LEFT OF DAYTON

The Great Alaskan Turkey Massacree [with apologies to Arlo]

November 24, 2008
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The Great Alaskan Turkey Massacree [with apologies to Arlo]

A conversation with a friend provoked me to think about the Gov. Sara Palin and the Great
Alaskan Turkey  massacrree.
First, note, I am NOT a fan of Ms Palin’s politics. on the other hand I can relate to her in one important way  relevant to her seemingly blissful nonchalance about  turkey ‘s  being slaughtered in full view of the cameras during a recent interview. She’s a hunter, and, while I have not actually hunted in years, I grew up with that mindset.
My dad started taking me along on hunting trips  when I was about  eight, chasing rabbits in the western  Massachusetts  state forest and laurel groves. For a rural kid like me, it was just the way it was, our culture. If you shot it, you ate it, There wasn’t any “sport”  hunting with my Dad. You killed animals in order to eat them, otherwise you left them alone.

Which brings me back to poor disparaged  Sarah, reviled on line and made fun of on YouTube. Bringing up a question that seems to have been lost in the whole brooha, I mean>> where do the snickering masses  think the bird that sits on the Thanksgiving table comes from, anyway!!??. Really. My friend made a point in the conversation  about the author  Rita Rae Brown, who stresses in her writing about  how far away from our natural hunting and gathering roots we have gone in order to be “civilized”.

It is a sad truism that so many of us are utterly  disconnected from how we get our food. It’s all wrapped up and sanitized for us. Nice and neat on the shelf or in the meat case. That dissonance creates the atmosphere where we do not recognize how her nonchalance wasn’t really nonchalance at all. It was just the way it is. You  have to kill turkeys in order to be able to eat them. And, from her rural world perspective[and believe me Alaska IS rural] turkey’s  being killed is a pretty ordinary thing. Although she probably wishes she had stood somewhere else for the interview, I doubt that she turned off any NRA members, part of her natural constituency.

So, Sarah, this is undoubtedly  the only time I can imagine giving you and your right wing ideology a pass, but you get one for acknowledging, even if unintentionally,  that you have to kill the bird in order to eat it, and  for that we must be about giving thanks for the bird that gave it’s life for our meal, not just for Thanksgiving the holiday. I think there is a metaphor somewhere in all this about our current economic crises,  even if I’m not quite sure what it is just yet.

Posted on YouTube: The actual 3:10 minute interview…judge for yourself,  is this the future of the Republican party??


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The Bushes and Hitler’s Appeasement/by Robert Parry

May 21, 2008
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The Bushes and Hitler’s Appeasement

Monday 19 May 2008
»

by: Robert Parry, Consortium News

photo
Prescott Bush and son George H. W. Bush Caption: Prescott Bush and son George H. W. Bush Credit: (Photo: Huffingtonpost.com)

The irony of George W. Bush going before the Knesset and mocking the late Sen. William Borah for expressing surprise at Adolf Hitler’s 1939 invasion of Poland is that Bush’s own family played a much bigger role assisting the Nazis.

If Borah, an isolationist Republican from Idaho, sounded naive saying “Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided,” then what should be said about Bush’s grandfather and other members of his family providing banking and industrial assistance to the Nazis as they built their war machine in the 1930s?

The archival evidence is now clear that Prescott Bush, the president’s grandfather, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from and collaborated with key financial backers of Nazi Germany.

That business relationship continued after Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 and even after Germany declared war on the United States following Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941. It stopped only when the U.S. government seized assets of Bush-connected companies in late 1942 under the “Trading with the Enemy Act.”

So, perhaps instead of holding up Sen. Borah to ridicule, Bush might have acknowledged in his May 15 speech that his forebears also were blind to the dangers of Hitler.

Bush might have noted that his family’s wealth, which fueled his own political rise, was partly derived from Nazi collaboration and possibly from slave labor provided by Auschwitz and other concentration camps.

