Just a “reminder”..?

All cartoons are posted with the artists’ express permission to TPZoo.
Paul Jamiol
, Jamiol’s World


Gates: New US Carrier in Gulf a “Reminder” to Iran
By David Morgan

Tuesday 29 April 2008

Mexico City – The US Navy has temporarily added a second aircraft carrier in the Gulf as a “reminder” to Iran, but this was not an escalation of American forces in the region, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters during a trip to Mexico, Gates flatly denied a suggestion that the presence of two US carriers in the Gulf could be a precursor to military action against Tehran.

“This deployment has been planned for a long time,” Gates said. “I don’t think we’ll have two carriers there for a protracted period of time. So I don’t see it as an escalation. I think it could be seen, though, as a reminder.”

Read more…


It just so happens this was announced about the same time as this hit the news:

CNN – Iran dumps U.S. dollar for oil trades

April 29, 2008

Iran, OPEC’s second-largest producer, has stopped conducting oil transactions in U.S. dollars, a top Oil Ministry official said Wednesday, in a concerted attempt to reduce reliance on Washington at a time of tension over Tehran’s nuclear program and suspected involvement in Iraq.

Iran has dramatically reduced dependence on the dollar over the past year in the face of increasing U.S. pressure on its financial system and the fall in the value of the American currency.

Oil is priced in dollars on the world market, and the currency’s depreciation has concerned producers because it has contributed to rising crude prices and eroded the value of their dollar reserves.

“The dollar has totally been removed from Iran’s oil transactions,” Oil Ministry official Hojjatollah Ghanimifard told state-run television Wednesday. “We have agreed with all of our crude oil customers to do our transactions in non-dollar currencies.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the depreciating dollar a “worthless piece of paper” at a rare summit last year in Saudi Arabia attended by state leaders from OPEC countries.


Just a quick reminder..

Right before we attacked Iraq, Saddam Hussein quit trading in dollars and went to Euros. After we invaded, and took out Saddam, we quietly changed it back to dollars for oil trading.

More on this here and here.
I posted on this before.

What does all of this have to do with Cheney’s recent trips to the ME? Is this the ‘urgency’ and the rising BOOM BOOM BOOM of these beating war drums?

In case you missed these..

Here are a few more things people might find interesting…

BradblogHow to Cast a Ballot in Indiana if You Don’t Have State-Issued Photo ID…

Common Dreams Truckers Take Their Case to the Capitol by Barbara Ehrenreich

Common Dreams Interview With Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman by Thom Hartmann

PoliticoObama backer predicts victory in Hill war

The Free Press Did the US Supreme Court just elect John McCain?

Guardian Cheney lawyer claims Congress has no authority over vice-president

TruthoutWitness Says Hastert Linked to Alleged Plot (referring to the Rezko trial and the plot to get rid of US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald).

Is this how we support our troops..?

Crooks and Liars

It’s like Walter Reed all over again. The US defense budget last year was a staggering $439.3 billion dollars. Can’t we spare a few bucks to ensure our soldiers don’t have to live in such horrendous conditions? Magnetic yellow ribbons and flag lapel pins aside, “supporting the troops” means actually caring about them. Not only when they’re off fighting your wars, but also when they come back. Kudos to the understandably outraged father who exposed the story.

My hands are shaking right now from the disgust and outrage I feel. This administration and our government don’t care about our soldiers, they only care about their war and the profits. That’s it.

Words don’t mean anything. Actions (or INACTION) speaks far louder than words. The administration has demonstrated over and over again just where their loyalties and PRIORITIES lay.

When are we going to do something to stop all this? Hold people accountable? There is just no more excuse.

They don’t care. That’ the bottom line.

US Energy Update

According to Mother Jones in their May-June 2008 issue, our fight for energy “independence” is a losing proposition. Here are some great stats pulled from the article “The seven Myths of Energy Independence” by Paul Roberts.

