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2003-05-20 - 5:40 p.m.

Ravynemyst Reviews - 20 May 2003

Note from Ravyne

Since there are so many developing stories out there, I have decided to start a new format for reporting them. From now on, everything will be under Ravynemyst Reviews followed by the date. Occassionally, I will do a News Flash or a single commentary. I am also working on trying to get a new template design for my site some time in the near futute. I want to thank helderheid, pandionna, and everyone else who visits my site for your continued comments, your plugs to my site on your own websites, and for your amazing dedication to getting the truth out there for people to see. And now, on with the news!

Fear of Orange Again?

Once again we, in America, are in a HIGH state of alarm. We are to fear Orange again. I don't know about you, but for some reason I just cannot see orange as a threatening color. There is just something so sublime about Orange. Have you ever been alarmed when you've seen the color orange? Has it instilled panic or shock? I see orange as very non-threatening. But our government seems to think Orange is a serious color and so we have moved from a deep yellow to this sublime orange.

Seriously though, with all of the bombings in Saudi Arabia and all of the talk about our boogie-man terror group, Al Qaeda, making another appearance, I guess it is only right that Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge once again puts the fear of Orange into us. How many times can the Bush Administration "call wolf" before the people start ignoring the threats? Have we reached that comfort level yet? Are we as relaxed now as we were the morning of the WTC and Pentagon bombings when we were foolish enough to believe that a major terrorist attack could *never* touch us? Here is the report from CNN:

    Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said there is no "credible, specific information" about targets or method of attack, but he noted that recent terrorist attacks overseas have included "small arms-equipped assault teams, large vehicle-borne explosive devices and suicide bombers.
    "Weapons of mass destruction, including those containing chemical, biological or radiological agents or materials, cannot be discounted," Ridge said in a statement.
    "The U.S. intelligence community believes that al Qaeda has entered an operational period worldwide, and this may include attacks in the United States."
    Although al Qaeda and its sympathizers are the "principal threat," Ridge said, "threats may also emanate from other anti-U.S. terrorist groups, regional extremist organizations, and ad hoc groups or disgruntled individuals not connected to existing terrorist organizations or state sponsors of terrorism."
    The decision to boost the threat alert was made during a meeting of the president's Homeland Security Council at the White House. Officials said President Bush quickly signed off on it after being briefed.

What this really means, ladies and gentlemen, is that we are ONE terrorist attack away from Martial Law. If that little orange ever becomes a giant RED, then FEMA, the Executive Orders of all Presidents, and the PATRIOT Act step in and Americans lose all of their Constitutional Rights. You can call me an alarmist all you want, but this is very serious and it has been planned for a long time. Your guns will be confiscated. You will be under a curfew. Dissent will not be tolerated. The military will fill your streets so fast you will not even realize it has happened. By allowing our Congress and President to get away with signing laws and making unconstitutional Executive Orders, We the People have handed over all of our freedom for whatever amount of security this Government has planned for us. The question we should all be asking ourselves is this: Is our government anymore prepared today to protect us than when they failed to protect us on the morning of September 11th?

What Does the US Have Against Culture?

It was bad enough when the US troops stood by and allowed the Iraqi Museums to get looted and ancient artifacts to be stolen and destroyed. Afterall, they didn't really have a hand in it. Did they? Some have said that the US troops actually encouraged the looting. That is neither here nor there. However, this time, some troops *have* had their hands in destruction of cultural artifacts in Iraq. A report yesterday entitled, US Troops 'Vandalize' Ancient City of Ur tells of US troops purposefully spray-painting graffiti in Ancient Ur and have stolen kiln-baked bricks made over a million years ago. Thankfully, someone in the military had the good sense to declare the Ancient city off limits to US Troops and will punish any troops who violate this mandate. However, the story isn't over. Just on the outskirts of this Ancient City of Ur is where the US has decided to build a huge military base. This all saddens me deeply. Ur is an important ancient cultural center. It is said to be the birthplace of Abraham, the center of Sumer civilization and where the first written poetry originated. So I ask you, what does the US have against this important ancient culture of Iraq, where it is said that all life sprang from and the first written texts of Gilgamesh were found?

