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Sunday, October 31, 2004

Book Review: "Crossing the Rubicon" by Michael C. Ruppert

Crossing the Rubicon is the ultimate conspiracy theory book. It makes a legal case that 9/11 was an inside job. Ruppert, a former LAPD narcotics investigator, divides the book into four parts: Motive, Means, Opportunity, and Empire and Decline. The book is long, over 600 pages, with 40 pages of endnotes, which he invites you to spot-check and see for yourself. I haven’t done that yet, but if just a fraction of what he says is true, then something is seriously wrong with our country. At the least, it should leave no doubt that the Bush administration was secretive, inconsistent, and incompetent in its handling of 9/11.

Among its claims:
  • The world’s oil is about half gone.
  • The CIA and Wall Street are one and the same.
  • Afghan opium and Colombian cocaine profits are laundered to boost stock prices.
  • The Bush and bin Laden families have a history of business dealings.
  • Osama bin Laden was not estranged from his family, and is still a U.S. asset.
  • Pakistan intelligence was a go-between for Bush and the terrorists.
  • Virtually all terrorist (and citizen) actions can be tracked using computers and other technology.
  • A U.S. spy in a Canadian jail predicted 9/11 in a sealed note his jailers opened after 9/11.
  • The FBI repeatedly ignored warnings like the "20th hijacker" who didn’t care about learning to land.
  • A lot of money was made when airline stocks plunged, but the media dropped the story.
  • The two Senators who could stop the PATRIOT Act were the same ones who received anthrax letters.
  • Almost an hour elapsed after the 2nd hijacking was confirmed and before the 3rd plane hit the Pentagon.
  • Cheney was conducting war games on 9/11, diverting and confusing our air defenses.
On that last point, the book quotes an April 18 USA Today story "NORAD had drills of jets as weapons":
WASHINGTON — In the two years before the Sept. 11 attacks, the North American Aerospace Defense Command conducted exercises simulating what the White House says was unimaginable at the time: hijacked airliners used as weapons to crash into targets and cause mass casualties.

One of the imagined targets was the World Trade Center. In another exercise, jets performed a mock shootdown over the Atlantic Ocean of a jet supposedly laden with chemical poisons headed toward a target in the United States. In a third scenario, the target was the Pentagon — but that drill was not run after Defense officials said it was unrealistic, NORAD and Defense officials say.


On April 13, Bush had said, "But there was a – nobody in our government, at least, and I don’t think the prior government, could envision flying airplanes into buildings on such a massive scale."

While the book focuses on the alleged crimes of the Bush administration, it does not mean he supports Kerry, far from it. He questions Kerry’s prosecution of U.S. spy Bill Tyree, and criticizes his containment of some of the most damaging secrets of Iran-Contra. Ruppert speculates that Kerry, with his emphasis on bin Laden rather than Hussein, may be better positioned to expand the war to Saudi Arabia, which has even more oil than Iraq.

When describing the Democrat and Republican parties, he shares the analogy of two gangs in a crap game. They may fight each other viciously, but they close ranks when the cops come by, because they need to keep the game going. So the book doesn’t endorse anyone for President. He even includes a minor criticism of Nader. One thing is certain, however: The two establishment parties are not the answer.

I have a link to Ruppert’s site. Click "News" followed by "From the Wilderness."

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Nader at 5% in MN!

From http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/headlines/:

A new poll by the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute shows President Bush leading Democrat John Kerry in Minnesota 47 to 44 percent. The poll also has Independent candidate Ralph Nader polling at five percent. The poll, which was conducted Oct. 21 through Oct. 26, has a margin of error of plus or minus four percent.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Nader No Flip-Flopper

The Flip-Flop charge sure wouldn’t stick to Nader. He’s been against the war from the start. He would get us out of the Iraq quagmire in six months.

Bush is Pure Evil

He lied about WMD so he could kill Iraqis and steal their oil, violating the Sixth, Eighth, and Ninth Commandments, all in the name of God. Doesn’t sound very Christian to me.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Last Presidential Debate

I’ll leave the specifics to the fact-checkers, but a few things jumped out at me.

Is "Pay As You Go" sometimes called "Pay Go" or did the President just make that up? Also, I wonder what he set out to say when he said, "quote leading…never mind."

I couldn’t believe Bush denied what he himself had said about not being concerned about Bin Laden. Even I remembered something to that effect. And when he said Kerry had no record on health care, I found that hard to believe. Kerry countered that he wrote 56 bills. On the other hand, I want to know why Kerry claimed Bush hadn’t met with the Black Caucus. Bush didn’t meet with the NAACP recently, but he met with the Urban League.

Kerry was right about gays. Anyone who has a gay relative knows it’s not a choice. Some people are just born that way. I heard that today the right wing is all worked up about Cheney’s daughter. That’s what Republicans do, they pick a detail and then they keep freaking out about it.

I appreciated that Kerry brought up religion a few times, and I think this could convince a lot of Americans to finally give up on the Republican Party once and for all. I’m disgusted with Republican "Holier than thou" posturing. Democratic Party ideals, at least in theory, more closely adhere to the Golden Rule, which is at the core of the Christian faith. And, of course, the Green and Nader movements would be best able to put those Democrat ideals into practice, because they are free of the corrupting influence of big money.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Camejo in Minneapolis!

I just got back from Willey Hall on the University of Minnesota campus, where Peter Miguel Camejo, Ralph Nader’s running mate, gave a speech and answered questions from the audience. Oh, how much more interesting the Vice presidential debate would have been had he been included!

He would have asked Cheney why they gave weapons of mass destruction to Iraq and why they appointed CIA terrorist Iyad Allawi Prime Minister of Iraq. He said that if Iraqis could share the oil wealth, each Iraqi family would have $6 million.

He would have asked Edwards why Democrats are openly against democracy regarding Nader’s ballot access, and why Kerry is against democracy in Haiti and Venezuela. And he pointed out how Europe has runoff elections.

Camejo, who ran in the California recall election, blasted Kerry and Schwarzenegger for opposing driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, even though corporations want the cheap labor within U.S. borders. He also shared the story of the San Francisco Mayor’s race, where Democrats needed to pull out all the stops, bringing in Clinton, Gore, and others, teaming up with Republicans and soliciting Republican absentee ballots to beat Green Party candidate Matt Gonzalez.

He said that Nader/Camejo polls best in the poorest neighborhoods, where the people are immune to Democrat mind games. He also joked that while people remember great abolitionists like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, nobody talks about great Whigs of American history. Eventually, the Whig Party vanished. People didn’t say, "I think the Whigs are a little bit better on slavery, I better vote for them."

He told us to go to the polls with a Democrat friend and feel their forehead as they cast their ballot for Kerry. He said we’ll notice a cool sensation as the soul leaves the body.

A lighter conspiracy theory

Hats off to record-setting Jeopardy contestant Ken Jennings. As of this writing, he has won $1.75 million on the quiz show, and I consider him a genius. As a lover of conspiracy theories, however, I can’t help but entertain a fleeting thought that crossed my mind. What if he has a microchip implanted in his ear canal, and friends are feeding him the answers? I’m mostly joking here. Sneaking one of those cell phone signal-scrambling devices into the studio could easily disprove this theory!

Vice Presidential Debate

Edwards scored some good points on increased opium production in Afghanistan, the Bush-Cheney hypocrisy on our troops’ body armor, and on the "global test," which was not about permission, but about our nation’s credibility around the world. We attacked Iraq without provocation, which is a sin in both Islam and Christianity, and there were no WMD’s. If the world can’t take the U.S. at its word, we will become more isolated and weak.

Cheney had some unanswered technical points on the cost of the war to-date, $120 vs. $200 billion, and on new jobs, 1.7 million vs. Edwards’ 2003 data. Cheney said Edwards missed 33/36 of his judiciary meetings. Edwards didn’t defend that so I assume it’s true. Instead, Edwards counterattacked that Cheney voted for plastic weapons and against Head Start, etc., which I can believe.

Edwards brought up Haliburton, Cheney’s company, which is involved in oil, war, and drugs. Apparently Cheney messed up on the name of the web site he mentioned and on whether he had met Edwards before. http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=272

Now here are some suggestions for the next presidential debate. Kerry should say, "Let’s be CLEAR about nuCLEAR power," and if Bush whines again about all the hard work, Kerry should say "Mr. President, this Bud’s for you." The debate sponsors (Anhueser Busch) would like that.


Sunday, October 03, 2004

Crossing the Rubicon!

Mike Ruppert's new book "Crossing the Rubicon" has arrived! To order your copy, click my "News" link, and then click "From the Wilderness."

Friday, October 01, 2004

Debate observations

When asked if a terrorist hit would be more likely under Kerry, I’m not sure that Bush reassured us he wasn’t claiming that.

When asked about how 9/11 could have been avoided, Kerry didn’t talk about "shaking the branches" of the intelligence community like Democrats did before the planned Millennium Attacks.

I understood Kerry’s explanation of his Iraq votes, but it seemed kind of long. It differed from the local commentary explanation I wrote about Sept. 8, that Kerry voted against additional funding because he wanted the rich ($200,000+/yr.) to pay for it.

When anyone disagrees with him on the war, Bush uses his "mexed missages" argument. He really shouldn’t bring the soldiers into it. Their job is to follow their marching orders, as retired general Wesley Clark pointed out.

(One thing I should point out is that Nader is immune to the flip-flop charge. He’s been against the war from the start, something I can’t claim personally.)

On the stump, Kerry has noted that you can’t hold an election in a "no-go" zone. Didn’t hear that point last night. Bush talked about his miscalculation, that they didn’t know what they would encounter after their "catastrophic victory." It’s called guerilla warfare.

Bush mentioned the cutting off of hands. Isn’t that more of a Saudi Arabian than an Iraqi tradition? And on the idea that Iraq is now a recruiting ground for new terrorists, because we’re making new enemies, Bush didn’t seem to get it. Bush did get irritable, something his handlers urged him to keep under control, and at times he looked like a deer in the headlights, though he was always able to recover after a long pause.

Bush defended on a couple issues, saying they trained 100,000 troops in Iraq, and that they increased nuclear proliferation containment funding by 35%. Didn’t hear Kerry press further on those issues. When Iraq Prime Minister Iyad Allawi’s name came up, there was no mention of his alleged involvement in car bombings as reported in the New York Times and alleged June murder of prisoners as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald and Age newspapers in Australia.

Bush got a little religious at the beginning of the debate. Toward the end of the debate, he talked about climbing a mountain and seeing a "valley of peace" below. This as he continually breaks the Sixth, Eighth, and Ninth Commandments.

Kerry made some good points about opium production in Afghanistan and U.S. forces guarding only the oil ministry in Iraq. The "colossal misjudgment" charge was one he was able to back up, and of course, the "enemy attacked us" distinction was well done.

On North Korea, Kerry wants bilateral talks, while Bush wants just multilateral talks. On Sudan, Kerry wants logistical aid, while Bush wants just humanitarian aid.

I would have liked debate moderator Jim Lehrer to follow up on some of the above issues. His questions may have seemed tough, but I think they could have been tougher. He didn’t ask about the CFR because he’s a member of it.

One of Kerry’s spinmeisters last night was his senior foreign policy advisor Rand Beers; the same man Reagan hired to replace Oliver North during the Iran-Contra scandal.