August 4, 2006What a shameful time to be a human being. The fact of evolution is clear enough, but there is no evidence that its direction is toward a higher state, as is arrogantly assumed by those who wish to see themselves as superior to all of history. God what a disgrace it is to be an American in the 21st century, when we are ruled by people who physically and behaviorally resemble pigs more than post-cave human beings.
How sad to have come through the stone age, allegedly, the bronze age, the iron age, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the industrial revolution, the mechanical age, the electronic age, now well into the cybernetic-quantum age, and all the better we can do with all of that is to slaughter other human beings like dogs. What a pathetic excuse for acivilization. What a sad culmination to history.
Haaretz tells us that "The United States and France are nearing completion of a United Nations resolution designed to halt the fighting in Lebanon." These dandies can sit around and quibble about whatever possible reasons anyone can sit and yap about while innocent people are dying. The United States has shredded any remnant of legimitacy, moral authority, even humanity in its international reputation. Who do these fools think they are deceiving?
These men do not display minds worthy of monkeys. A news story today tells of a woman who baked cookies on her dashboard. In one sense it was a puff story, but the ingenuity displayed by that woman was more than the whole pile of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et. al. could generate collectively in a year. A year of more gabbing, more lying, more killing. This woman was making creative use of solar energy. Hmmmmm. Innovation is sure a lot more fun than invading the middle east to keep the old status quo intact, or so they imagine. Nothing will keep it intact. They will destroy themselves or they will destroy America, or both, depending on which comes first. We do not need to be fighting wars for oil. We're a lot smarter than that. This is a kind of sickness, and the U.S. needs to rout it out before it rots the whole country to its core and sends America tumbling down from the world stage in disgrace.
We don't have to put up with this stuff. We are better than this.
And in other news...
The Pentagon Lied to the 9/11 Commission -- In an age of such monumental disgrace, bombshells drop and no one even notices. There's too much going on to make sense of it. The entire country is in the fog of war. It's all war all the time. Global war. War on terror and other emotional states. War of terror. War against logic and common sense. War against humanity. I don't know anymore what is good news and what is bad, but here's a little tidbit from the Washington Post: "Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon's initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public rather than a reflection of the fog of events on that day, according to sources involved in the debate." The Pentagon lied to the 9/11 Commission about how they reacted to the attacks. They made up stories. The Commission knew it and almost took appropriate action. Almost. "Staff members and some commissioners" thought the extent of the deception was enough to constitute a crime. And they were supposed to be a commission looking into the crime of the century -- why wouldn't they take action when they discovered a crime? Apparently they agreed on a "compromise". They let the Pentagon investigate itself. Great solution. I hope that happens to me next time I commit perjury to a federal investigating committee. It's great to live in a democracy. Is that enough news for today? Nighty night.
Twilight of the Hawks -- The Asia Times writes: "The US ruling political elite failed to understand (or deliberately ignored) the real pulse of the post-September 11, 2001, situation when they decided to invade Iraq in 2003, despite repeated opposition from top Pentagon and intelligence officials. The ongoing chaos in Iraq is evidence enough of the dire consequences of this miscalculation. Now, Asia Times Online has learned from contacts both in Lebanon and in the region that Israel, too, has embarked on a military adventure in defiance of warnings from within its establishment of the need for caution. As with Iraq, the consequences could be dire." (Thanks, Rich) All this killing and destruction in Lebanon may feel like a great muscle-flexing exercise for the tough guys in Israel's government, but it's not going to accomplish one bit of its objective.
There is no military solution to the problems of the Middle East. All this killing is for nothing, nothing good. Israel has not vanquished or discredited Hezbollah, it has enshrined it, ennobled it, given it hero status. It's not 1949. Arabs are not going to run and hide from your weapons anymore. That is no longer effective. Your logic of ever greater force when you don't achieve your objectives cannot escalate to victory unless it escalates to utter annihilation. The more you pound on an oppressed people, the more angry you make them, the greater fury you ignite, the greater righteousness you endow them with by making yourself an inhuman villain.
The reductio ad absurdum of that policy of force is the utter annihilation of a people. And with the nuclear equasion as it is now, I fear that that is the direction the U.S.-Israeli axis is heading. Do they think of the consequences? Not very much. They are the personnification of rage, and rage does not fear consequences. These are the Curtis LeMay's who wanted to invade Cuba during the 1962 missile crisis, thinking they could destroy Cuba before Cuba got its missiles. But Cuba already had its missiles (unknown to U.S. intelligence) and the proposed attack would have led to a counter attack using the missiles (As Castro later revealed to McNamara). The logic is use the big weapon on them before they can get it and use it on you. It may be logical, but the acting out of that policy is madness.
