September 17th, 2007

Undoing the past

A friend sent me a link to a story by John Fisk that details the destruction and looting of archaeological sites in Iraq. Because of the looting there is so much history that we will never know. Bush and the U.S. Congress have once again, through the consequences of their actions “out Orwelled Orwell.” For an example of what Fisk is talking about check out this website where for a mere $200 you can buy your very own cylinder seal from Ur.

How depressing.

November 2nd, 2006

Bush and Cheney should listen to “the music”

My M1 does my talking - small They (our Federal elites) just don’t get it. Perhaps they’d be in a better position to make decisions if they listened to some music. If I were an Iraqi I’d be fighting against the “Americans” who invaded my country. Perhaps Bush and Cheney would have a better sense of where the Iraqi resistance is coming from if they listen to “The Partisan song?” The version I’m listening to at the moment is performed by Joan Baez. Leonord Cohen recorded the song too. The song comes from those who fought in the European resistance during WWII. Here are the lyrics – we will NOT prevail in Iraq:

As sung by Lenord Cohen:

Leonard Cohen – The Partisan Lyrics

I was cautioned to surrender,
this I could not do;
I took my gun and vanished.
I have changed my name so often,
I've lost my wife and children
but I have many friends,
and some of them are with me.

An old woman gave us shelter,
kept us hidden in the garret,
then the soldiers came;
she died without a whisper.

There were three of us this morning
I'm the only one this evening
but I must go on;
the frontiers are my prison.

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we'll come from the shadows.

Les Allemands étaient chez moi, (The Germans were at my home)
ils m'ont dit "Résigne toi" (They said, "Give up")
mais je n'ai pas peur; (But I am not afraid)
j'ai repris mon arme. (I have retaken my weapon.)

J'ai changé cent fois de nom, (I have changed names a hundred times)
j'ai perdu femme et enfants (I have lost wife and children)
mais j'ai tant d'amis; (But I have so many friends)
j'ai la France entière. (I have all of France)

Un vieil homme dans un grenier (An old man, in an attic)
pour la nuit nous a caché, (Hid us for the night)
les Allemands l'ont pris; (The Germans captured him)
il est mort sans surprise. (He died without surprise.)

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we'll come from the shadows.
September 22nd, 2006

How your Federal tax dollars are really being spent


piefy07.jpg. It seems that almost everybody in the U.S. is worried about how much they have to spend on taxes, but here in Alaska everybody seems to be worried about taxes. So this is a follow-on to yoh-there’s most recent post about military spending; a head’s up to let you know that almost 50% of what you pay in Federal Taxes goes to the military. The War Resistors League (WRL) has for many years offered an alternative “pie-chart” to the one that the Internal Revenue Service prints in that little tax booklet that we all get every year. For the past 15 or so years I’ve pasted a copy of the WRL pie chart on my office door for all to see. Even though I used to work for a so called “liberal” East Coast university the WRL pie chart was defaced or ripped off of my door many times. So the truth, or near truth must have punched more than a few buttons in the oh so liberal NYC. For what it’s worth the War Resistors League has always taken a fairly conservative approach in their analysis when compared to others, including those from economists far (almost wrote “fart” there instead of “far” – ooops) to the right of WRL. Have a look for yourself. An Adobe PDF version of the WRL Pie Chart is available in color here or in b&w here; so that you can post a copy on your own office door for all to see.

September 16th, 2006

Air Force Secretary advocates “testing” new weapons on U.S. Citizens

Recently appointed U.S. Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne suggested this week that “active area denial” weapons be turned towards and used against U.S. Citizens. The military has, in the past, argued that using “active area denial” weapons for crowd control instead of bullets would reduce unwelcome fallout from too many dead and wounded and thus reduce or eliminate potentially damaging “PR” and, also perhaps, ill will from “local” populations. I found this story, reported this week by AP, to be disturbing and indicative of the all too frequent disregard some of our government officials have shown for the citizens they are supposed to be serving. AP reported:

WASHINGTON – Nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before they are used on the battlefield, the Air Force secretary said Tuesday.

Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions in the international community over any possible safety concerns, said Secretary Michael Wynne.

“If we’re not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation,” said Wynne. “(Because) if I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press.”

Nationwide, newspaper editors seem to have ignored this story. A LexisNexis search revealed that only one paper, out of the papers that LexisNexis Academic tracks, listed the story.

I can’t help but wonder if Secretary Wynne knows of, or perhaps has heard, some inner sanctum gossip about some impending social upheaval or turmoil that would give the Air Force a chance to try out our new weapons on us? Unless, of course, the Army or the Navy hit us first since both have also developed “active area denial” weapons of their own.

Have a nice day :)