Monday, November 28, 2005

And Now for Something Completely Different....























Just finished a rather laborious translation of an incredibly moving song I'd like to share with you. Please listen to the original, even if it is in Japanese.

The artist, Ms. Yo Hitoto, is a 29-year-old Tokyo composer and singer with a truly amazing voice. She's half-Japanese and half-Taiwanese and fluent in Japanese, English, and Mandarin.

The song below was written about the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Ms. Hitoto is referring to 1912, when America presented Japan with a Dogwood tree and Japan presented America with a Japanese cherryblossom tree.

Hitoto wrote the song to illustrate how the pain of loss is universal, but that, through love comes hope and peace. The original lyrics were considerably longer.

TITLE: ハナミズキ (Hanamizuki) (Blooming Dogwood)

You reach up to the sky
Your hand stretches out in May.
I somehow wish for you to come
Wish for you to come up to the water’s edge
I want to give you a flowerbud
A dogwood from the garden.

You, so pale pink and adorable
A dream without limit perfectly
Ends, so that
You and your beloved
Endure for a hundred years.

Summer is too hot and
My feelings are too intense and
While crossing over together
Doubtlessly the ship will sink

Please go;
Please go ahead of me.

My patience will someday bear fruition
The neverending waves perfectly
calm so that
You and your beloved
Endure for a hundred years.

Chase bright butterflies
Raise the white sails
When Mother’s Day comes
Please send a dogwood leaf.
You don’t need to wait
You don’t need to know.

You reach up to the sky
Your hand stretches out in May.
I somehow wish for you to come
Wish for you to come up to the water’s edge
I want to give you a flowerbud
A dogwood from the garden.

You, so pale pink and adorable
A dream without limit perfectly
Ends, so that
You and your beloved
Endure for a hundred years.

You and your beloved
Endure for a hundred years.

空(そら)を押し上げて(おしあげて)
手(て)を伸ばす(のばす)君(きみ) 五月(ごがつ)のこと
どうか来て(きて)ほしい
水際(みzuぎわ)まで来て(きて)ほしい
つぼみをあげよう
庭(にわ)のハナミズキ(はなみずき)

薄紅色(うすべにいろ)の可愛い(かわいい)君(きみ)のね
果てない(はてない)夢(ゆめ)が(ち)ちゃんと
終わります(おわります)ように
君(きみ)と好き(すき)な人(ひと)が
百年(ひゃくねん)続きます(つづきます)ように

夏(なつ)は暑過ぎて(あつすぎて)
僕(ぼく)から気持ち(きもち)は重すぎて(おもすぎて)
一緒(いっしょ)にわたるには
きっと船(ふね)が沈んじゃう(しずんじゃう)
どうぞゆきなさい
お先(おさき)にゆきなさい

僕(ぼく)の我慢(がまん)がいつか実(み)を結び(むすび)
果てない(はてない)波(なみ)がちゃんと
止まります(とまります)ように
君(きみ)とすきな人(ひと)が
百年(ひゃくねん)続きます(つづきます)ように

ひらり蝶々(ちょうちょう)を
追いかけて(おいかけて)白い(しろい)帆(ほ)を揚げて(あげて)
母(はは)の日(ひ)になれば
ミズキ(みずき)の葉(は)、贈って(おくって)下さい(ください)
待たなくて(またなくて)もいいよ
知らなくて(しらなくて)もいいよ

薄紅色(うすべにいろ)の可愛い(かわいい)君(きみ)のね
果てない(はてない)夢(ゆめ)がちゃんと
終わります(おわります)ように
君(きみ)と好き(すき)な人(ひと)が
百年(ひゃくねん)続きます(つづきます)ように

僕(ぼく)の我慢(がまん)がいつか実(み)を結び
果てない(はてない)波(なみ)がちゃんと
止まります(とまります)ように
君(きみ)とすきな人(ひと)が
百年(ひゃくねん)続きます(つづきます)ように

君(きみ)と好き(すき)な人(ひと)が
百年(ひゃくねん)続きます(つづきます)ように。

Her site is here.

