Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Rise of Corporate Militias in America

One of the main criticisms about the handling of the Iraqi war-apart from the fiction of it's necessity- was the number of troops deployed. Architects Cheney and Rumsfeld were adament about 150,000 troops being adequate. Critics asserted that 300,000 should have been the minimum. Was the number of troops held down so that corporate militia personnel could be hired?

Halliburton, Blackwater,Custer Battles and CACI to name a few make up part of the 30,000 contractors in Iraq today( they outnumber the rest of the coalition forces combined). The use of private militias is not new. In the 16th century Queen Elizabeth used privateers against the Spanish. But corporations operating militias is new. In the first Gulf War in 1991, corporate militias/contractors amounted to 1% of the total military force. Kosovo saw the number increase to about 10%. The present war has app. 30% participation by corporate security militias.

Consider these speculations. Recent reports of recruiting shortfalls in Army enlistments bring up questions about the reasons. Pay? Firms like Blackwater pay members of their militias $500-1000 per day. That is 10-20 times the amount regular army members are paid. At that rate of pay, one could retire after 1 or 2 years in corporate militias versus 10 or 20 years on active duty in the army. Reasons for the war? A member of a corporate militia could choose the war to fight according to one's personal political view. Why lose your life over a war you don't agree with or one that can't be won? Are there enough military actions in the world to pick and choose assignments? Last year corporate militias based in 50 countries split up $ 100 billion in fees(2005 US defense budget $500 billion). International security expert Deborah Avant of George Washington Univ. recently wrote about Northrup Grumman buying up small security firms" like mad". She said," this is where they think the future is".

Northrup Grumman and other major defense contractors are in a position to know and make it happen. They interface with the Defense Policy Board in a classified atmosphere which reports directly to Sec. Rumsfeld. They can influence policy objectives and sometimes create policy by pushing their menu of services.

With little prospect of restarting the draft, America's new preemptive war policy will have to get personnel from somewhere. Hey! Why not call up Cheney at Halliburton? He can field a team without any delay or start-up times or pension concerns.

What about Cheney and people like him having control over large corporate militias? When one is power-hungry and a warmonger sooner or later any location for war is good enough-domestic or foreign.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Repeal Cranston Amendment

Israel since 1997 receives app. $10 billion per year from the US. That figure makes up about 16% of this years Israeli budget($62 billion). I beleive there is a direct relationship between Israel's arrogance and the amount of American military and monetary support to that country.

How many people know of the Cranston Amendment named for the late Senator Alan Cranston (D-Ca.) in 1983. The amendment reads in part,"It is the policy and the intention of the United States that the funds provided in annual appropriations for Economic Support Funds which are allocated to Israel shall not be less than the amount debt repayments( interest and principal) from Israel to the United States Government in recognition that such principle serves United States interests in the region."

Israel has a blank check from the US. They don't have to repay anything.

The Cranston Amendment should be repealed. Israel should exist under the discipline of it's own unaided budget instead of leveraging U S resources. Then there would be a very real reason for trying to achieve peace.

Advisory: Support The Council for the National Interest

This column has from time to time been a vocal critic of America's uneven foreign policy that turns a blind eye to Israeli lawlessness while we condemn the same actions in every other country. AIPAC ( American Israel Public Affairs Committee) has been the go-between in buying off a large part of our Congress. Well I learned yesterday(May 27, 2005) of an organization that I recommend like-minded people to support. I sent them a check for $ 50 and two copies of my latest book " Evangelicals,Zionists & Secular Neocons". The organization is Council for the National Interest( It is run by former members of Congress and other noteworthy people. Among their many projects, that include getting a handle on all foreign lobbyists influence , they are trying to get a bill introduced called "The Israel Accountability And Security Act".
The thrust of the act is to make Israel obey the laws that everyone else does especially when they are America's biggest receiver of foreign aid($ 10 billion per year since 1997). What Israel does reflects on the US.

Check out their website. It is very easy to know what they are doing and how to get involved. It's time for some answers from our reps in Washinton on how they handle America's best interests when they conflict with AIPAC money and Israel's dreams.

Bush Learning Diplomacy:Blinks on Iran

Bush demonstrated that he could learn. That takes him out of the moron classification. I will not call him a moron again. On May 26, 2005, an important step towards solving the nuclear- related problem between Iran and the EU/US was taken.

The World Trade Organization announced the start of formal talks to bring Iran into the WTO. The key was Bush dropping America's veto power that stopped Iran from becoming a member for the past 10 years. The US and the EU rewarded Iran for freezing it's disputed nuclear activity(which it probably was entitled to do). America correctly blinked. Trade is the best peace maker and peace keeper. Why shouldn't the US get some business opportunities from Iran? Countries are like people. If you want something from them, you have to offer something to them.

There is no reason not to normalize relations with Iran. If we can have normal relations with China and Israel, we can have them with anyone.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Baker & Taylor Features " Evangelicals, Zionists & Secular Neocons" in June 2005 Paperclips Trade Magizine

Author: Barry Leonardini
Publisher: Fresh Clean Day Publishing

Book is featured in Politics & Government section of "Paperclips" ( Circulation 41,000)

Priscilla Owen: Pros And Cons

The Senate confirmed the first of Pres. Bush's beleagured judicial nominees on May 25, 2005. She had been a lightning rod of supercharged debate. It was a classic fire storm of special interests. How can one know- who is not caught up in partisan politics- what makes her good or bad? There were referrals to facts in past cases but by necessity they were brief and taken out of context of other facts.

Here are two discriptions of Judge Owen. One was pro and one was con. Let's examine the arguments.

Professor of Law, Linda Eads at Southern Methodist University described Judge Owen," She represents a part of Texas culture that is basically a frontier mentality. You don't cry about your hardships, you just keep moving forward. It's a very empowering philosophy..."

Well that sounds reasonable.

Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York said, " Someone (Owen) will be put on the bench who puts the rights of employers over employees, who takes no consideration of environmental rights, women's rights or just average people".

Serious allegations that smack of a poor loser. Schumer should remember that part of his constituency are employers who also have basic rights. With respect to predicting that Judge Owen will take no consideration of women's rights is proven untrue by Owen's very existence. I have no knowledge of Judge Owen's record of environmental cases. "Average people" losing out? Judge Owen came from a modest background and worked her way up. She can relate to real people. Of course "average people" in Texas are different from" average people" in Manhattan. The care and feeding of the average New Yorker requires more active redistribution of wealth which if reined in would explain why Schumer feels threatened.

Secretary Rice Performs For AIPAC

Did she play the piano? No. She performed according to script or else she wouldn't have been invited.

I thought America had hit bottom when Madeline Albright was Secretary of State ( one of many poor choices) for the Clinton Administration. Ms. Albright would have been better suited as a cosmetics clerk for Macys. But now she rises in my grading- a worse choice has emerged- Condi Rice. Ms Albright was better than Secretary Rice because she knew when to keep her mouth shut ( pun intended).

Ms. Rice made an inflammatory presentation on May 23, 2005 before the annual meeting of AIPAC ( American Israel Public Affairs Committee). It is the most powerful lobby in Washington and represents a FOREIGN government. Ms. Rice, who is supposed to be America's top diplomat, was serving up pandering morsils to the organization that helps run US foreign policy along with the evangelicals-Bush And Rice are members of the Southern Baptist Convention. Condi was dwelling on the late President of the Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat( Nobel Laureate along with the late Y. Rabin and S.Peres of Israel for their work on the Oslo Accords). She implied that he was the singular obstacle to peace and that the new president of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas had to prove himself before the US would proceed with a two-state solution. Rice said" The Palestinian Authority must advance democratic reforms and it must dismantle all terrorist networks in it's society while Israel must not take any actions that prejudices a final settlement with the PA".

