Today's Note From a Madman
Monday, June 13, 2005
By now, most of you have figured out that Madman is MAD about numbers. So ere goes some more. Below is some condensed data from the newest Gallup poll regarding Average Americans view on the war in Iraq.
The trends above are clear. the American People are smartening up. Back at the beginning of the war, the American people were in agreement. They felt that the war in Iraq was "worth it" and they were just about evenly split as to the troop strength necessary for the effort. Now, figuring in the margin of error, the American People have a FILIBUSTER PROOF belief that the Iraqi war was not worth the cost, in money OR LIVES, and they want the troops to COME HOME.
President Bush should take note. The American people have.
More From Downing Street
July 2002: "Ministers were warned in July 2002
that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq
and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal," according more
Downing Street Memos published in The Times of London.
Somehow this isn't "newsworthy here in the States.
"...creating the conditions necessary to justify government military action,"
-Section 3 of the "Ministers are invited to" section of the New Downing Street memo
This is pre-war. This is pre-emptive. There are no two-ways about it.
George W. Bush lied to the American People. The President, The Greed Over People Party and his supporters perpetrated more than one lie. 1600 Americans killed. Almost 10 times that many wounded. Too many Iraqis to count have been killed, hurt or disfigured. There is no end in sight and there is no "end-game" strategy.
President Bush can no longer be trusted.
I was in Iraq. Iraqis tend not to make a fuss. It's called coping. They're resolute, sophisticated people who understand when an attempt is being made to psychologically terrorize them. One comment made from a man released from Abu Graib was, "The Americans brought electricity to my ass before they brought it to my house."
No--one gets used to torture. They get damaged. When anyone, anywhere uses it on anyone, and it comes into our consciousness as normalized, we all get damaged. Saddam Hussein's practice of torture didn't grow a suit of armor on his people, it damaged them. If their so-called liberators are doing the same thing, even using the same people to do it, they come to the conclusion they've got nothing to lose. So they fight back. Or leave the country. Or go crazy.
The suggestion that torture is like fraternity hazing is real head-in-the-sand type of thinking, although I don't blame ordinary Americans for not wanting to believe that their government would do such things. And yes, other peoples and countries use torture. If we think it's so terrible that they do it, why do we use Extreme Rendition and send people accused of terrorism to them in order to be tortured? WRONG IS WRONG. We're signatories to the Geneva Convention. It's not all right for us to do it because everyone else does it.
I suggest you find out what's going on in Iraq. We're very lucky to be able to read Dahr Jamail's reports, and we should do it while he's still alive. Iraq is so dangerous he could be kidnapped or just killed by accident at any time. He's an unembedded Canadian reporter who's been in Iraq to almost the entire last two years.
Subject: Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) Opposes Bush Social Security Plan
I attended a Town Hall meeting on 11 June 2005 in Hamilton, NJ (hosted by NJ Citizen Action). Representatives of Congressman Chris Smith presented a letter from him on Social Security. The subsequent paragraphs contain the letter's text. -Robert Scardapane
Letter From Congressman Chris Smith
Thank you contacting me to express your concerns about new Social Security proposals. Know that I share your strong desire to preserve and protect Social Security -- one of the greatest and most enduring programs ever conceived.
At this point, no comprehensive bill has been presented to Congress for debate and amendment. However, based on outlines offered by the Administration, I have grave concerns about diverting Social Security payroll taxes into personal accounts. Payroll taxes from today's workers that come into the US Treasury are used primarily to pay benefits to current retired and disabled recipients. In order to guarantee current promised benefits, extra funds would be needed from other sources to cover the funds reprogrammed into the personal accounts. The current estimated size of these "transition costs" is staggering, ranging from $740 billion over seven years to several trillion dollars. Moreover, private accounts, like the stock market itself, could be subject to huge price swings and volatility.
I believe that the Social Security program is a sacred trust. Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have repeatedly voted against proposals that did not protect and preserve this trust and I will continue to do so.
Christopher H. Smith
Member of Congress
Here's the problem. Mr. Smith faces as he goes to Washington: Rep. Smith, by most accounts a good guy who appears to truly have the best interests of his constituents at heart, is a man without standing in his own party. After disagreeing with the Bush administration's plan to cut federal funding from the budget for the Veterans Administration, Mr. Smith, then the Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee was stripped of his chairmanship simply for standing up for what is right.