August 5, 2006
Bush's current 10-day vacation has ominous overtones. (See Washington Post)It is reminiscent of his August 2001 vacation, the vacation on which he was shown the memo saying that Al Qaeda planned to strike U.S. skyscrapers with airplanes. And yet when it happened a month later he pretended to have never even conceived of such a thing. It's a posture we've seen many times now. Whenever disaster strikes no one ever imagined it. They all maintained the same pretense from the very beginning, as though scripted. They all swore straightfaced that the thought had never crossed their minds. But it later became clear that the defense establishment had thought a great deal about just such scenarios.
Besides the intelligence memo he received in summer 2001 delineating the 9/11 scenario with some precision, Bush had met with other world leaders that summer in Italy and elaborate elaborate precautions had been taken to mount missiles on the building to protect it from possible attack by Al Qaeda using hijacked passenger aircraft. The lie that "no one imagined that terrorists would use planes to attack skyscrapers" was only one of the first of a mountain of lies in connection with the 9/11 attacks. In one of the strangest and creepiest "coincidences" of all, military drills for exactly such a scenario of passenger planes attacking building were planned and carried out on September 11. That was the key to why there was absolutely no military response that day. They all thought it was war games. Hmmmmm.... What a very peculiar coincidence! The very same day.
Bush's approval ratings then, as now, were very low. Not as low as now, but under 50%, low enough that political analysts were wondering aloud what he could possibly do to recover. He had already blown the surplus with his first major tax cut for his rich donors. What was the foolish what-me-worry smirk based on? Didn't he know how bad his political position was? Then on September 11, we discovered what would save him.
Bush later called the attacks his "trifecta". He won big. In August 2001, he had modified his previous promise not to dip into the Social Security fund, adding the conditions: unless America was at war, attacked by terrorists or in recession. Suddenly he got all three -- his trifecta -- so he considered himself free of his promise. Lucky George! Who knows what he was really doing on that month-long vacation just before the attacks. And who knows what he'll be doing on this one? But Bush is so deep in the tank he desperately needs something to pull himself out. I just hope it won't be another attack.
The Decline and Fall of Lieberman -- In Connecticut, the end of Lieberman's senatorial career draws near and it's getting increasingly perverse. Lieberman has lost 28 points in the polls since June! June! It's only the beginning of August! You can imagine the panic in the back rooms of the candidates, especially all those wimps who were unwilling to stand up to the Bush administration as it laid America waste for the last five years. And that's almost all of them.
Lieberman has put out "new advertisements emphasizing his message that voters should see him for more than his vote to authorize the war in Iraq," according to the (New York Times. But that's a bit of a lie. It wasn't just the initial authorization of the use of force that got Connecticut Democrats so riled up at Lieberman.
Kerry wormed out of that one by saying that the initial authorization included requirements for Bush to exhaust diplomatic efforts before using force, which of course he blatantly refused to do once his war fever raised to a certain pitch. Kerry's excuse was not good enough to justify the original authorization. He's not blind and can't pretend to have really believed Bush's bogus claims. But with Lieberman it's not the authorization, but his continuing aggressive support for Bush's war policies.
It got so bad that he went to Iraq and came back and wrote a sunny description of the "progress" in Iraq in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal that said, "There are many more cars on the streets, satellite television dishes on the roofs, and literally millions more cell phones in Iraqi hands than before." According to an article from CBS, it was that op-ed piece that fired up Ned Lamont enough to try to put together a campaign to dethrone Bush's main man in the Democratic party.
When Lieberman got back from Iraq he made a speech adopting the Bush administration "speak out at your own peril theme." Addressing himself to Democrats, as if he were Bush's hit man, he told them not to criticize the president's conduct of the war.
It's Lieberman's just deserts. It's not just about a picture of Bush kissing Lieberman. It's about Lieberman's own best efforts to keep the killing and mayhem in Iraq going, to ward off any interference from the uppity citizenry. Lieberman is just one case out of many in which his actions deserve these results, one time when justice is being served via the democratic process. He's actually being held accountable. Imagine that!
The London Times reports that "Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, one of a number of congressional colleagues who have campaigned for Senator Lieberman in the past week — despite his own opposition to the war — said that a Lamont victory threatened to make the Democrats 'a one-issue party'." A one-issue party is better than a no-issue party. But the Iraq war is not one issue. It's a great many issues rolled up into a ball as big as the ongoing catastrophe. It's an issue of lying by the chief executive. It's a moral issue. It's an economic issue, an issue of corruption, no-bid contracts, mass murder, torture, bad strategy, bad organization, bad diplomacy and on and on and on. What is this "one-issue party" stuff about?
