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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Who Will Save The World?

Anarchy in Iraq and the suffering in Darfur. What's the relationship?

My brother read showed me an editorial in the New York Post (yuck!) which explained the whole thing better than I ever couold:

"LIBERALS like George Clooney may be faced with a genuine dilemma regarding American interventionism.
"Last Thursday, a well-meaning Clooney asked the United Nations to stop the slaughter in Darfur. Given that body's ineptitude and lethargy, it's highly unlikely to send troops to replace the 7,000 African Union peacekeepers whose mandate ends this month. Some 200,000 are already dead; 2.5 million more could follow.
"We have another genocide like Rwanda on the horizon. And there is only one entity realistically capable of putting a stop to it: the United States military.
"National or strategic interests? Zero. Liberal reaction on American interventionism in the Middle East - where we have vital national and strategic interests? Unrelenting excoriation of the Bush administration.
"What to do, Mr. Clooney, what to do?"
-From the New York Post, September 20, 2006

First, I recommend sending in all of the thoughts from all of the people reading this. There is no doubt in my mind that any one of you can come up with a better idea than Mr. Ahlert's suggestion that we simply do nothing because it isn't in our self-interest.

Even "G"lobal "W"arming Bush himself stated that we went into Iraq for "humanitarian reasons"; that the people of Iraq deserve "Freedom" and "Liberty"; that the people of Iraq deserved not to be at the mercy of a dictator like Saddam Hussein. Alhert noted the 300,000 people killed by Hussein and compared that to "only" 200,000 killed in Darfur. (That number is more like a million)

What about the "Freedom" and "Liberty" of the people of Darfur who are being ethnically and racially "cleansed" by the Janjuweed, the Arab militants raping and killing those who simply want to live their lives with "Freedom" and "Liberty" in the region?

All these people want, today, are things like food and water (even more than food), and just to get through another day. Oh, yeah, and not to be killed or raped would be nice, too.
There are ways to help the 7,000 or so African troops that are trying to keep the peace in the Sudan that wouldn't cost one American boot on the ground. It would even allow Bush the "joy" of killing while saving the lives of American troops on that ground.

Bomb the bastards!

If ever there was a need to destroy a group of people it is the Janjuweed. And, maybe, if we save the lives of some Muslims in distress we might make a friend or two in our war on terror. Much like Bill Clinton did, without regard for the religion of those who we might be saving, the US should look to using their military might by flight and make those who will kill on ethnic and race lines the subject of our wrath.

Not that I'm a big fan of George Clooney, but blaming him for not coming up with a strategy that will save the lives of those being killed by this intentional genocide is ridiculous. Unless, of course, Mr. Ahlert is suggesting that Mr. Clooney ought to throw his hat in the ring in two years.

We went into Iraq for anything but heroic reasons. Initially, on the surface, many of us thought that removing Saddam Hussein actually was a humanitarian reason. But after viewing the carnage of the current situation, no one in their right mind, or without a selfish, self-serving and greed-catalyzed agenda would say anything different.

Somehow these "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party main stream media editorialists are looking for a scapegoat to all the ills of the world, and Clooney is the one for the problems in Darfur.

I want to know one thing from the Bushies: If what Mr. Ahlert says is true, and the Bush administration is only being "prudent" in who they protect, as it related to our own self interests, then how much will it cost to help the people of Darfur? How much will they have to shell out to the likes of Halliburton to save their own lives?

Mr. Ahlert wants us to do nothing because we have no economic interests in saving millions from the rapes, beatings, starvation and death which awaits them in their hone land. If his and Mr. Bush's friends , which comprise the "haves and have mores" that Bush calls his "base" aren't able to make a buck, then, as Mr. Ahlert must think, "Why bother?"

-Noah Greenberg

More Junior Kean Sleaze

"Someone on the liberal political blog Blue Jersey has been posting -- gasp! -- anonymous criticisms of Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez.

"And the blog's founder said yesterday he has traced the bogus postings, through Internet addresses and other evidence, back to Jill Hazelbaker, the press secretary for the Senate campaign of Republican state Sen. Tom Kean Jr."

