Category Archives: Politics

Dasani Tap Water and Advertisements of Quality

I like water. A lot. I mean I really really like it. It tastes good. It keeps me alive. It’s, dare I say, a human right, not to be commercialized or commodified so only those who earn enough money can buy it, not like the 3 billion or so people who live on less than a dollar a day.

This is why I don’t like Dasani water. In part I don’t like it because Coca-Cola owns it. But I also don’t like it for the essence of it: privatized water. I’m not a fan.

Across the street is a bus stop with a large Dasani ad plastered on it. There’s a delicious looking huge bottle of Dasani on the ad with some text, which includes this:

“It takes 14,000 years to filter water. (Who’s got time for that?)”

Thankfully, Dasani does. They serve us. They provide us with water, the building block of life.

Unless, of course, you lived in England a few months ago. The following comes from an Alternet.org story from March 22, 2004, referencing another story in the Independent newspaper.

“The story begins with the debut of Dasani bottled water in the U.K. two weeks ago, accompanied by a massive Coke PR push labeling it “as pure as bottled water gets.” Shortly thereafter, it was revealed that Coke’s southeast London bottling plant was using tap water already renowned for its purity and marking up the price by some 300,000 percent.”

Apparently, Dasani really doesn’t seem to have the time to wait 14,000 years or long enough to do whatever magic they do to their water to justify selling it at a premium. And I know the England tap water incident is likely an anomaly, but seeing the bus ad just made me a bit sick.

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Beheadings

Right now, proportional responses aside [because they don’t seem to fit much anymore when dealing with w.Caesar’s regime], my only question is why would revenge killings just stop at one?

I suspect one act of revenge will not be the end of it.

Rumsfeld’s dismissive, insulting, condescending minimization of his knowledge of American torture games while testifying before the Senate only fuels the will to vengeance.

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The Saudis, oil, and re-electing w.Caesar

Saudis urge OPEC to hike oil output: Oil minister seeks 1.5-million-barrel-a-day rise

So I saw Bob Woodward talking with Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes a few weeks ago. Of the many astounding things they discussed about w.Caesar, one stuck in my mind: how w.Caesar’s buddy, Saudi ambassador to the USA, Prince Bandar [good friend of the Bush family for 3 decades], would ensure the Saudis increased the daily output of oil in time to reduce gas prices to spur the economy leading up to the US presidential election in November 2004.

It will be fascinating to watch the state of gas prices over the next 6 months, especially if the 1.5+ million barrels/day increase happens.

God bless America, and their Saudi financiers. What 9/11 hijackers? Huh?

[[[addendum 05.11.04: this Tom Toles cartoon: ]]]

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George Monbiot’s Career Advice for Idealistic Journalists and Those Who Want to Shake the World

Monbiot‘s pretty astounding.

As I was developing the whole Politics vein of dgiVista.org, I came across this Monbiot piece about how to be idealistic, free and really really useful in the world. When unsure about the direction I’ve been taking with this [whole] site [actually], I serendipitously read this piece.

The result? What you see here. And what you’ll see in the future.

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Michael Moore and Disney: a Symbiotic Relationship?

Michael Moore announced yesterday that Disney will not allow its Miramax production arm to release Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” film:

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?messageDate=2004-05-04

Today, the New York Times editorial page took Moore’s side:

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?messageDate=2004-05-06

This is no big surprise. Big corporate interests owning big media and censoring big criticism.

Moore’s books have gained from viral marketing, particularly when Stupid White Men was “held up” by its publisher. Disney’s move is, from a cynical market perspective, merely good for business: for Moore and ultimately Disney itself…creating a kind of symbiotic relationship between Moore and Disney [if you want to be that cynical]. Moore’s comments at the end of The Corporation indicate that he knows full well that big media only releases his books and movies for their bottom line, completely regardless of the fact that the core theme of Moore’s work has been the corruption and danger of corporate pillage.