Bill Clinton went and helped his old friend Joe campaign. For what reason, who knows? Lieberman was the Democrat who broke the dam and made it okay for all the Democrats to jump on the sanctimonious, phony morality bandwagon to condemn Clinton for lying about sex to a lynch mob who couldn't find any other way to take Clinton down. Now Clinton is urging Democrats to put the war aside when they vote, and support Lieberman. Why? Why put this, the most horrible issue aside during that one moment in six years when you can register your approval or disapproval of your elected officials -- if you're lucky and the voting machines work, that is. Day after day,year after year these arrogant elitists, who imagine themselves to be some kind of royalty, merrily ignore the needs of their constituents, cater to their corporate donors, pass legislation to enrich them, or support the mad war agenda of Mad Dog Bush -- ! And then once in six years, the voters are supposed to have a chance to cast their one little vote in favor of or against all the votes of their supposed representatives. Put the war aside? For what? Because Joe's so "congenial"? Because he and Dick Cheney were so nice to each other when they debated in 2000? What's it all about?
Fascism on Film -- Aaron Russo, producer of the movie Trading Places,has a new movie called America: Freedom to Fascism. At Google Video you can see an interview with him about his movie, why he made it, and why he didn't shy away from the word "fascism".
August 6, 2006Cataclysmic -- I have a sense that we are watching large movements of history that are now taking place behind the veil of information control media and the general fog of the times, but may soon break out into clear view with dramatic ferocity. Many loose pieces are floating around that if connected, could amount to a sociopolitical earthquake in the U.S. Are we on the verge of one of those historical shifts when all these separate pieces coalesce into a new shape, such as when the Berlin Wall was torn down and the Soviet bloc collapsed? Stay tuned. Watch closely.
9/11 Commission: We're Sorry -- Here's an Associated Press article on a new book about the 9/11 Commission by the leaders of the commission, Republican Thomas Kean and Democrat Lee Hamilton. The book is called Without Precedent,which seems to be a way of apologizing. It was not "without precedent" to have a formal commission appointed to investigate a crime, catastrophe or failure of defense. But there were many aspects of the event and of the government's handling of it that were unrecedented. The title carries an unintentional ironic reference to the savage resistance every step of the way from the Bush administration, which really was unprecedented.
The sabotage of the administration created extenuating circumstances that caused the panel to do a job the authors now feel they must apologize for. Hats off to them for admitting their failings. It shows that even if they were not strong enough to stick to their mandate to the letter against all resistance, at least they are big enough men to admit their failings. They probably feel that history will inevitably see the glaring gaps and they had better acknowledge some now and state their reasons for not doing a better job. When it all gets sorted out with the perspective of history, at least they have put it on the record why they were not intentionally complicit in suppressing the truth.
The authors tell of their frustration at being lied to by authorities in the Pentagon and NORAD. "Fog of war could explain why some people were confused on the day of 9/11, but it could not explain why all of the after-action reports, accident investigations and public testimony by FAA and NORAD officials advanced an account of 9/11 that was untrue," the book says. They proposed a further review of why the departments lied to them, but due to "lack of time", they did not pursue the issues. They left the departments of transportation and defense to investigate themselves for lying to the commission.
The AP article says, "Kean and Hamilton said the commission found it mind-boggling that authorities had asserted during hearings that their air defenses had reacted quickly and were prepared to shoot down United Airlines Flight 93, which appeared headed toward Washington." The choice of the term "mind-boggling" is interesting. It refers to an important feature of this whole Bush period. The Bush assault on the population, the attempt to establish a militant corporate dictatorship, has used mind-boggling as one of its main tools with which to maintain its hold on power.
Hamilton and Keane admit they blew it with Giuliani, giving him a stage for performing his hero act and failing to ask him, as they put it, "tough questions." The stonewalling by the administration was also "without precedent" surely. What other administration in history could ever have been so blatantly corrupt as to try to stymie such an important investigation?
The handling of Giuliani was a wimping out that costs the republic dearly, a profile in lack of courage at a critical moment. According to the AP article, "Commission members backed off, Kean and Hamilton said, after drawing criticism in newspaper editorials for sharp questioning of New York fire and police officials at earlier hearings. The editorials said the commission was insensitive to the officials' bravery on the day of the attacks."
Kean and Hamilton wrote, "It proved difficult, if not impossible, to raise hard questions about 9/11 in New York without it being perceived as criticism of the individual police and firefighters or of Mayor Giuliani." Biting the bullet and doing the dirty work that needed to be done would have served the nation much better, but alas, it is not a time of courage in public life, only phony PR bluster as demonstrated by Chickenhawk George and his Merry Boy-Men.
These men failed at the job they were entrusted to do. They did not get to the bottom of what happened. Left most questions unanswered, created untenable explanations for what obviously did happen, didn't even follow the money trail but just left it dangling with a poor excuse about it not really mattering. But even the part of the book referred to in this article makes clear that they were working under the most severe of limitations with the Bush administration and its cronies stopping them at every step. Their motivations for putting out the book are probably to justify themselves, but they have performed a public service by admitting that the investigation was far from adequate. This paves the way for a more thorough investigation. But that may be impossible until the Bush administration is out of the way.
