June 1, 2006June is busting out all over and the unending Bush catastrophe is yielding one crisis after another.
Noam Chomsky: Why it's over for America Mainstream --Bobby Kennedy Jr. writes about vote fraud in Rolling Stone. See BradBlog Pull it -- Eliot Spitzer, running for governor of New York, blasts Pataki-led WTC rebuilding project, calling it an "Enron-style debacle. Daily News
June 2, 2006
Another Stolen Election -- Bobby Kennedy's excellent article on rigged elections in the U.S. is out in Rolling Stone. See also the editorial "A Call for Investigation". Boiling Over -- Anger from consumers and shareholders broke out at an Exxon board meeting in Dallas. Reuters Dixie Chicks Number One -- Thy released their first album since right wing radio turned against them when Natalie Maines said at a concert that she was ashamed of Bush. In its first week it opened at number one, with over 500,000 sold in a week. Only one other release by anyone this year has sold more in its first week.
WEEKEND LINKS AND NOTES
June 4, 2006Anything for a Distraction -- Bush is pushing for a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. This is the kind of leadership we have. With everything they have done in their mad power agenda, and everything they have not done about real problems, the country is sliding downward into state of catastrophe, and all the Republicans can do is bark about gay marriage, flag burning and other non-issues. How many people are falling for this stuff? Is someone whose son has just died in Iraq, someone who can't afford the gasoline to drive to work anymore, someone whose house has been blown away really going to want the government to put everything aside to go through the entire drawn out procedure to establish a Constitutional amendment just to make sure homosexuals are not able to be married? Is this really important to a lot of people? Reuters
Record Setter -- May was the biggest month in Baghdad since the invasion, for the morgue, that is. LA Times Praise the Fuhrer -- William Kristol, one of the madmen of the Project for a New American Century let slip his Nazi vision recently on TV when he said, "Maybe we should have Supreme Leader Bush. I kind of like the sound of that." Crooks & Liars
June 5, 2006
Here it is with the right link: Was the 2004 Election stolen? The excellent analysis by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Howard Dean on voter suppression 2004: Asked by Rolling Stone: "Were you caught off guard by the scale of the vote suppression campaign?" Dean: "We all know about the Republican culture of corruption. It should not be a surprise that the Republicans are willing to do things that are unethical to manipulate elections. That’s what we suspect has happened, and we’d like to safeguard our elections so that democracy can still be counted on to work. The Republicans, we believe, have a different motive. They believe the less votes the better. Republicans like to suppress votes because they believe they do better in small turnouts. Characteristically, Democrats would rather lose an election with a huge turnout than win one with a small turnout because we think that the values of democracy have to be placed above the interests of the party. The reason that Republicans are such failures at governing is because they place the interests of their party ahead of the interests of the country." Rolling Stone can now proudly re-run their editorial from 1999 on George W. Bush: "All Hat No Cattle". They were right. It didn't take genius, just open eyes.
6/6/06Most mornings I sit for a while by the back window, the one that used to have a view of the World Trade Center, and every morning there's the steady roar of helicopters over the Hudson River, a constant military presence. It's just normal for the foremost military power in the world. And it always reminds me of that morning of September 11, 2001, when there was such a dreadfully conspicuous absence of any military defense. Every morning is a reminder of the striking contradictions at the root of the concepts that underlie our current political culture.
The New York Times (also on AOL News) covered the 9/11 Truth conference in Chicago, attended by 500. It's an interesting marker in time when the Times will actually acknowledge the existence of such a thing. Of course the firsts word in the headline is "conspiracy", a not-too-subtle hint that this is a report on how many lunatics can gather together at once. "Conspiracy buffs meet to seek the truth of 9/11" is the full headline. These "buffs" sound like model train hobbyists or antique jar collectors, but in fact the issues they are discussing concern the fundamental nature of U.S. governance, questions the Times itself would prefer not to raise. It therefore reports from a very detached stance, as though observing the market in Marrakech. Even so, there are some interesting points that break through the surface.
It mentions, for example, how World Trade Center 7 "collapsed like a ton of bricks" for no apparent reason, and the official investigating commission didn't consider it worth investigating to find out why. It mentions in passing the across-the-board failure of air defense to respond in its normal fashion that day, the fact that an extraordinary number of short-sell "put" options were placed on United Airlines and American Airlines for that day, as though some people knew the stocks would suddenly tank. This was also not considered by the commission to be worth investigating.
The article also included this little bomb: "It would even seem the Truthers are not alone in believing the whole truth has not come out. A poll released last month by Zogby International found that 42 percent of all Americans believe the 9/11 Commission 'concealed or refused to investigate critical evidence"' in the attacks. This is in addition to the Zogby poll two years ago that found that 49 percent of New York City residents agreed with the idea that some leaders 'knew in advance' that the attacks were planned and failed to act." While it doesn't prove anything one way or the other about what really happened, it does show clearly the wide gap between what the public believes and the official story that is adhered to 100% by the mass media and constantly relentlessly pumped into the heads of the people.