A more honest speech before the Knesset – on the 60th anniversary of Israel’s founding – might have contained an apology to the Jewish people from a leading son of the Bush family for letting its greed contribute to Nazi power and to the horrors of the Holocaust. Instead, there was just the jab at Sen. Borah, who died in 1940.

President Bush apparently saw no reason to remind the world of a dark chapter from the family history. After all, those ugly facts mostly disappeared from public consciousness soon after World War II.

Protected by layers of well-connected friends, Prescott Bush brushed aside the Nazi scandal and won a U.S. Senate seat from Connecticut, which enabled him to start laying the foundation for the family’s political dynasty.

In recent years, however, the archival records from the pre-war era have been assembled, drawing from the Harriman family papers at the Library of Congress, documents at the National Archives, and records from war-crimes trials after Germany’s surrender.

Managers for the Powerful

One can trace the origins of this story back more than a century to the emergence of Samuel Bush, George W. Bush’s great-grandfather, as a key manager for a set of powerful American business families, including the Rockefellers and the Harrimans. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Bush Family Chronicles: The Patriarchs.”]

That chapter took an important turn in 1919 when investment banker George Herbert Walker teamed up with Averell Harriman, scion to a railroad fortune, to found a new investment banking firm, W.A. Harriman Company.

The Harriman firm was backed by the Rockefellers’ National City Bank and the Morgan family’s Guaranty Trust. The English-educated Walker assisted in assembling the Harriman family’s overseas business investments.

In 1921, Walker’s favorite daughter, Dorothy, married Samuel Bush’s son Prescott, a Yale graduate and a member of the school’s exclusive Skull and Bones society. Handsome and athletic, admired for his golf and tennis skills, Prescott Bush was a young man with the easy grace of someone born into the comfortable yet competitive world of upper-crust contacts.

Three years later, Dorothy gave birth to George Herbert Walker Bush in Milton, Massachusetts.

Lifted by the financial boom of the 1920s, Prescott and Dorothy Bush were on the rise. By 1926, George Herbert Walker had brought his son-in-law in on a piece of the Harriman action, hiring him as a vice president in the Harriman banking firm.

By the mid-Thirties, Prescott Bush had become a managing partner at the merged firm of Brown Brothers Harriman. The archival records also show that Brown Brothers Harriman served as the U.S. financial service arm for German industrialist Fritz Thyssen, an early funder of the Nazi Party.

Thyssen, an admirer of Adolf Hitler since the 1920s, joined the Nazi Party in 1931 when it was still a fringe organization. He helped bail the struggling party out with financial help, even providing its headquarters building in Munich.

Meanwhile, Averell Harriman had launched the Hamburg-Amerika line of steamships to facilitate the bank’s dealings with Germany, and made Prescott Bush a director. The ships delivered fuel, steel, coal, gold and money to Germany as Hitler was consolidating his power and building his war machine.

Other evidence shows that Prescott Bush served as the director of the Union Banking Corp. of New York, which represented Thyssen’s interests in the United States and was owned by a Thyssen-controlled bank in the Netherlands.

As a steel magnate, Thyssen was amassing a fortune as Hitler rearmed Germany. Documents also linked Bush to Thyssen’s Consolidated Silesian Steel Company, which was based in mineral-rich Silesia on the German-Polish border and exploited slave labor from Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz. But records at the National Archives do not spell out exactly when Bush’s connection ended or what he knew about the business details.

In 1941, Thyssen had a falling out with Hitler and fled to France where he was captured. Much of Thyssen’s empire went under the direct control of the Nazis, but even that did not shatter the business ties that existed with Prescott Bush and Harriman’s bank.

It wasn’t until August 1942 that newspaper stories disclosed the secretive ties between Union Banking Corp. and Nazi Germany.

After an investigation, the U.S. government seized the property of the Hamburg-Amerika line and moved against affiliates of the Union Banking Corp. In November 1942, the government seized the assets of the Silesian-American Corp. [For more details, see an investigative report by the U.K. Guardian, Sept. 25, 2004.]

