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JULY 7 -  pm results: 37 Dead Confirmed, 700 Wounded. British Police have recovered two unexploded bombs and parts of timing devices. ABC

 

10:00am here:  Brits Under Attack. The day after London's celebration, winning bid for hosting Olympics.  3 bombs in the underground and 1 on a double decker bus. All explosions within 3 minutes of each other. A shaken but determined Prime Minister Blair calls terrorist bombings "barbaric," and that the attacks were clearly designed  to coincide with the G-8 in Scotland. President Bush warns Americans to be "extra vigilant."

AP           NYT

Londoners known for having endured The Blitz of WWII and IRA bombings are again being severely tested. 

Latest news: More bomb scares around London.  10:30 am on CNN: Current injuries: amputations, burns, fractures,shock.  All buses being checked. "Rescue" site changed into "crime scene." Officials say, had no intelligence previous to attacks, that they are shocked but not surprised.

11:30 am: Alert will rise to orange on US transit systems.

Cairo Egypt:  "The secret organization of Al-Qaeda in Europe" took credit for London Bombings, but this could not be authenticated.   NYT

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JULY 6 - Brits Get The Olympics.                                            

Also turn tables on French: President Jacques Chirac lobbying in Singapore offered "Unforgettable Olympics in 2012" to the committee.  But before that he said  to Russia's Putin and Germany's Schroeder (about the British), "The only thing they've ever done for European agriculture is mad cow," and, "we can't trust people who have such bad food."  No doubt he made all those nice cows in the English countryside very mad, and we all know that English jails are bursting, the result of bad cooking, fostering a need for a study on the English criminal mind and English puddings. 

SAMMY   Read on.....       

WP British    WP French     NYDN Food Fight

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JULY 5 -  Justice O'conner Is leaving.  How conservative is George W. Bush?

Bush's Brain, Karl Rove, identified the far right and religious activists as key to Bush's re-election.  Today these Bush supporters are reminding their guy that he owes them an ultra conservative Justice.  Now shoot-from-the-hip cowpoke Dubbya is gonna have to stop and think about it before he pulls the trigger.  So who's his target audience? Huh?

SAMMY   Read on....

Some interesting thoughts on the subject at:     USAT

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JULY 5 -  I really like this guy, WILL DURST. Go to Scoundrel City to his June 23rd post at AlterNet.  Speaks my language, that's why.

                                SAMMY

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JULY 5 - Big deal!  G-8 negotiations in Scotland will result in a "recognition of the science behind global warming," while the rest of reasonably intelligent humanity has long recognized the problem as real and dangerous. The world scientific community has been brightening the sky with warning flares for years, but Bush and the vast energy and auto lobbies have chosen not to see the light.

You probably knows this, but I'll print it out anyway:  The fingerprints of global warming problems are:  heat waves, ocean warming, glacier melting, Arctic & Antarctic warming; causing spreading disease, early spring, plant and animal shifts, coral reef bleaching, heavy rain and snow, flooding, droughts and fires.  All of which will increase, scientists predict, if emissions of heat trapping gases are not controlled.

SAMMY  read on....   For the story WP      For Global Warming   See the difference in the pics?

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JULY 4 - We don't belong in Iraq, folks, but with all its faults, you gotta love America.  The best to our great service men and women, especially today. And remember the tremendous risks our Founders took when they signed the

Declaration Of  Independence

SAMMY

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JULY 1 - The tragedy of war.  Our elite good guys are dead and missing.  No further comment.  SAMMY   Read on....

AP

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JUNE 30 - Shoot the messenger?  Hell, Robert Novak did the dirty deed, not Cooper & Miller.  AP says Time Magazine will hand over reporter Mat Cooper's notes.  NY Times says Time is considering it. The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal for Cooper and NY Times' reporter Judith Miller, which would mean jail time for both if their notes are not forthcoming.  So what about columnist Robert Novak?  And what about the Bush administration rats who would remain mute while others go to jail?

Back in July 2003, Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. diplomat, having been to Africa for the CIA, challenged President Bush's State Of The Union claim about Iraq's attempt to buy nuclear weapons materials in Africa.  Soon after, Novak wrote that  two senior administration officials revealed that Mr. Wilson's wife was a CIA operative on WMDs.  Not so nutsy, is it, to suggest the release of his wife's name was a way to get back at Wilson for having the audacity to contradict Bush?  Don't think so.  Apparently Novak gave names or notes to the prosecutor since he's not threatened with jail.  And regarding Cooper and Miller--no crime has been committed!

Prosecutor Fitzgerald says Time has a moral obligation to cooperate.  On the other hand, what about the time honored obligation of reporters to protect their sources?  And what kind of a chill does this create in the media when trying to expose outright lies, or corruption, in government?  It's threatening frost, folks.  Brrr.

SAMMY   Read on....

AP   NYT  And a cuter version: SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL by WONKETTE,

 

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JUNE 29 - Same ol', same ol'.  In his Tuesday night (June 28) speech before our stalwart service men and women at Fort Bragg, N. C., President Bush connected the 9/11 attacks to Saddam's Iraq 5 times-- a literal falsehood.  For the hundredth time folks: 15 of the 19 attackers  were our friends the Saudis, and no Iraqis.  the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rove philosophy is--say it long enough and it becomes truth.  But fewer and fewer are buying it.

Senators McCain, Kerry, and Biden, say there are not enough troops on the ground, though McCain is following the party line by saying, we have to fight them in Iraq so as not to have to do so here.  I say, we should have poured all--not just some--of our troops into Afghanistan where the Taliban were hosting Al Quaeda, and Germany and France and others would have seen the justification for our actions, and given us some help.  The Associated Press covers the speech and reactions.   SAMMY    Read on....

Bush Criticized For Linking 9/11 And Iraq

AP

 

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JUNE 27 - About democracy, I refer you to the excellent essay by Michael Ignatieff in Sunday's June 26 NY Times Magazine. But first my own meddlesome comments:

Mr. Ignatieff starts with Thomas Jefferson's deathbed letter stating, the democratic experiment would spread to the entire world-- "to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all."  He also said that "all men are created equal," which was a slight exaggeration since the poor are born equal to the poor, and the rich to the rich, whereas it is the gift of opportunity  that may provide the American dream.  I'm guessing Jefferson assumed democracy would spread simply because of its fine example in America.  Or did he actually envision exporting it by the imposition of force as is currently being attempted?  To my recollection no 20th century American president--all pretty conservative by today's reckoning--ever set out to invade another country simply to rescue it from tyranny, to bring to it our Jeffersonian democracy. 

Within our own boundaries, in the 19th century our European ancestors headed west with a brand of democracy that did not include the native Americans.  While beyond, in the 1940s,  we invaded Africa, Europe, the Pacific Islands and Japan, because we, in the simplest terms, were attacked, and then only as victors did we impose democracy on Germany and Japan--not so much out of the goodness of our hearts, but rather because we could, and because of the need to create political climates resistant to tyrants and to achieve compatibility with our capital markets; which as it turned out, in addition to insuring our democracy, brought freedom and prosperity to our former enemies.  Of course, sadly, the downside was that close to 400,000 American servicemen from my generation gave their lives, for which we are ever grateful.

Our world is always more practical than idealistic, yet in America, whether real or imagined, idealism is often entwined, if not in conflict, with the former. We envision a generosity of spirit and greatness and sometimes fall short of the spirit while achieving the latter, which might be interpreted by some as merely a firming up, if not an expansion, of our national interests. As the current administration attempts to bring democracy to Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East, Muslims may see a less than idealistic vision in the images of our behavior toward Islamic detainees, guilty or innocent, and our outsourcing of torture to places like Egypt.

Over the decades of the 20th century we have supported dictators and undermined the elected, to maintain "stability."  And now president Bush has brought voting opportunities to Iraq and part of Afghanistan, but at a high price for Iraqis and American military; and not, I believe, for a Jeffersonian ideal, but rather for a family vendetta and to extend more control over Iraqi oil -- the by-product democracy an afterthought to justify the invasion. Do I sound too cynical?  Sorry.  Bush sees all of this as part of God's plan, but I think God has taken a good long look and run the other way.

The truth of it is, over time the western powers have tried to force their will on the Middle East and elsewhere and have engendered the kind of hatred of the "infidel" we so often see.  Unlike communism in the cold war there is more to Islam than politics.  Theocratic culture is deeply rooted.  Muslim men may want to vote, and their women, in defiance of culture, may want more options in general, but based on history, neither gender fully trusts our motives, and perhaps never will. Too often what we see as liberty, others see as imperialism. 

I favored the invasion of Afghanistan where the bad guys were, but I don't trust Bush in Iraq where the bad guys were not.  But considering the mess he's gotten us in, politics for moment aside and for the sake of us all, I truly hope Bush is correct.  America is the best of the lot, with emancipation and freedom to express, but it is not always right.  Yet, as the smart Mr. Ignatieff asks:  "Try imagining the world without America."  I can't.

SAMMY     Read on....

NY Times Sunday Magazine:

Who Are Americans To Think That Freedom Is Theirs To Spread?   By Michael Ignatieff

 

 

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JUNE 23 - On Iraq.  Aside from ethics, or lack thereof, the following two differing points of view in the excellent May-June Foreign Policy round table, highlight the skill of our military and the ineptitude of the Bush Administration.  In other words, no matter how you slice it, we are in a mess that we wouldn't be in if we hadn't been grievously misled, and continue to be lied to--except for the senior officers on the scene in Iraq, who understandably will only reveal the truth of our predicament, off the record, for fear of destroying their careers.

SAMMY    Read on....

Foreign Policy Magazine:

In Get Out now

Writer George A. Lopez says the U. S. should announce a phased withdrawal of troops by February 06.  Critics say insurgents would simply plan ahead and that withdrawal would suggest weakness to both friends and enemies.  Mr. Lopez correctly points to how mistaken the administration has been about the insurgency which has "intensified and solidified," and that Iraqi polls favor a U.S. pullout, and that our fears of doing this are exaggerated.

In A Job Half Done

On the opposing side, Writer Kenneth R. Hines points out that the U.S. has skillfully achieved an unjust invasion in Iraq, followed by shoddy planning and mismanagement.  He quotes St Augustine who suggested: "peace is not simply the absence of war" --a job half done.  Mr. Hines goes on to explain the moral obligation of the U.S. occupation to stay in place until Iraq is stable. 

This smart magazine features two intelligent writers to bring into relief the dilemma that Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld have created.  As I recall, their previous, more honest secretary of State Powell, said, "If you break it, you own it."  Was he ever right--or what?

For the entire round table:   FP

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JUN 19 - Leaked Downing Street memos have questioned Bush/Cheney's motives for invading Iraq.  Am I missing something here?   I mean did we have to wait for these leaks to figure out what our gut instincts had already told us?  Or, mere common sense told us?  An Iraq expert in London says the documents show the case for WMDs was based on "thin intelligence" to inflate the evidence, and the memos show Blair knew postwar instability was likely. What else is new?  The amazing thing is that both Blair and Bush were reelected.                                                     

SAMMY    Read on....

The Associated Press heading says:

Memos show British Concern Over Iraq Plans

The lead paragraph says that: Six months after 9/11, national security advisor Rice, in a meeting with Blair's foreign policy advisor, said she only wanted to discuss changing the regime in Iraq.   Not Osama bin Laden.  Not al-Qaida. Interesting, considering it wasn't Saddam's guys who flew the aircraft into American targets.   It was 15 Saudis & other non-Iraqis. Go figure.

For the rest:    AP

 

                  

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JUN 17 - Is this a surprise--that most Americans polled don't approve of Bush's wanting to hand over our social security funds to his pals on Wall Street?  And it boggles the mind to try to understand how those polled can so strongly disapprove of Bush's handling of Iraq, while approving his war on terrorism, when terrorists in Iraq have been breeding exponentially like bacteria--where they didn't exist until we invaded. White House Communications Director, Nicolle Devenish says, Bush believes following polls is equivalent to a dog chasing it's tail.  To believe that Bush and his staff don't scrutinize polls is to believe the tail can chase the dog.

SAMMY   Read on....

The NY Times heading says:

Bush's Support on Major Issues Tumbles in Poll

The lead paragraph says that: Americans are giving Mr. Bush one of the lowest approval ratings of his presidency and even lower marks to Congress, because of Iraq and Social Security, "according to the New York Times/CBS News Poll."

For the rest:  NYT

 

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JUN 17 - Good ol' President Bush is still up to his old tricks with his oil pals. Bush's man Phillip Cooney, in charge of Environmental Quality (no joke), alters documents on global warming and then leaves to hop in bed with Exxon, which is no big surprise considering Mr. Cooney was an oil lobbyist before joining Bush's team.   See the connection?  Bush/Cheney/oil?  Huh? The usual stuff, folks.   SAMMY   Read on....

The Washington Post heading says:

U.S. Pressure Weakens G-8 Climate Plan
Global-Warming Science Assailed
 

The lead paragraph says that:  Bush's guys have been working behind the scenes and succeeded in weakening key sections for a joint action by the eight major industrialized nations to curb climate change.

For the rest:  WP