Monthly Archives: September, 2005

HUD chief foresees a ‘whiter’ Big Easy

A Bush Cabinet officer predicted this week that New Orleans likely will never again be a majority black city, and several black officials are outraged.

Alphonso R. Jackson, secretary of housing and urban development, during a visit with hurricane victims in Houston, said New Orleans would not reach its pre-Katrina population of “500,000 people for a long time,” and “it’s not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again.” [more]

Sidney Blumenthal: Bin Laden’s little helper

[Undersecretary of State Karen] Hughes’s simple, sincere and unadorned language reveals the administration’s inner mind. Her ideas on terrorism and its solution are straightforward. “Terrorists,” she said, “their policies force young people, other people’s daughters and sons, to strap on bombs and blow themselves up.” That is: somehow, magically, these evil-doers coerce the young to commit suicide. If only they would understand us, the tensions would dissolve. “Many people around the world do not understand the important role that faith plays in Americans’ lives,” she said. When an Egyptian opposition leader inquired why Mr Bush mentions God in his speeches, Hughes asked him whether he was aware that “previous American presidents have also cited God, and that our constitution cites ‘one nation under God’.” “Well, never mind,” he said.

With these well-meaning arguments, Hughes has provided the exact proofs for Bin Laden’s claims about American motives. “It is stunning to the extent Hughes is helping bin Laden,” says Robert Pape, a University of Chicago political scientist who has conducted extensive research into the motives of suicide terrorists and is the author of Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism. “If you set out to help bin Laden,” he says, “you could not have done it better than Hughes.” Pape’s research debunks the view that suicide terrorism is the natural byproduct of Islamic fundamentalism or some “Islamo-fascist” ideological strain, independent of certain highly specific circumstances. “Of the key conditions that lead to suicide terrorism in particular, there first must be the presence of foreign combat forces on the territory that the terrorists prize. The second condition is a religious difference between the combat forces and the local community. The religious difference matters in that it enables terrorist leaders to paint foreign forces as being driven by religious goals.

“If you read Osama’s speeches, they begin with descriptions of the US occupation of the Arabian peninsula driven by our religious goals and that it is our religious purpose that must be confronted. That argument is incredibly powerful, not only to religious Muslims but also secular Muslims. Everything Hughes says makes their case.”

[I advocate the withering away of religion, including Islam and Christianity, through reason and scorn.]

Culture of Corruption

Does anybody have a running tally, of corruption in one place?

Lets see, spys in the Pentagon, delay, frist, rove, Santorum , oh and Sen. Harry Reid The money that led to the indictment this week of two Las Vegas pastors and the wife of one of them came from federal grants arranged by Sen. Harry Reid in September 2001, a Reid spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Did I leave out any?

Also, does it strike a cord w/anyone else w/regards to Santorum’s ‘AccuWeather scandal’ above in light of hurricanes Rita, and katrina?

It’s Another Bush Crisis

During the last week, I’ve read a slew of posts and columns about our newly “de-swaggerfied” (shouldn’t that be a word?) President. My latest blog post includes a poem which, I think, sums up Bush (and Rove’s) post-Katrina angst:

Here’s how it starts:

It’s Another Bush Crisis
By Madeleine Begun Kane

“It’s another Bush crisis,
And day after day,
Dub’s stooges are spinning,
While Bush says, “let’s pray.”

He is not on vacation.
He’s handling affairs.
We know that from photos
That show Dubya cares…”

The entire poem is here. And my podcast audio version is here.

Rep. David Dreier

House Rules Committee Chair Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) is to be one of the three temporary replacements for House Majority Leader Representative Tom Delay. A review of Rep. Dreier’s career and voting record is therefore in order…

* Supported a ban on adoption by gay and lesbian couples in the District of Columbia.
* Supported the Defense of Marriage Act, banning same-sex marriage.
* Supported the ability of federally funded charities to discriminate against gays in employment, even where local laws prohibit such bias.
* Opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would have banned discrimination against gay people in hiring.
* Opposed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

… and one more thing: he’s gay.

Judge Orders Release of Abu Ghraib Photos – Yahoo! News


NEW YORK – Pictures of detainee abuse at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison must be released despite government claims that they could damage America’s image, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven they “do not need pretexts for their barbarism.”

Army captain calls prisoner abuse ‘systemic’

Fishback charges that while at three bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, he and his peers and subordinates witnessed abuse of detainees. He says the abuse included everything from “physical beatings of detainees, to death threats, to harsh exposure to the elements, vigorous physical exertion to the point of fainting.”

Is he saying the abuse of detainees was not just a few bad apples at Abu Ghraib prison?

“Yes,” says Fishback, “there was a systemic problem, and it was widespread.”

Computer Stolen With Data on Thousands Involved in 9/11 Cleanup

In yet another horrid aspect of the 9-11 cover-up, according to The New York Sun, a laptop computer containing the personal and medical information of thousands of civil servants that assisted in the clean-up efforts in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks has been stolen, police said yesterday.

In order to “reopen Wall Street” the Bush administration censored crucial EPA and New York City Health Department warnings that the air after 9/11 was highly poisonous. As a result, Children in nearby schools have serious respiratory problems; Half of the site workers have serious respiratory problems; Half of the firefighters can no longer work, & 14 rescue dogs have died.

Arctic ice ‘disappearing quickly’

From the BBC:

The area covered by sea ice in the Arctic has shrunk for a fourth consecutive year, according to new data released by US scientists.

They say that this month sees the lowest extent of ice cover for more than a century.

The Arctic climate varies naturally, but the researchers conclude that human-induced global warming is at least partially responsible.

They warn the shrinkage could lead to even faster melting in coming years.

…September is the month when the Arctic ice usually reaches a minimum.

The new data shows that on 19 September, the area covered by ice fell to 5.35 million sq km (2.01 million sq miles), the lowest recorded since 1978, when satellite records became available; it is now 20% less than the 1978-2000 average.

The current rate of shrinkage they calculate at 8% per decade; at this rate there may be no ice at all during the summer of 2060.

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