Monday, March 31, 2003

had one of the best mondays i can remember. never got in truck. talked to noone but kat. finished another odd mp3. worked all day on and off finishing a water color and an oil painting. put together a print piece for children, loaded it as a pdf so they can check it out. played the guitar.

i wouldn't do well if everyday was one like today, but i can handle a good helping of them. can you be 90% monomanical? how much basketweaving is too much? i guess it's all a question of either time or timing.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

i'm back on the upgrade train. yesterday installed powerlogix firewire/usb pci card and la cie 80gig ext. firewire ext. hard drive. i partitioned the latter into 25% hfs+ and 75% hfs (digital audio). next step: g3 or g4 zif upgrade and a firewire cd burner. for some odd reason i feel like i need to have a cd out by next xmas.

snowy morning here. gonna run outside and photograph brilliant blooming forsythia in the white stuff. later.

Friday, March 28, 2003


finished this watercolor this morning, started it in myrtle beach.

i figured out why nobody pays much attention to the massive amount of non-"official" war commentary. there is too much of it. noise. too easy to dismiss with comments like:

"that's not the real reason for the war. there's a lot of reasons."

and there are. one of them is previous megabucks business dealings with saddam. many of the players are running this war.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

the war wobbles on. people like myself, and there are a lot, find themselves in the interesting position of how to comment on the decision's of the government as the language of public discourse continues to shrink into a small puddle of pre-canned cliches.

on the one hand i do not wish disaster to our troops. i want them to survive and win.

on the other hand the ineptness, the hubris, the linguistic distortions of our government, the newly institutionalized secrecy, the corporate connection, can only be ignored by a self-imposed denial.

some of the recent postings on this site do not so much represent, in my view, absolute truth as much as they represent perspectives absent from the "main stream media". (tip of the hat to the neo-conservitives am radio rabble rousers for that last phrase.)

we are not losing the war. we are seeing, sort of, what happens when a lot of powerful, culturally isolated people born and bred to money and power, sit in closed, sealed rooms, incapable of understanding worldviews other than thier own, or of even realizing that there are other worldviews, and plan the future.

one of the things i have been hearing over and over from am radioland is "the president knows more than we do." i disagree. he knows different things than most of us. but because of class and socio-economic distinctions, he and his cohorts are surprisingly naive about the world of other people. including the islamic world.

repeating myself: saddam's hold on a piece of the world is a problem. the hundred's maybe thousands of those like him will continue to be a problem as time goes by. the proliferation of WMD, like saturday night specials, will continue to be a growing problem.

the war, win lose or draw, will not solve any of these problems but only add to them. only rubes, marks, aristocratic provencials, or corporate oligarchs incapable of transcending thier point of view can think otherwise.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

i know, i know, you are tired of reading about this stuff. read this anyway. thanx tucker.

