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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Friday-Sunday, July 21-23, 2006


Spinning Dick

"This conflict is a long way from over. It's going to be a battle that will last for a very long time. It is absolutely essential that we stay the course."
-Vice President Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney to his "base" of "Haves and Have-Mores"

In the normal progression of "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party politics, Cheney stated these words of wisdom at a fundraiser for Florida Republican Congressional Candidate Gus Bilirakis, who is trying to win his father's seat (the retiring Rep. Michael Bilirakis) in the House. Maybe times are so rough for our government that they feel not having to change the name on the door will save money.

The absolute gall of this statement isn't surprising coming from a man who profits more than any other elected official as a war profiteer. The logic, however, is puzzling. In Cheney's mind, he must think that because his and President Bush's administration's war plans and aftermaths have gone so poorly, we need to declare even more wars to fight the new wars that were created from the first wars.

It's like the Veep is saying, "Trust us becaue we have no idea what we're doing."

At $500 a seat, one wonders if anyone of the "donors" asked for their money back.


-Noah Greenberg



Neville Rice
Condi Chamberlain


"A cease-fire would be a false promise if it simply returns us to the status quo."
-Secretary of State Condoleezza "Neville Chamberlain" Rice, referring to the "conflict" between
Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon

Why does this statement sound incredulously stupid? I think both the Israeli and Lebanese people would love to have the "status quo" back again. Don't you?

Someone ought to tell Madame Secretary that a cease fire means no more shooting. It means no more killing. It's the first step toward peace.

I know the position of both Israel and Hezbollah: Israel wants the destruction of Hezbollah, and any other terrorist organization which wants the destruction of the 58-year-old state; while Hezbollah wants the destruction of Israel, by any means necessary.

Does anybody else feel like sending Rice into the middle east conflict is like adding fuel to an already blazing inferno?

Remember, it was President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, and possibly the most moral man who ever inhabited the White House, who brokered a lasting peace between Israel's Menachem Begin and Egypt's Anwar Sadat.

Dr. Rice is no Jimmy Carter.

-Noah Greenberg



The Business of Global Warming
or How to Make a Buck off of Disaster


There's good news and there's bad news when it comes to Global Warming. Which do you want to hear first?

The bad news is that there are more natural disasters in the forms of storms, larger and more severe hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis and wild fires. The good news is that it's a license for some companies to print money.

Today there are more and more companies who make a buck, or billion, on cleaning up after these natural disasters. Just look at the war profiteer Blackwater and their "policing" contract in New Orleans. Then there's Halliburton who is hiring imported labor to slowly and as least economically (to the American people) as possible clean up the Gulf Area.

Real dollars, however, are being "earned" by insurance companies. They now get to charge higher and higher prices for coverage in areas with greater risks of natural disaster, then come crying to the Bush- and GOP-led federal government for subsidies to "bail them out" when they have to rebuild someone's home or business. That might answer the question of why insurance companies support "G"lobal "W"arming Bush and the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party.

"The complete underpinnings of our economy worldwide are at risk,"
-Mindy Lubber, director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk

That is, unless you see the green lining of our black clouds, as does the Insurance Industry.

Due to the Bush policy of "more oil and worry about the future after we're dead", and the increased use of the limited natural resource by China and India, just to name a couple, the price of gas and heating oil has gone through the roof. It costs more to make goods; it costs more to ship goods; and it costs more to buy goods. Inflation rises while real wages fall for the Average American. And the Bushites, while stating that they will fund and endorse alternative means of fuel, have done neither. They are in the collective pockets of Big Oil and Big Business.

As in any business, you not only have to make up for rising costs, but you have to do so on a percentage basis. For example, let's say sell a particular product. The raw goods and labor for a particular this product used to cost $10.00 per dozen. Today, if you add in the increase of transportation and the cost of goods (the product uses plastics and rubber, both petroleum based), that same product costs $12.00 per dozen. After overhead and markup are figured in by the selling company, this product, which used to cost the consumer $25.00 per dozen now costs $30.00 per doze. The manufacturing company shows the same profit margine, but, because the cost increases on a percentage basis, its final price is much higher.

"Climate risk cuts across almost every industry in every corner of the world: energy producers and consumers; transportation providers and those reliant on it; forestry, agriculture and food producers; construction; chemicals, pharmaceuticals and the life sciences; real estate; communications and technology; tourism and hospitality; the retail industry; and more,"
-Marsh Inc., a risk and insurance services unit of the Marsh & McClennan Companies

Add that to this fact: Since 1990, the Earth has had the warmest ten years in her recorded history.

"Economic losses related to weather are almost off the charts. Last year there was about $200 billion in weather-related losses. For the entire decade of the '60s, we had $740 million."
-Stephen Leeb, author of "The Coming Economic Collapse"

But that's okay to the Bushies. They'll make sure their big business and energy benefactors won't have to shell out a dime. That money, and more, will come from the bottomless pit also known as the American Middle Class.

But where some companies have actually volunteered to cut emissions and pollutants, others take the Bushies' line that "the science is incomplete". It is not.

