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Bush Approval Among Military Families Down 50% Since 2004

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Reprinted from RawStory.com 

Support for President Bush and his Iraq war policy is nearly as anemic among US military families as it is in the general population, according to a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll.

The survey finds that almost 60 percent of the military community — which was defined as active and former service personnel as well as their families — disapprove of the president’s handling of the war. The same percentage of the group disapprove of Bush’s overall performance as president. Meanwhile, only 37 percent of the family members approve of Bush. Among civilians polled, the war garnered support from 32 percent of respondents.

Families that include veterans of wars presided over by the president were found to be just as critical of the war in Iraq as other Americans, with a full 60 percent saying the war was not worth the cost.

“Patience with the war, which has now lasted longer than the U.S. involvement in World War II, is wearing thin — particularly among families who have sent a service member to the conflict,” reports the Los Angeles Times‘ Faye Fiore. “One-quarter say American troops should stay ‘as long as it takes to win.’ Nearly seven in 10 favor a withdrawal within the coming year or ‘right away.'”

The new numbers stand in stark contrast to a poll of military families conducted by the University of Pennsylvania three years ago, in which twice as many individuals approved of the president’s performance.

The poll also finds more support for Democrats than Republicans when it comes to “treatment” of active-duty military personnel, indicating that a “plurality of military-family members, 39 percent, say they believe Democrats are likely to do a better job handling those issues, compared with 35 percent for Republicans,” according to Bloomberg news.

A military sociologist told the Los Angeles Times that flagging support for a president from servicemembers’ families in a time of war wasn’t typical. “You generally expect to see support for the president as commander in chief and for the war, but this is a different kind of war than those we’ve fought in the past, particularly for families,” he said.

One Army mother responding to the poll, whose son was wounded in Iraq, told the Times that she feared casualties in the conflict were for naught.

“I don’t see gains for the people of Iraq…and, oh, my God, so many wonderful young people, and these are the ones who felt they were really doing something, that’s why they signed up,” she said. “I pray to God that they did not die in vain, but I don’t think our president is even sensitive at all to what it’s like to have a child serving over there.”

Complete polling results are available here.

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Quick! Who’s Position is This…Bush or Giuliani???

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Okay, time for a little fun. Can you guess who said the following regarding various issues??? 

U.S. Policy toward Africa

He said the United States should focus its policy toward Africa on increases in trade. “U.S. government aid is important, but aid not linked to reform perpetuates bad policies and poverty.”

In May 2007, he was informed that he held between $500,000 and $1 million in investments in companies that work in Sudan.

U.S. Policy toward India

He views India’s rapidly growing economy as a potentially lucrative market, saying the United States should “take advantage” (CNBC) of the “large number of consumers that are emerging in India.” In particular, he said, the U.S. stands to “make a lot of money in India” in new energy technology.

Military Tribunals and Guantanamo Bay

He said he supports the detention camp at Guantanamo. He said in a June 2007 interview with the Wall Street Journal that he believes the allegations of prisoner mistreatment at Guantanamo have “been grossly exaggerated, and many of the reports that I see are that it’s not terribly different from any other prisons.”

Domestic Intelligence

He defended the domestic spying initiatives, saying “he did it to protect our national security and to try to find out information about people that might attack us and might be preparing an attack on us, in order to secure us, in order to protect us.” He said in September 2007 that electronic surveillance should not be “unrealistically” limited.

War on Terror

He responded to John Edwards’ criticism of the war on terror, saying in June 2007, “This is not a bumper sticker; this war is a real war.” He generally refers to “the terrorist war against us,” lately, rather than the “war on terror,” he told TIME.

Democracy Promotion in the Arab World

He believes in a larger goal of a democratic (AFP) Iraq and Middle East. But, he says, stability takes precedence over democracy. “Democracy can’t flourish unless people are safe. You can’t have democracy when people are being killed,” he said in January 2007.

Energy Policy

He has ties to various energy companies, many of which are fossil fuel-oriented including Duke Energy Corp., the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, Valero Energy Corp, and FPL Energy. He has supported increased use of nuclear power.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

He has held up Israel as “the only outpost of freedom and democracy in the Middle East and the only absolutely reliable friend of the United States.” (Haaretz) In a 2002 speech, he stressed that Jerusalem must “remain the undivided capital” of Israel. He also said at that time that the Palestinian Authority is not a “moral equivalent” to the Israeli government, because “there is a difference between a nation based on law and democracy and one that harbors terrorism.” He called on the Palestinian Authority to create “institutions of political and economic freedom and religious toleration.” More recently, he said that in his view it “makes no difference” whether the Palestinian Authority is run by Hamas or Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas. At a March 2007 fundraiser, he also said that the United States should “not push any peace process” until the Palestinian Authority recognizes Israel’s right to exist and condemns terrorism.

North Korea Policy

He supports the policy of China placing pressure on Pyongyang. “I think the strategy has produced enough results so far that you have to stick with it,” he said. He indicated it remains unclear whether Iran or North Korea is further along in developing a nuclear weapons program.

Cuba Policy

He is critical of Castro, which he made clear recently in a speech over whether or not to return Cuban child Elian Gonzales to Cuba in 2000 (He was an outspoken voice for keeping the boy in the United States).

He also attacked Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for following Castro’s “model.” (AP) Speaking to a group in Florida, he said the United States must build an alliance with Mexico and Colombia to counteract the shift to the left of Latin American governments.

U.S. Policy toward China

He has not made many public statements on his views of China. However, he said in an CNBC interview that limiting China ’s ownership of U.S. debt is “generally a bad idea and generally self-defeating.” He said that the U.S. should build industries that we can sell” in China.

Defense Policy

He has called for an “offense-as-a-defense” (Journal-Register)strategy towards al-Qaeda, backing the U.S. troop surge and continued presence in Iraq.

He fully advocates the addition of thirty-five thousand troops to the army’s current level of 512,000 (AP).

In September 2007, he said the United States should pursue a nuclear missile defense system, as “America can no longer rely on Cold War doctrines such as ‘mutual assured destruction’ in the face of threats from hostile, unstable regimes.”