August 8, 2006Oh Boy Oh Boy, boys and girls, do we have a great show tonight! Oh my. It's a strange strange world out there, getting stranger all the time.
Best Laid Plans -- Biometric passports, in which the British government invested over 400 million pounds because they were supposed to be "more secure" with their chips that can store fingerprints, face scans, and other info, have been cracked, can now be cloned and copied. This is a funny story, a Keystone Kops government story, but it's also more important than that. It means that the government's plans to mark everyone digitally so you can be completely controlled has been dealt a setback. (See Aaron Russo) It is the random element stepping in to throw off the perfect totalitarian scheme. It is nature protecting us, protecting itself because we are part of nature. It's Hermes the trickster fooling with the best-laid plans. Those Dick Cheney Tri-Lateral Commission World Totalitarian State visionaries are thwarted by nature itself. Their visions of world domination encounter nature's defiance, its refusal to be controlled. Pocket Lint The Real Deal -- Robert Fisk, one of the few real reporters you will hear from the middle east and a resident of Lebanon for over a decade, wrote that now that UN ceasefire agreement has gone public it is clearly established who writes U.S. foreign policy: Israel. The Independent One important element that needs to be introduced into this Middle East debate and kept front and center is that the arguments cannot be framed racially. All races, just as all individuals are equal before the law and morality. And when people try to do that it creates a lot of confusion that is advantageous to the archcriminals who prosecute war. When people talk about Israel, or criticize Israel, it is the criticism of a government and its policies. It helps to know that there are very clear, courageous and cogent voices of dissent coming from the Jewish population in Israel. Israeli peace activist, Uri Avnery, writes, "Is Beirut Burning?" at MENA FN.com. Avnery writes incisively and commandingly about the profoundly misguided policies of the Israeli government. And he cannot be easily dismissed as an antisemite. "The Chief-of-Staff announced last week with satisfaction: 'The army enjoys the full backing of the government!' That is also an interesting formulation. It implies that the army decides what to do, and the government provides 'backing'. And that's how it is, of course. Now it is not a secret anymore: this war has been planned for a long time. The military correspondents proudly reported this week that the army has been exercising for this war in all its details for several years. Only a month ago, there was a large war game to rehearse the entrance of land forces into South Lebanon - at a time when both the politicians and the generals were declaring that 'we shall never again get into the Lebanon quagmire. We shall never again introduce land forces there.' Now we are in the quagmire, and large land forces are operating in the area." Avnery is wise and courageous and his biting commentary reveals the bankruptcy of the government's ideology of killing. He writes, "That is one of the problems of the military mentality. Talleyrand was not wrong when he said that 'war is much too serious a thing to be left to military men.' The mentality of the generals, resulting from their education and profession, is by nature force-oriented, simplistic, one-dimensional, not to say primitive. It is based on the belief that all problems can be solved by force, and if that does not work - then by more force." More Israeli Dissent -- Writing in Haaretz Bradley Burston says, "Israel is losing World War III". For more on the dissent in Israel, see the Washington Post: "Israel's news media, intellectual elite and public are starting to question the judgment of the country's political and military leadership." Israel does not act or speak for every Jew -- by Andrew Benjamin. monabaker.com Oh, and By the Way, the Pentagon didn't lie to the 9/11 Commission, says the Pentagon, not intentionally, anyway. Gosh, what a surprise! Well that sure clears things up. I sure feel a lot better about it. (See Washington Post) Meanwhile back in Connecticut, Joe Lieberman and his white-haired Democratic party establishment allies, Chris Dodd, Bill clinton, etc. are twisting everything every which way to come up with a way to frame Lieberman's support for the war and the whole mad Bush agenda, but no way they frame it does it sound any good. Keep him in there, he's been a good guy for a long time. If we send a newcomer to Washington, he might not know his way around and be able to get things done as well, they say. But get what done? How effective someone is is only relevant if they are trying to do what you want them to do. Lieberman's been very effective at pushing the aggressive, misguided, lying Middle East policy of the Neocons. That war is tearing our country apart, draining our resources, earning us hatred around the world. And he supports it, has staunchly supported it, will keep supporting it, sending our young people to kill Iraqis or be killed by them for some horrible world domination vision of a bunch of parlor intellectuals who have never seen a real war. This war is a litmus test. Those who want to continue this war are not the friend of the working people of America. According to the latest poll, Lieberman picked up several points over the last week. It's a pretty normal leveling out process no matter who is ahead. All Lamont has to win by is one point, if the machines work, but don't count on it. Dear Vidal -- Interviewed in The Progressive "The people don't matter to this gang. They pay no attention. They think in totalitarian terms. They've got the troops. They've got the army. They've got Congress. They've got the judiciary. Why should they worry? Let the chattering classes chatter. Bush is a thug. I think there is something really wrong with him." Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict -- by Jews for Justice in the Middle East
August 9, 2006The Spoiler -- Joe lost, and now he's suddenly the guy who's tired of the partisan bickering in Washington, so he's going to fix it by becoming non-partisan, i.e. running as an independent. What a clever play in a game of logic, but how ridiculous in the real world. How pompous he looked as he framed this legalistically worded explanation for why he's going to run as an independent. He's going to run as an independent because it's too late to get on the ballot as a Republican, which would have made the most sense. If he goes through with it, the question is, which side will he draw more votes from? A lot of Democrats will not like the idea of voting for a man who would rather cut the baby in half than give up his claim on it. When faced between splitting the Democratic vote and therefore letting the Republican party get the seat, may choose not to vote for Lieberman. I'm betting on Lamont, not because of him personally as much as because he represents what the vast majority of Americans really want, as opposed to what Lieberman and almost everyone else in Congress represents, which is the agenda of the massive corporations.