Bush's War At Home

I read an interesting commentary today by Charles Derber called The Other War. Gerber explains that not only has Bush waged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and may have many more up his sleeve, but he has also waged a war here at home against the American people. Here is a quote from his commentary:

    Bush's war at home seeks to tighten the grip of the corporate state by radically accelerating this money transfer from poor to rich, institutionalizing it in a reverse Robin Hood system for decades to come. His efforts in support of the corporate state take place in the wake of the dramatic new threats to its survival. The collapse of the financial markets after the 1990s speculative boom marked the beginning of a sustained crisis in corporate profitability, a long term unraveling of the current economic order that could spell the decline of American global hegemony. The Enron crisis created a follow-on crisis of faith in the American corporate order both at home and abroad. The Bush war plan attacks the double crises of profitability and faith by 1) refocusing the American public on exaggerated foreign threats and 2) creating a "regime change" at home that dismantles the remnants of the New Deal social contract and enshrines a new brutal state capitalism never seen before. In the name of the "free market," the Bush regime is marshalling all resources of the state to bail the corporate order out of the mess that it has created for itself.

The whole piece is very interesting and I urge you to read it in its entirety. What stuck out most for me was this part:

    Bush is drawing blood by massively heaping burdens on states and localities that already are experiencing horrific deficits, forcing new, draconian cuts in education, health care, and social welfare on the state and local levels. The deficits in states from California to New York are so high that emergency services including police, fire, and "homeland security" are being radically cut, on top of the mass firing of teachers, health care and social workers, and the wholesale closing of schools, hospitals, and community shelters and services. Meanwhile, Bush's trade and labor policies have permitted big companies to eliminate defined benefit pensions, abolish corporate health insurance (or dramatically cut benefits and increase co-pays), and eliminate unions themselves. The percentage of private sector unionized workers has fallen to under 9 percent under Bush, drastically weakening workers' ability to defend minimal protections and benefits. Bush's gift of $15 billion to the airlines after 9/11 while offering nothing to their laid off workers is an apt symbol of the Bush war at home.

And this:

    Bush's plan exempts wealth from taxation and public accountability, privatizes the entire "commons," removes monopoly restraints on global companies, morphs the social welfare budget into a corporate welfare system, enshrines a permanent warfare state for global profits and domestic control, and builds a permanent government of CEOs and a regime of radical inequality that Jefferson believed would destroy democracy.

But trust me, there are even more goodies in that commentary to fire up your ole blood stream.

Summary of Bush's Broken Promises


Bush said his tax cut would not cause deficits, even in a bad economy.

a.. Bush's FY 2003 budget posts $106 billion deficit, the first deficit since 1997. The budget will return to balance in 2005, at the earliest.

Social Security

Bush said Social Security Trust Fund would remain in a lockbox.

a.. Bush breached the Social Security Trust Fund and is on schedule to spend $1.65 trillion of it over the next ten years.

National Debt

Bush promised to pay down a record amount of the national debt.

a.. Bush not only failed to pay down the national debt, he has been forced to request a $750 billion increase in the debt limit.

Education Reform

As part of the bipartisan education reform, Bush promised to spend more money on education.

a.. Bush budget cut funding from his own "No Child Left Behind" law and provided the smallest education funding increase in seven years.

Pell Grants

Bush promised to increase the maximum Pell Grant award, thereby increasing access to higher education.

a.. Bush froze Pell Grant limit below his promised level.


Bush promised to "fully fund" LIHEAP (the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program).

a.. Bush's budget cut LIHEAP by $300 million.


Bush pledged to provide Medicare prescription drug coverage for all seniors.

a.. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that Bush's plan would cover only 6 percent of Medicare beneficiaries.

Yucca Mountain

Bush promised to listen to sound science and local officials before deciding to bury the nation's nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.

a.. Bush designated Yucca Mountain the site before all the science is in, flouting local officials.

Student Loans

Bush promised to make higher education more accessible by helping students with high costs.

a.. Bush proposed pulling $1.3 billion from a program that allows students to consolidate education loans at federally subsidized interest rates.

For more information, check out this site: Caught on Film: The Bush Credibility Gap

Thank you for taking the time to read these articles and commentaries and for looking at the links. Please feel free to draw your own conclusions and to leave comments. ~Ravyne~

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~Did You Miss These?~

Just a Reminder - Tuesday, Nov. 04, 2003
Ravyne Is Moving - Friday, Oct. 17, 2003
The Mission - Sunday, Oct. 12, 2003
Siege Heil - Thursday, Oct. 09, 2003
Litany Of Lies - Wednesday, Oct. 08, 2003

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