Iraq

He says we need a plan by which to measure progress but that does not include troop withdrawals. “You need statistics,” (FOX) he said in January 2007. “You need to be able to determine whether or not you’ve brought the violence down. If it doesn’t work, then you got to put more people in.”

He opposes any “artificial timeline” for troop withdrawal from Iraq, which he says would be tantamount to giving America’s enemies “a printed-out list of how it’s going to retreat (ChiTrib) to its enemy.” He is steadfast in his support for the war, which he considers part of the larger global war on terror.

Trade

In October 2007 he spoke in support of the pending Free Trade Agreements with Peru, Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, saying they “would be good deals for the United States.”

Homeland Security

In a September 2006 he stressed the need for a nuclear material detection system in the United States.

Iran

He has the United States should proceed diplomatically with Iran, but that “we will use a military option if we have to.” He said a military strike would be “very dangerous”but nuclear arms in the control of “an irrational person” like President Ahmadinejad was more dangerous.

His supporters are vocal advocates for bombing Iran preemptively in order to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons. 

Climate Change

He said he believes climate change exists (SFChron) and that something must be done to reduce pollution. However, he has not said outright that he believes climate change is caused by human activity. His statements with regard to policy on the issue have been rather vague.

Immigration

He supports some type of path (NYT) to citizenship for illegal immigrants. “If you have twelve million people, to thirteen to fourteen to fifteen million that are here illegally, it is much easier for terrorists and drug dealers to hide,” he said recently. He also said that he is in favor of a border fence and a database with which to keep track of all immigrants. 

As mayor of New York City, Giuliani opposed a law (NYT) that would have prevented illegal immigrants from receiving Social Security, food stamps and health care benefits.

United Nations

He has been extremely critical of the United Nations, which, he said, “proved irrelevant to the resolution of almost every major dispute of the last 50 years.” He says the institution’s primary capabilities are in humanitarian and peacekeeping missions, but “we should not expect much more of it.”

Specifically, he said the United Nations must hold accountable states that support or condone terrorism. “Otherwise, you will fail in your primary mission as peacekeeper,” he said. “It must ostracize any nation that supports terrorism. It must isolate any nation that remains neutral in the fight against terrorism.”

U.S. Policy toward Russia

He advocates commercial engagement with Russia, but has also expressed support for the planned missile defense shield in Eastern Europe. In October 2007 he called for an increase in military spending to “send a heck of a signal” to Russia.

Recently he traveled to Moscow to promote U.S.-Russian business relations.

And the answer is [dramatic pause…]

Rudi Giuliani

So if you vote for him, you clearly vote for more of the same neo-con nonsense. 

I Know Bush is at War with the English Language but…

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I stumbled on some more recent gems…enjoy

“There are some similarities, of course (between Iraq and Vietnam). Death is terrible.” –George W. Bush, Tipp City, Ohio, April 19, 2007

“I’ve been in politics long enough to know that polls just go poof at times.” –George W. Bush, Tipp City, Ohio, April 19, 2007

“Suiciders are willing to kill innocent life in order to send the projection that this is an impossible mission.” –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 3, 2007

“And there is distrust in Washington. I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I’m sorry it’s the case, and I’ll work hard to try to elevate it.” –George W. Bush, interview on National Public Radio, Jan. 29, 2007

“The best way to defeat the totalitarian of hate is with an ideology of hope — an ideology of hate — excuse me –with an ideology of hope.” –George W. Bush, Fort Benning, Ga., Jan. 11, 2007

“Either we’ll succeed, or we won’t succeed. And the definition of success as I described is sectarian violence down. Success is not no violence.” –George W. Bush, on Iraq, Washington, D.C., May 2, 2007

“Information is moving — you know, nightly news is one way, of course, but it’s also moving through the blogosphere and through the Internets.” –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 2, 2007

“I’m going to try to see if I can remember as much to make it sound like I’m smart on the subject.” –George W. Bush, answering a question about a possible flu pandemic, Cleveland, July 10, 2007

“You know, I guess I’m like any other political figure: Everybody wants to be loved.” –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., July 12, 2007

“More than two decades later, it is hard to imagine the Revolutionary War coming out any other way.” –George W. Bush, Martinsburg, W. Va., July 4, 2007

“I heard somebody say, ‘Where’s (Nelson) Mandela?’ Well, Mandela’s dead. Because Saddam killed all the Mandelas.” –George W. Bush, on the former South African president, who is still very much alive, Washington, D.C., Sept. 20, 2007

“Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for your introduction. Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit.” –George W. Bush, addressing Australian Prime Minister John Howard at the APEC Summit, Sept. 7, 207

“As John Howard accurately noted when he went to thank the Austrian troops there last year…” –George W. Bush, referring to Australian troops as “Austrian troops,” APEC Business Summit, Sept. 7, 2007

Thank you Mr. President.

Iran and the coming of World War III… Huh?

fareed-thumb7.jpg Reprinted from Newsweek Written by Fareed Zakaria

At a meeting with reporters last week, President Bush said that “if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing [Iran] from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.” These were not the barbs of some neoconservative crank or sidelined politician looking for publicity. This was the president of the United States, invoking the specter of World War III if Iran gained even the knowledge needed to make a nuclear weapon.

The American discussion about Iran has lost all connection to reality. Norman Podhoretz, the neoconservative ideologist whom Bush has consulted on this topic, has written that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is “like Hitler … a revolutionary whose objective is to overturn the going international system and to replace it in the fullness of time with a new order dominated by Iran and ruled by the religio-political culture of Islamofascism.” For this staggering proposition Podhoretz provides not a scintilla of evidence.

Here is the reality. Iran has an economy the size of Finland’s and an annual defense budget of around $4.8 billion. It has not invaded a country since the late 18th century. The United States has a GDP that is 68 times larger and defense expenditures that are 110 times greater. Israel and every Arab country (except Syria and Iraq) are quietly or actively allied against Iran. And yet we are to believe that Tehran is about to overturn the international system and replace it with an Islamo-fascist order? What planet are we on?

