The Razor's Edge

Mike Hanson in a nutshell [according to some of my more endearing hate mail]: "you are nothing more than a misogynistic, crypto-fascist, Amerikkkan pig and I hope you choke and die on the dollars you steal from the oppressed" Email Mike: m_hanson76 hotmail dot com

The Blade That Slashes Progressives!

Monday, July 21, 2003
The Screwing of Greg Palast: The Wait Is Over

About a month back I commented on Greg Palast’s observation that Cynthia Mckinney had been “screwed” out of her reelection bid because, in Palast’s view, she was the object of a deliberate disinformation campaign put out by us evil neo-cons.

After several threatening emails and phone calls, I finally got someone over at KPFA to send the the transcripts of the March 25th, 2002 interview with Cynthia Mckinney. Sure enough, it seems as if Palast was full of shit.

Have you heard about Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Congresswoman?

According to those quoted on National Public Radio, McKinney’s “a loose cannon” (media expert) who “the people of Atlanta are embarrassed and disgusted” (politician) by, and she is also “loony” and “dangerous” (senator from her own party).

Yow! And why is McKinney dangerous/loony/disgusting? According to NPR, “McKinney implied that the [Bush] Administration knew in advance about September 11 and deliberately held back the information.”

The New York Times’ Lynette Clemetson revealed her comments went even further over the edge: “Ms. McKinney suggest[ed] that President Bush might have known about the September 11 attacks but did nothing so his supporters could make money in a war.”

That’s loony, all right. As an editor of the highly respected Atlanta Journal Constitution told NPR, McKinney’s “practically accused the President of murder!”

Problem is, McKinney never said it.

That’s right. The “quote” from McKinney is a complete fabrication. A whopper, a fabulous fib, a fake, a flim-flam. Just freakin’ made up.

Yes, this is one fact the Times reporter didn’t fake: The McKinney “quote” was, indeed, all over the place: in the Washington Post, National Public Radio, and needless to say, all the other metropolitan dailies – everywhere but in Congresswoman McKinney’s mouth.

Nor was it in the Congressional Record, nor in any recorded talk, nor on her Website, nor in any of her radio talks.

Fabricated, ehh….. Well lets just have a look at what the transcripts tell us shall we.

According to the Washington Times article that Palast cites as fabricating the quote, here is what the Washington Times quoted Mckinney as saying McKinney

From the Washington Times

In a recent interview with a Berkeley, Calif., radio station, McKinney said: "We know there were numerous warnings of the events to come on September 11th. . . . What did this administration know and when did it know it, about the events of September 11th? Who else knew, and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered? . . . What do they have to hide?"

And Now From the March 25th, 2002 KPFA Interview

We know that there were several warnings that were given prior to the events of September 11. What did this Administration know, and when did it know it about the events of September 11? Who else knew and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered? What do they have to hide?

Agian from the Washington Times

She suggested that the administration was serving the interests of a Washington-based investment firm, the Carlyle Group, which employs a number of high-ranking former government officials from both parties. Former president George H.W. Bush -- the current president's father -- is an adviser to the firm. McKinney said the war on terrorism has enriched Carlyle Group investors by enhancing the value of a military contractor partly owned by the firm.

And Now From the March 25th, 2002 KPFA Interview

Then the other issue that saddens me is the fact that the former President, president Bush's daddy, sits on the board of the Carlyle Group. And so we get this presidency, of questionable legitimacy, requesting a nearly unprecedented amount of money to go into a defense budget for defense spending that will directly benefit his father.

The father sits on the board of an organization called the Carlyle Group.

Well, it would seem to me that the Washington Times not only quotes Mckinney fairly accurately, but also paraphrased her allegations of the Carlyle Group’s involvement accurately as well.

She was beaten in the August 2002 Democratic primary. More precisely, she was beaten to death, politically, by the fabricated quote
-Greg Palast

So was it a fabricated quote, or can’t the “investigative journalist” Greg Palast find a copy of the transcript and doing shoddy journalism, or is Palast lying in order to validate his own bullshit theory about why Cynthia Mckinney was so harshly [and bi-partisanly I might ass] attacked?

Clearly, from a reading of the KPFA’s transcripts, the quote does indeed exist and was accurately reported by both the Atlantic Journal Constitution as well as the Washington Post. I also doubt that Palast had any trouble finding a copy of the Flashpoints interview, because I [John Q Public] had absolutely no problem obtaining a copy a of it.

This leads us to one conclusion: Greg Palast is quilt of what he alleges Cynthia Mckinney’s detractors of, fabricating stories to validate a theory.

For the life of me, I cannot believe why he would do this, but it will be interesting to see if he responds to any of my e-mail requests for further clarification.

I suppose the the tile to this post “The Screwing of Greg Palast” might not be appropriate after all. Screwing implies that I have somehow willfully and maniacally besmirched the good name of a fine Journalist. Evidently Palast has done that all on his own.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003
The More Things Change...