> When Democracy Failed: The warnings of history
> by Thom Hartmann
> To comment on the newsletter, please do not reply to this email, but use
> message boards at:
> The 70th anniversary wasn't noticed in the United States, and was barely
> reported in the corporate media.� But the Germans remembered well that
> fateful day seventy years ago - February 27, 1933.� They commemorated the
> anniversary by joining in demonstrations for peace that mobilized citizens
> all across the world.
> It started when the government, in the midst of a worldwide economic
> received reports of an imminent terrorist attack.� A foreign ideologue had
> launched feeble attacks on a few famous buildings, but the media largely
> ignored his relatively small efforts.� The intelligence services knew,
> however, that the odds were he would eventually succeed.� (Historians are
> still arguing whether or not rogue elements in the intelligence service
> helped the terrorist; the most recent research implies they did not.)
> But the warnings of investigators were ignored at the highest levels, in
> part because the government was distracted; the man who claimed to be the
> nation's leader had not been elected by a majority vote and the majority
> citizens claimed he had no right to the powers he coveted. He was a
> simpleton, some said, a cartoon character of a man who saw things in
> black-and-white terms and didn't have the intellect to understand the
> subtleties of running a nation in a complex and internationalist world.
> coarse use of language - reflecting his political roots in a southernmost
> state - and his simplistic and often-inflammatory nationalistic rhetoric
> offended the aristocrats, foreign leaders, and the well-educated elite in
> the government and media. And, as a young man, he'd joined a secret
> with an occult-sounding name and bizarre initiation rituals that involved
> skulls and human bones.
> Nonetheless, he knew the terrorist was going to strike (although he didn't
> know where or when), and he had already considered his response.� When an
> aide brought him word that the nation's most prestigious building was
> ablaze, he verified it was the terrorist who had struck and then rushed to
> the scene and called a press conference.
> "You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in history," he
> proclaimed, standing in front of the burned-out building, surrounded by
> national media.� "This fire," he said, his voice trembling with emotion,
> the beginning."� He used the occasion - "a sign from God," he called it -
> declare an all-out war on terrorism and its ideological sponsors, a
> he said, who traced their origins to the Middle East and found motivation
> for their evil deeds in their religion.
> Two weeks later, the first detention center for terrorists was built in
> Oranianberg to hold the first suspected allies of the infamous terrorist.
> In a national outburst of patriotism, the leader's flag was everywhere,
> printed large in newspapers suitable for window display.
> Within four weeks of the terrorist attack, the nation's now-popular leader
> had pushed through legislation - in the name of combating terrorism and
> fighting the philosophy he said spawned it - that suspended constitutional
> guarantees of free speech, privacy, and habeas corpus.� Police could now
> intercept mail and wiretap phones; suspected terrorists could be
> without specific charges and without access to their lawyers; police could
> sneak into people's homes without warrants if the cases involved
> To get his patriotic "Decree on the Protection of People and State" passed
> over the objections of concerned legislators and civil libertarians, he
> agreed to put a 4-year sunset provision on it: if the national emergency
> provoked by the terrorist attack was over by then, the freedoms and rights
> would be returned to the people, and the police agencies would be
> re-restrained. Legislators would later say they hadn't had time to read
> bill before voting on it.
> Immediately after passage of the anti-terrorism act, his federal police
> agencies stepped up their program of arresting suspicious persons and
> holding them without access to lawyers or courts.� In the first year only
> few hundred were interred, and those who objected were largely ignored by
> the mainstream press, which was afraid to offend and thus lose access to a
> leader with such high popularity ratings. Citizens who protested the
> in public - and there were many - quickly found themselves confronting the
> newly empowered police's batons, gas, and jail cells, or fenced off in
> protest zones safely out of earshot of the leader's public speeches.� (In
> the meantime, he was taking almost daily lessons in public speaking,
> learning to control his tonality, gestures, and facial expressions. He
> became a very competent orator.)
> Within the first months after that terrorist attack, at the suggestion of
> political advisor, he brought a formerly obscure word into common usage.
> wanted to stir a "racial pride" among his countrymen, so, instead of
> referring to the nation by its name, he began to refer to it as "The
> Homeland," a phrase publicly promoted in the introduction to a 1934 speech
> recorded in Leni Riefenstahl's famous propaganda movie "Triumph Of The
> Will." As hoped, people's hearts swelled with pride, and the beginning of
> us-versus-them mentality was sewn.� Our land was "the" homeland, citizens
> thought: all others were simply foreign lands. We are the "true people,"
> suggested, the only ones worthy of our nation's concern; if bombs fall on
> others, or human rights are violated in other nations and it makes our
> better, it's of little concern to us.
> Playing on this new nationalism, and exploiting a disagreement with the
> French over his increasing militarism, he argued that any international
> that didn't act first and foremost in the best interest of his own nation
> was neither relevant nor useful.� He thus withdrew his country from the
> League Of Nations in October, 1933, and then negotiated a separate naval
> armaments agreement with Anthony Eden of The United Kingdom to create a
> worldwide military ruling elite.
> His propaganda minister orchestrated a campaign to ensure the people that
> was a deeply religious man and that his motivations were rooted in
> Christianity.� He even proclaimed the need for a revival of the Christian
> faith across his nation, what he called a "New Christianity."� Every man
> his rapidly growing army wore a belt buckle that declared "Gott Mit Uns" -
> God Is With Us - and most of them fervently believed it was true.
> Within a year of the terrorist attack, the nation's leader determined that
> the various local police and federal agencies around the nation were
> the clear communication and overall coordinated administration necessary
> deal with the terrorist threat facing the nation, particularly those
> citizens who were of Middle Eastern ancestry and thus probably terrorist
> communist sympathizers, and various troublesome "intellectuals" and
> "liberals."� He proposed a single new national agency to protect the
> security of the homeland, consolidating the actions of dozens of
> independent police, border, and investigative agencies under a single
> leader.
> He appointed one of his most trusted associates to be leader of this new
> agency, the Central Security Office for the homeland, and gave it a role
> the government equal to the other major departments.
> His assistant who dealt with the press noted that, since the terrorist
> attack, "Radio and press are at out disposal."� Those voices questioning
> legitimacy of their nation's leader, or raising questions about his
> checkered past, had by now faded from the public's recollection as his
> central security office began advertising a program encouraging people to
> phone in tips about suspicious neighbors.� This program was so successful
> that the names of some of the people "denounced" were soon being broadcast
> on radio stations. Those denounced often included opposition politicians
> celebrities who dared speak out - a favorite target of his regime and the
> media he now controlled through intimidation and ownership by corporate
> allies.
> To consolidate his power, he concluded that government alone wasn't
> He reached out to industry and forged an alliance, bringing former
> executives of the nation's largest corporations into high government
> positions.� A flood of government money poured into corporate coffers to
> fight the war against the Middle Eastern ancestry terrorists lurking
> the homeland, and to prepare for wars overseas.� He encouraged large
> corporations friendly to him to acquire media outlets and other industrial
> concerns across the nation, particularly those previously owned by
> suspicious people of Middle Eastern ancestry.� He built powerful alliances
> with industry; one corporate ally got the lucrative contract worth
> to build the first large-scale detention center for enemies of the state.
> Soon more would follow.� Industry flourished.
> But after an interval of peace following the terrorist attack, voices of
> dissent again arose within and without the government.� Students had
> an active program opposing him (later known as the White Rose Society),
> leaders of nearby nations were speaking out against his bellicose
> He needed a diversion, something to direct people away from the corporate
> cronyism being exposed in his own government, questions of his possibly
> illegitimate rise to power, and the oft-voiced concerns of civil
> libertarians about the people being held in detention without due process
> access to attorneys or family.
> With his number two man - a master at manipulating the media - he began a
> campaign to convince the people of the nation that a small, limited war
> necessary.� Another nation was harboring many of the suspicious Middle
> Eastern people, and even though its connection with the terrorist who had
> set afire the nation's most important building was tenuous at best, it
> resources their nation badly needed if they were to have room to live and
> maintain their prosperity.� He called a press conference and publicly
> delivered an ultimatum to the leader of the other nation, provoking an
> international uproar.� He claimed the right to strike preemptively in
> self-defense, and nations across Europe - at first - denounced him for it,
> pointing out that it was a doctrine only claimed in the past by nations
> seeking worldwide empire, like Caesar's Rome or Alexander's Greece.
> It took a few months, and intense international debate and lobbying with
> European nations, but, after he personally met with the leader of the
> Kingdom, finally a deal was struck.� After the military action began,
> Minister Neville Chamberlain told the nervous British people that giving
> to this leader's new first-strike doctrine would bring "peace for our
> Thus Hitler annexed Austria in a lightning move, riding a wave of popular
> support as leaders so often do in times of war.� The Austrian government
> unseated and replaced by a new leadership friendly to Germany, and German
> corporations began to take over Austrian resources.
> In a speech responding to critics of the invasion, Hitler said, "Certain
> foreign newspapers have said that we fell on Austria with brutal methods.
> can only say; even in death they cannot stop lying. I have in the course
> my political struggle won much love from my people, but when I crossed the
> former frontier [into Austria] there met me such a stream of love as I
> never experienced. Not as tyrants have we come, but as liberators."
> To deal with those who dissented from his policies, at the advice of his
> politically savvy advisors, he and his handmaidens in the press began a
> campaign to equate him and his policies with patriotism and the nation
> itself.� National unity was essential, they said, to ensure that the
> terrorists or their sponsors didn't think they'd succeeded in splitting
> nation or weakening its will.� In times of war, they said, there could be
> only "one people, one nation, and one commander-in-chief" ("Ein Volk, ein
> Reich, ein Fuhrer"), and so his advocates in the media began a nationwide
> campaign charging that critics of his policies were attacking the nation
> itself.� Those questioning him were labeled "anti-German" or "not good
> Germans," and it was suggested they were aiding the enemies of the state
> failing in the patriotic necessity of supporting the nation's valiant men
> uniform.� It was one of his most effective ways to stifle dissent and pit
> wage-earning people (from whom most of the army came) against the
> "intellectuals and liberals" who were critical of his policies.
> Nonetheless, once the "small war" annexation of Austria was successfully
> quickly completed, and peace returned, voices of opposition were again
> raised in the Homeland.� The almost-daily release of news bulletins about
> the dangers of terrorist communist cells wasn't enough to rouse the
> and totally suppress dissent.� A full-out war was necessary to divert
> attention from the growing rumbles within the country about disappearing
> dissidents; violence against liberals, Jews, and union leaders; and the
> epidemic of crony capitalism that was producing empires of wealth in the
> corporate sector but threatening the middle class's way of life.
> A year later, to the week, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia; the nation was
> fully at war, and all internal dissent was suppressed in the name of
> national security.� It was the end of Germany's first experiment with
> democracy.
> As we conclude this review of history, there are a few milestones worth
> remembering.
> February 27, 2003, was the 70th anniversary of Dutch terrorist Marinus van
> der Lubbe's successful firebombing of the German Parliament (Reichstag)
> building, the terrorist act that catapulted Hitler to legitimacy and
> reshaped the German constitution.� By the time of his successful and brief
> action to seize Austria, in which almost no German blood was shed, Hitler
> was the most beloved and popular leader in the history of his nation.
> around the world, he was later Time magazine's "Man Of The Year."
> Most Americans remember his office for the security of the homeland, known
> as the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and its SchutzStaffel, simply by its most
> famous agency's initials: the SS.
> We also remember that the Germans developed a new form of highly violent
> warfare they named "lightning war" or blitzkrieg, which, while generating
> devastating civilian losses, also produced a highly desirable "shock and
> awe" among the nation's leadership according to the authors of the 1996
> "Shock And Awe" published by the National Defense University Press.
> Reflecting on that time, The American Heritage Dictionary (Houghton
> Company, 1983) left us this definition of the form of government the
> democracy had become through Hitler's close alliance with the largest
> corporations and his policy of using war as a tool to keep power: fas-cism
> (fbsh'iz'em) n. A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of
> extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business
> leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."
> Today, as we face financial and political crises, it's useful to remember
> that the ravages of the Great Depression hit Germany and the United States
> alike.� Through the 1930s, however, Hitler and Roosevelt chose very
> different courses to bring their nations back to power and prosperity.
> Germany's response was to use government to empower corporations and
> the society's richest individuals, privatize much of the commons, stifle
> dissent, strip people of constitutional rights, and create an illusion of
> prosperity through continual and ever-expanding war.� America passed
> wage laws to raise the middle class, enforced anti-trust laws to diminish
> the power of corporations, increased taxes on corporations and the
> wealthiest individuals, created Social Security, and became the employer
> last resort through programs to build national infrastructure, promote the
> arts, and replant forests.
> To the extent that our Constitution is still intact, the choice is again
> ours.
> Welcome to Thom Hartmann's
> Newsletter for March 17, 2003
> To comment on the newsletter, please do not reply to this email, but use
> message boards at:
> Thom Hartmann lived and worked in Germany during the 1980s, and is the
> author of over a dozen books, including "Unequal Protection" and "The Last
> Hours of Ancient Sunlight."�� This article is copyright by Thom Hartmann,
> but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media
> long as this credit is attached.

