Monday, July 31, 2006

Prisoner Swap

Israel ready to swap 2 Hezbollah captives for IDF soldiers
By Aluf Benn and Shlomo Shamir
Israel will release two Lebanese prisoners in return for the two soldiers abducted by Hezbollah, as part of a cease-fire agreement, government and defense officials said on Monday.

The sources added that the UN Security Council would call for a cease-fire in Lebanon on Friday, and it could take
effect as early as Saturday.

Alternatively, the fighting might continue for a few more days.Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told British Prime Minister Tony Blair that as soon as an international force deploys along the Israel-Lebanon and Lebanon-Syria borders, "it will be possible to implement a cease-fire."

Immediately after soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser were captured, Olmert said that Israel would not negotiate a prisoner exchange for their release  a position he also took following the abduction of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit in the Gaza Strip. Olmert's position received international support in the concluding statement issued by the G-8 summit, which called for the unconditional return of all Israeli captives.

A draft resolution is to be proposed by France, although sources at UN Headquarters said that the U.S. is also considering proposing a resolution of its own. The differences of opinion revolve mainly around the centrality of a cease-fire and when it should take effect.

France is demanding an immediate cease-fire as a central goal, saying that this would enable implementation of Resolution 1559 and the deployment of an international force. However, the U.S. wants a
resolution designed to advance a number of elements that would form the basis for a long-term cease-fire.

UN sources said on Monday that the final draft of the resolution would not be ready before at least the end of the week. A western diplomatic source said that the Qana incident had created a fluid situation that made it "difficult to predict developments."

Blog Bits

Monday, July 31, 2006Top 12 Dems in Congress to Bush start Iraq withdrawal by end of year by Joe in DC - 7/31/2006 09:14:00 PM

Iraq is a nightmare. And, a unified, rational approach for withdrawing troops from Iraq by the Democrats (which is supported by the American people) is a political nightmare for Bush and the GOP:

Twelve Democratic leaders of the House and Senate have urged President Bush in a strongly worded letter to begin withdrawing the 130,000 U.S. troops from Iraq by year's end, a sign that Democrats may be uniting on a key election-year issue that has divided the party."U.S. troops and taxpayers continue to pay a high price as your Administration searches for a policy" in Iraq, said the letter, signed by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), and 10 other party leaders. Americans know that Bush doesn't have a plan for Iraq. The GOP was hoping that the Democrats wouldn't offer a plan either. Looks like they were wrong.

Iraq gunmen attack Iraqi-American Chamber of Commerce, take 26 hostage by John in DC - 7/31/2006 08:40:00 PM
Is this really worth dying for?

Arianna calls on Hollywood to stand up to Mel Gibson's atrocious Jew-hatred by John in DC - 7/31/2006 06:57:00 PM
Arianna nails it. From HuffPost:

Gibson's no-longer-deniable brand of bigotry has led to the extermination of millions -- and continues to fuel much of the strife and suffering in the world today. Which is why Hollywood cannot sit this one out and wait for the reviews to come in....Bob Iger at Disney needs to pull the plug on two Gibson projects that are in the works. The company is slated to distribute Gibson's latest directorial project, Apocalypto, opening on December 8. They should refuse to do so. And ABC, which is owned by Disney, should, without delay, scrap its head-scratching plan to develop a miniseries about the Holocaust with Gibson's company (yep, you read that right). Question for ABC: Do you really need to see a script to know that the idea of having a Holocaust-set miniseries produced by a guy who thinks "the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world" is a god-awful one?....For starters, the town's power players need to step up and publicly condemn Gibson's vile comments (in effect, saying in public what they are already saying in private conversations I and many others have had). I mean, it shouldn't be so hard to publicly denounce someone -- even an Oscar-winner -- for being a raging anti-Semite.But that's not happening. From this morning's Los Angeles Times:

Although many of the town's senior executives are Jewish and Hollywood has a long history of supporting Israel and Jewish causes, there was no widespread public condemnation of Gibson's comments over the weekend. Although some high-level executives privately expressed dismay at the statements attributed to Gibson after his arrest, none of those contacted would speak on the record.Talk about lacking the courage of their convictions. Which makes Ari Emanuel's no-holds-barred post all the more praise-worthy. But is Ari the only high-profile figure willing to publicly draw a line in the Malibu sand? How disgusting and disappointing is that? PS Remember, he's a raging homophobe too:

Heartthrob actor Mel Gibson, asked by one of Spain's leading magazines what he thinks of homosexuals, launched into a tirade against gay men."They take it up the ass," Gibson told El Pais as he got out of his chair, bent over and pointed to his butt. "This is only for taking a shit," he said. Reminded by the interviewer, Koro Castellano, that he worked with gays while studying at the School of Dramatic Arts, Gibson added: "They were good people, kind, I like them. But their thing is not my thing."Castellano said, "But you were obsessed with the thought that if you were an actor, people would confuse you with one of them.""Yes," Gibson admitted, "but I did it. I became an actor despite that. But with this look, who's going to think I'm gay? It would be hard to take me for someone like that."Do I sound like a homosexual?" he asked. "Do I talk like them? Do I move like them?

Bush to kill successful suicide prevention line by John in DC - 7/31/2006 06:02:00 PM
And why? Because he wants to recreate it WITHIN the federal government so they can get the list of names of every American who calls. How's that for creepy? And guess what that will do? It will stop people, especially kids, from calling the suicide prevention line, so many of them will kill themselves.Is this what you Republicans voted for?

Appeals Court hears DeLay's ballot status case by Joe in DC - 7/31/2006 05:09:00 PM
Reports from Texas seem to indicate that the Court isn't inclined to rule in DeLay's favor:
A federal appeals panel indicated today that the ability of Republicans to replace former U.S. Rep. Tom Delay on the ballot rests on whether there was "conclusive" evidence that he had moved to Virginia.The three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals did not indicate when it would rule. But questions from the panel seemed to favor the Democrats' position that Republican officials could not declare DeLay ineligible for office based on residency prior to election day.Of course, nothing matters until they issue their decision, but it doesn't look good for the GOP. Basically, the only evidence that the Court has that DeLay has moved is DeLay saying he's moved. That means taking DeLay's word. And, what good is Tom DeLay's word these days? The Court clearly wants more evidence that that.If the Appeals Court panel, which includes the notorious Edith Clement, rules against DeLay, he'll stay on the ballot. DeLay is still running for Congress as a Republican...and it seems more likely that won't change. The GOP is running out of tricks. So, we still do have Tom DeLay to kick around.

Raw News

Group: Major security flaw found in voting machines

Challenge coming to California Congressional election

GOP senator calls for immediate Lebanon ceasefire


Video - Fox ad: Call in, donate 'for Zion's sake'


Clinton to block nominee over 'morning after' rules

Frist broke Senate rules, didn't disclose finances

Iran rejects newUN nuke deadlineResolution: Suspend enrichment by Aug. 31, or face sanctions.

Judge favors DeLay ballot caseDeLay must provide conclusive evidence he has moved to Virginia.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Is US actually pushing escalation of Mideast war?

Is US actually pushing escalation of Mideast war? by Joe in DC - 7/30/2006 05:44:00 PM
Read Josh Marshall's post on this subject of escalation. It's enlightening in a very frightening way -- and helps explain the seemingly hapless way the US has conducted itself during this war:
There's a mix of public and private communications going on between Jerusalem and Damascus. Israel is trying to assure Damascus that they don't plan or want to expand the war to include Syria. Syria is clearly worried that they will and has their troops on full alert. Israel is also warning in no uncertain terms that Syria getting involved will spark massive retaliation.But there are persistent signs that the US is egging Israel on to bring the war to Damascus.Here's a clip from the end of an article today in the Jerusalem Post ...