Rice and Israel call them terrorists. The Palestinians call them their militia. The warning to Israel- " must not take any action that prejudices a final settlement with the PA"- what about the 425- mile wall that the US is partly paying for?

The partition of Palestine in 1948 was not ethical. America should stop supporting an inflammatory land development scheme by the Israelis that threatens world peace.

Rice's performance at AIPAC's meeting was a side show akin to a performing poodle while the distructive high-wire act of US foreign policy is shrouded by righteousness.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Pentagon Personnel: Some Should Be Tested For Steriods.

The Air Force has a new plan for space-based weapons that it wants President Bush to O K(an article appeared in the news today as a trial balloon to test reaction). It grew out of Bush's withdrawl from the 30 year old Antiballistic Missle Treaty at the begining of his administration and the failure of 22 years of effort and $ 100 billion spent on a Star Wars Defense. The new gadgets include " Rods From Gods", heavy metal rods hurled at high speed from an orbiting platform; "Eagle", space-based lasers; and traditional missles based in space. I think the reasoning is that since we can't make a missle defense system work we will change to an offensive space system and let others worry about defense. Air Force General Lance Lord said, "Space superiority is not our birthright, but it is our destiny". (Test him for steroids)

What will the rest of the world think of an offensive space-based system? With the new preemptive war policy of the U S this new move is very provocative. The price tag for this new system runs as high $1 trillion over many years.

General Lord's project would not have stopped 9/11 or preclude another such terrorist incident. It will only make the Chinese and Russians more nervous about the evangelicals,zionists and the neocons in America.

Instead of spending $ 1 trillion, the U S should be part of the solution in the Middle East and not the problem and General Lord should drive a hybrid vehicle if he really wants to help.

Gates Foundation Vaccinations: Partial Solution & Partial Problem

The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $ 5.6 billion for global health programs since 1995. The larger amounts have gone for vaccinations. Recently they added an additional $ 250 million for research to eliminate malaria and genetically alter insects that carry disease.

Bill Gates said," Some point to the better health in the developed world and say that the only sure way to improve health is to end poverty. We have a different view. The world didn't have to eliminate poverty in order to eliminate smallpox and we don't have to reduce poverty before we reduce milaria".

Has Mr. Gates got it backwards? Could health care contribute to poverty? Can increases in population in an overcrowded area work against good intentions? Yes they can.

Recently the continuing project called the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, funded by a $ 24 million U N grant issued a report based on the research of 1300 ecologists from 95 countries. The results indicated a large part of planet degradation ( loss of life-supporting capabilities) was attributed to human causes. This included deforestation, over-fishing, water contamination and over-population. The report cited sub-Sahara Africa as a prime example-" dry-land ecosystem". Approximately 2 billion people live in a "dry-land ecosystem". The Sudan is one of those areas. A lack of water, poor soil and over-population have contributed to malnutrition( cause of 50% of childhood deaths),disease and recently a civil war. The war is more about crowded living and lack of resources than a religious conflict.

The well-meaning Gates Foundation may exacerbate the overall problem in it's pursuit of vaccinations without including a long term plan to help secure a sustainable future. The vaccinations and health care have indeed helped the needy Sudanese to survive. But where will the survivors get additional water and food to enjoy a quality of life that is sustainable?

Mr Gates should instruct his foundation to model it's philanthropic help on a basic computer set up. The Sudanese lack the natural resources ( operating system) to support future growth in population. Vaccinations ( anti-virus software) while relative to an immediate problem sets up larger challenges of survivors later. The Sudanese need a comprehensive consultation ( help desk) in land conservation, water recovery and most importantly birth control.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Rice Wants Affirmative Action In Iraq

A large part of the essence of comedy and wit has to do with revealing the truth. Also, solving complex problems brings relief and a smile.