June 7, 2006
Washington panicked by Latin America -- Chomsky at a press conference at the UN: The U.S. in the past has had two fundamental mechanisms for controlling Latin America: one is violence, the other is economic strangulation. They're both weakening. The last exercise of violence was in the year 2002, when in its dedication to democracy promotion the U.S. supported a military coup to overthrow the elected government of Venezuela. Well, had to back down, for one thing, because there was a popular uprising in Venezuela. But another reason was just the reaction in Latin America, where democracy is taken a lot more seriously than it is in North America and Europe and people don't think it's amusing anymore to have elected governments overthrown by a military coup. So the U.S. had to back down and turn to subversion instead, which is whatís going on now. That's the last major use of violence.... As for the economic option, that's being lost, too. The most dramatic case, perhaps, was Argentina. Argentina was the poster child for the IMF. And following IMF rules, it led to the worst economic disaster in its history, totally collapsed. Then, violating IMF rules radically, they pulled out of it and have had rapid growth. Splintering Off the Splinter Groups -- Log Cabin Republicans: "On behalf of millions of gay and lesbian Americans, I write to denounce your decision to divide the American family by promoting an amendment that would insert discrimination into the United States Constitution. Your decision to use the grounds of the White HouseóAmerica's Houseóto advance discrimination is an insult to millions of fair minded Americans from all walks of life. ... Your effort to codify discrimination against our families, including men and women in uniform while the nation is at war, is offensive and unworthy of the office of the Presidency. Great Republican Presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Ronald Reagan have united Americans and appealed to our best hopes, not our worst fears." Will this latest divisive pandering backfire like the Schiavo case? Agents Go on Record Against Bush -- Vanity Fair writer Craig Unger intervieeds nine former intelligence and military officials who have served in the C.I.A., the State Department, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Pentagon, all of whom said on the record that they believe the Niger documents were part of a campaign to deliberately mislead the American public. Some of the officials refer to the Niger documents as "a disinformation campaign," "black propaganda," or "a classic psy-ops campaign." High Crimes, Misdemeanors, Incompetence, and Corruption - For Bush/GOP, time to ban gay marriage. Progressive Daily Beacon No More Black Boxes -- Lou Dobbs Says Private Voting Machine Companies a "Threat to Our Democracy" BradBlog Demure and Savage Beast -- NBC aired Coulter's claims that 9/11 Widows are "enjoying their husband's death", and look at what it doesn't air. BradBlog Equal Before the Law -- American Bar Association to investigate whether Bush exceeded his authority by breaking 750 laws. Boston Globe
Friday, June 9, 2006Good day to stay completely away from the tube. It's all Zarqawi all the time. It's unbelievably barbaric. They are showing horrible pictures of the corpse. This, apparently is not considered obscene. God help the poor children of this country who are defended against pictures considered sexual, but are not shielded from such hideousness. The pictures of the corpse are shown with a sense that Americans are all supposed to be dancing in jubilation at the destruction of this person, so much so that we want to see all the gory details over and over again, the mutilated corpse.
Who could have ever imagined that America could fall so far so fast?
On AOL's front page -- this is an Internet portal that is designed for the largest possible common denominator, a "family friendly" site -- and they've got the bloody corpse right up front. It's as if the regime's credibility is so shredded and blown away by now that Big Brother is going to show us the proof, the God damned dead body. And across from a cute little collage incorporating the corpse shot is the headline: "Turning point in Iraq War?"
I don't know about anyone else, but I get tired of being treated like a six-year-old. Are they now trying to say that this corpse is supposed to signify a turning point in that hellish catastrophe ongoing in Iraq? How many turning points have we had now? Every few months we have a new "turning point", a constitution, an election, the capture of Saddam ... now it's this corpse.
The implication, not too subtle, is that this character was the cause of all our woes, the villain that was creating trouble for the benign Americans whom everyone else loves because they are bringing democracy and freedom to this beleaguered country, a purely unselfish act. (As Thomas Friedman put it in November 2003, "This war is the most important liberal revolutionary U.S. democracy-building project since the Marshall Plan. We got off to an unnecessarily bad start but it's one of the noblest things this country has ever attempted abroad, and it's a moral and strategic imperative that we give it our best shot." see Democracy Now)
How desperate must the Bushevics be to have to reach so far to try to concoct some sort of good news?
Meanwhile, if you stay on the Zarqawi corpse collage long enough, it changes into Brad and Angelina, the couple the world apparently can't get enough of. From corpses to glamorous couples buzzing with childbirth. It's such a strange culture.
And a couple of things to take note of:
While you were looking at the corpse, or perhaps something else flashing by like a mechanical rabbit at a dog race, the Killer Republicans voted to wipe out funding for National Public Radio and the public broadcasting system. To sign a petition against this outrage, click on Civic.moveone.org Dwindling support -- According to ABC, "The death of al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq came as more Americans than ever thought the war in Iraq was a mistake, according to AP-Ipsos polling. The poll, taken Monday through Wednesday before news broke that U.S. forces had killed Zarqawi, found that 59 percent of adults say the United States made a mistake in going to war in Iraq the highest level yet in AP-Ipsos polling. Approval of President Bush's handling of Iraq dipped to 33 percent, a new low. His overall job approval was 35 percent, statistically within range of his low of 33 percent last month. The poll of 1,003 adults has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points." Terminator Jesus -- The Left Behinds, a 40 million selling series of books about a Terminator-style Jesus who comes back and etherizes nonbelievers, now has its own video game. According to the pro-choice, pro-religion Talk to Action describes it thusly: "Imagine: you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued high-tech military weaponry, and instructed to engage the infidel on the streets of New York City. You are on a mission -- both a religious mission and a military mission -- to convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state -- especially moderate, mainstream Christians. Your mission is "to conduct physical and spiritual warfare"; all who resist must be taken out with extreme prejudice." Check out Mark Morford's "Jesus Loves A Machine Gun It's the new 'Left Behind' video game, where you maim and murder and hate, all in God's name. Praise!" Love that CIA! According to the Boston Globe, "The CIA, in the 1950s, suppressed the whereabouts of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann to help protect ranking West German officials from possible revelations about their own Nazi pasts, according to CIA data released yesterday. A memo was written in March 1958 by West German intelligence sources that informed the CIA that Eichmann -- the Gestapo officer who oversaw Hitler's `Final Solution' to annihilate European Jewry -- was living under the alias `Clemens' in Argentina, where he had arrived seven years earlier. `It now appears that West Germany could have captured him in 1958, if it wished to,' said a University of Virginia historian, Timothy Naftali, who is director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum." The Specter haunting Cheney -- The LA Times reports that "The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee lashed out at Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday, accusing the vice president of secretly lobbying other GOP members of the committee to block hearings on the administration's domestic surveillance program. In an unusually sharp attack, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said Cheney had gone behind his back in an effort to persuade other committee members to derail his plans to require telecommunications companies to testify on whether they secretly gave U.S. spy agencies vast quantities of data on customer phone calls."
