Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Addiction to Kool-Aid

I recently read a letter to the editor in which the writer complained that the newspaper unfairly displayed photos of Iraqi “terrorist prisoners” allegedly being abused by the military while relegating a story about Iraq’s persistent efforts to hide its WMD to the back pages.

The article that the writer refers to was released by ABC News. The letter writer doesn’t mention the fact that the article does not say that Iraq possessed WMD when we invaded that country in 2003. The article doesn’t state that what Iraq possessed in the early 90s were actual WMD. It speaks of plans, programs and documents, but not actual weapons.

The letter writer also seems to be certain that everyone whom the American military detains is, indeed, a “terrorist”. The fact that the writer refers to the “terrorists” as “Iraqi terrorists” makes his accusation even more interesting.

It’s obvious that everyone held prisoner by the US military is not automatically guilty of supporting terrorism. The US has let hundreds of “prisoners” go free after holding them for months, even years at a time. Would the US ever set proven terrorists free?

From my perspective, most of the world considered Saddam Hussein, a few high-ranking government officials and the Iraqi Republican Guard the only terrorists in Iraq until the US invaded that country and invalidated what were once well protected Iraqi borders. The collapse of those borders was the main reason why such a vast number of terrorists were able to infiltrate into Iraq. These terrorists would otherwise have never been able to see the light of day in Iraq.

However, here’s the most important point, in my opinion.

Let’s pretend.

It’s 1965. America never invaded Vietnam.

The US and the USSR are the only nations which possess weapons of mass destruction. The two countries sign an agreement to be rid of WMD by 1967. A UN resolution is drawn up to support the agreement.

Each country agrees to allow UN inspectors to physically monitor its progress in destroying its WMD arsenal.

The USSR says that it suspects that America isn’t complying with the agreement or the UN resolution, even though UN inspectors have found no weapons in the US.

The Soviets demand that America immediately comply with the treaty and resolution. The US insists it is complying and continues to allow inspections.

Suddenly, the Soviets announce to the world that America has 48 hours to install a government “that can be trusted to comply with the UN resolution”. The Soviets say they will invade the US if this change in government doesn’t happen within that 48 hour time period.

In reality, America hadn’t gotten rid of its weapons and now knows that the USSR is going to invade it.

The US quickly moves its WMD to Canada for the purpose of hiding it from the invading Soviets.

The Soviets attack, overpower America, overthrow the government, capture LBJ and occupy the former USA.

Absurd, you say?

I recently read a letter to the editor in which the writer complained that the newspaper unfairly displayed photos of Iraqi “terrorist prisoners” allegedly being abused by the military while relegating a story about Iraq’s persistent efforts to hide its WMD to the back pages.

In light of the above scenario, why would Iraq move WMD to Syria or any other country?

What government, knowing it’s about to be invaded, would hide or move its weapons?

What government would opt to be overthrown?

What nation would opt to be occupied?

The illegal possession of controlled substances is against the law in the US. I suggest that whatever Kool-Aid The Regime’s supporters are drinking should be added to that list.

To friendship,
Michael

“He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave.” - Sir William Drummond

Monday, February 20, 2006

On Demand

I like to think that, unlike many people of my generation, I was excited when I got my first Mac at work. I couldn’t believe what that thing could do.

To give you an example of how a lot of people of that generation reacted, and still react, a coworker looked at the keyboard and said, “What does “escape” mean? It’s about time they updated the safety program around here.”

I took to it and things that followed like the proverbial duck to proverbial water.

I’ve completed 4 CDs and am working on a fifth. I know the first four have to be redone because I’ve learned so much about my mixing software. I know I can improve the songs. However, I get the feeling the popularity of CDs is rapidly dropping. It seems that everything is “on demand”, a terrible precedent that’s been set for future generations.

With nothing “on demand”, the kids stopped the Vietnam War. The kids had a vested interest in it. If you were 30 years old or older from 1965 to 1972, you thought that we kids were dirty, never cut or washed our hair, or any other part of our bodies, and were always high.

OK, so most of that was true, but we had passion and, as Mohammed Ali said so gracefully, had “nothin’ against them Viet Congs.”

We didn’t end the war by getting to millions of people “on demand”. We did it by just being there.

Ah, being there. What a concept.

Now everything is “on demand”. You don’t have to be anywhere because it’s going to come to you, anyplace and any time you want it. Almost anyone can afford to purchase “on demand” because the people in the shops which make the products that give us “on demand” can’t come close to being able to afford them.

iPods, tivos and other mechanisms, bring stuff to us “on demand”.

The up side is that, with an iPod, one could, by default and by accident, but serendipitously, nonetheless reach more people than one can with a blog or a web site.

