Friday, December 31, 2004
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Monday, December 27, 2000
Washington (CNN)—A comment Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made during a Christmas Eve address to U.S. troops in Baghdad has sparked new conspiracy theories about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
In the speech, Rumsfeld made a passing reference to United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to stop al Qaeda hijackers.
But in his remarks, Rumsfeld referred to "the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania."
A Pentagon spokesman insisted that Rumsfeld simply misspoke, but Internet conspiracy theorists seized on the reference to the plane having been shot down.
"Was it a slip of the tongue? Was it an error? Or was it the truth, finally being dropped on the public more than three years after the tragedy," asked a posting on the Web site WorldNetDaily.com.
Some people remain skeptical of U.S. government statements that despite a presidential authorization, no planes were shot down September 11, and rumors still circulate that a U.S. military plane shot the airliner down over Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
A Pentagon spokesman insists Rumsfeld has not changed his opinion that the plane crashed as the result of an onboard struggle between passengers and terrorists.
The independent panel charged with investigating the terrorist attacks concluded that the hijackers intentionally crashed Flight 93, apparently because they feared the passengers would overwhelm them.
Here's the WorldNetDaily.com story:
Rumsfeld says 9-11 plane 'shot down' in Pennsylvania
During surprise Christmas Eve trip, defense secretary contradicts official story
Posted: December 27, 2004 1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2000 WorldNetDaily.com
WASHINGTON—Ever since Sept. 11, 2001, there have been questions about Flight 93, the ill-fated plane that crashed in the rural fields of Pennsylvania.
The official story has been that passengers on the United Airlines flight rushed the hijackers in an effort to prevent them from crashing the plane into a strategic target—possibly the U.S. Capitol.
During his surprise Christmas Eve trip to Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld referred to the flight being shot down—long a suspicion because of the danger the flight posed to Washington landmarks and population centers.
Was it a slip of the tongue? Was it an error? Or was it the truth, finally being dropped on the public more than three years after the tragedy of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000?
Here's what Rumsfeld said Friday: "I think all of us have a sense if we imagine the kind of world we would face if the people who bombed the mess hall in Mosul, or the people who did the bombing in Spain, or the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon, the people who cut off peoples' heads on television to intimidate, to frighten—indeed the word 'terrorized' is just that. Its purpose is to terrorize, to alter behavior, to make people be something other than that which they want to be."
Several eyewitnesses to the crash claim they saw a "military-type" plane flying around United Airlines Flight 93 when the hijacked passenger jet crashed—prompting the once-unthinkable question of whether the U.S. military shot down the plane.
Although the onboard struggle between hijackers and passengers—immortalized by the courageous "Let's roll" call to action by Todd Beamer—became one of the enduring memories of that disastrous day, the actual cause of Flight 93's crash, of the four hijacked airliners, remains the most unclear.
Several residents in and around Shanksville, Pa., describing the crash as they saw it, claim to have seen a second plane—an unmarked military-style jet.
Well-founded uncertainty as to just what happened to Flight 93 is nothing new. Just three days after the worst terrorist attack in American history, on Sept. 14, 2001, The (Bergen County, N.J.) Record newspaper reported that five eyewitnesses reported seeing a second plane at the Flight 93 crash site.
That same day, reported the Record, FBI Special Agent William Crowley said investigators could not rule out that a second plane was nearby during the crash. He later said he had misspoken, dismissing rumors that a U.S. military jet had intercepted the plane before it could strike a target in Washington, D.C.
Although government officials insist there was never any pursuit of Flight 93, they were informed the flight was suspected of having been hijacked at 9:16 a.m., fully 50 minutes before the plane came down.
On the Sept. 16, 2001, edition of NBC's "Meet the Press," Vice President Dick Cheney, while not addressing Flight 93 specifically, spoke clearly to the administration's clear policy regarding shooting down hijacked jets.
Vice President Cheney: "Well, the—I suppose the toughest decision was this question of whether or not we would intercept incoming commercial aircraft."
NBC's Tim Russert: "And you decided?"
Cheney: "We decided to do it. We'd, in effect, put a flying combat air patrol up over the city; F-16s with an AWACS, which is an airborne radar system, and tanker support so they could stay up a long time . . .
"It doesn't do any good to put up a combat air patrol if you don't give them instructions to act, if, in fact, they feel it's appropriate."
Russert: "So if the United States government became aware that a hijacked commercial airline[r] was destined for the White House or the Capitol, we would take the plane down?"
