940 posts

Scientists counter Bush view: Families varied, say anthropologists

[ In the article below, anthropologists “called Bush’s conception of the history of marriage ‘patently false.’” This fits in nicely with the pattern of disregard for and abuse of science on the part of the Bush Administration, as substantiated by the Waxman Report last August, and the report of the Union of Concerned Scientists last month. –doclalor ] Charles Burress Friday, February 27, 2004 San Francisco Chronicle The primary organization representing American anthropologists criticized President Bush’s proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage Thursday and gave a failing grade to the president’s understanding of human cultures. “The results of more than […]

Hussein ties to al Qaeda appear faulty

The administration’s case on ties between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda relied on intelligence that was weaker than that on Iraq’s illegal weapons programs. Miami Herald; Posted on Wed, Mar. 03, 2004 By WARREN P. STROBEL, JONATHAN S. LANDAY AND JOHN WALCOTT WASHINGTON – The Bush administration’s assertion that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had ties to al Qaeda — one of the administration’s central arguments for a preemptive war — appears to have been based on even less solid intelligence than the administration’s claims that Iraq had hidden stocks of chemical and biological weapons. Nearly a year after U.S. and […]

Analysis: After the would-be coup

[ One of the themes in the commentary below is that the question, “is the United States more concerned with its interests in the region than maintaining the continuity of democratic rule?” emerges time and time again as the U.S. backs coups in Latin America. –doclalor ] The military appear to have come to Chavez’s aid Sunday, 14 April, 2002, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK; BBC News By the BBC’s Tom Gibb There will be relief in most of Latin America that President Hugo Chávez is back in power in Venezuela, with many seeing this as important for the development of […]


Greg Palast reporting from Caracas [ link ] Friday, November 28, 2003 It’s as if they were locked in a crypt for the last ten years. The finance ministers of every Latin American nation last week signed on to a resolution in principle to join the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), the hemispheric expansion of NAFTA. The walking corpse of Argentina’s economy was there, as well as the long-deceased body of Ecuador and several other South American nations whose economies were long ago murdered and buried by the free trade and free market nostrums of the World Bank […]

U.S. political maneuvering behind the ouster

BY RON HOWELL March 1, 2004, Newsday The departure of Haiti’s Jean-Bertrand Aristide is a victory for a Bush administration hard-liner who has been long dedicated to Aristide’s ouster, U.S. foreign policy analysts say. That official is Roger Noriega, assistant U.S. secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, whose influence over U.S. policy toward Haiti has increased during the past decade as he climbed the diplomatic ladder in Washington. “Roger Noriega has been dedicated to ousting Aristide for many, many years, and now he’s in a singularly powerful position to accomplish it,” Robert White, a former U.S. ambassador to El […]

Why Would the U.S. Facilitate Ousters in Haiti and Venezuela?

[ Here I propose a possible explanation as to why the U.S. might have supported coups in Haiti and Venezuela — an explanation of which I hope scrutinizing readers will disabuse me if I am off-base. –doclalor ] by Brendan Lalor, thereitis.org If democratically elected Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was kidnapped by the U.S., it’s worth asking, Why little Haiti? I propose a two-part explanation here, as to why the U.S. supported or pandered to the anti-government forces in Haiti, and pressured Aristide out — an explanation which will, in turn, be extended to cover Venezuela, too: The minor component […]

U.S. Papers Hail Venezuelan Coup as Pro-Democracy Move

FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) April 18, 2002 When elements of the Venezuelan military forced president Hugo Chávez from office last week, the editorial boards of several major U.S. newspapers followed the U.S. government’s lead and greeted the news with enthusiasm. In an April 13 editorial, the New York Times triumphantly declared that Chavez’s “resignation” meant that “Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator.” Conspicuously avoiding the word “coup,” the Times explained that Chavez “stepped down after the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader.” Calling Chavez “a ruinous demagogue,” the Times offered […]

Venezuela coup linked to Bush team

[ The article below explains the connections between Bush Administration figures and the 2002 coup in Venezuela. They include: Otto Reich — who met with the plotters of the coup beforehand — Elliot Abrams, and John Negroponte. –doclalor ] Specialists in the ‘dirty wars’ of the Eighties encouraged the plotters who tried to topple President Chavez Ed Vulliamy in New York Sunday April 21, 2002 The Observer The failed coup in Venezuela was closely tied to senior officials in the US government, The Observer has established. They have long histories in the ‘dirty wars’ of the 1980s, and links to […]