This is big stuff. Getting three-time senator and elected vice president Joe Leiberman out of office is an enormous movement. Lieberman was defeated by a nobody. Ned Lamont was nobody a little while ago. He is only where he is because Lieberman's betrayal of his constituency was so profound and created so much bitterness in Connecticut, it finally erupted in a paroxysm that overthrew Lieberman. He thought he had so much stature that he could do anything. But he supported bad programs that his constituents hated. He sold out.
This election is sending a shockwave through the political world.
August 10, 2006The First and Second Nuclear Holocausts -- August 6 or August 9 should never go by without mention of the nuclear holocaust of Japan in Hiroshima and Nagasaki on those dates. Especially not this year. We have probably never been closer to a nuclear catastrophe than we are with lunatics like Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld in control of the world's most massive military machine.
If I ruled the world for one day I would make sure every American had to go to the Hiroshima Peace Museum and the Hiroshima Peace Park. In the park there is still a single structure that was right under ground zero at the time of the blast, it's a sort of Daily Planet building with a globe on top, gutted and turned into an incinerated skeleton by the atom bomb, a baby bomb compared to what these maniacs now command. It burned like the sun and killed 140,000 in no time, leveled the predominantly wooden structures of the city. On the granite steps of a bank you can still see the ashy silhouettes of people who were turned to dust with the blast. When you hear Rumsfeld, Cheney, etc. talking about using nuclear weapons, don't go to sleep. This is extremely serious.
Very Very Unordinary -- To hear CNN disdainfully talk about Cynthia McKinney: "Despite her defeat, McKinney was unbowed, unleashing a stemwinder of a concession speech in which she barely mentioned her opponent but praised leftist leaders in Cuba and Venezuela, took aim at the efficacy of electronic voting machines and offered several swipes at the media"... She sounds like -- a relief! From the conventional small-minded conformity of the writer of the article, a dutiful employee of CNN, adopting the obligatory tone of scorn toward anyone who talks about "leftist" leaders, who mentions the fact that voting machines are about as reliable as writing on water. She doesn't sound so bad. In His Own Mind -- Leiberman announced his intention to run as an independent Democrat, saying he's "not going to let this stand", speaking with great fanfare and the standard political flourishes, but what is he saying? None of it really makes sense. He says he's doing it because he's tired of the partisanship of Washington, even his action in no conceivable way reduces the partisanship. What he is doing is refusing to accept the democratic statement of what used to be his party. He didn't mind being in the party when it supported him. Of course now it has resoundingly rejected him, so he thinks he may have a better chance with some Democrats and some Republicans. But his gesture of defiance against the Democratic party now, only solidifies the impression of many that he was more of a Republican than a Democrat anyway. But what he really reflects is the ideology of the corporatist. He has no respect for the will of the voters. Now one wonders, will he bring Karl Rove into the action and get some good smearing schemes happening. When Lieberman started comlaining that his computer had been hacked it was reminiscent of a classic Rove strategy in which you pretend a Watergate-style crime has been committed against you. It turned out there was no basis to Lieberman's claim to have been hacked. Look for more Rovian tactics from you, possibly from Rove himself. None of these corporatists want Lamont to win. It's very very important to them to destroy the symbolism of hope that Lamont represents to many people who have been marginalized and locked out of the political system. And we are no longer talking about just the poor, we are talking about the middle class. One possibility is that Lieberman will take votes from the Democratic nominee. But he just as well may take them from the Republican side. Right now you have three candidates, one anti-war, anti-Bush agenda, and two others who must align themselves with the war, and at least a good portion of the Bush agenda. That mathematics in a strongly antiwar, antiBush state may turn out to work best for Lamont. (See "Democrats rally around Lamont) The Antiwar Rabble -- The way the establishment media frame the discussion equates "antiwar" with "leftist" and characterize it as some extremist fringe movement. Joe Conason makes some great points: " The fundamental argument of the propagandists is that opposition to the war in Iraq represents an obsession of the far-left fringe, and that the Democrats will be destroyed by any attempt to extricate our troops from the quicksand. That claim is easily refuted by every reputable survey of public opinion over the past year. Support for the Bush administration's conduct of the war, and for the President himself, has been declining steadily, in fact, since the end of 2004. And every anchorperson, pundit and squawking head seeking to suggest otherwise is either inexcusably ignorant or purposely lying."