No Kiss of Death

For most public figures, allegations of trading with the enemy would have been a political kiss of death, but the disclosures barely left a lipstick smudge on Averell Harriman, Prescott Bush and other business associates implicated in the Nazi business dealings.

“Politically, the significance of these dealings – the great surprise – is that none of it seemed to matter much over the next decade or so,” wrote Kevin Phillips in American Dynasty.

“A few questions would be raised, but Democrat Averell Harriman would not be stopped from becoming federal mutual security administrator in 1951 or winning election as governor of New York in 1954. Nor would Republican Prescott Bush (who was elected senator from Connecticut in 1952) and his presidential descendants be hurt in any of their future elections.”

Indeed, the quick dissipation of the Nazi financial scandal was only a portent of the Bush family’s future. Unlike politicians of lower classes, the Bushes seemed to travel in a bubble impervious to accusations of impropriety, since the Eastern Establishment doesn’t like to think badly of its own. [For details, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege.]

To this day – as President Bush showed by mocking the long-forgotten Sen. Borah and then wielding the Nazi “appeasement” club against Barack Obama and other Democrats – the assumption remains that the bubble will continue to protect the Bush family name.

However, the evidence from dusty archives suggests that the Bush family went way beyond appeasement of Adolf Hitler to aiding and abetting the Nazis.

——–

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, “Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush”, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, “Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq” and “Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth'” are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com.


Stunning New Report on Domestic NSA Dragnet Spying Confirms ACLU Surveillance Warnings

March 19, 2008
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(3/12/2008)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 675-2312 or media@dcaclu.org  

WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union responded today to a stunning new report that the NSA has effectively revived the Orwellian “Total Information Awareness” domestic-spying program that was banned by Congress in 2003. In response, the ACLU said that it was filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for more information about the spying. And, the group announced that it was moving its “Surveillance Clock” one minute closer to midnight.

“Congress shut down TIA because it represented a massive and unjustified governmental intrusion into the personal lives of Americans,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the Washington Legislative Office of the ACLU. “Now we find out that the security agencies are pushing ahead with the program anyway, despite that clear congressional prohibition. The program described by current and former intelligence officials in Monday’s Wall Street Journal could be modeled on Orwell’s Big Brother.”

The ACLU said the new report confirmed its past warnings that the NSA was engaging in extremely broad-based data mining that was violating the privacy of vast numbers of Americans. (more…)


RON PAUL IS A RIGHT WING MOLE…

January 30, 2008
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I found this gem in comments on a Common Dreams blog…

Ron Paul is a right wing mole. No “libertarian”, once having taken office, does anything but vote along republican lines when it comes to foreign policy. Paul’s stance on immigration is flamingly reactionary, his attitude toward public health is 16th century. He represents people (”libertarians”) who think capitalism works if it’s just run correctly. Like vulgar marxists, they haul out their little schematics, and conveniently ignore what the system has always been- that is to say, a social system that uses the state to subsidize private interest. An administration run by Ron Paul will just be Ronald Reagan over again- Paul himself has never rejected Reagan’s legacy- and people who support him need to do not only their homework on him, but on the Ayn Randian utopian crap most of his supporters represent. Capitalism has no “unknown ideal”, its ideal has been trumpteted for centuries now and it’s a wash. 500 years after its inception and it still can’t keep its hands off of other people’s cultures. The market is the senior partner in any state dictatorship of the last 500 years, it’s too bad libertarians have never understood that.

 

For a detailed look at Ron Paul and his politics,  check this link:

 http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/5/15/124912/740


Chicken Little Reports>>Stocks Plunge Worldwide on Fears of a U.S. Recession

January 21, 2008
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The New York Times


January 21, 2008

FRANKFURT — Fears that the United States is in a recession reverberated around the world on Monday, sending stock markets from Frankfurt to Bombay into a tailspin and puncturing the hopes of many investors that Europe and Asia will be able to sidestep an American downturn.On a day when United States markets were closed in observance of Martin Luther King’s Birthday, the world’s eyes were trained nervously on the United States. Investors reacted with what many analysts described as panic to the multiplying signs of weakness in the American economy.

