Wednesday, October 24, 2007

RED FLAG


RED FLAG WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN DIEGO CA
504 AM PDT WED OCT 24 2007

...RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM PDT TODAY FOR GUSTY
NORTHEAST TO EAST WINDS AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITIES THROUGH AND
BELOW PASSES AND CANYONS AND FOR LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITIES FOR MOST
REMAINING INLAND AREAS EXCEPT FOR THE DESERTS...

.HOT...DRY...SANTA ANA CONDITIONS WITH CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER WILL
PERSIST THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON. WINDS WILL SLOWLY DIMINISH THROUGH
THIS AFTERNOON...BUT WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 40 MPH THROUGH AND BELOW
PASSES AND CANYONS THIS MORNING. FOR AREAS NEAR THE COAST...WINDS WILL
BECOME WEAKLY ONSHORE THIS AFTERNOON WITH THE ONSHORE FLOW
EXTENDING FARTHER INLAND TODAY...THOUGH NO FARTHER INLAND THAN THE
LOWER COASTAL VALLEYS. HUMIDITIES WILL INCREASE SLIGHTLY
TODAY...BUT THERE WILL STILL BE SEVERAL HOURS OF HUMIDITIES BELOW
15 PERCENT FROM MID MORNING THROUGH LATE AFTERNOON. HUMIDITIES
WILL CONTINUE TO SLOWLY INCREASE FOR THURSDAY AND FRIDAY. WINDS
WILL BE WEAKER FOR THURSDAY AND FRIDAY...GENERALLY WEAK ONSHORE IN
THE AFTERNOON WITH WEAK OFFSHORE DRAINAGE FLOW AT NIGHT.

ERRATIC SHIFTING WINDS ARE POSSIBLE NEAR THE COAST AS THE SEA
BREEZE AND WEAKENING SANTA ANA WINDS INTERACT. FIRE CREWS NEED TO
STAY ALERT TO POSSIBLE WIND REVERSALS AND ERRATIC CONDITIONS...WITH
LOCAL WIND EFFECTS NEAR THE WILD FIRES...THROUGH THURSDAY.

CAZ242-243-248-250-255>258-242200-
/O.EXT.KSGX.FW.W.0014.000000T0000Z-071025T0100Z/
ORANGE COUNTY COASTAL AREAS-SAN DIEGO COUNTY COASTAL AREAS-
SAN BERNARDINO AND RIVERSIDE COUNTY VALLEYS-THE INLAND EMPIRE-
SAN DIEGO COUNTY INLAND VALLEYS-SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE MOUNTAIN TOP AND FRONT COUNTRY RANGER DISTRICTS OF
THE SAN BERNARDINO NATIONAL FOREST-RIVERSIDE COUNTY MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE SAN JACINTO RANGER DISTRICT OF THE SAN BERNARDINO
NATIONAL FOREST-SANTA ANA MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE TRABUCO RANGER DISTRICT OF THE CLEVELAND NATIONAL
FOREST-SAN DIEGO COUNTY MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE PALOMAR AND DESCANSO RANGER DISTRICTS OF THE
CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST-
504 AM PDT WED OCT 24 2007

...RED FLAG WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM PDT THIS AFTERNOON...

THE RED FLAG WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM PDT THIS
AFTERNOON.

EAST TO NORTHEAST WINDS WILL GUST TO AROUND 40 MPH THROUGH AND
BELOW PASSE AND CANYONS THIS THROUGH MID MORNING...THEN WILL
GRADUALLY WEAKEN FROM MID MORNING THROUGH MID AFTERNOON. OFFSHORE
WINDS THIS MORNING WILL BE WEAKER AND MORE LOCALIZED THAN WINDS
THE PAST FEW MORNINGS.

HUMIDITIES WILL RECOVER SLIGHTLY FROM TUESDAY LEVELS...BUT THERE
WILL STILL BE SEVERAL HOURS FROM MID MORNING THROUGH LATE
AFTERNOON WITH HUMIDITIES BELOW 15 PERCENT.

