Today\’s harvest…

October 2, 2001 at 1:09 pm
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Today’s harvest…


Hey y’all,

Here’s today’s harvest.

See below for more, and allow me to summarize:

1. This
situation is becoming more Orwellian as time goes on. We’re being
told
half-truths and outright lies by the Administration. Self-censorship by
the
media and by individual Americans is on the rise. We’re losing
personal
liberties and there’s not much complaint about it. Being critical
of
America’s actions, of the Administration, or the President, is
now
tantamount to being unpatriotic. Yet we have some serious problems in all
of
the above, perhaps first among them being:

2. This situation, at
root, has everything to do with our national energy
policy. That too is
receiving scant discussion in the major media. As
Americans, we should
consider ourselves responsible for our national energy
policy and for making
our desires known to our leadership. Within a mere 6
month time frame, we
have: slashed our national investment in all clean
renewable energy sources,
pumped billions of new dollars into dirty
nonrenewable energy, stated
publicly that “Conservation may be a sign of
personal virtue, but it is not a
sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive
energy policy”, aggressively
pursued drilling in the Alaskan wilderness, and
found ourselves right back in
a “war” in the Mideast, essentially over our
past actions there in pursuit of
“cheap” oil…although no one has ever, to
my knowledge, added up the HUMAN
cost of–how many lives have been lost
over–our determination to have
“cheap” oil from elsewhere in the world.
Conservatively, it’s in the
millions. Meanwhile the sun and wind and flow of
water and growing plants
could provide (nearly) free, untapped energy, all
over the planet, every day,
without killing a single soul or needing the
participation of any other
government or having anything at all to do with
foreign policy or religion.
You need look no further than our leadership to
understand why this
absolutely brain-dead pursuit of a dead-end path to
energy continues: it
consists primarily of guys who have become
multimillionaires through the oil
industry.

–C

——————————-

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/sep2001/bush-s28.shtml

“The
fact that top officials, at a time of extraordinary crisis and
public
anxiety, lied to protect the president’s image has immense
implications. If,
within 24 hours of the terror attacks, the White House was
giving out
disinformation to deceive the American public and world opinion,
then none
of the claims made by the government from September 11 to the
present can be
taken for good
coin.”

——————————-

September 30,
2001

We Love the Liberties They Hate
By MAUREEN
DOWD

WASHINGTON

I have studied the Bushes, father and son, for two
decades and I can tell
you certain things with absolute
certainty.

They are devoted to sports, to family and to country, with a
sentimentalism
about America that sometimes moves them to tears.

I
accept and admire their patriotism. And I’d like to believe that they
accept
and admire mine.

My father was an immigrant who went to war for America
and, as a police
detective here, risked his life protecting presidents and
members of
Congress for 25 years. In our family, policemen, firemen, the
military, the
flag and the Statue of Liberty were icons long before Sept.
11.

So I don’t need instructions from Ari Fleischer, the White House
press
secretary, on the conduct of a good American. Patriotism, it seems, is
the
last refuge of spinners.

Even as the White House preaches
tolerance toward Muslims and Sikhs, it is
practicing intolerance, signaling
that anyone who challenges the leaders of
an embattled America is cynical,
political and – isn’t this the subtext? -
unpatriotic.

“The reminder
is to all Americans, that they need to watch what they say,
watch what they
do, and that this is not a time for remarks like that,” Mr.
Fleischer said
haughtily in dressing down Bill Maher, the host of
“Politically Incorrect,”
for saying something politically incorrect.

Then, perhaps showing a
belated appreciation for freedom of expression, the
White House dropped the
Big Brother words “watch what they say” from its
official
transcript.

Mr. Fleischer acts offended – and vindictive – when someone
has the nerve to
challenge the White House while our country is a target. But
especially when
we are a target, we should not suppress the very thing that
makes our foul
enemies crazed with twisted envy – our heady and
headache-inducing clash of
ideas. We should dread a climate where the jobs of
columnists and comedians
are endangered by dissent.

Is
stopping-while-you’re-ahead a lost art? (Yes, Mayor-for-Life Rudy, that
means
you, too.)

President Bush is basking in nearly unanimous public support.
Garry Trudeau
has pulled his featherweight- Bush cartoons. Barbra Streisand
has taken
anti-Bush diatribes off her Web site. David Letterman has been as
diplomatic
as Colin Powell. “Saturday Night Live” will tone down its
scorching Bush
satires.

