Should We Fear Iran? The Peter Principle Playoffs By Sheila Samples

Dandelion Salad

By Sheila Samples
ICH
Sept 26, 2008

We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men ~~ George Orwell

So here we sit, our heads jerking back and forth so rapidly most of us are suffering severe whiplash. Will the US attack Iran? Will Israel attack Iran? Or will the two war-mongering bullies join forces and “bomb, bomb, bomb” that belligerent twit-nation into subservience?

Continue reading

In The Kingdom of Fear By Sheila Samples

Dandelion Salad

By Sheila Samples
10/16/07 “ICH

“You’re A Whole Different Person When You’re Scared”
~~Warren Zevon, Hunter S. Thompson

My friend Bernie says since Democrats won the Congress, George Bush reminds him of a cartoon where this destructive Texas jackrabbit was careening headlong down a path, his eyes riveted on a rabbit hole in the distance. A tortoise, sunning himself at the side of the path, looked behind the rabbit where a baying pack of dogs, in hot pursuit, was gaining on him. The tortoise smiled. The poor bunny was in a race for his life. As he shot by, the tortoise called out lazily, “Think you’ll make it?” The rabbit, looking neither to the right nor left, shot back desperately — “I gotta make it…”

Bernie says Bush is running scared. So scared he’s “pantin’ like a lizard…”

Pantin’ like a lizard? Hah. Having been raised in New Mexico with me, Bernie should know that Bush is panting because, well, that’s what lizards do…Especially the venomous gila monsters, who are fun to chase, but only a fool would try to catch one. That’s why the few Democrats out there who appear to be chasing Bush are, in reality, just trotting along in his wake. I suspect they fear the holocaust he is capable of inflicting if they catch him.

For six long years, Bush has “water-boarded” all who oppose him — especially those in Congress — with a steady stream of 9-11. Each speech is laced with visions of 9-11 — 9-11 horror just over the horizon, 9-11 around each corner, 9-11 behind each tree. “Fear Itself” is the only option on the Bush-Cheney table, and they have used it relentlessly, not only to wage genocidal war in order to gain control of the world’s resources, but to seize dictatorial power and to control the quivering masses. Constant and repetitive warnings and false-flag alerts, evidence of plotters and planners skulking among us, hateful ideologies swirling above us like mushroom clouds — is it any wonder our elected representatives, once inside the Kingdom of Fear, lose all sense of direction, the ability to reason?

In his new book, “The Assault on Reason,” former vice president Al Gore shines the light of truth upon this Orwellian prison of fear in which we are held captive. In fact, Gore says more in his Introduction than most people can manage to get across in an entire book. He says there is a “connection between the withdrawal of reason from the public sphere and the resulting vacuum that is filled by fear, superstition, ideology, deception, intolerance, and obsessive secrecy as a means of tightening control over the information that a free society needs to govern itself according to reason-based democracy.”

Bernie says that sounds good, but as far as he’s concerned, they’re all just a bunch of spineless hypocritical weasels. “Something ain’t right here,” Bernie said. “These Democrats are different from the ones we sent up there. We elected them to do the two things they promised to do — stop the massacre in Iraq and impeach the shallow, warmongering fool who lied us into his greedy war. They’ve been there nearly 11 months and they refuse to hold Bush and Cheney accountable for their treasonous lies or the massive destruction that gets worse every day. Blood keeps gushing from the sands of Iraq. Bodies keep piling up.”

Bernie glared at me as he headed for the door. “Are they really scared, or are they just playing politics?” he asked. “Either way — how do they sleep at night — how in the hell do they sleep at night?”

If I knew the answer to that question, I’d know why my hero, Sen. Russ Feingold, gave a speech on the floor of the Senate in early October wherein he urged his peers to take a stand and insist the $150 billion war-funding bill include a timeline for beginning to withdraw troops because, he said, “There have been more than 3,600 killed in Iraq…”

I was aghast. Perhaps Feingold overslept that morning. Had he bothered to check, he would have discovered that, as he spoke, more than 3,800 of our soldiers and marines had been killed. He might even have mentioned the more than 37,000 injured and more than 21,000 suffering from disease and other medical problems. No matter how you stack them, that’s a lot of bodies piling up…

I’d know why another of my heroes, Rep. John Conyers, who had been out there hugging the peerless David Swanson and the courageous Cindy Sheehan — holding meetings in basements, whipping up articles of impeachment — suddenly shut up, backed off, and dove under his desk when the polls closed. Freaked out — after 21 terms in Congress!