i posted this earlier in the day - i mean night.

almost midnight monday. oops, after midnight and it's tuesday. a long day, started at 6 am visiting marshall and mimi in myrtle beach, landed in the western carolina mountains late this afternoon. it seems it took me only 5 hours which is hard to believe after former trips lasting 6 i/2 hours. maybe it's skipping those wrong turns that does it.

i fiddled with the radio most of the trip, couldn't stop myself from searching for war news. found a lot of country and rap instead, not even one shill-huckster am radio talk show host defeating logic and common sense. so tired when i got here that i can't sleep.

had a great and badly-needed trip to the meher center, as always some surprises, some lessons, some music, conversations, dark elegant familiar eyes that i must have known and that must have known me some other time and place, a minute here and there of peace, friendship, ancient faces, ancient places. the footbridge at twilight, halfway across, thankful for the distant cold but friendly stars.

and just a moment playing the shakuhachi and native american flute with denny. what inspiration, we could still do what we didn't know how to do and taste beauty skipping through the air. phyliss laughing about her visits to new york museums as a youth and discovering that folks were lining up to see "pictures", not monumental towers and babylonian walls. the lagoon cabin before morning light, dreams and obscure visions, movement, distant activity behind the eyelids. the reoccuring realization that i am part of something more real than myself.

no telephones, no radios, no tv... just rumors of war and the sound of the sea arcing over the logoon.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

well i am at the eli parson's new house. it is very nice, reminds me of the houses i grew up in during the 40's, but has been really well taken care of, well insulated, double pane windows, etc.

had an especially exciting drive down: stopped in old fort for a very pleasant visit with sam, beautiful day out. later ran into a problem involving the highway patrol, but all turned out well. plan to visit the park today where there is a memorial bench dedicated to sally parsons who died last year. i'll try to get some good pictures to use on a thank you note to be sent out to all of her friends and relatives. the children did a really good job putting this together. grand-daughter lily says hello.

Friday, March 14, 2003

leaving town

i'm outa here, heading out to visit children and grandchildren, then on to Meher Center for a few days. back next thursday.

today the noise is talking about maybe we will preemptively strike iraq before they premptively strike us before the war starts. public discourse will never recover from this kind of jumbled language.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

this is probably not the place for this because it is so long but i'm posting it anyway. thanks jerry. if you are sick of this stuff READ IT. if you're not READ IT.


By Geoffrey Heard
Melbourne, Australia

Summary: Why is George Bush so hell bent on war with Iraq? Why does
his administration reject every positive Iraqi move? It all makes
sense when you consider the economic implications for the USA of not
going to war with Iraq. The war in Iraq is actually the US and Europe
going head to head on economic leadership of the world.

America's Bush administration has been caught in outright lies, gross
exaggerations and incredible inaccuracies as it trotted out its
litany of paper thin excuses for making war on Iraq. Along with its
two supporters, Britain and Australia, it has shifted its ground and
reversed its position with a barefaced contempt for its audience. It
has manipulated information, deceived by commission and omission and
frantically "bought" UN votes with billion dollar bribes.

Faced with the failure of gaining UN Security Council support for
invading Iraq, the USA has threatened to invade without
authorisation. It would act in breach of the UN's very constitution
to allegedly enforced UN resolutions.

It is plain bizarre. Where does this desperation for war come from?

