Friday, October 26, 2007

Energy Bill 2007 - We Must Act Before It's Too Late

If you care about America's environmental future and reducing our reliance on oil (and having the kind of energy security that would serve to avoid the kind of war we're seeing in Iraq today), then you need to ensure that the final Energy Bill that will soon be going to President Bush will include the Senate-passed 35 mile-per-gallon fuel economy standard along with the House-passed 15 percent renewable electricity standard. You should consider anything else unacceptable. We don't have another ten years to get it wrong then start over.

The 35 mpg fuel economy standard, an increase from the current 27 mpg average, would require that the use of biofuels climb to 36 billion gallons by 2022; it would set penalties for gasoline price-gouging; and it would give the government new powers to investigate oil companies' pricing.

Benefits that would come with passing the 15 percent renewable electricity standard would be lower electric bills, cleaner air, and more homegrown energy.

These practical initiatives woukd save each American family money on the cost of gasoline and electricity, create new jobs, and reduce America's global warming pollution.

Urge Congress to Pass a Strong Clean Energy Bill!

The Sierra Club, U.S. PIRG, National Audubon Society, and Physicians for Social Responsibility have launched an ad outlining seven key principles for new global warming and energy policies. These principles are meant to set a standard for Congress as it moves forward with landmark energy and global warming legislation to ensure bills they pass actually make real and verifiable progress on stabilizing the climate, improve the economy, keep and create jobs, benefit the public and reform the energy sector.

Reform energy policy: New national energy policies should encourage efficiency, innovation, competition, and fairness. We need more aggressive energy efficiency policies for electricity and buildings, increased CAFE standards like those passed by the Senate, and the renewable electricity standard included in the House energy bill.

Promote a clean energy future: Invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy to create new industries and good jobs here at home.

Cap and cut carbon emissions to science-based levels: Science tells us in order to prevent the worst impacts of global warming we must start cutting global warming pollution by 2012, with reductions in total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions of at least 15 to 20 percent below current levels by 2020 and 80 percent by mid-century.

Use all public assets for public benefit: The value of carbon permits should benefit the public--through auctions or other mechanisms--not generate windfalls for polluting industries. Free allocations, if any, must be limited to a short transition period.

Ensure a just transition: Allowances should be used to help finance a just transition that keeps and creates jobs, reduces impacts on low-and moderate-income citizens, and mitigates harm to affected workers and communities.

Provide aid to adapt to an altered climate: Allowances should be used to help distressed and impoverished people around the world, as well as wildife and ecosystems in the face of global warming’s varied threats.

Manage costs without breaking the cap. "Safety valves" and other devices that break the cap on emissions must not be allowed. Any offsets must be real, surplus, verifiable, permanent, and enforceable.

Sierra Club (pdf)

Send a letter to the editor: Congress can't slow down on clean energy.

Listen to Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation, who is my neighbor and a prominent citizen here in Onondaga County and who has long been a leader on environmental issues. He says that the nations of the world must mobilize now to deal with global warming by changing human habit of reliance on fossil fuels. He stresses that we must change our values if we are to survive. The Energy 2007 Bill would show that we are willing to begin to walk the path of values-change.

Urge Congress to Pass a Strong Clean Energy Bill!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Only Bible's OK in OK. Why? Christianity Never Killed Anyone.

I don't have an end-all solution, but the answer to mitigating the gap dividing hearts and minds is not to return to the Crusades mentality.

In 2003, Lt. General Jerry Boykin, then-undersecretary of defense for U.S. intelligence, said this about a Muslim fighter in Somalia who'd said on television the Americans would never "get him" because his God, Allah, would protect him: "I knew my God was bigger than his...I knew that my God was a real god.... and his was an idol...The battle that we're in is a spiritual battle....and [Satan] wants to destroy us as a Christian army."

I agree with something Bono said in the book Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas (Riverhead Books):
"Religion can be the enemy of God. It's often what happens when God, like Elvis, has left the building. A list of instructions where there was once conviction; dogma where once people just did it; a congregation led by a man where once they were led by the Holy Spirit. Discipline replacing discipleship."
It's time for Elvis God to leave the building in Oklahoma. They can't handle the enormity of God, and God cannot risk being misrepresented by the politically small-minded.

I'm a Christian and an American citizen who is sick of bigotry and ignorance in a world that requires us to love if we are to survive as one. How about you? Look at the story below about some Oklahoma legislators that are rejecting the Quaran while selectively forgetting that grave wrongs have been done in the name of the tome they call the Good Book. I've added some hand-picked illustrations.

- Jude

"Most Oklahomans do not endorse the idea of killing innocent women and children in the name of ideology," Rep. Rex Duncan said.

- From AP/Raw Story Oklahoma lawmakers return copies of Quran, say it 'condones' killing innocent people

Oklahoma lawmakers also received a copy of the Bible earlier this year from The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

"It's one of the nicest things I've received in my three years in the Legislature," Duncan said of the Bible.

Photos: Crusades(top), Inquisition (left), Salem witch trials (right)


I'm angry to see governments using the name of God to divide us. I'll admit to you that my own life is Christ-centered. To me, a government pandering to Christians is a component of Godless and cold motives; more capable of bringing wars than establishing the peace for which the faith aims.