PASSING IT ON
June 8, 2006A few moments to reflect as the human herd stampedes over a cliff... Fascinating times, ever fascinating, golden years.
Dear Molly Ivins, a treasure, a renewing resource. In her latest piece she writes: Thank goodness the Republicans are around to tell me what to worry about. The flag-burning crisis - here in Austin, there's that pall of smoke rising from the west every morning (it's from an area called Tarrytown, where they burn hundreds of flags daily). You didn't know hundreds of flags were being burned daily? Actually, you can count on your hand the number of incidents reported over the last five years. For instance, there was one flag burned in 2005 by a drunken teenager and one by a protester in California in 2002. This appalling record of ravishment must be stopped. You're clearly not worried about what matters. Gay marriage, now there's a crisis. Well, OK, so there isn't much gay marriage going on here in Texas. None, in fact. First, we made it illegal. Then, we made it unconstitutional. But President Bush is all concerned about it, so I guess we have to alter the U.S. Constitution. Republicans squeak by in conservative district -- New York Times: "With 97 percent of the vote counted, Mr. Bilbray had 49 percent of the vote and Ms. Busby 45 percent, raising the prospect that he would fail to win more than half the vote in what should be one of the safest Republican districts in the country." Global Research on the subject of Restoring the draft: "Rangel opposes war with Iraq and seeks to make the point that many soldiers are volunteers from low-income and minority families. Political leaders, his reasoning goes, would think twice about sending into war the sons and daughters of a more complete cross-section of America. But whether or not one agrees with Rangel's rationale, many Americans would agree that universal service can be a great leveler and a unifying force in society." Despite Rangel's antiwar resolve, the bill supports Washington's stated objective to extend the war into new frontiers and to ultmately send an entire generation of young Americans to fight an illegal, and unjust war. It is worth noting in this regard that the Neoconservative Project for a New American Century calls for increasing active duty strength from 1.4 to 1.6 million." The Nuclear Holocaust -- Global Research: "Is the Bush Administration Planning a Nuclear Holocaust? Will the US launch 'Mini-nukes' against Iran in Retaliation for Tehran's 'Non-compliance'?" Bye Bye Amendment -- Boy that was fast. The quasi-moral initiative by Bush, Frist and the other Idiot Saviours sure died a quick death in the Senate. Washington Post The Herald writes "Rendition undermines us all". That is one of the more foul, venal euphemisms ever created: "Rendition". Ugh. Taking people to where they can be tortured. How could America have fallen so low?
Friday, June 9, 2006
Doubledy Double Speak -- The regime is well-stocked with people who can look you in the face and tell you black is white, up is down. The major media are full of people who do the same. Sometimes the crap gets so deep that when they try to look you in the eye and tell you a blatant lie it's just too much to swallow. So now that a couple of these poor souls in Guantanamo have succeeded in extinguishing themselves, in putting themselves out of their misery in spite of efforts to literally stuff food down their throats, we havce CNN quoting Rear Adm. Harry Harris, commander of Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, as saying that their suicides constitute an act of war. "I believe this was not an act of desperation, rather an act of asymmetric warfare waged against us," Harris said. He also said, "They are smart. They are creative. They are committed. They have no regard for human life, neither ours nor their own." Everything is upside down. These prisoners whom have been held for years without the government ever even bringing charges against them for their supposed crimes, they are suddenly considered to be viciously attacking America when they do away with themselves, when they choose to end it all. How crazy can things get? What next absurd proposition will the government be expecting us to swallow? After Ann Coulter wrote that the so-called "Jersey Girls" -- 9/11 widows -- were "harpies" and were "enjoying their husbands' deaths", the widows issued a statement saying, "Contrary to Ms.Coulter's statements, there was no joy in watching men that we loved burn alive. There was no happiness in telling our children that their fathers were never coming home again. We adored these men and miss them every day." New York Daily News Coulter just attacked them again.
June 10, 2006If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve... -- Unknown.