There are many things driving President Bush and his administration
to invade Iraq, unseat Saddam Hussein and take over the country. But
the biggest one is hidden and very, very simple. It is about the
currency used to trade oil and consequently, who will dominate the
world economically, in the foreseeable future -- the USA or the
European Union.

Iraq is a European Union beachhead in that confrontation. America had
a monopoly on the oil trade, with the US dollar being the fiat
currency, but Iraq broke ranks in 1999, started to trade oil in the
EU's euros, and profited. If America invades Iraq and takes over, it
will hurl the EU and its euro back into the sea and make America's
position as the dominant economic power in the world all but

It is the biggest grab for world power in modern times.

America's allies in the invasion, Britain and Australia, are betting
America will win and that they will get some trickle-down benefits
for jumping on to the US bandwagon.

France and Germany are the spearhead of the European force -- Russia
would like to go European but possibly can still be bought off.

Presumably, China would like to see the Europeans build a share of
international trade currency ownership at this point while it
continues to grow its international trading presence to the point
where it, too, can share the leadership rewards.


Oddly, little or nothing is appearing in the general media about this
issue, although key people are becoming aware of it -- note the
recent slide in the value of the US dollar. Are traders afraid of
war? They are more likely to be afraid there will not be war.

But despite the silence in the general media, a major world
discussion is developing around this issue, particularly on the
internet. Among the many articles: Henry Liu, in the 'Asia Times'
last June, it has been a hot topic on the Feasta forum, an
Irish-based group exploring sustainable economics, and W. Clark's
"The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War with Iraq: A Macroeconomic and
Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth" has been published by
the 'Sierra Times', '', and ''.

This debate is not about whether America would suffer from losing the
US dollar monopoly on oil trading -- that is a given -- rather it is
about exactly how hard the USA would be hit. The smart money seems to
be saying the impact would be in the range from severe to
catastrophic. The USA could collapse economically.


The key to it all is the fiat currency for trading oil.

Under an OPEC agreement, all oil has been traded in US dollars since
1971 (after the dropping of the gold standard) which makes the US
dollar the de facto major international trading currency. If other
nations have to hoard dollars to buy oil, then they want to use that
hoard for other trading too. This fact gives America a huge trading
advantage and helps make it the dominant economy in the world.

As an economic bloc, the European Union is the only challenger to the
USA's economic position, and it created the euro to challenge the
dollar in international markets. However, the EU is not yet united
behind the euro -- there is a lot of jingoistic national politics
involved, not least in Britain -- and in any case, so long as nations
throughout the world must hoard dollars to buy oil, the euro can make
only very limited inroads into the dollar's dominance.

In 1999, Iraq, with the world's second largest oil reserves, switched
to trading its oil in euros. American analysts fell about laughing;
Iraq had just made a mistake that was going to beggar the nation. But
two years on, alarm bells were sounding; the euro was rising against
the dollar, Iraq had given itself a huge economic free kick by

Iran started thinking about switching too; Venezuela, the 4th largest
oil producer, began looking at it and has been cutting out the dollar
by bartering oil with several nations including America's bete noir,
Cuba. Russia is seeking to ramp up oil production with Europe
(trading in euros) an obvious market.

The greenback's grip on oil trading and consequently on world trade
in general, was under serious threat. If America did not stamp on
this immediately, this economic brushfire could rapidly be fanned
into a wildfire capable of consuming the US's economy and its
dominance of world trade.


Imagine this: you are deep in debt but every day you write cheques
for millions of dollars you don't have -- another luxury car, a
holiday home at the beach, the world trip of a lifetime.

Your cheques should be worthless but they keep buying stuff because
those cheques you write never reach the bank! You have an agreement
with the owners of one thing everyone wants, call it petrol/gas, that
they will accept only your cheques as payment. This means everyone
must hoard your cheques so they can buy petrol/gas. Since they have
to keep a stock of your cheques, they use them to buy other stuff
too. You write a cheque to buy a TV, the TV shop owner swaps your
cheque for petrol/gas, that seller buys some vegetables at the fruit
shop, the fruiterer passes it on to buy bread, the baker buys some
flour with it, and on it goes, round and round -- but never back to
the bank.

You have a debt on your books, but so long as your cheque never
reaches the bank, you don't have to pay. In effect, you have received
your TV free.

This is the position the USA has enjoyed for 30 years -- it has been
getting a free world trade ride for all that time. It has been
receiving a huge subsidy from everyone else in the world. As it debt
has been growing, it has printed more money (written more cheques) to
keep trading. No wonder it is an economic powerhouse!

Then one day, one petrol seller says he is going to accept another
person's cheques, a couple of others think that might be a good idea.
If this spreads, people are going to stop hoarding your cheques and
they will come flying home to the bank. Since you don't have enough
in the bank to cover all the cheques, very nasty stuff is going to
hit the fan!

But you are big, tough and very aggressive. You don't scare the other
guy who can write cheques, he's pretty big too, but given a
'legitimate' excuse, you can beat the tripes out of the lone gas
seller and scare him and his mates into submission.

And that, in a nutshell, is what the USA is doing right now with Iraq.


America is so eager to attack Iraq now because of the speed with
which the euro fire could spread. If Iran, Venezuela and Russia join
Iraq and sell large quantities of oil for euros, the euro would have
the leverage it needs to become a powerful force in general
international trade. Other nations would have to start swapping some
of their dollars for euros.

The dollars the USA has printed, the 'cheques' it has written, would
start to fly home, stripping away the illusion of value behind them.
The USA's real economic condition is about as bad as it could be; it
is the most debt-ridden nation on earth, owing about US$12,000 for
every single one of it's 280 million men, women and children. It is
worse than the position of Indonesia when it imploded economically a
few years ago, or more recently, that of Argentina.

Even if OPEC did not switch to euros wholesale (and that would make a
very nice non-oil profit for the OPEC countries, including minimising
the various contrived debts America has forced on some of them), the
US's difficulties would build. Even if only a small part of the oil
trade went euro, that would do two things immediately:

* Increase the attractiveness to EU members of joining the
'eurozone', which in turn would make the euro stronger and make it
more attractive to oil nations as a trading currency and to other
nations as a general trading currency.

* Start the US dollars flying home demanding value when there isn't
enough in the bank to cover them.

* The markets would over-react as usual and in no time, the US
dollar's value would be spiralling down.


America's response to the euro threat was predictable. It has come
out fighting.

It aims to achieve four primary things by going to war with Iraq:

* Safeguard the American economy by returning Iraq to trading oil in
US dollars, so the greenback is once again the exclusive oil currency.