Cheney: "Yes. The president made the decision . . . that if the plane would not divert . . . as a last resort, our pilots were authorized to take them out. Now, people say, you know, that's a horrendous decision to make. Well, it is. You've got an airplane full of American citizens, civilians, captured by . . . terrorists, headed and are you going to, in fact, shoot it down, obviously, and kill all those Americans on board?
". . . It's a presidential-level decision, and the president made, I think, exactly the right call in this case, to say, I wished we'd had combat air patrol up over New York."
What? That wasn't how the last few days went for you? You were instead worshipping at a temple or a mosque? Or maybe you don't believe that there is a supreme being.
The world cannot afford ethnocentricity. The world cannot afford for human beings to either assume that everyone else comes from the same cultural background that they do nor interpret others' cultures within the framework of their own. Each person has different cultural and ethnic traditions, different family traditions, different local and national traditions. What seems fun or tasty or moral to one person may be anathema to another. In assuming, you may be intending to share what you enjoy or love with others, but those others may feel that you are forcing your worldview on them.
Look at George W. Bush: He assumes that everyone everywhere wants to be a Christian or live in a democracy. But the nation on which he's trying to foist his brand of Christianity and democracy has, for centuries, had cultural and governmental traditions of a very different kind. Iraqis don't want to be Americans; they want to keep their own traditions. Americans don't know better than everyone else. We're not morally superior to anyone else. But we're in a war in Iraq because of Bush's ethnocentrism.
Look at the rising incidence of heart disease and obesity worldwide: In every nation where American companies have sold inhabitants on eating like Americans, the number of people who are obese or have heart disease has increased exponentially. American business has assumed that everyone everywhere wants fast food. And maybe many people do, but they'll pay for it eventually with their health. The world's getting more and more unhealthy because of Americans' dietary ethnocentrism.
Monday, December 27, 2004
Below is a list of some organizations that are accepting financial donations to aid survivors of the December 26 earthquake and tsunamis in South and Southeast Asia. It's a U.S.-centric list because I live in the United States, but I'll add relief agencies from other nations if you e-mail me with the info.
Action Against Hunger
247 West 37th Street, Suite 1201
New York, NY 10018
12501 Old Columbus Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904
Air Serv International
6583 Merchant Place, Suite 100
Warrenton, VA 20187
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
JDC: South Asia Tsunami Relief
847A Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017
American Jewish World Service
45 West 36th Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10018
American Friends Service Committee
AFSC Crisis Fund
1501 Cherry Street
American Red Cross
International Response Fund
P.O. Box 37243
Washington, DC 20013
88 Hamilton Ave.
Stamford, CT 06902
ARMDI, Israeli Red Cross
Tsunami Emergency Fund
888 7th Ave., Suite #403
New York, NY 10106
Australian Red Cross
BAPS Care International
195 Main Street, Suite 304
Metuchen, NJ 08840
1-888-CARE-881 or 732-744-9734
Baptist World Aid
Asia Tidal Waves
405 North Washington Street
Falls Church, VA 22046
B’nai B’rith International
B’nai B’rith Disaster Relief Fund
2020 K. Street NW, 7th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20006
Brother’s Brother Foundation
1200 Galveston Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15233
Canadian Red Cross
170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300
Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2
Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD)
Romero Close, Stockwell Road
London SW9 9BR
Catholic Relief Services
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, MD 21203-7090
Christian Children’s Fund
Child Alert Fund
P.O. Box 26484
Richmond, VA 23261
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
South Asia Earthquake
2850 Kalamazoo Ave. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49560
Church World Service
P.O. Box 968
Elkhart, IN 46515
Direct Relief International
27 South La Patera Lane
Santa Barbara, CA 93117
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières
P.O. Box 2247
New York, NY 10116-2247
The First Church of Christ, Scientist
175 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Food for the Hungry
1224 E. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034-1102
229 East 120th Street
New York, NY 10035
Habitat for Humanity International
121 Habitat St.
Americus, GA 31709-3498
229-924-6935, ext. 2551 or 2552
17011 W. Hickory
Spring Lake, MI 49456
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
P.O. Box 372
CH-1211 Geneva 19
International Medical Corps
11500 West Olympic Blvd., Suite 506
Los Angeles, CA 90064
International Orthodox Christian Charities
P.O. Box 630225
Baltimore, MD 21263-0225
International Relief Teams
3547 Camino Del Rio South, Suite C
San Diego, CA 92108
International Rescue Committee
P.O. Box 5058
Hagerstown, MD 21741-9874
877-REFUGEE or 733-8433
Islamic Circle of North America Relief: Helping Hand
166-26 89th Ave.
Jamaica, NY 11432
Islamic Relief Worldwide
19 Rea Street South
No. 67, U.D.A. Industrial Estate
Postal Code: 10200
Latter-Day Saint Charities
Welfare Services Emergency Response
50 East North Temple Street, Room 701
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-6800
Lutheran World Relief
P.O. Box 17061
Baltimore, MD 21298-9832
2200 Glynco Parkway
P.O. Box 215000
Brunswick, GA 3121-5000
P.O. Box 2669
Portland, OR 97208
Network for Good
8615 Westwood Center Dr., Suite 1A
Vienna, VA 22182
Northwest Medical Teams
P.O. Box 10
Portland, OR 97207-0010
8320 Melrose Avenue, Suite 200
Los Angles, CA 90069
Asia Earthquake Fund
P.O. Box 1211
Albert Lea, MN 56007-1211
155 Plan Way
Warwick, RI 02886
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.): Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700
Project Concern International
Asia Tsunamis Press List
5151 Murphy Canyon Road, Suite 320
San Diego, CA 92123
Asia Tsunami Response
255 Carter Hall Lane
Millwood, VA 22646
Rainbow World Fund
P.O. Box 14480
San Francisco, CA 94114
11965 Venice Blvd., Suite 405
Los Angeles, CA 90066
8320 Melrose Avenue, Suite 200
Los Angles, CA 90069
Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
Save the Children
Asia Earthquake/Tidal Wave Relief Fund
54 Wilton Road
Westport, CT 06880
Stop Hunger Now
SE Asia crisis
2501 Clark Ave., Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27607
US Fund for UNICEF
333 East 38th Street
New York, NY 10016
19303 Fremont Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98133
7 E. Baltimore St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
P.O. Box 70288
Tacoma, WA 98481-0288
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
*Creating Memories and all its contents, including the clip "Carol of the Bells," © 1996 Honey Christine Wilson. Music clip provided here by permission of the artist.
Monday, December 20, 2004
No Stolen Elections suggests that you contact the following progressive U.S. senators to take a stand on Thursday, January 6, when Congress meets to certify the vote:
Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator Dick Durbin
Senator Russ Feingold
Senator Tom Harkin
Senator Jim Jeffords
Senator Edward Kennedy
Senator Patrick Leahy
Friday, December 17, 2004
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Monday, December 13, 2004
There must not be too many Americans any more who read history books or remember what they read there. If there were, G. W. Bush never would have made it into office again. Many of the things he's doing are reminiscent of Hitler. Now, by saying that, I don't mean to trivialize the Holocaust. But Bush's actions make me think he's been studying Hitler. What actions, you ask? Here are just a few:
- He's curtailing civil liberties bit by bit, a process he began after 9/11. Hitler did the same thing after the Reichstag fire. The Patriot Act was ostensibly passed to protect us, but it gives Bush's government much more power over how we conduct our private lives. In the atmosphere of fear created by the act and the constant repetition of Bush's belief that everyone is out to get us, it's becoming "un-American" to speak out, to disagree. If you're not for Bush and his followers, you just might be a terrorist. And that means that it might be a good idea to arrest you, to silence you.
- He's set up a bogeyman for everyone to blame for world problems, just as Hitler did. Hitler justified a military buildup to fight international communism. Bush has created the image of the Axis of Evil: Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. These nations, he'd have us believe, are completely populated by terrorists. Will he push for invasions of Iran and North Korea?
- He's repeating lies so often that many people think they're the truth. A great many Americans still think there's an Iraq–Al Qaeda link, despite evidence to the contrary. Yes, Saddam Hussein tortured his own people, but he didn't send Al Qaeda to mow down the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. In fact, the U.S. put him in power years ago, so we began killing Iraqi civilians to get a monster of our own making out of the way. And those same Americans still believe in the fictitious weapons of mass destruction allegedly hidden somewhere in Iraq.
- He goes to war despite objections by the UN. He does what God tells him, he says, so nothing must stand in his way. He knows the One True Way, he'd have us believe. If his way is so right, why have so many Cabinet members resigned at the end of his first term? They can't all be exhausted from "fighting the good fight" and wanting to spend more time with their families. I don't remember such a high turnover of Cabinet members in my lifetime. I was born in 1959.