One thing that is quite odd about this move, though, is that much of what Moore’s film documents has already been reported in North American media. The Bush family links to Saudi billionaires and bin Ladens, the evacuation of the bin Laden family out of the USA in the days after 9/11 with permission from the Oval Office: these have been reported enough that actually, I’m wondering just what new information will actually be in Moore’s film.

And the beat goes on.

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Why we should REALLY fear the United States of America

May 6, 2004

editor@adbusters.org

Dear Editor,

Tess Rheinhardt’s analysis of why the unilateralist USA abhors the multilateralist International Criminal Court in Issue #53 is quite poignant. But the “legality of their [the USA’s] rampage through history” would not actually be on trial at the ICC because this international court does not have retroactive jurisdiction. No retroactive jurisdiction is designed in part to encourage past pariah states to reform and commit to good global behaviour in the future. So what is even more terrifying than what Rheinhardt brings up is that in rejecting the ICC, the United States of America is intentionally not pledging to cease war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide in the future.

Further, though actually signing the Rome Statute to create the ICC, under w.Caesar, the USA went so far as to declare their unsigning of that document in an effort to assert immunity from the ICC. The USA has also enacted legislation asserting their right to retrieve nationals from the ICC, with military force if necessary. This “Hague Invasion Act”–as it is being called–is a unwaveringly bold assertion of how little esteem the USA holds for the rest of the world.

peace,

stephen buckley.

[See the July/August 2004 Adbusters issue for this letter.]

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Rumsfeld Apologizes for Abuse of Iraqi Prisoners…No Wait, He Doesn’t

God forbid Donald Rumsfeld actually apologizes for US soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners. Jim Garamone from the American Forces Press Service certainly interpreted Rumsfeld’s comments as an apology.

Then Garamone sent out an email with the press release declaring a major moral statement from the US Secretary of War. The beginning of that email is below.

Then 4 hours and 18 minutes later, Garamone sends an amended press release, eradicating the apology. The beginning of that email is also below. The amended press release is the only one archived on the Pentagon’s website. Email me if you would like to see the entire original email.

Rumsfeld was not apologizing. He was only saying that seeing the photos of those abuses would make any American apologetic. I guess just not him though.

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The first email, with the Rumsfeld apology begins like this:



Rumsfeld Apologizes to Iraqi Victims of Prison Abuse

By Jim Garamone

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2004 – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld apologized today to Iraqis abused by American prison guards in Abu Ghraib.

“Any American who sees the photographs that we’ve seen has to feel apologetic to the Iraqi people who were abused and recognize that that is something that is unacceptable and certainly un-American,” Rumsfeld said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

The secretary left open the door that compensation could be paid to the abuse victims.

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The second email, without a direct apology begins like this:

Prison Abuse ‘Unacceptable, Un-American’, Rumsfeld Says

By Jim Garamone

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2004 – “Any American who sees the photographs that we’ve seen has to feel apologetic to the Iraqi people who were abused and recognize that that is something that is unacceptable and certainly un-American,” Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said today.

Rumsfeld discussed the alleged abuse of Iraqi detainees by American guards at Abu Ghraib prison on ABC TV’s “Good Morning America.” The secretary left open the door that compensation could be paid to the abuse victims.

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We are Securing Fallujah=We are Leaving Fallujah

w.Caesar is doing well with the doublespeak.

Yesterday, when asked about Fallujah, he said they were commited to securing the town despite the resistance.

Q Mr. President, is it going to take an all out military offensive to put down the insurgency in Fallujah? And can you really have a successful transfer of power in 60 days if Iraq is wracked by violence?

PRESIDENT BUSH: … Our commanders on the ground have got the authorities necessary to take action to help the Iraqi people realize a free and peaceful society. And what you must realize is happening in a place like Fallujah is, the closer we come to passing sovereignty, the more likely it is that foreign fighters, disgruntled Baathists or friends of the Shia cleric will try to stop progress. That’s what’s happening. They want to kill innocent life to try to get us to quit. And we’re not going to. And our military commanders will take whatever action is necessary to secure Fallujah on behalf of the Iraqi people. [the emphasis is mine]

Meanwhile, the US Marines are bugging out of Fallujah itself, leaving a former Saddam general and 1100 Iraqi soldiers to form the Fallujah Protective Army.