[Israeli]Defense officials told the Post last week that they were receiving indications from the United States that the US would be interested in seeing Israel attack Syria.And there are other ominous indications of the US pressing for expansion the Israelis don't seem to want.There's more here than the US not wanting a ceasefire before meaningful changes on the ground have happened in south Lebanon. Or at least I fear there is. This started because Israel doesn't want and won't tolerate a menacing militia building up on their northern border and lashing out with occasional raids or missile attacks, especially in the context of withdrawals from other areas. The Israelis aren't interested in a war with Syria, but we are. This is scary stuff.

Bush Admin. Backtracks On Guantanamo: Plans To Open New Permanent Max. Security Prison…

Bush Admin. Backtracks On Guantanamo: Plans To Open New Permanent Max. Security Prison…

Bush Plan a Disaster

Seniors learning the Bush/GOP drug plan is a disaster by Joe in DC - 7/30/2006 04:09:00 PM
The seniors are realizing that they're getting screwed. They have to be reminded every day that this is Bush/GOP plan:

The calls are starting to come in from shocked or angry seniors. They have just learned that their Medicare drug plans are maxing out on early coverage and that they must now spend $2,850 from their own pockets before coverage will resume."I can't pay for my medications," one man told Howard Houghton of the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging the other day. "What do I do?"There's only one thing to do: In 100 days, change the Congress.

What would happen if Americans actually had to watch real images of war? by Joe in DC - 7/30/2006 02:39:00 PM

This morning, I woke up to CNN"s coverage of the bombing in Qana. There was a riot in Beirut at U.N. Headquarters. The CNN Beirut reporter, Brent Sadler, started his report like this:
In the beginning, there was a spontaneous reaction as Lebanese watched the Qana attack unfold on their television screens. Now, unlike CNN, we take a view that not all the most graphic and horrific pictures from such an attack are shown on our screens, but in Lebanese homes and across the Arab world, uncensored pictures of the aftermath of the Israeli airstrike had been broadcast, and that has hit home deeply in the psyche of the Lebanese.Does the edited and sanitized coverage of news by American media give us a warped view of war? Would Americans react differently if we saw "graphic and horrific pictures," not only in Lebanon, but in Iraq? The U.S. government won't even show pictures of the caskets of the soldiers who died for their country. Imagine if we had to face a daily barrage of death and destruction. Would Americans become immune or would they begin to realize the horrors of war? We hear stories about the number of dead and some video of the aftermath of incidents. Most Americans have already turned against the war in Iraq. What would Bush do if the media actually covered the war in an unedited manner, like in most of the rest of the world?The American media conglomerates are complicit in the censorship. But what are they supposed to be protecting us from?

Israeli air strike kills 34 children by John in DC - 7/30/2006 01:00:00 PM
Israeli said it targeted Qana because it was a base for hundreds of rockets launched at Israeli, including 40 that injured five Israelis on Sunday. Israel said it had warned civilians several days before to leave the village.So here's the ethical question of the day. Someone is firing hundreds of missiles at your citizens each day, and launching them from civilians areas because think they think you won't hit back (or hope you do, and thus kill civilians, causing a storm of bad publicity). As for the civilians, it's an open question whether they are helping harbor the guys with the missiles or not, i.e., whether or not they have a say in telling Hezbollah to take a hike (and if they do have a say, would that change your answer)?So the question is this, under those circumstances, what do YOU do as the leader of country that's receiving 100 rockets a day raining down on your cities?Second question, which I've posed before. At what point does a local citizenry become responsible for the crimes it supports? When Israel is on the receiving end of bombs, I hear a lot of talk about how every Israeli is a legitimate target because they all support the government. So does the same apply to every Arab, every Muslim, every southern Lebanese, and every American?I'd just like to see some real discussion of where the line is here, and why some folks seem to care less when the targets are Jewish civilians.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Chevron caps out big Big Oil week by Chris in Paris - 7/28/2006 11:41:00 AM
Record profits and plenty of smiling faces on one side, groaning and anger on the other. Same same, but different. Fortunately George Bush is an oil man and he promised to jaw bone the industry and you know he has us in mind. He's a compassionate conservative, of course, so he feels your pain.

Bush extends duty for thousands of US troops in Iraq. He was serious when he said there'd be no withdrawal. by John in DC - 7/28/2006 10:57:00 AM
It's time the American people took George Bush at his word. Yes, he's incompetent and a bit dumb, but he's been pretty consistent with his foreign policy. And Bush said he wasn't going to withdraw from Iraq, and he means it. So if you like US troops being bogged down in Iraq for the next several years - Bush himself said the next president would have to decide if the US ever pulls out (nice cop out) - then keep voting Republican. They've already told us repeatedly that theirs is the party of war. You like war, vote for them.

Police State

Bush proposing new legislation that would permit him to throw any American in jail, forever, without a trail or attorney by John in DC - 7/29/2006 11:41:00 AM
We reported this, briefly, this morning. Over at DailyKos they've excerpted more of the worst of the article.This is police state legislation, not American legislation. You simply cannot give the government the authority to throw whichever American citizen it wants in jail permanently, with no trial and no attorney, simply because some government bureaucrat "suspects" you have ties to terrorism. There is no evidentiary basis for "suspects." It's simply a gut decision.This is the legislation of a police state. And I suspect Bush and the Republicans are offering this as their last-ditch effort to spare the Republicans in the elections this fall. Try get a police state and watch the Democrats scramble in disarray, unable and unsure if they want to challenge it.In the meantime, the Republicans have now gone beyond bashing gays and Muslims and women and Latinos for political gain. They've now decided to declare a police state in order to win the election.Anyone, and particularly any Republican, who doesn't stand up against this legislation doesn't deserve to be called an American.This is simply disgusting.

Mel Gibson's Anti-Semitic Tirade

Mel Gibson, while being arrested, reportedly starts yelling about "the f......g Jews" by John in DC - 7/29/2006 10:43:00 AM

And they apparently have the arrest report to prove it. And video.I want to hear what the religious right, oh Israel lovers that they are, have to say about their hero the film producer now. More from the NY Daily News:
A blitzed Mel Gibson launched into an obscenity-laced tirade when he was busted on suspicion of drunken driving early yesterday, threatening an officer and making anti-Semitic and sexually abusive remarks, according to a police report.The "Passion of the Christ" director repeatedly said, "My life is f----d," according to the report by Los Angeles County Deputy James Mee, which was obtained by The celebrity news Web site posted excerpts of the handwritten report...According to the incident report obtained by, the Road Warrior embarked on a belligerent, anti-Semitic outburst when he realized he had been busted."F-----g Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," Mee's report quotes him as saying."Are you a Jew?" Gibson asked the deputy, according to the report.The actor also berated the deputy, threatening, "You motherf----r. I'm going to f--- you," according to Mee's report.The actor also told the cop he "owns Malibu" and would spend all his money "to get even with me," Mee said in his report.TMZ quoted a law enforcement source as saying Gibson noticed a female sergeant on the scene and yelled at her, "What do you think you're looking at, sugar t--s?"Deputy Mee then wrote an eight-page report detailing of the incident, but higher-ups in the sheriff's department felt it was too "inflammatory" to release and would merely serve to incite "Jewish hatred," TMZ said.


GOP Rep: “It Is In The Best Interests Of The Nation…To Return Control Of The House To Temporary Democratic Control”…

Soldier Confesses To Deliberate Plot To Kill Iraqi Detainees...

Norm Ornstein: Killed UN Observer’s Email Shows “Hezbollah Was Operating Right Underneath The UN Observation Post”…


Hezbollah pols back peace plan - New rockets hit Israel

Video: Novak calls earlier US, Rice efforts 'disaster'

Bush Administration 'virtually ignores' Syria ambassador

6 Shot at Jewish Center

6 shot, 1 fatally at Seattle Jewish center
By TIM BOOTH, Associated Press Writer 16 minutes ago

SEATTLE - A man walked into a Jewish organization Friday afternoon and opened fire, killing one woman and injuring at least five others before he was arrested, officials said.

The gunman, who employees said claimed to be a Muslim angry at
Israel, forced his way through the security door at the Jewish Federation after an employee had punched in her security code, said Marla Meislin-Dietrich, a co-worker who was not at the building at the time.