Meanwhile, drink this: In the wake of the Zarqawi destruction, Greg Palast shows just where the Iraq invasion went from a possible success on some levels -- speaking loosely, if the motives had really been to bring democracy -- to a total catastrophe. It was in April 2003. General Jay Garner, who had been put in charge of "keeping the peace and bringing democracy," was taking his mandate literally, so Rumsfeld fired him. Instead, the occupation was to be carried out according to The Plan. Palast: "The Plan was a 101-page document to guide the long-term future of the land we'd just conquered. There was nothing in it about democracy or elections or safety. There was, rather, a detailed schedule for selling off 'all [Iraq's] state assets' - and Iraq, that's just about everything - 'especially,' said The Plan, 'the oil and supporting industries.' Especially the oil. There was more than oil to sell off. The Plan included the sale of Iraq's banks, and weirdly, changing it's copyright laws and other odd items that made the plan look less like a program for Iraq to get on its feet than a program for corporate looting of the nation's assets. (And indeed, we discovered at BBC, behind many of the odder elements - copyright and tax code changes - was the hand of lobbyist Jack Abramoff's associate Grover Norquist." Instead of really setting Iraq on the road toward self government, the Bush administration put Paul Bremer in charge. "Paul Bremer III had no experience on the ground in Iraq," writes Palast, "but he had one unbeatable credential that Garner lacked: Bremer had served as Managing Director of Kissinger and Associates." They went to work looting the country, halted all municipal elections, infuriated the Iraqis and set off the insurgency. But, as Palast put it: "You can't have a war president without a war. And you can't have a war without enemies. 'Bring 'em on,' our Commander-in-Chief said. And Zarqawi answered the call."
Funny Business -- Look at what has gone on in the Busby election, and what can be done. Solarbus The Despicable House of Representatives voted to give the Internet to the big telecom corporations so they can control what the rest of us can do on the Net and to reap big bucks doing it. Now the fight goes to the senate. On the other side from the big telecom corporations are Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Ebay -- and The People. Time to make life very miserable for senators who plan on taking away Net Neutrality. Independent, Computer World, itsournet.org. Believe Nothing the Government Says -- Michael Berg, father of Nicholas Berg, an American beheaded in Iraq, was asked by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now whether he believed the stories that Zarqari personally beheaded his son. "I don't know, and I say that because I have been lied to so many times by the F.B.I., the State Department, and by George Bush -- we've all been lied to by George Bush -- that I neither believe nor disbelieve anything that I hear they said or that I hear them say. So I really can't -- I really don't know. I don't even know if Zarqawi was alive at that time or whether he's been dead for a long time, whether he ever existed." He then goes into detail on how often the government lied to him. It brings up the question whether it is rational to believe someone who has lied many many times.
June 11, 2006
Ugly Stories -- An Associated Press report casts doubt on the events surrounding Zarqawi's reported death. Truthout Jean Sara Rohe Speaks Truth to Power at the New School -- At the New School's commencement, the university's president former Senator Bob Kerrey gave his old buddy John McCain the commencement speech as a political platform for McCain's ongoing campaign for president. The student body was not thrilled, given McCain's obsequious support for the Iraq war and virtually everything Bush. But Kerrey ignored the protests from the students and faculty, and when the event came, the student who spoke put aside her prepared speech and addressed the issues of McCain's presence and his stands on the issues. It was reported in The Nation, and Yahoo, but now on Democracy Now, you can actually see the speech by the student, which is an elegant expression of the issues that were brought to a head by McCain's use of the commencement as a political campaign platform. The speech and McCain's reception by the student body earned a spiteful, mean-spirited message from John McCain's chief of staff, Mark Salter: "The only person you have succeeded in making look like an idiot is yourself ... You might look back on the day of your graduation and your discourtesy to a good and honest man with a little shame and the certain knowledge that it very unlikely any of you will ever posses the one small fraction of the character of John McCain." And yet she showed more character and more dedication to the principles on which the USA was founded than McCain has shown in a long long time. Pathetic. Watch or listen to the poised, moderate speech yourself and/or read the transcript and see for yourself who is acting with integrity, who shows true dedication to America's best traditions, and who is acting like a spoiled child. Rohe's speech was one of increasingly rare moments when I felt proud to be an American. And it should have made John McCain feel shamed at how he has betrayed his own best principles, and Mark Salter should be embarrassed for having revealed his meanness and pettiness in front of everyone.
June 14, 2006
All the Rage -- So today the play war president made a "surprise visit" to Iraq. Like a thief in the night, he snuck in on "an overnight flight". Big Brave Bush had to sneak in because of course he would be a target, like virtually all other Americans who are there. But of course Georgie doesn't have to stay like they do. Too bad for them, eh? The country is just plain not safe for him to be in for much longer than such a clandestine visit, and that shows you how well things are going over there. They can't even guarantee the safety of the president of the United States. Talk about failed states. With Katrina we saw a major aspect of the failed state: the inability to protect its people. But we can't even protect the U.S. president if he's over there. Some mission accomplished. Oregon Live Rove Eludes Criminal Charges -- Herr Rove has once again slipped through the noose, apparently. We are told that the boy will not be mixed up in the CIA agent leak case. Rove is free again to wreak his unique brand of havoc on the world. People's Daily, The Guardian A Mockery of Democracy -- Bob Herbert, who increasingly rises above the dull, heartless prose of establishment media and strikes passionately at the heart of vital issues, wrote about the RFK Jr. article on vote tampering. "The right to vote is supposed to mean something in the United States," Herbert writes. "The idea of going to war overseas in the name of the democratic process while making a mockery of that process here at home is just too ludicrous."
June 15, 2006
Correction: Bush didn't visit Baghdad -- "He visited the fortified 'green zone', where the Anglo-US occupation embassies are and where Iraqi and foreign employees and subcontractors of the occupation reside," writes Haifa Zangana in The Guardian. "Baghdad has been the heart of Iraq for the last 1,244 years. With its classical works in the fields of Qur'anic studies, sciences, arts, literature, music, philosophy, medicine and history, as well as its universal character and its sophisticated intellectual life, it has always been a welcoming oasis for friends - but never for foes. Bush, as a symbol of the Anglo-US occupation, is incapable of understanding this.... We, the occupied, know very well that occupiers speak a different language from us. For instance, women and children killed in the Haditha massacre and many other places in occupied Iraq were called "insurgents" and 'terrorists'." Unwelcome Visitor -- Asia Times Rare Journalistic Bravery -- Why is it so rare for reporters to ask the pressing questions about ongoing flagrant threats to the American Constitution? In any case it is, so it makes it especially appreciated when someone does. See Brian Lehrer take on the vote fraud issue on WNYC Wall Street Not Digging the War -- According to Ken Miller, a senior Wall Street investment banker. Tom Paine
Weekend, June 16, 2006News for Dolts -- Thursday night I saw a bit of CNN, something that I rarely drop in on in my own home. You see enough of it in airports and other public places. I saw the face of Anderson Cooper and I was all ready to like him. He was on the cover of Vanity Fair. He was Gloria Vanderbilt's son, but he showed lots of grit and guts, allegedly, going off to Iraq. Someone said he went into the war zone without the support of any network and then offered his reports to CNN. Reportedly he got a little uppity down in New Orleans and gave a little lip to some of the officials telling the camera everything was under control while Cooper is standing near a dead body that has been there for days. He stepped outside of the boundaries of the ordinary, pampered, smug TV news personality.
So I'm all ready to dig this guy. But there's all this static and confusion spewing out of the TV screen, graphics going in ten directions at once. Some press conference is being shown with all these official looking characters gesturing wildly toward a picture propped on a tripod of some malevolent-looking Arab face staring coldly, and under it is a big red banner: "The next face of evil?"
It was laughable, in a grim way considering the crimes this kind of broadcasting aids and abets. They really are expecting people to buy the idea that (A.) they are supposed to be jubilant about the recent murder of some figure alleged to be practically Satan himself. And now (B.) while the bump in the polls is still fresh from this imagined triumph, we are expected buy the idea that there is now someone else in place of Villain A, who is just as bad, who is barely distinguishable from the last one, in the minds of the dull masses.
It's so ludicrous, it's very difficult to take anything else seriously that might follow on this so-called news station. But then comes Anderson Cooper. There's the face. I've seen it on Vanity Fair. It has credibility. But then he starts talking, and he's using the language of the administration. He is talking about absurdities like "the war on terror", and he's seriously discussing this concept of this next "face of evil". Is this new Arab the new face of evil or not. It's such a ridiculous concept. By the fact that he uses the artificial language of the power structure, he cannot possibly say anything of any value whatsoever. By talking in that language, he is taking on the baggage, the presumptions that the administration uses to justify its grotesque, murderous actions. That system of logic does not allow thoughts that oppose its fantastic premises. As that artificially constructed reality gets farther and farther from reality, it becomes more and more ridiculous to watch and useless for anything but propaganda for the dullest minds.
And yet its pervasiveness and raw force give it the power to mold minds, to create the context in which many people view events. There is no new "face of evil". That's mickey mouse-level thinking. There is no war on terror, its a non sequitir. And there is no war on terrorism. The world's biggest terrorist is George Bush. The war in Iraq was not "a mistake". It was a deliberate pre-meditated crime that was justified to the public with intentional lies and deception. There is no wish by the Bush mob to bring democracy to Iraq or the Middle East, or to allow it anywhere else in the world for that matter, including the United States. The descent of Iraqi civilization into chaos, disorder, sectarian violence and civil war is not something the administration is trying to prevent, it is part of their design and is classical colonial control strategy. And by the way, what ever happened to the original "face of evil", Osama bin Laden? He seemed to be acceptable as a face of evil, but not acceptable as an actual target of public murder, as Zarqawi was. Apparently the business relationships between the Bush and Bin Laden families preclude such drastic behavior in the case of Osama.
Virtually no element of the debate as posed on CNN has any real meaning or value whatsoever, because it refuses to even begin to look at reality beyond the sharply circumscribed language of the rulers. The Bush administration is all about power, the power of a small corporate elite. Beyond its policy of plunder -- capitalism finding "new markets" -- it's all about politics, public relations and propaganda campaigns.
So unfortunately, Anderson Cooper's talent, or dedication, or guts or good intentions are all useless, because he works within that context, accepts the language, the limitations, the system of logic of the power elite. Nothing of value can be accomplished within the limits of that system. That is the purpose of that system.
While we are fooling around with these arcane discussions, like "who is the next face of evil?", we are facing true peril. Hurricane Katrina has shown well the lack of ability or even will of this government to protect its own people in the most fundamental ways. The U.S. is teetering on the brink of catastrophe and all the supposed news media have to offer is all this nonsensical chatter and noise.
The infantile discussion of "who is the next face of evil" is actually the more substantive part of the Bush administration's supposed program. Most of the noise coming out of the White House's propaganda campaigns are even more remote from the perilous realities we face. While any constructive conversations about what to do about global warming are immediately drowned out, we have these plastic politicians screeching about Constitutional amendments about such non-issues as gay marriage and flag burning. Political speeches sound more like sermons, talking about God, and in the most perverse ways, as justification for murder, grand larceny, purgery. All this talk about good and evil and terrorism versus freedom and democracy and bla bla bla is nonsense. And the real perils we face do not allow us the luxury of indulging a bunch of primitive minded madmen run the country into destruction.