It was fairly easy to figure out where to start when I got my first Mac. I have a PC now. PC stands for Personal Computer. A person either has a Mac or a PC. I’ve often wondered if that makes a Mac an Impersonal Computer.

I was born after the advent of the typewriter, believe it or not, and I learned how to plug things in and turn them on during my first thirty years or so. So learning how to use a Mac was fairly easy. I knew where to start.

Then my blog came to me. Good ole spam. It was “on demand”, I guess, although I don’t remember demanding it. I thought, “What a cool idea. I can have this for nothing. Just think of how many people I can reach.” They gave me the template and said, “Start typing dude” and I did.

I’m now almost positive that I was the 3,617,122,087th person to create a blog.

It wouldn’t have been easy for me to figure out where to start to get a web site, so I took a course in HTML. I knew how to make a web site, but I still didn’t know how to get one.

Spam to the rescue again. It came to me on demand and in my email.

Fewer people pay for web sites, but I’m sure the number above can be halved and I am that particular person who created a web site.

The reason I do any of this is to reach people. We’re in a world of hurt, but the kids of today, no, not just the kids, most people today aren’t going to stop any wars, any dictatorships or even any nuclear annihilation. They’re too busy listening to and watching stuff “on demand”.

We didn’t have the world “on demand” in the sixties and we didn’t like what was happening to it. Furthermore, one had to pursue it in order to get it. We certainly didn’t like our chances of living long enough to pursue our world. So we fought for our world to put an end to our having to fight and die for their world. They gave in.

The iPod is good for people who don’t want to read, or don’t know how to read, and, for that reason, it could be good for those of us who want to spread the message, “You are owned! You don’t have a life because you’ve decided to give it away and you don’t even know it!”

I don’t want to be popular or famous. I want to share my music with people because some people like music. Same goes for my poetry. I’d give it all away. All I’d need in return is to somehow know that people looked forward to hearing/reading it.

I’m 55 and I’ve finally reached a point in my life where the people that I most want to reach aren’t the same people who tell me I have no talent and my music and poetry sucks. Yes, some people say that, but, hey, I can accept criticism. What I received wasn’t criticism. It was a death knell for even the smallest inkling that I might at least have some hidden talent.

I do want to reach as many people as possible because, like Dubya, I want to spread democracy, real democracy, with a touch of socialism. By “socialism”, I mean government supported programs that help people who are in need. I’m not so delusional as to think that true communism could ever “take hold” on a national level as a form of self governance. The reason? People. In fact, I don’t think that we can even have communes anymore like we did back in the day (see dates above).

I’m disappointed in how opposition to this cabal and its murderous ways is non existent today. Talk and, especially writing about opposition to the Iraq fiasco has maybe tripled what it was in opposition to Vietnam. We’ve communicated with like minded people more in the three years that the murders in Iraq have been taking place than in all of the 8-10 years of Vietnam. But we eventually stopped Vietnam. One would think that, if we had the technology to show more people what was happening in Vietnam - Calley wasn’t the only Lieutenant who took his frustrations out on Vietnamese civilians - Vietnam would have been stopped in half the time.

However, I’m beginning to think that, if we had this technology during Vietnam, this country would now be holding the mortgages to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and all of Southeast Asia. We’d be writing about how awful it is that 355,000 American soldiers have needlessly died in this “war of choice”.

I’m not opposed to any technological advances that help inject sanity into the world’s population. I’m certainly not opposed to any technological advances that would enhance the chances of people enjoying my music or even poetry. Of course, we’d have to be lucky enough to have peace break out and last for more than five years.

One thing that I thought of that’s different between today and the time during the Vietnam “conflict” is the mainstream press. During the Vietnam era, the press reported the news. It didn’t take one position or another from what I remember. At least it reported all of the fact as they received them. They reported what was going poorly in Vietnam and reported what was going well in Vietnam. There wasn’t much in the latter category. There wasn’t any state run media like Fox News.

Walter Cronkite removed his glasses during one of his nightly news broadcasts, looked into the camera and gave his opinion about the war shortly after the Tet Offensive. That’s as close as it came to partisan news reporting. However, I think the general public was beginning to agree with his perspective, even before he expressed it. I think that we he did that evening had a profound affect upon the government and helped the kids in bringing the war to an end.

Life travels in only one direction. If podcasting means that more people will hear about what’s happening to them, then I’m all for it and I’ll do it. We really need to do more than just write and podcasting might be a good next step.

Why is it so impossible to get peace “on demand”?

To friendship,
Michael

"In sharing, in loving all and everything, one people naturally found a due portion of the thing they sought, while in fearing, the other found need of conquest." - Chief Luther Standing Bear - Oglala Sioux

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Consider This a Challenge

I dare all of you, bar none, to watch this, note the anomalies and try to explain them away.