WEAKER WINDS...SLOWLY INCREASING HUMIDITIES...AND SLOWLY COOLING
TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED FOR THURSDAY AND FRIDAY.

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE OCCURRING. A COMBINATION OF STRONG WINDS...LOW RELATIVE
HUMIDITY...AND WARM TEMPERATURES WILL CREATE CRITICAL FIRE
WEATHER CONDITION.

$$ NOAA

MARTIN
.................................

The wind is supposed to subside and eventually change direction to an off shore direction. The fire situation is still dire with low humidity and plenty of dry fuel.

This is way bigger than Katrina in scope. Major damage has been done with an equally remarkable lack of people killed despite the treacherous conditions.

Bush and the the cabal don't like the left coast and will not do much to help, much like Katrina but California has mechanisms in place to handle disasters and is doing so quite well right now.

53 comments:

DEN said...

Get off the planet with NASA TV coverage of the STS-120 Shuttle Mission

DEN said...

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 — Over the past four years, the amount of money the State Department pays to private security and law enforcement contractors has soared to nearly $4 billion a year from $1 billion, administration officials said Tuesday, but they said that the department had added few new officials to oversee the contracts.

@ NYT

Good to know that if we do not have the troops to beat countries into submission we can afford to spend three times the cost to put mercenaries in there instead.

Makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside doesn't it?

micki said...

Not to get anything started...but...from bloomberg news...

``We tried to just hold our own,'' said Jay Alan, a spokesman for the state's emergency response office. ``We hope the weather conditions come true, which is that the winds will die down by mid- to late afternoon. You can get more air support and get boots on the ground and don't have to worry about embers falling a mile behind them.''

The causes of the fires haven't been determined, and arson is a possibility, Alan said.


Arson?

micki said...

Well, I suppose arson is always a possibility in these fires.

micki said...

Oh, great.

Apparently Faux News is FUMING at the mouth that it could be al-Qaeda who started the fires.

Quick! Bomb Iran to Stop Wild Fires Over here!

Sure, arson is a possibility....but Sheesh!

º¿carol said...

Bob saw this in our village paper, The Town Crier. Had me read it and now I'm sharing it with you guys.

Jesus forgive/forgets our sins

by Pastor Brian Johnson,
Stockbridge First Baptist Church


A story is told of a woman who claimed that her picture of Jesus in her house spoke to her. Her priest was very concerned at this claim she was making. He called her on the phone and asked if this was true, if she really believed Jesus was speaking to her through the picture of him in her house.

She was quick to say that in fact, Jesus had been speaking to her for quite some time. The priest said that he didn't believe her story. He felt it was all just a part of her imagination. To prove his point he said, "If Jesus talks to you tomorrow, ask him to name the sins I confessed that morning when I went into the confessional. If you can accurately name those sins, I might believe what you are saying.

The next day the priest called the woman to ask her if she in fact had talked with Jesus that day. The woman said that she had in fact talked with Jesus that morning. The priest said to her, "Well, did you ask Jesus to accurately name those sins?" The woman replied that she had. The priest responded, "So what did Jesus tell you?" The woman smiled and said, "I asked him, but Jesus said, "I forgot."

Now, did this really happen? I don't know. I do know that it illustrates the truth that through faith in Jesus Christ, we not only have a god who fogives our sin. He forgets.

For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." ~ Jeremiah 31:34b

Any comments?

Gerald said...

Ways to Spread Terrorism

Dear Posters:

I have been reluctant to share information on the ways to spread terrorism because I did want to put thoughts in the minds of domestic and foreign terrorists. Hitler Bush opened up that can of worms with his preemptive war doctrine. Nazi America will have to live with terrorists’ acts for many generations or until Islam becomes the world religion.

There are many ways to spread terrorism in the United States of Evil. I have shared with you an article that our eventual attack on Iran will open a biowar from other countries who hate us for just reasons. More and more countries do not like us and they do not trust us.