When the relatively moderate Mohammed Khatami was elected president in Iran, American conservatives pointed out that he was just a figurehead. Real power, they said (correctly), especially control of the military and police, was wielded by the unelected “Supreme Leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Now that Ahmadinejad is president, they claim his finger is on the button. (Oh wait, Iran doesn’t have a nuclear button yet and won’t for at least three to eight years, according to the CIA, by which point Ahmadinejad may not be president anymore. But these are just facts.)

In a speech last week, Rudy Giuliani said that while the Soviet Union and China could be deterred during the cold war, Iran can’t be. The Soviet and Chinese regimes had a “residual rationality,” he explained. Hmm. Stalin and Mao—who casually ordered the deaths of millions of their own people, fomented insurgencies and revolutions, and starved whole regions that opposed them—were rational folk. But not Ahmadinejad, who has done what that compares? One of the bizarre twists of the current Iran hysteria is that conservatives have become surprisingly charitable about two of history’s greatest mass murderers.

If I had to choose whom to describe as a madman, North Korea’s Kim Jong Il or Ahmadinejad, I do not think there is really any contest. A decade ago Kim Jong Il allowed a famine to kill 2 million of his own people, forcing the others to survive by eating grass, while he imported gallons of expensive French wine. He has sold nuclear technology to other rogue states and threatened his neighbors with test-firings of rockets and missiles. Yet the United States will be participating in international relief efforts to Pyongyang worth billions of dollar.

We’re on a path to irreversible confrontation with a country we know almost nothing about. The United States government has had no diplomats in Iran for almost 30 years. American officials have barely met with any senior Iranian politicians or officials. We have no contact with the country’s vibrant civil society. Iran is a black hole to us—just as Iraq had become in 2003.

The one time we seriously negotiated with Tehran was in the closing days of the war in Afghanistan, in order to create a new political order in the country. Bush’s representative to the Bonn conference, James Dobbins, says that “the Iranians were very professional, straightforward, reliable and helpful. They were also critical to our success. They persuaded the Northern Alliance to make the final concessions that we asked for.” Dobbins says the Iranians made overtures to have better relations with the United States through him and others in 2001 and later, but got no reply. Even after the Axis of Evil speech, he recalls, they offered to cooperate in Afghanistan. Dobbins took the proposal to a principals meeting in Washington only to have it met with dead silence. The then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, he says, “looked down and rustled his papers.” No reply was ever sent back to the Iranians. Why bother? They’re mad.

Last year, the Princeton scholar, Bernard Lewis, a close adviser to Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal predicting that on Aug. 22, 2006, President Ahmadinejad was going to end the world. The date, he explained, “is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the Prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to ‘the farthest mosque,’ usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back. This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world” (my emphasis). This would all be funny if it weren’t so dangerous.

© Newsweek, Inc.

 

Commentary from MJ “revoltingpawn”…

I had to post this article since felt there has been a lack of common sense and reporting of facts from the media in regards to Iran. Fareed Zakaria you are breath of fresh air on the Iranian situation and I am hoping more people will read this article. My questions are… Are the American people gullible enough to believe another set of lies from the Bush administration as we beat the war drum once again? Will the mainstream media again be a willing accomplice for another possible Bush manufactured war? Let’s hope we have different outcome with Iran then what happened in Iraq.

King George Denied at Last!

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Chalk one up for the good guys. 

Last week, in his ongoing effort to quash any meaningful piece of legislation that the Democrats try to pass, George W. Bush’s veto of a popular water projects bill was overridden by the U.S. House of Representatives today. The veto will enact legislation that would authorize $23 billion for nearly 900 projects across the United States, including flood control, transportation upgrades and construction of new water control infrastructure.

The House voted 361-54 to override the president’s veto. The Senate is expected to take up the water bill as early as Wednesday.

Bush cited too much “pork-barrel” spending in the bill.

This coming from the president who is the unprecedented heavy-weight champion of the world of peacetime pork…

If a similar swell of support occurs in the Senate, it would mark the first time Congress has mustered enough votes to override King George. 

Bush has vetoed five bills during his time in office…four against Democrats of course.

The President chose to stand in the way of this bipartisan legislation, this overwhelming bipartisan legislation, in an attempt to claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer from Maryland. “This is the wrong bill to have done so.” 

“No one is surprised that this veto is over-ridden,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. “We understand that members of Congress are going to support the projects in their districts. Budgeting is about making choices and defining priorities – it doesn’t mean you can have everything,” he said. “This bill doesn’t make the difficult choices; it says we can fund every idea out there.”

Yeah, $10 million for flood control in Mississippi and Louisiana is clearly unreasonable.

The bill would provide funding to do coastal restoration in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and improve the Florida Everglades. It also would include new locks to speed up freight traffic on the Mississippi River. Farm and business groups have campaigned for years to expand navigational capacity on the upper Mississippi, where many of the locks and dams date from the Depression era, in order to remain competitive in the global agriculture trade market.

Again, unreasonable in the eyes of the Bush administration.

Bush and Democrats are at a seemingly unresolvable impass over the Iraq war, and have been playing political volleyball with SCHIP. This override, if for no other reason, has breathed some life back into our system of checks and balances but moreover, has demonstrated to King George that we are not heading down the slippery slope of dictatorial control yet…not yet.

Please get off your ass and vote tomorrow!

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Tomorrow is election day and while maybe it is an off year in the political cycle, we still can’t afford to be indifferent in these troubling times. If you look at our byline on our blog title it reads… “Who really controls your government?” Matthew and I have argued on our radio show in the past on what that means. Matthew seems to think special interests and corporations have so much power now that our vote counts for little. I agree that the voice of the people has been weaken over the years but its the same special interests and corporations who would like you to think your vote does not matter!

I think a good chunk of the people who do not vote are not simply apathetic to politics. Many of the people who write political blogs and comment on other like blogs do not vote! I believe George Bush was elected twice because to many free thinkers and independent voters have dropped out of the election process. Democracy does not happen during an online flame war, but in the voting booth.

It’s not to late to get up on the issues and candidates whether for the local school board or the higher offices. The online site of most mainstream newspapers or better yet your local alternative newspaper will have a listing of what races are being held, what the issues are and who they are endorsing. The League of Women Voters is another great resource for help on election day.