On September 11, 2001, immediately after the planes hit the towers, my wife said to me, “Bush did this.”

Although I didn’t agree, I didn’t adamantly argue the point. In fact, I waited for the FDR/JFK type of rousing speech from George W. Bush. I thought that, through this unfortunate catastrophe, Bush would be one of the greatest presidents in the history of the nation.

Bush isn’t as articulate as FDR or JFK were, even when others write his speeches. However, he identified the enemies, bin Laden and Al Qaeda, and promised to bring them to justice.

I expected the world to stand by our side while we set all of our technological and military capabilities in motion to bring the identified enemies, bin Laden and Al Qaeda, to justice – ASAP. I thought that, with our capabilities and help from the rest of the world, capturing these madmen would be easy.

In fact, in my humble opinion, George W. Bush couldn’t escape greatness even if he wanted to. With the opportunity presented him by the attacks, merely accomplishing the logical goal would make him a hero. I was ready to follow him into that greatness because The United States of America was not going to be duped and attacked without swift and complete retaliation.

We are now in Iraq and close to 3,000 American soldiers have died. Countless have been ruined for life, physically and psychologically. Possibly hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed. This was not the logical goal that needed to be met. The invasion of Iraq was so illogical that I must, once again, refer to Richard Clarke’s analogy of FDR attacking Mexico after Pearl Harbor was attacked. That’s how illogical trying to accomplish whatever goal it is that we’re trying to accomplish in Iraq is.

This is but a small, vivid explanation of what I now believe happened on 9/11/01. However, even with much important evidence left out of it, I challenge anyone who takes the time to watch this video to respond with logical explanations for what you see. If you can’t come up with a counter explanation for the anomalies shown in this video, if you even say, “Well, I can explain every one” and proceed to logically explain it, “except this particular one”, then imagine how many more you may not be able to explain if you took the time to read David Ray Griffin’s books or watch “In Plane Site”.

I don’t mean the dare to sound adversarial. It isn’t meant that way. It’s meant as a challenge to put aside the overbearing desire to believe that other nations can give rise, even elect, as Germany did, governments that turn out to be mad and power hungry, while there’s no way that the US could ever elect such a government.

What makes us better than Germany, France under Napoleon, Rome under Romulus Augustus?
Was this country not founded by elites who would only allow white landowners to vote?

Did we not view the selling and buying of human beings as legitimate commerce?

Did we not allow women to vote for the first 130 years of the Republic’s existence?

Did we not work children at the age of ten years old in sweat shops for 16 hours a day, seven days a week?

Was it not power hungry madness that drove us to wipe out civilizations that had called this land home for hundreds, maybe thousands of years?

Were African Americans banned from restaurants, public facilities, even not allowed to vote as recently as 1964?

Do these acts seem like the acts of rational people?

Are we an evil nation because we allowed this? No. We came to our senses, mostly driven by civil disobedience or outright violent dissent, but we came to our senses. Americans recognizing that we, like any other nation, are not perfect and righted those wrongs. Successfully speaking truth to power is what makes me proud to be an American.

What makes us different today? We saw that our government condoned all of this inhumane, irrational activity and we rose up to help one another, American fighting with and for American, to rid our nation and our government of these irrational behaviors.

Why, suddenly, are we a country that can no longer produce megalomaniacs? We have 250 million people here in the US. Many are wealthy, have anything and everything they could ever want, except everything, i.e., total control and power. It’s really no different than what most of us do which is to live above our means. Whatever we can afford, we go into debt to get more than that. When you can afford anything, what’s left? Everything is left and controlling everything is living above one’s means for people who can afford everything.

Please watch this. It repeats what many may have seen already, but it’s produced and presented by people I’d never seen present it before and maybe a new perspective on the same obvious truths may help open our minds even wider.

I can tell you the ending without spoiling the documentary. We are too willing today to surrender our personal rights to protect our lives and the lives of our loved ones. But we were placed, by slight of hand and the manipulation of our rage, in this position. It’s not a position in which we need to be to be safe.

If you happen to read this message, please watch the video and explain away the obvious impossibilities.

To friendship,
Michael

“Truth is always strong, no matter how weak it looks; and falsehood is always weak, no matter how strong it looks.” – Phillip Brooks

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hello Campers

I guess the question is, “Is this enough proof that The Regime isn’t a government of the people, by the people and especially for the people? Is this proof enough that The Regime should be removed, legally, if possible, from the seat of power in The Former United States of America (FUSA)?

What is the “this” about which I write? The Regime has awarded The Department of Haliburton a $385 million contract to build internment camps throughout the US within the next five years.

I guess they didn’t think of “an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S or the rapid development of new programs” when the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s illegal alien holding sites were constructed.