Let us look at the ways to frighten the shit out of Nazi Americans. Arson is a good way. There has been talk that arson is causing the wild fires in southern California. Terrorists could contaminate our water treatment plants. They could also contaminate our lakes and streams with poisons. Much of this contamination will take years but the terrorists have the time on their hands. Our crops can be contaminated as well as our various food handling plants. There are many ways to disrupt our lives. I do not have the science background to offer more specific ways to spread terrorism in our country.

Our hatred for other countries and cultures begets hatred and it is being returned to us tenfold.

Sincerely,
Gerald

Gerald said...

America's lost soul

I borrowed this article from the AR blog.

Gerald said...

Some say the loss of soul began in 2003 when we invaded a sovereign nation without reason, using rationalizations based on lies, promoting a fear based on political expediency.

But America has been losing its grip on reality for many, many years. America is a victim of its own paranoia, driven by an outdated belief in a superiority that doesn’t exist. That egotistical belief that our way of life is the only cure for the world’s ills has led us to become a nation that attempts to export a vision of democracy that no longer exists within our own borders, to believe that our own narrow view of the world must control others peoples and other governments and that we, and only we, can develop, own and use weapons that can destroy the planet.

We decry terrorism yet we export terrorism to other countries. Our soldiers maim, kill and torture. When we run out of soldiers, our government hires mercenaries to continue our dirty work and claim all this mayhem is necessary in the name of freedom.

Whose freedom? Our own? We began losing our freedoms years ago and that loss accelerated as the smoke swirled around the remains of the World Trade Center and the gaping hole in the side of the Pentagon.

While we attached Chinese-made American flags to our car windows, our leaders deposited the Constitution into a shredder. U.S. goon squads, operating under the Germanic-sounding name of the “Homeland Security” rounded up Americans and shipped them off to foreign countries to be tortured and denied the rights that once belonged to each and every citizen of this country.

Gerald said...

A mentally-unstable President used paranoia and fear to gain unprecedented power and bring this nation to the brink of a dictatorship. An effort by voters to restore some checks and balances to the system fell short when Democrats reneged on their promises and put political expediency above the will of the American people.

The billions upon billions spent in Iraq devastated the economy back home and we face an increasingly uncertain future.

As we head into the 2008 Presidential election season, both political parties appear destined to nominate candidates who support the status quo and offer no real return to a our forefathers’ dream of a government of, by or for the people.

Historians argue that America’s democratic republic was always more theory than reality. Those who founded this nation did so with the premise that only white, male landowners could truly be free. Blacks were slaves and women existed only to serve men.
From the beginning, our elected officials came from the ranks of the wealthy and privileged. They thought elected office should be “public service,” not a career. Today, those who aren’t rich when they come to Washington usually find wealth either in office or by cashing in when they finish their “public service.” They answer not to the people but to special interest groups with large political action committees.

So what’s the answer? I don’t have one. I wish I did. I’ve worked around the American governmental system for more than 40 years. I’ve covered it as a journalist and worked within the political system for nearly a decade. I’ve served my country. As a young reporter writing about the fall of Richard Nixon I thought America had sunk as low as it could go.

I was wrong. The sink hole deepens and more simple American values disappeared into it long ago. Too many Americans gave up too long ago on demanding honesty, accountability or solid performances from our leaders. We judge them not individually but in relation to other leaders and we forgive their failings if the other side is worse and the other side is always worse in a partisan political system.

Gerald said...

We cannot reverse the downward slide of America through partisan politics. Both parties, in my opinion, are corrupt. Neither represents the interests of the American people nor gives a rat’s ass about the nation they claim to serve. Independent voices on both sides of the political divide can’t succeed because party leaders insist on lockstep compliance with pre-determined issues driven by special interest money and political agendas.

It may be time to start over, to rethink this grand, but failed, experiment called America.

MORE AND MORE PEOPLE MUST BE READING MY BOOK!!!

micki said...