Now Rep. Smith is stating the truth about Social Security. The problem is that president "G"lobal "W"arming Bush and company don't want to hear the truth. What they want, plain and simple, is to remove any and all good social programs from the federal budget. As Grover Norquist said, The goal is "to get it (the size of government) down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." What better place to start than with the single most successful social program ever put into place in the US... Social Security. Chris Smith is right to attempt to "preserve the trust."
But here's the problem: Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey is powerless to do a thing. Chris Smith is a pariah to his fellow Republicans. Chris Smith is a voice of reason in the vast wasteland known as the GOP. Chris Smith, because of the combination of his conscience and party, is powerless as a congressman.
Just think of this sight: Our "leaders" wants to close Fort Monmouth. That very day, Democratic Senators Frank Lautenberg and John Corzine, along with Democratic Congressmen Frank Pallone and Rush Holt were at the gates of the fort that is active and very much a part of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan while Chris Smith was nowhere to be found. Keep this in mind: Fort Monmouth touches the Congressional districts of Mr. Pallone, Holt and Smith alike. Mr. Smith was the only one not present at a time when many of his constituents were possibly going to lose their jobs.
If Rep. Smith was a Democrat, he would have a voice, albeit a dissenting one. Chris Smith could be a great voice for the people of New Jersey and the United States. But as a Republican, he will need to be replaced in the Fall of 2006.
There is room for pro-life Democrats on the other side of the aisle. Mr. Smith. You can get more done for the people you obviously care about. Good intentions just aren't enough.
USA TODAY MAKES EXCUSES FOR NOT REPORTING REAL NEWS
Something I read on the road that might interest you was an article in USA Today on Wed, June 8, 2005 called “Downing Street Memo Gets Fresh Attention.” This was in reaction to the Tuesday news conference with Blair and Bush where questioned about the Downing memo in public.
Here are excerpts from the article that truly reveal in a nutshell the present state of our news media. The last paragraph is my favorite in how self-serving and justifying USA TODAY is:
“The Sunday Times May 1 memo story, which broke just four days before Britain’s national elections, caused a sensation in Europe. American media reacted more cautiously. The New York Times wrote about the memo May 2, but didn’t mention until its 15th paragraph that the memo stated US officials had “fixed” intelligence and facts.
Knight Ridder Newspapers distributed a story May 6 that said the memo “claims President Bush…was determined to ensure that U.S. intelligence data supported his policy.” The Los Angeles Times wrote about the memo May 12. The Washington Post followed on May 15 and The New York Times revisited the news on May 20.
None of the stories appeared on the newspapers’ front pages. Several other major media outlets, including the evening news programs on ABC, CBS and NBC, had not said a word about the document before Tuesday. Today marks USA Today’s first mention.
Ombudsmen at both The New York Times and The Washington Post have been critical of their newspapers for not covering the story more aggressively.
USA TODAY chose not to publish anything about the memo before today for several reasons, says Jim Cox, the newspaper’s senior assignment editor for foreign news. “We could not obtain the memo or a copy of it from a reliable source, “ Cox says “There was no explicit confirmation of its authenticity from (Blair’s office). And it was disclosed four days before the British elections, raising concerns about the timing.””
What a wimpy and inauthentic excuse for not covering real news that is very important to the U.S. public. When did timing and lack of authenticity stop them from covering other stories that are based on allegations such as the Swift Boat Veterans (otherwise known as the Swift Boat Liars), Michael Jackson, politics in general, etc. PLEASE, don’t use authenticity as an excuse!
"I think there is a real prospect of progress on Africa and on climate change,"
-British Prime Minister Tony Blair, after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at his Moscow residence
The African nations that have already won approval for dent relief from the World Bank are wondering what is taking so long. They feel that they have accomplished much and have complied with the requirements set upon them. So what is the problem? Why are "G"lobal "W"arming Bush, Tony Blair and Company taking their time and slowing down the process? Well, it could be because they have no intention of releasing the debt at all or they're just looking for a new angle, a new way of getting a few more drops of blood out of those dry stones.
It will be interesting to see if these meetings end with
promises and little else.
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