Today's Note From a  Madman

Wednesday, August 10, 2005



Letters and Thoughts for Casey's Mom,  Cindy Sheehan

Dear Cindy,
God bless you for having the courage to hold the president accountable for his irresponsible war. May your sacrifice help save others from the grief and loss you have experienced. You are a true American hero and an inspiration to all who demand the truth in these troubled times.
Best regards,
Eddie Konczal

Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier Specialist Casey Sheehan, is waiting in the Texas heat and rain to meet our President. All she wants is an answer to a simple question - what noble cause did her son die for? I don't think she is asking for much given her sacrifice.
-Robert Scardapane

Dear Cindy,
Why weren't you invited to sit in the rotunda with Laura Bush during the State of the Union Address?
-Noah Greenberg

We can all take action. They are threatening to ARREST Cindy Sheehan as a "threat to national security"?! For doing what? Being the mother of a soldier killed in action?
-Jenny Hanniver

The United States, Iran and Vienna

"The removal of seals has been completed. The plant is fully operational now,"
-Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization

The IAEA put seals on Iran's Uranium processing plant because Iran had hidden weapons-grade highly enriched uranium. Oh yeah... and they lied about it, too.

Those little scamps.

"Today's breaking of seals is yet another sign of Iran's disregard for international concerns,"
-Matt Boland, spokesman for the US mission to international organizations in Vienna


It's worse than that, Matt. We have no leverage with Iran. Europe is a joke when it comes to negotiating with terrorist countries. Iran has proven their contempt of the West time and time again and there is no reason to think that they will honor any treaty, program of promise.

"I think it is up to Vienna to come up with a solution. I think it is not up to the (UN) Security Council,"
-China's U.N. ambassador, Wang Guangya

Since when has China, the "human rights violations center of the world" become the "voice of reason"?


Isn't the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) part of the UN? If the UN can't do anything about a rogue nation, like Iran, who could?

The US is embroiled in a "Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism"... or is that a "War on Terrorism" - sometimes I can't remember - in Afghanistan and Iraq. The former was a necessity, the latter wasn't.


The bottom line, however, is this: We cannot afford another "front" in the "war" or "struggle" or whatever name the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party decide "tests well" with the American people. Iran knows this; North Korea knows this.

How much of our hard-earned money is "G"lobal "W"arming Bush willing to spend on the current and future "struggles"?
How much of our children's blood is GW willing to spill?


Like I have said before, it's not George W. Bush that is making the "sacrifice; it's not his twin daughters' "sacrifice"; it's not his nephew, Jeb's son, George P. Bush making a "sacrifice" or his other nephew, Billy Bush (the TV personality). It is the children of those of US on the lower end of the financial food chain that are fighting, and sometimes dieing "over there".

Iran knows that they can do whatever they want because the only country in the world that will take a stand against them is "a little too tied up at the moment" to do anything about it.

Some of you will be glad to hear that GW is taking a harder line against North Korea and their WMD intentions than he is taking against Iran. Here is his reason:

"North Korea is a different story. North Korea didn't tell the truth when it came to their enrichment program."

Hey President Bush... Iran has been fooling nuclear inspectors for 17 years.

Here is the real deal. North Korea can't mess around because it will tick off China, and China doesn't want, or need, a nuclear conflict near their borders. Iran has been the biggest danger in the middle east for a long time. Iran is also the biggest threat to Israel, our only real ally in the area.

President Bush has made US weaker and less of a threat to our enemies throughout the world. Viewing his current poll numbers, it easy to see that the American people are taking note. Bush is a "lame duck" and the only way to make him pay is by voting his "yes-men" out of office in November of 2006.

-Noah Greenberg

"Moral" Weapons

Is there any such thing as a civilized/moral war or weapon ?

Is mass gassing, forced starvation , shootings and beating more civilized?

Was the "Rape of Nan King" and the mass slaughter of the Chinese people less humane than the atomic bombs?

I am a decorated WWII veteran, and intelligence at the time off the atomic bombings clearly indicated that the Japanese were prepared to fight to the death with every man, woman and child. Contrary to current revisionist historians, there was every indication that the Japanese had not the slightest desire to surrender,

The invasion would be long and costly, as had ALL of the island jumping battles. The military estimated that there would be slightly over a million American troops killed, and about three times that number of Japanese during this epic battle. Would this have been more humane ?

Let's not be ridiculous by taking an ostrich like position. ALL wars, and killing and maiming are completely immoral. Now having said this, once in a war, the strategy should remain in the hands of the ones designated to do the fighting, and definitely not the politicians or pacifists.

The object of the military. is to win quickly, while keeping it's losses to a minimum...military science 101.

Incidentally is the massive exploitation of the planet's people, by global corporatism any less moral than dropping the atomic bombs?

-Jack Kashinsky

March, Donald

The Pentagon will hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an unusual announcement tucked into an Iraq war briefing yesterday. "'This year the Department of Defense will initiate an America Supports You Freedom Walk,' Rumsfeld said, adding that the march would remind people of 'the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation.'

"The march will start at the Pentagon, where nearly 200 people died on 9/11, and end at the National Mall with a show by country star Clint Black."

How dare Rumsfeld use 9/11 for political reasons! There is nothing to celebrate on that day. If I had any music from Clint Black, I would break it in two. In fact, I may go buy a Clint Black CD just for the pleasure of busting it up that day.