The Native Americans would have had an easier time of holding on to their land if it wasn’t for “an emergency influx of immigrants”. In fact, once the European occupation became a nation, wasn’t its population built on a foundation of “emergency influxes of immigrants”? Aren’t most of the 250 million Americans here because they had ancestors who fluxed into The United States at one time or another? With immigrants pouring onto this land over the past 400 years or so, why do we suppose it took so long for the government to realize that we just didn’t have enough concentration camps?

How about the development of new programs? How’s The Department of Halliburton’s project going to help out with that?

I can’t think of a more dangerous new program than Eisenhower’s interstate highway system. Wouldn’t facilitating travel throughout the nation help political subversives/communists/terrorists/Grandmothers for Peace in their goal to violently overthrow the government? Why didn’t Joe McCarthy sit Ike down in the senate and say, “Isn’t it true, Mr. President, that your half baked interstate highway idea veil’s your true intention - to allow east coast and west coast communists more convenient access to one another?”

That’s when we needed concentration camps throughout the country. We could have snagged nine, maybe ten commies at every exit.

It’s fortunate that the House approved a $39 billion reduction in spending for domestic programs that help Americans in need.

These concentration camps can serve as housing for those who can no longer afford it, for those who’ve lost jobs to slave labor nations like China, India, South Korea and, yes, our old buddy, Vietnam. There are still some decent paying manufacturing jobs left in FUSA which means that there are still opportunities to turn jobs which pay a few Americans a living wage into jobs which help place people in third world countries in occupational hell holes and keep them living in squalor.

It’s possible that The Regime is under the impression that the recent $56 billion dollar cut in capital gains and dividend income taxes will make the domestic programs less important. This would be true if all Americans that are in need are part jof “the investment class”.

It’s possible that The Regime is finally embarrassed for spending $250 billion dollars of tax payers’ money to send members of a shrinking middle class to fight a war against a noun in a nation that never even threatened to pick a fight with FUSA and it needs to show the world that it can at least contain “political subversives” at home who use logic and fact and refuse to aid and abet the hegemonic occupation effort.

If you still support this Regime, say to yourself, “I support a government that is now paying millions of dollars to a corporation without competitors for the purpose of building concentration camps throughout this country.”

If one can support that program and still believe that one is patriotic, one may be surprised at how many Americans, real, patriotic Americans would suggest that one may be in the wrong country on the wrong continent at the wrong point in time.

See, I’m blaming Germany first this time.

To friendship,
Michael

Seems the rain has to be somebody’s tears
because there’s someone who’s dying.
It’s a boy who has very few years

and it’s his mother who’s crying.


how much traffic is going to my site

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Ain't Religion Grand

Ain’t religion grand!

I haven’t really written any essays about religion, although in the About Michael page of my web site, I do explain that I’m a non believer and I briefly explain why.

However, to me, religion is politics and is also political.

I have to speak to the “sin” recently committed by the Danish media.

I know that there are much less violent ways in which to try to convert someone to your religious beliefs. In fact, I've affixed this plaque:






on my front door to try to discourage those who would wake me up on a Saturday or Sunday morning to talk “Bible”.

I have to talk about the “sin” for two reasons.

One reason is that it merely proves that religion is political.

Secondly, I was sitting in the barber’s chair shortly after the story broke and overheard the following conversation:

“It doesn’t take much to piss off those towel heads.”

“Yeah. First the soldiers who are over there to help ‘em get democracy flush that stupid book down the toilet where it belongs and get in trouble and that just gives ‘em a reason to start ruining shit and killing people again. Now, a newspaper in a country that believes in free speech publishes a goddamned cartoon and there they go again”

“I know one way that we can make them and the fucking tree huggers happy. We should nuke the mother fuckers and while we’re at it nuke Iran, Syria and North Korea. They won’t be hijackin’ no planes no more, will they?”

I had lots of thoughts cross my mind simultaneously, but one that sticks out is “support the troops”. People who put little “support the troops” magnets on their SUVs are many times the same people whose answer to everything is to “nuke ‘em” and are the same people that say we can’t “cut and run” because it would be disrespectful to the soldiers who’ve already died fighting to bring democracy to Iraq.

I find it difficult to figure out how Iraqis are going to enjoy their democracy in an almost infinitely radioactive atmosphere.

I also wonder how “cutting and running” disrespects those who have died in Iraq if “nuking and running” doesn’t disrespect them. Isn’t the point of not “cutting and running” showing ourselves, because, frankly, no one else cares, that we can have more Americans killed in order to “win”, whatever that means, so those who’ve already died won’t have died in vain?

But I digress. It’s unconscionable to try to force one’s religious beliefs on those who want no part of it, as it seems some Muslims are doing in response to the Danish cartoon.