Staff members said they overheard him saying "'I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel,' before opening fire on everyone," Meislin-Dietrich said. "He was randomly shooting at everyone."

Police would not confirm the account.
David Gomez, an FBI assistant special agent in charge of counterterrorism, said investigators believe the gunman targeted the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.
"We believe at this point it's a lone individual acting out antagonism toward this particular organization," Gomez said.

Authorities have been advising synagogues and Jewish groups to be watchful in the weeks since hostilities erupted between Israel and Lebanon.

The federation's Web site describes its mission as "to ensure Jewish survival and enhance the quality of Jewish life by meeting needs locally, in Israel and worldwide." It was among the sponsors of a Solidarity With Israel rally last weekend.

The shooting ended shortly after it erupted about 4 p.m.
Jim Pugel, an assistant police chief, said the shooter called 911 and was talked out of the building.

Police blocked off several city blocks and evacuated several nearby buildings as they investigated. A SWAT team searched the federation building, looking for any other victims or any other possible shooters, police spokesman Rich Pruitt said.

But Pruitt said investigators were confident that the man they had in custody was the only suspect.

Patti Simon was at work at the federation's newspaper on the first floor when she heard the commotion and what sounded like furniture crashing on the second floor.

"We heard this horrible screaming on the floor above us and shots," said Simon, 52, who sells advertising at the paper. "We didn't know what was happening."

Simon called up to her co-workers on the second floor, but got no answer, so she called the police and fled the building.

"People got shot, some of our co-workers," Simon said, her voice shaking. "I just got back from Israel and made it out of there a half hour before the rockets started."

A small pool of blood remained outside a nearby coffee shop, where several witnesses said they saw a man walk up and shoot a woman in the leg on a sidewalk.

One person died at the scene of the shooting, and five women ranging in age from 19 to 43 were taken to Harborview Medical Center, three of them in critical condition, Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick said. Deanna Nollette, a police spokeswoman, said the deceased was a woman who was shot.

The names of the victims were not immediately released.

Friday, July 28, 2006


John Dean knocks 'imperial presidency' Watergate whistle-blower asks if U.S. 'is on the road to fascism' in book

NEW DELHI - Health authorities are calling for a repeal of a 145-year-old law that makes gay sex a crime, fearing it is causing HIV and AIDS to spread quickly in India's homosexual community, officials said Wednesday. 7/27

Bush - Stoned? Drunk? Medicated? Retarded? Presidential Tester for the Pharmaceutical Industry? You Decide........

by Ruth Lopez

Bush is fried. He's either drinking, smoking pot, medicated, or some combination of all of them. Either that or the man has taken a one-way trip to crazy town.
Watch his gibberish at the G8, especially the bizarre stuff about how long the plane flights to various countries are. If you take out the comments of the other leaders (because they actually sound intelligent and not like drunken bar talk) and just read what Bush says, he sounds just like someone who is more than half looped.
"Gotta go home. Gotta do sumthin tonight. Get ona plane. Go home. It's a long flight. How long is your
flight? That's a long flight. Your country is big. His country is big too." Retarded or stoned, you decide.

This is the kind of mindless bar drivel that drunks who can't shut up drone on with. They just keep running their mouths, totally disconnected from the non-verbal clues of the people around them.

Watch the press conference where Bush couldn't stop talking about the pig roast. It didn't matter what anyone asked him, he just kept saying whatever his addled brain was looping on, in this case, the pig. Typical stoned behavior. It reminded me of the time Bush went to Canada and couldn't get off the subject of the mouth one of the Canadian Prime Minister's staff members! "You've got a purty mouth." Not once but several times. "You've sure got a purty mouth." And, "Your mouth is prettier than my Scott's mouth." (The poor guy's name was Scott.) Who does this? Outside of bars or institutions, I mean.

Watch Bush's body language at the table with Blair talking over his shoulder. Bush is sitting, almost slouched back in his chair, like a guy at a barbeque on his second or third 6 pack, chomping on his food with his mouth open, and making minimal effort to intelligently keep up his end of the conversation by occasionally throwing in something he mistakenly thinks is sufficient.

Watch the body language of the other leaders and the way they react to him. With the exception of Blair, they act very restrained and controlled around Bush, maintaining a public facade of geniality while holding back from actually being engaged with him. What seems to be obsequiousness from Blair may actually be him simply trying to get through the fog around Bush's brain to penetrate with a little reality without setting him off. Meanwhile, Bush's social modus operandi with everyone, including other world leaders, is to overuse forced
jocularity and pretend intimacy to convey a relationship that does not exist.

When he walked up behind the German leader and started giving her an unsolicited shoulder massage, her body tightened up and she actually grimaced. She wasn't enjoying that, she was enduring it. Before that Bush can be seen wandering aimlessly around the room while the rest of the grown-ups were conducting the business they were there for.

This is not normal behavior. Watch him closely sometime when he's having trouble staying coherent and you can see his eyes come in and out of focus. He does it at the table when Blair is speaking to him and he's looking out across the room as he chomps open-mouthed on his food. This is a distinct change from Bush's speech and behavior at other times. In fact, radical variations in his behavior and speech can be seen by watching him when he is unscripted. Sometimes he's coherent, other times he looks
like staying coherent long enough to get a sentence out is almost beyond him, (these are the times he seems to get mean-drunk angry when anyone dares to question him), and sometimes he is just off-the-wall bizarre.

I'll say it again; the man is plastered, stoned, or medicated. This goes a long way to explaining how he is so incredibly disengaged from war, disasters and their destructive effects: he is too out of it to relate. Drunks and addicts are incapable of empathy, everything is about them and their next high. When Cheney shot that guy, Bush acted like he had just found out about it days after it happened. Same with New Orleans. Bodies were rotting in the ruins of the city, when Bush had been warned that it could, and likely would happen, happen, and Bush's response was to reminisce about partying.

There are bizarre internet rumors of a personal portable toilet for Bush to use when overseas, (to prevent
foreign analysis of his excrement) Normally I would blow them off as some of the wilder of conspiracy theories, but watching Bush's actions over the last week, I can't help but wonder, to what lengths would they go to hide it if it were true? If he is too incapacitated?

What would they do to keep up the appearance of his functionality? Who could or would step up and do anything about it if he is unfit to serve? The people around him are not people willing to part with the power they have granted themselves, and that's an understatement. And with Bush at the top of the chain and out of the loop, or just plain looped, who is holding anybody below him accountable? His staff? Congress and the Media have abdicated their responsibilities, who will do it?

Hell, they're all trying to give him, and therefore themselves, even
more unlimited power than they have already taken. As long as they can keep up the illusion that he's decide.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Latest Buzz

The Bigotry of the Busheviks Undermines the National Security of the United States of America: Army dismisses gay Arabic linguist 8/28 Just Published: "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq." The Making of a Disaster by Dunderheads Who Inhabit Fantasy Island. Written by a War Reporter Who Knows His Stuff.

Just Published: "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq." The Making of a Disaster by Dunderheads Who Inhabit Fantasy Island. Written by a War Reporter Who Knows His Stuff.

The BuzzFlash Mailbag -- Uncensored and Unvarnished Truth from BuzzFlash Readers.Waiting to Get Blown Up: Some Troops in Baghdad Express Frustration With the War and Their Mission

7/28 Blood for Oil: Record Big Oil Profits Say It All -- A BuzzFlash Editorial More Government Waste Cited in Bipartisan Report; Largely from No-Bid Contracts -- A BuzzFlash News Alert

New York City is using a big slice of the $1 billion it got from the feds post-9/11 to fight first responders who claim they got sick on the site, a lawyer who is suing the city charged yesterday. 7/28

"There is ... strong evidence, based on a review of thousands of military documents and hundreds of interviews with military personnel, that the U.S. approach to pacifying Iraq in the months after the collapse of Hussein helped spur the insurgency and made it bigger and stronger than it might have been." 7/27

At the heart of the Lebanon crisis lie the lethal mistakes of George Bush 7/27 No agreement on Mideast cease-fire: Just Like the Neo-cons Want It. Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld are Pulling the Strings on This One.

