Monday, November 20, 2006

New Congress: Here is Your Mandate

There are three items on your agenda, you who find yourselves elected and in the new majority in the House and Senate. I'll spell them out nice and simple.

  1. Create a voting system that is transparent and verifiable.

  2. Get the military out of Iraq, and while you're at it, destroy those permanent bases.

  3. Begin impeachment proceedings against the lawless elements in the current Bush White House, beginning with Bush himself.

That's it!

If our vote keeps getting hacked, the voice of the people is not heard and we have no representation. It is not enough that this nation's wonderful disgust for "stay the course" actually seated the other party in power. In state after state, no recount was possible because there was no record of the vote other than that contained on proprietary memory cards. In district after district with e-voting machines there was a serious discrepancy between the exit poll data and the reported vote count. If we do not fix this, we should change our name to the Disunited States of Banana Republicland. Fix our voting system now!

We are not fighting "terror" in Iraq. We are creating "terror" in Iraq. We are slaughtering Iraqi people, daily, in massive numbers. We are building colossal bases and a majestic embassy. We are trying to decimate the country of Iraq so we can take over that patch of sand with its oil, so we can threaten other neighboring countries, so we don't have to ask Turkey for permission to base troops for future imperialistic ventures. We MUST get out of Iraq now. Now!

And finally, we cannot accept the President's men -- Alberto Gonzalez, John Yee, et al -- telling us that they think it is legal to torture, legal to wiretap, legal to invade other countries. So what, I should hire a lawyer and then commit murder and use, as my excuse, that my lawyer thought that murder under these circumstances is legal? Hahahahaha. Give me a break. I do not believe, no matter WHO is President, that a "unitary executive" is Constitutional. When the chief executive of a country is allowed to trample on the law he is sworn to uphold, our nation is greatly weakened. Impeach now.

Later on you can start working on the rest of the issues, like global warming, health care, financial solvency. But if these BIG THREE don't get fixed first, you're just diddling yourselves over there in D.C.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Support Our Troops: Bring Them Home!

US Soldiers on patrol in a tank on Baghdad streets.Get them the hell out of Iraq, and Afghanistan for that matter.

As long as our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters are assigned to places like Forward Operating Base Falcon, as long as their jobs involve driving around Bahgdad or Kirkuk or Fallujah in tanks with guns trained on the local population, as long as they are ordered to bust down doors and drag Iraqi citizens out into the street -- bagging their heads and cuffing their wrists -- and haul them off for questioning somewhere, we fertilize their hatred against us.

In fact, given what happened at Abu Ghraib and other holding facilities in Iraq, we lost the Iraqi hearts and minds a long time ago.

A large majority of Iraqis want us to leave.

Our soldiers don't want to be there.

Top military men are in full revolt against the status quo. In an unprecedented display of dismay, they are retiring their commissions early to come out and say that the way the "war" is being waged is a farce.

Yet those responsible for this farce are still in their jobs -- "Yer doin' a good job, Rummy!"

There is an explanation for the disastrous state of affairs in Mesopotamia. Let me preface this by reminding us that nothing we were told in the pre-war buildup has turned out to be true. There were no WMD. Saddam Hussein was not an imminent threat to us or to his neighbors. We were not greeted with flowers. And our invasion and occupation sure as hell cannot be likened to a cakewalk.

There is an explanation for the disastrous state of affairs. We saw the new rationale, the new goalpost, laid out for us in the Chimp's press conference yesterday. Why are we in Iraq now? It is no longer the lofty notion of bringing democracy to the region. We are there now because Iraq is unstable, and we will stay until the job is done, that is, until Iraq reaches a point of "stability." How does that make sense, though ... how is that a reasonable goal?

It's clear that our continued occupation is the cause of instability, violence, chaos, resentment, and attacks. In fact, US intelligence agencies are uniformly of the opinion that we are breeding more terrorists by staying in Iraq. How does it make sense that staying another day will somehow magically change this fact? Simple answer: it doesn't.

There is an explanation for the ongoing disaster: we need an unstable Iraq to justify our continued presence. The longer we stay the more permanent bases we complete. The longer we stay, the more our permanent presence becomes the "facts on the ground." The longer we stay, the more resources in Iraq we can steal. The longer we stay, the more Iraqis who have means will leave the country. The longer we stay, the weaker the rest of the population becomes.