I don’t necessarily agree with everything in the article, but I do agree that I don’t think the US will ever see energy “independence” in my lifetime. Some of these tables and charts show some interesting figures.

Check out another informative table here.

Federal Funding for Renewable-Energy R&D
$ millions, in 2005 dollars

Renewable-Energy R&D

Seeing Green
Where the clean-energy money is—and isn’t

Dept. of Energy solar budget, 2008: $168 million

Venture capital investment in solar, 2006: $264 million

Dept. of Energy renewable-energy budget, 2008:$1.7 billion

Venture capital investment in renewable energy, 2006: $2.4 billion

Federal ethanol subsidies, 2006: $6 billion

Federal coal subsidies, 2006: $8 billion

Federal oil and gas subsidies, 2006: $39 billion

Worldwide investment in renewable energy, 2007:$71 billion

How in the heck can we expect energy change when our federal oil and gas subsidies out spend the worldwide investment in renewable energy???

Uncle Sam Says “You’re On Your Own”

\The military recruiters have been beating the streets hard since Bush and Cheney decided to illegally invade a sovereign nation. As a result, our military, an all volunteer military, has been and continues to be willing to fight this war and other wars with pride and honor.

What happens when a solder or sailor or marine or airman retires after 20 years of service? Phillyblues can tell you. He has a story that he would like to share with the world. I’m attaching a link because it is his story not mine and it truly touched me.

When I first graduated from College with my Nursing Degree, I went to work in the VA Hospital because I felt that I needed to give back to the solders, sailors, marines and airmen that went to fight in Vietnam. At that time, the VA Hospital provided excellent care to our veterans. Not anymore. The Bush/Cheney Iraq invasion consumes most of the military budget. There’s little left for the veterans. The Democrats in the Senate are working on a bill to increase veteran benefits. John McCain will not vote yes on this bill. One would think that because John McCain is a veteran that he would care about other veterans. Well, he doesn’t.

Good luck, veterans. Uncle Sam says “You’re on your own”.

Lame excuse: Olbermann slams Bush recession speech

Raw Story

After President George W. Bush’s press conference on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that he had “offered no new ideas for a range of economic worries now facing the country, from record gas prices and soaring food costs to rising inflation, layoffs and home foreclosures.”

Instead, Bush blamed the Democrats in Congress for not acting on his earlier proposals.

“These are difficult times. And the American people know it and they want to know whether or not Congress knows it,” Bush said. “I believe that they’re letting the American people down, is what I believe.”

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann took on the task of fact-checking Bush’s statements, beginning with his claim that “last year I called on Congress to pass legislation that would help address problems in the housing market.”

“In fact,” Olbermann commented, “his administration turned a blind eye when investment banks began buying risky mortgages and began trading them in ways intended to disguise their risk. Even today, Mr. Bush opposes … more regulation. … And those bills Congress did not pass — they have been held up in the Senate by Republicans.”

However, Bush’s strongest focus was on the rising cost of energy. “Mostly today it was oil that the world’s most powerful failed oilman had in mind,” Olbermann reported, “again blaming Congress, again lusting after Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”

Bush asserted that drilling in ANWR would produce “a million additional barrels of oil every day,” which “would likely mean lower gas prices.”

“A few years ago,” noted Olbermann, “the Energy Information Adminstration considered the impact of drilling in ANWR and said that gasoline prices would go down — by one cent per gallon, by the year 2025.”

Continue reading…

Vodpod videos no longer available. from rawstory.com posted with vodpod

Repeating the Crime


The Iraq War Morphs into the Iran War

By Paul Craig Roberts

It is 1939 all over again. The world waits helplessly for the next act of naked aggression by rogue states. Only this time the rogue states are not the Third Reich and Fascist Italy. They are the United States and Israel.

The targeted victims are not Poland and France, but Iran, Syria, the remains of the Palestinian West Bank and southern Lebanon.

The American mass media is overjoyed. War coverage attracts viewers and sells advertising.

The neoconservatives are ecstatic. Hegemony uber alles is back on track.