Not to have you believe I am mocking a faith that provides the opportunity to be worthy of the grace that lights our all-too-dark world, here's a video of a regular yet exemplary citizen named Tom Wheeler who was touched by God in a way that has served to heal his fellow man rather than to wield division. I am overcome by the amazing effects of this one simple act of love for which Tom Wheeler sacrificed what many of us would call the easy life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Heaven-Hating Hitchens Hails Islamofascism

If anyone asks me why I take Christopher Hitchens' intellectualized-up [Iddybudspeak for dog-doodoo wrapped up in college-lined paper] defense of the ridiculous anti-intellectual term Islamofascism with a grain of salt, it's because I know - given the fact that Hitchens eschews religion [have you read his book?] - that it's a hell of a lot more simple for this intellectual to throw the totally unrelated terms Islam and fascism together when he already harbors a wicked disdain for both.

Assholeofascism is a term that strikes closer to the truth. Leave the good religion of Islam out of it and we'll look a hell of a lot less like the Crusaders we've apeared to have been these past six years, where God's-voice--to-Fearless-Leader's-ear has caused unnecessary war and suffering of the innocent ... enough to warrant 70,000,000 tickets to eternal damnation. You'd think, if Hitchens was really all that clever and truly believed religion is a poison, that he might see that he's allowing himself to be stuck in the middle of a strange and dangerous religious tug of war. He's defending a term [Islamofascism] that blasts one established religion while huddling in the corner with the extremist Judeo-Christians of the neoconservative cult.


Crooks and Liars - It’s “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week”
C’mon, kiddies, let’s put out the decorations and bake a cake!....Remind me again how many times these neo-cons have been right? Oh that’s right, zero. I’m sure parents will be thrilled to know their tuition dollars are going towards instilling ignorance, hate and fear in their children.

Will Bunch has the whole sordid affair.

Will Bunch - Attytood: It's the most wonderful time of the year: Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week

This is why Rick Santorum was placed on God's formerly green earth, because were it not for my former senator (R-Leesburg, Va., McMansion) I might have totally missed Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. [..]

[..] As an actual college professor, Juan Cole of the University of Michigan, has noted, the Islamo-Fascism label makes no sense:

Fascism is not even a very good description of the ideology of most Muslim fundamentalists. Most fascism in the Middle East has been secular in character, as with Saddam Hussein's Baath Party. Fascism involves extreme nationalism and most often racism. Muslim fundamentalist movements reject the nation-state as their primary loyalty and reject race as a basis for political action or social discrimination. Fascists exalt the state above individual rights or the rule of law. Muslim fundamentalists exalt Islamic law above the utilitarian interests of the state. Fascism exalts youth and a master race above the old and the "inferior" races. Muslim fundamentalists would never speak this way.

Take a Good Look on Y'own Backyard:
From a prior post on my Iddybud blog on the topic of fascism

- Bora Zivkovic, a progressive blogger who I have had the opportunity to meet many times, has an important story and lesson for all of us. He and his family have been through a shameful time in human history - the Holocaust - a time when many of them didn't make it through to the other side with their lives. If you cannot trust the perspective of a person who has lost 42 members of his family to state-sanctioned murder, than I suggest that you may not be capable of trusting anyone. At the beginning of the crisis in the Balkans in 1991, Bora points to the fact that the Israeli press had recognized what the Westerners did not - the fascistic nature of Franjo Tudjman's new government in Croatia, and the reason is because the Jews have decided to never again become an invisible people whose persecution could escape the consciousness of humankind. Warning signs of fascism can come in the forms of underlying ideology "which can be coated in whatever symbols people are already used to - and proud of - including the American flag."
Bora says,
"Neither Nazism nor Stalinism sprung up suddenly out of nowhere. Both built up gradually, over the years, slowly acclimating the populations to the ever-increasing levels of totalitarianism, and utilizing the fears and emotional insecurity of the few to rein in the many....

....If you look at The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism you will recognize that all 14 are at some stage of implementation by the current US government....


Think about this "warning sign" of fascism:
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights -

Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
Now read Peter Bergen's new TNR piece that showcases the fruitlessness of such a reach around the rule of law for power's sake:
Daniel Coleman, a former FBI special agent who dealt with Mohamed and is regarded as one of the nation’s leading authorities on Al Qaeda, recalls that "it took two years to get him to the point where we could safely say that he was reliable and not leading us on." But, eventually, he did -- and physical coercion was not involved. "There is no need to use anything else other than the full legal scope and power of the justice system," Coleman says of his approach to interrogations. "To go outside of that is completely unnecessary."

Indeed, Coleman thinks the Bush administration’s treatment of captured terrorists -- holding so many outside the traditional justice system at Guantánamo while authorizing interrogation techniques that some observers would consider torture -- has been largely a bust. He told me that most of the information he saw coming out of Guantánamo until his retirement in 2004 "was of no particular value."