And yet top Bush advisers have become image
profiteers, spinning tall tales
in a greedy quest to transform the president
they had fretted was coming
across as too small before the crisis into a
larger-than-life figure now.

“They’re trying so hard to make him look
Churchillian and it’s entirely
unnecessary,” says one Republican who advises
the administration. “They’re
overselling a product that’s selling
itself.”

The hyperventilated spin began the morning after the attacks. To
deflect
criticism that the administration had been without any commanding
and
reassuring Giuliani-like voice for 10 hours, as the president and
other
high- level officials scrambled around, Karl Rove and Mr. Fleischer
pushed
the spurious and elaborately embroidered stories that the White House
and
Air Force One were also intended targets.

Such big, lame
inventions undermine our trust, just as the Bush team starts
to do a lot fast
and in secret.

The chief of staff, Andy Card, has instructed the whole
White House to stop
speaking to reporters, so that the chosen few can
spoon-feed the press the
image of an In-Charge, Focused, Resolute
President.

Proving that “a 90 percent approval rating is a dangerous
tonic,” as one
Democrat says, Mr. Rove gets upset when any attention is
deflected from Mr.
Bush. The White House was irked at Bill Clinton’s high
profile. And Mr. Rove
was furious when Dick Cheney told of dispatching the
president off to a
Midwest bunker while he stoically stayed in the White
House basement.

The White House is wrapping the flag around a little too
snugly, as the
senior Bush did in the 1988 campaign when he appeared at a
flag factory and
talked about being “on the American side.”

At a time
when Americans are willing to vest extraordinary power in the
president, to
trust him with life-and- death decisions, to give him him
considerable leeway
in curbing civil liberties and spending billions, this
is a time when
questions and debate are what patriotism demands. Even the
most high-minded
government is not infallible.

————————-

Terrorism
and the Four Freedoms
Doris Haddock
September 28, 2001

The
following is a speech given by 91 year-old Doris “Granny D” Haddock,
who
walked across the U.S. in 1999-2000 for campaign finance reform, in
Unity,
Maine on September 22, 2001.

It is hard to think clearly as we
yet rock in the wake of the recent
terrorist attacks on our cities and our
people. But think clearly we must.
Politics is a serious business. Not
everyone cares to listen when people
argue about the policies and practices
of our political leaders. Americans
would rather be painting their house or
going to a good ball game than
listening to a speech, and that is not a bad
thing. We wouldn’t get much
done
if we just argued politics all the
time.

But there is a time for it, and this is that time. Our neighbors
and
children
are being killed in great numbers because Americans are not
in control of
the
American government, and haven’t been for some time. And
now we are being
killed by our own airplanes, just as we were killed in our
African embassies
in 1998 by our own explosives, which we gave to the Islamic
fundamentalists
so that they would please kill our then enemies, the
Russians.

And four months ago the current Bush administration gave $43
million to the
current Taliban Regime so that it would please kill our
enemies, the heroin
dealers of Afghanistan. Or was it to protect an oil
pipeline? That’s what we
are now learning.

Our subcontracting of death
has never done us much good, with Vietnam still
the shining example, and with
many other examples still bleeding in Central
and South America, Africa, and
in Southeast Asia.

The Coca-Cola company has been accused of financing
the death squads in
Columbia that kill union activists among the plantation
workers. This so
that
our Coca-Cola is affordable to us. Wherever our
large mining companies
extract the value from foreign lands, we have a CIA
and a military working
to
keep any leaders in power who will guarantee us
a cheap labor supply and
cheap mining products, at the expense of local
people and their efforts
toward democracy.

This is not who we want to
be.

If you ask the common American to describe the America he or she
wants us to
be, you will here this: “We are the country that represents
freedom,
opportunity and fairness. We use our strength to help people around
the
world. We oppose brutal regimes and work toward world health and justice
and
democratic participation of all people. The Statue of Liberty is our
beacon
to the world.”

The common American wants the American
government to be that — to be that
every day, in every corner of the
world.

The common American would never answer: “America is this: We use
our
powerful
military forces, intelligence forces, and our huge financial
power to
extract
from weaker countries what we need for our own,
affordable lifestyle in the
US. We will support any brutal regime so long as
they provide us with the
cheap labor and materials we need, and so long as
they keep any competing
political systems out of the region. We will finance
the massacre of
peasants
and workers, the torture of journalist and
clerics, and the rape of nature
and the sky itself so that we may live
pleasantly today in America.”