And a RealAudio clip of the foregoing song

Pure magic.

Quotes of the Day: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.
- I Corinthians, chapter 13

The entire law is summed up in a single command, "Love your neighbor as yourself."
- Galatians 5:14

Friday, November 25, 2005

Bush has spared more turkeys than people....


Our resident emperor and the Red House Executioner-in-Chief has by now pardoned more turkeys than people he's sent to death, excluding the hundred thousand casualties of his personal war.

Fortunately, more and more of us are beginning to see him for the lying and treacherous bastard he is.

But the recent revelation of his direct attempts to bomb a civilian broadcasting headquarters come as no surprise whatsoever to those of us paying close attention. Please, oh please release the paper trail.

Maybe then we'll finally get to say, "Aaah. This turkey's done".

Quote of the day:
"And thus I clothe my naked villainy with
odd old ends stolen forth of holy writ,
And seem I a saint, when most I play the devil."

-- William Shakespeare, Richard III

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Double Jeopardy....

Alex, for 200, George Bush's real job title.

The alternative answer can be found here.

And, just as we always suspected, the title of this page confirms what we'd all known anyway.

Quote of the Day: “You are a silly little boy,” said the Lord of the Flies, “just an ignorant, silly little boy.”

Simon moved his swollen tongue but said nothing.

“Don’t you agree?” said the Lord of the Flies. “Aren’t you just a silly little boy?”

Simon answered him in the same silent voice.

“Well then,” said the Lord of the Flies, “you’d better run off and play with the others. They think you’re batty. You don’t want Ralph to think you’re batty, do you? You like Ralph a lot, don’t you? And Piggy, and Jack?”

Simon’s head was tilted slightly up. His eyes could not break away and the Lord of the Flies hung in space before him.

“What are you doing out here all alone? Aren’t you afraid of me?”

Simon shook.

“There isn’t anyone to help you. Only me. And I’m the Beast.”

Simon’s mouth labored, brought forth audible words.

“Pig’s head on a stick.”

“Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!” said the head.

For a moment or two the forest and all the other dimly appreciated places echoed with the parody of laughter. “You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?”

The laughter shivered again.

“Come now,” said the Lord of the Flies. “Get back to the others and we’ll forget the whole thing.”

Simon’s head wobbled. His eyes were half closed as though he were imitating the obscene thing on the stick. He knew that one of his times was coming on. The Lord of the Flies was expanding like a balloon.

“This is ridiculous. You know perfectly well you’ll only meet me down there—so don’t try to escape!”

Simon’s body was arched and stiff. The Lord of the Flies spoke in the voice of a schoolmaster.

“This has gone quite far enough. My poor, misguided child, do you think you know better than I do?”

There was a pause.

“I’m warning you. I’m going to get angry. D’you see? You’re not wanted. Understand? We are going to have fun on this island. Understand? We are going to have fun on this island! So don’t try it on, my poor misguided boy, or else—”

Simon found he was looking into a vast mouth. There was blackness within, a blackness that spread.

“—Or else,” said the Lord of the Flies, “we shall do you. See? Jack and Roger and Maurice and Robert and Bill and Piggy and Ralph. Do you. See?”
-- William Golding

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

No Exit and Other Lessons in Irony from the Torture Party

Looks like Bush and his ilk have finally discovered Hell, and it turns out to indeed be other people.

First, Korea times its troop withdrawal announcement for the day of Bush's arrival.

And as the rats begin their frantic scurrying, Ghoul-in-Chief Rumsfeld shows his complete lack of shame, blurting out the outrageous lie that he never advocated the invasion.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government calls yet again for withdrawal, echoing the wishes of 83% of the civilian population (according to the British Ministry of Defense) and earlier desperate attempts to get rid of us.

And although Chief Pan Troglodytes publicly rhapsodizes about how "wonderfully" the occupation's proceeding, those with their boots on the ground are apparently in a completely different world than Bush's.