Venezuelan Leader, Battling a Recall, Mocks Bush

[ It’s not just Aristide the Bush Administration has been working to oust, but socialist President Chavez in Venezuela, too. From the article: “Sumate, an opposition group that helped plan the recall effort, received $53,000 from the United States government. The money came from the National Endowment for Democracy, which had funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to groups opposed to Mr. Chavez.” –doclalor ] March 1, 2004, New York Times By JUAN FORERO ARACAS, Venezuela, Feb. 29 — President Hugo Chávez railed against the Bush administration on Sunday in a speech before tens of thousands of supporters, accusing it […]

Don’t fall for Washington’s spin on Haiti

COMMENT: Don't fall for Washington's spin on Haiti By Jeffrey SachsFinancial Times; Mar 01, 2004 The crisis in Haiti is another case of brazen US manipulation of a small, impoverished country with the truth unexplored by journalists. In the nearly universal media line on the Haitian revolt, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was portrayed as an undemocratic leader who betrayed Haiti's democratic hopes and thereby lost the support of his erstwhile backers. He “stole” elections and intransigently refused to address opposition concerns. As a result he had to leave office, which he did at the insistence of the US and France. Unfortunately, […]

Background on Haiti

[ Mary Turck’s piece (below) for the human rights organization, Resource Center of the Americas, supplies some pertinent background information that aids interpretation of media reports about Haiti. Another nice source is the discussion hosted on FAIR’s CounterSpin radio program with Marx Aristide of the Haiti Support Network (he is not related to the Haitian president). Get the mp3 here (it’s 8:56 into the file). –doclalor ] Haiti Q & A by Mary Turck  Resource Center of the Americas, http://www.americas.org February 23, 2004  As violent gangs invade Haitian towns, murdering police and opening jails, news reports repeat several catch phrases […]

Not Yet Covered in the Corporate Press!: Aristide Kidnapped(?)

by Brendan Lalor, thereitis.org Congresswoman Maxine Waters communicated with Hatian President Jean Bertrand Aristide today, and she reports that — contrary to what we hear in the mainstream media so far — Aristide did not resign, nor did he flee. Instead he was kidnapped, he says by U.S.-supported forces! For the latest, check the http://www.democracynow.org/ website. Meanwhile, ABC news says its top story on NightLine tonight will be Aristide’s “flight” from Haiti. Let’s hope they get the full story before going on the air. As I’ve recently noted, U.S. support for anti-democratic movements in the hemisphere ought to be a […]

Globalization Revisited

Globalization RevisitedDemocrats' arguments against outsourcing are overstated — and effective. January/February 2004 Issue of Mother Jones George W. Bush wants to run this year as a “war president,” but voters seem more inclined to judge him as a “jobs president.” Never mind that the president actually has little sway over the business cycle; millions of jobs have disappeared on Bush's watch and the economic recovery has failed, so far, to replace them in any numbers, feeding a growing perception that the president has bungled the economy. Naturally, Democrats have been stoking this perception. Kerry and Edwards have seized on the […]

Is the U.S. Toppling Democracy Again?

[ The U.S. has a history of toppling democracies in the hemisphere; and it’s not just Chile and Nicaragua, but even Haiti itself in recent decades: corporate interests trumped democracy and international law again (see footnotes 51-60 of Chomsky’s Understanding Power for more sources on Haiti). Against this back-drop, it would not be surprising to learn that our government is supplying the weapons and financial backing for the opponents of Aristide, as Ira Kurzban charges, as reported below. –doclalor ] Haiti’s Lawyer: U.S. Is Arming Anti-Aristide Paramilitaries Wednesday, February 25th, 2004, Democracynow.org By Amy Goodman and Jeremy Scahill The US […]

Job Flight & India

The Flight to India The jobs Britain stole from the Asian subcontinent 300 years ago are now returning. Is this a good thing or a bad one? By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 21st October 2003 If you live in a rich nation in the English-speaking world, and most of your work involves a computer or a telephone, don't expect to have a job in five years' time. Almost every large company which relies upon remote transactions is starting to dump its workers and hire a cheaper labour force overseas. All those concerned about economic justice and the distribution […]

The New Scopes Trials

The New Scopes Trials This article can be found on the web at The Nation by ERIC ALTERMAN & MARK GREEN [from the March 8, 2004 issue] What if the research agenda of the University of Texas College of Natural Sciences were drafted not by the professors who actually conduct the studies but by, say, the alumni who funded the department? We might end up with research on the stickiness of Mr. Big's brand of glue instead of the development of an AIDS vaccine. Luckily, most research universities don't work that way. The federal government, however, occasionally does. In the […]

The Better Bush Beater?