This vote is just a warm up for the 2008 Presidential Election. During the coming year Shadow Democracy will be posting information on voter registration drives, election reform ideas, and of course continuing our rants of unique political opinion along the way.

It’s the people who control our government and lets not forget by voting tomorrow!

Bush Comparing Iraq to Nazi Germany?

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President Bush compared Congress’ Democratic leaders to people who ignored the rise of Hitler early in the last century. He’s quoted as saying, “the world paid a terrible price.” He also pointed out that the risks similar consequences for inaction today. Bush accused Congress of stalling important pieces of the fight to prevent new terrorist attacks by stalling on the confirmation of Michael Mukasey as attorney general, failing to act on a bill governing eavesdropping on terrorist suspects; and moving too slowly to approve spending measures for the Iraq war. 

“Unfortunately, on too many issues, some in Congress are behaving as if America is not at war,” Bush said during a speech at the Heritage Foundation, “This is no time for Congress to weaken the Department of Justice by denying it a strong and effective leader. 

If I am not mistaken, this is the same president who has left numerous positions open in the Department of Justice and threatened not to fill them at all unless his nominee is confirmed, while creating his own delays via incompetent nominations to office (i.e Alberto Gonzales, Harriet Miers, etc.)

The only thing we need to worry about in my opinion, is Bush’s similarities to Hitler and the potential consequences of his hubris. 

As the the destruction of the Reich-stag did for Hitler, the destruction of the Twin Towers gave George Bush the chance of a lifetime. Coming off of the narrowest electoral victory in US presidential elections since 1876, Bush turned this disaster into the best historical opportunity for a liar, with the goal of imposing a U.S. order on the world. Hitler had similar ideas.

As in Hitler’s case, the first thing Bush did was to surround himself with a clique of common minded ideologues. Hitler’s entourage as is the case with Bush’s cronies, was made up of men obsessed with the intimidating power of force and violence. Like Goering, Goebbels, Himmler, Mengele, and Eichmann, Bush has searched for a buffer of people who are war-like as himself – all sharing a common goal…war profit from oil. In Hitler’s case, the goal was the extermination of the Jewish race coupled with world domination.

Fiddle – e – Dee.

Dick Cheney, came from Halliburton Oil, the chief of the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld, from Occidental, another oil company, the National Security Advisor, Condoleeza Rice, was on Chevron’s board of directors and has oil tankers named after her. Then there’s the Secretary of the Interior, Gale Norton, who is also linked to the oil industry, as is Bush Sr. with the Carlyle oil group, and the current president, Bush Jr. with Harkins Oil.

Bush, like Hitler, has sought to intimidate the populous, spy on his enemies internally, do away with civil rights and restrict domestic freedoms. Both made a habit of misinformation and lying to their respective citizens, both used pre-emptive strikes to invade countries that engaged in no aggressive actions against their countries, both monopolized the media (or at least tried to), both ignored the rule of law, both tortured, and both believed that their mission was thrust upon them by God himself.

Even the language Bush uses, as was the case with Hitler, is authoritarian and intimidating in tone and constantly used to pervert the end to justify the means. The core purpose of Bush’s Republican talking points, much like Hitler’s Nazi rhetoric, is simplification, reduction and intimidation with the goal of controlling the American people. They both purposefully loaded their speeches with prejudices that inflame people’s latent beliefs, while serving to coax the maximum ugliness from the population, causing more chaos and fear – thus the cycle is perpetuated and power is held. 

The only tangible difference between the two is that Hitler could actually speak his native tongue and be understood…Bush struggles with that whole grammar thing.

Americans do not need to fear Democrats who are ignoring alleged dangers surrounding us, they need to fear the dangers, in the form of national leaders with dictatorial ambitions, who are right here among us.

Bush’s comments, as usual, are foolish nonsense. He is the only danger to the security of this nation…no one else.

  

Bush vs. Jackson…The Similarities are Striking…

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Andrew Jackson to George Bush – do they represent bookends of a centuries old ideology? Can the history of Native Americans in the United States offer any ideological understanding to the occupation of Iraq? Have we simply butchered other cultures in the name of ‘what we need or what we want?’To answer this question, one must define the framework and motives of American Imperialism.

The basic foundation of what I call ‘Resource Imperialism’ is comprised of capitalism, imperialism, and Christian fundamentalism. These three socio-cultural forces have slowly shaped American into a state that has greatly modified it’s political ideology over the past 100 years in order to preserve a way of life, often by eliminating whole cultures of people through war. The catalysts are quite apparent really. Capitalism constantly requires new markets and resources to survive, imperialism is present to secure those markets and resources via land grabs, and Christian fundamentalism provides a convenient veil for the true selfish reasons behind the violence – that is, the conquered must be made to understand that they are ignorant and thus must convert to a more culturally pure ideal in order to save themselves from damnation – Christianity.     

Since Gorbachev began dismantling the Soviet Union, the U.S. has engaged in a variety of military interventions including attacks against Bosnia, Sudan, Haiti, Yugoslavia, the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the pillage of Palestine and now threats of new wars with Iran and Syria, as well as the attempted destabilization of Turkey which has resulted in recent Congressional debate regarding the Armenians. Throughout the 20th century, there have also been actions against Cuba, Vietnam, Korea – the list is long. George Bush’s current dominant political ideology of American Power is complex and aggressive. It covers up motives for war with abstract slogans and rationales such as building civil societies, opening free markets, instituting human rights, spreading democracy and freedom, national interests, security, and terrorism – much like the founding fathers did during the settlement of the West. In fact, one could argue that American violence directed at others cultures and nations surpassed more notorious regimes like Nazi Germany simply because the violence has taken place over a longer period of time. 

In 1830 the Congress of the United States passed the “Indian Removal Act.” Many Americans were against the act, including Davy Crockett – his non-support of the act would cost him his career. The bill passed and President Jackson quickly signed it into law. The Cherokees attempted to fight removal legally by challenging the removal laws in the Supreme Court and by establishing an independent Cherokee Nation. The court ruled against the Indians. In Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, the Court refused to hear a case extending Georgia’s laws on the Cherokee because they did not represent a sovereign nation. Native Americans were simply shut out in the name of land lotteries, rumored gold on Indian lands, and natural resources.   The Bush administration is simply applying the aforementioned ideology to modern times. 

