S.M.B. - Logic and Rhetoric
Thursday, March 13, 2003

SURPRISE SURPRISE!!! The Federal Bureau of Investigation has discovered that the
"evidence" that the Bushies have used to say Iraq restarted its nuclear program is
made up. Who made it up?

STAY OF 300th TEXAS STATE KILLING (since 1982)

Where are the "reverse" discrimination people on this issue? Why aren't they suing
Texas to end racial discrimination in death penalty cases? Why aren't they suing to end
discrimination in jury selection? Anyway, according to the Washington Post:

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (Reuters) - Minutes before Texas was to carry out its 300th
execution since resuming capital punishment 21 years ago, the U.S. Supreme
Court on Wednesday stopped Delma Banks' death by lethal injection.

Banks, a black man with no prior criminal record, was sentenced to die for robbing
and shooting to death Richard Whitehead, a white 16-year-old, on April 14, 1980,
in the east Texas town of Nash. Banks was 21 at the time.

Supporters said he was wrongly convicted, his right to a fair trial marred by alleged
prosecutorial misconduct, ineffective legal assistance and the deliberate selection
of an all-white jury.

Banks had shown that from 1975 through 1980, Bowie County prosecutors accepted
80 percent of qualified white jurors and eliminated 90 percent of blacks in felony
cases. They used a code, writing "b" or "n" by the names of blacks on jury lists.

Prosecutors argued they had race-neutral reasons to remove the four potential black
jurors in Banks' pool. Banks' lawyer never objected during the trial.

The Supreme Court ruled last month that another Texas death row inmate, Thomas
Miller-El, should get a hearing to present similar evidence of racial bias in his jury selection.

I guess they have death row affirmative action in Texas, hell, they do in this entire country!

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Thank goodness for checks and balances. The Federal District Court here in Manhattan
is not fond of the Federal government's Gestapo tactics and has ordered the government
to allow Padilla to see lawyers, for the first time since he was arrested 9 months ago.

NEW YORK-A federal judge in Manhattan refused yesterday to reverse a ruling that Jose
Padilla, who has been held for nine months in military custody, be allowed to meet with
lawyers challenging his detention as an enemy combatant.

The judge goes on to say in his 45-page ruling:

"Lest any confusion remain," the judge wrote, "this is not a suggestion or a request that
Padilla be permitted to consult with counsel, and it is certainly not an invitation to conduct
a further `dialogue' about whether he will be permitted to do so."

"It is a ruling — a determination — that he will be permitted to do so," the judge added.

The Federal government's response:

A Justice Department spokeswoman, Barbara Comstock, said the decision was being
reviewed "in light of our duty to take all steps possible within the law to protect the American
"In times of war, the president must have the authority to act when an individual associated
with our nation's enemies enters our country to endanger American lives," Ms. Comstock said.

AHH. I just love it when they play the "sit down and shut up, we're protecting you" card. That
rebuttal from the government was a truck load of government cheese, utter nonsense... The
link below is to the text of the dreadful USA PATRIOT Act...



The City Council in the place hit hardest by the Sept. 11 attacks approved a resolution
Wednesday opposing war with Iraq except as a last resort.
The 31-17 vote came after months of debate over whether New York should stake out a position.

"If we're going to be looking for a fight, let's fight poverty, let's fight firehouse closures, let's fight
racism and sexism," said Yvette Clarke, a Democrat who supported the resolution.

Last month, 100,000 to 350,000 people took part in an anti-war protest near the United Nations.
Recent polls show that 75 percent of New Yorkers oppose a war without the support of the
United Nations.

That's my city...


What're they trying to prove? They can kill Saddam. They can nuke the world 200 times over.
They can infect us with all of the most horrible diseases, cancers, viruses, and bacterias
known to Africa and Asia plus the ones they make in labs everyday on top of that. They
can napalm the world, drop daisy cutters down all of our shirts and turn us into minced
salmon. So now just to add some fudge, they tested a bigger bomb. Great.

WASHINGTON, March 11 — The Air Force today successfully tested in Florida the
largest conventional bomb in the American arsenal, a munition so massive that its 18,000
pounds of high explosives must be dropped from the rear of a cargo plane, officials said.

