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Friday, 12 January 2007 08:01

Paul Rogat Loeb: A Storm of Denial

by Paul Rogat Loeb

It wasn't Katrina, not even close, but Seattle's storm of the century was no picnic. It gave me one more a taste of a future where the weather can suddenly turn--and destroy the habitability of our world. The storm hit Seattle mid-December with pounding rain and 70 mile-an-hour winds, reaching 110 miles per hour, 35 miles to the east, on the slopes of the Cascade Mountains. The ground was already soggy from the wettest November in Seattle history, and as the wind and rain uprooted trees, many fell on houses and cars, blocked roads and took down local power lines, cutting off heat and light to over a million residents in the city and surrounding areas. Thirteen people died. Sanitation systems overflowed, dumping tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage into Puget Sound. A week later, nearly a hundred thousand people were still living in the cold and the dark. Although my own lights stayed on, the next street was dark, and I could drive ten minutes and pass block after block of blackened houses. Those affected joked at first about sleeping with mittens and down parkas, then grew increasingly testy as gas stations couldn't pump gas, supermarkets were closed and what seemed at first a brief interruption turned into days without the basics of modern human existence. Now, a month later, the last residences are finally getting back their phone services. And 29,000 people just lost power again from yet another Seattle storm.

by Elliot D. Cohen

The majority of Americans are clearly against escalating the war in Iraq; Bush was advised against it by the military generals; the Democrats in the Democratically-controlled Congress are unified against it, and now even Republicans have begun to express their opposition; the troops have already been spent and their morale is low. But despite all these indisputable facts, Bush has gone ahead with his plan to deploy more than twenty-one thousand additional troops to Iraq anyway. The most shocking fact of all, however, is not Bush's arrogant disregard for the will of the American people. It is rather that it could well have been predicted in light of the facts surrounding his administration. These facts paint a dismal, coherent picture of a burgeoning dictatorship in America. Unfortunately, this story (but for a piecemeal, fragmented, censored version) never saw the light of day in the mainstream media.


If there is one thing Bush cares about more than pacifying Iraq (to get oil easier), it's protecting his legacy. With the war doomed to failure, he has used the "surge" plan as a means to defer blame onto others regardless of what the Democrats plan to do about the proposed strategy.

by Danny Schechter News Dissector, Mediachannel.org

New York, New York: In the aftermath of President Bush's prime-time war cry for escalation from the White House Library, the network newscasters were skeptical about his chances for success but seemed to be impressed by his willingness to stand up for what they think he believes, like some lone but gutsy hero on the prairie.

Much of the commentary deals with him as the beleaguered leader standing strong against public opinion but doing what he feels he had to do. The subtext was you just have to admire that man. This is the very positioning his image managers cultivated.



After all is said and done, this seems so easy, but it hasn't been easy. It's been an uphill battle for years and there was no need for it. Bush was so cavalier in telling Americans to go shopping, but he didn't give a damn if they were confined to only window shopping. It's a shame that we have to celebrate something that should have been done long ago and is just another one of those things that is the right thing to do. Imagine, people working for such pittance and a GOP Congress, in the past, never missed a vote for giving themselves a raise. How many people get to do that when they work for somebody. Good for the Democrats and their 100 hour goals, but to really fix all of the damage to this country and our government that has been done by this treasonous Bush regime . . . we can't fool ourselves, it will take years.

Friday, 12 January 2007 06:01

Analysis: Martin Luther King, Jr., On War


Courtesy the Institute for Public Accuracy

Following are excerpts from King's "Beyond Vietnam" speech at the Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his assassination. He was addressing the group Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam:

Friday, 12 January 2007 03:42

BuzzFlash Mailbag for January 12, 2007


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Subject: From which green zone building will the helicopter be lifting the last person to freedom and out of chaos?


American troops may not only be responsible for actually carrying out the Bush "surge" plan. As reported in an AP story today, "Soldiers found themselves explaining the new U.S. strategy to Iraqis, many of whom said they hadn't seen Bush's speech on television because they had no electricity."


by Robert Crawford

As an English and Debate teacher for lo, these many years now, I must grudgingly award Cleverness Points to Mr. Bush for his use of the passive voice in his remarks on the "new" Iraq plan the other night.


"George W. Bush: Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq." Key words here being "seek out and destroy"! There is no plan to leave Iraq, but there is a continuing plan to expand this war and again preemptively attack other nations in his march on world domination!!! We might as well bend over and kiss our behinds good-bye--the moron is indeed on an Armageddon quest!

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