7/27Dispatch from the BuzzFlash Department of Reality: Mortar rounds, car bomb kill 31 in Iraq

7/27As the U.S. Squanders its Resources in Iraq, it's Been Rendered Impotent Elsewhere


Video: Ann Counter defends claim that Bill Clinton is gay

GOP campaign chief doesn't mention party in own ads

Amendment to re-name energy bill after Exxon CEO

Dean: Katherine Harris doesn't realize she's 'not Stalin'

Time: Egypt's pres. says he almost defused crisis

Lebanon suffers catastrophic oil spill from bombed plant

Bush blames Iran alone - Israel calls up 30,000 reservists

Bill Clinton calls for Israel-Hezbollah ceasefire 'now'. . .

FEMA's Brown rips into Bush, others in Playboy



Bush plan will allow India to build 50 (more) nuclear warheads per year by Chris in Paris - 7/27/2006 01:46:00 AM

With India-Pakistan already in a very tense relationship, I don't see where adding more nukes is going to help settle the situation. I hate to flog a dead horse, but what the hell is Bush thinking? Does the world really need an arms race in the region or anywhere? With the recent deadly bombings in India and the continuing conflict in Kashmir, throwing more bombs into the mix can't possibly be helpful. The GOP congress is trying to add in last minute changes, which India rejected immediately, so it will be interesting to see how they vote in this election year.

Stewart Rips On Iraqi Prime Minister's Visit...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Coulter's Latest Statement: Bill Clinton Shows “Some Level Of Latent Homosexuality”...

Coulter's Latest Statement: Bill Clinton Shows “Some Level Of Latent Homosexuality”...

Coulter Comes Out Against Gay Clinton Marriage

You can only bash 9/11 widows for so long before your book starts slip-sliding down the charts. Solution: Call Bill Clinton gay. A source from “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch” handed us this transcript from tonight’s 10 pm ET show, during which Deutsch notes that Coulter was talking about Bill Clinton off the air and goads her into repeating what she said.

Ms. COULTER: I think that sort of rampant promiscuity does show some level of latent homosexuality.

DEUTSCH: OK, I think you need to say that again. That Bill Clinton, you think on some level, has — is a latent homosexual, is that what you’re saying?

Ms. COULTER: Yeah.The rest of this history-changing exchange is below the fold.
DEUTSCH: Before we’re off the air, you were talking about Bill Clinton. Is there anything you want to say about Clinton? No?


DEUTSCH: OK. All right. Did you find him attractive? Was that what it was?


DEUTSCH: You don’t find him attractive?

Ms. COULTER: No. OK, fine, I’ll say it on air.

DEUTSCH: Most women find him attractive.


DEUTSCH: OK, say it on air.

Ms. COULTER: I think that sort of rampant promiscuity does show some level of latent homosexuality.

DEUTSCH: OK, I think you need to say that again. That Bill Clinton, you think on some level, has — is a latent homosexual, is that what you’re saying?Ms. COULTER: Yeah. I mean, not sort of just completely anonymous — I don’t know if you read the Starr report, the rest of us were glued to it, I have many passages memorized. No, there was more plot and dialogue in a porno movie.The conversation swings a bit before Deutsch moves it back to Big Gay Bill.

DEUTSCH: I’m not paying any attention. I’m still stuck on Bill Clinton. Don’t — now, isn’t that an example of mean-spirted? Isn’t that just a mean-spirited low blow? No pun intended.

Ms. COULTER: No. Which part of what I said?

DEUTSCH: I think this…

Ms. COULTER: Well, you can read high crimes and misdemeanors if he wants some low blows.

DEUTSCH: OK. No, no. Here’s a — here’s a president of the United States…

Ms. COULTER: There’s merely a comment.

DEUTSCH: …a former president of the United States, and just saying, `You know what? I think he has latent homosexual tendencies.’

Ms. COULTER: No. I think anyone with that level of promiscuity where, you know, you — I mean, he didn’t know Monica’s name until their sixth sexual encounter. There is something that is — that is of the bathhouse about that.

DEUTSCH: But what is the homosexual — that’s — you could say somebody who maybe doesn’t celebrate women the way he should or just is that he’s a hound dog?

Ms. COULTER: No. It’s just random, is this obsession with his…

DEUTSCH: But where’s the — but where’s the homosexual part of that? I’m — once again, I’m speechless here.

Ms. COULTER: It’s reminiscent of a bathhouse. It’s just this obsession with your own — with your own essence.

DEUTSCH: But why is that homosexual? You could say narcissistic.

Ms. COULTER: Right.

DEUTSCH: You could say nymphomaniac.

Ms. COULTER: Well, there is something narcissistic about homosexuality. Right? Because you’re in love with someone who looks like you. I’m not breaking new territory here, why are you looking at me like that?Any guesses?
Previously: What’s the Big Idea with Flashing Donnie Deutsch?
— David Weigel

How Lies Work

How The Lies About WMD Continue To Work

This story may be one of the most depressing I've seen in a while:
Half of Americans now say Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the United States invaded the country in 2003 -- up from 36 percent last year, a Harris poll finds. Pollsters deemed the increase both "substantial" and "surprising" in light of persistent press reports to the contrary in recent years.

Fully half of Americans now believe something that is plainly, objectively and demonstrably untrue. This make anyone else want to cry?

Not Glenn Reynolds, apparently. The Instapundit, commenting on this story, flippantly remarked, "Apparently, trust in 'persistent press reports' isn't what it used to be."
Reynolds' analysis is, as usual, 180 degrees off the mark. I'd argue instead that it's precisely the "persistent press reports" that have been so effective in convincing half the public that an out-and-out lie is somehow truthful.

Just look at the Washington Times article promoting the poll:

The survey did not speculate on what caused the shift in opinion, which supports President Bush's original rationale for going to war. Respondents were questioned in early July after the release of a Defense Department intelligence report that revealed coalition forces recovered 500 aging chemical weapons containing mustard or sarin gas nerve agents in Iraq.

"Filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist," said Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican, during a June 21 press conference detailing the newly declassified information.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, who shared the podium, said, "Iraq was not a WMD-free zone."

Unsurprisingly, both the Moonie Times and Reynolds allow this line of bull to go unchallenged. But, as those of us who pay attention to reality know, Santorum and Hoekstra are full of it.
From a previous post, here's Keith Olbermann quoting a statement by David Kay, the former head of the Iraq Survey Group:

Senator Santorum's comments are, quote, "wrong to the facts and exaggerated beyond all reason as to the interpretation of the facts."

He continued, "There is no surprise that very small numbers of chemical canisters from the Iran-Iraq war have been found. The ISG found them. And in my testimony in 2004, I said that I expected that we would continue to find them for a very long time. These are in very small numbers and are scattered. The nerve agents have long since degraded to the point that they no longer pose any substantial threat. In most cases, the mustard agent has substantially degraded but will burn your skin--burn you," rather, "if skin comes in contact with it."
Of course, the Department of Defense has also debunked Santorum and Hoekstra -- for God's sake, even Fox News reported that.

But it doesn't matter. Because shills like Reynolds, Sean Hannity and the Times will keep up their "persistent press reports," making sure the lie is repeated often enough that, sadly, people begin to buy it.

This post originally appeared on my new blog for the online magazine Dragonfire. You can check out the blog at

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Senate passes interstation abortion notification

Senate passes interstate abortion notification
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A bill that would make it a crime to take a pregnant girl across state lines for an abortion without her parents' knowledge passed the Senate Tuesday, but vast differences with the House version stood between the measure and President Bush's desk.
The 65-34 vote gave the Senate's approval to the bill, which would make taking a pregnant girl to another state for the purposes of evading parental notification laws punishable by fines and up to a year in jail.

The girl and her parents would be exempt from prosecution, and the bill contains an exception for cases when there is a threat to the mother's life.