* Send a very clear message to any other oil producers just what
will happen to them if they do not stay in the dollar circle. Iran
has already received one message -- remember how puzzled you were
that in the midst of moderation and secularization, Iran was named as
a member of the axis of evil?

* Place the second largest reserves of oil in the world under direct
American control.

* Provide a secular, subject state where the US can maintain a huge
force (perhaps with nominal elements from allies such as Britain and
Australia) to dominate the Middle East and its vital oil. This would
enable the US to avoid using what it sees as the unreliable Turkey,
the politically impossible Israel and surely the next state in its
sights, Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of al Qaeda and a hotbed of
anti-American sentiment.

* Severe setback the European Union and its euro, the only trading
bloc and currency strong enough to attack the USA's dominance of
world trade through the dollar.

* Provide cover for the US to run a covert operation to overturn the
democratically elected government of Venezuela and replace it with an
America-friendly military supported junta -- and put Venezuala's oil
into American hands.

Locking the world back into dollar oil trading would consolidate
America's current position and make it all but impregnable as the
dominant world power -- economically and militarily. A splintered
Europe (the US is working hard to split Europe; Britain was easy, but
other Europeans have offered support in terms of UN votes) and its
euro would suffer a serious setback and might take decades to recover.

It is the boldest grab for absolute power the world has seen in
modern times. America is hardly likely to allow the possible
slaughter of a few hundred thousand Iraqis stand between it and world

President Bush did promise to protect the American way of life. This
is what he meant.


Obviously, the US could not simply invade Iraq, so it began casting
around for a 'legitimate' reason to attack. That search has been one
of increasing desperation as each rationalization has crumbled. First
Iraq was a threat because of alleged links to al Qaeda; then it was
proposed Iraq might supply al Qaeda with weapons; then Iraq's
military threat to its neighbours was raised; then the need to
deliver Iraqis from Saddam Hussein's horrendously inhumane rule;
finally there is the question of compliance with UN weapons

The USA's justifications for invading Iraq are looking less
impressive by the day. The US's statements that it would invade Iraq
unilaterally without UN support and in defiance of the UN make a
total nonsense of any American claim that it is concerned about the
world body's strength and standing.

The UN weapons inspectors have come up with minimal infringements of
the UN weapons limitations -- the final one being low tech rockets
which exceed the range allowed by about 20 percent. But there is no
sign of the so-called weapons of mass destruction (WMD) the US has so
confidently asserted are to be found. Colin Powell named a certain
north Iraqi village as a threat. It was not. He later admitted it was
the wrong village.

'Newsweek' (24/2) has reported that while Bush officials have been
trumpeting the fact that key Iraqi defector, Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel,
told the US in 1995 that Iraq had manufactured tonnes of nerve gas
and anthrax (Colin Powell's 5 February presentation to the UN was
just one example) they neglected to mention that Kamel had also told
the US that these weapons had been destroyed.

Parts of the US and particularly the British secret 'evidence' have
been shown to come from a student's masters thesis.

America's expressed concern about the Iraqi people's human rights and
the country's lack of democracy are simply not supported by the USA's
history of intervention in other states nor by its current actions.
Think Guatemala, the Congo, Chile and Nicaragua as examples of a much
larger pool of US actions to tear down legitimate, democratically
elected governments and replace them with war, disruption,
starvation, poverty, corruption, dictatorships, torture, rape and
murder for its own economic ends. The most recent, Afghanistan, is
not looking good; in fact that reinstalled a murderous group of
warlords which America had earlier installed, then deposed, in favour
of the now hated Taliban.

Saddam Hussein was just as repressive, corrupt and murderous 15 years
ago when he used chemical weapons, supplied by the US, against the
Kurds. The current US Secretary for Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, so
vehement against Iraq now, was on hand personally to turn aside
condemnation of Iraq and blame Iran. At that time, of course, the US
thought Saddam Hussein was their man -- they were using him against
the perceived threat of Iran's Islamic fundamentalism.

Right now, as 'The Independent' writer, Robert Fisk, has noted, the
US's efforts to buy Algeria's UN vote includes promises of re-arming
the military which has a decade long history of repression, torture,
rape and murder Saddam Hussein himself would envy. It is estimated
200,000 people have died, and countless others been left maimed by
the activities of these monsters. What price the US's humanitarian
concerns for Iraqis? (Of course, the French are also wooing Algeria,
their former north African territory, for all they are worth, but at
least they are not pretending to be driven by humanitarian concerns.)

Indonesia is another nation with a vote and influence as the largest
Muslim nation in the world. Its repressive, murderous military is
regaining strength on the back of the US's so-called anti-terror
campaign and is receiving promises of open and covert support --
including intelligence sharing.


While the world's attention is focused on Iraq, America is both
openly and covertly supporting the "coup of the rich" in Venezuela,
which grabbed power briefly in April last year before being
intimidated by massive public displays of support by the poor for
democratically-elected President Chavez Frias. The coup leaders
continue to use their control of the private media, much of industry
and the ear of the American Government and its oily intimates to
cause disruption and disturbance.

Venezuela's state-owned oil resources would make rich pickings for
American oil companies and provide the US with an important oil
source in its own backyard.

Many writers have noted the contradiction between America's alleged
desire to establish democracy in Iraq while at the same time,
actively undermining the democratically-elected government in
Venezuela. Above the line, America rushed to recognise the coup last
April; more recently, President Bush has called for "early
elections", ignoring the fact that President Chavez Frias has won
three elections and two referendums and, in any case, early elections
would be unconstitutional.

One element of the USA's covert action against Venezuela is the
behaviour of American transnational businesses, which have locked out
employees in support of "national strike" action. Imagine them doing
that in the USA! There is no question that a covert operation is in
process to overturn the legitimate Venezuelan government. Uruguayan
congressman, Jose Nayardi, made it public when he revealed that the
Bush administration had asked for Uruguay's support for Venezuelan
white collar executives and trade union activists "to break down
levels of intransigence within the Chavez Frias administration". The
process, he noted, was a shocking reminder of the CIA's 1973
intervention in Chile which saw General Pinochet lead his military
coup to take over President Allende's democratically elected
government in a bloodbath.

President Chavez Frias is desperately clinging to government, but
with the might of the USA aligned with his opponents, how long can he


Some have claimed that an American invasion of Iraq would cost so
many billions of dollars that oil returns would never justify such an

But when the invasion is placed in the context of the protection of
the entire US economy for now and into the future, the balance of the
argument changes.