"There are opportunities to make money in attempting to deal with this threat. It (global warming) could be a great engine of growth."
-Eugene Linden, author of "The Winds of Change"

As long as The Bush administration and the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party are at the helm of the United States, that "engine of growth" will be running on fossil fuels.

-Noah Greenberg



Another Thought on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

I understand that there are many Americans who are truly uncomfortable with the use of embryonic stem cells for stem cell research. But, for the life of me, I can't understand the objection to using about-to-be-discarded in vitro embryos when they might just end up in a cure for any number of diseases or conditions which effect all of mankind.

Is anyone out there trying to tell me that there are only Democrats who use in vitro fertilization in order to have a baby? Is anyone out there trying to tell me that those who "own" eight, ten or twelve (maybe more) fertilized frozen embryos is actually going to have them all placed in their or their wile's womb so as not to kill these very possible, but highly improbable future children?

What happens after Mrs. "Have and Have-More" finally gives birth to that set of twins she never thought her and her husband "Base" would have? What happens to the other three-to-twelve possible "Haves and Have-Mores" who are still in the deep freeze? Is it because they were the discards of the very rich (for the most part) that it is "okay" to trash them? Don't they die in the trash?

And what of these chilled children? We all know that those "mad scientist doctors" only helped Mr. and Mrs. " Base Have and Have-More" create so many embryos because Dr. "Mad Scientist" knows that by having so many of them, it will increase the possibility that one will become "Baby Have and Have More".

If destroying a life by design is wrong, then maybe we ought to outlaw in vitro fertilizations. It's almost as stupid an idea as not using embryos which are about to be discarded to save and improve the lives of those who are now, actually living.

-Noah Greenberg



Neonuts

For them, Afghanistan and Iraq will not suffice. They want to take out Syria and Iran, and speed full steam ahead towards World Wars III and IV. The Weekly Standard asks simply, "Why wait?"

According to Newt Gingrich, there is no need to wait at all. On Meet the Press this past Sunday he offered that the Israel-Hezbollah conflict "… is, in fact, World War III" and "the U.S. ought to be helping...."

And how might the US help fight Newt's World War? The Weekly Standard provides the answer: "It would be easier to act sooner rather than later. Yes, there would be repercussions – and they would be healthy ones, showing a strong America that has rejected further appeasement."

George Will – not exactly your run-of-the-mill, card-carrying liberal – describes the neocons as "so untethered from reality as to defy caricature."

But what has caused them to become so completely unhinged (even more so than before, if one can imagine that possibility)?

With the deteriorating occupation in Iraq and a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan the neocons have been completely discredited. Meanwhile, the Bush administration is engaging in a "muddled multilateralism" – not quite pursuing diplomacy but not acting unilaterally at the whims of the Decider et al., either.

And this simply infuriates them. As Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) told The Washington Post, "I don't have a friend in… any part of the conservative foreign policy establishment who is not beside themselves with fury at the administration."

Well, perhaps The Weekly Standard staffers, editors, and allies at the likes of AEI will harness some of their "fury", put on flak jackets and (poorly) funded armor (is there enough to go around after Iraq?), and go fight their own failed war in defense of their own failed ideology.

Meanwhile, the rest of us will remain here on this planet.


-David W.



"100" - THE MAGIC OR NOT SO MAGIC NUMBER

Bush’s Iraq war hit a new milestone this week – 100 Iraqi’s every day are dying from insurgent attacks. Now there is a statistic to talk about if the people in power in this country REALLY cared about the Iraqi people instead of warmonging and profiteering. According to Cheney and Rumsfeld logic they would say the higher it gets the more it suggests the insurgents are in the “last throes.”

At 100 a day, how can Bush justify 3,000 innocent, living, breathing Iraqi’s dying each month (a new report from a respect agency/group estimated that 50,000+ Iraqi’s have died) when it is doubtful their feuding factions will ever be able to have a democracy. And our men and women are dying to set up a gov’t that will likely be a puppet of the Iranians.

Juxtapose this with Bush’s veto against the use of discarded stem cells for critical medical research by falsely claiming that innocent children are being murdered. He is more worried about a 100 cell embryo that is about to be thrown out as medical waste than the 100 Iraqi’s dying every day. If he truly believes this he is truly a cold, uncaring, and vicious human being. If he doesn’t believe it and he is doing this only for political gain then he is the worst type of pandering politician we have seen in decades.

I doubt Bush believes that you can murder medical waste because he does not seem to mind that private industries can use 100 cell embryo’s for research. He does not refer to this as murder and that is because there is one big difference – it is a for-profit effort and big business should be allowed to do anything the “market” lets them do (you know, like war profiteering, stealing Katrina funds, etc.). This proves his disingenuousness and corrupt motivations.

In reality I think that Bush and other republicans against gov’t funded stem cell research do not want the government to be doing this kind of medical research BECAUSE THEY KNOW how important it will be and how big it will be. Then a majority of the citizens would be in favor of funding more such research and this would make it harder to starve the government’s contributions to medical research and jeopardize additional huge future tax breaks to wealthy Americans. Plus, it might compete with the for-profit businesses which is never good for corporate profits.

All the while, 100 Iraqi’s die today, 100 Iraqi’s die tomorrow, on and on with the devastating mass killings we have brought to the Iraqi people in the name of “our” democracy.

-Casey Sweet



In response to, "Inflation occurs when too many Americans are working. Yep, that's what those who are in power today believe, universally, about jobs. Too many working Americans want to buy too much stuff, creating a demand that would surely bring up prices, causing inflation numbers to rise, making everybody's dollar worth less," Robert Scardapane writes:

Economic theory asserts that when labor becomes tight (near full employment), workers have bargaining power, meaning that they demand higher wages. The price of goods and services is in part a function of labor costs therefore tighter job markets lead to inflation.

There are a couple of problems with this theory as it applies to current times:

1. Globalization! When American labor becomes too expensive, companies outsource to foreign labor and/or move production to cheaper labor markets.
2. Pricing power. There is so much competition that it is hard for companies to pass higher production costs on to consumers.

Yet, the Federal Reserve still acts as if they can control inflation. Their tool is raising interest rates. The theory is that when rates are increased, business loans are more costly. This leads to companies slowing down thus laying employees off and/or hiring freezes. It does seem wrong that our government would go out of it's way to "slow down" the economy but it won't be the first time. By the way, the Federal Reserve generally gets it wrong and increases rates too much thus leading to recessions.



In response to, Tony Snow's "The simple answer is he thinks murder's wrong. The president is not going to get on the slippery slope of taking something living and making it dead for the purposes of scientific research," Robert Scardapane writes:

So, what does Tony Snow-Job call the Iraq War and Occupation? According to Bush and the religious rightists, it's okay to kill people but you can't kill a bunch of cells in a Petri dish. That is complete insanity. This is an issue that the Democrats must pound the Republicans on. The Republican House deceitfully forced a veto override vote in the middle of night guaranteeing that no populace pressure could be exerted, the veto override failed.

The Republicans have chosen the religious right extremists over 2/3 of the population, now they must pay the price at the polls in November.



In response to, "Seventy percent of America is in support of the passage of a real embryonic stem cell research bill. Every member of our nation's House of Representatives is up for election this year, including the Republicans. They're scared of losing their "right to steal" seats in the house and their lucrative expense accounts and PAC 'donations'", Rhian writes:

It's bad enough that the government has their big fat noses in our business when it comes to pregnancy.
It's bad enough that there are men in the world who conduct a female 'slave' market.
It's bad enough that there is not one single crumb of respect for women in the cultures of Islam.
Now we are going to pass laws regarding the eggs. After which there will be a black market, therefore kidnapping, and forced egg removal crimes. After which there will be at least 50 thousand different types of new lawsuits regarding eggs.
After the genome map is complete and available to the public, another 100 thousand types of lawsuits for the courts over which eggs went where and when.

What do women have to do to get men off our reproductive backs? Kill ya'll?
It's just not politics. Our bodies and our reproductive systems are not politics.

Yes there is disease. Yes there are accidents. Yes there is physical decline and horrible infirmaties in this life, for some people to bear. All, eventually.

Are we to believe that women should hand over their future children on a platter, risking health and reproductive capacity, to the demands of those who cannot or will not cope with the hand they've been dealt? That is, if scientists can make their promises regarding embryonic stem cell research come true? If. If. It is an if, not a when.

There have been 40 million abortions in the US since Roe vs Wade and who knows which of those, if allowed to live, would have been the genious who cured the disease, healed the crippled, even solved the debilitating aging process, allowing people full health till time to drop over dead, in ways that would not raid the future?

Passing laws to control the use of the ovum of females is the most facist, arrogant, hamfisted, event to date, in the history of the US.

Women are being sold a bill of goods, aimed directly at their innate desire to help others, and will reap for their good intentions, the hell of yet another reason for another group of men to try to take advantage of them.

If damn men don't rape you one way, they will another.

I'm making a statement for women here, now.
Get out of the doctor's offices with your laws about pregnancy.
Get out of the lab with your ideas to control the use of our ovum.
Get out of the abortion clinics, where you vicitimize young women who have conceived, with your pressure tactics to 'save yourselves and kill this thing in you, that some call a baby'
but we call a fetus.
Get out from between women and their doctors.
Get out. Get out. Get out. Get out of personal decisions that are the most grave ever made by any human. Yes more grave than which sports car to buy, or which brand of beer to drink.
And while you are at it, men, get out of the strip clubs, the whorehouses, and the porn mags/sites, where you entice women with money to get you, your jollies, instead of their educations and dignity.



Quotes

"The (stem cell) veto has backfired already, putting the spotlight on his stubborn resistance to facts. This last-gasp effort to stop stem cell research will be viewed by historians as a sign more of the weakness of the opponents than a roadblock to progress."
-Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), who co-sponsored the bill in the House with Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE)



“Iraq is going to change us, we are not going to change Iraq.”
-Bob Baer, former CIA Operative


-Forwarded by Casey Sweet


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-Noah Greenberg