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Monday, December 31, 2007

Tis the Season

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



Happy New Year!

I don’t generally accomplish much writing during the holidays. This year, unfortunately, has been no different. Even now, the interruptions are more than my limited concentration can handle.

This being the final day of 2007, I would like take a moment to thank my loyal readers. My readership has risen sharply during the last year or so, and of course, you are my readers. Thank you! There are millions of unread blogs and news commentaries drifting throughout the sarcophagus that is cyberspace. Thanks to my readers, I stay relevant.

I have many logs in the fire. Some will burn brightly, while others go down in flames. Others still will smolder on the back-burner. Perhaps 2008 will be the year I complete one of the handful of novels I'm currently working on. Several short stories are nearing completion as well.

I am also obligated to do some touring nest year, beginning in early April. I can almost assure it will be a busy year for me. Busy, busy, busy. Most of the touring will be music related, but I will also be expected to appear at a few lectures and what-not.

Go have a good time, and enjoy bringing in the new year, but by all means, please be safe. I’m going to stay home with my wife and her father. Nick, my assistant, will be here too. I doubt I’ll stay up late. I seldom do. In fact, I’ll be surprised if I hold out till midnight. I’ll be up bright and early however, I always am. Ready to greet the rising sun, and a brand new year.

See you on the up-side.
Oh, and again, happy holidays.

Brad
(B. Thomas Cooper)


B. Thomas Cooper - Editor


Sound Foundation Entertainment - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Sound&Recording - Skate the Razor - Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Seasons Greetings!

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor






Season's Greetings!

Christmas Tree

The holiday candles are burning, my friends. Christmas is only days away. Many presents have yet to be purchased, let alone, wrapped and distributed. Thank the good lord above (thanks be to Allah, etc.) I can always count on Santa to bear the brunt of the load.

Yes, the holiday season is again upon us. Rest assured good old Saint Nick knows who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, no matter what George W. Bush or Dick Cheney may say to the contrary. I recommend two lumps a piece. Of coal that is, but then I assume you knew where I was going with this.

Ah, but I digress.

We acquired our Christmas tree in the usual manner, and from the usual suspects, whom we have ascertained use the proceeds to fund a covert children’s hospital in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. Mum is the word.

The parking lot was dimly lit. Actually, it was not lit at all. It was dark! We peered through the shadows, shaking branches curiously and horse-trading in our best broken Spanish. We settled on a fine tree. The gentle mannered attendant then secured the tree to the roof of our truck with about forty feet of heavy rope I assume was strong enough secure an angry bison to our rooftop. No extra charge.

As we pulled away from the unpaved parking area adjoining the unlit tree lot, we were greeted by the most unusual sign. 'NO REFUNDS OR RETURNS' the sign portended. They must be on to us, we mused, as we drove away, singing carols in our best broken Spanish.

More later,
Eggnog and fudge await.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor


Sound Foundation Entertainment - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Sound&Recording - Skate the Razor - Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Monday, December 17, 2007

CIA Torture Probe to Continue

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




Peter Hoekstra, ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, has expressed dismay with the Justice Department, insisting his panel will indeed probe into the destruction of CIA videotapes of secret interrogations, contrary to a request by the Justice Department to suspend any pending congressional inquiries.

"It's important for Congress to hold this community accountable," Hoekstra is quoted as saying. "The CIA did not tell us about the existence of these tapes. They did not tell us that they were going to be destroyed."

Others on the committee agree. "Congress and the Justice Department have conducted parallel inquiries many times in the past," stated California Rep. Jane Harman, the former ranking Democrat on the committee. "So I am worried. It smells like the cover-up of the cover-up."
Harman says she sent the CIA a letter in 2003 warning them not to destroy the tapes.

In a joint statement Friday, Hoekstra and committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes said they were "stunned that the Justice Department would move to block our investigation."

"The executive branch can't be trusted to oversee itself. There's a constitutional responsibility for them to keep Congress informed, and they have not."

"You've got a systemic problem here," Hoekstra said on "Fox News Sunday."
The leadership of U.S. intelligence agencies "is incompetent, it is arrogant" and has "become political,"

"I think that we're going to hold Mike Hayden accountable, because some of these misleading statements to Congress occurred on his watch," Hoekstra stated.

The videotapes, destroyed by the CIA in 2006, purport to have shown agents interrogating terror suspects using a banned torture technique known as ‘Waterboarding’ which simulates drowning, causing panic, brain damage and sometimes even death. In the past, the US has successfully prosecuted individuals accused of ‘Waterboarding’. The Bush administration however, has been less than forthright, denouncing ‘Waterboarding’ in one breath, and embracing it with the next. Bush’s behavior on this issue doesn’t really qualify as flip-flopping, however. It’s been more akin to the kid with his fingers crossed behind his back.

Ultimately, ‘Waterboarding’ is torture, and those who have been subjected to ‘Waterboarding’ have been done so in clear violation of US and international law. Once again, George W. Bush and his administration have gone to unparalleled lengths to circumvent justice and the law. This latest revelation and the prerequisite cover-up is business as usual, for an administration that knows no boundaries.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor


Sound Foundation Entertainment - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Sound&Recording - Skate the Razor - Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Donald Rumsfeld, The Man Who Lost The War

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




Many in Washington share the blame for US failures in Iraq, but none more so than Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. From the beginning it has been his baby, and his battle plan, As Secretary of Defense, he alone shoulders the responsibility for the endless parade of disasters in Iraq. Donald Rumsfeld stands front and center. He is without question, the man who lost the war.

B. Thomas Cooper

US ground troops prepared for the invasion of Iraq by racing their Hummers across the Nevada desert. They did not prepare for an insurgency, as they were told not to expect one. Instead, they were told they would be greeted as liberators. Rumsfeld now steadfastly insists that no-one at the time could have predicted the size or intensity of the current insurgency. A grave error indeed. Rumsfeld ignored the first rule of combat… never underestimate your opponent.

The dead keep piling up. Iraqi hospitals are overwhelmed with casualties, and still no running water or reliable electricity. Violence continues to escalate, with August of 2006 proving to be the deadliest month in Iraq since the invasion began. There are no victories, no winners. According the US Pentagon, the streets of Baghdad were safer than the streets of our own nations capital prior to the invasion. Sadly, such is obviously no longer the case.



Still, Rumsfeld continues to willfully send our young men and women into a hostile environment to be maimed or possible murdered. He has shown little remorse the mess he has made. True to form, he refuses to appear weak, when in fact, his conduct has been nothing less than cowardly. Indeed, failure in Iraq is not an option, it’s a fact. One need not strain to hear the fat lady sing. She is well through the second refrain of her swan song. Through acts of arrogance and pride, the cause is lost. There will be no victory, nor vindication. The situation cannot be salvaged, and for that, you can thank US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Or perhaps it would be more accurate if we simply refer to him as the man who lost the war.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor


Sound Foundation Entertainment - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Sound&Recording - Skate the Razor - Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Inside the 911 Report

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



I've been reading through the 9/11 Commission Report, and it really doesn't do much to address some of the hard questions. It seems almost unconscionable to suggest the Bush administration could have been complicit in the events of 9/11, and yet, a great many Americans believe it to be true. Then again, one need not be a physicist to realize the official version of the story simply doesn't stack up.

Much like a house of cards, both towers tumbled to the ground in a matter of minutes, defying the laws of physics. The impact of the aircraft, and the subsequent explosion of jet fuel has been blamed for compromising the integrity of the structures, but leaves us with more question than answers. If indeed, the towers fell due to structural failure, why then would building seven also fail, as it was not struck by aircraft, nor was it built in the same manner as the towers. How does a building three blocks long collapse from a localized debris fire? Obviously, it doesn't.

Perhaps you are not familiar with the World Trade Center complex prior to 9/11. As such, it would be easy to overlook the obvious contradictions concerning the event. Throughout history, no other buildings have failed in a similar manner, and yet, we are expected to believe that this fluke of physics occurred not once, but three times, in a single location.

Could the Bush administration have somehow been involved in orchestrating these events? Frankly, the jury is out. We know for a fact, however, that the administration of Dwight Eisenhower drew up plans for similar attacks on US soil to bolster support for invasions of the USSR and Cuba. The covert operation, known as Operation Northwoods' was wholly rejected by subsequent administrations, but a precedent had been set. The US government had proven beyond doubt, a capability to kill innocent Americans.

911 Report

Could 9/11 be another Operation Northwoods'? Unfortunately, it appears entirely possible. Just as the North tower was beginning to list to one side, a series of explosions occurred at street level, causing the building to buckle from beneath, bringing it straight down. These explosions could not have been the result of exploding fuel, as heat rises. Furthermore, we watched in terror as the jet fuel erupted into flames. What then, could have caused the explosions at street level?

We may never know the truth about 9/11, but we certainly know the official explanation is flawed and unacceptable. Could George W. Bush and his administration have knowingly murdered thousands of Americans? One can only wonder.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Is George Bush Losing it?

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




There has been much speculation as of late in regards to George W. Bush’s mental health. Questions began arising as far back as 2004, but in light of recent developments, it seems appropriate to address this very serious issue again. Let there be no mistake, George W. Bush has threatened to start World War III if he doesn’t get his way. Of course, he lays the blame at the feet of others, but the facts are clear. George Bush wants war.

Artist: Nick Gill
Our Commander in Chief?

George W. Bush has, and continues to threaten to bomb Iran for a weapons program it does not have. The bombing of course, would be done with real bombs the US does indeed have, rather than the make believe ones Iran has been accused of seeking.

We’ve been through this before, folks, and it’s nasty business. This is the exact same rhetoric Hitler used to justify the invasion of France. Then again, why should the excuses for World War III be any different than the excuses for World War II?

It is not unusual for world leaders to suffer from grandiose delusions, but this goes deep into the redline. Bush has his finger on the button, and he is just itching to push it before his term expires. If the president has mental health issues, it would be better to consider them now, rather than later. For instance:

“Aides report “In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as "enemies of the state."



White House Aides paint a picture of an administration under siege, led by a man who declares his decisions to be "God's will" and then tells aides to "fuck over" anyone they consider to be an opponent of the administration."

“Senior aides describe Bush as increasingly “edgy” or “nervous” or “unfocused.” They say the President goes from apparent coherent thought one moment to aimless rambles about political enemies and those who are “out to get me.”

“It’s worse than the days when Ronald Reagan’s Alzheimer’s began setting in,” one longtime GOP operative told me privately this week. “You don’t know if he’s going to be coherent from one moment to the next. What scares me is if he lapses into one of those fogs during a public appearance.”

Aides say Bush, who has always had trouble focusing during times of stress, is increasingly distant during meetings, often staring off into space during discussions on the nation’s security and other issues.”

This represents only a fraction of the information I was able to find on the subject. If you are interested in learning more, simply type the criteria into your favorite search engine. I typed in “George W. Bush mental health” In the past, I have been accused of making this stuff up, but rest assured, I am neither that good, nor that vindictive. The president's mental stability is quickly becoming a real issue, one that we would all be best served if it just went away quietly.

…to a padded cell.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor