"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!" - Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) -

Friday, August 22, 2008

How many houses do you own? Most Americans could answer that question quite easily.

How About This One John: “How Many Nations in NATO?”

But John McCain couldn't remember yesterday when asked by reporters. It's actually kind of ridiculous. He paused and said, "I think—I'll have my staff get to you." (The correct answer? At least seven.

Have Another Nip Of The Dog That Has Been Biting You For Eight Years

This could be an election-defining moment—it's a reminder of just how out of touch John McCain is with the lives of regular Americans. We need to make sure every voter hears about it.

Watch the ad and write a letter to your local newspaper about John McCain's out-of-touch economic policies:


"McCain unsure how many houses he owns," Politico, August 21, 2008

"Mrs. McCain, San Diego County Would Like a Word," Newsweek, July 7-14, 2008

"A Week In John McCain's Shoes—His $520 Ferragamo Loafers, That Is," Huffington Post, July 30, 2008

"Who's rich? McCain and Obama have very different definitions," Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2008

Russia increases weapon sales to Chavez... Russian/Communist/Expansion

UNITED NATIONS | Russia is showing its irritation with U.S. intervention in its back yard by selling more weapons to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. Mr. Chavez is to arrive in Moscow on Tuesday with a reported billion-dollar shopping list of armaments, including submarines and helicopters. It is the controversial Latin American leader's third visit to Moscow since 2006, when he purchased $3 billion in Russian weapons systems. The choreographed display of commerce and camaraderie provides a rare opportunity for two of Washington's most passionate antagonists to tweak the Bush administration, with the added benefit for Russia and Venezuela of raising their profiles in their own regions.

CAUDILLO: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is again heading to Moscow with an arms shopping list. (Associated Press) Russia is furious with the Bush administration's plans to base missile defenses in former Soviet satellites Poland and the Czech Republic, while Venezuela is chafing at U.S. support for rivals Colombia and Brazil. "The Russians also see this as a way to push the notion that there is a multipolar world," said Michael Shifter, adjunct professor of Latin American studies at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. "And if Chavez is not all that strong, these [military purchases] boost him up a bit."

Mr. Chavez, who has portrayed himself as the leader of Latin America and a socialist alternative to U.S. hegemony, has been rattled lately by the Colombian military's daring rescue of hostages held by the FARC rebel group, as well as by Brazil and Argentina's economic surge, Mr. Shifter added. Besides missile defense, the Russian leadership has tangled with the United States in the U.N. Security Council over political conflicts ranging from Georgia to Zimbabwe.

In a recent essay, Ariel Cohen and Ray Walser, both senior foreign-policy researchers at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, warned that Venezuela could be the new Cuba in a 21st-century Cold War, one that is emboldened by rising oil revenues. "Russia and Venezuela, together with Iran, are among the trend-setters in the democracy rollback taking place since the late 1990s, especially in petro-states," they wrote.

"The rise of oil prices has accelerated this process and helped precipitate the rise of statism and the decline in democratic governance, while energy revenues provide the means to buy off political opponents and the media, build up internal security forces, and insulate regimes from any domestic and international criticism."

The Venezuelan leader told reporters in Caracas that his goal in Moscow is "to consolidate a strategic alliance with Russia in the political, economic, technological and military fronts," according to the Venezuelan publication El Universal. Mr. Chavez, who has been spending Venezuela's oil windfall on a variety of conventional weapons, has bought more than $4.4 billion in Russian arms in the past five years and plans to add to this arsenal by purchasing $2 billion more.

The Russian Interfax news service quoted an unnamed Russian Defense Ministry official as saying that Mr. Chavez might order three Varshavyanka submarines and up to 20 Tor-M1 air-defense systems. The Russian newspaper Kommersant reported May 12 that Mr. Chavez wants Project 636 Diesel submarines, Mi-28 combat helicopters and Ilyushin airplanes. The Venezuelan purchases are feeding a regional arms race. Chile, Colombia and Brazil also have been modernizing their militaries.

"It could get out of control," Mr. Shifter warned. "I don't think the U.S. has anything to fear from Venezuela militarily, but you can see a scenario where, if things get tense, there is with Chavez an element of unpredictability. If he feels threatened, under attack, there is a potential for destabilization" in the region. Venezuela's weapons purchases have been difficult to track. Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the U.N. Konstantin K. Dolgov on Monday maintained that all sales are within international covenants and guidelines.

The United Nations maintains two sprawling voluntary databases on international arms purchases, one to track total military expenditures and the other to break down purchases and sellers. Venezuela has not contributed to either since at least 2002, according to Ewen Buchanan of the U.N. Department of Disarmament.

And just who are we selling weapons to?

Denver says Tax Free Gas for Democrat National Convention... Democrat/Corruption/Gas Prices

Since March, staffers working on the Democratic National Convention have been using the city of Denver's tax-free gas pumps to fill up their cars — and using its carwashes. A dispute about this prompted city officials Tuesday to promise that the local host committee will reimburse the city at a market rate for gas — and pay state and federal taxes on the fuel. It was never the intent of the city not to properly charge the Democrats for the fuel or its taxes, said Katherine Archuleta, the mayoral liaison to the convention.

Some Denver City Council members were angry when Denver public-works employee Christine Downs told them Tuesday that the host committee will reimburse the city for the carwashes and tax-free fuel it is using for its fleet of vehicles. Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz reacted sharply. She said she didn't think it was fair that local host-committee employees, as well as those with the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) who use those cars, are driving around on tax-free fuel. "It didn't sit well," she said. "I pay taxes on my fuel when I fill up my own car."

City Councilman Charlie Brown agreed. "Does the (Democratic) Party want to accept tax-free fuel?" he asked. "This money goes to our state highway system. Why shouldn't the DNC be willing to help our roads and our maintenance and our construction?" Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper told council members that Minneapolis had a similar deal with the Republicans.

That isn't true, said Teresa McFarland, spokeswoman for the local host committee for the Republican National Convention. "We pay for fuel like everyone else does," she said. Later in the day, the camp of GOP presidential hopeful John McCain issued a statement saying that Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, was "for a gas-tax holiday — as long as it benefits him and his political party."

It is against the Colorado Department of Revenue's rules for any nonprofit, private business or government contractor to receive tax- free fuel, which is reserved only for local and state governments.

The Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee holds an unsigned contract with the city for fuel and car washes.

The host committee has racked up about $10,000 in charges so far, but no bills have been issued yet and no reimbursements sent, Downs said.

The value of the contract is estimated at $466,125.

Archuleta said city gas pumps are preferred for security purposes — particularly during the convention, when host-committee vehicles will be carrying dignitaries, she said. "The City of Denver and the Denver Host Committee informed us late this afternoon about this matter and told us that the Denver Host Committee will pay all applicable taxes and fees related to their fuel contract, as they should," the DNCC said in a statement on Tuesday. The convention will be held Aug. 25 through 28.

Me: So let me understand this the Democrat were against a tax free holiday for use "common people" but when it comes to their convention well tax free gas is the order of the day. Can anyone one say elitist and "out of touch".

Arctic Holds 90B Barrels of Oil... Oil Prices

The area north of the Arctic Circle has an estimated 90 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and 1,670 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas, the U.S. Geological Survey announced Wednesday. The USGS said technically recoverable resources are those produced using currently available industry practices and technology. The Arctic accounts for about 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 percent of the undiscovered natural gas, the USGS reported.

"Before we can make decisions about our future use of oil and gas and related decisions about protecting endangered species, native communities and the health of our planet, we need to know what's out there," USGS Director Mark Myers said. "With this assessment, we're providing the same information to everyone in the world so that the global community can make those difficult decisions." The three provinces of West Siberian Basin, the East Barents Basins and Arctic Alaska are said to hold more than 70 percent of the undiscovered natural gas. Though the Arctic is virtually unexplored with respect to petroleum, the search for it has resulted in the discovery of more than 400 oil and gas fields north of the Arctic Circle.

Me: So we cannot drill our way out right, 90 BILLION gallons of Gas would not effect gas prices?

A message from Ramsey Clark | "Bush has no right to lecture about human rights"

A price the American people are paying for the failure of the House of Representatives to impeach Bush, Cheney and their cabal for crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity -- the greatest assaults on peace and human rights of this century -- is the Bush Administration’s bellicose drum beat for war against a widening circle of chosen enemies.

Imagine George Bush with the blood of a million Afghans and Iraqis on his hands, the shame of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo hanging around his neck, having trashed the Bill of Rights, the Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, lecturing China for violating human rights at the World Olympics in Beijing, a hopeful symbol of international cooperation through the peaceful competition of athletes in friendship.

Imagine George Bush lecturing Russia on human rights after insisting on putting U.S. (not NATO) Star War missile sites on the Russian border in Poland and the Czech Republic despite the tragic lessons of the Cold War, all told the greatest crime in history. Among its costs are expenditures that could have provided food for all, vastly reduced poverty on the planet, progressed toward quality universal health care, education and housing for everyone.

Instead it took more lives by military violence on five continents and greater military expenditures than World War II and released the genie of nuclear weapons to a status beyond control. Can the planet survive another arms race? And what was George Bush planning when he urged immediate admission of Georgia to NATO just months before Georgia invaded South Ossetia?