"The IP address matched exactly the IP address in an e-mail that Hazelbaker had sent in her official capacity to a third party, who shared it with Melli. He said it is also identical to the IP address used to make a series of partisan challenges to Menendez's biography on the Wikipedia Web site.

"'I doubt Comcast would assign the same IP address to two different businesses,'"
-Juan Melli, a graduate student at Princeton University and creator of Blue Jersey (www.bluejersey.com), from The Newark Star-Ledger


Kean Junior is running a bottom feeding filthy campaign. He is no different than Bush, Rove and Cheney.

-Forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane

Note: By trade, I am a senior network engineer with certificates from both Cisco (CCNA) and Microsoft (MCSE). IP addresses, when being dynamically assigned, can and will be changed. What makes this story, and the denials by the Kean Junior campaign even more incredible, is this: Either the Kean campaign, already proven to have sent email and postings from the IP address, is assigned that address (and probably a block of addresses) by Comcast.net or the node (PC, firewall, router, etc) on their network has never released that address and let it back into the pool of dynamic IP addresses. The likelihood that would be reassigned to the same exact node after being released, then dynamically assigned to someone who would make postings and send emails in opposition to Senator Robert Menendez, then re-assigned back to that original node again, is much more than extremely remote.

What amazes me is that through all of their contacts and "support", and all of their practicing of "Rovian Politics", the Kean juniors weren't smart enough to have an underling or "supporter" do their dirty-work for them.

In short, the Kean Junior campaign is lying. It's what we've all grown to expect from the GOP.

Spinning Spin - Another Snow Job

How come when republicans vehemently disagree with the President in public other party loyalists like Tony Snow say with a straight face "Both sides are acting in good faith, and they both share the same goals." When democrats disagree with Bush they are said to be obstructionists acting in bad faith, partisan, mean-spirited, etc. on and on. Can this group of administration Repugs be any more hypocritical?

They slip this kind of spin by us so often it begins to make sense and seem reasonable and rational until one stops and takes in the big political picture. Too bad so few Americans have neither the time, inclination, nor ability to sift through this to find out that it is just another political spin strategy to pollute the impressions of listeners.

-Casey Sweet

In response to Rhian's remarks, Billie M. Spaight writes:

Sick and Tired of Intolerance

Who said all Muslims practice the things that Rhian describes? She is describing extremists not normal Muslims. We have a nation founded on religious freedom and tolerance, and when hate like Rhian's spreads, it pushes normal people toward extremism.

There are things that I dislike about all religions. I even let go of Catholicism because I feel strongly that it is not progressive enough. That does not stop me from liking and loving individual Catholics--including a NUN.

This way of looking only at extremes is only causing more trouble. The media fans the flames too. I don't know what hellish place Rhian lives in that the Muslims and Mexicans there are supposedly so bad, but I can tell you that most of the ones we meet in New York City are not like that. We live, work, and play cheek and jowl next to one another all the time. I've worked with a New York-based group of Mexicans in United Farmworkers as a volunteer. Everyone was hard working and friendly. When I go to our local Duncan Donuts, the manager is a lovely Muslim lady who serves me a large cup of tea and charges me only for a small one because I am a frequent customer. I get in cabs driven by Arabs and I get to where I have to go with no problems. I've already talked about the Black Muslim friend I made many years ago.

Let me go off on a tangent here. It's about New York City. People get down on New York City. They say it is stressful and expensive and that New Yorkers are rude and unfriendly. They say that we had too much crime. Well, folks, I have news for you--we have the lowest crime rate of all the big cities in the country (I just read that a couple of days ago). Yes, New York City is fast paced, crowded, and expensive. But have an emergency, and New Yorkers are there in an instant to help you. Get past the formality when meeting people, and New Yorkers open up. We respect other people's privacy and that is good in a place that is crowded, but we do care for one another. And, generally, we don't waste our time hating one another. There's no place like home--and the more I read what people in other parts of the country have to say about things, the more proud I am of my New York City heritage. WE, who other folks call rude, are much more caring about other people--to the point where we have learned to respect people irregardless of race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. THAT is real caring, rather than having to live up to some ethnic standard based on a lot of ignorance. Other folks in other places may be polite if a person is white and Christian--but heaven help those who aren't in places like where Rhian lives.