[ Saletan argues (below) on the basis of exit polls from states in which Republicans voted in Democratic primaries that Edwards may be more likely than Kerry to win Republican votes in November. The Republicans featured in the cited polls (i.e., those disposed to crossover) may not be representative of all Republicans; but crossover Republicans (and Independents) are the only ones who matter in the general election anyway, right? This news may be exciting to the progressives disheartened by Kerry's record of supporting Bush on free trade policy. Edwards has been much closer to the most progressive candidate in the race […]

Intelligence Failure Invesitgation to be Overseen by a Weasel

[ Could Bush make it any more clear that he is not interested in being “a uniter,” as he likes to put it? Silberman, the one he appointed to head the commission to investigate intelligence failures prior to the Iraq War, is a sneaky partisan who let Oliver North off the hook. –doclalor ]Bush Appoints Iran-Contra Figure To Head Up Iraq “Intelligence” Probehttp://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/02/12/1550232Thursday, February 12th, 2004 | Listen to: Segment President Bush last week appointed a commission to investigate intelligence failures prior to the invasion of Iraq. Critics see the move as little more than window dressing since the commission […]

Michael Moore’s Latest Open Letter to Bush

[ In the latest open letter (below) of Michael Moore, he in effect challenges Bush to honor his promise, made Sunday on Meet the Press, to authorize release of all records relevant to determining his status in the Guard from 1972 to 1973. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan is a broken record on this: he can't stop remarking what a shame it is that people won't just leave this issue alone. At times like these it's worth remembering that Bill Clinton was pestered by relentless Republicans about lies of lesser significance. Excellent coverage of this issue is also available […]

Media Ownership

Comcast wants to acquire Disney and become the largest communications company in the world. Most of the media is already controlled by a small number of giant companies (see http://www.mediareform.net). These companies are not in business for the good of local communities, nor to promote genuine, free discussion on important issues for the good of our democracy. Note Comcast's recent refusal to run an anti-war ad and CBS' recent refusal to run a slick ad with a critical message about the Bush deficits. Their monopolization of the public's airwaves is yet another force that erodes our democracy further. And Bush's FCC […]

10,000 civilian deaths — but U.S. Gov’t Not Counting

[ The Bush and Blair Administrations, and officials high in the Iraqi Ministry of Health, all discouraged counting the number of civilians killed as a result of the U.S.-led attack on Iraq. –doclalor ] The terrible human cost of Bush and Blair's military adventure: 10,000 civilian deaths UK and US authorities discourage counting of deaths as a result of the conflict. But academics are monitoring the toll and have identified a grim new milestone, reports David Randall The Independent [ link ] 08 February 2004 More than 10,000 civilians, many of them women and children, have been killed so far […]

Feds Intimidate War Protesters

[ The Feds appear to be attempting a McCarthyist intimidation of the Administration's critics. Sounds like the work of John Ashcroft. From the article: “Those served subpoenas include the leader of the Catholic Peace Ministry, the former coordinator of the Iowa Peace Network, a member of the Catholic Worker House, and an anti-war activist who visited Iraq in 2002.” –doclalor ] Feds Win Right to War Protesters' Records [ link ] BY RYAN J. FOLEYAssociated Press Writer February 8, 2004, 9:23 AM EST DES MOINES, Iowa — In what may be the first subpoena of its kind in decades, a federal judge has […]

See Bush on “Meet the Press” Sunday AM!!!

[ The important Meet the Press referenced here airs Sunday, Feb. 8, 2004 on NBC. — doclalor ] 8 Questions for George W. Bush 02/06/2004 @ 11:25am [ link ] by David Corn, The Nation Tim Russert, the Grand Inquisitor of Sunday morning, is scheduled to have George W. Bush in the witness chair for a full hour on the next Meet the Press. He's a lucky man–Russert, that is. This will be high drama, as the nation's politerati–and millions of others–watch to see if Russert gives Bush the hot-seat treatment. There is, of course, much to ask Bush about. […]

Democracy Coming in Iraq?

