of long ago were opposed to freeing the slaves, the right of women to vote or to become lawyers and professionals — as well as the rights of Blacks to vote and the Civil Rights Act.

I’ve always been taught that Jesus was generous, tolerant and broad-minded, which fits the definition of liberal. He washed the feet of the lepers, hung out with the moral outcasts and sinners — who were so transformed by his loving acceptance, they desired to "sin no more." In summing up, based on those qualities of character, it seems to me undeniably that Jesus was a bleeding heart liberal.

My conservative friends may disagree with the label, but not the spirit. We must never allow words to get in the way of communication.

Again, I would like to believe that good conservatives are really liberals at heart. To paraphrase Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, “Hath not a conservative eyes, hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Are they not fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer that a liberal is? If you prick them, do they not bleed? If you tickle them, do they not laugh? If you poison them, do they not die? If you wrong them, shall they not revenge? If we are like you and the rest, we will resemble you in that.”

We are not children of a lesser God; we are all children of the same God.


America has an embarrassing history of dropping bombs on people, but always assuming everyone knows we’re really still the good guys. This is how an abusive lover acts. We should play hard to get with Iraq. When in a love-hate relationship, it often takes leaving to really win. Unless we leave Iraq, we don’t give the Iraqis a chance to miss us, to pick up the pieces, to take responsibility, to grow up and to solve their own problems. It’s a basic spiritual law, an unflinching principle that when you let go of pushing too hard, the very thing you want comes to you. It’s arrogant to think the Iraqis don’t have their own higher power and their own ability to find their way.

This is how I used to act with an ex-boyfriend. I’d try to control him like a dictator, but secretly the guy thought I was a wacko. I only pushed him away. Trying to control people never works because it’s fear-based behavior. People are never interested when you push yourselves on them. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Staying in Iraq is causing nothing but an increase in grenades and bombs being lobbed at us. We are the problem. We are the common denominator in all this chaos. We must remove ourselves. Of course our President may have ulterior motives. He’s not telling us why we’re really there. There’s no transparency in this administration.

But I really believe in a power greater than ourselves and I know we're going to be all right. God did not give us a spirit of fear. Thank God for the Twelve Steps, where I learned to at least see my part in a conflict and to say I’m sorry. In the words of Stuart Smalley, “It's easier to wear slippers than to carpet the whole world.”

"No problem can be solved at the same level it was created on." – Albert Einstein

What I've discovered is that the solution to any material problem is never at the level of the problem. It is always above the problem or challenge. It is always by “letting go” and looking away from the problem, never by fighting it on its level. It is always a spiritual solution.

No human power can relieve alcoholism. More alcohol cannot cure it. Nor can therapy, psychoanalysis or dissecting the brain heal the "dis-ease" of alcoholism.

No military power can solve this conflict in Iraq. We can’t fight fire with fire; we need to go above the problem and approach it from a diplomatic or spiritual solution. This is what Bush doesn’t understand. Fighting ones enemies never resolves anything, as the Great Peacemaker said. More military might only escalates the conflict. All great spiritual leaders know that what Christ taught creates peace: a soft answer turns away wrath. Withdraw our energy from the situation and the situation will solve itself. We must take care of our own side of the street.

From my friend Carl's blog at

"Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. What did Conservatives do? They opposed them on every one of those things – every one. So when you try to hurl that label at my feet, ‘Liberal,’ as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won’t work, Senator, because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor." -- Matt Santos, The West Wing

Monday, October 01, 2007


“It is not that Christianity has been tried and failed. It is that it has never been tried.” G. K. Chesterton

On Saturday, I ran into Ed Begley Jr. who has a great 'green' show called "Living With Ed" on the Home and Garden Network. I also ran into Anson Williams of Happy Days' fame. He's one of my favorite people and it was so good to see him. We had co-hosted Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve Special years ago. Anson not only looks great but is the father of five daughters, ages one to eighteen! He is a director and owner of a national brand, which I'll talk more about in future posts. Anyway, Anson and I got to talking about the world, and he turned me onto a letter on 'Equality' from Thomas Jefferson to John Quincy Adams, which is fascinating. Anson is quite an evolved thinker and scholar now, with a special interest in our Founding Fathers.