Hey, Carol, remember when bush was on the campaign trail in '04 reportedly told an Amish group that "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job."

I have no idea if that quote was accurately reported (the WH said later that he was misquoted -- reliable source, dontcha know!).

I suppose, I'll have to ask God directly if bush said that. :-)
+++++++++++


An aside...on the Amish vote....GOP's soft sell swayed the Amish

Gerald said...

Carol, God knows that we are sinners and we cannot be perfect as Him. I believe the He will judge us on our perseverance to the end in trying to do good work.

There is a saying, "it's not over until it is over." That is why perseverance is so important to the end.

DEN said...

Supposedly 80mph winds took down power lines which started the fires, not arson, not AQ either.

Faux News idiots!

Someone ought to unplug their transmitters, I've made better statements after eating a pile of beans!

Gerald said...

Micki, you know our cause is a lost one when the Amish voted for Hitler Bush.

I wonder if the Amish now believe that the GOP are soft sellers or are the GOP hardliners on mass murders and war crimes against humanity?

micki said...

Dear micki,

Let's get right to it and talk about how we stop retroactive telecommunications immunity from becoming law.

The way I see it, there are three ways to get this provision stripped from the final bill:

1.) The first step would be to make sure the idea doesn't make it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee -- where it will be considered shortly.

If we can get it stripped there, it will have to be offered as an amendment to the overall bill where it will be a lot easier to get 41 votes against retroactive immunity than 41 to sustain my filibuster if necessary.

Take a moment and call up members of the committee, let me know what they said, and join others in tracking our progress in stopping the provision right there.

http://chrisdodd.com/immunity

The other two ways:

2.) If retroactive immunity does make it out of committee, Senate leadership can honor the hold I've placed on any legislation that includes retroactive immunity.

3.) If leadership does not honor my hold, I remain committed to filibustering, and working to get the 41 votes necessary to maintain it.

This has the potential to be a long fight -- so let's build a solid foundation for our effort today by asking members of the Judiciary Committee to vote against any FISA bill that includes retroactive amnesty.

http://chrisdodd.com/immunity

I'd like to see a little more spine, frankly, on these issues. People tell us they want to lead, but a little leadership right now would certainly be welcomed on these questions.

I don't want to, but I'm not afraid to do this alone.

Chris

Paid for by Chris Dodd for President, Inc., PO Box 51882, Washington, DC 20091,

DEN said...

NASA Goes West satellite shows a considerable reduction in fumage from the fires. and the wind is changing direction.

Slight bit of good news there.

Gerald said...

My spiritual advisor says that America must repent before life will be better in America and for Americans. Repent America for your sinners!!!

DEN said...

C&L sez Obama is jumping on the bandwagon too, Micki.

Dodd has my vote for the highest degree of testicular fortitude.

micki said...

Pile of Beans

Not Den's pile of beans.

º¿carol said...

I took the time to type that out and got nothing? Oh, boy.

Ok, I'll explain it then.

"So what did Jesus tell you?" The woman smiled and said, "I asked him, but Jesus said, "I forgot."....

.....and what did the priest say to that, "it illustrates the truth that through faith in Jesus Christ, we not only have a god who fogives our sin. He forgets.

Bob brought that home, watched me read it, and I looked up at him and said, "he forgets?" We both burst out laughing.

Gerald said...

Nazi America loves to piss away money

micki said...

(short) Video animation from NASA/Goddard depicting melting Arctic Sea ice, from September 21, 2005 to September 14, 2007 -- 38% lower than the climatological average.

micki said...

Carol, I got it.

But the article was so stooopid, I forgot about it.

Are you sure Bob didn't get it from "The Onion?"

micki said...

Regarding retroactive immunity for the telecoms, here's the lede on a NYT article dated August 25, 1965:

Kennedy Criticizes Banking Bill; Joins in Opposing an Antitrust Measure Affecting 6 Banks

Special to The New York Times
August 25, 1965, Wednesday
Section: BUSINESS FINANCIAL

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 -- Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Democrat of New York, added his voice today to the growing chorus of opposition to legislation that would retroactively legalize six bank mergers that have been attacked under the antitrust laws.