[ From the article: interventions “rarely, if ever, lead to anything that looks and functions like a genuine democracy in the short or medium term. But they do give the administration of the intervening country the kind of ally it needs to help achieve its foreign policy goals abroad and its electoral goals at home…. voters back home are generally willing to embrace their administration's assurances that however imperfect the new government might appear to “nitpickers,” it is now well on the road to democracy.” — doclalor ] [ link ] Gun-Barrel Democracy Has Failed Time and Again Study suggests […]

Cheney & Scalia Fail the “Smell Test”

[ Although Scalia will soon be judging the case in which Cheney is accused of wrong-doing in calling a secret meeting (with energy companies?) to write an energy bill, he denied going duck hunting together would compromise his objectivity. — doclalor ] Lionel Van Deerlin [ link ] January 28, 2004 Should Justice Antonin Scalia have shared a duck blind with Vice President Dick Cheney? …. The familiar dodge, “There is no wrongdoing, we have broken no law,” rings hollow in too many instances. The test, “Is it legal?” pales in confronting what should be the more pressing question, “Is it ethical?” […]

Cheney’s Track Record

Cheney's Track Record http://progressivetrail.org/articles/040128ProgressReport.shtml by The Progress ReportPublished by Center for American progress (January 28, 2004) Vice President Dick Cheney, the former CEO of Halliburton, yesterday chastised those “who intimidate opposition, tolerate and profit from corruption and maintain ties to terrorist groups.” But VP Cheney appears to have amassed a business record that embodies all he is criticizing. According to two new reports, while Cheney was CEO of Halliburton, the company deliberately skirted U.S. law to do business with state sponsors of terrorism, while spending millions to bribe a dictatorial regime in Nigeria. While Cheney's office continues to refuse comment on […]

Hot Links

In case you haven't seen these links, they're worth following!To see one of the two ads CBS won't run during the SuperBowl, go here: http://www.moveon.org/cbs/ad/According to moveon.org, almost a half-million people have so far called CBS asking them to stop their censorship (CBS Comment Line: 212/975.4321) Take these presidential match quizzes: http://www.ontheissues.org/quizeng/XPresMatch2004/ http://www.presidentmatch.com

Key Republican Strategist Turned Bush-Critic

The House of Bush Rep. strategist Kevin Phillips on the Bush family's hunger for power [ link ] By Eric Bates | (Rolling Stone, January 5, 2004) Listening to Kevin Phillips talk about politics, it's easy to mistake him for a populist firebrand from the 1890s. He rails against the growing inequality of wealth in America. He bemoans the unprecedented influence that private corporations hold over public institutions. He attacks the “smug conservatism” of George W. Bush and accuses the president of attempting to establish a family dynasty better suited to royalist England than to democratic America. But Phillips is […]

The WMD-Hunt & the November Election

by Brendan Lalor, thereitis.org Head WMD-hunter David Kay has “concluded that Iraq had no stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons at the start of the war last year,” according to the New York Time article below. Yet he's “stepping down” from his position before expected. I'm wondering if Kay might have been “encouraged” (through under-funding) — because if he did not step down, his final report would constitute a serious and untimely blow to the Bush for President campaign. Let me spell out my speculations … Kay was leading the Iraq Survey Group, which is trying to locate the WMDs […]

The CIA revolt against the White House

[ Below is a nice interview with registered Republican and previous Bush contributor, Larry C. Johnson, a decorated intelligence analyst, who demands that Congress “hold the White House accountable for deliberately revealing the identity of undercover CIA operative.” What the White House did was illegal, aids terrorists, and, Johnson says, may amount to treason. Thanks to A. Dadlez for sending this article. — doclalor ]    The CIA revolt against the White House Former intelligence official Larry C. Johnson blasts the Bush administration's “outright pattern of bullying.” http://salon.com/news/feature/2004/01/23/johnson/print.html by Mark Follman Jan. 23, 2004  |  In President Bush's State of the […]

The Hidden State of the Union

[ For those not familiar with Lakoff's competing-models analysis of moral politics, this is a timely introduction. — doclalor ] The Hidden State of the Union http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17643 By George Lakoff, AlterNet January 22, 2004 We all heard what the President said in the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, but what did he mean? The speech, like most right-wing discourse these days, is in a kind of code, based on a moral system that not all Americans share. Lying below the 50-50 political schism in this country are two opposing worldviews. Each sees national politics through the lens […]