In my signature, I use quotes. One quote I use is from George Washington. Washington said, “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
Historical experts will say that was taken out of context. Washington made that statement so that the young US could trade with “Muselmen”, which Muslims were called in that day. His assurance that the US was not a Christian theocrcacy was stated with ulterior motives. Whether Washington really believed that or not is debatable. Nonetheless, he did say those words, didn't he?

On the other hand, Thomas Jefferson, who actually penned The Declaration of Independence, said, “Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilily (sic) couched. Fix reason firmly in her seat and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, (emphasis mine) he must more approve of the homage of reason that that of blindfolded fear.”

“Blindfolded fear”, the main food group of The Regime, hey? But, again, I digress.
Now, some would say Jefferson had a lot of nerve talking about “servile prejudices” since he owned slaves.

How many of us know that, in 1783, Jefferson penned a version of The Constitution of the state of Virginia which differed somewhat from the federal constitution. In the Virginia Constitution, he wrote, “No person coming into this county shall be held within the same in slavery under any pretext whatsoever.”

He went on, “The General assembly shall not have the power to…permit the introduction of any more slaves to reside in this state or the continuance of slavery beyond the generation which shall be living on the 31st day of December 1800; all persons born after that day being hereby declared free.”

First, Jefferson talks about the “servile prejudices” of slavery and then tries to make Virginia a non slave state. Was he a hypocrite of the worse kind or did he understand what would happen to his slaves if he set them free in the 18th or 19th century? Did he realize that they didn’t have much of a chance of survival if he did that?

Am I digressing again? No. The point I’m making is that the author of the Declaration of Independence, a major contributor to The Constitution of the United States and the author of Virginia’s Constitution, was not a religious man. He’s described as a deist, the least passionate of all believers.

In fact, in 1782, Jefferson wrote in a letter, “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.”

Why do I bring this up in connection with the horrible performance exhibited by those of the faith of Islam merely because the Danish media refused to practice the Islamic religion?
I repeat, I do not support their actions. I support their actions no more than I would have supported the actions of those who escaped tyrannical “royal” theocracy and who wound up in a land inhabited by savages, savages that those who sought religious freedom were convinced should be Christian.

The Native Americans' resistance to convert to Christianity was met with harsh punishment. Ultimately, the European Christians, feeling that they did all that they could to convert the “savages”, declared a war of annihilation. That’s right, a war of annihilation! And isn’t that what happened? Did we not annihilate what some people refer to as The First Nations of this land?
Who owns Saudi Arabia? Who owns Kuwait? Who owns a very large chunk of The Middle East?
Were there not resources in North America the likes of which the invading and occupying Europeans had never previously seen, just as the crude oil in The Middle East was like nothing akin to what any powerful European government had previously seen?

Weren’t those who had a rightful claim to North America merely attempting to keep their land when they “savagely” killed, in defense, the invading Europeans?

Unlike today’s Muslims, they didn’t fight the Europeans because the Europeans didn’t respect their religious beliefs. The Europeans indeed didn’t respect what Native Americans considered holy burial grounds. They trampled over these holy places and trampled over The First Nations, every man, woman and child. Why? Because they were Christian and they were white and that was enough for them.

Who owns those places in the Middle East? The Europeans who now inhabit the lands of The First Nations are doing it all over again and the rightful inhabitants of The Middle East don’t much like it.

Yes, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt all have sovereign governments, but just as some Native American leaders gave into baubles offered by the white invaders and occupiers from the 15th century until the late 19th century, Middle Eastern governments have played nicely with Western governments and they have been rewarded handsomely for their “cooperation”.
If someone doesn’t adhere to your religious beliefs like, for instance, there shall be no depiction of the Prophet Mohammed, it doesn’t give you the right to murder and pillage.

I didn’t go back to The Inquisition or The Crusades because I feel that the example of what Christians did to the people whose right it was to inhabit this land speaks volumes to the ignorance expressed in the Barbour Shop. I’m thinking that, if nukes were around in the late 18th, early 19th centuries, they’d be no United States of America that could be created on the backs of the torture of this land's original inhabitants.

Do I forget that that was then and this is now, not then? Why do I bring up “old news”? We conquered the savages and now the land is ours. How do I propose undoing that?
Was this then and this is now not then? Let’s examine.

Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin, said that we are fighting in Iraq "because we're a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian . . . and the enemy is a guy called Satan." He must have forgotten Washington’s words.

Another one of Christ’s handmaidens, Pat Robertson, in responding to Fidel Castro’s claim that the US is planning to assassinate Venezuela’s democratically elected President Hugo Chavez, said, "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it.” That’s right, the commandment in the Bible, translated literally, means “Thou shalt not murder”, not “Thou shalt not kill”. So maybe Pat has a point.