The bomb explodes a few feet above the ground, and is designed to send a devastating wave
of fire and blast hundreds of yards to kill troops, flatten trees, knock over structures, collapse
cave entrances and, in general, demoralize those far beyond the impact zone.

What're they trying to prove? I think Rumsfeld and the military is a prime example of the
big bomb small toe effect described by so many psychologists familiar with military
dealings and gentlemen...


This is not a joke, but yet it is. This is absolutely the most asinine thing I've seen from government
in a few weeks, this is truly stupid. These clowns in the House need to stop peeing into the wind
and do some work. The French government is not the cause of our problems, but superstition rules
the day, Congressman Bob somehow thinks if you say "french" you'll instantly slip fall and break
your tailbone, or if you say "french" a Mack truck will appear and run you over. Nevertheless, I am
sertain that Congressman Bob had the best interests of the country and of American-French
negotiations and diplomacy in mind when he ordered this action...

WASHINGTON, March 11 — The French may have Champagne, Brie, croissants and even kisses.
Americans, at least in the cafeterias of the House of Representatives, now have freedom fries and
freedom toast.
With frustration rising in the Capitol over French opposition to President Bush's policy on Iraq,
Representative Bob Ney, the Ohio Republican who is chairman of the House Administration
Committee, which is responsible for House operations, ordered the word "French" stricken from
all House menus. The action was unilateral. No vote was required.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

So if the Jews are pushing war, are all other ethnicities against it? Most certainly, Jewish Neo-conservatives
are for this war, but Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell, Rice and Blair are hardly Jewish names. Is the Senate,
the Senate that voted for the Iraqi war resolution, the Jewish community? We liberals cannot cast blame into
the wrong quarters. The Jewish community is just one community that must unite to further the cause of peace
and stability. Mr. Moran is hopelessly stupid to believe that the conscience of any community could change the
mind of this administration, which is serving the prospects of war, not the prospects of the 'Jewish community.'
How could a Jewish community change Bush's mind if the Godly community hasn't, the world community hasn't,
and the opinion of almost 45% of the country hasn't? Moran overestimates the power of this administration's
conscience and willingness to respond to people rather than to dollar signs...

Jewish organizations condemned Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) yesterday for delivering what they said were
anti-Semitic remarks at an antiwar forum in Reston, where he suggested that American Jews are responsible for
pushing the country to war with Iraq and that Jewish leaders could prevent war if they wanted to.

At the forum, attended by about 120 people at St. Anne's Episcopal Church on March 3, Moran discussed why
he thought antiwar sentiment was not more effective in the United States.

"If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this,"
Moran said in comments first reported by the Reston Connection and not disputed by Moran. "The leaders of
the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I
think they should."

Moran, a seven-term incumbent representing Alexandria, Arlington County and part of Fairfax County, yesterday
apologized in a statement, saying, "I made some insensitive remarks that I deeply regret.

"I should not have singled out the Jewish community and regret giving any impression that its members are
somehow responsible for the course of action being pursued by the Administration, or are somehow behind an
impending war," Moran said, elaborating on an apology issued Friday to Jewish news organizations and rabbis
that was distributed more widely yesterday.

Moran said he was trying to make a larger point that "if more organizations in this country, including religious
groups, were more outspoken against a war, then I do not think we would be pursuing war as an option." He said
he framed his answer the way he did because his questioner identified herself as Jewish, and "I regret doing that."

This guy is about to pull a Trent Lott, what Moran needs to realize is that his own answer had nothing to do with
the reporter's question, more than the relationship between any question and answer. He does not seem to
understand the point, which is that when controversy is in the mix:

a) clarity is better than vagueness

b) responsibility is better than blame

c) Republicans are clearly to blame, (Republicans are irresponsible).

Democrats would be much better at winning Congressional and Presidential races if they would just stick to
this plan every single day, several times a day, every single week, forever. But Democrats don't listen to me...