Further, there are three other vital factors:

First, America will be asking others to help pay for the war because
it is protecting their interests. Japan and Saudi Arabia made serious
contributions to the cost of the 1991 Gulf war.

Second -- in reality, war will cost the USA very little -- or at
least, very little over and above normal expenditure. This war is
already paid for! All the munitions and equipment have been bought
and paid for. The USA would have to spend hardly a cent on new
hardware to prosecute this war -- the expenditure will come later
when munitions and equipment have to be replaced after the war. But
munitions, hardware and so on are being replaced all the time --
contracts are out. Some contracts will simply be brought forward and
some others will be ramped up a bit, but spread over a few years, the
cost will not be great. And what is the real extra cost of an army at
war compared with maintaining the standing army around the world,
running exercises and so on? It is there, but it is a relatively
small sum.

Third -- lots of the extra costs involved in the war are dollars
spent outside America, not least in the purchase of fuel. Guess how
America will pay for these? By printing dollars it is going to war to
protect. The same happens when production begins to replace hardware.
components, minerals, etc. are bought in with dollars that go
overseas and exploit America's trading advantage.

The cost of war is not nearly as big as it is made out to be. The
cost of not going to war would be horrendous for the USA -- unless
there were another way of protecting the greenback's world trade


Why are Australia and Britain supporting America in its transparent
Iraqi war ploy?

Australia, of course, has significant US dollar reserves and trades
widely in dollars and extensively with America. A fall in the US
dollar would reduce Australia's debt, perhaps, but would do nothing
for the Australian dollar's value against other currencies. John
Howard, the Prime Minister, has long cherished the dream of a free
trade agreement with the USA in the hope that Australia can jump on
the back of the free ride America gets in trade through the dollar's
position as the major trading medium. That would look much less
attractive if the euro took over a significant part of the oil trade.

Britain has yet to adopt the euro. If the US takes over Iraq and
blocks the euro's incursion into oil trading, Tony Blair will have
given his French and German counterparts a bloody nose, and gained
more room to manouevre on the issue -- perhaps years more room.
Britain would be in a position to demand a better deal from its EU
partners for entering the "eurozone" if the new currency could not
make the huge value gains guaranteed by a significant role in world
oil trading. It might even be in a position to withdraw from Europe
and link with America against continental Europe.

On the other hand, if the US cannot maintain the oil trade dollar
monopoly, the euro will rapidly go from strength to strength, and
Britain could be left begging to be allowed into the club.


Some of the reasons for opposition to the American plan are obvious
-- America is already the strongest nation on earth and dominates
world trade through its dollar. If it had control of the Iraqi oil
and a base for its forces in the Middle East, it would not add to,
but would multiply its power.

The oil-producing nations, particularly the Arab ones, can see the
writing on the wall and are quaking in their boots.

France and Germany are the EU leaders with the vision of a resurgent,
united Europe taking its rightful place in the world and using its
euro currency as a world trading reserve currency and thus gaining
some of the free ride the United States enjoys now. They are the ones
who initiated the euro oil trade with Iraq.

Russia is in deep economic trouble and knows it will get worse the
day America starts exploiting its take-over of Afghanistan by running
a pipeline southwards via Afghanistan from the giant southern Caspian
oil fields. Currently, that oil is piped northwards -- where Russia
has control.

Russia is in the process of ramping up oil production with the
possibility of trading some of it for euros and selling some to the
US itself. Russia already has enough problems with the fact that oil
is traded in US dollars; if the US has control of Iraqi oil, it could
distort the market to Russia's enormous disadvantage. In addition,
Russia has interests in Iraqi oil; an American take over could see
them lost. Already on its knees, Russia could be beggared before a
mile of the Afghanistan pipeline is laid.


The scenario clarifies the seriousness of America's position and
explains its frantic drive for war. It also suggests that solutions
other than war are possible.

Could America agree to share the trading goodies by allowing Europe
to have a negotiated part of it? Not very likely, but it is just
possible Europe can stare down the USA and force such an outcome.
Time will tell. What about Europe taking the statesmanlike,
humanitarian and long view, and withdrawing, leaving the oil to the
US, with appropriate safeguards for ordinary Iraqis and democracy in

Europe might then be forced to adopt a smarter approach -- perhaps
accelerating the development of alternative energy technologies which
would reduce the EU's reliance on oil for energy and produce goods it
could trade for euros -- shifting the world trade balance.

Now that would be a very positive outcome for everyone.

. . . .

Geoffrey Heard is a Melbourne, Australia, writer on the environment,
sustainability and human rights.
. . . .

Geoffrey Heard C 2003. Anyone is free to circulate this document
provided it is complete and in its current form with attribution and
no payment is asked. It is prohibited to reproduce this document or
any part of it for commercial gain without the prior permission of
the author. For such permission, contact the author at

'The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War With Iraq: A Macroeconomic and
Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth' by W. Clark, January
2003 (revised 20 February), Independent Media Center,
This war is about more than oil. OIL DOLLARS!!!! DOLLARS, THE EURO
This story is based on material posted by Richard Douthwaite on the
FEASTA list in Ireland.
USA intelligence agencies revealed in plot to oust Venezuela's President
Washington Post
Split Screen In Strike-Torn Venezuela
By Mark Weisbrot Sunday, January 12, 2003; Page B04
Asia Times online: Global Economy
US dollar hegemony has got to go
By Henry C K Liu
The Observer
The Enemy Within
by Gore Vidal London, Sunday 27 October 2002

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

good meeting last night with the ken wilber folks. tharpa played a song he wrote about SUV's, rock solid. he wants to record and send it to car guys who i am sure would be delighted to give it airplay.

i'll put links on page, upper right white box, to a couple of MP3s. i plan to put new ones up every week or so. someday one will sound like a song.

[later] finished 3 oils, the only three i've painted. went back and spiffed'em up. most of the afternoon packing for extended road trip, camping out, meditating, walking the streets, sleeping in the woods. taking watercolor stuff once again, each time i try i learn something, getting it down to the minimum someday i hope.

checked out integral age site, new, looks lot it will be a great resource.

did not meditate. not even close. am making some progress reading "amos walker" noir mystery.

but the most fun i'm having is a 4 VCD (some kind of windoze bag of media tricks) set of er-who instruction. it's in chinese. i'm in north carolina.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

woke up with inexplicable sore throat. it's just on one side. if it gets worse i'll go to doc tomorrow. may have to cancel upcoming trip. pleasant day yesterday, and thanks to timely visit of john f. i got out in it, we had a very pleasant walk.