And, of course, how could a real debate about how this “Christian Nation”, so pure, so perfect, so beloved by the “one true god”, to go along with the world’s several hundred other “one true gods”, be complete without the April 17, 2000 proclamation by Governor George W. Bush that, “…I, George W. Bush, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim June 10, 2000, Jesus Day in Texas…”

If I was at all religious, or even spiritual, if I believed in ghosts, faeries, angels, miracles, bright lights in near death experiences, bleeding statues, grown males wearing Halloween costumes with flowing robes and very strange hats, choking from the smoke emanating from golden items tossed around in church, plastic wafers no doubt made from chemicals that shouldn’t be consumed, beanies worn by bearded men dressed in black who eat any animal butchered by man except pork, people who kneel daily, clothed in robes or Salvation Army hand me downs, and mumble meaningless words learned by rote, as all meaningless religious words are learned, I might be able to contort my philosophy into believing that it’s OK to kill people into believing as I do. After all, from the Bible to the Torah to the Koran, the god affiliated to the particular religion in question offers his followers one leeway or another to kill in his name (it’s always “his”, isn’t it?).

You want an argument against the death penalty, look in the Bible.

You want an argument for the death penalty, look in the Bible.

You want a commandment that tells you to love your neighbor, look in the Koran.

You want a commandment that tells you to kill your neighbor, look in the Koran.

Back to the Muslims and the Danes.

Have Synagogues been burned by racists in the good ole USofA? You bet your ass.

Have Mosques and homes of Muslims been destroyed in the good ole USofA? You bet your ass.

Have Catholic Churches been destroyed in the good ole USofA? There goes another ass, wagered by people who call themselves Aryans.

Have Christian Churches been destroyed in the good old USofA because the congregations were either mostly or all Black? You know that answer.

There’s a question that can be asked of all people who think that their god is infallible.

Can god create a boulder so heavy that he himself can not lift it?

Sure he can. He can create anything.

Of course he can’t. God can lift anything.

Well, which is it? Either way god is less than infallible, isn’t he?

Here’s the proof, my friends.

I once asked a Catholic friend, “Who wrote the Bible?”

Of course, being a former practicing Catholic, I knew his answer would be “God wrote the Bible.”
I continued, “You mean God took pen in hand and started scribbling down some ideas?”

He said, “No silly. God inspired men to write the Bible. Men held the pens, men wrote the words, but the words were not theirs. The words were God’s. So, in essence, God wrote the Bible.”
I then asked, “How do you know that God wrote the Bible through the hands of these men?”
He said, “It says so in the Bible.”

I rest my case.

You will now proceed to tell everyone that you read that Michael approves of what the Muslims are doing in response to a cartoon in a Danish newspaper. You will do that, not because that’s what you really think. You’re not even so stupid as to forget that I said I disapprove of it. You’ll say that because, as you have no mature, logical arguments for just about anything you believe, you must lie, embellish or just participate in character assassination to get people riled up enough to share your hate and your misery with you.
Yet, as with all of my essays, I end this with:

To friendship,
Michael

Who knows why the hell we do it,
but we always get right to it.
No one knows or even wants to see.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Welcome to the Blame America First Club

My response to a responder to an essay I posted on my site:

OK, the Blame America First Club submission to my web site has to be answered. Of course, if you weren’t so hesitant to leave a email address, I could respond personally. But the submission form says “Optional” and that's pretty obvious.

I’ve thought about that phrase ever since you inducted me into the club.

The first thing I want to do is to thank you if, as you say, such patriotic Americans as Senator Barbara Boxer, Representative Bernie Sanders, Representative Dennis Kucinich, Ed Shultz, Ralph Nader and especially my friend Cindy Sheehan are members. I feel that I’ m in good company, although I only know one of those people personally. (More about Cindy’s arrest at another time)

The second thing I’d like to do is to let you know that you probably don’t include your email address because, as your submission shows, you have no legitimate argument against my points of view. You merely utilize the submission form to attack me personally.

However, of the personal attacks that I’ve received, the Blame American First Club is fairly easy to respond to.

By the way, if I didn’t want to be attacked personally, I wouldn’t have created my site or my blog and I wouldn’t have my column, "Open Mike - Soundoff” at the studio8 forum. I would also stop writing letters to the editor. Personal attacks are for those, as I mentioned, that have no legitimate argument.

I’m not sure for what you’re accusing us of blaming America first, so I guess I can choose one of the many topics about which I’ve written, the so-called “war” in Iraq.