Imagine George Bush who committed wars of aggression, the “Supreme International Crime,” against Afghanistan and Iraq, invading and occupying both, judging Russia’s conduct as” unacceptable," and demanding withdrawal of Russian forces because it sent troops into Georgia to protect the population of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from an invasion by Georgia that killed citizens and peace keepers alike, destroyed property and had driven tens of thousands from their homes.

Nor was Georgia a stranger to Russia. It had been a part of Russia since 1801 for nearly all the last two centuries. It had great power within the USSR. Joseph Stalin was from Georgia, as were L. P. Beria, longtime head of the NKVD and many others, Edward Shevardnadze, the Soviet Union’s last Foreign Minister and the first President of the Government of the independent Georgia that separated from the Soviet Union in 1990.

George Bush took a keen interest in Georgia, which is on Russia’s southern border, but on the opposite side of the planet from the U.S., early in his Presidency and in Mikhail Saakashvili. Under Bush’s direction the U.S. provided major military arms and training for Georgia. It persuaded, or paid Georgia which had no interest in Iraq to send 2000 troops to there, a number exceeded only by the U.S. and U.K. It trained and supported the Georgian troops for duty in Iraq. Saakashvili, a U.S. law school graduate, to quote the New York Times “...positioned himself to become one of the world’s most strident critics of the Kremlin” and with the strong support from the U.S. he was elected President of Georgia.

The U.S. helped them militarize what had been a weak Georgian state. The Pentagon helped overhaul Georgia’s military forces, train its commanders and staff officers. U.S. marine strained Georgian soldiers in the fundamentals of battle. The forces were equipped with Israeli and U.S. firearms, reconnaissance drones and other sophisticated equipment, including anti aircraftweaponry. That the U.S. trained and equipped Georgian forces fled in the face of Russian forces should have told us something about the U.S. training and equipping of foreign militaries.

All this U.S. support and manipulation was with the public goal, urged by George Bush, of making remote Georgia, though a thousand miles from Europe across the Black Sea and Russia, member of NATO and placing Abkhazia and South Ossetia under Georgian control by force.

As in most matters in which George Bush takes aggressive action, oil is a factor in some form. Georgia has made itself available for a pipeline from the Caspian Sea through Azerbaijan then across Georgia to the Black Sea, a major Bush goal, carrying oil from Azerbaijan and former Soviet Republics in Central Asia, produced in large part by U.S. oil companies, to Western markets by-passing Russia. Western Europe shared this U.S. interest.

President Bush visited Georgia in 2005, the first U.S. President to do so. Condoleeza Rice visited while National Security Advisor to Bush and since. Saakashvili has been a frequent guest at the White House and in the Washington corridors of power.

It is George Bush’s enticement and incitement of Georgia that created the present crisis. We have not been told what has been paid Georgia for it.

Suppose NATO had agreed to Georgia membership before Georgia invaded South Ossetia, as the U.S. urged. NATO would have been bound by mutual defense pact to defend Georgia as a Member. NATO, a Cold War creation, which includes all the former colonial powers, should be abolished. The U.S. persuaded NATO to share blame for its assaults that balkanized Yugoslavia which was created to end centuries of violence in the Balkans through unity. It tried to persuade NATO to join in its wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq. It nearly succeeded in Georgia.

The U.S. has a major military airbase in Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet Republic to Russia’s south and more than 1500 miles east of Georgia which is used to bomb Afghanistan. The U.S. has surrounded Russia with military bases from the Baltic states south across its western border with Europe then east for more than 2500 miles to its borders with Xinjiang Province in western China and Mongolia.

Now we can see the hypocrisy of the U.S. calling NATO into emergency session to address the Georgia crisis with false claims made repeatedly about the ceasefire and withdrawal terms negotiated by President Sarkozy of France, only to back down from all its threats and demands for action after fomenting international friction on false pretenses. The world cannot be made safe for hypocrisy, or mendacity.

It is noteworthy that Georgia is within one hundred miles of the border of Iran across Armenia. While George Bush vigorously protests Russian confrontation with Georgian troops which invaded South Ossetia, he has continued his threatening of Iran with a war of aggression for its alleged but unproven efforts to achieve nuclear weapons capability while he engages in a huge U.S. expenditure for new nuclear weapons.

The U.S. now has its largest Naval presence in the Gulf region since the Gulf war, pointed toward Iran. The probability that President Bush will cause Israel and the U.S. to attack Iranian nuclear facilities plants during his remaining months in office remains high. Such an attack would violate the Nuremberg Charter and Article 56 of Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Convention 1979, which protects “Works and Installations Containing Dangerous Forces,” including nuclear facilities, from attack, because of the “consequent severe losses among the civilian population” from the blast and radiation.