Struggling to defend their majority this election year, Republican sponsors said the bill supports what a majority of the public believes: that a parent's right to know takes precedence over a young woman's right to have an abortion.

"No parent wants anyone to take their children across state lines or even across the street without their permission," said Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky. "This is a fundamental right, and the Congress is right to uphold it in law."

Fourteen Democrats and 51 Republicans voted for the bill. Four Republicans voted against it: Sens. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins of Maine, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, was absent.

Bush applauded the Senate action and urged the House and Senate to resolve their differences and send him a bill he said he would sign. "Transporting minors across state lines to bypass parental consent laws regarding abortion undermines state law and jeopardizes the lives of young women," he said in a statement.

Bowing to public support for parental notification and the GOP's 55-44-1 majority, Democrats spent the day trying to carve out an exemption for confidants to whom a girl with abusive parents might turn for help. It was rejected in floor negotiations.

Democrats complained that the measure was the latest in a series of bills designed chiefly to energize the GOP's base of conservative voters.

"Congress ought to have higher priorities than turning grandparents into criminals," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Massachusetts.

Significant differences exist between the Senate bill and a measure passed by the House last year.

Unlike the Senate bill, the House measure sets out a national parental notification law. It would require a physician who knowingly performs or induces an abortion on a minor who is a resident of another state to provide notice of at least 24 hours to a parent of the minor before ending the pregnancy.

Procedural hurdles also stood in the way. Following the vote, Democrats prevented Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, from appointing Senate negotiators to help bridge the differences with the House version. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, objected to the conferees' appointment on the grounds that the bill had not been considered by a committee and that negotiations were premature.

"I hope this is not a sign that they're going to try to obstruct this bill," Frist said.
Polls suggest there is widespread public backing for the bill, with almost three-quarters of respondents saying a parent has the right to give consent before a child under 18 has an abortion.

States that do not have parental notification or consent laws are Washington, Oregon, New York, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The District of Columbia also does not have such laws.

No one knows how many girls get abortions in this way, or who helps them. But Democrats say the policy would be dangerous to pregnant teens who have abusive or neglectful parents by discouraging other people from helping them.

"We're going to sacrifice a lot of girls' lives," said Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York.
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, countered that opponents "want to strip the overwhelming majority of good parents their rightful role and responsibility because of the misbehavior of a few." He pointed out that the judicial bypass provision would help pregnant teens with abusive parents get around the law.

A last-minute deal by Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, would cut off the ability of men who impregnate their daughters from taking them out of state for abortions and from suing those who help get the procedure in other states.
During floor negotiations with Boxer, Ensign rejected a proposal by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, to protect from prosecution such confidants as grandparents, clergy and others to whom a girl might turn for help.

Another, sponsored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, would have encouraged the federal government to provide money for more sex education. That bill failed earlier in the day, 48-51.

"If we do nothing about teen pregnancy yet pass this punitive bill, then it proves that this (bill) is only a political charade and not a serious effort to combat the problem," Lautenberg said.
Abstinence is the best way to prevent teenage pregnancy, responded Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma.

"How many people really think it's in the best interest of young people to be sexually active outside of marriage? Does anything positive ever come from that?" Coburn asked.

Religious Right

Religious right describes Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer as man "who was born into a Jewish family" by John in DC - 7/24/2006 08:10:00 PM

And let me be the first to ask, what the hell is that supposed to mean?As someone who isn't Jewish, but who since college has been on the receiving end of a good deal of anti-Semitism since a lot of folks think I'm Jewish, I like to think I've developed a bit of a sixth sense for identifying anti-Semitism. With that in mind, it's always troubled me how the religious right always seems to find a way to maneuver a nice Jewish-named Senator into far-too-many of their ongoing attacks on Democrats. It's almost as if they like having a nice big Jewish-sounding name in the mix in order to scare all the good Christians that the horned-people are coming to drink the blood of their children.With that in mind, I was a bit troubled by the religious right's use of Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer as their foil in their latest "if you don't like me, then you hate all Christians" diatribe. It's bad enough they chose Schumer to be the Christian-hater, but then they describe him thusly:

Schumer, who was born into a Jewish family, chastised people of all faiths who opposed embryonic stem-cell research (ESCR), calling them "theocrats" and saying it is un-American to try and push their views on the issue.Born into a Jewish family? Why did they feel obliged to mention that? We don't know that Schumer is a Jewish name? Or even if we didn't know, why do we need to know the guy is Jewish? Or are they trying to say that Schumer was BORN into a Jewish family, but he's not a REAL Jew?It's not clear what the religious right is up to here, whether they're Jew-baiting or what, but it doesn't sound good.Then again, anti-Semitism never does.



On August 31,004, Zogby International, the official North American political polling agency for Reuters, released a poll that found nearly half (49.3%) of New York City residents and 41% of those in New York state believe US leaders had foreknowledge of impending 9/11 attacks and "consciously failed" to act.VIEW PETITION

Respected Leaders and Families Launch 9/11 Truth Statement Demanding Deeper Investigation into the Events of 9/11

NEW YORK CITY, NY (Oct. 26, 2004) - An alliance of 100 prominent Americans and 40 family members of those killed on 9/11 today announced the release of the 911 Truth Statement, a call for immediate inquiry into evidence that suggests high-level government officials may have deliberately allowed the September 11th attacks to occur. The Statement supports an August 31st Zogby poll that found nearly 50% of New Yorkers believe the government had foreknowledge and "consciously failed to act," with 66% wanting a new 9/11 investigation.
Focusing on twelve questions, the Statement highlights areas of incriminating evidence that were either inadequately explored or ignored by the Kean Commission, ranging from insider trading and hijacker funding to foreign government forewarnings and inactive defenses around the Pentagon. The Statement asks for four actions: an immediate investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Congressional hearings, media analysis, and the formation of a truly independent citizens-based inquiry.

The Statement's list of signatories includes notables spanning the political spectrum, from Presidential candidates Ralph Nader, Michael Badnarik, and David Cobb to Catherine Austin Fitts, a member of the first Bush administration, as well as Washington veterans like Pentagon whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern. Other signers range from peace activists like Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans and Global Exchange's Kevin Danaher to former US Ambassador and Chief of Mission to Iraq, Edward L. Peck; from environmentalists like Randy Hayes and John Robbins to business leaders such as Paul Hawken and Karl Schwarz, CEO of Patmos Nanotechnologies; from populist journalist Ronnie Dugger to renowned investigative reporter Kelly Patricia O'Meara. The Statement also includes 43 noted authors, including New York Times #1 bestseller John Gray, as well as 18 eminent professors, historians, and theologians.

The Statement

We Want Real Answers About 9/11In connection with this news, we have assembled 100 notable Americans and 40 family members of those who died to sign this 9/11 Statement, which calls for immediate public attention to unanswered questions that suggest that people within the current administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war.

We want truthful answers to questions such as:

Why were standard operating procedures for dealing with hijacked airliners not followed that day?

Why were the extensive missile batteries and air defenses reportedly deployed around the Pentagon not activated during the attack?

Why did the Secret Service allow Bush to complete his elementary school visit, apparently unconcerned about his safety or that of the schoolchildren?

Why hasn't a single person been fired, penalized, or reprimanded for the gross incompetence we witnessed that day?

Why haven't authorities in the U.S. and abroad published the results of multiple investigations into trading that strongly suggested foreknowledge of specific details of the 9/11 attacks, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of traceable gains?

Why has Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator who claims to have knowledge of advance warnings, been publicly silenced with a gag order requested by Attorney General Ashcroft and granted by a Bush-appointed judge?

How could Flight 77, which reportedly hit the Pentagon, have flown back towards Washington D.C. for 40 minutes without being detected by the FAA's radar or the even superior radar possessed by the US military?

How were the FBI and CIA able to release the names and photos of the alleged hijackers within hours, as well as to visit houses, restaurants, and flight schools they were known to frequent?
What happened to the over 20 documented warnings given our government by 14 foreign intelligence agencies or heads of state?