Which brings me to America's own "poodle",Secretary of State Rice. She was on a whirlwind tour of Iraq over the weekend ( May 13-15) snapping and growling at everyone's heels about the " need" for affirmative action when it comes to bringing the Sunnis into Iraq's new government. The Sunnis used to run Iraq through Saddam Hussein and his Baathist's politcal party (What happened to him? Rumsfeld ,Cheney and others are dreading testimony in a public trial). But the morons who planned the Iraq invasion wanted a de-Baathification of the government and security forces which explains the chaos in Iraq today and a dearth of Sunnis in the government. Condi has great faith in affirmative action. After all how would someone with a massive amount of navete like her get where she got to. While were there, " Bring'em on"Bush is an affirmative action employee also due to his well-oiled connections.

Conservative Shiites and Kurds, who live in a modified ancient culture don't understand affirmative action. A lot more money will have to be spent by the U S "educating" and or "buying off" Kurds and Shiites to bring in the Sunnis. But that is still no guarentee that the broader population will respect a foreign- bought government.

Fun? No. Entertaining? No. Dark comedy? Yes.

Cheney's Machismo and U S Vulnerability

Military principles of war warn of an exposed flank and by implication the danger of two or more theaters of war.

The Bush administration lists as areas of concern: Iraq, Iran, N. Korea, Syria, terrorists anywhere,policies of Russia, policies of China and in general non-christian philosophies. Misjudging America's ability to combat the foreign policy areas could lead to significant losses of U S prestige at best and loss of many lives at worse. How many fronts does an administration need?No administration has come close in comparison.

Vice President Cheney runs foreign policy. This dyspeptic old man has an inverse relationship with his aging and a need to demonstrate his "machismo". His boy ,Bush, can't stand up to him. The latest saber rattling occured on May 15,2005, when National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley (Cheney's pick) warned N. Korea about a nuclear test. The key to N Korea is China and S. Korea. Both do business with N. Korea. Nothing will happen to N. Korea that China does not want to happen including U N sanctions. In a very real way N. Korea could be China's ally against the west if push comes to shove. It was the Clinton administration that provided N Korea the nuclear reactor in question now. We also provided Iran with their reactor during the Ford Administration. President Ford's Secretary of Defense was Rumsfeld and his deputies were Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz!

We have traded with those countries before- we can again.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Boycott Israel: Best Hope For Peace

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is visiting President Bush on May 26. His goal is to get some straight answers about how serious U S support is for a Palestinian state. Recent actions in Congress have sent a worrisome mesage. Bush asked Congress for $ 350 million for the Palestinian Authority ( Israel receives $ 10 billion per year from U S ). Congress responded by allowing $ 200 million but of that $ 150 million would go to charities for dispersal and $ 50 million would be diverted to an Israeli construction project in the occupied territories. AIPAC ( American Israel Public Affairs Committee) the Israeli superlobby put swing to it's bat and Presto! A U S gesture ( albeit tiny ) of support was turned into a slap of scorn. Mr. Abbas has gone more than half way in reining in Hamas and other factions by persuading them to become part of the political process. But Israel wants those factions to disarm unilaterally. Not likely. Would anyone disarm who is a neighbor of Israel? Israel has also cut back by half a return of prisoners and transfer of security to the Palestinians as they promised. Also the Gaza pullout has been delayed by three weeks because of a transparent lie concernig an overlooked Jewish holyday. That will be the day. A Gaza pullout has been losing support in recent Israeli polls and the Sharon government has been deftly letting it die by prolonging the process.

This is not in the best U S interests. Once again the politics of Israel eclipses American long term security. Truly the average Israeli must think the average American dumb for this upside down political dynamic. There are ways to change that perception. Individuals in America should protest the Israeli obstructionist peace moves by boycotting Israeli products. Also our congressional representatives should be told to stop taking AIPAC money. These actions will be effective as the boycott of South Africa.

Recent examples of an Israeli boycott include the World Council of Churches. It is an ecumenical group of 347 Protestant and Orthdox denominations. In February 2005, the group recommended to it's members " to give serious cosideration to devestment of companies that aid Israel in the occupied territories". The Presbyterian Church of the U S A started that divestment movement in 2004.