Well, you know how that saying goes, but have a read anyways.

Ralph Peters

Democrats attack the Republican president over a continuing conflict, insisting it cannot be won, as they position themselves for upcoming elections.

The president acts vigorously in response to a threat to our national survival - exacerbated by the fecklessness and timidity of his predecessor in office. His critics are outraged and unforgiving.

A retired general is one of the contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, although the Army realizes it's winning and continues to support the president.

Continental European powers, especially France, tacitly back Washington's enemies, jockeying for financial advantage - even approaching open support for the enemy's leader.

Domestically, subversives and traitors are arrested. Some are handed over to military tribunals. Civil libertarians argue that the U.S. Constitution is being destroyed.

The nation's intellectual elite cannot bear the president's Western simplicity, rustic mannerisms and lack of polish.

The media attack the president savagely, making fun of his lack of sophistication and even his appearance. Cartoonists lampoon the man even more fiercely than his policies. Leading newspapers and journals insist that his policies are disastrous and that he is unfit to lead the nation.

Even the British media portray the president as a dangerous lunatic, out of control.

On Capitol Hill, self-interested members of Congress establish a committee to investigate the president's handling of the war, as well as alleged distortions and corruption in his administration.

The president's secretary of state is accused of failure and ineptitude, while the cabinet member responsible for the Army has a knack for angering everybody.

The verdict of the intelligentsia is unanimous: This president is leading the nation into disaster.

Yet, the people continue to support the man, admiring the very qualities the intellectual elite despises. The president continues to do what he believes is necessary for the nation's security and survival, ignoring his exasperated critics.

President Bush? No.

Abraham Lincoln.

And the approaching elections were those of 1864, not 2004.

And the rest is well worth the read .

Thursday, July 10, 2003
The Kyoto Accord: How to kill an economy 101

By Iain Murray over at Tech Central Station

Yet because the climate change alarmists have frightened some lawmakers into assuming that drastic austerity measures are the only way to avoid a putative disaster in 100 years time, we are faced with the possibility of this thriving economy being forced to wear a hair shirt over the next decade. The EIA also released at the end of last month its analysis of the McCain-Lieberman "Climate Stewardship Act," a bill currently being considered by the Senate as part of the comprehensive energy bill. This bill, if enacted, would introduce a system of "cap and trade" credits, whereby from 2010 entities in the commercial, industrial and electric power sectors would not be allowed to produce more than a certain "capped" level of carbon dioxide emissions. However, bodies that produce less than their cap would be able to trade their allowances, thus creating a new economic market of credits and allowances from which they could profit. It is worth remembering here that Enron was pushing for just such a scheme.

The impact of such a scheme on the economy, the EIA found, would be far-reaching. As a result of price increases, the average household's energy bill would increase by $444 per year by 2025, although a new bureaucracy called the Climate Change Credit Corporation would issue rebates, assistance and other payments in a form of energy welfare to offset much of these costs.

Yet the impact on the economy as a whole can not be made up by hand-outs from government. When the system comes into operation, the economy would be severely affected resulting in job and output losses in the short-run. Because of this shock, real disposable income would drop by almost 1 percent per person by 2011, and would take fifteen years to return to 2000 levels. By 2025, the average person will have lost almost $2,500 as a result of McCain-Lieberman. The effect on GDP is even more startling, with the nation losing $507 billion in real terms over the next twenty-two years. By 2025, the country's GDP will be $106 billion lower in real terms than would have been the case without McCain-Lieberman.

The America that Senators McCain and Lieberman want us to live in is a poorer country in every sense of the word. People will be poorer than they are today and travel less, the economy will be struggling to recover to today's levels, and the outlook for jobs for an expanding population will be poor. Environmentalists who think this is a fair price to pay for their unproven theory that global warming will endanger us might also reflect that the EIA estimates that nuclear power generation will increase by 50 percent.

Yet, if current trends persist, technological progress will have reduced emissions per unit of GDP by 55 percent from 1990 levels by 2025. It might seem wiser to continue along this path, rather than crippling our economy and putting thousands out of work.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003
The joys of living under Saddam Hussein

By William Blum, revered left wing author .

Take the children out of the room. What follows is a kind word about Saddam Hussein. During his reign, when the war with Iran and US bombings and sanctions made it feasible, the Iraqi people had free education all the way through university and medical school, free medical care, regular food packages for those in need, women's rights superior to anything in the Arab world, and religious toleration for Christians and other non-Muslims.

My God it was a utopia!

And his take Cuba.

Cuba has recently been heavily criticized, by various shadings of leftists as well as by those to the right, for its sentencing a number of "dissidents" to prison because of their very close political and financial connections to American officials. Critics say that Cuba should not have over-reacted so, that these people were not really guilty of anything criminal.

I especialy love the sneering emphasis on "dissidents".

While I personally think that the Cuban trials were too quick and that some of the sentences were too long, we have to keep in mind that before the United States invaded Iraq there was extensive CIA and US military liaison on the ground with Iraqi dissidents and lots of propaganda to soften up the population -- propaganda beamed into Iraq with the indispensable help of other Iraqi dissidents.

The United States has been on a ferocious rampage of bombing, invasion, taking over countries and threatening the same to others. The US ambassador to the Dominican Republic declared: "I think what is happening in Iraq is going to send a very positive signal, and it is a very good example for Cuba." An advisor to Florida Governor Jeb Bush, speaking of Fidel Castro, said: "The administration has taken care of one tyrant already. I don't think they would vacillate about taking care of another one." There was in this same period a wave of violent hijackings of Cuban planes and boats.

Can Cuba be expected to ignore all this? Is Washington's work with Cuban dissidents to be seen as a purely harmless undertaking? Not done for a purpose? How can Cuba not feel extremely threatened, even more than the usual threat of the past 44 years? How can they not take precautionary measures?

Interesting that someone who routinely criticizes the US for racial profiling in airports and well everything really, would justify the arrest and executions of dozens of Cubans for no other reason than speaking out against Castro.

But what else would we expect from Blum who once wrote that the true intention behind the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was” to protect a fellow progressive regime in Kabul”.

Ohh Yeah!

That blowhard prick Mike Malloy has a new website and discussion forum.

I have signed up and am currently taking wagers and giving odds on how long till his Stazi have me booted.

The Iranian revolution update

You know, a while back I commented on Andrew Sullivan’s observation that the left seemed to be ignoring what was going on in Iran.

Well, as usual, the rank hypocrisy and hate of country that many within this community of “free thinkers” shows, has not let me down.

Simon Jones, Canadian freelance journalist and the head of Greenpeace’s office in soviet era Moscow, clues us into the reasons why true “progressives” must not be impressed by the goings on in Iran and why they need to support the 1979 revolution.

Which brings me to Iran. It is best described as a socialism-averse socialist state, but one where the 'reformers' are hell-bent on jettisoning the remnants of socialism and obediently following the dictates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Strangely, the 'reformers' do not seem to be aware there is a massive world movement against US imperialism and globalization afoot, which should ideally constitute their natural allies.

Iran’s human rights record is without a doubt the best of the lot. It has a healthy independent culture, and is eager to rejoin the world.

During the Cold War, I was mocked as a Sovsymp for promoting detente. Call me an Iransymp, or worse yet, an Ayatollahsymp if you like. 'Sticks and stones ...,' I always used to say. But be clear: my 'ideology' is anti-imperialism, critical support, sympathy, open-mindedness.

Ironically, despite its denunciations of communism, the Iranian revolution produced many quasi-socialist features: the nationalization of banks, prohibition of interest, and '4-year' plans. Education and health care are also state-provided. Importantly, the currency is not part of the international speculative system and is state-fixed. These advantages over an IMF-produced economy are not to be scoffed at. Just ask Argentina.

Well that’s news to me, but it gets even better!

Let us review our past in this respect. The attitudes of progressives towards the Soviet Union were at best disdainful, at worst downright hateful, except for a very few brave 'naÑOfs' as Einstein [/cite1]. Sure, it was far from a perfect place, but it was one not based on the world capitalist system, and Western imperialism spent 70+ years actively trying to undermine it. If the peace movement had only been able to reach out more resolutely to allay well-grounded Soviet fears of subversion, and perhaps even promote some modest democratization (not just Westernization), we would still have a powerful counterweight to capitalism, and, hey, maybe by now even a half-decent one.

So you see, the reason the left must support Iranian tyranny is because they failed to support the Soviet Union with enough diligence. When, according to Simon, the left abandoned the USSR [which most really did not do, but that’s besides the point] they lost their best last hope for creating a counterweight to capitalism, which would show us the way.

Simon seems to see Iran as the lefts last hope for finding an alternative to capitalism.

I must say, these people get more and more morally bankrupt every day.

Celebrate What?

After boycotting any 4th of July events, those "true patriots" over at have another way of showing their love of country.

Please join

for a reception and dinner
to celebrate Bastille Day
on Sunday July 13th

at Lavandou in Washington, DC

Please join us for drinks, dinner and discussion at the highly praised French restaurant Lavandou, 3321 Connecticut Avenue, NW, which is near the Cleveland Park Metro stop. (If you are too far from Washington to attend please visit our community site and volunteer to organize one in your community.)

That’s right! Lets celebrate the French hate for the United States!

I hope they go blind from all the antifreeze in their French wine.

Friday, July 04, 2003
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, July 4, 1776

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

The signers of the Declaration represented the new states as follows:

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:Sutton Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

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