August 11, 2006Loserman -- Strange how quickly things transmute. In the instant that Lieberman declared that he was going to run as an independent, he went from a loser to a villain. He lost whatever was left of his credibility in a single stroke.
Suddenly he was upset because partisanship was making it "impossible to get anything done." Why was that not a problem before he lost the election? If he really felt that way, why did he not file as an independent in the first place? No, when he thought he could win, he was willing to play the game. Now that he has been ousted through the legal and customary democratic process, he suddenly decides that he is tired of "partisanship" so he's "not going to let it stand" as he said. Not going to let what stand? The vote of the Democratic party.
Now he is openly attacking the Democractic party, making it likely that the senate seat will go to a Republican at a time when every Republican vote is hastening rapidly the dismantling of the republic, ironically. Once it was established that he could not win the election legally, even with the counsel of Karl Rove, who probably suggested the phony hacked computer scandal, he is now coming out with his real sympathies. He does not represent the Democratic party voters of Connecticut, or even of America at large. He represents corporate interests, lobbies, like the Israeli lobby. If he loses his seat, he loses his job as their front man, their agent. Like those he is on the payroll of, he doesn't care about elections or the popular will, only about power, control.
The big wigs in the Democratic party are now, properly, turning on him. They're coming out in support of Lamont, even if they supported Lieberman. Now that he is a foe, Democrats are challenging his right to sit on congressional committees, and properly so. You can't have it both ways.
He lost the election, but he could have kept some dignity by reacting to it with some grace. He could have come back as a Republican and probably done something. But now he's casting himself in a very bad light. He's looking worse every day.
August 13, 2006
Time for Them to Go -- According to the London Times , Mike McCurry, White House press secretary during Bill Clinton’s presidency, said: “The very idea of centrism is under attack now in the party. We have our own loony left too.” Loony left? This is how they refer to Lamont. Why? Because he opposes the war in Iraq. As do two thirds of the American people. That's "loony" to centrism, according to McCurry. If that's centrism, maybe it is time for it to go.
Cheney, Lieberman, etc. are jumping on this report of a foiled terrorist plot to somehow link it to the victory of Lamont. Somehow they are able to convince people that Americans are safer with all this insane warfare. What is that idea based on? There is nothing to back it up in reality.
The Triumph of Politics -- According to MSNBC the U.S. pushed the U.K. to go public with the news about the foiled terror in order to use it politically. "In contrast to previous reports, the [Bush administration] official suggested an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports." Less Safe Every Day -- mediamatters.org quotes Lieberman saying, "If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out [of Iraq] by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England. It will strengthen them and they will strike again." Says who? The catastrophic failure of the war in Iraq, of Bush's whole phony "war on terror" definitely weakens the U.S. Every day it drains more of the nation's vital force, overextends its military and economic resources, destroys its standing in the world. How does "staying the course" create any benefit for anyone? Except maybe Halliburton. They say these absurd things that have no proof, no reinforcement or evidence in reality. It's all a big fantasy, the idea that Bush's drive for world domination somehow makes Americans safer. It's obviously, patently untrue. The rage against America is growing every day around the world, and that makes Americans targets, targets of the frustrations whose lives, families, countries are being destroyed by U.S. aggression, or in the case of Lebanon, U.S.-supported aggression by Israel. Lieberman's Folly -- Paul Krugman effectively deconstructs the ludicrous claim that Lieberman is "sensible". Lieberman, Krugman writes, "has been wrong at every step of the march into the Iraq quagmire — all the while accusing anyone who disagreed with him of endangering national security. Again, on what planet would Mr. Lieberman be considered 'sensible'? But I know the answer: on Planet Beltway." Lieberman and his allies say, "Pay no attention to the fact that I was wrong and the critics have been completely vindicated by events — I'm 'sensible,' while those people are crazy extremists. And besides, criticizing any aspect of the war encourages the terrorists." And back in the real world, "There's an overwhelming consensus among national security experts that the war in Iraq has undermined, not strengthened, the fight against terrorism. Yet yesterday Mr. Lieberman, sounding just like Dick Cheney — and acting as a propaganda tool for Republicans trying to Swift-boat the party of which he still claims to be a member — suggested that the changes in Iraq policy that Mr. Lamont wants would be "taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England."Don't Count the Votes -- Lopez Obrador: "Denying Mexican voters a full recount is an admission of guilt"
August 14, 2006