Monday, March 10, 2003

The war trumps all other issues, so insufficient attention will be paid to the planned demise of Delma Banks
Jr., a 43-year-old man who is scheduled in about 48 hours to become the 300th person executed in Texas
since the resumption of capital punishment in 1982. Mr. Banks, a man with no prior criminal record, is most
likely innocent of the charge that put him on death row. Fearing a tragic miscarriage of justice, three former
federal judges (including William Sessions, a former director of the F.B.I.) have urged the U.S. Supreme Court
to block Wednesday's execution.

Delma Banks was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of 16-year-old Richard Whitehead, who
was shot to death in 1980 in a town called Nash, not far from Texarkana. There was little chance that this
would have been a capital case if both the accused and the victim had been of the same race. Or if the accused
had been white and the victim black. But Mr. Banks is black and Mr. Whitehead was white, and that's the jackpot
combination when it comes to the death penalty. Blacks convicted of killing whites are the ones most likely to
end up in the execution chamber. In Texas this principle has been reinforced for years by the ruthless exclusion
of jurors who are black.

Prosecutors made sure that all the jurors at Mr. Banks's trial were white. That was routine. Lawyers handling
Mr. Banks's appeal have shown that from 1975 through 1980 prosecutors in Bowie County, where Mr. Banks
was tried, accepted more than 80 percent of qualified white jurors in felony cases, while peremptorily removing
more than 90 percent of qualified black jurors.


BUENOS AIRES, March 7 — Under fire because of a new book that documents for the first time how Juan
Perón clandestinely maneuvered to bring Nazi and other war criminals to Argentina after World War II, the
Peronist government here is resisting calls to release long-secret official records about the collaboration.

According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center here, both the Foreign Relations Ministry and the Interior Ministries
have failed to respond to letters, sent to them shortly after the book was published here late last year, asking
that the records be made public.

The book that ignited the controversy, published in the United States as "The Real Odessa: Smuggling the Nazis
to Perón's Argentina" (Granta Books: 2002), has become a best seller here. Its author, Uki Goñi, is an Argentine
journalist who had to do much of his research in European archives after encountering closed doors here.
According to records Mr. Goñi has uncovered here and abroad, Perón's government, which was in power from 1946
to 1955, shepherded nearly 300 war criminals into the country.

Besides such notorious figures as Adolf Eichmann, Josef Mengele and Klaus Barbie, dozens of French, Belgian, Italian,
Croatian and Slovak fascists, many of them Nazi collaborators sought in their home nations, were also admitted, some
under aliases, others under their real names.


It seems that the Germans havve caught more terrorists than we have. What's happened to the war
against terrorism, where are the terrorist cells in America, when are they going to be uncovered?
This is from the New York Times:

FRANKFURT, March 10 — A German court convicted four Algerian men today of plotting to blow up a
Christmas market in France two years ago, and sentenced them to 10 to 12 years in prison. The Frankfurt
state court said the men conspired to plant a bomb near the cathedral in Strasbourg on New Year's Eve,
at a time when the cobbled streets of the city's old quarter would have been packed with revelers.
"They planned a bloodbath in the center of Strasbourg, which could have hit anyone, including women,
old people and children," the presiding judge, Karlheinz Zeiher, said in delivering the verdict.
"They wanted to spread fear among the people of France and Europe, to strike a nerve in the Western
world," he added, referring to Strasbourg's prominence as the home of the European Parliament.
The guilty verdict came three weeks after a court in Hamburg convicted Mounir el-Motassadeq of 3,066
counts of murder for his role in the terror attack that brought down the World Trade Center.


WASHINGTON, March 9 — In a modest escalation of its challenges to the United States and its allies,
North Korea test-fired a surface-to-ship missile tonight, according to American and Japanese officials.
The launch itself had been expected, after North Korea issued a warning to mariners a few days ago to
stay clear of its coast.
The missile — fired midday Monday in Korea — appears to be short-range and probably the same type that
was fired late last month, the Japanese defense agency said.American officials have not been especially
concerned about these launches. But they fear that it could be a prelude to a much more threatening test,
either of the long-range Taepodong or a shorter-range Nodong missile. The Taepodong was fired over Japan in
1998, provoking a series of exchanges and eventually a North Korean commitment to a moratorium on such launches.


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