Saturday, March 24, 2007

Gonzales A Go-Go

Well, the Time Coaster has been rather lazy as of late. Sorry. As Pico and Alvarado of Firesign theater fame would say, " Park and lock it! Not Responsible!

I do note with interest the lastest headline in the fray about the 8 fired attorneys, and Fredo , aka AG Alberto Gonzales.

"WASHINGTON — Attorney General Alberto Gonzales approved plans to fire several U.S. attorneys in an hourlong meeting last fall, according to documents released Friday that indicate he was more involved in the dismissals than he has claimed.

Last week, Gonzales said he "was not involved in any discussions about what was going on" in the firings of eight prosecutors that has since led to a political firestorm and calls for his ouster.

A Nov. 27 meeting, in which the attorney general and at least five top Justice Department officials participated, focused on a five-step plan for carrying out the firings of the prosecutors, Gonzales' aides said late Friday.

There, Gonzales signed off on the plan, which was drafted by his chief of staff, Kyle Sampson. The five-step plan approved by Gonzales involved notifying Republican home-state senators of the impending dismissals, preparing for potential political upheaval, naming replacements and submitting them to the Senate for confirmation."

So the import of this suggests that Mr. Gonzales was lying last week. I guess his defense would be total mental aphasia, .i.e. he has no recall of the Nov. 27th meeting. Apparently we are asked to believe he runs the Dept. of Justice and has no idea Kyle Sampson was working towards firing the 8.

One would gather then, that 'Fredo' thinks he can lie about such things and continue to serve in his office. We shall see.

For a more in depth analysis of this and the Karl Rove angle, read Sidney Blumenthal's What Bush is hiding in yesterday's Salon.

Here are excerpts:

"In the U.S. attorney scandal, Alberto Gonzales gave orders, but he also took them -- from Karl Rove, who plotted to turn the federal criminal justice system into the Republican Holy Office of the Inquisition": Sidney Blumenthal / Salon

And " "The disclosure of the e-mails establishing Rove's centrality suggests not only the political chain of command but also the hierarchy of coverup. Bush protects Gonzales in order to protect those who gave Gonzales his marching orders ~ Rove and Bush himself .... Bush's resistance to having Rove placed under oath or even having a transcript of his testimony appears to be a coverup of a series of obstructions of justice. The e-mails hint at the quickening pulse of communications between the White House and the Justice Department. But only sworn testimony can elicit the truth."

Farther along I came across an excellent article by Robert Scheer, who has a few choice words about Mr. Cheney:

"While he is still as dangerous as any cornered animal, Cheney stands brightly revealed as the main culprit in cherry-picking the evidence to make the case for a stupid, failed war. He has been exposed as a vindictive, inflexible ideologue, who attempts to destroy all who publicly disagree with him, such as former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and Wilson’s CIA agent wife, Valerie Plame Wilson.

- - - - His extensive ties and loyal political service to energy and defense companies such as Halliburton (which now, in a burst of honesty, is moving its headquarters to Dubai) reveal him to be a man of deep corruption.

As if we needed more evidence, the conviction last week of Cheney’s former chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, provided ample evidence of the vice president’s bottomless cynicism. Surely congressional investigators will now ask Cheney, among other awkward questions, what he meant in that note he wrote to himself prior to the conviction, stating, “Not going to ... sacrifice the guy who was asked to stick his neck in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others.” Who could have ordered Libby to break the law, other than his boss?

If the occupation had gone well, of course, Cheney wouldn’t be under fire. But as begins its fifth year, the only winners in this war are the aforementioned radical Shiites, Iran, mercenaries, al-Qaida, oil companies and military contractors such as Halliburton, which has scooped up $27 billion in contracts paid with our taxes. Now Halliburton is making its home in an undemocratic oil-garchy so distasteful to Americans that we wouldn’t let a company from there manage our ports.

Perhaps Cheney, in disgrace, can build his retirement cave there. "

from : Cheney is his own worst enemy

Monday, March 19, 2007

Interesting quote on the 4th anniversary of the Invasion

Richard Engel in his latest post from Iraq uses this quote. I found it to be of interest so I am requoting it here:

"In 1919, the British military’s official “eye-witness” to the World War I campaigns in Mesopotamia, Edmund Chandler, wrote in his war journal, “The Long Road to Baghdad” that Iraq's “thirsty soil has swallowed many empires.”
Chandler offered this warning to great powers like his own government, which he believed rushed to war in Baghdad without sufficient resources or a clear plan:

“Mesopotamia is a sinister, pestilential land. Not only has she devoured her own empires and kingdoms born of the soil, Ur of the Chaldees, the Assyrian Niveneh, three dynasties of Babylon, Ctesiphon of the Chosres; she has laid her blight on the greatest Empires of the West. It was in the malarious swamps of the Euphrates that Alexander caught the fever that cut short his life; it was at Ctesiphon that Julian and his Roman legions lost the Empire in the East.”

- War Zone Diary

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Prayer Flag cairn

Here is one of the rock cairns with prayer flags and mantra stones that can be seen at Iron Knot Ranch. There are several of them at different spots on the land there. It made for a good photo. May all beings benefit.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

One more Prayer Wheel photo

I am adding one more photo of the prayer wheels just to give a different view. This is the central wheel. It has a railing around it so you can manually make it turn. Which is a meritorious thing to do, by the way.
The wheels are packed with mantra on paper and on microfilm.

Prayer Wheel building at Iron Knot

This is the octagon shaped building which houses the Prayer Wheels at Iron Knot Ranch in New Mexico. The walls are made of rasterblock, which can be stuccoed, just like adobe. I think it is one of the most awesome Dharmic installations in the West. One walks inside, and finds oneself immersed among seventeen spinning, prayer wheels, each loaded with millions of mantra. It really challenges one's ordinary perceptions when you are in there.

Prayer Wheels

Just recently got back from a Vajrakiliya retreat at Iron Knot Ranch in New Mexico.

Here is info about Vajrakiliya:
The wrathful practice of Vajrakilaya is an extremely powerful means to remove obstacles of any kind, including obstacles to health, longevity, activity, spiritual practice, and, ultimately, to realization of enlightenment. Performed at the close of the lunar year, Vajrakilaya practice averts and dispels negativity from the old year and establishes auspicious conditions in the New Year for ourselves and all beings.
Here is a look at the terrain at Ironknot which is about 14 miles east of Duncan, Arizona, but is actually in New Mexico.

The relatively new installation of Prayer Wheels has seventeen prayer wheels. Some are loaded with microfilm of mantra. They have electric motors so they turn 24 a day, all week, week after week, except sometimes the motors need maintenance. The central one is turnable by hand.
I came back via the Sunset Limited (Amtrak). It was an interesting journey.