This whole evangelical Christian Right Jerry Falwell-Pat Robertson force in politics is whacko. There is nothing among the fundamentalists of Iran that is any weirder, just different. Its fine to have these kinds of people in society, in business, on TV. But we don't need them controlling the government. All this phony morality is completely beside the point. Especially when the purveyors of this alleged morality are only in power because they are the masters of election tampering.
We have to go beyond trying to win the unwinnable arguments posed by the powerful. We have to find a whole new language, a whole new system of logic. And this isn't about liberals versus conservatives or Democrats versus Republicans. It's about the survival of civilization. This is not a dramatic statement. Travel to southern Mississippi and take a look at the post-apocalypse. This is serious stuff.
Gregory Bateson said some 30-40 years ago:
If you put God outside and set him vis-ŗ-vis his creation and if you have the idea that you are created in his image, you will logically and naturally see yourself as outside and against the things around you. And as you arrogate all mind to yourself, you will see the world around you as mindless and therefore not entitled to moral or ethical consideration. The environment will seem to be yours to exploit. Your survival unit will be you and your folks or conspecifics against the environment of other social units, other races and the brutes and the vegetables.
If this is your estimate of your relation to nature and you have an advanced technology, your chances of survival will be that of a snowball in hell. You will die either of the toxic by-products of your own hate, or simply, of over population and overgrazing. The raw materials of the world are finite.
If I am right, the whole of our thinking about what we are and what other people are has got to be restructured. This is not funny, and I do not know how long we have to do it in. If we continue to operate on the premises that were fashionable in the precybernetic era, and which were especially underlined and strengthened during the Industrial Revolution, which seemed to validate the Darwinian unit of survival, we may have 20 or 30 years before the logical reductio ad absurdum of our old positions destroys us. Nobody knows how long we have, under the present system, before some disaster strikes us, more serious that the destruction of any group of nations. The most important task today is, perhaps, to learn to think in the new way.
June 19, 2006
How They Fixed Ohio -- Greg Palast: "Now, itís accepted 2000 pretty much was fixed. Well, thereís a chapter, 'Kerry won.' 2004 was fixed. And the way it was done is that 3.6 million votes were cast and never counted in the United States. That's very important to know. This isnít Greg Palast conspiracy nut stuff ... 3.6 million ballots cast, never counted. And that's because they call these spoiled votes or rejected provisional ballots, 1.9 million so-called provisional ballots, and then, most of those don't get counted. And so, whose votes don't get counted? If it was random, it wouldnít matter. In other words, if these were votes where the machine doesn't record it properly, hanging chads, extra marks on a paper ballot, you had the wrong address on your absentee ballot, etc. Three million ballots. Whose ballots? If you're a black person, the chance your ballot will be technically invalidated is 900% higher than if you're a white voter. Hispanic voter, 500% higher than if you're a white voter. Native Americans, itís like 2,000% higher than if you're a white voter. The overwhelming majority -- and I went to the state of New Mexico, which supposedly Bush won by 5,000 votes, 89% of the ballots were cast out of minority precincts that were thrown away. Kerry won New Mexico. You go into the dumpster, and itís black votes, 155,000 black votes that were chucked away in Ohio. Kerry won those votes. He won Ohio." Democracy Now U.S. Troops Captured by Insurgents -- Now our recruits are subject to capture. Not a good sign at all. Our young people are being sacrificed for a fool's game. BBC
June 20, 2006
FBI: No Hard Evidence connecting Bin Laden with 9/11 -- According to The Muckraker at teamliberty.net, "The Muckraker Report spoke with Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI. When asked why there is no mention of 9/11 on Bin Ladenís listing on the FBI's Most Wanted web page, Tomb said, 'The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Ladenís Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.'Ē Japan Pulling Out of Iraq -- Japan Times , The Guardian
June 21, 2006
Next Step -- Robert Kennedy is meeting with lawyers to devise a litigation strategy against those responsible for election tampering in Ohio. Cincinnati.com Beyond the Political Process -- Bush's warning to "the enemy": "Donít bet on American politics forcing my hand, because itís not going to happenĒ. Shows how much American public opinion matters to him. cqpolitics.com Umbrella Group Opposes U.S. -- An article in freemarketnews.com refers to an "umbrella group that includes Al Qaeda"? What? Is the official myth being altered? Are the characters changing? What is this "umbrella group"? It sounds like a term from the business context, out of place in this chaotic war scene. Is this group just generally people who hate the U.S.? If so, how big is this group likely to get? Will it eventually include nearly all Iraqis? All Middle Easterners? All non-Americans?
June 22, 2006
Chickenhawks Rule -- According to Ann McFeatters, "A few weeks ago, many Senate Republicans were unsure about what to do in Iraq, worried about increasing violence and the weakness of Iraqi leaders. Now, after relentless prodding from the White House, they've all climbed on board the administration's rhetorical bandwagon _ no 'cutting and running.' More people must die in Iraq to justify those killed already. Turning Iraq over to the Iraqis now would be tantamount to surrender, according to Senate Republican leader Bill Frist of Tennessee." Fiddling While Earth Cooks -- "The Earth is running a slight fever from greenhouse gases, after enjoying relatively stable temperatures for 2,000 years. The National Academy of Sciences, after reconstructing global average surface temperatures for the past two millennia, said Thursday the data are 'additional supporting evidence ... that human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming.' Other new research showed that global warming produced about half of the extra hurricane-fueled warmth in the North Atlantic in 2005, and natural cycles were a minor factor, according to Kevin Trenberth and Dennis Shea of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a research lab sponsored by the National Science Foundation and universities." Forbes Lies Upon Lies -- When a CIA agent's identity was leaked to the press, Bush said he would fire anyone who did such a thing. Then, as recounted by David Corn, "In July 2005, Newsweek's Michael Isikoff revealed an e-mail written by Time correspondent Matt Cooper that showed (with no doubt) that Rove—on "double super secret background"—had told Cooper that Valerie Wilson worked at the CIA and had "authorized" the 2002 trip her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had taken to Niger to check out the allegation that Saddam Hussein had been uranium-shopping there. The e-mail was incontrovertible proof that Rove had leaked—that he had passed to a reporter classified information (for Valerie Wilson's employment at the CIA was indeed classified, as special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald would later confirm), while the White House was trying to discredit a White House critic." Dropped -- Allstate is dropping 30,000 homeowners from their insurance coverage in coastal New York, saying it's because it's in the path of a hurricane. Other big insurers are doing the same. Associated Press
June 23, 2006
Crime in the House of Mirrors -- The latest big event in the ongoing Bush-Rove presidential entertainment show is a big production in the form of a supposed thwarted replay of 9/11, this time on the Sears Tower, and this time with a group of seven so-called "homegrown terrorists", who "sought ties to Al Qaida," which means they didn't have them. They sound like a bunch of confused young men who walked into a trap. Their ages are 22-32. They are in Jeb Bush's Florida, where anything can happen if the Bush crime family wishes it, where the state of emergency was declared right before the attacks on 9/11, where the Bush reign was hatched, and on and on and on. This is a well-timed PR campaign, as is virtually every story in the major media about Bush. These people never tell the truth. Don't take the bait.
June 24, 2006
Don't Question Authority -- The great, eloquent, impassioned and angry Mike Malloy takes on Daily Kos for saying in effect: "no more posts on my website speculating on 9/11 unless it's the official story" and Salon.com for attacking discussions about election fraud in Ohio.
June 25, 2006
Rollback to Feudalism -- Have you noticed that the attack on democracy is becoming more overt? It's one thing to get away with massive voter fraud while everyone important just looks away, what the corporatists want is to cast aside all pretense of respecting democratic principles. Why bother to pretend? A group of Republicans from the former Confederate States have come right out in the open and blocked the extension of the Voting Rights Act. See the Voting Rights Action Page to send messages to your representatives in Congress. You can also send a personal message above the essential message to save the Voting Rights Act. Here's mine: "I guess it shouldn't be surprising that the administration that made torture and pre-emptive war U.S. policy should now preside over an attack on the right to vote itself. Why bother to rig elections when you can just deny people the right to vote all together. This is the final straw. These radical reactionaries have to be stopped. Save the Voting Rights Act." Government Drowned in a Bathtub -- If you want to see how bad it can get, check this out. According to bushgreenwatch.org, "Apparently rushing to lock in a long-sought goal before the fall elections, GOP congressional leaders may bring to a vote within weeks a proposal that could literally wipe out any federal program that protects public health or the environment--or for that matter civil rights, poverty programs, auto safety, education, affordable housing, Head Start, workplace safety or any other activity targeted by anti-regulatory forces." If you think the harsh ways of feudalism are deep in the past, don't be so sure. And when millions of Americans driven to desperation engage in some sort of protest, what will they do? Don't worry, they're way ahead of you. They have detention camps all ready. (See Global Research, "FEMA Concentration Camps") Beware the savage storm. Neo-Slavery -- It feels like every day we are being pushed farther down the road to open fascism. We are gradually being conditioned to accept ever more outrageous policies. According to the Associated Press, " Don Goldwater, nephew of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, caused an international stir this week when EFE, a national news agency of Spain, quoted him as saying he wanted to hold undocumented immigrants in camps to use them 'as labor in the construction of a wall and to clean the areas of the Arizona desert that they're polluting.'" Danger Zone -- The New York Times on Robert Kennedy Jr's article on voter fraud. "Another Kennedy Living Dangerously" by Mark Leibovich. No Protection -- Allstate dropped 30,000 homeowners insurance policies in coastal counties of New York, saying they are in the path of a hurricane. Other insurers are following the same course. Associated Press Springsteen/Seeger: Bring 'em Home -- You can see Springsteen and his Seeger Sessions Band on the Conan Show singing "Bring 'em Home" at Crooks and Liars. Good stuff. Check it out.
June 27, 2006
Rush Busted Again -- Right Wing hired liar and drug addict Rush Limbaugh was detained at the Palm Beach Airport on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs. But it's up to the State Attorney's office to press charges and it's Jeb Bush's Florida -- so fat chance. CBS 4
June 28, 2006Is this country out of its collective mind? What is this ridiculousness about flag burning? When is the last time you heard of someone burning a flag? When did a burning of a flag ever hurt anyone or even amount to anything significant? These maniacal puppets in Congress are so desperate to change the subject from the overwhelming problems they are avoiding, or creating, that they can barely think of anything to stand for except to oppose gay marriage, or flag burning, anything that is utterly irrelevant to their real responsibilities, which they are flagrantly failing to live up to.
The story about flag burning laws on CNN.com shows a picture of people with gas masks burning a flag. It's dated inauguration day 2001. Maybe that was the most recent incident they could find a picture of. Gee, some grave threat to our national well being -- someone burned a flag in 2001! Run and hide! Oh God, what next?