The US Air Force can’t wait “to show what it can do.”

Defense contractors see no end of the profits.

Under cover of the mayhem and propaganda, Israel can grab the remains of the West Bank and have another go at grabbing the water resources of southern Lebanon.

Unlike the US and Israel, Iran is neither occupying any other country’s territory nor threatening to invade another country. Nevertheless, propaganda against Iran is spouting from US and Israeli mouths at an increasing rate. Lie after lie rolls off the tongues of leaders of the “two great democracies.”

On April 27 Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, blamed Iran for “increasingly lethal and malign influence” in Iraq. Has Admiral Mullen forgot that it is the US, not Iran, that is responsible for as many as one million dead Iraqis and four million displaced Iraqis, the “collateral damage” of a “cakewalk war” now into its sixth year?

On April 26 the Washington Post reported that “the Pentagon is planning for potential military courses of action” against Iran.
The Bush Regime’s national security advisor says Iran is a threat in Iraq, an accusation echoed endlessly by secretary of defense Robert Gates, secretary of state Rice, vice president Cheney, and president Bush. The US, which has 150,000 troops in Iraq, is not a threat. The US troops are protecting Iraq from Iran, al Qaeda, and the Taliban. Just ask Fox “News.”

Doing its part to egg on war with Iran, the US TV news program, “60 MInutes,” gave air time to the commander of the Israeli Air Force, General Eliezer Shkedi, who declared in a special interview that Iranian president Ahmadinejad was the new Hitler and that we must not again make the mistake of disbelieving a Hitler.

There are better candidates for the role than Ahmadinejad. Gen. Shkedi himself sounds like Hitler blaming Poland for the outbreak of the second world war. Ahmadinejad has attacked no country, whereas Israel repeatedly invades its neighbors and continues 40-year occupations of Syrian and Palestinian territory.

This just makes me sick.

Read the whole article…


Having “finished” the house, I am having fun unpacking artwork and playing around with casual arrangements.

The hand is carved from oak shipwreck wood, sunk at the bottom of Lake Michigan for a hundred years or so before finally washing up on the beach.

The plate is a Mimbres cliff dweller motif of ‘steps’ that I have echoed throughout the house.

The contrasting blacks and whites gave me the title…

What’s Gotten Into Reverend Wright?

Rumor has it that the Clintons have something to do with the erratic behavior of Reverend Wright. Of course The Daily Show has the most entertaining view of Reverend Wright’s behavior:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Errol Louis at the New York Daily News points out that his appearance at the Press Club was orchestrated by avid Clinton supporter, Barbara Reynolds. In fact at this link to his article Barbara Reynolds is shown sitting next to Reverend Wright and speaking to him just before he rose to speak.

In addition, on Morning Joe today Joe Scarborough said to his sidekick Mika Brzezinski something like, “You think the Clintons paid him off don’t you?” Her response was, “Don’t put words in my mouth.”

In light of the unpredictable nature of Jeremiah Wright’s recent comments and the fact that he basically threw long time parishioner Barack Obama under the bus his motivation is certainly in question.

Barack Obama responded today:

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook

Let’s have a look at McCain now.

Did John McCain’s campaign receive inappropriate financial support from foreign nationals? During McCain’s England trip this may have been the case:

At issue is a fundraising luncheon held in March at London’s Spencer House, during McCain’s swing through the United Kingdom. An invitation to the event lists Lord Rothschild and Nathaniel Rothschild as hosts, and indicates the event was made possible with their “kind permission”.

Worth having a look at.

John McCain has lambasted Barack Obama as “out of touch”, because Senator Obama did not support his gas tax holiday. Well, as the rebate would amount to about half a tank filling, I guess, McCain is the one out of touch. Maybe he uses his wife’s jets too much. I would like to ask him when he last filled up his car and when he last drove to work on a daily basis.

Then there’s the “Keating Five“. This was at least questionable conduct by the straight talker. But, hey! He has some experience with bank collapses after risky real estate investments after all! Read more on McCain’s lobbying ties, here.

Many of McCain’s positions have changed through the years, and even dramatically when he started his latest campaign, see for yourself:

Another four years of “questionable conduct”, warmongering and incompetence is not what this world needs from America.

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook

Because I am a woman, too.

We are told Hillary Clinton’s candidacy was historic. The first woman to run for the office of President of the United States of America. Whenever the topic of gender comes up, we are reminded that we owe Hillary Clinton at least the female solidarity to want her win the Presidency. If not, we are somehow not fully liberated and of course not feminist. Do we as women have to seek our full liberation through Hillary Clinton, or any female politician as a surrogate? No we really don’t need to. We are strong in our own rights. We do not need Hillary Clinton as our standard bearer!

When Hillary Clinton stood by her man, many American women have kicked out mentally and physically abusive or cheating husbands. They did it even if it meant they were on their own to support their children on minimum wage. Even if they didn’t get moral or financial assistance by ex-hubby or a family. Even if it meant a disrupted life and the end of a career and the end to their own ambitions. Mind, I very much respect women who can forgive and move on with their partners, but I am deeply suspicious in this case it was a career path move.

Many American women have made fabulous business careers, without depending on the fallout of their husbands’ jobs to count as their own experience. Women climbed Mount Everest, women have been on space missions. American women have worked as nurses in the most dangerous parts of the world, where they saved lives with their own hands and comforted and buried those whose lives could not be saved. American women are working in hotbeds of social injustice and manage to help families overcome drug abuse and poverty. Women are fighting for the existence of our planet as activists for Green Peace. Women all over the world are taking their lives into their own hands and by this even risk their very physical existence. Women like them, like you and like us, do not need a feminist symbol we need competent and honest politicians to solve the problems humankind faces.

While Hillary Clinton decided to vote for a war, that costs so many human beings their lives or health, many American women were out in the streets protesting, voicing their dissent. Shortly thereafter many of them stood strong and proud when their brothers, sons, daughters, sisters, husbands, spouses or themselves packed their gear to fight the war Hillary Clinton voted for. And 103 American women died in the war Hillary Clinton voted for. Many American women lost brothers, sons, daughters, sisters, husbands, spouses to that war. Many had to explain to their small children, that dad would not come home from the war Hillary Clinton voted for!

Why should American women vote for Hillary Clinton only because she is a woman? They can do better! Hillary Clinton acted exactly as your average jaded, male politician would, when she went throwing human lives under the bus for her political ambitions. And when she recently mimicked Ahmadinejad and threatened to wipe out Iran, did she represent the kind of woman we would recognize as one of our own?

The office of President of the United States of America is not a symbol of empowerment for American women, nor for African Americans for that matter. He or she is the person who will give your country the direction and ultimately influence which direction the world will take, too. And to me as a woman, I couldn’t care less if this person is man or woman, black or white, Christian, Jew, Muslim or Atheist, as long as your next President understands, and acts upon, the urgency of the dangers this world faces.

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook

McCain’s stunning cluelessness

ABC Political Radar:

McCain criticized Obama for not supporting McCain’s plan for a gas tax holiday, which would eliminate the 18 cents per gallon Americans pay for gasoline between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

“Obviously, Sen. Obama does not understand that this would be a nice thing for Americans,” McCain said.

He also sharply criticized Obama for saying that he was open to raising taxes on capital gains, which McCain said would affect the taxes of 100 million Americans who have investments.

“That means he has no understanding of the economy and that he is totally insensitive to the hopes and dreams and ambitions of 100 million Americans who would be affected by his almost doubling of the capital gains tax,” McCain said.

“He is out of touch with the economy.”

Ok, so not the worst things we’ve ever heard from a political rival, but here’s the context: McCain made these statements at an upscale political fundraiser in Coral Gables, Florida, where access to the private reception cost supporters $2300 per person.

Now that’s rich. 😉