Lieberman's catastrophic drop in polls from June to August was a signal of a much larger movement. Check out the poll results at MyWay.com The "Anti-War Jihadist Left" -- Amazing how Lamont's victory is being attributed to "'netroots': the grassroots, anti-establishment, anti-war Left" the "'jihadist' Left" as they are referred to in an article in The Australian. Who are these people, this majority who unseated a three-term senator with a political unknown? This "jihadist left", the "blogosphere" and so forth are really just the American people, the two-thirds who oppose Bush's phony-war-turned-catastrophe. The Internet is just a medium of communication for people who have been locked out of participation in civic affairs and assigned to invisibility in the corporate media propaganda machines. So in those media, that mainstream of America, the sensible ones who are not afraid to fight a war for something vitally important but see only a huge mess for no purpose in Iraq, suddenly become rabid extremists, "jihadists", a label that has no basis at all except as a smear. How long will the media try to play this line of attack before its ridiculousness will be so clear they will have to drop it? The Beloved Cheney Emerges from His Bunker -- With his towering 18% approval ratings, Cheney is a suitable spokesman for the Republican party's catastrophic policies, so he becomes the perfect one to accuse Lamont of enabling if not actually causing the bombing attack allegedly thwarted by British authorities. Bush and Cheney, who have run the country into a dead end with incompetence and corruption, of course have nothing to do with the horrific state of affairs we now find ourselves in. It's that damned left-wing jihadist liberal fascist millionaire Ned Lamont. Boston Globe
August 16, 2006Nutso -- I would hate to have to endure being called "unamerican", but I do think this country is crazy. Actually the rank-and-file Americans are not so crazy. They're pretty much sensible, regular people trying to get by. It's the elite culture, or rather the perverse message of the elites to the regular people.
I don't think a lot of the regular people really do buy the message of the corporate media, but even if they only accept a tiny portion of what they say as real, that's a huge amount of BS. It's such a mountain of falsehood piled upon falsehood. You just have to wonder how high it can be piled before it keels over from its own weight and stench.
In these airline security policies the rubber hits the road with the Bush regime's outrageous fantasy of what is happening in the world running hard into reality. Where do we reach the reduction ad absurdum of the U.S.' fraudulent foreign policy? The one in which America was attacked by "Islamo-fascists" who "hate us because we are free?"
The current increase of hassles for travelers is just one more step farther in the absurd unworkability of the Bush-Cheney policy of war on the world. The neocon fantasy that the U.S. can rule the world is clearly untenable. You cannot fence off the U.S. and keep all potential threats out. At some point you have to address the reasons for the rage against the country.
Meanwhile, they are taking my tweezers, and now they are taking my shampoo, in order to protect America, allegedly, against another attack by a handful of Arabs with boxcutters, but they are not protecting against any threats that have not already been (allegedly) carried out. They are not screening the cargo that comes into the ports. They are not screening much of the checked baggage in the hold. There is no way anyone can make a case for that system really making America safe from attack. The proposition is laughable. Of course that doesn't stop Bush, Cheney, etc. to try to keep making the case. Stay the course, they say, Lieberman says. Keep doing what we are doing that is failing so catastrophically. Yeah. Put your faith in these thugs that mugged their way into power, engage in massive voter suppression schemes, offer no hint of any vision for the future, except for the future earnings of Halliburton and a few dozen other multinational corporations. Stay the course. Hang in there while they dismantle what remains of your rights and your economic stability.
Is there anyone left that is that misguided? Anyone who still believes in these guys, besides the corporations who actually profit from their reign?
This is a country where an image of a baby nursing at a mother's breast (no nipple!) on a magazine on parenting can create a torrent of outrage. And yet if you turn on TV you're likely to run into some commercials promoting viagra, talking about erectile dysfunction -- actually harping on it to get you used to the idea so you'll get over any self consciousness about buying the product -- and where is the outrage?
A picture of a cute baby feeding at a healthy human breast drives some of these people who imagine themselves to be righteous into fits. And the FCC is putting their kind of prudishness into their policies, which will levee huge fines on networks who allow something "obscene" like a female breast at the mouth of a baby or a "dirty word" into a broadcast. But the advertisers can talk about erections and sell products to old men who can't get them, that's okay. That makes money for the big pharmaceutical corporations, so it's okay.
A baby feeding at a breast is not even a sexual act, but what other meaning can you construe about a viagra ad that talks about erectile dysfunction? It's about screwing, and nothing else. There is no other possibility; there is no "redeeming social value." Is there? What is it? Can you name it?
Of course if it makes money for an appropriately large and powerful corporation, it's okay. No FCC thugs at the door. You're in the club. You can say whatever you want, even sell a sexual stimulant to people whose only health problem is that they can't engage in sex.
No wonder no one outside of the U.S. media propaganda system can understand Americans. And not only is their understanding running out, their patience is wearing thin. If the Bush administration continues to drain the U.S. economic system, it will soon become an irrelevant country.