In late April 2005, a resolution of boycott was passed by Britain's Association of University Teachers. The immediate target would be to bar British educators of this union from collaborating with Israel's Haifa University and Bar-Ilam University.

It is time for local people and groups to solve national problems.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Kyoto Accords Has U S Grass Roots Support

In February 2005, the Kyoto Accords was ratified by 141 countries. America did not sign the agreement. The Accords specify that the countries reduce heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions to levels 7% below those of 1990 by 2012.

President Bush declined to sign because of a possible job loss of 5 million and a rise in energy costs. Well we got the energy rise anyway because of not seeking an alternative to oil which Kyoto encourages. Job losses? Indeed we lost the opportunity to create millions of jobs in pursuing cutting edge research and products to implement those protocols.

Fortunately local politicians throughout America are not as dense as "What me Worry?" Bush. Mayor Greg Nickels of Seattle, Wa. has led a national campaign to follow the Kyoto directives. He has been joined by 130 mayors ( republicans & democrats) in 35 states which includes 30 million residents. From adopting hybrid transit systems, wind power, reduction of diesel emmisions by catalytic convertors, reduced idling of ships and trucks and simply raising the issues and making it public policy are all positive steps.

Relevance. One word that is key to a politicians's future. Our national government has lost relevance to a lot of us. Whether it be policies of education, foreign policy objectives, immigration, and cost of government. Local and state goals should take the lead.

Local solutions stop national problems.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Base Closure:American Security Jeopardized

Why is Secretary Rumsfeld in a hurry to close military bases in America? B.R.A.C. (Base Realignment and Closure Commission) will present to President Bush by September 8, 2005 it's recommendations concerning the cuts in military bases in the U S. Rumsfeld suggested list closures specifies at least 30 bases to be closed out of 425 . He claims the pentagon needs the money and it would streamline the logistics of armed services personnel. Has he been right yet?

Local communities are dreading the closures because of job loss and reduced cash flow to their communities. Rumsfeld says that $ 49 billion will be saved over a 20 year period-approximately $2. 5 billion per year. That is a small amount of money compared to the $600 billion defense budget for this year alone. Is it better to open bases in Iraq and obscure locales around the Middle East ? We spend too much on those projects with the likes of Halliburton and other rogue out-sourcing companies. Also we are only throwing good money after bad in the further pursuit of a failed foreign policy in that region. We give Israel $ 10 billion a year. Why not cut them back by half in favor of a truly worthwhile cause?

Of equal importance is the goal of having a strong militia defense. This would include an adequate logistics of bases in the U S. America won it's Revolutionary War with a militia. We lost to militias in Viet Nam. We are losing to militias in Afghanistan and Iraq. Militias are the best defense for an invasion.

Volunteer Army Coming Up Short

Someone in the 1960's asked," Suppose they gave a war and nobody came? Forty- plus years later we may find out the answer to that valid question. In the 60's, the U S had a draft. If one didn't show up, the military police would go pick'em up. But with the all volunteer army of today, enlistments are drying up. Major Gen. Michael Rochelle who is the Army's top recruiter recently announced some bleak statistics. Normally at this time of the recruiting cycle for 2006 35% of the goal would be met. But now the goal is only 10% met. The results for 2005 goal of 80,000 new recruits has only produced about 36,000 so far-"normal times" would have shown a number closer to 65,000 at his time. Both of these totals are ominous.

Prospective recruits have become aware of the futile wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Little or no justification for the wars and the resulting civil wars in both countries have U S troops as targets and/or caught in the middle. Why would someone who understood those facts sign up?

Congress recently passed an increase in death benefits to $100,000 from $12,500 for a military loss of life.What a cynical government ploy. The only jobs to be had in Iraq with a 70% unemployment rate is with the security forces. America will pay for hired guns at the expense of infrastructure projects. But in America ther are other choices of jobs. Prospective recruits for the armed services should wait for a better foreign policy to defend.

Afghanistan Springs Loose From" Arab Spring"

May 12, 2005- Anti-American demonstrations spread into 10 of 34 Afghan provinces-four more deaths in the third day of protests. Now students are at the forefront of the rebellion against U S occupation and the puppet government of President Karzai. Sounds like Viet Nam. The catalyst was a report carried by Newsweek of a desecration of the Koran by interrogators at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The lingering memories of Iraq's Abu Ghraib scandal led Afghanis to believe the story. Particularly since Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was still in office. He is the rightful target of blame by both Americans and the Afghanis for those abuses of prisoners.

What happened to the " Arab Spring"? Reporters from the "New York Times",David Brooks and Thomas L. Friedman; free-wheeling columnist Charles Krauthammer; and Jeff Jacoby of the "Boston Globe" and other copy boys that listen to William Kristol of The Project for the New American Century have all promised that just one more redrawing of the Middle Eastern map would change everything for the better.

That gaggle of geese will not pay attention to the facts of an Afghanistan and Iraq civil war until the facts change. Maybe they should hold their breath till those facts get better.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Lockheed Martin And Politicians in Conspiracy

Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld reversed his own decision to terminate Lockheed Martin's C-130J Hercules transport aircraft. The plane has continued to fail minimum performance tests. It is unable to drop troops or equipment into hostile zones. It also does not operate well in poor weather or as part of search and rescue missions. This is according to Pentagon inspectors. This plane would fail our troops. Evidently that is not enough cause for termination of the contract. When Rumsfeld notified Lockheed Martin of his intention to terminate, the company went into a vigorous defense. It fired back a letter informing Rumsfeld of a little known provision in the contract. It turns out to complete the production of the aircraft it would cost the government(U S taxpayers and soldiers too) $2 billion. But if the contract were terminated it would cost $ 1 billion in cancellation fees.

Also the company notified representatives of various states where the plane is made. Governor Sonny Perdue of Georgia sent a letter to President Bush protesting the cancellation. The letter was also signed by 24 senators both republicans and democrats from the effected states.

In the end, loss of jobs, loss of profits to Lockheed Martin won the day over a plane that cannot perform it's mission and may jeopardize our troops.

Remember Rumsfeld's rude response to a National Guardsman in Iraq a few months ago when the guardsman asked, " Why the Humvees weren't armored adequately?" Rumsfeld fired back, " You go to war with the army you have."

Rumsfeld and the other politicians should be included in any further test flights of the C-130J Hercules.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Sick Illegals Need Only Apply

On May 9, 2005 the Bush Administration issued an executive order to effectively validate entitlements to illegals and by exstension increase the attraction of gratuitous U S emergency room treatment-Vicente Fox, president of Mexico, must be smiling. One billion dollars of perscription drug benefit money was diverted to reimburse states who have medical bills attributed to illegal immigrants. Senator Jon Kyl-R,AZ welcomed the move. But if he thought about it, the implications of an expansion of srevice will only exacerbate the migration. The new program carries no mandate for INS enforcement action. In fact it specifically states," In no circumstance are hospitals required to ask people about their citizenship status." This according to Dr Mark McClellan who is administrator of Medicare and Medicaid. Truly this is free.

What about the significant amount of Americans being kept poor because of medical insurance? In 2004, health care expenditures of consumers amounted to 17% of income versus 17.9% for food and clothing. And George"What Me Worry" Bush is giving health care away to non-citizens. One wonders why there are more U S guards on the Iraq/Syria border than the US/Mexico border? Because Bush and his special interests want the cheap workers . How many Mexicans come to the U S just for the health care? When will malpractice suits on their behalf be a new scam for our rodent-class attorneys?

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mad Magazine & Dubya: What Me Worry?

In my adolescent years I never missed buying the latest "Mad" magizine.It depicted lampoons of American culture without par. The caricatures were were truly bombastic and left me gasping from laughter. In retrospect" Mad" hinted at the 1960's revolution which followed. There was also a darkness in the humor of "Mad"-hence the name.

"The Nation" magizine , which is the oldest continually published mag in the U S advertises a poster of Geo. W. Bush only very slightly touched-up to resemble "Mad's" signature character- Alfred E. Neuman("What me Worry?"). At the bottom of the picture appears " Because he doesn't read"(refering to Dubya).

Mad with or without the quote marks is an apt description of the course America has embarked upon with preemptive war in Iraq.This has s turned into a civil war and also Afghanistan's civil war over the drug trade started by U S and British mission creep policies. Bush continues to make boorish and inflammatory comments about policies in Russia and China. If America had an absence of guilt, the criticisms would have a better chance of being heeded. Preemptive war in Iraq and plans to redraw the the map of the Middle East- yet again- leaves the U S a large credibility gap. China helps keep our domestic economy running by providing work at wages that the American entittlement structure won't allow. Russia has large resrves of natural resources that we should have access. The present regime is infinitly better than Lenin's legacy of Stalin and the late Soviet Union.

Iran would appear to be following the letter of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Laws of which it is a signatory. Bush fails to mention Israel's 200 nuclear warheads and an American delivery system(Israel is not a signatory to the Non- Proliferation Treaty). N. Korea should be a multilateral project that needs the good will of China and Russia to make it successful.

Laura Bush, the president's wife recently gave a speech which included her now predictable reference to Dubya's early evening retirement " in bed by nine." What is she trying to convey? The job is too much for him? This is not the man she married? He has a clear conscience? Mrs. Bush, I think is probably more worried than I.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Israel: Got Culture ?

Israel is very much in the news lately involving American interests in a negative way.

Lawrence Franklin on May 4, 2005 was arrested by Federal agents for passing top secret intelligence to two AIPAC ( American Israel Public Affairs Committee) opertives. The opertives are being investigated for passing the information about Iraq/Iran intelligence and policy options to Israel. Franklin worked with team Wolfowitz and other Zionists in the Pentagon like Douglas Feith who has been cited by Senator Carl Levin's Senate Select Committee for a "continuing deception of Congress" as related to doctored Iraq information concerning WMD/Al Qaeda . This contributed to Bush's rush to war arguments.

On May 1, 2005 Turkey's Prime Minister Erodogan visted Israel and what remains of historic Palestine. Among gestures of peace making, he was considering a $ 400 million upgrade on 30 Turkish F-4 Phantoms. The F-4 Phantom is an American fighter. Why is Israel getting the contract? Because AIPAC has over the years appropriated American military business and American jobs through it's legal underworld of influence on our money-addicted politicians. Israel is an alternative manufacturing and parts supplier of American products. A truly low form of outsourcing-legislated job loss.

And then there is talk about the logic of the Cranston Amendment in these hard times of huge Federal deficits. The Cranston Amendment was named for the late Alan Cranston,D.-Ca. It was
started in 1983. The Cranston Amendment reads in part " It is the policy and the intention of the United States that the funds provided in annual appropriations for the Economic Support Funds which are allocated to Israel shall not be less than the annual debt repayment ( interest and principal) from Israel to the United States Government in recognition that such principle serves United States interests in the region." Israel has a blank check that does not have to be repaid to the U S . Since 1997 aid in all forms to Israel, including cash grants and U S Tax Code deductable contributions to that country ( no other country has that perq) have been running about $10 billion per year.

Israel takes our money, steals our intelligence, takes U S jobs when it upgrades our manufactured planes and what does the U S get in return?

Israel has a cultural deficit. Culture comes from the land. Israel has always had a problem finding a homeland.

Intelligent Design: Education on Trial in Topeka, Kansas-Again

In 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas put the question of codified segregation on trial. Board of Education lost that trial and the rest is history.