+++++
I got this the archives, but the complete story is a PDF and I'm not sure if y'all can read it, if one doesn't subscribe to Times select...but anyway the article also states...

..."Senator Kennedy objected to the basic philosophy of retroactive immunization which he said might logically be applied to murder or any other crime."

Looks like the Dems better get on board Chris Dodd's wagon!!!!

micki said...

Here's the pdf of the retroactive immunity story from August 1965

Not sure it will work...

Alan said...

re: melting arctic ice cap

It our local paper today, an idiot wrote in with the corporate spin, all excited about less ice means more drilling opportunities and shorter shipping routes.
This is the same guy that, while watching one tree, failed to see the whole forest fall down DEAD all around him. *dumbass

David B. Benson said...

Shorter shipping routes: most unlikely that anybody is going to sail major ocean vesels though any of the Northwest Passage routes. No aids to navigation, no coast guard. It is known that there are rocks too shallow to sail over, but not exactly where these are, etc.

ºCºarol said...

I HATE PDFs. Ugh. Jill sent me one today and didn't identify it.

That church thing was so dumb! The woman gave no proof Jesus talked to her and the story was twisted to make it look like Jesus forgets? People probably bought that little story. "Oh, yes, Jesus forgets!" Woo hoo!

Alan said...

the dumbass's letter is the fourth one, right after the OTHER DUMBASS who wrote the complete opposite of the truth, in his letter about Helen Thomas.

Viewpoints, Outlook

{ò,ó}arol said...

The arctic video is excellent! Sent it off to a few people. Someone should send it to Bush.

Alan said...

Yeah Carol, I agree. I've got it set up to send later to my main email list.

micki said...

Alan -- that feller, Dick Baile, must be a committee! No one person can be that stoooopid...but a committee.....!

DEN said...

Get Adobe 8, BIG improvement over the old one.

Lot more intuitive too.

micki said...

Would someone try to open that pdf that I posted (it's only a one-pager, the NYT article only) -- I'm curious to see if it will display.

Thnx.

carol said...

They want me to log in.

DEN said...

Carol, about the Jesus joke, I'd like to think that forgetting IS forgiving, indirectly, the EASY way out.

There is not enough time to do all that forgiving so he just forgets.

Lets hope he forgets some of the stuff I've done or it is deep doo doo for me.

And the entirety of humanity since the first zygote was created to build life.

Big job.

DEN said...

Looking for a login here too.

micki said...

IF there were to be shorter shipping routes: Ahead of that event, Canada and the U.S. would have to reach some very serious agreements or we're in for an environmental and security Wild West between two "friendly" countries.

DEN said...

Up Tomorrow: Scoop on story that will give you the willies, big, I mean BIG willies.

Nothing cataclysmic but your privacy is GONE!

Tomorrow.

micki said...

Thnx guys for the effort.

I was just wondering...

micki said...

Too bad people don't realize that "privacy" is not necessarily about hiding nefarious deeds, illegal activities, or holding secrets.

Privacy protects us from abusive use of information that is no one's business but our own!

ºCºarol said...

The priest took the woman's word that Jesus said he forgot. TOOK HER WORD!

A reasonable person would think she lied about talking to Jesus.

Gerald said...

If you want to listen to God, please try centering prayer. It won't occur on your first try but through practice you will silently hear God speaking to you. I can't explain it to you but it works.

Gerald said...

Less piss away more lives and money - only in Nazi America!!!


Wars May Cost $2.4 Trillion Over Decade


By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: October 24, 2007
Filed at 6:45 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost as much as $2.4 trillion through the next decade, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. The White House brushed off the analysis as ''speculation.''

The estimate was the most comprehensive and far-reaching one to date. It factored in costs previously not counted and assumed that large number of forces would remain in the regions.