I only hope that enough people speak out to keep the man from starting World War III.
Friday, December 10, 2004
Today is International Human Rights Day, which celebrates the 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human rights and provides an opportunity to renew our commitment and deepen our efforts to ensure well-being and wholeness for all people. Article 3 of the declaration states that “everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the security of person.” The U.S. government has violated human rights in the illegal Iraq war. Today, let's start making the growing death toll in Iraq more visible by joining UFPJ's White Ribbon Campaign.
Why white? It's the symbol for peace in many countries and the symbol of mourning in others. If you wear a white ribbon or tie it on a tree or vehicle, you'll be saying, I mourn all of the dead, Iraqi and American. End the war now and bring the troops home.
UFPJ says that "students and faculty at American University hung 100,000 ribbons all over campus on December 5 to represent the vast number of deaths caused directly and indirectly by the Iraq war. The number is based on a study of Iraqi civilian deaths by Johns Hopkins and published in The Lancet, a highly respected medical journal. Another source for information about the growing Iraqi civilian death toll is www.iraqbodycount.net."
If you can, join UFPJ and others in a protest in Washington, D.C. on inauguration day, Thursday, January 20. And buy a UFPJ "We the people say no to the Bush agenda" flag to take with you.
It was on Freelance that I read the tale of a freelance graphic designer who benefited from just that kind of networking and was able to turn a lemon of a situation into lemonade. I present to you, with his permission, Steve Tiano's story:
In telling listmates how he does cold e-mailing to attract the interest of new clients, he wrote:
Right now, I use "Seeking Freelance Book Design & Layout Work" [as a subject line]. On the one hand, I hate that it almost sounds like a personal ad headline—"Seeking tall brunette who likes foreign films . . ." On the other, I figure it tells someone [what I'm writing about]. Mind you, it doesn't go to personal someones, but to business someones (publishers or book packagers—and, if I'm lucky enough to have culled the info somewhere, a particular person at the particular business).
That brought on a discussion of what is and isn't spamming. Steve noted that he didn't send bulk e-mails but individual ones, targeted to the company for which the addressee works. I think what he does isn't spamming; it's contacting individuals who will very likely want to hear from him. I use the same technique. But Steve often includes work samples as attachments, without having asked the recipient's permission. He continued:
Okay, after all my talk about never having gotten a complaint from solicitng a publisher or book packager as a potential client with a cold e-mail plus attachments, this evening I . . . found that someone from [a university press] had sent me an angry message saying my attachment—there were actually three (two > 290 K, and the third a four-color cover weighing in at 2.2 Meg)—tied up their computer for 25 minutes and to never do it again.
Several listmates agreed with the sentiments of the university press contact and suggested asking permission before sending attachments and/or including links to pages on a web site where one's work is showcased. They also suggested that Steve send a short, gracious apology—and not expect that he'd get work from that contact. And here's the delicious ending:
I heard from someone at the university press. She was very nice, telling me that someone on Freelance told her of our thread. She said that while she didn't know who'd sent me the angry e-mail, she believed it was someone who no longer works at the press. She also said that she personally didn't find it so offensive but pointed out that since some in her position at other presses might find it as angering as the fellow who wrote me the angry e-mail, I could be wasting my attempts at marketing. She mentioned that they do sometimes—though not often—use freelancers for design and layout. So I apologized again, and then once more in advance for being pushy on top of everything else, but would she mind taking a look at my résumé and samples—as attachments! And she said yes. It may work out that I never do any work for that press—but what a nice woman! As hokey as it sounds, I still get a kick out of people being nice to each other. Which leads me to thanking all of you for the insights and suggestions you offered in response to my telling the tale.
And now . . . get busy networking!
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
But here's a goodie for those of you who didn't want Bush elected. (He wasn't elected the first time; he was appointed. There's a crucial difference!) Go here to download the membership roster for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Then use it to find committee members in your state and snail-mail them about who should be the Democratic presidential candidate in 2008. And tell them what things you want to see the DNC do toward winning back the White House.
And here's another holiday present: Visit Bush Lied Again frequently. It's a site created by my friend William Blinn, an all-around good, witty person with a penchant for telling the truth. Even if you already know that George W. Bush is good at spinning, your head will spin after you read all the documentation there of Bush's constant lying.