The U.S is not interested in uplifting the Iraqi people from oppression. We invaded Iraq to secure scarce resources and entrench ourselves in Iraqi culture with the purpose of regional monopolization of power. Much like the Native Americans, the Iraqi government is not recognized as ‘legitimate’ in the strictest sense of the word. The United States, much the same way we took over all Indian territories in this country by imposing our culture and will on them, has done the same in Iraq. We are only interested in manipulating Iraq for position and power. In 250 years, nothing has changed.   Another equally important fact is that the U.S. virtually immune from international prosecution, that is to say that, the U.S. is unaccountable for all crimes it has committed since the time of the founding fathers. The U.S. has exterminated or killed Native American Indians, Africans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Nicaraguans, Filipinos, Koreans, Vietnamese, Panamanians, Serbians, Afghans, and Iraqis, or anyone else unwilling, afraid, or incapable of making the United States pay for its crimes or force it to change its policy of perpetual violence. As long as this dynamic is in place, this phenomenon will continue.

It begs the question…are the terrorists the first group in history willing to fight this continued exploitation, while being fueled by the current negative international sentiment regarding U.S. foreign policy? 

 

Bush Continues to Ignore What the American People Want in the Name of Corporate Profit…

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A few days ago I posted on to this blog on recent developments in the Republican party in regards to globalism and free trade. In short, support among Republicans for free trade is ebbing…and quickly at that. However, president Bush once again seems to be rallying around a narrow minded ideology of trading American jobs and prosperity for profit, rather than listening to the cries of help from the middle class and his own party! Business as usual at the White House. 

In the last six years, the Bush administration has signed 11 free trade agreements, including seven new agreements in Latin America, and in spite of the under current of opposition to new deals, is pushing new agreements with Peru, Colombia, and Panama. To defend his position, Bush argued just days ago that free trade is necessary because “More exports support better and higher-paying jobs — and to keep our economy expanding, we need to keep expanding trade.”

The problem is, these high paying jobs aren’t materializing. 

Bush said these three agreements would lower agricultural and industrial tariffs on American businesses as well, while providing 75 million new consumers for American goods. Although the President acknowledged that many Americans are questioning free trade, he added that “the federal government is providing substantial funding for trade adjustment assistance that helps Americans make the transition from one job to the next.”

Another problem is, the program is filled with massive loopholes that make it almost moot to most Americans.

Link here for AFL-CIO congressional testimony regarding (TAA) loopholes.

In spite of all these outcries, the administration is currently working toward a new trade agreement with South Korea that will be closed to beef autos, and steel, according to analysts. 

What Bush continues to struggle with is the fact that the very foundation of globalism and free trade, as well as the benefits that it was supposed to bring to this country, have been proved false. Globalists insist, as echoed by Bush, that free trade creates new jobs and keeps consumer goods cheap. Thus, free traders claim markets will continue to expand.

The opposite is happening.

Granted, some jobs have been created, but the jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, are mainly service sector jobs that are not exposed to outsourcing, unlike manufacturing and high tech jobs that are. The caveat here, is that these service sector jobs pay up to 60% less than the manufacturing and high tech jobs that have been lost. The job creation is simply not an apples to apples comparison, and that fact is conveniently left out of free trader dialog. Also, many college graduates are finding it difficult to find gainful employment than even warrants going to college or justifying the ever increasing tuition costs and student loan interest rates, which this administration has allowed to sky rocket.  

Simply put, Republicans cannot and traditionally have not been able to manage the economy. Unfortunately, we have been at the mercy of Reagan and two Bush’s – all big time spenders, all incompetent in the area of macro economics and trade policy. If you look at economic records and rates of job creation and unemployment going back to Harry Truman, the data proves this out. During Carter’s administration for example, the economy added 10 million jobs and reduced government spending, all in the face of high inflation. George H.W. Bush holds the dubious honor of having both the poorest GDP growth and income growth for working class Americans on record. The deficit also exploded by $100 billion in only four years. Bush Jr. is even worse than daddy.

The economy is the worst it has ever been under the current president. The Bush administration’s annual loss stands at three-quarters of a trillion dollars and he has only managed a net gain of 5.6 million jobs – the worst ever. The numbers of ‘working poor’ and unemployed are creeping up as well, while the income gap between the rich and poor is the widest it has been since the 1920’s – great for lords at the top, not so much for the serfs at the bottom. The trade deficit with China speaks for itself.

So, what does it all mean? On a macro level, it means our current policies are not working. Short-sighted conservative corporate fat cats are gutting the economic fish for a seemingly final meal. Real economic growth comes from the bottom – via a thrifty working class that is able to save and rely on affordable health-care, guaranteed retirement, and reasonable consumer prices. Free trade was supposed to provide all of this. Instead, we have gotten currency manipulation from China, higher prices on essential goods like home energy, garbage consumer products, trade deficits, an insurance crisis, an evaporating manufacturing and high tech sector, and a cash strapped middle class who cannot even escape the crunch through re-education, because there’s nothing to re-educate to. And then when you’re in your senior years, you get to coast to the finish line with a reverse mortgage. All of this smells to me.

Can someone explain this to Bush please…and Robert Reich while you’re at it?  

Taser this: Fuck Bush – Yeah I just said that…

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“Click” on image to enlarge

OK…I do say ‘FUCK BUSH’ all the time, but the publishing credit for the “Taser this” tag line goes to David McSwane. He is the editor-in-chief of The Rocky Mountain Collegian, the Colorado State University’s student newspaper. The CSU Board of Student Communications did admonish but not fire McSwane. You can read all about that at CNN – so they do understand First Amendment rights and that the student newspaper is not a professional publication. Unfortunately, the college Republicans failed to understand that and tried to have McSwane fired by circulating a petition.