It's always good to be reminded of what our nation stands for. In the Preamble to his original draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson wrote:

"We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independant, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these ends, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government shall become destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, & to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles & organising its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety & happiness."

Time Magazine: "His complete, uncompromising, and abiding commitment to the principle of human equality [is what I admire most about Jefferson]. This idea remains as radical today as it was when Jefferson first gave expression to it over two centuries ago. The idea of equality was in the air at the time, but Jefferson, a magnificent stylist, was able to bring it to life by expressing it clearly, simply, eloquently. And he connected equality to other ideas that remain equally compelling: liberty, self-government, freedom of religion.

The ideals of equality, freedom, and freedom of religion are indispensible, now more than ever. It would be instructive, for example, for both those who authorized the torture at Abu Ghraib and those who fight crusades and jihads and do unspeakable things in the name of God to read Jefferson's observations about the futility of torture, the utter ineffectiveness of coercion. "What has been the effect of coercion?" he asked. "To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."

More on Jefferson and slavery below, but first, PLEASE READ THIS from Wayne Dyer:

"We’re told by those who represent us that the insurgents and the average Iraqi and Middle Easterner hate us because we stand for freedom and democracy. It’s my contention that we have it backwards. We’re hated because we fail to stand for freedom and democracy. In fact, what we do stand for is whatever is best for American financial interests. Under the Shah of Iran, freedom and democracy didn’t exist, yet we supported that regime. The Saudi royal family certainly doesn’t stand for freedom and democracy, yet we have no quarrel with them. The Emir of Kuwait is not about freedom and democracy, and he has our dying loyalty.

The average person on the streets of Iraq isn’t fooled by our occupation of their country. They hate us throughout the Middle East and the Moslem world because we care most about how to make money in foreign lands. They know it and we should know it. But we’re told that it’s our freedom and democracy that engenders this animosity toward us. Residents of Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Syria, and other countries throughout the Middle East hate us vehemently because they believe that Americans simply can’t figure out how all that American oil got under their sand. They believe that we’re acting in our own self-interest and that we justify destroying their villages and killing insurgents by convincing ourselves that it’s in the name of freedom and democracy.

If all of this is blatantly untrue, and we have no monetary motives in our continual clean-up campaigns that are leaving corpses and severely wounded people by the hundreds of thousands, then let’s make an effort to communicate with those whom we’re now aimlessly killing. I ask each and every person who conducts this war under the guise of Christian principles to answer this question: How much time have you spent praying for your enemy today? Read Jesus in Matthew 5:43-44: You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

Continued... JEFFERSON and SLAVERY

Don't expect history to offer us simple lessons or perfect heroes. "The most problematic thing about him was his lifelong ownership of slaves and his inability to extricate either himself or his nation from the institution of slavery. Early in his life, Jefferson opposed slavery, writing, famously, "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just." But as he aged, his optimism waned, and he came to fear emancipation even more than God's wrath. Committed to equality in principle, Jefferson's practice was compromised by his racism, which is so distasteful, so repugnant to us today...This is the contrast in Jefferson, and his legacy: Words about human equality and freedom that are as fresh today as the day he wrote them, and words about racial inferiority that are so jarring that we can't read them today without feeling a profound sense of shame.

The standards by which we judge Jefferson are the ones he bequeathed us. We judge him harshly because he kept men and women in slavery, knowing that it was wrong — but it was Jefferson who told us that all people are equal, and that everyone is entitled to liberty and to human happiness. Don't expect history to offer us simple lessons or perfect heroes.

To his white family, Jefferson was both loving and manipulative. He gave them love to last a lifetime, and he left them impoverished. To his black family, he was remote but not unkind. He never acknowledged his black children, but he gave them their freedom, which is the greatest legacy that anyone born a slave ever wished for."

(The above is from Jan Lewis, Professor of History, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey)