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Archive for the ‘Bush’ Category

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi journalist who has been in custody since December 14, 2008, when he lobbed his shoes in protest at former President Bush, is scheduled for early release from his three-year sentence. He will be a free man on September 14, 2009.

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Hypnotist directing a group of people to do unusual things: men pretending to race while seated on man suspended between two chairs and audience volunteering for military duty with brooms as rifles.  Cincinnati ; New York : U.S. Printing Co., c1900

Hypnotist directing a group of people to do unusual things: men pretending to race while seated on man suspended between two chairs and audience "volunteering" for military duty with brooms as rifles. Cincinnati ; New York : U.S. Printing Co., c1900

Every night I go to bed thinking, “No, tomorrow can’t be worse than today,” knowing that it will be but hoping that I’m wrong.

Today I didn’t really get out of bed, I postponed today’s bad news and got back in bed with my coffee. I spent the day reading Starlight 1, an anthology of short stories edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden and published in 1996.

The collection is labeled “science fiction” but few involve anything remotely tied to outer space.

One story reminded me why I declined to get out of bed today. “Erase/Record/Play: A Drama For Print,” by John M. Ford.

I didn’t understand a lot of Ford’s story, but one paragraph in particular shook me, like a solid punch to the gut. It describes our current political shenanigans with nauseating accuracy:

Suppose you were creating a false diary. A blanket claim of innocence will never stand, and might hang you even higher. You must create what a court would call “reasonable doubt.” You name persons, and say they are guilty of crimes. And indeed, most of them are. But here and there, perhaps whenever lucky seven hits (he pretends to roll dice), you name an innocent: A victim in a marked grave, someone who had nothing to o with the camps at all. So when your lies are found out, they will discredit your truth by association. Isn’t that a lovely paradox?

When I finally got out of bed and read today’s posts by Hilzoy and Steve Benen, their words and Ford’s mixed like a vomitous concoction.

I haven’t yet read Robert Draper’s article — I’m not sure i have the stomach to read more than snippets posted here and elsewhere. I hope that it will be only one of many smoke-clearing fans. The air it blows has a putrid stench that makes me flinch, but it’s important to have these fans to sweep away the smoke and mirrors of the Bush criminals, or at least render them less effective.

Publicly documenting what was done by individuals who made up the criminal enterprise known as the Bush administration are absolutely essential to not only bringing those individuals to justice but stopping the next group before they do this kind of harm to the United States again.

The tragedy didn’t come suddenly on September 11, 2001. It was born in 1974 and came to ripening in November 1999. Eleven months later we had the first taste of the poisonous fruit. Despite the foul stench in 2003, 2004, 2005, we continued to delude ourselves that it was coming from outside, caused by someone else, we just needed to close the window.

Those who have served up this foul cuisine came out of the criminal Nixon administration, the Ford cover-up administration and the criminal Bush I and Reagan administrations. George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, “Dick” Cheney and the rest of the criminal enterprise (I’m including you, MSM) cannot be allowed to get away with their crimes against this country and humanity. Next time will be worse if they do.

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I have put a link in the sidebar to KarenMarie’s Film School where you can see all my animated shorts.

Err … well, the link doesn’t work. I’ll get back to you on that. Fixed it!

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O Canada!

Former President and career criminal George W. Bush showed up in Toronto today for a paid speech and was greeted by demonstrators.

The Globe and Mail reports that approximately 60 Calgary police officers were on duty outside the Telus Convention Centre to control between 200 and 300 people carrying signs that read “No to U.S. Crimes Against Humanity,” “Indict Bush For War Crimes” and “Canada Is Not Bush Country,” and — the new classic — “Shoe Him The Door.”

There were shoes everywhere during the protest. A young woman wearing a hood, orange jumpsuit and a name tag that said “Club Gitmo” was pulling a shoe cannon along with a target festooned with pictures of Mr. Bush.

An obviously amused police officer told her to leave.

A grateful world remembers Muntadhar al-Zaidi.

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Placing poison in the cricket traps. Big Horn County, Montana.  1939 June.  (Photo: Arthur Rothstein)

Placing poison in the cricket traps. Big Horn County, Montana. 1939 June. (Photo: Arthur Rothstein)

Barbara Bush is in the ICU in Houston after having heart surgery. Her oldest son George, a prominent member of the family values party, “had no immediate plans to visit [her].”