According to analysis, the U.S. has spent about $604 billion on the wars, including $39 billion in diplomatic operations and foreign aid.

If the U.S. were to reduce the number of troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan to 75,000 six years from now, it would cost the U.S. $1 trillion more for military and diplomatic operations and $705 billion in interest payments to pay for the wars through 2017.

Democrats, who say voters will not stand for it, would consider paying for the military campaigns in short installments, instead of full one-year terms.

''That estimate is a far cry from the administration's original claim of a $50 billion price that the Iraqis could pay themselves,'' said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. ''The depth of this tragedy is stunning, particularly for our military families -- and for prospects for peace in the region.''

The White House contended the estimate was too conditional.

''It's just a ton of speculation,'' said White House press secretary Dana Perino. ''We don't know how much the war is going to cost in the future.''

President Bush has asked for $196.4 billion for war-related operations this budget year, which began Oct. 1.

Democrats say they are unlikely to act on the request until early next year, calculating the Pentagon can cover war costs through February or March by borrowing against its annual budget.

Military officials say doing so can disrupt vital programs, such as base support and training exercises, and cost more money in the long run.

Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Democrats are considering approving the war spending six months at a time. Such a bill would require that Bush renew his request after a certain point, possibly in May or June, said Levin, D-Mich.

''That would put some pressure on the president to have a timetable,'' Levin told reporters at a breakfast Wednesday.

At the same time, providing the money would avoid sending a ''negative message to the troops,'' he said.

In recent months, Democrats have been divided on whether to continue paying for a war they oppose or cut off the money and be attacked politically for refusing to support the troops. Other legislation that would set a deadline for troop withdrawals has failed to attract enough Republicans, repeatedly short of the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate.

''We are still working on a formula to get us to 60'' votes, Levin said.

^------

Gerald said...

Psycho Bush

Gerald said...

The collapse of Hitler Bush's foreign policy

Gerald said...

Money, Money

Gerald said...

America's lost war

Gerald said...

Published on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 by MinutemanMedia.org
A Great Nation, Poisoned by War
by William A. Collins
Gives our souls,
An awful chill;
Sending soldiers,
Off to kill.

The full-page Army ad in the NAACP magazine reads, “You made them strong. We’ll make them Army Strong.” Besides focusing on these vulnerable minority parents, recruiters are nowadays even trolling homeless shelters, their lures baited with offers of $20,000 to leave “home.” Further, enlistment standards have been lowered for intellectual capacity, emotional stability, and criminal record. These are our own homegrown mercenaries, sifted largely from among the poor.

And while such troops may sound expensive to muster, they’re a bargain compared with the real live mercenaries we hire for Iraq and Afghanistan. American civilians over there get paid like generals, and foreign workers command princely sums compared to the scrabbly farms or brutal sweatshops back home. Like the Romans and British before us, our imperial military has become totally dependent on private workers. Halliburton and Blackwater are the new Hessians.

Here in Norwalk, a heroic-looking young man has just returned from early boot camp to start his senior year in high school. He wants to give something “back” to his country. His dad’s not worried. After all, he survived war in his native El Salvador. His son probably will survive too.

Maybe. Battlefield care is surely outstanding now, and only 3,800 troops have actually died at the front. Unfortunately, we don’t keep such close tabs on the wounded. Too depressing. If we did publish true figures of the emotionally maimed or the economically disabled, it might discourage some of our potential cannon fodder from enlisting. That in turn could undermine the $700 million we spend each year on recruiters and the $583 million for advertising and promotion.

But even recruiting has now gone mercenary. At the Veterans for Peace convention in St. Louis this summer, a group of Iraq vets stumbled upon an army recruiting team at the adjacent African American Expo. An impromptu peace demonstration ensued, where the vets discovered that the recruiters were not soldiers at all, but civilians looking military. Such is our shortage of troops.