I ask myself, "Is it possible this administration is willing to be called incompetent and delusionary to cover for the real reasons we are there?" I ask myself, "Are the real reasons for our invasion and occupation any different from what they were initially? And if not, why should we believe the administration would tell us the truth now?" I doubt the real reasons are any more politically palatable than they were almost 4 years ago.

All this leads me to think we have only one option now... a military withdrawal, in as orderly a fashion as possible, and as quickly as possible. There are many who say, "But this will create a mess!" Yes, it is likely it will, at least in the near term. And we will have to face it, accept it, and recognize that this is the result of our misguided and mismanaged attempt at empire-building in the Middle East. We have to demand accountability from those responsible.

I thought, and wrote, a long time ago that the ill-conceived invasion was akin to opening Pandora's box. What's done is done. If we feel, as a nation, that we bear the responsibility to fix it, we first have to admit that we cannot fix it with guns and bombs and torture -- the very things that broke it in the first place.

We did break Iraq. On purpose. Our soldiers are not able to fix it, by the very nature of our armed forces. We are not fighting terrorism in Iraq, we are fighting Iraqi citizens. We've helped create a situation that has fractured Iraqi society and civilization. We've helped to pit Sunni against Shi'ite against Kurd.

All the king's horses and all the king's men cannot put Iraq together again.

Bring our troops home now. Anything less is horribly cruel to our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters. Anything less continues to hide the disaster we've created, on purpose, with the fiction that somehow our troops can make it better.

It's time we all accepted responsibility and face the music.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

WTC 7 9-11-01

A 4 min. video about the collaps of World Trade Center Building 7 on 9-11-01.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Osama Was a Friend of Ours

Back when we were all a'skeered of communism and the USSR was our enemy, the US of A armed, supported and made friends with some Ay-rabs who were hanging out in Afghan-istan. One of these lead Ay-rabs was none other than Osama Bin Laden. If we could help the poor Ay-rabs in Afghan-istan resist the Russian move into their country, well hell, we'd be doing ourselves and all the communist-hating peoples worldwide a favor, right?

So our CIA made deals with Pakistan's ISI, their CIA counterpart. Through this connection, we sent material aid to the Afghan-istan terrorists who ended up thwarting commie Russia's drive to make the area their own.

Now, don't go telling me we will fight terrorism wherever we find it. Truth be told, we support and even create terrorists when it serves our "Nashnul intressshhhts."

So here we have good ol' Osama, he's a friend. That's a good reason why we never caught the dude even when we blamed him for coming up with this plan to fly planes into our buildings. That's probably also the reason we thought we could blame him for the events. After all, he was our boy, and we needed some scapegoat. How in hell we got from Osama to Iraq... well, that's all laid out in history now, the lies and the phony Niger documents and the smoking gun mushroom clouds and the morphing poor Saddam with Osama.

By the way, Saddam was our boy too. We put him where he is, we even gave him the chemical weapons we are now trying him for using against Iran and the Kurds.

Meantime, back at the ranch... the Congress just passed a bill and it's been signed... that effectively obliterates the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. In fact, by writing and publishing this, I could be declared as giving aid and comfort to the enemy, making me eligible for one of those orange suits and a 6 x 6 cage down in Guantanamo.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Letter to Producers of the Diane Rehm Show

[For those who do not listen to NPR (National Public Radio), the Diane Rehm show is a highly respected and nationally distributed talk show.]

I'm sure this has already been suggested, but I'd like to hear a show anytime now ... given the upcoming 5-year anniversary of 9-11-2001 ... that takes a much closer look at the official story of events, as given in reports from the Administration and the 911 Commission report.

Bush, in his first radio address to the nation on the morning of 9-11, promised a full investigation into who perpetrated the tragedy. On the same day, Bin Laden was accused and a list of names and pictures of the 9-11 hijackers was published. A few months later a "Bin Laden" tape, supposedly found in a bombed-out house in Afghanistan, appeared to contain Bin Laden's confession. (The Osama in this tape really doesn't look like any other Osama pictures we've seen. Several of the alleged hijackers -- who should have died, right? -- seem to have been quite alive in the months following. Can this be disputed? I'd really like to know!)

The Bush administration fought setting up any 9-11 fact-finding body for 14 months. The Zelikow Commission that was grudgingly established (originally headed by Kissinger, wasn't it?) finally published a report which failed on a grand scale to adequately explain what exactly happened on 9-11. Two commission members have now indicated they seriously considered exploring criminal charges against certain officials for their misleading and contradictory testimony.