- Peter Bergen, War of Error

Larisa Alexandrovna has a related post featured at Raw Story titled Theater of the Absurd

Getting back to Hitchens and his ridiculous defense of the dumb term Islamofascism:

The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism
Rule 3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

David Horowitz playing stupid human tricks to get the masses to buy his term...expected. Hitchens swallowing it lock, stock, and allegedly-smart person falling into the trappings of fascism.

Enough said?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stand Warned - Giuliani Dumber Than Bush

When he spoke in Syracuse, I heard the New Yorker's Sy Hersh say that he believed our nation's foreign policy was hijacked by a handful of neoconseratives at the beginning of this century. This cult of misguided ideologues has gotten us into an unnecessary war and still holds sway with our President. If there's one undeniable truth, it's that the consequence of this cult-hijacking of U.S. foreign policy is the death of the public's assumption of good faith in Bush's leadership.

This brings us to the puzzling and - yes - shocking news being delivered in a well-informed yet delightfully snarky way by Josh Marshall of TPM.

Of Patriotism and the Army of a King

Just imagine for a moment, if you will, being asked to honor the veterans of a King's private and enriched army in your own country where the ones we've long honored have looked like these men and women.

Photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell

At Frameshop, Jeffrey Feldman speaks out about Blackwater and the telltale signs of President Bush setting up the kind of army that acts as if it is his own. What does "patriotism" mean when you can clearly see the American tradition of constitutional power being turned over, as a farmer treats the fallow soil of his fields, and the seeds of a privatized army loyal only to a President and his particular foreign policy are sown?

To whom and to what do we owe our patriotism? Do we owe it to longstanding American and democratic tradition ... or do we owe it to the army of one man who appears to deem himself king over a land that has adopted freedom through a careful system of checks and balances as its hallmark of continuity?


Blackwater and its kind are different. They are not just soldiers, not just police. They are lines of loyalty bought, paid for and hidden from public view by the obfuscating jargon of Federal budgets. Their loyalty is sternly vertical, extending through the CEO to the President in a perfect reinvention of vassal obligation.

Blackwater may be 'boots on the ground' in Iraq or Katrina, but in political terms they are an extension of the king's body.

Royal power extends from the king to the people, from top down, but it cannot unfold if the army belongs to the people and not to the king. As Machiavelli described it, mercenaries and auxiliary armies can help extend rule for a short period of time, but for the will of the prince to become the will of the state, the king must make the army 'his own.'

Jeffrey Feldman, Frameshop: The Prince

Monday, October 22, 2007


The apartments where this cat strayed were torn down this summer. I would look for him each time I visited the Morningside apartments in Charlotte. I am haunted....not knowing what became of him. I wish someone would see this very photo of him, by some wild chance, and tell me he's okay...that he has a home.

Chris Trapper at the Redhouse, Syracuse

Chris Trapper doing tricky things with his guitar strings

Chris Trapper
Redhouse, Syracuse N.Y.
October 13, 2007

Chris belting out a pretty tune with the help of his white guitar

Hadley, Cheney, & God

Scott Ritter
Photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell, taken in Syracuse 9-29-07

What do National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, Vice President Dick Cheney, and God have in common? Find out by reading former U.N. Special Commission chief inspector Scott Ritter's opinion piece [available at Truthout]. Excerpt:

The issue of Iran is a national problem which requires a collective debate, discussion and dialogue inclusive of all the facts, and stripped of all ideology and theocracy which would seek to deny reasoned thought conducted within a framework of accepted laws and ideals. It is grossly irresponsible of an American president to invoke the imagery of World War III without first sharing with the American people the framework of thought that produced such a comparison.

Edwards & Gore on Iraq at (Current comes to Converge South)

Former VP Al Gore and 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards have made videos for where they've expressed their opinions about the Iraq War.

Related: comes to Greensboro, N.C.

Saskia Wilson Brown of

Current's Brandon Gross (on right) with co-panelist Jason McHugh (CrapTV)

Saskia Wilson-Brown and Brandon Gross of appeared at the 2007 Converge South conference held at North Carolina A & T University in Greensboro this past weekend. Photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell (Iddybud).

My set of photos from Converge South
Go to the link to see larger versions of the photos below.

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ConvergeSouth 2007 Flickr Group
Technorati Results for ConvergeSouth2007
Anthology of Converge South postings [by David Beckwith]
Posted at by Saskia Wilson-Brown

Iraq President Expects Reduction in U.S. Troops

In an interview with French journalist Georges Malbrunot [le Figaro], Iraq's President Jalal Talabani says he expects a 100,000 U.S. troop reduction in Iraq by next year.

When will Iraq be ready to ensure its own security, in order to permit the US troops' departure?

By the end of 2008, if we receive the weapons that we have requested from various countries, we will be able to defend Iraq. We have concluded an agreement with China for the supply of light weapons. If the violence continues to diminish, by the end of 2008 we will be able to guarantee the security of all Iraq's provinces. Next year the Americans will be able to withdraw 100,000 of their men. And in five years' time I predict that there will be only 10,000-20,000 US soldiers left in Iraq. Our principal leaders have decided to maintain prolonged strategic relations with the United States.

Related: At, links to stories about France's "New Hawks"