CNN offers the opportunity to participate in an online vote about flag burning. "Do you think there needs to be a constitutional amendment banning flag burning?" It asks. Over two thirds -- 68% -- say no. It's inverted. You need approval of two-thirds of the state legislatures to amend the Constitution. Instead you have two-thirds of the population opposing the idiot amendment. Yeah, right, it isn't a scientific poll, just 110,000 of the people who go to CNN's website, not exactly a left-wing bunch. Obviously no one cares about this non-issue. Why should they? Most people have real problems to think about.
So it's not the population that has lost its mind, just the political class, the worms who suck up corporate donations, ram through the corporate agenda and try to distract the attention of their actual constituents so they won't notice how they are being robbed.
Whackosville -- Jay Ambrose of Scripps Howard News Service, writes: "One of these days, if you lose a son, a daughter, a cousin or a good friend in a terrorist attack, blame whoever perpetrated the deed first, but secondly blame The New York Times, whose irresponsibility may have enabled the killers to obtain necessary financing."
So from now on, blame all deaths on the New York Times. The Times has some culpability in helping the Bush administration to run its snow job to get the U.S. into war in Iraq, which Ambrose doesn't mention, but reporting that Bush is just breaking one more law is nothing to get excited about. I had to write a message to Scripps Howard:
Your Jay Ambrose is one very twisted man to blame the New York Times for every future death for reporting some criminal activity of the White House, which it is the Times' responsibility to do.
The Times' report does not stop the White House from illegally searching everyone's financial records, phone calls, e-mails, etc., it only brings public attention to the fact that the White House insists on doing it illegally. It's somehow beneath the White House to seek a warrant, to comply with any checks on its authority. Can't they get a judge to agree that their search is justified? If the White House is so above reproach, what harm is there in the Times reporting it?
Is Ambrose expecting us to believe that it never occurred to some terrorist mastermind that the government might trace his money trails until the Times suggested it? Give me a break!
June 29, 2006A Thing Called Vision -- My daughter was watching a TV show the other night and as I walked by I was caught by a segment. The show was MythBusters. It's peopled by some special effects geeks from Hollywood. They devise wild experiments to test various hypotheses that have some currency as myths. At the moment I caught on to this one they had just finished demonstrating that a diesel engine car can run on used cooking oil.
USED COOKING OIL!!
That's the stuff that owners of Chinese restaurants are getting busted in New York for because they pour so much used cooking oil into the sewers it clogs the drainage system of the city.
WHY ARE WE IN IRAQ???
Could it be that we are allowing ourselves to be led by a gang of greedy, dinosaur minds who are so rigidly locked into barbaric behaviors of violence and plunder that they are preventing us from making such a simple change as pouring the used cooking oil in our cars instead of in the sewers and bringing our kids back from Iraq and letting the Iraqis have their country back.
These guys are bitter old men who schemed all their lives to get in power and now they are there, they are going to get off all the stuff they've been holding in all lives. They're the power nerds: Cheney, Rove, lisping Rumsfeld, raging Junior. They are taking out all their frustrations on all of us.
But if you can run cars on cooking oil, then there isn't the slightest justification for the controlled economy we live in that allows certain big corporations to extract large sums of money from everyone for energy. All we need is a little leadership, just a drop of vision. Cooking oil cars alone could solve our most devastating problems. But that's one idea of trillions. A real leader could harness this country's innovative spirit, help encourage its application to the energy problem, wind power, hydropower, solar power, the tides.
But then the oil giants would lose their monopoly on energy, on the power that runs the country. They would lose their stranglehold on the economic system of the country. They would be less inclined to put massive donations in politicians' coffers. So it's not happening, and we just continue the downward spiral under the regime of crooks. When will we hit bottom and shake the hold of these backward tyrants?
Instead of building a military conquest machine, we could channel that economic and productive energy into rebuilding the infrastructure of the United States. We could re-invest in our people, with programs like the Peace Corp., the Works Project Administration, the G.I. Bill. Why are we letting ourselves be led around by the nose by a bunch of sadistic, sick gangsters?
All we need is just a little inspired leadership. A little touch of integrity. A little bit of soul and heart. Remember when there was such a thing in our culture as vision? It wasn't just a joke. Today Karl Rove being called a genius because he slanders and smears people mercilessly and it helps win elections.
Filthy Lucre -- Check out this great site. opensecrets.org "Your guide to money in the U.S. elections". See where the money comes from, where it goes, and why the politicians don't give a f**k about you. Malloy and Idiot Conservative Mask on CNN -- youtube.com Alberto Gonzales as Jerry Mahoney -- Some gutsy writing in the Washington Post Voting Machines Vulnerable to Fraud -- says a study of the Brennan Center for Justice. USA Today . Why Conservatives Can't Govern -- Alan Wolfe Dump Voting Machines -- Lou Dobbs and 97% of those who participated in a poll on his site vote to disallow e-voting machines until their integrity can be assured. Basic common sense. That's the population. It's just so rare to hear it in the mainstream media. See BradBlog Charlie Sheen -- on Alex Jones' Prison Planet Movie/Reality -- Loose Change 2 will be shown in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn looking out over Manhattan. ny911truth.org Boiling Over -- Has the vote fraud issue finally surfaced in the mainstream? An editorial in the Boston Globe says Investigate the 2004 elections. Kill the Press -- Robert Scheer on Bush's attack on the New York Times for reporting his illegal surveillance of banking records. truthdig