The way I’m going to go about this is to take the phrase one word at a time. That should be easy since the phrase contains only three words ( I won’t include the word “club”)

I’m absolutely certain that, no matter one’s politics, everyone blames someone for the fiasco in Iraq. Many people blame the 9/11 hijackers, some blame Saddam Hussein, some blame The Regime, but everyone blame’s someone. “Conflicts” like Iraq and Vietnam just don’t happen. Something has got to initiate actions which kill thousands of people. So, I dare say that you even blame someone for what’s going on in Iraq.

I’m going to skip the word “America” because it’s a bit more complicated than “blame” and “first”.

I can only assume that the word “first” implies that we in the club blame America without giving any thought to facts. In that regard, let me remind you that the one fact you mention to back up your accusation is what happened on September 11, 2001. In fact, on September 18, 2003, the front man for The Regime admitted that Iraq was not involved in 9/11. He’s the guy that most of you think sent troops to Iraq. I think this quote, made six months after the invasion, proves my point that a regime, or a “cabal”, as Lawrence B. Wilkerson, former chief of staff for Colin Powell, calls it, controls the government of the former United States of America. It’s a regime in which George W. Bush plays a very small role. Aside from Dubya’s statement, for which I’m certain The Regime scolded him, that one and only “fact” has been disproved over and over again.

In the case of the murders in Iraq, we were rallying, marching, meeting, holding workshops, etc. in the summer and fall of 2002. We knew that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. UN inspectors were still searching and hadn’t found any. The Regime in essence did invade Iraq before UN inspectors completed their weapons inspections. So who, other than our government, compelled us to invade Iraq?

But do we really “blame America first” for the invasion of Iraq?

America is a nation. Dictionary.com defines a nation as:

a. “A relatively large group of people organized under a single, usually independent government; a country.
b. The territory occupied by such a group of people…”

Our “club members” define America that very same way.

First, America is land and water that is set within certain, predefined boundaries. We will never blame land and water for starting a war.

Secondly, America is the 250 million people who walk upon that land. That’s it! If I was ever to die for my country, that’s what I would be willing to die for. I wouldn’t be willing to die for the buildings, the corporations nor the government.

People in the government make up only a very small percentage of America. However, those people have the power to decide to invade a nation. Those people, admittedly, have access to information that may convince them to make the decision to invade a nation and we know that. Since we know that they have access to such information, we first must believe what they tell us, assuming that they wouldn’t allow Americans to be harmed or killed for disingenuous or edacious reasons.

Before the Iraq invasion, however, many of us knew that The Regime may very well have been misleading the nation.

The Regime was saying that diplomacy was failing, but didn’t tell us who the American diplomat was who was meeting with the Iraqi government. That’s because there wasn’t any American diplomat meeting with the Iraqi government. Diplomats from both parties must meet in order for diplomacy to exist, let alone work.

It was saying that there were stockpiles of horrible weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Yet, UN inspectors had been in Iraq for quite some time and hadn’t found anything close to a stockpile of weapons. Mark Ritter, a former US Marine, led one of the UN inspection teams and came back saying that The Regime was lying about Iraq’s possession of WMD. He was there! He was the closest thing that the former United States had to a diplomat in Iraq. He was very believable while warnings about “mushroom clouds” seemed a bit far fetched and melodramatic.

The Regime had made it clear, even before it was selected in 2000, that one of its goals was regime change in Iraq. It made it clear when it was TheProject for the New American Century. It seemed obvious that Iraq would be invaded if it ever took over the reigns of government in the former US.

The Regime immediately identified 19 Middle Eastern men in an almost suspiciously expeditious manner as the people who hijacked planes on September 11, 2001. None of the 19 men were Iraqi. 18 were Saudis and 1 was Algerian. Nothing about that fateful day gave us any reason to invade Iraq.

America is land and the people who occupy that land and none of us know most of the 250 million occupants personally. Consequently we would never blame America for anything. We do blame the government of America, however. It, with malice aforethought, invaded a nation that had done nothing to this country and was not the slightest threat. Further, we spent resources invading that nation after The Regime had told us that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. These are resources that could have been used to capture those who we said carried out the 9/11 attacks.

Finally, we in the “club” make up part of the population of this land and we consider ourselves Americans. We act and work on behalf of America, as we define it.

We spend a great deal of time writing to and meeting with government officials to try to make this a better place than we found it and especially better than it is now.

We spend hours talking with people, trying to convince them to see all sides of issues, not just the infotainment that passes as the mainstream media.

Those who can physically do it go from house to house, handing out flyers and talking to people.

Those of us who are not physically able to walk long distances spend time stuffing envelopes and calling people.

And many of us inform. As I said, too many people don’t see the whole picture, so to speak. We write and hope that people read. We thank you for at least reading, by the way.
Until David Ray Griffin and families of victims of 9/11 spoke out, there weren’t many, including me, who knew how many unanswered questions there were about that day.

Recently, 35 year US Marine veteran and present member of Congress, John Murtha, who in the beginning was caught up in the 9/11 frenzy, proposed a house bill which was intended to get us out of Iraq within six months. Do you think that he belongs to the Blame America First Club?

Do you think that former Marine Scott Ritter belongs to the Blame American First Club?

Do you think ultra conservative Libertarian Pat Buchanan belongs to the Blame America First Club?

Those people and the rest of the “club” aren’t blaming America, we’re blaming The Regime. Furthermore, I believe that we’re working harder to turn the former United States of America back into The United States of America than many who claim to be “patriotic” but do nothing more than to affix magnetic signs made in China to their SUVs which say “Support Our Troops”.
On a personal note, I’m 55 years old, but have been told that I have the back of an 80 year old and that there’s no surgical procedure that can be performed to improve the condition. Yet, I’ve attended rallies, spoken at rallies, sung at rallies, marched against the murders that are taking place in Iraq. I can barely walk a half a mile, but I do as much as I can. And I know other members of “the club” who overcome great odds to work very hard to get this country back.

Besides being too cowardly to leave me a personal email address so that we can discuss just what “blame America first” really means, it appears to me that you move forward with personal attacks on me, someone you’ve never met and with whom you won’t allow yourself to have a mature dialogue, without using facts to back up your attacks. Your debating style is born of ignorance and blind faith in a government, not the support of a nation.

I believe the club to which I, and those you mention belong should be the “love America first” club. We want the unwarranted killing of Americans to stop. We want the rights of Americans protected and a government that’s creative enough to know how to do that while remaining aware of potential threats to America. We want Americans to have more of a say in what its government does and we want the government to tell us the truth about matters of life and death.

If America is threatened and the government shows us that it’s threatened, we will be the first to support the government’s actions to protect America.

Thomas Jefferson said that “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Would you call Jefferson a member of the Blame America Fist Club?

My advice to you or anyone else who resorts to immature personal attacks in lieu of factually supported arguments is to not enter into a debate unarmed.

To friendship,
Michael

"Wrong is still wrong even if everybody's doing it. And right is still right even if nobody's doing it." – Anonymous Texas Ranger while testifying at the trial of a murderer


Scholars for 9/11 Truth

Thanks to Mary Alice O'Connor of The Mount Diablo Peace Center, I have recently learned of a group which calls itself “Scholars for 9/11 Truth”.

These people appear to be what they call themselves, scholars. They’re not giving up, which is good for us.

I suggest taking a moment to visit the site.

I know many of you just don’t believe it could happen. The reasons?

The most frequently used reason is that too many people would have to be involved. Someone would surely have spoken out by now.


Well, if you’ve visited my site or visited this blog, you’d know people like Siebel Edmonds have attempted to speak out under very difficult circumstances.

You’d know that there are CIA agents who have attempted to speak out, only to have their lives and the lives of their families threatened.

Think about The Holocaust. How many people inhumanely controlled the concentration camps and Americans supposedly didn’t really know about them until toward the end of WWII? How many people among all stations of life knew about what was going on and even participated in rounding up and torturing Jews? Don’t we think that at least some of them knew that what they were doing was wrong?

What these scholars have to say is interesting if not eye opening.

By the way, and I don’t remember if I included this in any of my previous essays, I did request and receive an official report from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Although they blame the fires in WTC Buildings 1 and 2 for their collapse, not an explanation of why they fell the way they fell, they are still stumped by why WTC Building 7 fell as well. They also don’t understand why it fell the way it fell.

I know that this is way out of the box for many of you, even the most progressive of you. Under normal circumstances, we are supposedly innocent until proven guilty. Of course, under normal circumstances, if we are suspected of committing a serious crime, no matter how we are supposed to be perceived before a trial occurs, we are held in custody by law enforcement. The trial is what determines if we should be released.

It may sound as if some of us are saying that The Regime is guilty until proven innocent. We want a non partisan, totally empowered panel or commission to ask the question who, indeed, orchestrated what happened on September 11, 2001. We’re not even asking that the suspects be held in custody until that trial happens, which is what would happen to most of us. We just want an investigation that starts with the question, “Who did it?” instead of bypassing that part based upon what The Regime has decided.

Is The Regime legally suspect? Yes. There are several civil suits that have been leveled against The Regime and those suits should be treated as any suit. The accusations should go to trial and the chips should be allowed to fall where they may.

Once you arrive at the site, you may be impressed. Or you may think that these “scholars” are just more crazies.

My next essay: Who Inducted Me Into the “Blame America First Club”? I never applied for membership.

To friendship,
Michael

“You can’t deport opinion.” – Edmund Vance Cook