-from the Daily Kos, forwarded by Robert Scardapane

Katherine Harris Lacks Insight and Reality

“I am a progressive conservative.”
-Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL), the current "best-we-can-do" "G"reed ""O"ver "P"eople party choice to run for the US Senate

I just heard this most disgusting idea on MSNBC by Rep. Katherine Harris in Florida. Are the GOP now going to have the audacity to try and co-op “progressive”? If republicans fall for this it will just show how far into denial they can go in order to avoid thinking for themselves.

She is as phony and glib as it gets. Her plastic smile and phony energy starts to wither after a number of tough questions. Like a wind-up doll. The secret with her is to wear her down as she doesn’t seem to be able to hold the “pumped up” state of mind past the first 10 minutes. I will definitely donate to Senator Nelson to defeat this hack.

“There are a number of areas our party disagree and that’s what makes us so strong.”
-Harris, in an equally unbelievable statement

She must have something altering her mind to come to a conclusion that reality doesn’t support. The GOP mostly marches in step with only minor exceptions here or there when their own political survival comes into question. She had to dodge all the questions about how much the GOP is truly supporting and encouraging her since it appears they really are not. She could carry their water and wash their feet, but she is now to polarizing for them. What goes around comes around!

-Casey Sweet

Too Much Pork and Too Little Sugar

Thomas L. Friedman wrote an article on Friday, August 5 by this title in the NY Times. He made a number of great points about the unenergetic energy bill (my characterization).

-An energy bill that doesn’t enjoy our auto companies to sharply improve their mileage standards is just not serious
-“The sum of all lobbies” …while it contains some useful provisions, it also contains massive pork slabs dished out to the vested interest who need them least – like oil companies
-Has no overarching strategy to deal with the new world
-We are in a war…mounted by Islamo-fascists…financed by medieval regimes sustained by our oil purchases. Yes, we are financing both sides of the war on terrorism: our soldiers and the fascist terrorists. George Bush’s failure, on the morning after 9/11, to call on Americans to accept a gasoline tax to curb our oil imports was one of the greatest wasted opportunities in U.S. history.
-It doesn’t really touch the auto companies, which have used most of the technological advances of the last two decades to make our cars bigger and faster, rather than more fuel-efficient. Congress even rejected the idea of rating tires for fuel efficiency, which might have encouraged consumers to buy the most fuel-efficient treads.
-The White House blocked an amendment that would have required the president to find ways to cut oil use by one million barrels a day by 2015.
-The new energy bill includes support for corn-based ethanol, but bowing to the dictates of the U.S. corn and sugar lobbies (which oppose sugar imports), it ignores Brazilian-style sugar-based ethanol, even though it takes much less energy to make and produces more energy than corn-based ethanol. (Half the new cars sold this year in Brazil will run on any combination of gasoline and ethanol…not only made Brazil close to energy independence but has also insulated the Brazilian economy from the harming impact of the current spike in oil prices.)

We are ready to import oil from Saudi Arabia but not sugar from Brazil. The sum of all lobbies…

-Casey Sweet

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) realized the same thing when he said "Everything you can make from a barrel of oil you can make from a bushel of corn." on the Ed Schultz Show last month. -NG

In response to "Does anyone else out there remember when drug companies used to try and cure diseases?", Jenny Hanniver writes:

Perhaps they have deteriorated really badly since the late 80s-early 90s, when I worked for a company that manufactured pill-making machinery, but back then I knew a lot of pharmaceutical reps who were passionately committed to health. I know how ultra-careful they were about dosages and sanitation, and am grateful that I've lived through the 70 year period, from sulfa onward, that antibiotics were available. Sulfa saved my life in 1938, when I was stricken with diphtheria at the age of two. Just wait till our bodies reject antibiotics, which is already here for many urban persons who suffer from TB.

What is needed is honest cost accounting from the pharmaceutical executives. I have read that advertising now comprises the largest share of subscription and OTC costs, whereas it used to be R&D, personnel & physical plant. That is indeed shameful, but when medicine was turned into a competitive commodity back in the (?)1970s and professionals like doctors (and lawyers) began advertising like hardware merchants, I think a lot of us even then knew that spelled the slippage of life-saving medicine into a bottom line mentality. As Noah has been pointing out, the exorbitant costs of health insurance administration are a major problem, but they only exacerbate other problems with U.S. medicine that already existed.

The best medical treatment I ever received was during my years in the Navy. From free annual physicals on to office visits with doctors who didn't need to rush you through because they were paid a straight salary. We definitely need Universal Single Pay health insurance, but we also need to re-professionalize whatever professions have been degraded by the merchandising mentality.

The Quote

"It's hard to think of another president who lived in such meta-insulation. His rigidly controlled environment allows no chance encounters with anyone who disagrees. He never has to defend himself to anyone, and that is cognitively injurious. He's a populist who never meets people - an ordinary guy who clears brush, and brush is the only thing he talks to. Mr. Bush hails Texas as a place where he can return to his roots. But is he mixing it up there with anyone besides Vulcans, Pioneers and Rangers?"
-Maureen Dowd, writing in the New York Times on Bush's refusal to meet with Cindy Sheehan

Ms. Dowd, there can be no "chance encounters" when your "handlers" don't believe in chance. One who leads a sheltered life doesn't know what "life" is like for the "unsheltered". Defending oneself would require one to be open to things like "criticism" and "self-examination". I wish Mr. Bush would only talk to "brush" because those he actually does talk to have their own self-interests at heart, and one wonders if Bush ever had anyone else's interests at heart but his own, as well.

-Noah Greenberg and Robert Scardapane

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-Noah Greenberg