I don’t know if House droid Nancy Pelosi experiences fear; if she sleeps, or even blinks, but her strident insistence that she alone is the Decider on impeachment is a power grab indicating either her ignorance of, or contempt for, the U.S. Constitution. Article II, Section 4 leaves no wiggle room, but is a mandate — “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Pelosi’s mantra that “impeachment is off the table” mirrors Bush’s 9-11 broadside, and is clear evidence that she is far more concerned with politics than with the faceless, invisible bodies that keep piling up because of her inaction. In a recent interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Pelosi said she is determined that Bush will not escape his legacy. “This war is Bush’s war and it’s Cheney’s war. And now,” she said, smacking her lips in delight — “this war is the Republican’s war…”

So there you have it. When Pelosi and other members of Congress were sworn in after the 2006 election, 2,761 American uniformed military had been slain. In the ensuing 11 months, while Democrats were caving in, kissing ass, and giving Bush everything he demanded to expand his war, an additional 1,072 of our young men and women have perished. With 13 months remaining for this administration, one must wonder how many more innocent Iraqi citizens and American military must die in order for Pelosi to write Bush’s legacy with their blood…

If Democrats in Congress actually read that document which they swore to “support and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic,” they would know that any member of the House can start impeachment proceedings by (are you listening, Rep. Dennis Kucinich?) merely tossing a resolution in the hopper for referral to the appropriate committee.

There is good reason for Americans to be scared, for as George Orwell said, “It does not matter if the war is not real, or when it is, victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continous…The war is waged by the ruling group against its subjects.” It’s them against us — a greedy corporate cabal protected by a cruel and sinister Dick Cheney and Bush, a vicious, brainless jackass who endowed himself with “wonder-working” masturbatory power to torture and kill at will.

I once read that the Constitution is our birth certificate. If we are to remain a legitimate republic and escape this Kingdom of Fear, we must impeach both of these illegitimate warmongers. We must resist being fatigued into compliance with murder and into relinquishing our freedoms.

As Hunter S. Thompson wrote so succinctly just prior to the 2004 elections, “We are down to nut-cutting time,” and, again, with Warren Zevron, Thompson admonished — “If you can’t run, walk…If you can’t walk, crawl…But don’t look down…It’s a long, long fall.”

Let us begin.

Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites. Contact her at rsamples@sirinet.net

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

see

NSA Spying: What Did Pelosi Know? By Ray McGovern

Leadership Void by Cindy Sheehan

Nancy Pelosi, Meet Your Replacement! (video; Sheehan)

Bush’s Booming Economy . . . For the Rich by Sheila Samples

Dandelion Salad

by Sheila Samples
Dissident Voice
August 14th, 2007

Sometimes I’m amazed at how much I know about the financial markets and the economy. I don’t understand any of it, but I know a lot of stuff, thanks to my friend and mentor Richard Walrath, who’s been to the market more than once. He says when George Bush brags that the economy is booming, he’s probably right. The economy is exploding with a big boom, and Walrath says now we are engaged in a great battle to see how long this country can endure.

The Fed just poured a bunch of money into the market, which was news to me, but Walrath said the Fed has been manipulating the market for years, especially during the Bush years.

“There was great fear the United States was going to follow Japan into a period of deflation and recession — maybe even a depression,” Walrath said. “Interest rates were cut close to zero while hundreds of billions of dollars were added to the National Debt through tax-cuts for the rich and ‘Big Bidness.’ And it gets worse just at the time the National Debt limit has to be raised again.”

With things as bad as they are, Walrath says it’s going to be interesting to see how this crisis is handled. Congress may have to return early to pass legislation to raise the National Debt. But it makes more sense to me — since the bulk of our lawmakers were so eager to get out of school for recess, that Bush could decide to handle the whole thing like he does everything else to avoid partisan jawboning or oversight — just dash off an Executive Order.

But the National Debt is just one of many problems battering our economy. Walrath points out a major problem is “all those margin accounts out there with people getting calls to come up with some real money because their stock is down. As you might expect, this led to speculation in housing — let’s flip it — and millions of people who couldn’t afford to pay their rent bought houses.”

Wait a minute…Let’s flip it? What does that mean? Nothing comes to mind — okay one thing does — but Walrath never takes such a cavalier attitude about economics.

Let’s flip it, Walrath says is when “–you buy the house with no intention of ever living in it. You add a kitchen, spruce up a bathroom, and “flip” it, or put it back on the market, hoping to make a profit.

This goes on all the time, Walrath says, but there were more flippers than buyers this time around because it cost almost nothing to own a house while you were waiting to sell it. That’s sub-prime credit. You could buy a house with no money down, no income, no job, no assets.

Of course! Now I understand. If you buy a house with no money down, you have little or nothing invested. Just walk away. Let the banks worry about selling them.

But to whom will banks sell them? What are the banks going to do? “That’s why houses for sale are now piling up all over the country,” Walrath said. “It’s a terrible situation.”

Donald Trump begs to differ. When you’re in a hole, keep digging as hard and as fast as you can. Trump’s advice, according to Walrath is to “just go back and make another deal with whoever holds the mortgage. Trump says you’ll get a better deal this time than the one you had before. Don’t walk away from it — go make another deal. The last thing the bank wants is your house. What are they going to do with it? They can’t find anybody to buy it.”

So, who’s flipping whom in this credit seizure?

According to an unsigned editorial in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, the root cause of this credit correction was the Federal Reserve’s willingness to keep money too easy for too long.

The Journal warns an “emergency rate cut, as some in the market seem to be anticipating or hoping for — carries the risk of introducing even greater moral hazard into the financial system.”

We can’t have immorality in our financial system, now can we? Oh, the horror!

While chiding Democrats such as Senator Hillary Clinton for proposing a $1 billion federal bailout fund for homeowners at risk of default and foreclosure, the Journal goes on to channel Barbara Bush’s flash of morality when speaking of homeless Katrina victims — “No one wants to see someone lose his home to foreclosure. But many of those most at risk bought their homes with little or no money down, and so have very little at stake economically. Bringing in the feds to bail them out would send precisely the wrong message — that risky or overly aggressive borrowing will be rewarded by the government rather than punished in the marketplace. To the extent that bad loans were made, the market needs to clear, not be propped up by federal-aid programs.”

Unfortunately, despite what the Journal and the endlessly bleating “Money Heads” on TV would have you believe, millions of Americans are in deep trouble. CNBC’s Jim Cramer “flipped out” last week in a torrent of truth about the current economic situation.

Walrath agrees, and says if we continue in the direction we’re headed, Bush’s “boom” will make the Savings and Loan bail-out look like a Girl Scout Cookie Sale.

According to Walrath, there are four sets of losers in this housing meltdown…

* Those caught with the homes they bought for flipping purposes are not going to be able to find buyers. They are going to lose whatever they have invested, plus whatever mortgage payments they make. It may be cheaper for them just to walk away.

* Those who own homes will see the value of their houses go down because of the current oversupply due to overbuilding when interest rates were lower and people were buying homes with little or nothing down with the idea of flipping the houses as soon as possible.

* Those who bought homes with variable-rate mortgages are having trouble making payments because those payments keep going up, and there’s nothing they can do about it. Many did not even realize they had such a mortgage. Millions are going to lose their homes.

* And then, there’s the murky many — the banks and the hedge funds which ended up with mortgages used as collateral for junk bonds, which ended up as holdings by French and German and English banks, not to mention those in this country.

“This is the dog that worried the cat that killed the rat that ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built, and we ain’t seen nothing yet,” Walrath says.

“When it comes to saving the rich from losing money, no expense will be spared.

Actually,” Walrath mused, “the economy is good — if you’re rich. For the rest of us, there’s not much to write home about.”

Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites. She can be reached at: rsamples@sirinet.net. Read other articles by Sheila.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Strike The Root By Sheila Samples

Strike The Root

By Sheila Samples

“We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men”

~~ George Orwell

07/06/07 “ICH

Recently, Nova M Radio’s Mike Malloy suggested the lethargy that appears to have descended on the American people is more “rage fatigue” than a lack of knowledge or comprehension of the damage wrought by this administration. I agree, although for many of us, rather than fatigue, it’s more an inability to “focus” on any single atrocity about which to be enraged. There are just too many incoming horrors at any one time. We are in the throes of a national paralysis.

It’s not that we don’t know enough to be enraged. We know too much. About too many things. Our rage is splintered, spread too thin to be effective. For the past five years, people in this country and around the world have protested against Bush and Cheney’s genocidal assault on two helpless nations. As they prepare openly for yet another bloody attack on yet another nation, we continue to sign petitions, hold meetings, march against the corporate machine — all to no avail.

The issues catapaulting citizens into the streets are outrageous — each one deserving of a “million man march” on its own merits. However, because we are frustrated by a relentless media blackout and by the deepening corruption, loss of freedoms and the tightening noose of tyranny, our cries are little more than a cacophony of discord — an impotent racket.

Both Democrats and Republicans are branches of the same tree of corruption. When hacked off, a branch is instantly replaced by another, and another, each one stronger than the last. George Bush is but a snarled twig, waving at us with a frog in one hand and a firecracker in the other. As bodies of American citizens pile up in funeral homes and cemetaries across the nation; as more and more bodies of innocent men, women and children are strewn across the Middle East, it is becoming increasingly obvious the madness will not stop until we fell this tree — dig into the darkness and strike the root. We must expose — and impeach — Dick Cheney.

There have been Cheneys throughout the annals of time who wreak their destruction from the shadows. In 743 BC, Marcus Tullius Cicero warned, “For the traitor appears no traitor — he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims and he wears their face and their garments and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city. He infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.”

Dick Cheney must be impeached — now — before he lashes out from the dark side, and Iran is aflame; its terrified citizens displaced, dying — dead. Whether to impeach is not up to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, no matter how many “arrows” she claims to have in her quiver. We’ve moved way beyond playing Cowboys and Indians with this gang.

Pelosi’s statement on July 2 that Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s prison sentence “does not serve justice, condones criminal conduct, and is a betrayal of trust of the American people” is rather ironic, considering her steadfast refusal to hold Bush and Cheney accountable for their acts of treason after being elected to do just that.

Nor is impeachment up to the presidential wannabes flip-flopping in disgraceful political one-upmanship as they vie for money to pour into the ravenous media machine. Any American who would hesitate to impeach a destructive, treasonous, power-mad dictator does not deserve to be president of this United States — now or ever.

Other than Ohio’s courageous congressman Dennis Kucinich, whose co-sponsor list to impeach Cheney has grown to 14, no other candidate dares to take a stand. No other candidate deserves a single vote.

Whether to impeach Cheney is not even up to us. We have no choice. The U.S. Constitution is very explicit about this matter. In just 31 words, Article II, Section 4, tells us, “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

I can cite 3,588 reasons to impeach this man who lied — is still lying — so relentlessly to rush this nation into genocidal war. Kucinich’s Articles of Impeachment barely scratch the surface of Cheney’s treason and crimes against the state, but are more than enough to not only impeach, but to indict and convict him. A more detailed account can be found here.

The U.S. Constitution is the greatest perception of Liberty ever conceived. It was hammered out by men determined to prevent imperial presidencies, shadow governments and seizures of power by any one branch. It was conceived precisely to thwart efforts to destroy the republic by those whose only allegiance is to power and money. We must rid ourselves of the traitors in our midst, starting with Dick Cheney, the one man responsible for the corruption threatening our downfall.

If we are to survive, we must strike the root.

 

Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites. Contact her at rsamples@sirinet.net


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.