Shares of banks led the decline in many countries, underscoring that the subprime crisis continues to hobble the global financial system. On Monday, a big German state bank, WestLB, said it would report a loss of $1.4 billion in 2007 because of its exposure to deteriorating mortgage assets.

“There is indeed some panic,” said Thomas Mayer, the chief European economist at Deutsche Bank in London. “What we’re seeing, in Europe and Asia, is that the markets are pricing in a recession.” (more…)


Wake Up, Bill O’Reilly:A New Generation of Homeless Vets Emerges

January 21, 2008
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When the Faux News Wingnut Bill O’Reilly infamously opined last week, in a challenge to a comment from former Senator John Edwards that there are  over 200,000 homeless veterans” in the US today, that were no “homeless vets”,  he really really pissed me off.

O’Reilly was discussing Edwards with radio host Ed Schultz when he said, “[W]e’re still looking for all the veterans sleeping under the bridges, Ed. So if you find anybody, let us know. Because that’s all the guy said for the last … ” When Schultz told O’Reilly, “Well, they’re out there, Bill, don’t kid yourself,” O’Reilly replied, “They may be out there, but there are not many of them out there, OK? So if you know where one is, Ed … if you know where there’s a veteran sleeping under a bridge, you call me immediately, and we will make sure that man does not do it, is not there.” Schultz then gave O’Reilly “his word” that he would “do that.”

As part of Bush & Co’s Disinformation Team, O’Reilly was trying to cover up one of the real tragedies of the current conflict in the Middle East, that ex-Gi’s are coming back to a Veteran’s Administration that is both underfunded and ill-equipped to deal with them. As the AP article below documents, this is a crisis of national proportions, and rest assured, one that exists right here in the Miami Valley.

By ERIN McCLAM, AP
//

LEEDS, Mass. — Peter Mohan traces the path from the Iraqi battlefield to this lifeless conference room, where he sits in a kilt and a Camp Kill Yourself T-shirt and calmly describes how he became a sad cliche: a homeless veteran.

There was a happy homecoming, but then an accident — car crash, broken collarbone. And then a move east, close to his wife’s new job but away from his best friends.

And then self-destruction: He would gun his motorcycle to 100 mph and try to stand on the seat. He would wait for his wife to leave in the morning, draw the blinds and open up whatever bottle of booze was closest.

He would pull out his gun, a .45-caliber, semiautomatic pistol. He would lovingly clean it, or just look at it and put it away. Sometimes place it in his mouth.”I don’t know what to do anymore,” his wife, Anna, told him one day. “You can’t be here anymore.”Peter Mohan never did find a steady job after he left Iraq. He lost his wife — a judge granted their divorce this fall — and he lost his friends and he lost his home, and now he is here, in a shelter. (more…)


“The End of America” Author Naomi Wolf Video on 10 Steps to Fascism

December 11, 2007
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This is a compelling video about the dangers Fascism presents to Democracy. Acclaimed author Naomi Wolf gives a point by point historical perspective of the process by which fascism can overtake a democratic society. This is especially relevant in light of the Vilolent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act of 2007, Senate Bill 1959, which is clearly a step on the path to Fascism. Do not for one minute, nor for one second, think that I am overstating my case when I say this: Freedom is most definitely under attack, and it is imperative that we, you and I , stand up to this threat. It really is five minutes till midnight.