So, even though the two top commanders in the debacle have already delivered their detailed plans for ending the occupation, in answer, Bush's latest bumbling has become a metaphor for the Red House's hellish vision: for Americans and Iraqis in the Hell of occupied Iraq there will be no exit. It's "stay the course until evil has been vanquished", a patently neverending and completely arbitrary goal.

A brief glimpse at current developments in colonial Iraq is a further maddening exercise in doublethink, with irony piling upon irony.

For example "Operation Iraqi Freedom" and similar exploits have delivered not freedom, but incarceration to more than 83,000 in the last four years, even though a staggering 70 to 90 percent of those still being held in Iraq ARE KNOWN TO BE COMPLETELY INNNOCENT.

And we've certainly extracted more than our pound of flesh as, by now, far more died in Iraq than in all the terrorist attacks throughout history combined.

Those who have experienced the horrors of torture firsthand are trying to uphold America's historic abhorrance of it, but the walking national embarrassment called Bush is still threatening to veto any legal measures, blithely unaware of the irony in light of his own words:

The capture of this man was crucial to the rise of a free Iraq. It marks the end of the road for him, and for all who bullied and killed in his name. For the Baathist holdouts largely responsible for the current violence, there will be no return to the corrupt power and privilege they once held. For the vast majority of Iraqi citizens who wish to live as free men and women, this event brings further assurance that the torture chambers and the secret police are gone forever.
Now we learn the nuthatches directing the slaughter on our behalf have been repopulating the new and improved Iraqi army overwhelmingly with Saddam's own elite (the very folks who were lobbing mortars and firing bullets at our troops months, weeks and perhaps even days ago).

So it comes as no surprise that we have been fostering a generation of professional Jeffery Dahmers, who have been secretly torturing our own informants in the most ghastly ways imaginable -- and with the covert assistance of some folks who harbor little fondness for us:

So far, it appears that the facts are these: that Iraq's interior ministry, whose top officials, strike forces and police commando units (including the so-called Wolf Brigade) are controlled by paramilitary units from Shiite militias, maintained a medieval torture chamber; that inside that facility, hundreds of mostly Sunni Arab men were bestialized, with electric drills skewering their bones, with their skins flayed off, and more; that roving units of death-squad commandos are killing countless other Sunni Arab men in order to terrorize the Iraqi opposition. Even the Washington Post, that last-ditch defender of America's illegal and unprovoked assault on Iraq, says:

Scandal over the secret prison has forced the seven-month-old Shiite-led government to confront growing charges of mass illegal detentions, torture and killings of Sunni men. Members of the Sunni minority, locked in a struggle with the Shiite majority over the division of power in Iraq, say men dressed in Interior Ministry uniforms have repeatedly rounded up Sunni men from neighborhoods and towns. Bodies of scores of them have been found dumped by roadsides or in gullies.

The New York Times reports that the Iraqi interior minister isn't all that upset about the torture center. Bayan Jabr, "speaking of the prison in an angry sarcastic tone, said, 'There has been much exaggeration about this issue.' And he added, "Nobody was beheaded.'" So, apparently not beheading innocents is the standard of justice in the New Iraq. And, apparently there may be dozens, scores or hundreds of similar facilities.

This is not a surprise.

Nearly two years ago, writing in the American Prospect, I wrote the following: "The Prospect has learned that part of a secret $3 billion in new funds—tucked away in the $87 billion Iraq appropriation that Congress approved in early November—will go toward the creation of a paramilitary unit manned by militiamen associated with former Iraqi exile groups...The bulk of the covert money will support U.S. efforts to create a lethal, and revenge-minded, Iraqi security force." Except for a parallel story by Sy Hersh in the New Yorker, the story was ignored.

Over the past two years, writing for TomPaine.com, I have repeatedly written about Shiite death squads and about abuses by the paramilitary Badr Brigade, the secret army trained and run by Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Iraqi Sunnis and opposition leaders, including Aiham Al Sammarae (as I wrote for TomPaine ) have charged that the Iraqi government has been running assassination teams. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, have been killed already, including two attorneys for those accused in the kangaroo court set up to convict Saddam Hussein and other former Iraqi government officials. The Post suggests that the prison uncovered in Baghdad was a "secret torture center run with the help of intelligence agents from neighboring Iran." Read that again: intelligence agents from Iran.
Then of course, there's our use of chemical weapons on the Iraqi population, another of the ostensible reasons for Bush's invasion.

So we claimed we'd free the iraqis, then jailed tens of thousands known to be innocent; we claimed to repudiate Hussein's torture policies, then surpassed him in our own efficiency; we claimed to want to rid Iraq of the WMDs Herr Rumsfeld and Bush Sr. had given him (which, as UN inspector Scott Ritter said three years ago, had already been destroyed or rendered useless), then used our own WMD on its citizenry; we claimed to want to bring them a democracy, then rigged the vote; we claimed to embrace a free press, then began killing journalists and cracking down on dissent.

But the smirking chimp waxes generous of late, pretending to welcome dissent, unless, of course, you happen to be a certain mother of a soldier killed in the quagmire, whose Constitutional rights to freedom of assembly and petitioning for redress are apparently less than those of certain high-profile Congressmen.

And then there's the tricky little Constitutional issue of a certain US citizen who's been jailed without trial or charges for 3 Years and 197 Days on the mere sayso of the White House.

Seems as though lately, America has become... well, downright UnAmerican.

Fortunately though, it looks like regular folks may have finally had enough:

No matter how frantically Rove sock puppet McLellan screams "Shut Up!" at the war's critics, there may ultimately be no exit for its architects either; the Wall Street Journal reports that Bush's current job approval rating stands at 34%, and Cheney rates only slightly higher in popularity than genital warts at 19%, ten percent below Nixon during the height of the Watergate scandal.

To paraphrase, "God, it seems, is not without a sense of irony...".

And that, friends, is a good thing.

Quote of the Day: "...so a fool finds mirth, makes a thing and then mars it, till his mood changes and off he goes!"
--Robert Browning


Breaking: Jose Padilla has finally been indicted (meaning a judge has found sufficient evidence for a trial to proceed -- after 3 and a half years of languishing in the dungeon of King George (or is it Queen George? Boy George? General BoneUpArt?)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Cool....

Somebody's reposted my story in Dutch.

Good to know sombody's listening out there. Some of the stuff I've been digging up scares the Hell out of me. The more people hear about it, the less frightening it is.

By now, looks like visitors are hailing from pretty much every country around the globe now. Cool.

Will try to post provocative, sound and important stuff.

best,
NAP

Sunday, November 20, 2005

(The) Dick Takes One in the... Chins






















(The) Dick feels some discomfort while watching the broadcast of Marine Sergeant Rep. John Murtha

Poor, poor Dick. Seems lying and torture's fallen out of favor among Americans. And now Co-Chickenhawk in Chief has made the mistake of calling out a former marine drill sergeant -- it begs the question, "Fuck, how stupid can one man be?"

Still smarting from the live CNN broadcast of "Go Fuck yourself, Cheney", he has a nasty run-in with a group of students with the temerity to exercise their Constitutional right to freedom of assembly.

Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.

Good thing he's got a place to relax. Looks like he might have to move in permanently soon. Heh.

Quote of the Day:
"Abashed the Devil stood, And felt how awful goodness is."
-- John Milton

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Ah, Hindsight....

To paraphrase an excellent comment regarding my last post:

It's the year 2000.

If I told you the Supreme Court was going to force a state to stop counting votes because they had chosen the president, would you believe me?

If I told you we would invade an unarmed country that posed us no possible threat, and had been ruined by years of sanctions and months of secret carpet bombing, would you believe me?

If I told you American troops would secretly use napalm, cluster bombs, depleted uranium and white phosphorous on civilian populations and the White House and Pentagon would flatly lie about it would you believe me?

If I told you in five years Americans would build massive concentration camps overseas, conduct massive sweeps, random incarcerations and widespread, brutal and even fatal torture of innocent civilians (including children as young as 13), would you believe me?

If I told you that American citizens could, on the mere whim of the attorney general, be arrested and held indefinitely without charges, representation or hearings, would you believe me?

If I told you our government would be secretly delivering prisoners to have them tortured without trial, would you believe me?

If I told you the vice president would demand torture be upheld as official federal policy, would you believe me?

It's 1938.

If I told you Hitler was going to murder all the Jews in Europe, would you believe me?

Remember the nasty phenomenon of how a frog, if left in a pot of water ever so slowly heated, will stay until it boils to death.

Resist.

Now.

Tomorrow may just be one day too late.

Quote of the Day: "Remember everything Hitler did was legal." -- Dr. Martin Luther King

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Some Really Good Shit....























As Sir Assboil exploits dying soldiers to sell some crap in support of his drug habit, Wayne Madsen (who was considered legitimate enough to testify in the Congressional 9-11 hearings, BTW) drops a bombshell, charging the REAL REASON the Cheney cabal outted Plame was that her CIA Division had CAUGHT THE BUSHITES RED-HANDED TRYING TO FRAME IRAQ WITH WMD:

According to U.S. intelligence sources, the White House exposure of Valerie Plame and her Brewster Jennings & Associates was intended to retaliate against the CIA's work in limiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. WMR has reported in the past on this aspect of the scandal. In addition to identifying the involvement of individuals in the White House who were close to key players in nuclear proliferation, the CIA Counter-Proliferation Division prevented the shipment of binary VX nerve gas from Turkey into Iraq in November 2002. The Brewster Jennings network in Turkey was able to intercept this shipment which was intended to be hidden in Iraq and later used as evidence that Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction. U.S. intelligence sources revealed that this was a major reason the Bush White House targeted Plame and her network.

Brewster Jennings
CIA counter-proliferation network prevented a WMD "salting" operation by Bush White House in Iraq.

In fact, U.S. intelligence sources report that the first shipment of VX nerve gas to Saddam Hussein was carried out between 1988 and 1989. The gas was shipped to Iraq by a U.S. company that was established in 1987 -- The Carlyle Group.
And sure enough, if we hearken back to one month later, we find an interesting bit of corroborative intel had been floated by the White House at the time -- and subsequently entirely debunked of course. And then, of course there's the testimony of Department of Defense whistleblower Nelda Rogers:

A Defense whistleblower ... has revealed that a US covert operations team had planted "Weapons of Mass Destruction" (WMDs) in Iraq - then "lost" them when the team was killed by so-called "friendly fire." The Pentagon whistleblower, Nelda Rogers, is a 28-year veteran debriefer for the Defense Department. She has become so concerned for her safety that she decided to tell the story about this latest CIA-military fiasco in Iraq.

According to Al Martin Raw.com, "Ms.Rogers is number two in the chain of command within this DoD special intelligence office. This is a ten-person debriefing unit within the central debriefing office for the Department of Defense. The information that is being leaked out is information "obtained while she was in Germany heading up the debriefing of returning service personnel, involved in intelligence work in Iraq for the Department of Defense and/or the Central Intelligence Agency.

"According to Ms. Rogers, there was a covert military operation that took place both preceding and during the hostilities in Iraq," reports Al Martin Raw.com, an online subscriber-based news/analysis service which provides "Political, Economic and Financial Intelligence."

Al Martin is a retired Lt. Commander (US Navy), the author of a memoir called "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider, " and he is considered one of America's foremost experts on corporate and government fraud. Ms. Rogers reports that this particular covert operation team was manned by ex-military personnel and that "the unit was paid through the Department of Agriculture in order to hide it, which is also very commonplace." According to Al Martin Raw.com, "the Ag Department has often been used as a paymaster on behalf of the CIA, DIA, and NSA and others."

Accordng to the Al Martin Raw.com story, another aspect of Ms. Rogers' report concerns a covert operation which was to locate the assets of Saddam Hussein and his family, including cash, gold bullion, jewelry and assorted valuable antiquities. The problem became evident when "the operation in Iraq involved 100 people, all of whom apparently are now dead, having succumbed to so-called 'friendly fire.' The scope of this operation included the penetration of the Central Bank of Iraq, other large commercial banks in Baghdad, the Iraqi National Museum and certain presidential palaces where monies and bullion were secreted. They identified about $2 billion of cash in US dollars, another $150 million in Euros, in physical banknotes, and about another $100 million in sundry foreign currencies ranging from Yen to British Pounds," reports Al Martin.

"These people died, mostly in the same place in Baghdad, supposedly from a stray cruise missile or a combination of missiles and bombs that went astray," Martin continues. "There were supposedly 76 who died there and the other 24 died through a variety of 'friendly fire,' 'mistaken identity,' and some of them - their whereabouts are simply unknown." Ms. Rogers' story sound like an updated 21st Century version of Treasure Island meets Ali Baba and the Bush Cabal Thieves, writes Martin. "This was a contingent of CIA/ DoD operatives, but it was really the CIA that bungled it, Ms. Rogers said. They were relying on the CIA's ability to organize an effort to seize these assets and to be able to extract these assets because the CIA claimed it had resources on the ground within the Iraqi army and the Iraqi government who had been paid. That turned out to be completely bogus. As usual."

"CIA people were supposed to be handling it," Martin continues. "They had a special 'black (unmarked) aircraft to fly it out. But none of that happened because the regular US Army showed up, stumbled onto it and everyone involved had to scramble. These new Iraqi "Asset Seizures" go directly to the New US Ruling Junta. The US Viceroy in Iraq Paul Bremer is reportedly drinking Saddam Hussein's $2000 a bottle Napoleon era brandy, smoking his expensive Davidoff cigars and he has even furnished his Baghdad office with Saddam's Napolean era antique furniture

The Iraq Debacle Du Jour has evidently been extensively documented by the DIA debriefing teams with "extensive tape recordings of interviews with the Iraqi returnees, the covert operatives (as well as their affidavits)."

Al Martin Raw.com has dubbed this "Operation Skim Iraq."
And I recall spamming a few hundred thousand activists and media outlets with this story a year ago.

I've been contending for a long time now that the avalanche of scandal we're seeing right now is a below-the-radar war between the intel community and the Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal. This just further seems to support it.

And elsewhere in propaganda land, NoMoreFakeNews.com posits an eerie possibility that rings all too true. Fear news, all the time, anytime. Bird flu, radicals in need of suppression, bomb-chucking crazies ready at any moment to imperil our God-given right to eat Big Macs, shop at Walmart, guzzle blood-comingled petrol and, of course torture the non-White.

Quotes of the Day:
"A few agents of the thought Police moved always among them, spreading false rumours and marking down and eliminating the few individuals who were judged capable of becoming dangerous..."

"But the proles, if only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength, would have no need to conspire. They needed only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies. If they chose they could blow the Party to pieces tomorrow morning. Surely sooner or later it must occur to them to do it? And yet -----!"

"And in the general hardening of outlook that set in ... practices which had been long abandoned ... -- imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture to extract confessions, the use of hostages and the deportation of whole populations -- not only became common again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered themselves enlightened and progressive."

"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. ... We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. ... How does one man assert his power over another ... By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is inflicting pain and humiliation. ... A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. ... If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--forever."

-- George Orwell, 1984


Postscript: by the way, can Limbaugh REALLY not have clue as to what the fuck he's selling?!? I mean the WTF factor here is way out of the scale. Those are DOG TAGS; what the military uses to identify unrecognizable remains of soldiers. And with his name on them, no less. Holy crap... (head shaking).

Post postscript: Mr. Sanders, don't throw me any more goddamned "bones", thank you ever-so-the-fuck much. I hate being called a goddamned "conspiracy theorist". Particularly when, if you take the time to actually read the foregoing article and links within it, you'll find I haven't done any "theorizing" whatsoever.