Labor Department ‘cheat sheet’ puts screws to workers

[ Thanks to Sundra Flansburg for sending this article. ] Labor Department 'cheat sheet' puts screws to workers South Bend Tribune, January 18, 2004 [ link ] by EILEEN APPELBAUM, KRT Forum NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Just when you thought the Bush administration's disdain for America's working families couldn't get any worse, along comes another cynical move to prove you wrong. This time it's the Labor Department putting out tips for employers on how they can avoid paying overtime to low-income workers when the government's new rules on overtime pay go into effect in March. A cheat sheet, if you will, […]

Seven Myths About Faith & Politics

Seven Myths About Faith & Politics The truth about the politics of evangelicals, Catholics and seculars by Steven Waldman, Slate I heard about this guy who called himself “evangelical,” said he lived a “Bible-centered life,” had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ — and voted for Al Gore over George W. Bush.A confused, lonely, iconoclast? Actually, in 2000, at least 10 million white “evangelical Christians” voted for Gore.Many people, especially secular liberals, misunderstand the nature of religion in politics-which is, to be fair, ever shifting. To them, if it's not about Jerry Falwell or Joe Lieberman, it's kind of a […]

Bush Motivates Voter Turnout

by Brendan Lalor, thereitis.orgIf Iowa is an indication of voter turnout to come, it's worth noting that Democrats are coming out in droves by historical standards. According to the Des Moines Register, “More than 122,000 Democrats attended caucuses Monday, of which roughly 45 percent were first-time participants, according to entrance polls.” Compare that to the mere 61,000 caucusers who turned out in 2000!There should be no mystery why we're seeing the leap in civic engagement. We finally have something for which we can thank Acting President George W. Bush. (I know, I'm grasping a little.) He has activated Dems (Independents, Greens, […]

Ashcroft’s Attack On Greenpeace

John Passacantando, AlterNet | October 30, 2003 http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17073 Yesterday the Greenpeace ship MV Esperanza arrived in Miami. However, rather than pulling into port, as Greenpeace ships do throughout the world, she will remain at anchor. The Port of Miami has refused us entry because John Ashcroft's Justice Department is prosecuting us for a protest action last year. The prosecution is unprecedented. Never before in U.S. history has an entire organization been prosecuted for a peaceful protest by its supporters.

Winning the Election … Racism, Theft and Fraud in Florida

[ As the presidential election approaches, it's worth remembering what happened last time. This is a nice piece on an issue which we have been too willing to forget: How cheating illegitimately landed George W. Bush a job as Acting President. Liam Scheff here interviews Greg Palast, author of the acclaimed The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. WARNING: The content of this interview may shock some, but it is pretty widely known in other parts of the developed world, and was even given brief (if late) treatment by some mainstream U.S. media, including the Washington Post. For a nice example of […]

The Screwing of Cynthia McKinney

[ Cynthia McKinney (former Congresswoman from Georgia) belongs back in Congress, after being run out by the Bushies in retribution for her attempts to pry the cover off electoral fraud in Florida. — doclalor ] Greg Palast, AlterNet | http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=16172 June 13, 2003 Have you heard about Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Congresswoman? According to those quoted on National Public Radio, McKinney’s “a loose cannon” (media expert) who “the people of Atlanta are embarrassed and disgusted” (politician) by, and she is also “loony” and “dangerous” (senator from her own party). Yow! And why is McKinney dangerous/loony/disgusting? According to NPR, “McKinney implied […]

Bush’s Defiant State of the Union

01/21/2004 @ 12:34am | from David Corn's “Capitol Games” section of The Nation http://www.thenation.com/capitalgames/index.mhtml?bid=3&pid=1198 “No one can now doubt the word of America.” That's what George W. Bush told the United States and the world public in his State of the Union address this evening. He was referring to the war in Iraq, which he defended vigorously in the speech. But this remark made it seem he was oblivious to the fact that many people around the globe believe that the war in Iraq demonstrated that Bush's word is worth nothing. 

A Nation of Victims

[ From the article: “Bush's political opponents are caught in a fantasy that they can win against him simply by proving the superiority of their ideas. However,people do not support Bush for the power of his ideas, but out of the despair and desperation in their hearts…. Bush's opponents must combat his dark imagery with hope and restore American vigor and optimism in the coming years…. This is the linguistic prescription for those who wish to retire Bush in 2004.” ] The Nation, by RENANA BROOKS [from the June 30, 2003 issue] http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030630&s=brooks George W. Bush is generally regarded as […]