Yesterday, May 5, 2005, eighty years after the Scopes Monkey Trial in Dayton, Tennessee the Kansas State Board of Education met in Topeka, Kansas to revisit that evolution vs. creation question. What is before the board, which has a majority of "intelligent design" and "creationist"proponents, is the proposed change in the new science standards that are to be taught in Kansas schools. Specifically, the change would be the definition of science(no small challenge). The new standards would define scientific discovery and discipline with a shift to " instead of seeking natural explanations for what we observe around us, the new standards would describe a continuing investigation that uses observation, hypothesis, testing, measurement, experimentation, LOGICAL ARGUMENT AND THEORY BUILDING TO MORE ADEQUATE EXPLANATIONS OF NATURAL PHENOMENON." ( my emphasis) In other words disregard the facts unless they can be rhetorically reverse-engineered into an intelligent design or creationist model.

This is certainly not science and is shakey religious priinciple at best.

Kansas has always been part of the Bible Belt. There is nothing in the water that makes Topeka an uneducatable challenge. Some Kansans reads the Bible but it would seem little else with as much credulity. That is why things have not changed in past eighty years.

I have one question and one observation. What is the purpose of intelligent design?

My observation of recorded history proves only one thing-anything can happen. This disproves an intelligent design in favor of an ambivalent design as long as the entity can adapt which makes a better argument for evolution.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Iraq Civil War

A Chinese proverb instructs that the beginning of wisdom starts by calling things by their proper name.

America is in the middle of a civil war of it's own making. The Shiites are exploiting the naive Bush/Cheney/Wolfowitz policy of introducing democracy into the Middle East as a battering ram to avenge their 1,400 year religious struggle with the Sunnis. In 656 A.D. Mohammods grandson Hussein was beheaded by Sunnis who set up another succesion line of Islam. This change in power will have far reaching effects. In the Middle East 18 of 21 countries are dominated by Sunni governments. With restive Shiites in those countries witnessing the Iraqi change in favor of the Shiites more upheaval may soon follow.

America has become a cat's paw for Shiite political gains. Any government they will control will certainly be theocratic and anti- Sunni. No matter who wins the civil war which won't end anytime soon, America will be kicked out and a theocratic government will be set up.

America will have nothing to show for it's loss of lives and the hundreds of billions it has and will spend.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Survival: Low Cost Adaptive Behavior

Governor Jeb Bush of Florida signed into law an expansion of self defense on April 26, 2005. The " stand your ground" bill in Florida allows people to use guns OR other deadly force to defend themselves in public places without first trying to escape. The legislature codified what many courts in the state have already ruled. The self defense legal paradigm now includes public places along with residences.

During the past month a new approach to border security was launched in Arizona. It has been effective. The volunteers reported illegal border crossings to the U S border Patrol-335 arrests were made. The Arizona group has plans for a California roll out in October 1, 2005.

When government cannot provide vital services, people have a right to take matters into their own hands. That is the unspoken law that supercedes all codes. Power flows from the governed. It would seem that evolution has again demonstrated in Florida and in Arizona that low cost adaptive behavior is the surviving philosophy.

Putin in Palestine

Russia's President Putin visited parts of historic Palestine on April 29, 2005. He gave 2 helicopters to the Palestinian Authority and offered 50 armored vehicles which was supported by the senior American military official in the region Lt. Gen. Wm. Ward. But Israel objected to the armored vehicles so they could not be accepted by the P A . Mr. Putin candidly pointed out that the P A could do a better security job if they had a qualitative edge in equipment. This logic was lost on the Israelis who prefer the status quo so they won't have to address the " right of return" issue of those 5 million Palestinian refugees that they displaced. Those people are living in camps in dire conditions. Peace for Israel would involve a catastrophic redistribution of land that would make the Gaza pullout look insignificant. The Palestinians are correct to believe that after Gaza nothing will happen.

Yet, President Putin brings to the Palestinians a new voice that is more constructive to their plight. He should be joined by others in exposing the true obstacle to peace-Israel.