The common American feels ill at such
words. And yet, that is the vision of
America that many people in the world
carry in their angry hearts. They see
their miserable lives and their
precious children and land being sacrificed
for our luxury. They see our
US-made helicopters and jets and guns and
rockets suppressing and killing
them. Naturally, they celebrate when we are
made to suffer.

The
disconnection between their perception and ours is profound: Our people
are
stunned at the idea that we are not universally loved.

In classrooms all
over America this week and last, teachers and professors
asked their
students, “why do you suppose that some people around the world
are so angry
at us?” Many students no doubt suggested that differences in
religion make
some people intolerant and fanatically homicidal. What other
reason could
they have?

In a West Virginia college classroom last week, a friend of
mine had
something different to say.

“Look at it like this,” he said
to a classroom filled with honor students
who
couldn’t imagine why America
was under attack, except for reasons of
religious extremism. “Imagine that
West Virginia was a third world country,”
he said. “We have all this valuable
coal, but there is one country, far
away,
that buys it all. They are the
richest nation in the world, and they stay
that way by getting our resources
cheaply. They use their wealth to buy-off
our government officials, and to
kill or torture any worker here who tries
to
organize a union or clean up
the government. How mad would we be toward that
distant country, and just how
innocent would we think its citizens are, who
drive around in luxury cars and
live in elegant homes and buy the best
medicines for their children, and
otherwise live a life in sparkling
skyscrapers — a life made affordable by
the way they get resources from us?
They admire their own democracy, turning
a blind eye to what their
government
and their corporations do
abroad.”

The classroom was silent. “Well,” he said, “that’s pretty much
what we do
all
over the world.”.

Someone at the back of the room
said, “Well, we may not be perfect, but this
attack didn’t come from Central
America or Africa or Southeast Asia, it came
from wealthy people from the
Mideast, for religious reasons. “

The class soon remembered that the US
had supported the brutal regime of the
Shah of Iran so to better protect the
supply of oil to the US, and that the
brutality of the Shah led to the rise
of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the camp
of violent Islamic fundamentalists, of
which Bin Laden was a product. The
class was silent again. Then they began to
discuss our problem, and they
were
in a position to come up with real
answers.

So must all Americans see America as the world see us, so that
we can strive
for justice and the peace that comes with justice.

The
politics that killed six thousand people in New York last week is
the
politics of Mideast oil, the politics of the Shah of Iran and our
support
for
him and his torture police — supported so that we might
secure cheap oil
and
an anti-Communist puppet at any price to the local
people and at any price
to
their democracy. The Shah did not deliver peace
or safety, but instead he
delivered into the world the Ayatollah Khomeini and
the present wave of
violent Islamic fundamentalists — who are no more
Islamic in their
practices
than America’s radical right are Christian in
their practices. Both radical
fringes are beating the war drums and accusing
everyone who is not exactly
like them of causing last week’s horror. George
Bush, has declared war on
evil. That is a holy war as chilling as the
Taliban’s call for war on evil.

This is not a time for all good Americans
to forget their political
differences and rally behind the man in the White
House. The man in the
White
House should apologize for the most serious
breach of internal security in
the nation’s history, not disguise his failure
in calls for war. Can he hope
that the fiery explosions in New York and
Washington and Pennsylvania will
be
more acceptable to us if they are
placed in a larger context of explosions
of
our own making? I do not rally
around that idea. It is “wag the dog” taken
to
an extreme level, for he is
not covering up his failure with a fake war, but
with a real one.

He
has taken every opportunity to make the world less safe, first in North
Korea
and then in the Mideast and in Russia and in China. He needs a
dangerous
world to sell his military vision of the future. He is getting it.
We must
not go along with him.

The international community may soon have to
rescue the Afghan people from
the Taliban just as we had to rescue Europe
from the Nazis, and rebuild it
and let it find its way to self-government,
but that is not the same issue
and that will not resolve international
terrorism at its roots. It is a
diversion of our attention from Bush’s
catastrophic failure at home and
abroad.

Sixty years and eight months
ago Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his
“four freedoms” State of the
Nation speech to Congress as he prepared the
nation for war. In it, he laid
down the sensible and humane preconditions
for
future world peace and
democracy.

If Mr. Bush insists on preparing us for his war against evil,
let him learn
from that great speech.

Let me read you the final
paragraphs:

“In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look
forward to a world
founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is
freedom of speech
and expression — everywhere in the world.”