You can read student comments about the editorial at the The Collegian online. Please read on down the page… Many of the comments are very scary like the gentlemen who would like to see McSwane jailed for three years to “teach” him a lesson. He is a real friend of the free press, as you can see. Shocked at the comments from current and former military personal who, for some odd reason, equate criticizing Bush with dissing the military. Guys, George led us into a war soaked in lies, that we are stuck in for the foreseeable future, then proceeds to cut veteran aid. He is the most pathetic supporter of the troops I have ever seen.

Not to worry – enlightened CSU students did a good job of countering those arguments. However, I would like to touch upon some of the comments regarding the showing of respect for the Commender-in-Chief.

In my opinion, the mainstream media and common people in general, have been showing to much respect for George. If the press and more people had spoke up earlier, we would not be trapped in Iraq, having to endure four more years of Bush, while watching him try to block health care for kids for God’s sake! I have said more than once on our radio show that besides impeachment, Bush should stand trial for war crimes and I will never back away from that position. If the Republicans had stopped and smelled the coffee they would not be looking at losing more seats in Congress, and the presidency next year.

When I was watching President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, speaking in NYC little over week ago, I couldn’t help but think he was a Bush clone! They both have the same mix of arrogance, ignorance, misleading ideology, and not to mention record of civil rights abuses, toward their own people. I know am not the only one who can see this. If only one of the many news commentators covering the speech had the guts to also make that comparison, maybe more people would pay a bit more attention to Bush’s destructive policies..

So people like McSwane, Andrew Meyer (the one who started “Don’t taser me“), Cindy Sheehan, myself, and countless others are going to have to speak up. Even the people who may be rude and crude about it. Maybe Mr. Bush and his few loyalists who are left will get the hint that we are not going to lay down anymore and just take it.

Once more with love…Fuck Bush!

Ex-border agents Compean and Ramos appeal Convictions..

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A few months back I wrote a piece on the grossly unjust arrest and conviction of U.S. Border patrol Agents Compean and Ramos. We try to track and update past posts from time to time, so here is some new information.

These two former U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for shooting a drug-smuggling degenerate suspect, and have filed for an appeal on September 25th to overturn their convictions. They claimed they were charged with a nonexistent crime and convicted after the jury was given improper instructions by the trial judge. These facts are pretty well documented on this and other blogs.

Houston defense lawyer J. Mark Brewer said two counts of a grand jury indictment against former agents Ramos and Compean charged them under a federal statute with the discharge of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, but the statute does not define a crime and contains only a sentencing factor to be addressed after conviction. Mr. Brewer said in a 20-page motion that the “improperly-crafted indictment” misfocused the agents, counsel and jury on a nonexistent crime of unlawful discharge of a firearm, because the agents were authorized to possess, carry and use a firearm in the normal course of their job. He said that in order to charge a crime under the government’s 10-year mandatory sentence statute, an indictment “must allege that a defendant either has used or carried a firearm…during and in relation to any crime of violence or has possessed a firearm in furtherance of such a crime.” He said the prosecution “misstated” the crime defined by federal statute. Mr. Brewer went on to say that the district court “erroneously told the jury the federal statute made it a crime for anyone to discharge a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.”

A ruling in the case is expected next month.

“This is an outrageous case of prosecutorial abuse,” said Paul Kamenar, senior executive counsel for the Washington Legal Foundation, a watchdog group among eight organizations and persons who have filed briefs in support of the agents. “Instead of prosecuting the drug smuggler, the Justice Department filed a dozen felony charges against two agents trying to do their job.”

The pending appeal is being heard by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and seeks to overturn 11- and 12-year prison terms, respectively, for Ramos and Compean.

These two men defending our border from criminals continue to languish in prison through beatings at the hands of illegals in prison, through solitary confinement, and through separation from family. My question continues to be this – if you can’t use a sidearm in the line of duty, even to defend yourself, then why are they issued to agents. You may as well have them carry plastic swords or something! There is demonstrative evidence in this case that these two agents at most were in danger of being shot by a drug smuggler, and at the very least attempted to stop him from fleeing using techniques learned in training. These techniques involve ‘non-lethal’ shots to the legs or feet. All of the testimony points to these conclusions, however prosecutor Johnny Sutton, through tunnel-visioned and abusive tactics, railroaded these two men into conviction for political and career related reasons. His acts are unconscionable, as is the in-action by the Bush administration regarding a potential pardon in this unfair ruling.

If Ramos and Compean are allowed to rot in a jail cell to full term, we as a nation will have sent a clear message to Mexican scumbag drug runners who pump drugs into our kids – challenge the U.S. Border Patrol because in the end, our legal system is incompetent, unjustly opportunistic, selffish, and ultimately…eats it’s own.

This action by U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton and the reciprocal inaction by George Bush, is damaging the fundamental ability of our Border patrol to do it’s job efficiently and keep these types of undesirables at bay. I urge anyone reading this to visit the links below and sign one or all of the petitions to free these two innocent agents. A link to prosecutor Sutton’s contact information is listed as well. This action was wrong on every level and must be reversed. Only through numbers will the voices of reason be heard.

Free Compean and Ramos now!

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/pardontheborderpatrolagents/

http://www.justicefortheborderpatrol.com/join.html

http://patriotpetitions.us/borders/

Contact information for the United States Attorney’s Office – Western District of Texas

http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/contact_us/index.html

Cool Bumper Sticker Alert….

Here’s some bumper stickers for all of us cynics out there who despise Bush…

 

More cool stuff like this at www.tigereyedesigns.com

These bumper stickers are at this link…

http://www.democraticstuff.com/Anti-Bush-Bumper-Stickers-s/512.htm

An Original Bush-Related Poem I Think is Relevant…

 

The President’s War                                             

 George the Third ,the appointed one        

Who thinks he’s the anointed son,

Decided that he should start a war        

Many wonder what its for 

To the victor belongs the spoil,      

Beneath Iraq there’s much oil,

So many will die for the rich man’s sake,

The very thought should make one shake. 

This “Land of Liberty” I once was told         

Where freedom’s worth was more than gold,

Has no meaning anymore,         

When Bush can start a needless war. 

Many soldiers Bush has sent       

To take away the choice of government.