There's more. The 911 Truth movement seems to be growing, and respected professionals -- scientists, engineers, physicists and scholars -- have spent a great deal of time trying to analyze what happened. They cannot explain the WTC buildings collapsing into dust in their own footprints using the official line (WTC1, WTC2, WTC7 .. and what happened to WTC6? Have you seen the photos of the gaping vertical holes in that building?).

These brave people express dismay and disbelief that examination of the physical evidence (removed promptly from the scene and destroyed) was prevented. They claim it is impossible that the laws of physics somehow did not apply on 9-11 and 9-11 alone. (They point to the fact that no steel building before or since 9-11 ever collapsed due to fire. Can this been disputed? I'd really like to know!)

If .. and I pose this as an if that should be examined in great detail .. the official 9-11 story is more hype than fact, don't we as a nation deserve to discuss it? This seminal event .. the day that changed the world as we know it (according to the MSM anyway) .. has given rise to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, to the abduction and interminable detention of foreign born and US citizens, to the abrupt passage of the Patriot Act, to warrantless domestic wiretapping, to disregarding the Geneva Conventions, and to countless other sea-changes in our way of life.

We are being told these are all for our own good. But what if the premise on which the War on Terror rests is a house of cards? We already know that we were hyped in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion. We've seen repeatedly how certain politicians seem to rely on evoking fear by conjuring up images of 9-11. And who did forge those documents about Saddam's supposed attempt to purchase yellowcake from Niger? I'd really like to know.

I have so many questions and I don't want to wait 30 or more years for the answers to trickle out. By then, the real perpetrators will be dead and gone, and so will I. But the all too real results of this day that changed our lives forever will reverberate in the world my children and their children have to inhabit.

Thank you kindly for your consideration of one or more shows dedicated to revisiting 9-11. Someone has to do it. Is NPR and WAMU able and willing?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Dear Joe...

Dear Senator Lieberman,

Isn't it time to thank the Democrats of Connecticut for giving
you 18 years in which to serve them and our country? Wouldn't it
be the decent, and yes, even ethical thing to do, to accept the
fact you were defeated? Why do you believe running as an
Independent reflects, in any way, the will of the people?

To do so will only further damage your already tarnished image
and may do harm to Ned Lamont's campaign. Why are you really
going to try to stay in the campaign? You have campaign funds to
spend? You can't get over the fact you lost? You want to do harm
to the official Democratic candidate for revenge?

By ignoring the voices of your former constituents, you are
attempting to marginalize the very people you claim you
represent. You are calling them pro-terror and fake Democrats.
Were they pro-terror and fake Democrats when they gave you the
nod to represent them over the last 18 years?

Instead of living in the bubble you seem to have created about
you, please take a moment to reflect on the possibility that the
people of Connecticut -- and all over this Nation -- no longer
want the kind of policies you so fawningly support in our
current administration. Please try to find an honest place
inside yourself to realize that running your own race does
nothing to further the ideas and ideals of the Democratic party
you claim to live by.

Would you cut off your nose to spite your face? If you fulfill
your promise (or is it a threat) to run as an Independent, I am
most inclined to to think your answer to that question is yes.

Lee Franklin

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lamont Wins - US Goes on HIGH Terror Alert!

Read my response to news of Ned Lamont's pretty amazing win over Joe (No-Mentum) Lieberman in Buzzflash's Mailbag on August 9, titled I Refuse To Be Marginalized Any More.

Democrats registered to vote in this one. Non-registered Democrats changed their registration to vote in this one. (One has to wonder how many were truly independents or those registering for the first time, and how many were actually koolaid-drinkers who switched from their Repug label so they could vote for Joe...)

In the end Ned Lamont, unknown as of 5 months ago and with less than half the funds Joe had, succeeded in unseating Sore Loserman, a guy with national name recognition, a huge purse and ego to match, and recipient of a fatal "Kiss."

Joe sort of goes brain dead now, registering to run as an Independent while still retaining his Democratic party membership, in order to let the other voters of Connecticut give him yet another defeat.

The blogosphere sizzled over this race for the past few weeks, and given Lamont's win, was bound to explode with astute analysis of the meaning of this nearly unparalled turn of events. And then what happens, the very next day?

You got it! The alert system we haven't seen used since the last election cycle, and an alert level we've never seen -- red -- is suddenly issued! Remember, Tony Blair and Chimp are both on vacation, and have remained on vacation in spite of this extreme "terra-alert" while everyone who flies a public airplane in Great Britain or the US has to throw out all liquids and gels they carry.