Monday, March 10, 2003

when the war starts i hope we win it quickly as the present oligarchic cabel (they own and run the country) predicts. but even if we do it is a very bad idea.

reason 4)

in today's mainstream media the buzz was that both iran and korea are way ahead of iraq in the development of nuclear weapons. and behind them will be an long procession of countries, failed states, and various groups. what are we going to do with them, especially after establishing a precedent?

BTW john mcfee wrote a book about 20 years agoe explaining why this is so.

5) the deal as of now is that if iraq disarms before the 17th no war. iraq is considered disarmed when england and the u.s. say so. that is the sole criteria today.

6) the scripted press conference last week, and the governor's yearly meeting the week before with the president; each governor got to ask the prez 2 questions submitted in advance. in the past these events were loose and people TALKED to each other. the secrecy, the disnformation to the american people, the extreme twisting of logic and rhetoric make the hitlarian "big lie" look like a very primitive way to manipulate the public. if there is any public left.

7) a motif from the am talk shows heard constantly for the last few days: "france is blah blah blah... but what do we care what they think?" "war protesters blah blah blah...but why should we care what they think?" "UN security coucil blah blah blah... but what do we care?"

maybe an individual has the right not to care, but not a government for the people, by the people etc.

Sunday, March 9, 2003

in the next few weeks the U.S. will be at war. last time we fought iraq i did not have cable. still don't. don't like it. but i missed the spectacular cnn coverage.

but it's all right. i still got to see the main thing, those night shots with the domes and the snakey, weaving AA fire.

and the smart bombs video of dropping down a chimney and blowing away something..

the main thing about the start of the war is that at that point i will be rooting for our side - once the ballon goeas up a lot of us, as the buzz word at my former employer intel goes, will "disagree and commit".

but i still think the war is a bad idea. why?

well not because war, any war, needs to relagated to past cultural eras (altho it does). sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

but not this time. because:

1) we are uninformed about the worldview in that part of the world. how things are settled. often a problem is solved without even talking openly about it, just a word here, a realignment there. as vietnam proved it is a bad idea to fight a war against a people you can't talk with because you don't comprehend the local worldview.

2) if we win in one day and saddam's body is displayed on tv (don't be surprised if this happens) we will just have begun a long, draining, frustrating, dangerous, and expensive series of blunders that will cost us and the world dearly. remember yugoslavia, another arbitrary country made up of disparate peoples?

3) one of the justifications of the war we hear repeatedly from the vox populi is that the president knows things we don't. this is true. and some of the things he knows are no doubt blood-curdling threats to our susvival.

however it is good to remind ourselves that we know things he doesn't. the corporate oligarchy running this war is by definition out of touch with the way you and i live. remember bush sr.'s problem with checking out in a grocery line? i would feel much better if the prez and his cabinent each spent a couple of months on the street with few resources, learned about our world, returned to government and then made their decision about war.

Friday, March 7, 2003


i finally finished this today. it will go in the scrap pile but here it is. friend sam came by and we talked about balloons going up

Thursday, March 6, 2003

the following is the text of john brady kiesling's letter of resignation to secretary of state powell. mr. kiesling is a career diplomat who has served in u.s. embassies from tel aviv to casablanca to yeravan.


ATHENS | Thursday 27 February 2003

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I am writing you to submit my resignation from the Foreign Service of the United States and from my position as Political Counselor in U.S. Embassy Athens, effective March 7. I do so with a heavy heart. The baggage of my upbringing included a felt obligation to give something back to my country. Service as a U.S. diplomat was a dream job. I was paid to understand foreign languages and cultures, to seek out diplomats, politicians, scholars and journalists, and to persuade them that U.S. interests and theirs fundamentally coincided. My faith in my country and its values was the most powerful weapon in my diplomatic arsenal.

It is inevitable that during twenty years with the State Department I would become more sophisticated and cynical about the narrow and selfish bureaucratic motives that sometimes shaped our policies. Human nature is what it is, and I was rewarded and promoted for understanding human nature. But until this Administration it had been possible to believe that by upholding the policies of my president I was also upholding the interests of the American people and the world. I believe it no longer.

The policies we are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests. Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America's most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson. We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security.

The sacrifice of global interests to domestic politics and to bureaucratic self-interest is nothing new, and it is certainly not a uniquely American problem. Still, we have not seen such systematic distortion of intelligence, such systematic manipulation of American opinion, since the war in Vietnam. The September 11 tragedy left us stronger than before, rallying around us a vast international coalition to cooperate for the first time in a systematic way against the threat of terrorism. But rather than take credit for those successes and build on them, this Administration has chosen to make terrorism a domestic political tool, enlisting a scattered and largely defeated Al Qaeda as its bureaucratic ally. We spread disproportionate terror and confusion in the public mind, arbitrarily linking the unrelated problems of terrorism and Iraq. The result, and perhaps the motive, is to justify a vast misallocation of shrinking public wealth to the military and to weaken the safeguards that protect American citizens from the heavy hand of government. September 11 did not do as much damage to the fabric of American society as we seem determined to so to ourselves. Is the Russia of the late Romanovs really our model, a selfish, superstitious empire thrashing toward self-destruction in the name of a doomed status quo?

We should ask ourselves why we have failed to persuade more of the world that a war with Iraq is necessary. We have over the past two years done too much to assert to our world partners that narrow and mercenary U.S. interests override the cherished values of our partners. Even where our aims were not in question, our consistency is at issue. The model of Afghanistan is little comfort to allies wondering on what basis we plan to rebuild the Middle East, and in whose image and interests. Have we indeed become blind, as Russia is blind in Chechnya, as Israel is blind in the Occupied Territories, to our own advice, that overwhelming military power is not the answer to terrorism? After the shambles of post-war Iraq joins the shambles in Grozny and Ramallah, it will be a brave foreigner who forms ranks with Micronesia to follow where we lead.

We have a coalition still, a good one. The loyalty of many of our friends is impressive, a tribute to American moral capital built up over a century. But our closest allies are persuaded less that war is justified than that it would be perilous to allow the U.S. to drift into complete solipsism. Loyalty should be reciprocal. Why does our President condone the swaggering and contemptuous approach to our friends and allies this Administration is fostering, including among its most senior officials. Has "oderint dum metuant" really become our motto?