Why did the Bush administration cover up the fact that the head of the Pakistani intelligence agency was in Washington the week of 9/11 and reportedly had $100,000 wired to Mohamed Atta, considered the ringleader of the hijackers?

Why did the 911 Commission fail to address most of the questions posed by the families of the victims, in addition to almost all of the questions posed here?

Why was Philip Zelikow chosen to be the Executive Director of the ostensibly independent 911 Commission although he had co-authored a book with Condoleezza Rice?

Those who are demanding deeper inquiry now number in the hundreds of thousands, including a former member of the first Bush administration, a retired Air Force colonel, a European parliamentarian, families of the victims, highly respected authors, investigative journalists, peace and justice leaders, former Pentagon staff, and the National Green Party.

As Americans of conscience, we ask for four things:

An immediate investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer

Immediate investigation in Congressional Hearings.

Media attention to scrutinize and investigate the evidence.

The formation of a truly independent citizens-based inquiry.

Given the importance of the coming election, we feel it is imperative that these questions be addressed publicly, honestly, and rigorously so that Americans may exercise their democratic rights with full awareness. In closing, we pray and hope for the strength to approach this subject with wisdom and compassion so that we may heal from the wounds inflicted on that terrible day. Signed,
Note: All organizations are mentioned for identification purposes only. Individuals have signed this statement as an act of their own conscience, not to signify organizational endorsement.
Virginia Deane Abernethy, Ph.D., anthropologist, author, Population Politics
Ed Asner, actor, activist
Marshall Auerback, international portfolio strategist for David W. Tice & Associates, Inc.
Catherine Austin Fitts, Asst. Secretary of Housing in the first Bush administration
Keidi Obi Awadu, aka The Conscious Rasta, talk show host, LIBRadio
Michael Badnarik, Libertarian candidate for President
Byron Belitsos, publisher, Origin Press, author Planetary Democracy
Philip J. Berg, Esquire, former deputy attorney general, Pennsylvania
Medea Benjamin, activist, author, co-founder, Global Exchange and Code Pink
Dennis Bernstein, investigative reporter, radio host of KPFA's Flashpoints
Steve Bhaerman aka Swami Beyondananda, author, political comedian
Brad Blanton, Ph.D., psychotherapist, author, Radical Honesty
Saniel Bonder, spiritual teacher and author, Great Relief
Dr. Robert Bowman, USAF Lt. Col. (Rtd.)
John Buchanan, author, candidate for the Republican Party Presidential nomination, 2004
Gray Brechin, Ph.D., author, environmental historian, professor, UC Berkeley
Fred Burks, presidential interpreter for Bush, Clinton, Cheney, and Gore
Norma Carr-Rufino, Ph.D., author, professor of management, SFSU
Angana Chatterji, Ph.D., scholar-activist and professor of anthropology
Paul Cienfuegos, co-founder, Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County
David Cobb, attorney, national presidential candidate, US Green Party
John Cobb, Ph.D., theologian, co-author, For the Common Good
Ernest Callenbach, founder/editor, Film Quarterly, author, Ecotopia
Kevin Danaher, Ph.D., author, speaker, co-founder, Global Exchange
Stephen Dinan, author, Radical Spirit
Ronnie Dugger, journalist/author, co-founder, Alliance for Democracy
Rachel Ehrenfeld, Ph.D., Director, American Center for Democracy, author, Funding Evil
Daniel Ellsberg, author, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers
Jodie Evans, co-founder, Code Pink
Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law, Princeton University
Michael Franti, musician, filmmaker, human rights worker
Janeane Garofalo, actress, comedienne, talk show host, Air America Radio
Jim Garrison, Ph.D., president, State of the World Forum, author, America as Empire
Bruce Gagnon, Chair, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Ric Giardina, Director of Trademarks and Brands for Intel
John Gray, Ph.D., #1 bestselling author, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
Stan Goff, 25-year Army Special Ops veteran, author, Full Spectrum Disorder
Melvin Goodman, senior fellow, Center for International Policy
Morton Goulder, Deputy Secretary for Intelligence under Nixon, Ford, and Carter
David Ray Griffin, Ph.D., theologian, author, New Pearl Harbor
Doris "Granny D" Haddock,NH Democratic candidate for Senate
Thom Hartmann, radio host; author, Unequal Protection
Richie Havens, singer, songwriter, performer, artist
Paul Hawken, founder of Smith & Hawken
Randy Hayes, founder, US National Director, Direction Conservation
Richard Heinberg, author, The Party's Over, core faculty, New College of California
Van Jones, executive director, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Rob Kall, editor,, president, Futurehealth, Inc.
Georgia Kelly, executive director, Praxis Peace Institute
Sean Kelly, Ph.D., author, professor of philosophy and religion, CIIS
John Joseph Kennedy, Democratic Write-in Presidential Candidate for 2004
Mimi Kennedy, actress, Dharma and Greg, progressive activist
Faiz Khan, M.D., Triage Emergency Physician on 9/11, Assistant Imam
David Korten, author, When Corporations Rule the World
Frances Moore LappÈ, author, Diet for a Small Planet; founder, Small Planet Institute
Scott M. Legere, 25 year radio broadcaster as Scott Ledger, Tampa FL
Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor, TIKKUN Magazine, author, Healing Israel/Palestine
Michael Levine, bestselling author of Deep Cover, journalist, 25-year veteran of the DEA
Joanna Macy, Ph.D., eco-philosopher, author
Enver Masud, founder, The Wisdom Fund, author, The Truth About Islam
John McCarthy, former Special Forces, Veterans Equal Rights Protection Advocacy
Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst, Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Cynthia McKinney, five-term Congresswoman from Georgia
Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., author, professor, co-founder, Green Earth Foundation
Mark Crispin Miller, media critic, author, professor, New York University
Joseph W. Montaperto, New York City Fire Department
Leuren Moret, geoscientist, radiation specialist, environmental commissioner
Ralph Nader, Independent candidate for President
Craig Neal, author, co-founder, The Heartland Institute, former publisher, Utne Reader
Jeff Norman, executive director, Tour of Duty
Jenna Orkin, Esquire, World Trade Center Environmental Organization
Kelly Patricia O'Meara, investigative journalist, public relations
Michael Parenti, Ph.D., author, Superpatriotism and The Terrorism Trap
Edward L. Peck, former US Ambassador and Chief of Mission to Iraq
Peter Phillips, Ph.D., professor, Sonoma State University, director, Project Censored
Henri Poole, Internet pioneer, board member, Free Software Foundation
Robert Rabbin, author, speaker, creator of
Paul H. Ray, Ph.D., sociologist, author, The Cultural Creatives
John Renesch, business futurist, author, Getting to the Better Future
John Rensenbrink, professor emeritus, Bowdoin College, co-founder, US Green Party
John Robbins, author, founder, EarthSave International
William Rodriguez, 9/11 rescue effort hero, founder, Hispanic Victims Group
Neal Rogin, Emmy-award winning writer, performer, social observer
Allen Roland, Ph.D., psychotherapist, published author and peace activist
Rosemary Radford Ruether, professor of feminist theology, Graduate Theological Union
Michael Ruppert, publisher/editor, From The Wilderness, author, Crossing the Rubicon
Chris Sanders, founder, Sanders Research Associates
Karl W. B. Schwarz, President, CEO, Patmos Nanotechnologies, LLC
Peter Dale Scott, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, author, Drugs, Oil, and War
Firefighter Kevin Shea, FDNY Hazmat Operations
Michelle Shocked, singer/songwriter, activist
Indira Singh, risk management and computer systems consultant
J. Michael Springmann, attorney, former Foreign Service Officer, US Department of State
Douglas Sturm, Ph.D., university professor emeritus, Bucknell University
Marjorie Hewit Suchocki, Ph.D., theologian, author
Chuck Turner, Boston City Council
James W. Walter Jr., venture investor, philanthropist, founder of Walden Three
Dan Whaley, E-commerce pioneer, founder of, acquired for $750M
Burns H. Weston, J.S.D., Professor of Law Emeritus, Center Human Rights, U-Iowa
Howard Zinn, professor, historian, author, A People's History of the United States
Family Members
Joanne Barbara, wife of FDNY Asst. Chief of Dept. Gerard Barbara
Gayle Barker, sister of William A. Karnes, WTC
Michele Bergsohn, wife of Alvin Bergsohn, Cantor Fitzgerald
Derrill Bodley, father of Deora Bodley, passenger on Flight 93
Kathryn C. Bowden, sister of Thomas H. Bowden, Jr. WTC1, 104th floor
Janet Calia, wife of Dominick Calia, Cantor Fitzgerald, WTC1
Maggie Cashman, wife of William Joseph Cashman, United Flight 93
Lynne Castrianno Galante, sister of Leonard Castrianno, 1WTC, 105th floor
Elza Chapa-McGowan, daughter of Rosemary Chapa, Pentagon
Bruce De Cell, father-in-law of Mark Petrocelli North Tower, 92nd floor
Ralph D'Esposito, father of Michael D'Esposito, WTC, 96th floor
Loisanne Diehl, Surviving Spouse, Michael D. Diehl, WTC2, 90th floor
Adina D. Eisenberg, sister of Eric Eisenberg, WTC
Jonathan M. Fisher, son of Dr. Gerald Paul "Geep" Fisher, Pentagon
Michael J. Fox, brother of Jeffrey L. Fox, Tower 2, 89th floor
Laurel A. Gay, sister of Peter A. Gay, AA Flight 11
Irene Golinsky, wife of Col. Ronald F. Golinski USA RET, Pentagon
Lori, Jerry, and Beatrice Guadagno, sister and parents of Richard Guadagno, Flight 93
Kristen Hall, daughter of fallen firefighter Thomas Kuveikis 9/11
Kurt D. Horning, father of Matthew D. Horning, WTC Tower One, 95th floor
Jennifer W. Hunt, wife of William C. Hunt, Euro Brokers
John Keating, son of Barbara Keating, passenger on AA Flight 11
L. Russell Keene II, father of Russ Keene III, WTC2, 89th floor, KBW
Peter Kousoulis, sister died in WTC
Paul & Barbara Kirwin, parents of Glenn Davis Kirwin, Cantor Fitzgerald 105th floor
Barbara Krukowski-Rastelli, mother of William E. Krukowski, NYC firefighter
Laura and Ira Lassman, parents of Nicholas C. Lassman, died in WTC, Tower One
Johnny Lee, husband of Lorraine Greene
Alicia LeGuillow, mother of Nestor A. Cintron III
Francine Levine, sister of Adam K. Ruhalter, who died on 9/11
Bob McIlvaine, father of Robert McIlvaine, WTC, Merrill Lynch
Mary McWilliams, mother of FF Martin E. McWilliams- Engine 22
Daryl J. Meehan, brother of Colleen Ann Barkow, WTC 1, 105th floor
Elvira P. Murphy, wife of Patrick Murphy, WTC 1
Natalee Pecorelli, sister of Thomas Pecorelli of Flight 11
James L Perry, M.D and Patricia J. Perry, parents -John W. Perry NYPD Officer
David Potorti, brother of James Potorti, North Tower, WTC, Marsh & McLennan
Terry Kay Rockefeller, sister of Laura Rockefeller, North Tower, WTC
Grissel Rodriguez-Valentin, wife of Benito Valentin, WTC1, 94th floor
Alissa Rosenberg-Torres, widow of Luis Eduardo Torres, post-9/11 mother, writer
Elaine Saber, mother of Scott Saber
Julie Scarpitta, mother of Michelle Scarpitta, WTC Building 2, 84th floor
Paula Shapiro, mother of Eric Eisenberg, WTC2
Elizabeth Turner, wife of Simon Turner, lost on 11th September 2001
Adele Welty, mother of Firefighter Timothy Welty, FDNY, Squad 288
Joan W. Winton, mother of David Winton, WTC, South Tower, 89th floor
David Yancey, husband of Vicki Yancey, American Airlines Flight 77
Nissa Youngren, daughter of Robert G. LeBlanc, flight 175
Late Signatories (starting toward 200...)
Rita M. Haley, President, National Organization for Women, New York Chapter
Immortal Technique, Harlem-based hip-hop artist with Viper Records, Revolutionary I&II
Bob Kirkconnell, U.S. Air Force 27 years, rank of Master Sergeant
Dennis Kyne, former Army air medic, 18th Airborne Corps during Gulf War
Paul Landis, author, "Stop Bush Now!"
Eric H. May, former Army military intelligence officer and media essayist
Charles Shaw, Editor, Newtopia Magazine
Peter Erlinder, professor, William Mitchell College of Law
Daniel Robert Rezac, former Aviator & Armor Officer, Army National Guard, B.S.B.A.
Joel Horwitz, lost beloved cousin in WTC 1
Jessica Murrow, lost husband Stephen Adams, Beverage Manager WTC 1
Ellen Mariani, lost husband Neil on Flight 175
Jean Hunt, disabled survivor of Pentagon attack
Ralph & Brigitte Sabbag, lost son Jason in WTC 2
Take action!
Send this information to your congress people and journalists, demanding attention
Help New York citizens and 9/11 family members, beginning Thursday, Oct. 28th, by signing an online petition in support of their formal complaint to be filed with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. SIGN PETITION
Stay informed here at and get active
If 911 was not perpetrated by people within our own government, why have the following entities visited this site?The software screenshots you will see, are from, and they have documented the following visitors:RAYTHEONLOCKHEED-MARTINUS FEDERAL RESERVEE.E.T OILDon't you find it odd that Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin, The Federal Reserve, and big oil companies are the least bit interested in If they had ZERO CULPABILITY, logic dictates, they would not be at all concerned with sites like Obviously, this is not the case. WHAT COULD ALL THESE DIFFERENT ENTITIES HAVE IN COMMON WITH OF SITE HITS
There are family members of airline passengers, firefighters, police, and pentagon workers that died on 911, that are demanding the truth, and among other interested parties demanding the truth are ex-CIA, Hi-level conservatives, and former republican administration staff members, who all believe the 911 commission cannot be true.CIA Man Says Cheney #1 Suspect


It's time to repeal the President's Iraq War Powers
by Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 08:12:15 PM EST

Bumped. This is even something Democratic hawks should get behind. Many have repeatedly said how they thought the war in Iraq was a good idea, but have been revolted by Bush's handling of the war. So, I say, revoke his authority to screw it up. Besides, this is also a matter of trust. After three and a half years, can anyone still trust Bush to use our military in a proper fashion? It is time to revoke his authority to conduct this war, and it is time for Congress to take back its constitutional role on matters of war and peace--Chris

On October 11, 2002, the Congress, over the objections of many Members of the House and Senate, passed legislation giving the President the authority to use force in Iraq. At the time I was a vocal critic of the war, but unfortunately my voice, as well as thousands of others, was drowned out by misinformation from the administration.

In making its case, the administration threatened us that if we didn't act fast, the proof of Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction would "come in the form of a mushroom cloud." We were also told that the case against the war, and the evidence of a weapons' program was, "a slam dunk." Now, three and a half years later, the American public knows what many of us believed all along, that this administration, and our president, misled us about the case to go to war.

Six months after we invaded Iraq, President Bush stood aboard an aircraft carrier before a banner that read "Mission Accomplished," declaring that "major combat operations in Iraq are over." From that moment on, we were no longer fighting a war, but rather participating in an occupation.

-Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)
Click "Read More" for the rest...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Are FEMA trailers ‘toxic tin cans’?

Are FEMA trailers ‘toxic tin cans’?
Private testing finds high levels of formaldehyde; residents report illnesses
ByProjects editor
BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. — For nearly a year now, the ubiquitous FEMA trailer has sheltered tens of thousands of Gulf Coast residents left homeless by Hurricane Katrina. But there is growing concern that even as it staved off the elements, it was exposing its inhabitants to a toxic gas that could pose both immediate and long-term health risks.