Here's how it might have gone down:

[Chimp] (Ring ring) Hey poodle, how's things down on the island where you are vacationing?
[Poodle] Not too bloody bad. How's the brush-cutting going? *laughs respectfully*
[Chimp] Aww hell, it grows faster than I can snip it, sorta like whistle blowers or lawsuits against my administration or questions about the war without end. Speakin of which, I got a favor I need ta call in. You got anything for me in the Terror scene?
[Poodle] What do you need now, boss?
[Chimp] Well see it's like this. We got us a breakin story here about my best kissing cousin, Joe Lieberman, that drew the press away from all the turrible things Hizbawlah is doin ta Israel. I need a distraction. One that puts the fear back in the hearts of all my sheeple.
[Poodle] I see, blimey, sounds like a bit of an emergency. I'll ring you back shortly. (click)
[Poodle] (Ring ring) Cheerio cowboy, I have just the thing.
[Chimp] *chews something noisily* Spit it out, poodleboy.
[Poodle] MI6 has been keeping an eye on this group of disgruntled peaceniks. They tell me they can bust the group wide open anytime, just give the word. Apparently, they have been planning a protest aboard US bound airplanes.
[Chimp] Protest, eh? What were they gonna do, link hands and sing Koombye-ah?
[Poodle] Much worse, I'm afraid. They planned to drink enormous amounts of fluids before and during the flight, and then piss their pants in the planes. Their slogan is "Wake up and smell the pisspoor way our governments are dealing with world problems."
[Chimp] *long pause* You can fix it so that sounds mighty dangerous, right?
[Poodle] No problem, el presidente. In fact, I'll have our boys raise the alert to its highest level.
[Chimp] *cackles and snorts* I knew I could count on you, tonybaloney! By the way, we won't have to stop vacationing over this, right?
[Poodle] *sound of sipping through a straw* It will be a done deal, no need to get back to work, our security boys and TSA will take it from here.
[Chimp] Knew I could count on ya! Time for my afternoon nap. Laters!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Slippery Slope

When did it start? Is there anyone still alive who remembers the horror and shame, the mass murder of innocents, and the sudden silence of disbelief post-Nagasaki?

Who among us believes there will ever be a reason to use a device like this again? If so, under what circumstances?

Our government -- mind you, these are OUR representatives, so what they do, think, say, plan or carry out is OUR responsibility -- is planning for a possible nuclear attack against Iran. Seymour Hersch pointed it out the other day. No one has denied it.

I wonder if we still can say NO to the lunatics in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. After all, we didn't do much when our military -- under orders (legal orders? hey generals, do you believe the orders were legitimate?) -- invaded Iraq. Turns out it was under false pretenses and if you didn't figure it out already, well, you were taken for a fool.

Then, we didn't do much when our government said, "Hey, we can call you people 'unlawful combatants' because we didn't give you our permission to defend yourselves, and that lets us lock you up for the next few decades without trial or representation."

After that, we just let it slide when our government redefined torture and exempted itself from the Geneva Conventions. After all, what's a little more bending of international law when nobody came down too hard on us for our preventive invasion in the first place?

Are you starting to see how this works yet?

Just eat a little bit of this at a time and before we know it, our bellies are so full of crap that it simply doesn't matter any more. We move from observing to excusing and rationalizing to becoming full participants. You know it. Those pictures from Abu Ghraib, when you saw them, was a bitter bite but you swallowed it. And in so doing, in allowing there to be times and situations in which torture is justified, you sold your soul. It's simply too late now to take back that permission.

Then, we stood down when we learned that our government exposed the identity of someone in our own intelligence community. Small potatoes at this point. Further, we put up a negligible fuss on discovering that our government was spying on us citizens, without warrant or independent oversight. After all, nobody even read the Patriot Act when it was passed, right? Following on, we now find out that the leader of the executive branch of our government himself authorized the leak of selected pieces of a classified document in order to discredit a citizen who was telling the truth that our government didn't want told.

At this point, any conscious normal human being should be tearing their hair out and screaming, "Impeach the bastards!"

If we don't say NO after all this, there's only one reason. We've slid too far, we're going too fast.

See you in hell.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Impeach Bush and Cheney

The i-word is showing up more and more, and I plan to use it in post titles frequently. Given the nature of our digital information world, the more times we use the i-word in conjunction with the names of the Bushco leaders, the more the machines who crawl over Internet content will capture it, record it, and report it.

