Monday, July 30, 2007
I recieved this article in my email yesterday. A few months ago, there was mention of the executive order giving the president the right to assume emergency powers and take command of National Guards in times of percieved crisis. Most bloggers were alarmed but the consensuus seemed to be that this order didn't really go any farther than the emergency powers claimed by other presidents.
I believe this piece by Michael Chossudovsky shows that we've gone way beyond the limits of what was previously thought to be what the Executive Branch was claiming.
I believe that this is the the tip of the administrations new aggressive attitude to destroy the American peoples right and will to protest.
A case in question is the over the top prosecution of two protestors in Downers Grove, Illinois. Jeff Zurawski and Saraf Hartfield were charged originally with disorderly conduct for displaying a banner which read "Impeach Bush and Cheney! Liars!" on May 6th over a freeway overpass on Interstate 355. This charge, if guilty would have resulted in a 3 month maximun sentence.
Last week, the charges were upped to reckless conduct and unauthorized display of a sign on a highway each of which carries a 1 year sentence.
The opinion is that the augmented charges are a purely political move to discourage protest. Read more about this case here and the way it is being fought!
There is also a manual of instructions for counter demonstrations and dealing with protest that has been issued by the Presidents Office.
I will continue to document this disturbing trend in the coming weeks. Below is Michael Chussodovskys article printed in its entirety:
Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement
by Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 20 July 2007
The Executive Order entitled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" provides the President with the authority to confiscate the assets of whoever opposes the US led war.
A presidential Executive Order issued on July 17th, repeals with the stroke of a pen the right to dissent and to oppose the Pentagon's military agenda in Iraq.
The Executive Order entitled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" provides the President with the authority to confiscate the assets of "certain persons" who oppose the US led war in Iraq:
"I have issued an Executive Order blocking property of persons determined to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people."
In substance, under this executive order, opposing the war becomes an illegal act.
The Executive Order criminalizes the antiwar movement. It is intended to "blocking property" of US citizens and organizations actively involved in the peace movement. It allows the Department of Defense to interfere in financial affairs and instruct the Treasury to "block the property" and/or confiscate/ freeze the assets of "Certain Persons" involved in antiwar activities. It targets those "Certain Persons" in America, including civil society organizatioins, who oppose the Bush Administration's "peace and stability" program in Iraq, characterized, in plain English, by an illegal occupation and the continued killing of innocent civilians.
The Executive Order also targets those "Certain Persons" who are "undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction", or who, again in plain English, are opposed to the confiscation and privatization of Iraq's oil resources, on behalf of the Anglo-American oil giants.
The order is also intended for anybody who opposes Bush's program of "political reform in Iraq", in other words, who questions the legitimacy of an Iraqi "government" installed by the occupation forces.
Moreover, those persons or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), who provide bona fide humanitarian aid to Iraqi civilians, and who are not approved by the US Military or its lackeys in the US sponsored Iraqi puppet government are also liable to have their financial assets confiscated.
The executive order violates the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the US Constitution. It repeals one of the fundamental tenets of US democracy, which is the right to free expression and dissent. The order has not been the object of discussion in the US Congress. Sofar, it has not been addressed by the US antiwar movement, in terms of a formal statement.
Apart from a bland Associated Press wire report, which presents the executive order as "an authority to use financial sanctions", there has been no media coverage or commentary of a presidential decision which strikes at the heart of the US Constitution..
The criminalization of the State is when the sitting President and Vice President use and abuse their authority through executive orders, presidential directives or otherwise to define "who are the criminals" when in fact they they are the criminals.
This latest executive order criminalizes the peace movement. It must be viewed in relation to various pieces of "anti-terrorist" legislation, the gamut of presidential and national security directives, etc., which are ultimately geared towards repealing constitutional government and installing martial law in the event of a "national emergency".
The war criminals in high office are intent upon repressing all forms of dissent which question the legitimacy of the war in Iraq.
The executive order combined with the existing anti-terrorist legislation is eventually intended to be used against the anti-war and civil rights movements. It can be used to seize the assets of antiwar groups in America as well as block the property and activities of non-governmental humanitarian organizations providing relief in Iraq, seizing the assets of alternative media involved in a reporting the truth regarding the US-led war, etc.
In May 2007, Bush issued a major presidential National Security Directive (National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51/HSPD 20), which would suspend constitutional government and instate broad dictatorial powers under martial law in the case of a "Catastrophic Emergency" ( e.g. Second 9/11 terrorist attack).
On July 11, 2007 the CIA published its "National Intelligence Estimate" which pointed to an imminent Al Qaeda attack on America, a second 9/11 which, according to the terms of NSPD 51, would immediately be followed by the suspension of constitutional government and the instatement of martial law under the authority of the president and the vice-president. (For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky, Bush Directive for a "Catastrophic Emergency" in America: Building a Justification for Waging War on Iran? June 2007)
NSPD 51 grants unprecedented powers to the Presidency and the Department of Homeland Security, overriding the foundations of Constitutional government. It allows the sitting president to declare a "national emergency" without Congressional approval. The implementation of NSPD 51 would lead to the de facto closing down of the Legislature and the militarization of justice and law enforcement.
"The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government...."
Were NSPD 51 to be invoked, Vice President Dick Cheney, who constitutes the real power behind the Executive, would essentially assume de facto dictatorial powers, circumventing both the US Congress and the Judiciary, while continuing to use President George W. Bush as a proxy figurehead.
NSPD 51, while bypassing the Constitution, nonetheless, envisages very precise procedures which guarantee the powers of Vice President Dick Cheney in relation to "Continuity of Goverment" functions under Martial Law:
"This directive shall be implemented in a manner that is consistent with, and facilitates effective implementation of, provisions of the Constitution concerning succession to the Presidency or the exercise of its powers, and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 (3 U.S.C. 19), with consultation of the Vice President and, as appropriate, others involved. Heads of executive departments and agencies shall ensure that appropriate support is available to the Vice President and others involved as necessary to be prepared at all times to implement those provisions." ( NSPD 51, op cit.)
The executive order to confiscate the assets of antiwar/peace activists is broadly consistent with NSPD 51. It could be triggered even in the absence of a "Catastrophic emergency" as envisaged under NSPD 51. It repeals democracy. It goes one step further in "criminalizing" all forms of opposition and dissent. to the US led war and "Homeland Security" agenda.
TEXT OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER
July 17, 2007
Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004. I hereby order:
Section 1. (a) Except to the extent provided in section 203(b)(1), (3), and (4) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(1), (3), and (4)), or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order, all property and interests in property of the following persons, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,
(i) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of:
(A) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or
(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;
(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or
(iii) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.
(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section include, but are not limited to, (i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order, and (ii) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
Sec. 2. (a) Any transaction by a United States person or within the United States that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
Sec. 3. For purposes of this order:
(a) the term "person" means an individual or entity;
(b) the term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization; and
(c) the term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.
Sec. 4. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.
Sec. 5. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that, because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render these measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1(a) of this order.
Sec. 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government, consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order and, where appropriate, to advise the Secretary of the Treasury in a timely manner of the measures taken.
Sec. 7. Nothing in this order is intended to affect the continued effectiveness of any rules, regulations, orders, licenses, or other forms of administrative action issued, taken, or continued in effect heretofore or hereafter under 31 C.F.R. chapter V, except as expressly terminated, modified, or suspended by or pursuant to this order.
Sec. 8. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right, benefit, or privilege, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, instrumentalities, or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
July 17, 2007.
Below is the text of the Message to the Congress of the United States Regarding International Emergency Economic Powers Act
[There has been no response by the US congress or commentary by individual Senators or Representatives.]
Office of the Press Secretary July 17, 2007
Message to the Congress of the United States Regarding International Emergency Economic Powers Act
White House News
Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq
Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order blocking property of persons determined to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.
I issued this order to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004.
In these previous Executive Orders, I ordered various measures to address the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in that country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq.
My new order takes additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315 by blocking the property and interests in property of persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.
The order further authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, to designate for blocking those persons determined to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person designated pursuant to this order, or to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.
I delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, the authority to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of my order. I am enclosing a copy of the Executive Order I have issued.
GEORGE W. BUSH
The White House,
July 17, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Yesterday, the CREW Organization (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) released a comprehensive report detailing the assistance offers made by foreign governments to the USA after Hurricane Katrina.
CREW recieved 25,0000 documents detailing the governments acceptance and handling of these offers after a CREW lawsuit filed under the Freedom of Information Act in December 2005.
The documents reveal a very disturbing pattern of arbitrary rejections and mishandling of aid from 145 foreign governments and 12 International Organizations.
For example, here is an email from Jeffrey Goldstein, a US Embassy official in Estonia:
"It is getting downright embarrassing here not to have a response to the Estonians on flood relief. And now I see from the staff meeting notes that the task force may disband soon. We know that what the Estonians can offer is small potatoes and everyone at FEMA is swamped, but at this point even “thanks but no thanks” is better than deafening silence."
Another email responding to an offer from Argentina to DOS officials reads “All, The (sic) word here is that doctors of any kind are in the 'forget about it' category. Human assistance of any kind is not on our priorities list....It’s all about goods, not people, at this point.”
Another email describes how the transport of Israeli relief supplies loaded on a C-130 aircraft was delayed for over 48 hours on the tarmac while Israeli officials waited for clearance from the U.S. government. The unidentified author states: “I’ve been on the phone with the [Israeli] attache every couple of hours since noon . . . they’re patient, but not amused by our delay, obviously.” The documents do not reveal if or how the issue was resolved.All foreign medical personell help was turned down due to arbitrary adherence to bureaucratic regulations about licensing in the USA.
A ban on British Beef because of mad cow disease fears kept thousands of British Army field meals stored in warehouuses at a cost of $16,000 a month.
All offers of post Katrina clean up aid from foreign governments were turned down systematically. The clean up was and is still being ineptly done by no bid contracts awarded to firms with administration ties making astronomical fees..
It has been 2 years since Katrina and the nightmare is with most of the victims anew every day as they try to wade through the inept corruptness of the American Governments and the evasive insurance companies response.
The Bush Goverment has shown itself incapable of and not caring about the plight and future of the poor Katrina victims. If they wait for goverment assistance, the ravaged neighborhoods of New Orleans will never be rebuilt.
Next month, something unique will happen, members of the Southeast Asian Coalition for Housing are coming to New Orleans with a group of Indonesian Tsunami survivors from Bandeh Aceh. They are going to hold meetings and work shops with groups of New Orleans survivors to show them how to do it themselves!
They are going to learn to rebuld their lives inspite of having a goverment which couldn't care less if they lived or died.
Friday, July 27, 2007
As I have reported before, this is a serious procedure, the battery in in the defillabrator implant in Mr. Cheneys chest. The battery is not simply replaced, the entire unit has to be replaced. Consequently, Mr. Cheney will be under anesthesia for a few hours and in intensive care for a while.
During this period, George Bush will actually be president of the United States for a short period of time. During the duration, Mr. Bush plans to play with the dog, go mountain bike riding and build a fort in the backyard.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Excuse? Well, it's summer, visitors. Our niece came for a week long visit and we went out a lot and had a big barbecue here! Actually, I want to digest the things I learned from the niece, she is the Senior Policy Director for Mayor Bloombergs Greening of New York City Project. It's an incredible bold initiative that will make New York City the most ecologically progressive major metropolis on the planet by 2030. They are working with technology that already exists and there are a lot of creative ideas already being put into action. Experts from all disciplines are involved.
I will write more on this.
Earlier, I wrote on the immenent release of the Bulgarian Health Care Workers and earlier this week, it happened. After 8 years of unspeakable fear and raised and lowered hopes, they are on Bulgarian soil and officially pardoned by the President of Bulgaria.
They were shown landing in the official French Presidential Jet in a deal that was painfully hammered out and finalized by many people. President Sarkozy of France tried to highjack the Public Relations aspect of it and as far as the French press is concerned, he did.
The only thing I saw in the rest of the world press was surprisingly enough, a line in an article in the New York Times attributing the release to the special relationship that Cecilia Sarkozy had instantly developed with Khadafy.
It seems though, the rest of the world isn't buying it and the credit is going to the the tireless supporters who never let this issue disappear from the public eye.
Khadafy got his 450 million dollar ransom, though I would think that most of it was accounting magic. A lot of Libya's debt will be forgiven.
France on the other hand was doing a lot more than getting hostages released. Now that Libya is allowed to become a part of the civilized world and relationships are normalized, Sarkozy was representing the big French Corporations and negotiated a deal for a new major French built Autoroute and surprise! France is going to build a nuclear plant for Libya. It's a "safe, nice" nuclear plant to be used only for the desalinization of water...................
Is it me, or is there some kind of hypocrisy on the part of the western world going on here?
I am truly over joyed with the release of the health workers and want to congratulate everyone involved with this feat!
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
These people have done the labor that most Americans would never do for wages that have helped the farmers to reap profits and pass down to the consumers.
Last fall was a disaster for the farmers of Colorado. Without their traditional base of illegal cheap labor, the crops rotted in the fields. This year in an attempt to remedy this situation, the state legislature came up with the plan to use the inmates of the state penitentiaries as a source of farm labor.
The farmers are paying the Department of Corrections $10.00 an hour per inmate plus a negotiated charge for prison guards to overseers. The inmates make 60 cents a day.
The legislature claims that the program was started to keep the farmers from going out of business and the cost of the program per farmer is much more that he would have paid if he had his tradidional source of illegal labor.
The program was put into action this month and I saw a report about it on the ARTE Network international news here in France. They showed the inmates chained iin the fields and the guards armed watching them work. One woman was interviewed who said that she was unfit for the work but was being forced to do it anyway.
There are critics on both sides of the immigration issue. Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigrattion Studies in Washington said, "If they can't get slaves from Mexico, they want them from the jails."
Ricardo Martinez of the Denver immigrant rights group, Padres Unidos asked, "Are we going to pull inmattes to work in the service industry too? You won't have enough inmates, unless you start importing them from Texas."
Farmers are not happy about this situation, but they are on the edge of fiinancial collapse. This is tantamount to slavery, but the anti slavery provisions of the Constitution leave open a loophole which permitted the Southern States to operate slave labor chain gangs for many years until they were abolished as inhuman.
If immigrant labor didn't exist, firms would start paying higher wages and offering benifits to entice Americans into picking lettuce and plucking chickens. Decent wages come from collective bargaining. The influx of immigrant labor has kept that possibility out of the question.
During the last 25 years, Hispanic and Black union membership has dropped more than half. The bargaining status of the working man in America is becoming less and less of a possibility as rights are trampled on.
If we put half as much energy into supporting the status of the working man as America puts into hating immigrants, we might accomplish something.
This has been disproven time and time again by the concerned world health officials in France and Italy. Declan Butler of Science Magazine has played an especially prominent role in keeping this issue in the public eye. It is a news item here in France, but it has hardly been a speck on the windscreen in the United States.
The EU has been negotiating with Libya to raise the $1,000,000 per child ransom that Libya hinted it would accept to free the accused after reimposing the death penalty last week.
In the midst of all this serious negotiation and action, the wife of French President Nikolas Sarkozy, Celia, flew to Libya last week and tried to milk the deal for personal gain. It seems the French Press isn't buying it but it was a blatant attempt to seem as if she had personally brokered the deal.
The families, under Islamic law, have the right to to forgive the accused and let them go. Today it was announced that that the families accepted the payment and the 6 will be flown to Bulgaria soon. This does not mean that their names have been cleared. The death sentence has been tranmuted to life imprisonment and the tacit agreement is that it will be carried out in Bulgaria. The Palestinian doctor had to take Bulgarian citizenship for this deal to be worked out. No one expects the Bulgarians to imprison the 6 and they should be freed when they get to Bulgaria.
This has been a very horrible piece of political theater with Ghadafy playing to the xenophobic elements in Libya in an effort to placate the mob and extract the most in concessions from the rest of the world.
No one is resting easy until the 6 are safe on Bulgarian soil!
Curiously enough, the payment is equivalent to the damages Libya paid for the Lockerbie aircraft bombing. For more information and latest details, please check out
the Effects Measure Science Blog which has been covering this passionately.
Monday, July 16, 2007
earlier each day on the Bush/Cheney Administration. The time grows even shorter for Mr. Cheney as he begins to feel the confines of mere mortality again.
So much to do and so little time to do it. So many great ideas left sinking in the
Iraqi desert sand.....
Soon, Mr. Cheney will be out of action for an unspecified period of time
while he has his pacemaker power unit replaced. Not as simple as
changing a battery, this procedure involves open heart surgery. This is scheduled to take place at the end of this summer.
Eager to make the most of his fading political capitol before he is out of action,
this over medicated, mastermind of doom is anxious to have his last
great project come to pass before it is too late and his influence wanes
Attack Iran, do it now is his constant mantra...you can only imagine the
nonstop harangue he is giving his little buddy, George Jr.
As reported in this mornings Guardian, for the time being, he seems to have the presidents ear over Condileeza Rice, who continually presses for
a diplomatic solution to a problem which has been inflated by the attitude and actions of the administration.
The rest of the sane world knows that military action against Iran would be the
the crowning tactical folly of this bungling criminally inept administration.
These guys are repeat offenders and their obsession with their "legacy"
is going to destroy America in their single minded quest for the domination of the
world's petroleum energy resources.
Lot's of grand ideas that have all failed beyond miserably.
Time to take away the car keys.
It's too late for Impeachment!
(the illustration is one of the original drawings (Bats Over Barstow) by the marvellously manevolent master, Ralph Steadman for the original publication in Rolling Stone Magazine for Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
IRAQ'S ambassador to the United Nations, Hamid al Bayati, likes the high life. Bayati, who's been on the job for just over a year, is said to be living in a $22,000-a-month apartment at Trump World Tower on First Avenue. He's renting while the Iraqi U.N. Mission and official ambassador's residence on East 79th Street undergo a $40 million renovation. Where did the Iraqis get the cash? Newsmax.com reports the U.N. Security Council is paying with funds it once used to finance the now-terminated U.N. Iraq arms inspectors. When asked about the lavish use of the cash, Bayati refused comment. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Zalmay Khalilzad shrugged off the Iraqis' lush lifestyle by telling reporters, "$40 million is not a lot of money." According to U.N. documents, the U.S. delegation approved the transfer of the cash from the Security Council to Iraq. All of this comes as the federal Government Accounting Office reported the war in Iraq is costing American taxpayers $12 billion monthly.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
This involves the process of revealing 8 facts about yourself and I had to consult my lawyer over the statutes of limitations, so I left out some the more salient incidents and details.
The rules are:
1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Players strt with 8 random facts about themselves
3. Those who are tagged must post the rules and the 8 random facts.
4. Players should tag 8 other people and let them know they have been tagged.
Here are my sordid details:
1. In the early 80's I played lead guitar and sang in a band called Mr. Bubble. We were actually kind of popular in the East Village in NYC...sort of Grunge/Punk/Noise with a health dose of funk. There was a lot of humor, I let anyone on stage who would agree to wear a mylar hula skirt to be back up singers and dancers...one night we had 14 hula skirt attired singers and dancers on stage at the Pyramid Club on Ave. A and the stage broke. Another fun filled evening ended with a call to the fire department when one of the inspired dancers set fire to the stage curtains at the 8/BC Club.
2. I finished High School at Scott High Night School and my Lab Partner was the Jazz Guitarist Bernie Nix who went on to play with Ornette Coleman's Prime Time Band.
3. Every day I give thanks that I cannot buy white chocolate coated miniature pretzels here in France....I want one now!
4. I spent a week in the Lucas County Jail.
5 I posed nude for a life drawing class with the understanding that others in the class were willing to bare it all for art. Unfortunately, I was the only one who did it. I found some of my class mates drawings quite "imaginative".
6. This is pre 9/11...I was getting on a plane in Toulouse, France and when I went through the metal detector, it went off. I suddenly realized I was carrying my pocketknife. I pulled it out of my pocket and excaimed "but it's just my Laguiolle!"
(Laguiolles are the popular knife that every French hick carries and are made in Toulouse.) To my surprise everyone started to laugh and they let me carry it on.
It was not an international flight......
7.I love mowing the lawn. It is one of those zen activities. You become one with the lawn mower and it is as if you are still 16 doing things just the way you always have. I also have many great ideas while lawn mowing.
8. After approximately 40 or so years of thinking of myself as an artist and actually making my living in the arts for many years, I still don't think I can draw for shit!
et voila! Are you happy now Mr. History Mike? I will now take great pleasure in bestowing this onorous task on 8 other unfortunates!
Commadante Agi at This Blog Will Self-Destruct In 5 Seconds
WhyNot at PourquoiPas
Jinbon H. Wong at Trouble Every Day
Long Live the Village Green
A Spork in the Drawer
and of course, Steve, at what would bobble headed jesus do
Okay, these folks will probably ban me forever from posting on their pages again, but that's later, now, YOU'RE IT!
Monday, July 02, 2007
Well, my last post for about 2 weeks! I'm going to work in Libourne on the grape vines.
No computer and not much else....
So for your enjoyment, I found this video of Big Mama Thorton performing her original song Hound Dog. It was her hit first. This video is from 1965 and features the man who is probably the greatest blues guitarist in America, Buddy Guy!
Mingle2 - Online Dating
This is pretty funny. There is a web site which will rate your blog. All you do is enter your URL and a few seconds later, you get a sticker.
I was shocked and surprised when mingle
gave me a PG rating, I was hoping for something stiffer...I must try harder!
I have to start working on the photoshop picture of John McCains upcoming nude macho stroll through the streets of Bagdahd!
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Here's something they don't do on stage anymore! These are Guitar Monsters, Les Paul and Chet Atkins playing a duet of Avalon. Les is the greatest inovater of modern guitar. He designed the modern electric guitar, invented multi tracking and echo effects.
His first echo chamber was in his home studio, an 80 foot shaft drilled into solid rock.
He still plays every Monday night at the Irridium Jazz Club up by Lincoln Center in New York City. I've seen him a few times when he played on Mondays down at Fat Tuesdays.
How old is he now? 85? 90? He claims he discovered and lost Jimi Hendrix at a bar in New Jersey. In the early 60's he was in a terrible car accident and made the choice to have his practically destroyed fretting arm set permanently in "playing position".
A self taught musical and sonic genius, he is an American Treasure. If you go to New York,check him out, his stories between songs are hilarious.
In this piece, he duets with his life long pal, Chet Atkins. Chet invented the Nashville style finger picking. He could play two songs at the same time on one guitar.
His style was the sound of Nashville for decades. Check out his solo on this piece, it doesn't get any sweeter than this!
Gretsch still makes Chet Atkins Country Gentlemen guitars, I used to have one like George Harrisons in the early Beatles. A thin line hollow body instrument with gold plated hardware and a snap on belt buckle protecter on the back. That model also sported painted on f holes to reduce the feedback of hollow bodies at high volume.
These are Guitar Monsters!