I guess it’s better to let Iraqis die securing a dangerous town. It’s been a tough month already with more US troops/”contractors”/mercenaries killed [126 and counting] in April than during the entire “war” last spring. It’s been tough on the Iraqis too, ten times tougher actually [1200 deaths and counting].

As much as this isn’t a Vietnam for the USA, it’s looking more and more that without an exit strategy, with corporate pillaging, and with no sovereign body in place yet to receive control of the country in two months, w.Caesar is writing off Iraq to entrenched civil war, which oddly may severely cost his corporate buddies hoping for a stable economy to rape.

Perhaps the only arena w.Caesar can control is the oval office, like today with the 9/11 commission in there. Without cameras. Without an official transcript. Without an audience or any public accountability. And most importantly without having to speak under oath.

It’s a true testament to the actual state of democracy that people still trust w.Caesar. Stunning.

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Rogue Teachers

Emblazened on the cover of The Province newspaper rag on April 23, 2004 was the headline [which could hardly have been larger] “Rogue Teachers Will Be Exposed.”

The Province has never in my lifetime presented itself as a bastion of journalistic integrity. Owned by CanWest [along with the Vancouver Sun, the National Post, Global BC TV, Canada.com], The Province enjoys flogging the neo-con agenda of privatizing the commons: public health care, education, assets.

And teachers, aren’t they such awful people. Rogue teachers threaten the safety of our province’s schoolchildren. The article was a review of disciplinary measures conducted by the BC College of Teachers.

Granted, there are some teachers in BC public schools who have been accused of illegal and immoral activities. Less than two dozen by my count in the last year.

Out of 43,000 teachers in BC, that’s a whopping 0.056%.

Even just one teacher who behaves criminally or immorally is not acceptable, but such a low percentage reflects virtually statistically insignificant numbers, making the sensationalism of The Province’s gigantic headine unwarranted. But the headline is also a worry because of the word ‘rogue’. That word these days in public circles is usually used to refer to states: rogue nations who flaunt global order and peace, nations run by psychopaths or terrorists. We think of Libya, Iraq, North Korea, Pakistan, the USA, nations that don’t mind being so far out of the norms of civilized countries that they are to be feared, isolated and eventually attack and pulverized to wipe out their deadly threat.

Rogue teachers, indeed. Let the demonization continue. It sure makes it easier to privatize the public education system when corporate media can paint teachers [about 1/20th of 1% of them, anyway] as moral degenerates. Keep the headlines big. They’re scarier that way.

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The US Navy: Champions of Earth Day

I wish I were in the United States for Earth Day yesterday so I could celebrate Earth Day with their navy, champions of environmental respect and preservation.

I just can’t see an organization that sends its boats around the world powered by nuclear reactors to be hallmarks of environmentalism. They dump their waste into the bucket that is the earth’s ecology and champion themselves when they remove eyedropperfulls of their filth: removing 1,700 tons of contaminated soil [who contaminated it in the first place?].

Instead, silly me, I spent the evening at a Utah Phillips show in Vancouver, a man with no shortage of creative criticisms of the assholes who run the United States Empire.

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No. 354-04

Apr 21, 2004

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Department of The Navy Celebrates Earth Day 2004



The Department of the Navy will join the nation in celebration of the 34th annual Earth Day on April 22nd. The Department’s theme for Earth Day 2004 is “Celebrating Successful Partnerships,” recognizing the extensive collaboration that takes place among Navy, Marine Corps, industry, government, academic, and nonprofit organizations to enable the sea services to accomplish the primary mission of national defense while safeguarding the natural environment.

“Earth Day presents an excellent opportunity to highlight the department’s continued contributions to ensuring a sustainable environmental future,” said Secretary of the Navy Gordon England. “Earth Day 2004 is an occasion for the Navy and Marine Corps to work with partnering organizations to re-emphasize our commitment to the environment in which we work and live, both in the U.S. and overseas.”

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