That this is done in Freedom’s name,        

Should make him hang his head in shame. 

                                                            – Ken Bellet

Bob Murray is Whistling a Different Tune these Days…

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A sorrowful glow of somber concern envelops Crandall Canyon mine owner Bob Murray these days, marking a sharp detraction from his chest thumping just a few days ago.

As the situation at the Crandall Canyon mine in Utah becomes more ominous, anti-union as well as anti-MSHA conservative owner Bob Murray, announced that the Utah based mine will never re-open. “It will not be reopened,” Murray said. “We are already discussing about how we might go about honoring the trapped miners and to make this site for perpetuity.”

No kidding it won’t re-open Bob. You’re going to be sued into oblivion and with any luck maybe hit by a train carrying coal, as those like me continue to hold out for poetic justice.

Spare me the manufactured -choked up drama act – on camera that seems to have miraculously overwhelmed you in the last three days or so. 

Maybe your single-handed effort at referring to the MSHA as “union lackeys” (whatever that is supposed to mean), knowingly engaging in the most dangerous and illegal mining practices in the industry, accusing the U.S. Geological survey of lying about the fact that an earthquake did not trigger the mine accident, and icing the cake by giving up on the rescue effort, seals the deal for me. You’re a scumbag who put his workers in harms way for profit, much the same way our president puts our troops in harms way for senseless ideology and profit. 

What we have here ladies and gentlemen is another, in a long line of neo-modern industry owners and CEOs, who could care less about their workforce as long as the profit continues to roll in – nothing more. Besides being a heartless and greedy bastard, what infuriates me about Murray the most is his callous boldness like so many other conservatives, when it comes to the poor – that is, everyone making less than $200,000 per year. Among his first statements after the collapse… 

“Without coal to manufacture our electricity, our products will not compete in the global marketplace against foreign countries…and people on fixed incomes will not be able to pay their electric bills… every one of these global warming bills that has been introduced in Congress to date eliminates the coal industry and will increase your electric rates four to five-fold.”

Spoken like a true conservative knucklehead. Tell me this Bob – what the hell does mine safety have to do with global warming? Only a nit-wit could make that connection – or a conservative maybe. Only in recent days has Murray’s bald forehead begun to really perspire as the death count now includes three rescue workers who might be alive if it weren’t for the trapped and presumed dead miners, who are only presumed dead because Murray willfully exposed them to a situation that could have easily been prevented with only a minute exercise in human conscious and concern for your fellow man. Leaving a few safety pillars was too much to ask I guess.

Bob Murray should receive the same cordial treatment, courtesy of the federal government, as Dennis Koslowski and so many other irresponsible corporate executives run amok have…the rest of his life in jail. He should be charged with three counts of second degree murder, convicted, and spend the rest of his days in jail – and as he draws his last ragged breath, may his conscious eat him alive as the death of these miners, rescuers, their widows, and fatherless children, haunt his heartless soul forever.  

Check out our ‘Documents and Writings’ page at ShadowDemocracy.org to see a brief video on what Bob Murray thought was appropriate to say in the wake immediately following the Utah tragedy…

I’ll bet he never mined a shovel of coal in his life. Just another conservative hypocrite….

Jesus Siting at Wal-Mart…

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Wal-Mart is set to release a new Jesus Christ action figure into select stores. You knew this was coming. My question is, next to Spiderman and Superman, what kind of “action” would a Jesus action figure do that would appeal to violence addicted kids? Let us examine the situation.

The new Jesus doll wears a white robe, and has Kung-Fu grip. He doesn’t come with loaves and fishes, he apparently doesn’t perform any miracles, and he has no weapons (because Jesus is anti-violence and anti-killing for that matter…remember?) So in order to actually use the Kung Fu grip he’ll have to steal a sword or machine gun from another figure…oops, wait a minute…thou shall not steal either? Boy this is rapidly evolving into a marketing nightmare. 

He’s 12″ tall, so he’s compatible with dolls like Barbie and G.I. Joe, but he can’t date Barbie or fight G.I. Joe? So what will he do exactly beesides be ‘Jesus?” Turns out he talks via an embedded computer chip and he says Jesus-like-things, for instance, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Swingers will love that. Maybe you can simply have him be the perpetual martyr. You can have GI Joe beat the crap out of him constantly while Joe calls him a lefty loon and remind him that the ‘REAL’ Jesus is in favor of the war in Iraq…just ask the Republicans. He could tie Jesus to the back of his jeep and drag him around Texas to make his point I suppose. Come to think of it, maybe Jesus should just keep his mouth shut altogether. 

I’ve got it! They can make Jesus a campaign toy for the 2008 election. You could press his forehead and he could try to convince future voters that the Republicans really are compassionate instead of the narrow minded racists that they really are. Or maybe they can just simplify the speech feature to some catch phrases for American kids with short attention spans like, “9/11 bad!”, “Globalism good.”, and “Terroists everywhere, beware!”

As long as Jesus keeps his mouth shut, you can enage in all sorts of good old fashioned anti-Muslim fun. How about pretend Jesus has actually enlisted in the army, to fight side by side with G.I. Joe as he uses divine powers to make the American army invincible (because we all know the U.S. government and Christians are right and the rest of those people who live in the sand are wrong.) Maybe you could pretend that terrorists have kidnapped Jesus and use that as a news story, written by Barbie of course, to promote the struggle against fundamentalist Islam. If he was lucky enough to not get dead, he could maybe hook up with Barbie and learn to drive the convertible or crash at the beach over some wine and complain how all the 7-11 stores are owned by Muslims. Now that I think about it, the possibilities are endless. 

Yet Another Callous Reaction to Human Tragedy by a Conservative…

 Crushed vehicles burned in the wreckage.

Liberal bloggers and others in the talk radio world were appalled at President Bush’s comments after the Minneapolis bridge tragedy. Not me. I am completely numb to ignorant, racist, and otherwise callous comments from conservatives in the wake of middle class human tragedy. Bush blatently politicized the Minneapolis incident by blaming the Democrats for not passing spending bills in a timely fashion, implying somehow it was their fault. The simple fact is that 139 words were used to address the bridge tragedy itself, while 509 were used to blame the Democrats. Not much in the way of sympathy there huh? Confused? Outraged? You shouldn’t be. Conservatives are consistently heartless and course when it comes to the poor (everyone making under $100,000 per year). I learned this long ago.