I urge you to listen to America's friends around the world. Even here in Greece, purported hotbed of European anti-Americanism, we have more and closer friends than the American newspaper reader can possibly imagine. Even when they complain about American arrogance, Greeks know that the world is a difficult and dangerous place, and they want a strong international system, with the U.S. and EU in close partnership. When our friends are afraid of us rather than for us, it is time to worry. And now they are afraid. Who will tell them convincingly that the United States is as it was, a beacon of liberty, security, and justice for the planet?

Mr. Secretary, I have enormous respect for your character and ability. You have preserved more international credibility for us than our policy deserves, and salvaged something positive from the excesses of an ideological and self-serving Administration. But your loyalty to the President goes too far. We are straining beyond its limits an international system we built with such toil and treasure, a web of laws, treaties, organizations, and shared values that sets limits on our foes far more effectively than it ever constrained America's ability to defend its interests.

I am resigning because I have tried and failed to reconcile my conscience with my ability to represent the current U.S. Administration. I have confidence that our democratic process is ultimately self-correcting, and hope that in a small way I can contribute from outside to shaping policies that better serve the security and prosperity of the American people and the world we share.

John Brady Kiesling

Wednesday, March 5, 2003

forget about the contest in yesterday's dispatch. as usual i've been outdone by reality. fifteen minutes ago i was watching tv and a commercial came on:

soundtrack: augie myers slowly blipping on the farfisa organ and bobby dylan singing:

"I'm walking through streets that are dead
Walking, walking with you in my head
My feet are so tired, my brain is so wired
And the clouds are weeping..."

i think the ad was for victoria's secret.

my heart is broke and my mind is not far behind.

Tuesday, March 4, 2003

busy busy day. almost finished rescuing flubbed watercolor. made appointment for one last go around to upgrade teeth which i want to keep. have no idea of how i will pay for it but God will provide, one way or another. also finally fixed that pesky pale colored vlink so it is now readable.

you've probably noticed, especially if you were a child of the 60's, that the music we listened to that rearranged us is now being recycled for TV ads. one example: led zepplin selling caddilacs - thier sales have gone way up since they began using whatever led zep song is in their ads.

well you gotta go with the flow so i propose a contest: what were your favorite transcendental songs? not the mega-hits, but marginal soundtracks of that era, and what do you think they could be used to sell?

one example off the top of my head: i had moments with "darkness darkness" on the album "elephant mountain" by the youngbloods. what could that song be used for to advertise? rayban sunglasses? altzheimer's medication? what about "mr. farmerman" by sky saxon and the seeds? maybe that agribusiness giant - forget the name - whose slogan is "the nature of things to come" - ie what nature is gonna be after they finish with it. "diamonds and rust"? maybe cruise ships. or divorce lawyers. "visions of johanna"? mmm. that's a toughie. and i don't even want to think about "i had too much to dream last night" by the electric prunes. send me your eccentric choices; who knows, a lot of money might be made. but not by any of us.

Monday, March 3, 2003

friend tucker kindly forwarded this column to me. it absolutely nails our secret leaders and their agendas. i thought arianna huffington was some kind of right-wing california person, like from another planet. maybe she is. but no kidding i urge you to read the whole column found on ARIANNA ONLINE - Columns and email it to your friends and relatives. everybody.
below are a few choice tid-bits:


"Published on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 by Arianna Huffington

The Bottom Line On Iraq: It's The Bottom Line

by Arianna Huffington

"...But there's also an overarching mentality feeding the administration's
collective delusions, and it can be found by looking to corporate America's
bottom line. The dots leading from Wall Street to the West Wing situation
room are the ones that need connecting. There's money to be made in post-war
Iraq, and the sooner we get the pesky war over with, the sooner we (by which
I mean George Bush's corporate cronies) can start making it.

"...To hell with worldwide protests, an unsupportive Security Council, a
diplomatically dubious Hans Blix, an Osama giddy at the prospect of a united
Arab world, and a panicked populace grasping at the very slender reed of
duct tape and Saran Wrap to protect itself from the inevitable terrorist
blow-back -- the business of America is still business.

"...The vice president is one of those ideological purists who never let little things like logic, morality, or mass murder interfere with the single-minded pursuit of profitability.

"...Then Cheney moved to the private sector and suddenly things between him and
Saddam warmed up considerably. With Cheney in the CEO's seat, Halliburton
helped Iraq reconstruct its war-torn oil industry with $73 million worth of
equipment and services -- becoming Baghdad's biggest such supplier.

"...And in 2000, just months before pocketing his $34 million Halliburton
retirement package and joining the GOP ticket, Cheney was lobbying for an
end to U.N. sanctions against Saddam.

"...This burn-and-build approach to business guarantees that there will be a market for Halliburton's services as long as it has a friend in high places to periodically carpet bomb a country for it.

"...Clearly, our national interest runs a distant second when pitted against the
rapacious desires of special interests and the politicians they buy with
massive campaign contributions.

"...Here's my bottom line: at a time of war, at what point does subverting our
national security in the name of profitability turn from ugly business into
high treason?


1.Promoting an environment of perpetual war
2.Secrecy and censorship in the name of national security
3.Defiance of and contempt for legislative inquiries and subpoenas
4.Reversing legislative statutes with executive orders
5.Imprisoning citizens without charges and effective legal representation
6.Corrupting the judiciary with party-line ideologues
7.Suborning (Bribing) corporate leadership with favorable tax and procurement policies
8.Using populist rhetoric against liberal elites "

Sunday, March 2, 2003

i went to the demonstrations yesterday, did not blow a fifty amp fuse. the peace people were speaking from a stage and speaking strongly. lots of signs, babies, dogs. hearing the speakers from a distance thru the big speakers reminded me more then anything else of the vietnam days. very peaceful crowd, wondering around with drums and guitars. mostly young or middle aged, with a healthy sprinkling of gray beards "still crazy after all these years". (i include myself in this catagory).

then i walked over to the christian Support Our Soldiers rally. larger crowd, lots of american flags, american vet hats. another stage, but they were talking about how to conduct oneself while engaged in a pie eating contest and travis tritt. i bought a SOS hat, put it on, and wondered back to the peacemongers. nobody said boo. all in all a beautiful day. i think everyone wanted to talk to the other side, and quite a few did.

after the rallies i visited an arts and crafts emporium, nearly deserted, and had a long talk with a lady finishing an oil painting. i learned a lot just watching her and her setup.

today went to Friends Meeting, and then visited molly and bob, ended up going to a movie with them. name of movie was something about "real girls" and it was filmed in asheville and marshall. first movie i've seen in two years and it was a good one. beautiful in fact.