So, I'm speaking as a proud New Yorker--Rhian stop reading the papers and get out and meet some real people! If that doesn't cure you of your hatred, nothing will.

And in response to "And I have one question, since when to Muslims have hearts? (Rhian)" Dorothy Schwartz writes:

Some of what Rhian writes is okay, but would it be possible to edit out the racist stuff from her responses? My opinion is that it doesn't belong in this type of newsletter. Thanks.

And in response to, "No bunch of people who insist that the women of the group wear veils, and/or headscarves, and Burkhas are normal. (Rhian)," Dorothy Schwartz writes:

Could the same thing be said about a bunch of people who insist that the women of the group wear bras? Or underwear? Or any clothes when the weather is hot?

Bush Passes the Buck - and "Stuff" Flows Downhill

Former President Bill Clinton made an interesting point in a broadcast discussion on whacking people around.

Mr. Clinton described a scenario in which the President could take personal responsibility for whacking someone around.

The key term here is the President's personal responsibility.

In offering his proposals for "alternate methods," Bush has taken the President out of the loop in making decisions about torture.

If passed, Bush's proposals would push responsibility for decisions about torture down to the field office level.

Bush has repeatedly and successfully avoided responsibility for his actions. Merely mouthing the words, I am responsible and I am sorry doesn't work in any other situation of error or misconduct, yet Bush and the GOP seem to think that is the way to handle responsibility for questions of war and peace.

Regardless of political orientation it is past due time for the American people to assert their sovereignty and throw the bums out.

-Robert Chapman

In response to the Pope's comments, Robert Chapman writes:

The Pope was right to remind the world of the wisdom of the ancients. If Muslims had any sense or sanity, they would think about his words and take a good long look at the world, and their place in it, and free themselves of their constant, incessant desire to oppress, and to draw blood.

The Pope may well be right in regard to the wisdom of the ancients, but that is irrelevant in today's situation.

I have personally known people tortured by the SAVAK, the Iranian secret police under the Shah. As even Rhian may be aware, the Shah was set in power and kept in power by the US.

The Moslems are not fighting to oppress others and they are not seeking to draw blood, instead they are trying to rid themselves of bloodsucking regimes imposed upon them by the Western powers. The regime change in Iraq is merely the latest chapter in direct Western intervention into their affairs. Strife and turmoil follow military invasions and occupation regardless of where they occur.

It is wrong to blame the victims of oppression when they rebel, but it is even worse to impugn an ancient and noble religion based on the "wisdom" of its sworn enemies.

In response to Robert Scardapane's "I am on the road again, as the song goes, writing from a hotel room in Maryland," Dorothy Schwartz writes:

To bad Robert couldn't read Home News Trib in his hotel room, because his letter to the editor was published today.:

Menendez is right: Let's leave Iraq now
Home News Tribune Online 09/20/06

The Senate Intelligence Committee concluded there were no links between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein. There were no links to terrorists, no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and no connection to 9/11. In short, President Bush stopped pursuing the murderer of 3,000 Americans in favor of attacking Iraq. That simply makes no sense.

I am glad that Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., voted against authorization for the use of force in Iraq. But even more important, Menendez has a plan to get out of Iraq. Meanwhile, the challenger, Thomas H. Kean Jr., can only offer a lame attack on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who should have resigned when the prison scandal in Abu Ghraib was revealed.

New Jersey needs the real leadership that Menendez provides.

-Robert Scardapane

And in response to Chris Tennant's suggestion that Robert Chapman's students might now be targets of US intelligence inquiries, Robert writes:

Wait a minute Chris, you are telling me that my students SHOULD NOT EXERCISE ACADEMIC FREEDOM or their CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOM OF THE PRESS and perform their research scrumptiously?

Beyond the civil liberties questions, how does one assess research gained from surreptitious sources? Exactly what would the bibliographical citation be, White Master Spy drop-off at SOHO laundry?

It is time for us "lefties" to start alerting the public about the real world ramifications of Bush's initiatives.

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-Noah Greenberg