 Let us not forget what his mother said during the Katrina disaster…

“What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.”

Conservative Nathaniel Blake at Human Events Online links positively to John Derbyshire’s post, wrote that students at Virginia tech should feel “heartely ashamed” for not acting more bravely.

How about Glenn Beck calling Cindy Sheehan (bankrupt, unemployed, divorced and perpetually arrested for her anti-war principles) a “whore for the money” and a “camera pig.” I suppose she was hoping for a dead son so she could pursue her “camera pig” career.

Remember Rush Limbaugh mocking Michael Keaton’s Parkinson’s disease on his radio show?

And lets not forget Ann Coulter on the 9/11 widows…”I simply do not believe that having their husband die entitles your left-wing views to sanctification…” Time for another estrogen shot Ann…the five o’clock shadow is starting to show on your upper lip.

It appears to me the party of God is long on hatred and short on understanding. Hopefully next time a disaster happens, the almighty will get the “have nots” even on the score card and kill a couple a hundred of hedge fund CEOs.  Spontaneous volcanic eruption on a private golf course might work nicely. Just an idea.

Some stereotypes live up to the hype. Conservatives are shortsighted and tunnel-visioned, as well as racist. This is being proved out by the current administration who are collectively too boneheaded to hide their contempt. Funny how the response to the “white” Minneapolis tragedy differed so much from the “black” Katrina tragedy? Republicans from Hoover to Nixon to Reagan to Bush have revealed their true ideology in spades – screw the poor, people of color don’t matter, and the middle class will suffer a bit more in the name of another CEO bonus or botched war effort.

Support Unjustly Jailed Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean….

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Here is a few link where you can purchase t-shirts and  bumper stickers to support U.S. Border patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean who were unjustly jailed by our unscupulous legal system.

CafePress.com 

Bumper sticker link

http://www.cafepress.com/ovalstickers.108082043

T-Shirt link

http://www.cafepress.com/buy/patriotism/-/pv_design_prod/pg_1/p_storeid.105459990/pNo_105459990/id_17404000/opt_/fpt_/c_360/

   

Free Ramos and Compean Now Mr. President…This is an Outrage…

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T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents convicted U.S. border patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, expressed anger at the sentences handed down Tuesday and said the Border Patrol is suffering as a result: “The ramifications of this case will be felt by the Border Patrol,” Bonner said. Bonner added an anecdote about a former Border Patrol recruit who eventually declined joining and said “You have to be crazy to join this outfit, because you eat your own.”

Remember Ramos and Compean Mr. Bush? They were two hardworking border patrol agents doing the best job they could. They were the guys that were sold out by our court system at the whim of an over zealous prosecutor who felt that freeing a scumbag drug runner in exchange for testimony against two guys who broke the cardinal rules of failing to report a shooting in a timely manner and picking up shell casings after chasing a criminal who refused to surrender, and will now serve 10 to 12 years. Of course no one is talking about the fact that these types of scenarios are routine and usually result in temporary suspension rather than jail time.

I was wondering Mr. President, if you could find it in what grain of a moral conscious you have left, to treat these two men in the same manner that you treated bona fide felon candidate “Scooter” Libby? Maybe we could work to reverse the trend of easy “conviction-itis” at the cost of sending a murderous drug runner back to the street to make his small contribution to destroying the lives of our kids. Or…will we continue to pollute the waters of our legal system with the mis-guided arrogance of men like prosecutor Johnny Sutton who chose to throw two border agents under the bus in the name of “justice.”

Surely you can find it in you heart to afford the same treatment to these men that was afforded to your buddy “Scooter.” After all, they are responsible for protecting America – kind of like our soldiers in Iraq.

The Pit and the Viper…

In a recent proposal by President George W. Bush, he has suggested a new Amendment to the Constitution that will resolve the entire Iraq quagmire which he and his personal God, “Cheney” got the nation into in March of 2003. This amendment is based on the Biblical paradigm of the “Viper in the Pit”. The story goes that once upon a time, in a land far far away, a man was walking in an isolated desert, and came upon a very deep pit in the sand. Upon getting closer, he heard desperate cries of help, and so he went over to the pit and saw a Viper which was trapped in the bottom of this depression. Well, lo and behold, when the Viper  saw this man, he begged the man to please save his life by helping him out of the pit. Otherwise said the “Pit” Viper, I will surely die. The man felt sorry for Little Pit, but decided to take precaution since he knew that this was a sand pit-viper, which is known to be an extremely poisonous snake capable of inflicting death within minutes after a bite. So … the man negotiated a deal with the viper that if he saved pit’s life by taking him out of the pit, the viper would not harm the man. The Viper, seeing that he was against a rock and a hard place, agreed to the resolution, and thus the man did what he promised on his end, and saved the snake’s life by fishing him out of the pit. Within seconds after being saved, Petey the Pit-Viper turned and bit his savior. As the man was lying and dying, he asked Petey why he had gone back on his word, and violated their joint-agreement, upon which Petey answered by saying, ‘You knew what I was when we made a deal, so why are you surprised with this outcome. Now the moral of the story, on which President Bush’s proposed amendment is based on. He {Bush} compares himself with the savior, while the Pit-Viper represents Saddam. However, because of the divine powers with which George claims to be blessed with, he plans on reversing the outcome of the biblical paradigm, and therefore the outcome of the war. He [Georgy} figures that when the story is changed to one in which the saved pit-viper being gracious and thankful for his life befriends the Man who saved him and they both live happily ever after, then the ending will change and the Iraqi outcome will change along with it. But, the catch is that first, Congress and three-fourths of the nation’s governors must help to ratify Amendment number 28, which when ratified will serve to reverse the US shorcomings in Iraq thus far, because St. Bush, who has a direct line to the Almighty, as he claims he does, has prayed for this to come true, and the Creatore has answered his call. To be continued.Posted by O.K. 03/14/07