Watch this video to get a crystal clear perspective on the danger we face.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjALf12PAWc


The Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party

December 8, 2007
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The Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party
a public information project of the Center for Religion, Ethics, and Social Policy
at Cornell University

 
   

“This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy.”
U.S. Representative Christopher Shays, R-CT, (New York Times 3/23/05)
Theocracy is derived from the two Greek words Qeo/j(Theos) meaning “God” and kra/tein (cratein) meaning “to rule.” The Reverend Rod Parsley, a champion of theocracy, or what he calls a “christocracy,” told his congregation at the World Harvest Church, located just outside Columbus, Ohio, “Theocracy means God is in control, and you are not.” more

The theocratic right seeks to establish dominion, or control over society in the name of God. D. James Kennedy, Pastor of Coral Ridge Ministries, calls on his followers to exercise “godly dominion … over every aspect … of human society.” At a “Reclaiming America for Christ” conference in February, 2005, Kennedy said:

Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors — in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.

Twenty-five years ago dominionists targeted the Republican Party as the vehicle through which they could advance their agenda. At the same time, a small group of Republican strategists targeted fundamentalist, Pentecostal and charismatic churches to expand the base of the Republican Party. This web site is not about traditional Republicans or conservative Christians. It is about the manipulation of people of a certain faith for political power. It is about the rise of dominionists in the U.S. federal government.

Today’s hard right seeks total dominion. It’s packing the courts and rigging the rules. The target is not the Democrats but democracy itself. more

According to acclaimed journalist and television host Bill Moyers,

True, people of faith have always tried to bring their interpretation of the Bible to bear on American laws and morals … it’s the American way, encouraged and protected by the First Amendment. But what is unique today is that the radical religious right has succeeded in taking over one of America’s great political parties. The country is not yet a theocracy but the Republican Party is, and they are driving American politics, using God as a a battering ram on almost every issue: crime and punishment, foreign policy, health care, taxation, energy, regulation, social services and so on. more

(more…)


Mukasey Is (Much) Worse Than Gonzales

November 5, 2007
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FROM THE NATION
 











   

George Bush’s nominee to replace disgraced former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, retired Federal Judge Michael B. Mukasey, must be rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee for the same reason that Gonzales should have been rejected in 2005.

(more…)


Ending Torture And Putting Attorney General Nominee Mukasey Out Of His Misery

November 1, 2007
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The following article, Reposted from the Huffington Post 11/01/o7, addresses the fundamental issues involved in why it is important that the Senate REJECTS Judge Mukasey’s nomination to the post of US Attorney General. Bob Cesca’s commentary crystallizes the anger I felt viewing the Senate confirmation hearings and watching Mukasey weave, dodge, waffle, obfuscate and generally bullshit his way through the questioning. His non-answers to very specific questioning about the torture technique of water-boarding makes the proverbial slipperier than an eel seem positively velcro-ish .

what-is-waterboarding.jpg

Click to enlarge, then, ask yourself, how it is that Judge Mukasey seems incapable of clearly recognizing that water-boarding is, in fact torture??

Bob Cesca

 

It’s one thing to vote against a torture enabler only to see that torture enabler confirmed anyway, but it’s another thing to actually kill the nomination. Who among the Senate Democrats is willing to end Michael Mukasey’s nomination and confirmation process right here and now? Outright block it — filibuster it — stop it in committee or on the floor when (and if) it comes up for a full senate vote?

Read the whole story at :http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/ending-torture-and-puttin_b_70538.html

And, today’s NY Times has a front page story that goes into great detail about the rationale behind Judge Mukasey’s evasions.

Nominee’s Stand Avoiding Tangle of Torture Cases
By SCOTT SHANE NY Times 11/01/07

Waterboarding Is Torture – I Did It Myself, says US Advisor

by Leonard Doyle in the UK Independent

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/11/01/4952/

If, by this point you have read the three articles & watched the C-Span coverage of the Judiciary Committee questioning of Judge Mukasey you have likely come to the conclusion that this nomination must be stopped. Click on the page link to the Committee in the right hand column and contact as many members as you can and tell them to dump Mukasey.


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61 Y/O VIET VET WORKING FROM THE LEFT OF CENTER

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