For Iraqis, of course, the war is infinitely worse. We don’t even count their casualties. We just assume that everyone we kill is an al Qaida “suspect.” This self-fulfilling prophecy has made plain just how sinister those blackguards really are, enlisting women and small children for their nefarious work. Iraqi wounded are simply assumed to die of their injuries in the privacy of their own battered homes. This is probably not a bad guess, since we have contrived to demolish their hospitals and water purification plants, and to chase their doctors abroad.

Our own wounded remain nearly as uncounted. The governor and Connecticut veterans officials have pleaded with the Pentagon and the VA for data on who will be returning in need of care. Unfortunately, such recordkeeping conflicts with a White House policy of downplaying the wounded, so as not to sap enthusiasm for the battle.

And now, verifying what we already knew in our hearts, Alan Greenspan, of all people, has confirmed that the war is actually just about oil. No kidding. Good thing our potential high school recruits don’t read the financial pages. They might begin to wonder just what it is they’re giving “back” to their country. Though it’s possible, I suppose, that kids are in fact rooting for oil company profits. They’ll root for almost anything these days.

But this poisonous oppressing of another country is quietly doing its insidious work on our souls. Even in progressive Connecticut, we’re becoming hardened to dead and dying foreign civilians, homeless refugees, Muslim bashing, and destroyed cultures. Such forsaking of conscience is a heavy price for a little more oil and empire.

Columnist William A. Collins is a former state representative and a former mayor of Norwalk, Connecticut.

Gerald said...

Why Those Who Love America Are Feeling Brokenhearted
by Andrew Greeley
I am ashamed for America. Note carefully that I do not say I am ashamed of America. Despite all its inherent flaws and all its tragic mistakes, the United States stands, however incompletely and with whatever imperfections, for the highest standards of freedom and democracy that the world has yet known.

I am ashamed for America because all the evil done in the nation’s name in recent years is turning off the light on the mountaintop.

1. The president urges Congress in effect to accept the Turkish protest against the attribution of Armenian genocide because it might interfere with Turkish logistic cooperation in the ill-starred and foolish Iraq war. That’s like silencing all congressional action on the Holocaust because we need Germany on our side. If Turks expect to become part of Europe and the West, they must acknowledge what their ancestors did. They could pass a resolution of their own accusing us of genocide against Native Americans if it would make them happy. How humiliating that the president wants us to ignore what happened to the Armenians so we can be victorious in the “global war on terror” (the current replacement for “weapons of mass destruction”). That’s called appeasement, and it was appeasement when President Bill Clinton did the same thing.

2. The government kidnaps, tortures and murders the way the Gestapo did in Nazi Germany. The president blithely dismisses these charges. The United States, he says, does not torture. But that deception is based on a memo from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales defining torture, which the White House won’t let anyone else look at.

3. The government pays large salaries to 148,000 “individual contractors” in Iraq — more than the total American military there. A third of these are toting guns. They are mercenaries — often, it would seem, with very quick trigger fingers. Ironically, the most recent victims were two Armenian Christian women. These contractors are a kind of American Foreign Legion, like the notorious French and Spanish foreign legions. They may well be very brave people who do very tough jobs. They also compensate for Mr. Rumsfeld’s criminal underestimate of the number of troops required. If, however, the country is going to have a Legion Etranger, it should make sure that it works under tight control. An unrestrained security force quickly becomes a mafia. Humphrey Bogart, where are you when we really need you?

4. At a remarkably frank meeting of middle-range officers (majors and colonels) at Fort Leavenworth, the soldiers debated not whether there should have been a war in Iraq, but who was to blame for losing it. Was it the senior officers or the joint chiefs or the civilian leaders? The war is not even over yet, and already the officers who fought it and will have to fight its continuation have already given up hope. Too bad for them, because the president has made up his mind that we are still going to win the war and the Democratic presidential candidates speak about a 10-year presence in Iraq. Whatever the political leadership is or will be in 2009, no candidate seems capable of saying, “We’re getting out now!” And the rest of the world laughs at us because both parties are led by fools.