Didn't we just go through an impeachment? But what other recourse do we have to let the current White House occupants know that we, we the people of this country that we love, will not stand for their out-and-out lies, law-breaking, Bill of Rights-shredding and Constitution-rewriting?

For what egregious acts shall we call for Bush and Cheney's impeachment? Let's start with law-breaking because too many pod-people will shrug off lying as something common in politics.
  • Law-breaking
    ...from International Law to the laws of our land: there are laws against invading countries when they've done nothing to you first and then torturing their citizens and incarcerating them indefinitely without charges, not to mention warrantless wiretapping on citizens of the United States. There's more, but nobody has spilled the beans just yet.

  • Bill of Rights-shredding
    ...goes on daily when our 'government' secretly tramples on free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures -- all in the name of prosecuting a war that isn't really a war, no matter how you look at it.

  • Constitution-rewriting
    ...has been in the works since the founding of the Project for a New American Century. For centuries, pretty much everyone understood that our Constitution provides for three co-equal branches of government, guaranteeing a check against any one branch running amok. But these days we see signing statements attached by the executive that essentially nullify lawful Congressional bills; we see threats against the judiciary and bullying or simply ignoring the legislature; and we hear unbelievable protestations that the executive is so supreme that it does not need to answer to anyone. That is an interpretation of the Constitution that is brand new since 2001. Last I checked, nobody asked if 'we the people' approve of this Constitutional mutilation.

Isn't that enough to impeach with?

There's more, this is just what's become 'common knowledge' so far.

If we don't send this message loudly and clearly now, I don't think we'll see another election in 2008. Why would an omnipotent executive ever let democracy get in the way of ruling?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Hello Almighty?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What I Want to Hear

... from Democrats or Independents or anyone. The label doesn't matter. The not-so-embedded media recognizes that election season is upon us and the question of the month seems to be, "What IS the Democrats' message, anyway?"

Well, here's what I think it should be.



  • Respect the laws of the land and the Constitution of the United States. That means no illegal spying, no signing statements negating congressional law, no outing undercover CIA agents as political punishment, no hob-nobbing with corrupt lobbyists.
  • Respect our allies. That means no making fun of France or Europe in general, even when they try to act as a moderating influence on a runaway (and run amok) administration.
  • Respect the international treaties that we've been party to, and those we should be party to. That means support an International Criminal Court, get on board with Kyoto, for God's sake follow the Geneva Conventions, don't toss the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty in the garbage for one country (India) and point to it as reason for sanctions against another country (Iran) in the next breath, and treat Israel the same as Iraq when it comes to "breaking" UN resolutions.
  • Respect international law. That means no preventive wars (Iraq), no manipulating other countries (the list is too damn long to put here).
  • Respect the peoples of every land, regardless of what ornery dictatorship leads them at the moment. That means no more military engagements founded in falsehoods that end up killing (with bullets, bombs, or white phosphorus) and poisoning (with DU and God knows what else) innocent men, women and children. (Need I say Iraq?)
  • Respect the citizens of this country. That means no more lying, propagandizing, revising history, tampering with courts and vote-counting, fear-mongering, stonewalling FOIA requests, threatening, bullying, ignoring, or separating government from the people.
  • Respect human rights and civil rights everywhere, including the right to be treated humanely, decently, honorably. That means stop the damn torture, stop exporting 'suspects' to countries where they will be tortured, stop supporting mega-corporations who thrive only because they enslave peoples to do their labor, stop propping up the dictatorships who do your bidding even if their human rights records are almost as abysmal as our own. That also means respect a woman's right to make decisions about her own pregnancy.
  • Respect the basic needs of peoples everywhere. That also means fix New Orleans and the whole southern infrastructure, even though lots and lots of poor folks and folks of color live there. That also means, stop messing with the school systems by trying to replace evolution with a religious belief, by giving children subliminal reading material that discourages independent thought. That also means reverse the the flow of money that has been creating a super-wealthy upper class while squeezing the middle class and totally impoverishing anyone below that. Actually this category could go on and on...
  • Respect our earth, the environment, Mother Nature. Hell, respect the scientists who know we are changing the earth's climate. Respect pristine wilderness (ANWR), respect our wetlands (think Katrina and the Gulf), our oceans and waterways and forests and mountains. We don't have to leave a barren landscape as a legacy for our children's children...

That's just a start. But it all comes down to respect. The current adminstration has none for anyone but its own "elite backers." Believe me, you 'pioneers' are just a tiny minority in this country.

It's time for someone to stand up and say they stand for respect for the rest of us, the rest of the world.