Now Mr.
Bush, do not tell us that we must prepare to lose our free speech
rights and
our rights to privacy, so that you and your corporate-military
complex can
continue to abuse the world safely. Do not take away our first
freedom. You
have installed your closest political associate as the head of
FEMA, which
has its own prison camps set up across America for any coming
disturbances.
We are indeed disturbed.

And now it seems we are to have an internal
secret police, headed not by a
law enforcement man but by Tom Ridge, and it
is to be a cabinet-level
position. This puts it far above the FBI, our
non-political, professional
internal security police, which has been
discredited in an intensive
campaign
this year.

“The second,” FDR
continued, “is freedom of every person to worship God in
his own way —
everywhere in the world.”

Do not, Mr. Bush, let your vision of good and
evil and your friends on the
religious right overpower the religion of
mainstream America, which is the
religion of peace and justice. Do not take
away our second freedom.

“The third,” said FDR, “is freedom from want,
which, translated into world
terms, means economic understandings which will
secure to every nation a
healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants —
everywhere in the world.
Unquote.

We cannot live peacefully if we do
not work every day for the people, not
the
despots, of the world — for
justice, not for banking arrangements and trade
agreements to fatten our
already fat banks and corporations. Do not deprive
the third world of this
third freedom, for none of us are free if some of us
are yet
enslaved.

“The fourth is freedom,” said FDR, “from fear, which,
translated into world
terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to
such a point and in such
a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a
position to commit an act of
physical aggression against any neighbor —
anywhere in the world.”

Let the US stop selling the weapons of death
throughout the world. We have
fallen far, far away from the vision of a
peaceful, unarmed world. We are
now
the principle source of arms and
high-tech weapons for all the despots of
the
world. Mr. Bush, you can only
give us freedom from fear if the people of the
world are free of fear. This
the common American knows in his heart.

I remember Roosevelt’s speech
well. My husband and I no doubt discussed it
at
the dinner table. We had
already been married eleven years at the time. I
hope I speak for many common
Americans who cannot see our flag without
getting emotional with love for it.
Our dream is that it should always
represent the best that human beings can
do on this earth. This is a time
for
us to rally around its best values
and its highest dreams.

To the terrorists, here is my message: you are
not martyrs, but cowards.
Your
selfish, ego-maniacal greed for a place in
heaven cannot be purchased with
the deaths of other people. Look across the
Khyber Pass toward the land of
Gandhi, who taught us that violence makes
justice harder to come by, not
easier. Today in America, the work of
terrorists makes the work harder for
those who want reform America’s policies
and practices. You do not want to
change American policies, or you would be
using your millions to bring your
message to us in ways that we can
understand and act upon. You want only
your
shortcut to heaven. We have
the same great God, the same Allah, and he
shakes
his head in sad
disbelief at your spiritual immaturity.

“The ultimate weakness of
violence,” Dr. King taught us, “is that it is a
descending spiral, begetting
the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of
diminishing evil, it
multiplies it… Through violence you may murder the
hater, but you do not
murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases
hate…. adding deeper
darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness
cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.”

Terrorism makes it hard for us to do the right
thing, but do it we must.
Old “Fighting Bob” LaFollette, that great reformer,
said that “war is the
money-changer’s opportunity, and the social reformer’s
doom.” But we will
not
accept doom. We will keep going. It is a time for
all of us to speak the
truth with courage and hope. America is, despite all,
still the best hope
for
the world. But we are a work in progress, and we
all have some work to do
right now. It is the work of peace, of frank
education, of making our lives
and our communities more sustainable and less
dependent on the suffering of
others, and of cleaning up a campaign finance
system that has allowed our
elected leaders to represent not our interests
and values, but those of
international corporations who are set on world
domination and who have the
resources to buy our government away from us if
we will let them. We will
not, so long as we live, and so long as our four
freedoms are our guiding
lights and
inspiration.

—————————–

SF Chronicle – Money
Talks – Sunday, September 23, 2001
Oil rises to the top in debate on economic
policy
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/09/23
/BU152004.DTL

—————————–

SF
Chronicle – Money Talks – Sunday, September 16, 2001
Attack raises troubling
questions on U.S. economic policy
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/09/16
/BU217651.DTL

“Nobody
wants to hear this, but tyranny breeds terrorism. U.S. corporations,
and the
military might they subsidize, have profited in foreign lands for
decades,
too often taking what’s best for them and leaving social chaos in
their wake.


—————————–

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