Tag Archives: bush regime

Top Ten Signs Your Country May Be Going Fascist

Utah vs. Axis of Evil: A Utah bill would ban investment in companies doing business in Iran

Tom is quoted in this article:

From last week’s City Weekly:
Utah vs. Axis of Evil: A Utah bill would ban investment in companies doing business in Iran

By Eric S. Peterson
Posted 12/27/2007

One Utah legislator has decided the state is ready to get off the sidelines and join the rumble against global terror by prohibiting the Utah Retirement System (URS) from investing in companies doing business in Iran.

While the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Julia Fisher, R-Fruit Heights, thinks it’s time for Utah to flex its muscle with Iran, some experts think Utah doesn’t have muscle worth flexing on the issue and shouldn’t try even if it did.

“The bill is intended to help undermine the economy of Iran, which has provided weapons to insurgents and al Qaeda operatives in Iraq and Afghanistan for use against our forces,” Fisher says of the proposed bill, which recently passed a legislative interim committee.

News broke earlier this month of a national intelligence report that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program four years ago. The findings directly contradicted President George W. Bush’s repeated statements that Iran was ramping up its nuclear capabilities and ignoring U.S. warnings to stop. But Fisher still agrees with the Bush administration that Iran supports terrorist organizations.

At the November interim meeting, Fisher invited Utah Highway Patrolman Chamberlain Neff to describe his service in Afghanistan. Neff, then a U.S. soldier, described routinely encountering Iranian weaponry in the hands of al Qaeda combatants during his tour of duty. “My friend Dustin Allison was five days in country when he got IED’d [injured by an improvised explosive device],” Neff said.

The bomb was made in Iran, Neff said, and not only injured his friend but killed the soldier who was training Allison to be his replacement. The trainer had been in Afghanistan for two years and, had he lived, would have returned home the following week.

By having URS divest from any foreign companies with Iranian connections, Fisher hopes to strike an economic blow to Iran. Some fear, however, that the legislation will merely contribute to the Bush administration’s bellicose posturing against Iran.

“It’s disturbing that people in our Legislature are focusing on questionable ‘outside’ enemies,” says Tom King, of Utah’s People for Peace and Justice. King worries this bill just puts Utah in lockstep with national war hawks readying for conflict with Iran.

Fisher doesn’t see it that way. In fact, she sees her legislation as a peaceful means of influencing Iran to change its policies. “Putting pressure on the government of Iran through economic pressure makes military conflict less likely, not more,” Fisher says.

While it seems a stretch to imagine Utah forcefully becoming a power player in the international diplomatic showdown between the United States and Iran, Fisher argues Utah’s role is crucial as part of a larger multistate campaign. Last October, California passed a similar divestment bill.

“As a smaller state alone, we cannot make a huge impact. However, we can contribute to a unified effort with the other states,” Fisher says.

Still, some experts doubt Utah will have much impact on Iran even as part of a larger coalition.

“In many cases all over the world, such economic boycotts have not produced any definitive results,” says Ibrahim Karawan, director of the University of Utah’s Middle East studies program. “I doubt the punitive actions of Utah will make Iran tremble.”

This concern was echoed by Dan Andersen, counsel for URS. “There’s just a question of this being pragmatically effective,” Andersen says. “If there is money to be made in Iran, then there is an endless reserve of global capital out there. If we pull our investments out, there will be plenty of willing investors who will buy up those interests.”

The fact that other foreign interests will pick up the slack of any investments Utah yanks out of Iran applies equally whether Utah acts alone or with larger states like California, Andersen says. He notes that implementing the bill would also be too costly for URS in trying to determine which companies invest in Iran.

Andersen says the exact cost of implementation hasn’t been determined. But he doubts the costs of implementation are worthwhile. “Of course, no one wants to promote terrorism, but if you’re not accomplishing anything, why are you spending so much?”

Mayor of Salt Lake City to Bush, Congress, and Media: “We Won’t take it anymore!”

Address by Mayor Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson, December 3, 2007

Today, as we come together once again in this great city, we raise our voices in unison to say to President Bush, to Vice President Cheney, to other members of the Bush Administration (past and present), to a majority of Congress, including Utah’s entire congressional delegation, and to much of the mainstream media: “You have failed us miserably and we won’t take it anymore.”

While we had every reason to expect far more of you, you have been pompous, greedy, cruel, and incompetent as you have led this great nation to a moral, military, and national security abyss.” “You have breached trust with the American people in the most egregious ways. You have utterly failed in the performance of your jobs. You have undermined our Constitution, permitted the violation of the most fundamental treaty obligations, and betrayed the rule of law.

You have engaged in, or permitted, heinous human rights abuses of the sort never before countenanced in our nation’s history as a matter of official policy. You have sent American men and women to kill and be killed on the basis of lies, on the basis of shifting justifications, without competent leadership, and without even a coherent plan for this monumental blunder.
We are here to tell you: We won’t take it anymore! You have acted in direct contravention of values that we, as Americans who love our country, hold dear. You have deceived us in the most cynical, outrageous ways. You have undermined, or allowed the undermining of, our constitutional system of checks and balances among the three presumed co-equal branches of government. You have helped lead our nation to the brink of fascism, of a dictatorship contemptuous of our nation’s treaty obligations, federal statutory law, our Constitution, and the rule of law.
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March with Cindy Sheehan – videos

Here are some amateur videos we took with our cameras of our experience in the March to Impeach on July 23, 2007 with Cindy Sheehan, including a speech by Cindy just before the final leg of the march to Congressman John Conyers office to demand Impeachment Hearings:

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March with Cindy Sheehan

Tom and I participated in the march in Washington, D.C. on July 23, along with 300 other activists from around the country, from the Arlington National Cemetery to the capitol in an effort to demand that Impeachment be put back on the table.  60 people were arrested in John Conyers’ office that day in a sit-in to get Conyers to comply with the demand.

Should Impeachment Be Off the Table? A Debate with Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan, Ex-CIA Analyst Ray McGovern and Democratic Strategist Dan Gerstein
The political meaning of the conflict between Cindy Sheehan and the Democratic Party
Iraq war opponent Cindy Sheehan arrested at Democratic Congressman’s office
Cindy Sheehan Occupies John Conyers’ Office: gets arrested

My photos (Tom and I had taken our IMPEACH NOW! banner that we made in Salt Lake and carried it in the march.):

A group of counter protestors, called “Freepers” (meaning they represent a group called Free Republic):

The March:

Below in photo two photos at left is Col. Ann Wright,
retired United States Army (green shirt) and Medea Benjamin, CodePink Women for Peace founder (pink shirt).  Medea also is in the photo at the right. 

The March continues over the Potomac River:

Barbara Cummings, activist extraordinaire from San Diego…..participates in all major actions around the country.

Ray McGovern, retired CIA Analyst

“The Rev” – Reverend Lennox Yearwood, CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus

Cindy Sheehan – in front of the Capitol – addresses the crowd

Below are the final photos of the march into the House Building where Congressman Conyers’ office is.  Tom and I did not go in since we had too much “stuff” that we would have to leave outside (you have to go through security there to get in).  We stayed outside a bit and held our sign and then left.

This is a display by a man named Carlos, whom we have met before at Cindy Sheehan events.  His son was killed in Iraq.  When the officials showed up at his home to inform them of his son’s death, he was mowing the lawn and in his anguish, he threw gasoline at them and accidentally threw some at himself and caught himself on fire.  Since then, he has this display he takes around the country, including a flag draped casket (which is also seen in above photos):

Independence from King George Day Message

Independence from King George Day Message

AUDIO: Here’s a podcast Independence-from-King-George-Day message from Washington State Senator Eric Oemig, Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, AfterDowningStreet.org Cofounder David Swanson, and author/journalist Dave Lindorff:

Iacocca on Leaadership?

Lee Iacocca has written an article called Where Have All the Leaders Gone? over at Common Dreams Based on his book by the same name, Iacocca blasts the current administration and state of affairs.

Had Enough?
Am I the only guy in this country who’s fed up with what’s happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder.  

0508 06

We’ve got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we’ve got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can’t even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, “Stay the course.”

Stay the course? You’ve got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I’ll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

Iacocca describes his  “C” list that serves as a “test of a leader”:  Curiosity, Creative, Communicate, Character, Courage, Charisma, Conviction, Competent, Common Sense.  He states that the Biggest “C” is Crisis.

Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It’s easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else’s kids off to war when you’ve never seen a battlefield yourself. It’s another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. Where was George Bush? He was reading a story about a pet goat to kids in Florida when he heard about the attacks. He kept sitting there for twenty minutes with a baffled look on his face. It’s all on tape. You can see it for yourself. Then, instead of taking the quickest route back to Washington and immediately going on the air to reassure the panicked people of this country, he decided it wasn’t safe to return to the White House. He basically went into hiding for the day—and he told Vice President Dick Cheney to stay put in his bunker. We were all frozen in front of our TVs, scared out of our wits, waiting for our leaders to tell us that we were going to be okay, and there was nobody home. It took Bush a couple of days to get his bearings and devise the right photo op at Ground Zero.

That was George Bush’s moment of truth, and he was paralyzed. And what did he do when he’d regained his composure? He led us down the road to Iraq—a road his own father had considered disastrous when he was President. But Bush didn’t listen to Daddy. He listened to a higher father. He prides himself on being faith based, not reality based. If that doesn’t scare the crap out of you, I don’t know what will.

Common Dreams started allowing comments to its articles.  There are some very interesting points made to this post:

what leaders?!?!? have not seen one in years!!!!! Iacocca, were you ever a leader? what did you ever do to improve the overall quality of life in the united states. after 82 years….well… better late than never. use your “business skills” to empower people!

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn’t elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bobblehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don’t you guys show some spine for a change?”

And the “gang” in Congress, as you sensibly call them, has news for you too, Lee. Currently, it’s called the PR Plan. The Pelosi-Reid Plan to Abolish America:

Pelosi and Reid have turned to their plan for controlling Iraq – popularly known as the PR Plan.

They vowed, “We will work with the President in whatever way we can.” They meant the statement to be totally ambiguous, but unfortunately for them, upon uttering it, the official pair instantly collapsed to the ground, apparently for lack of some vital measure of blood and bone, as well as some bizarre overabundance of scales, claws, and oozing oil.

“Defunding the war immediately is totally impossible,” uttered Pelosi and Reid in unison while slithering across the ground, sliming their way back to their Gang of Democrats. The Republican Gang applauded silently from the side.

“It seems clear now,” one observer remarked, “that the Democrat and Republican parties are gone – if parties they ever were – and are replaced by gangs. Official suite gangs.” Oddly, no one was heard to contradict him.

Within hours, a person we can only identify as Deep Source delivered to us the following rather striking internal document. We have rarely seen a government document quite as internal as this, and we must confess, as good members of the press, we hope to see very few more like it. “The 10 Point PR Plan (For Internal Consumption Only)”:

1st: Pretend that you intend to end the War against Iraq.




Dear Mr. Iacocca: Once again I read a clear delineation of the problems this country confronts, and I agree with your findings. Unfortunately, no one in our government is willing to respond with the same firmness and clarity, least of all, those who most want to head the government. There is not a leader in the lot, though one or two – Mr. Kucinich or Mr. Gravel, perhaps – show some potential. But to articulate the problems is not enough. Nor is your call to “shake off the horseshit and go to work.” What is missing most, what we are seeking, is an equally clear course of action to take. We are all tired of the garbage that passes as news, the platitudes our overpaid politicians have convinced themselves are meaningful. We are all outraged at the actions of those who pretend to be leaders. We need something more, much more. I now find myself among people so disheartened that they are talking reluctantly and sadly about the growing need for a tangible revolution, because everything else seems to have failed to produce a badly needed change.

I tend to agree with the readers: “Where have all the leaders gone?” is a misnomer indeed.

Rocky vs. Hannity

The “debate” is over (I’ve been watching it via live stream),and it is highly clear that Rocky had the most rational and factual presentation.  Hannity did nothing but attack Rocky and progressives and never once did he address the accuracy of Rocky’s information presented.  His entire “rebuttal” to Rocky’s presentation was lame and not in defense AT ALL!  He kept linking the Iraq situation back to the 911 terrorist attack and kept bringing up Clinton’s mistakes in his presidency (huh?!?).  Hannity continually resorted to name calling and insults. Rocky did not.  Rocky did not mention Hannity once during his initial presenation.  He presented the facts.  During the question answer time, Hannity consistently evade the questons.  Rocky confronted the questions by providing answers.

Hannity was very nationalistic in his approach.  Rocky was very humanistic and global in his approach.  It was lucidly apparent who was the more concerned about humanity.

I do not have a link yet to the video of the “debate”, but watch for information at One Utah and here.

Rocky, you rock!  Thank you for standing up and giving an example of gracious and courteous behavior, not to mention a well organized factual and substantiated presentation on the war crimes committed by the Bush administration.

News Links:
Rocky, Hannity go at it before rowdy crowd

Stop the Iraq War Funding – Impeach!

Yesterday I participated in an “emergency rally” to protest the ongoing funding of the Iraq war, particularly in the wake of Bush’s veto on the funding bill.  Not that I was for the funding bill in the first place, but this is yet another item to add to the Impeachment pile.  Here are some photos:

IMPEACH speeches

I have started posting the speeches of the April 28 IMPEACH rally in Salt Lake at People for Peace and Justice’s Live Journal Forum.