Anyone who cares about the United States and its legacies has to be brokenhearted at what has been done to our beloved country by the crazy people who are running it — people who have become so skilled at deception they don’t even realize anymore that they are deceiving. Just like the Democrats don’t realize they are again stealing defeat out of the jaws of victory.

Andrew Greeley is a priest in good standing of the Archdiocese of Chicago. for 52 years, a columnist for 40 years, a sociologist for 45 years, a novelist for 28 years, distinguished lecturer at the University of Arizona for 28 , research associate at National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago for 46 years.

Gerald said...

Priests Jailed for Protesting Fort Huachuca Torture Training
By Bill Quigley
t r u t h o u t | Report

Wednesday 24 October 2007

Louis Vitale, 75, a Franciscan priest, and Steve Kelly, 58, a Jesuit priest, were sentenced to five months each in federal prison for attempting to deliver a letter opposing the teaching of torture at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. Both priests were taken directly into jail from the courtroom after sentencing.

Fort Huachuca is the headquarters of military intelligence in the US and the place where military and civilian interrogators are taught how to extract information from prisoners. The priests attempted to deliver their letter to Maj. Gen. Barbara Fast, commander of Fort Huachuca. Fast was previously the head of all military intelligence in Iraq during the atrocities of Abu Ghraib.

The priests were arrested while kneeling in prayer halfway up the driveway to Fort Huachuca in November 2006. Both priests were charged with trespassing on a military base and resisting orders of an officer to stop.

In a pre-trial hearing, the priests attempted to introduce evidence of torture, murder and gross violations of human rights in Afghanistan, at Abu Ghraib in Iraq and at Guantanamo. The priests offered investigative reports from the FBI, the US Army, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Physicians for Social Responsibility documenting hundreds of incidents of human rights violations. Despite increasing evidence of the use of torture by US forces sanctioned by President Bush and others, the federal court in Tucson refused to allow any evidence of torture, the legality of the invasion of Iraq, or international law to be a part of the trial.

Outside the courthouse, before the judge ordered them to prison, the priests explained their actions: "The real crime here has always been the teaching of torture at Fort Huachuca and the practice of torture around the world. We tried to deliver a letter asking that the teaching of torture be stopped and were arrested. We tried to put the evidence of torture on full and honest display in the courthouse and were denied. We were prepared to put on evidence about the widespread use of torture and human rights abuses committed during interrogations at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo in Iraq and Afghanistan. This evidence was gathered by the military itself and by governmental and human rights investigations."

Fr. Vitale, a longtime justice and peace activist in San Francisco and Nevada, said, "Because the court will not allow the truth of torture to be a part of our trial, we plead no contest. We are uninterested in a court hearing limited to who was walking where and how many steps it was to the gate. History will judge whether silencing the facts of torture is just or not. Far too many people have died because of our national silence about torture. Far too many of our young people in the military have been permanently damaged after following orders to torture and violate the human rights of other humans."

Fr. Kelly, who walked to the gates of Guantanamo with the Catholic Worker group in December of 2005, concluded, "We will keep trying to stop the teaching and practice of torture whether we are sent to jail or out. We have done our part for now. Now it is up to every woman and man of conscience to do their part to stop the injustice of torture."

The priests were prompted to protest by continuing revelations about the practice of torture by US military and intelligence officers. The priests were also deeply concerned after learning of the suicide in Iraq of a young, devout, female military interrogator, Alyssa Peterson of Arizona, shortly after arriving in Iraq. Peterson was reported to be horrified by the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners.

Investigation also revealed Fort Huachuca was the source of infamous "torture manuals" distributed to hundreds of Latin American graduates of the US Army School of Americas at Fort Benning, GA. Demonstrations against the teaching of torture at Fort Huachuca have been occurring for the past several years each November and are scheduled again for November 16 and 17 this year.

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Bill Quigley is a human rights lawyer and law professor at Loyola University New Orleans. He served as counsel for Frs. Vitale and Kelly.

Gerald said...

Here are the five words that says it all - THE UNITED STATES OF EVIL!!!