Friday, December 29, 2006


Suzanne Goldenberg reports in the Guardian that government and agribusiness in the US are preparing a special pot luck for Americans. Consumables made from cloned animals will be filtering into the national diet.
"The FDA plans to hold public consultations until April. But cloned meat and milk could be on dinner tables by the end of 2007, without most Americans even noticing. Mr Sundlof said the FDA was unlikely to require labels telling consumers they were eating the products of clones."

"The high cost of raising clones makes it unlikely that any will be introduced directly into the food supply, except the occasional dairy cow past the age of producing milk. The number of cloned cows, pigs and goats in the US is believed to be in the low hundreds."

"But even with the FDA's all-clear, there remains considerable unease about the use of clones in agriculture. A poll by the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology this year found 64% of Americans uncomfortable with the idea of eating food from clones."
It would hardly whet the appetite of the average citizen to learn that cloned animals are often born arthritic and come into the world "with more deformities and other complications" than standard livestock.

Does that just make your mouth water, or what?

What if they gave a barbecue and nobody came? But you see, that's where the genius of not telling anyone what's inside a package comes in. Who wants to think about eating an arthritic pig that may have been born with two heads or an extra set of hooves? Not me. Most likely it was a marketing expert who pointed out the bright side of those discomfort statistics among Americans. Turn that percentage around and it means that 36% of Americans don't give a damn if they eat food from clones or not.

Can't you just imagine the sales pitch? Eating normal meat is no different than identifying with a brand; and the 64% who might be uncomfortable with the idea of clone flesh,--what of them? Nature and natural are quaint concepts and reproduction is overrated. Just dish up the stew and resist any compulsion to tell the poor maroon what he's just swallowed. A replica can be delicious, after all.

It's the kind of farce you've grown accustomed to in commercials. The smiling host finally tells his beaming dinner guest, "You've been eating clone all along."

Monday, December 25, 2006



by Sheenagh Pugh

Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen; may it happen for you.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Well, the "Decider" has decided on his "New Iraq Policy." Our President once again has heard the voice of the People. He has gone to the mountain and counseled with the "wise men." And the decision is (drum roll!): NO DECISION!

That's right, you heard it right here. He has spoken with One Voice. And that voice is dead silent!

Well, it's understandable. After all, Congress is adjourned, Christmas is around the corner. Everybody's just too dad-burn busy to worry about all that carnage, blood being spilt in the streets of Iraq. Really, there's just so much to do to get ready! Gifts to buy, beeves to slaughter, mountains of food to prepare, so much abundance to accumulate before Santa arrives. Has the President even had a chance to decorate his tree in Crawford? I doubt it. Just think of the hours he's put in worrying over his New Iraq Policy! I can't even imagine the nights he's spent walking the floor of the West Wing without a lick of sleep. It's too much to expect of our leader at this festive time of the year. Well, at least His Honor's children won't be special delivered to the Crawford ranchette in body bags over the holidays.

So, he thought it best to wait till the new year before making any big decisions. That's reasonable, isn't it? It's called being "prudent." After all, anybody can get into a war. That decision, as almost any of our Congressmen can tell you, requires only a minimum of thought and debate. Actually, the less thought and debate, the better. No messy "Study Groups" required for that! But getting out of the war--now, that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish. We just might require more than one measly "Study Group" to figure this out. I mean, we have to look at the "reality on the ground," don't we? Remember that? Remember "the reality on the ground?" Well, I don't know about you, but I have fond memories of "the reality on the ground."

There's just all kinds of complexities involved, here. Layers of issues and. . .and bodies, and buckets of blood, and. . .torture, and rape and pillage, and what have you. And, by the way, what kind of a send-off can we expect from the Iraqi people once our troops are on their way out of town? Hm? Has anyone given any thought to that? Will it be a cheerful send-off? Will the grateful newly democratized citizens stand and wave and cheer along the parade route? Will they throw flowers and garlands at our victorious army as it passes in review? Will their women dish out kisses to our boys as those saucy French girls once did when we liberated France? Will it be a good photo-op for the embedded press?

And here's a question. How do you calculate the proper ratio of blood spilt to the price of gas at the pump? And who makes that decision, for crying out loud? Do we just leave it up to the CEO of Exxon-Mobil to figure out? How much is he making, anyway? What's his name? Rex. Rex Tillerson. Let's see. Well, ol' Rex is up for a 2.8 million dollar bonus for 2006. And he's getting a 17% pay hike for 2007--that will raise him to 1.75 million bucks. Hm. I'm just not sure he's the right one to decide this issue. You think self-interest might be a problem, here? I just don't know.

Well, maybe we let the Decider handle that one, too. Gee, that's a lot of decisions we've handed him lately, isn't it? Frankly, I'm a little concerned for his well-being. How many things can one guy decide on before he finally crumbles under the weight of all those decisions? Decisions like whose phones to tap and whose emails to read. Oh, but he's already made that one kind of easy, hasn't he? Just tap and read them all. Yeah, way ahead of us, there. But what about who to lock up and who to torture? Oh, that's right, he made that one easy, too. Just arrest and torture anybody that looks out of place. Habeas Corpus is finito, so that's not a problem. But what about all those decisions about which laws to obey and which ones to break? That's a lot a lot of balls to juggle, isn't it? Well, no, I guess not. He just decides in the moment, doesn't he? And nobody objects anyway, so. . . .

But still, pulling out of a war, that's a lot more complicated, I believe. I'm thinking we might need two or three Study Groups to handle this problem. Or maybe a dozen or so. And surely, we oughta get the Think Tanks involved. Let's face it, it could take years to arrive at the proper decision on Iraq.

What do we do? Stay? Or go home? It's just so complicated.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


"Operating invisibly under the radar of media and public scrutiny, lobby groups and foreign agents have become the 'epicenter' of our government, where former statesmen and 'dime a dozen generals' cash in on their connections and peddle their enormous influence to the highest bidders turned clients. These groups' activities shape our nation's policies and determine the direction of its taxpayer driven wealth, while to them the interests of the majority are considered irrelevant, and the security of the nation is perceived as inconsequential."
The National Security Whistleblowers Association has recently published an article by Sibel Edmonds, entitled The Highjacking of a Nation, Part I and Part II, in which Edmonds asks Americans to consider exactly which factions or people are really governing them.

Edmonds first came to the US in 1988 from Turkey, as a student. She had intended to get an education here and return home; but she later married an American and opted to settle in this country and become a citizen. She spoke Turkish, and picked up Farsi, after spending some time as a girl in Iran, and was also fluent in Azerbaijani, a language her father spoke. And she had also mastered English, and has since that time, developed a remarkable talent as a writer in this language.

The academic achievements of Sibel Edmonds are considerable. From George Washington University she holds a BA in in Criminal Justice and Psychology, and from George Mason University, a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce.

In the Fall of 2001, after 9/11, she started to work in a sensitive intelligence department, for the FBI. The Agency desperately needed the highest quality of Turkish translation; and Edmonds was placed in a department which was monitoring subjects who were under suspicion in ongoing international criminal investigations.

Because of Edmonds' brilliance as a linguist, she was placed in the higher rank of a two-tier system that the FBI used for translations. The translation level below hers was meant for screening wiretaps and other monitored communication. If the screener found something of interest to the investigation, it would go to the higher ranked translator, for more detailed inspection. But Sibel Edmonds became aware that the FBI security was being breached, and that her assigned "screener" (a woman of Turkish extraction) was systematically obstructing evidence of wrongdoing on behalf of a person under investigation, and was not passing the intercepts up to Edmonds.

There had been an unnerving incident which triggered her suspicions. Jan Dickerson, the screener in question, and her husband, a Naval officer, had approached Edmonds and her husband socially. They suggested that the Edmonds couple join up with an organization to which the Dickersons belonged. Sibel Edmonds was paralyzed with anxiety at that moment, when she realized that she would ultimately be offered advantages of money, travel, and other opportunities, in exchange for becoming an intelligence asset for that "semi-legit organization".