The gas is formaldehyde, the airborne form of a chemical used in a wide variety of products, including composite wood and plywood panels in the thousands of travel trailers that the Federal Emergency Management Agency purchased after Katrina to house hurricane victims. It also is considered a human carcinogen, or cancer-causing substance, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Air quality tests of 44 FEMA trailers conducted by the Sierra Club since April have found formaldehyde concentrations as high as 0.34 parts per million – a level nearly equal to what a professional embalmer would be exposed to on the job, according to one study of the chemical’s workplace effects.

And all but four of the trailers have tested higher than the 0.1 parts per million that the EPA considers to be an “elevated level” capable of causing watery eyes, burning in the eyes and throat, nausea, and respiratory distress in some people.

Becky Gillette, co-chair of the Mississippi chapter of the environmental group, said that representatives also have heard from numerous trailer inhabitants who say they began experiencing health problems ranging from headaches and runny noses to chronic respiratory problems and nosebleeds as soon as they moved in.

As a result of its testing and such accounts, the Sierra Club is pushing for a congressional investigation of the potential health hazards posed by the trailers.

“It’s simply wrong that the government would spend billions of dollars to poison people in these toxic tin cans,” Gillette said.

Pediatrician saw unusual illnessesDr. Scott Needle, a pediatrician in Bay St. Louis, said he noticed some unusual and persistent health problems among his patients living in the trailers well before the possible link to formaldehyde exposure surfaced.

“I was seeing kids coming in with respiratory complaints – colds and sinus infections – and they were getting them over and over again,” he said. “…Almost invariably, these families were staying in the FEMA trailers.”

A class-action lawsuit also has been filed in Louisiana, naming the federal government and trailer manufacturers as defendants and alleging that “the temporary housing is unsafe and presents a clear and present danger to the health and well-being of plaintiffs and their families.”
Despite the Sierra Club tests – and air quality testing by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in November that detected formaldehyde levels at FEMA trailer holding stations on the Gulf Coast as high as 5.0 parts per million, or 50 times the EPA’s “elevated” level – FEMA says the trailers are safe and there is no need for it to conduct its own air-quality testing.
“FEMA stands confident in using travel trailers for emergency sheltering,” said agency spokesman Aaron Walker. “… To put it in perspective, we have almost 115,000 trailers out right now, and FEMA has received just over 20 complaints total.”

Better ventilation recommended

Walker said those experiencing any adverse reactions to the trailer environment can likely resolve the issue by increasing ventilation.

“We encourage families living in the trailers, if they’re worried, to take steps to air out their trailers,” he said. “… If a family is uncomfortable with their trailer, they’re welcome to call our trailer hot line (and) we can come out and test their trailer and have a look at it.”

Trailer manufacturers contacted by declined to comment on the issue because of the pending litigation and directed inquiries to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. RVIA spokesman Kevin Broom echoed Walker in saying that the gas in the trailers poses no health threat.

“The industry uses low-emitting materials, so formaldehyde has not been an issue for 15 or 20 years at least,” he said.

Broom acknowledged that the high heat and humidity in the Gulf Coast could increase the rate of formaldehyde “outgassing” from wood products trailers, but added that ventilation should quickly take care of any problem.

“You can get it to dissipate very easily if you just ventilate it,” he said. “People may just need to be shown how to open the windows.”

Mary DeVany, an industrial hygienist from Vancouver, Wash., who has studied the formaldehyde issue, agrees that the high heat and humidity in the hurricane-ravaged zone exacerbate the problem. But she believes that the higher-than-usual readings in the FEMA trailers could be the result of the rush to manufacture the trailers in the wake of Katrina.
“Typically with these plywood and particleboard materials … before assembly they’re put in ovens that heat them to 130 degrees,” she said. “This sets and bakes off the formaldehyde in the glues and resins. ... I’m not sure that happened in this case because the trailers were made so fast.” The RVIA’s Broom disputes that notion, saying such “baking” is performed by the manufacturer to reduce the formaldehyde leakage.

“That’s not something the RV industry would do,” he said of the process. “They would be buying certified low- emission materials.”

A patchwork of standardsAny effort to determine whether the formaldehyde levels present in the trailers pose a health threat is exacerbated by the patchwork of standards in place to regulate exposure to the chemical – none of which apply to travel trailers or recreational vehicles.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development limits the use of formaldehyde-emitting products in manufactured homes -- setting a standard of 0.2 parts per million for plywood and 0.3 parts per million for particleboard materials. But the agency does not regulate travel trailers or motor homes, probably because it was never anticipated that people would spend long periods of time living in them, said the Sierra Club’s Gillette.

The lack of an exposure standard reflects a bigger issue, said Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer American Lung Association.

“The real problem is we haven’t done for indoor pollution what we’ve done four outdoor pollution and set national standards,” he said. “There are no indoor air quality air standards and I really think Congress should empower the EPA and NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) to set standards.”

Nor is there agreement on the long-term health risks from exposure to formaldehyde.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, classified it as “carcinogenic to humans” in June 2004 after reviewing 40 human studies, including a National Cancer Institute study linking exposure to an elevated risk of rare nasopharyngeal cancer.

California cracking downThe California Air Resources Board has identified formaldehyde as a “toxic air contaminant” after state experts concluded that, based on current research, there is “no safe exposure threshold … to preclude cancer.” The agency is currently developing regulations aimed at sharply reducing the amount of formaldehyde products used in the state by 2010.

But no U.S. health or environmental agencies have followed the IARC in declaring the chemical to be a human carcinogen, saying more research is necessary. And the industry groups have sponsored research that they say shows the potential risk associated with exposure has been overblown.

“All of the available and still-emerging human health research data is demonstrating that if formaldehyde exposure is kept below levels that produce chronic irritation and overt target tissue damage, the risk of cancer is essentially zero,” according to the Formaldehyde Council, an industry group.

The debate is far from academic for Katrina survivors who are nearing their one-year anniversary living in the trailers.

DeVany, the industrial hygienist, said that children and the elderly are most at risk, the former because they have higher respiration rates than adults and the latter because they are likely to be exposed to the fumes more than those who work and only return to their trailers at night.
“A year from now, the formaldehyde will be gone, but the permanent and lasting effects from these exposures will not,” she said.

Fumes forced couple to fleeSounding a similar warning, though one born from personal experience, are Paul and Melody Stewart of Bay St. Louis, who say formaldehyde forced them out of their FEMA trailer and into their truck.

The couple said that even though they had a friend air out the Cavalier trailer and run the heater before they arrived, the smell when they walked in was overpowering. And Melody said she had a nosebleed the first night they stayed in it.

“(The smell) was really bad, but we went and ahead and went to bed,” she said. “Within hours, I woke up to the smell – it was that strong – and I was gasping for fresh air. I ran to the window.”
The couple continued to ventilate the trailer and also tried removing composite wood panels from beneath the bed and table bench and replacing them with solid wood, but nothing seemed to help.

Finally, when their pet cockatiel took ill, they decided they had to do something.
“We got up one morning and the cockatiel was lethargic, wouldn’t move, was losing its balance,” said Paul, a police officer in neighboring Waveland. “… (Later), the vet told us unequivocally, ‘Look, you either get the bird out of that environment or he’s going to die.’”

The Stewarts complained to FEMA and received two replacement trailers – the first of which also smelled of formaldehyde and a second that had swathes of mold and a stove top that looked like it had been “used at a Waffle House,” Paul said.

Fed up, they called FEMA and told the agency to come take the trailer away, then spent five days living in their truck before using their last $50,000 in savings to buy a “fifth-wheel” trailer devoid of any formaldehyde odor.

“We took what resources we had left, and what we really should have used to rebuild our house, and went out and bought our own camper,” Paul said.

Since then, the Stewarts have granted numerous media interviews, intent on spreading word of the possible hazards.

“We’re here because there are so many people at risk (and) they’re in the shadows,” Melody said. “You’ve got Christians, hard-working people that have lost their jobs and retired people who have paid their dues to society, and we’re putting them at risk by letting them stay in these campers.”