What’s that I hear? Crickets?

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President Jimmy Carter at the State of the Union address surrounded by members of Congress, Washington, D.C., January 23, 1980.

President Jimmy Carter at the State of the Union address surrounded by members of Congress, Washington, D.C., January 23, 1980.

Tonight President Obama will be giving a State of the Union address to Congress. In addition to members of Congress, the Justices of the Supreme Court have traditionally been at the top of the guest list.

According to CNN, “Attendance at presidential annual messages by the nine-member Supreme Court has not exceeded six since at least 1995. At each address from 2000 through 2008, there were fewer justices in attendance than the five required to pass a majority opinion on the high court.”

At least one Justice has attended the State of the Union address since 1986 except for one year. Can you guess which year?

You get the prize if you guessed 2000.

Apparently there was a rash of “travel conflicts and illnesses” in 2000 which prevented any of the Supreme Court Justices who installed Bush as king president to show up for his first address to Congress.

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UPDATE (4/7/09):  Muntadhar al-Zaidi’s three-year sentence has been reduced to one year by the Appeals Court.   If he is credited with the time he was held prior to trial, his sentence would be completed by mid December 2009.

UPDATE (3/12/09): Muntadhar al-Zaidi was sentenced to three years in prison. It could have been worse. Best wishes to him, his family and friends.

(Liz Sly / Chicago Tribune) The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former President George W. Bush made an impassioned plea for clemency on the first day of his trial Thursday, [February 19, 2009,] saying that he had been blinded with rage when he saw Bush smiling and joking with the Iraqi prime minister during a news conference.

“I was trying to restore the dignity of Iraqis in any possible way short of using weapons,” Muntadhar al-Zaidi, 30, told the court in his first public comments on the Dec. 14 incident, which transformed him overnight into a hero across the Arab world.

“I did not intend to kill the American president. I couldn’t possibly do that.”

* * *

Zaidi is charged with assaulting a visiting foreign guest, a crime that carries a maximum of 15 years’ imprisonment. But members of his 22-strong defense team hope to portray the case as a test of Iraq’s democratic freedoms and to reduce the charge to a lesser one.

The chief judge, Abdul Amir al-Hasan, then asked Zaidi about a statement he made to an investigating judge in which he described how he had long harbored ambitions to throw shoes at Bush and had even once filmed himself practicing throwing shoes.

Zaidi said the statement was untrue and had been extracted under torture, including beatings and electric shocks.

* * *

Rather, Zaidi insisted that he acted on impulse after listening to Bush praise “achievements” in Iraq.

“While he was talking I was looking at all his achievements,” he said. “More than a million killed, the destruction and humiliation of mosques, violations against Iraqi women, attacking Iraqis every day and every hour.”

“A whole people are saddened because of his policy, and he was talking with a smile on his face. … And he was joking with the prime minister and saying he was going to have dinner with him.”

“Believe me, I didn’t see anything around me except Bush,” Zaidi continued. “I was blind to anything else. I felt the blood of the innocent people seeping from beneath his feet, and he was smiling in that way.

“So I reacted to this feeling by throwing my shoes. … It was spontaneous.”

The judge appears to be trying to determine whether the shoe throwing was a premeditated act, which could carry a harsher penalty, defense attorneys said.

“What Muntadhar al-Zaidi did was not murder or intention to kill but the expression of his rejection of the occupation of Iraq, and the Iraqi constitution guarantees the right of freedom of expression,” said Dhiya al-Saadi, his lead defense lawyer. “Especially as we know that shoes do not harm or kill.”

Zaidi also argued that Bush could not be considered either a guest, because his forces occupied Iraq uninvited, or an official visitor, because the trip, in common with those of all senior U.S. officials, was not announced in advance.

The judge adjourned the trial until March 12, pending a request to the prime minister’s office to clarify whether Bush’s visit was in fact “official or unofficial.”

If the visit is deemed unofficial, then the defense team hopes the charge against Zaidi can be reduced to one of “attempted assault without harm,” which typically carries only a fine. If the visit was official, then the defense aims to persuade the judge to reduce the charge to one of “insulting a foreign guest,” which carries a maximum 2-year penalty.

Best wishes and good luck to Mr. Al-Zaidi.UP

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