In 2002, roughly a year after she hired on with the FBI, Sibel Edmonds was terminated, manhandled, and physically thrown out of the building where she worked. She had blown the whistle inside the Agency, and reported a breach of security which compromised the FBI, and exposed it to penetration by the very outfits and people it was investigating. The State Department was worried that the ensuing incident would adversely affect our diplomatic relations with a certain friendly country. John Ashcroft would eventually declare that everything about the Sibel Edmonds case was a state secret. When Edmonds took her concerns to Congress and testified behind closed doors, the blanket of secrecy was extended by Ashcroft, to cover information which was revealed in the hearings. Congress itself was gagged by a "retroactive classification" of Edmonds' testimony.
"I won't go into the details and history of my own case, where the government invoked the state secrets privilege to gag my case and the congress to 'protect certain sensitive diplomatic relations.' The country, the foreign influence, in this case was the Republic of Turkey. The U.S. government did so despite the far reaching consequences of burying the facts involved, and disregarded the interests and security of the nation; all to protect a quasi ally engaged in numerous illegitimate activities within the global terrorist networks, nuclear black-market and narcotics activities; an ally who happens to be another compulsive and loyal buyer of the Military Industrial Complex; an ally who happens to be another savvy player in recruiting top U.S. players as its foreign agents and spending millions of dollars per year to the lobbying groups headed by many 'formers.' Turkey's agent list includes generals such as Joseph Ralston and Brent Scowcroft, former statesmen such as William Cohen and Marc Grossman, and of course famous ex-congressmen such as Bob Livingston and Stephen Solarz."
What factions and interests actually govern America? It would seem that Sibel Edmonds' most startling conclusion, is that the US Military Industrial Complex has become a de facto foreign agent, because of the principle of "mutual benefit". President Eisenhower once warned us about the encroachment of the MIC into government. There is the profit-making of K-Street lobbyists representing foreign countries, added to the gains gotten by the US Weapons Industry, which are passed along to an elite, made up of former statesmen and the "dime a dozen generals". International criminal organizations that hide behind expensive business suits and government-funded corporate fronts have been facilitating this process. We are held hostage in a way by black-market crime; and at the same time the business interests that thrive on this trade in "friendly countries" see to it that their governments purchase US weapons systems.
"We know that Al Queda and Taliban's main source of funding is the illegal sale of narcotics. Based on all the reports, facts, and expert statements, we know that Turkey is a major, if not the top, player in the transportation, processing, and distribution of all the narcotics derived from the Afghan poppies, and as a result, it is the major contributing country to Al Queda. Yet, to date, more than five years into our over exhaustive 'war on terror propaganda', have we heard any mentioning of, any tough message to, any sanction against, or any threat that was issued or targeted at Turkey?"

"For years and years, information and evidence being collected by the counterintelligence operations of certain U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies has been prevented from being transferred to criminal and narcotics divisions, and from being shared with the Drug Enforcement Agency and others with prosecutorial power. Those with direct knowledge have been prevented from making this information available and public by various gag orders and invocation of State Secrets Privilege. Why?"

"When it comes to criminal and shady global networks most people envision either Mafiosi like entities who keep to themselves and are separated from society, or, street level gangster-like criminals. Contrary to these expectations, the top tier Turkish criminal networks consist mainly of respectable looking businessmen, some of whom are among the top international businessmen, diplomats, politicians, and scholarly individuals. Their U.S. counterparts are equally respected and recognizable; some of whom are high-level appointed bureaucrats within the State Department and the Pentagon; some are elected officials, and others consist of the combination of the two who have now set up their own companies and lobbying groups."

Friday, December 08, 2006


Methinks the "Iraq Study Group" is doing some real close "study" on this here Iraq situation. Methinks they're going to study quitting this war a whole lot longer and harder than was ever devoted to getting it started in the first place. Ain't it funny--NOW they're worried about the consequences!

But five'll get you ten, what they're really "studyin'" is: "How can we figure out a way to STAY as long as possible before Iraq and maybe the entire Middle East implodes?" Don't forget--there's still the little problem we went over there for in the first place. No, not to get the weapons of mass destruction--there weren't any--nor to get Saddam, whom we never cared a fig about, and certainly not to miraculously transform the country into a shining Jeffersonian democracy, where all the warring factions suddenly fall swooning into each others' arms and go all ga-ga for each other. No, I'm referring to the actual and true problem--getting "our oil" out from under their sand.

As long as we remain committed to a gasaholic way of life, keeping our heads buried where the sun doesn't shine over the issue of global warming, then methinks we never will leave Iraq. Sure, we may start drawing down some of our troops--that ought to placate our easily placated Democrats for awhile; and Lord knows, we may need to redeploy some of those troops when we start our next war (with Iran). But, rest assured, the bases--those multi-billion dollar mammoth fortress islands in the midst of the country--will stay, to keep a close watch on our interests.

Perhaps, just to keep up appearances, we'll stage a mock election, not unlike the one we staged right here at home in 2004, using the same rigged Diebold machines; and we'll install someone who will turn out to be quite sympathetic with our American corporations, like WalMart, McDonald's and especially Exxon-Mobil. Among the warring tribes, the ones that agree to go along with this program will get along just fine; the ones that don't--well, we'll just kill them off.

In short, everyone will get what they want. The big boys, the oil companies, and their bagmen (the lobbyists), and members of Congress who work for them, will keep right on making regular trips to the bank. And the arms makers and dealers will continue to fill their already engorged coffers with bootle--the blueprints for a whole new line of nukes is already on the table. And the American people will get to have the illusion that the war is "over," even though what's really on the agenda is perpetual war with more make-believe enemies, and with the ever-increasing number of real ones we've generated from the present war. Hell, perhaps even the Christian evangelicals will be happy again.

Well, nobody loves delusions and make-believe better than Americans.

copeland morris ENTWINED SONNET

Her shaded eyes, her necklace black velvet, onyx. Anguish she spoke; and he carried on, obsessed As only a young man could. An odd harm...