Meanwile the corporate media keeps trying to sell its drama that "they hate us because we're free", that the "war president" is somehow protecting America from this blurry enemy with a constantly changing face. That voters who repudiated Joe Lieberman at the polls are "jihadists", extremists, leftists, and Lieberman is "sensible", "moderate". That the candidate for president of Mexico that is demanding a careful recount of the votes is a "leftist". Since the corporate media monopoly makes sure it's almost all any American ever hears, many give it some vague credence until the Bush catastrophe comes knocking on their door. Like if the National Guardsmen who signed up for an abundance of educational and career opportunities in return for standing by to defend your country against actual threats, and then end up a pawn in the neocons plan for global domination, doing one extended tour in Iraq after another in a war that can't be won. Or the people on the Gulf Coast whose lives and homes were destroyed by Katrina, and found that there was no helping hand up there, no one to urge the insurance companies to live up to the spirit of their contracts with people who have been paying into their systems for a generation, no return for the taxes they've paid all their lives. No, sorry, that money is going for the war against Iraq. The war for some reason or other. That's what took your money, your pension, your insurance coverage, your job, you name it.
When it starts impinging on your own life, then you start to see through the lies. For many people, the meathead "security" policies the airlines are now forced to go through the motions of, are that point. Enough is enough.
August 17, 2006
Indentity -- Bush is "crap", said the deputy prime minister of Great Britain. The Independent Michael Schiavo wrote a book. "I had to remind people that what this government did to me, they can do to you.” AOL/New York Times According to Zogby, Bush's approval ratings dropped after the alleged foiled terrorist attack in the U.K. People might just be on to him now so the old scare-'em-up-Rove stuff might not work anymore. When these guys can't scare everyone anymore, what will they do? The UK Terror Plot, But Really -- From an intelligence analyst. "None of the alleged terrorists had made a bomb. None had bought a plane ticket. Many did not even have passports, which given the efficiency of the UK Passport Agency would mean they couldn't be a plane bomber for quite some time."Craig Murray
August 20, 2006
The Rules Are Only for You -- The New York Times reports "Truce Strained as Israelis raid Lebanon site". That's beautiful. Really well put. When you declare a truce, then go ahead and attack anyway, that strains the truce. If a boxer waits until the bell and his opponent drops his hands and then he knocks the guy's teeth out, that would strain the rules of the game. I suppose his referees would frown upon that kind of strain. If my parole officer tells me to stay within New Jersey and I go to Beijing, I guess I'm straining my parole. Wonder if my parole officer will appreciate my phraseology. The breaking of this truce is as unjustifiable as the whole so-called war. Israel explained that the attack was to "disrupt terrorist activities against Israel and to prevent arms from being transported to Hezbollah from Iran and Syria." Oh, okay. Can the other side attack too? Or is it just okay for Israel? It's not terrorism if Israel does it, only if "the enemy" does. Great foundation for world justice. Same with Federal Law -- After a federal judge ruled Bush's flagrant violation of existing laws with his wiretapping program and ordered it shut down, what will he do? This group has rarely ever bowed to any authority, it's hard to imagine it beginning now. I can see Cheney now saying it would "send the wrong message" if Bush bowed to the authority of the courts. SF GAte
August 22, 2006George W. Bush in a press conference shown on CSpan last night, one very angry man. Bush is a man who has carried volcanic rage with him since he was a child. When a federal judge ruled that his domestic spy program is against the law, the judge essentially restated what Bush himself had publicly admitted, but it sure pissed off George. In the press conference he wasn't even vaguely attempting to pretend he's a nice guy. He was Bush in full fury mode. A reporter asked him about the federal court decision that dealt him a stinging defeat, and Bush's fury was unleashed. I strongly disagree with the decision, he said. When you ask someone to protect you, you have to give them the tools, he said that's why I've directed the Justice Department to appeal the decision immediately. He seemed like he was barely restraining himself from leaping over the podium and ripping the reporter's heart out with his bare hand, then eating it while it was still beating! But he restrained himself, then abruptly turned and left. He does not like being defied. We'll see where this ends up. Why should he worry when he has the Supreme Court in his pocket? Or does he?
Read about the press conference: : The text, The Nation; Editor & Publisher; WSWS
August 23, 2006
Utterly Mad -- Now Bush is saying, "We're not leaving, so long as I'm president!" what? Where did that come from? How did we get from "Mission Accomplished" to that? The lunatics are definitely running the asylum. Words with no Meaning -- As the LA Times says, "Finish What Job? ... President Bush emphasized no fewer than 10 times in his news conference Monday that U.S. forces would not leave Iraq 'before the job is done.' It's a clever piece of rhetoric, appealing to Americans' sense of duty as well as their pride. Just one question: What was that job again? Is it to end the sectarian violence in Iraq? Prevent terrorists from flocking to the United States? Bring democracy to Iraq and thus provide a beacon for reformers throughout the Middle East? All of the above, apparently — and then some. Previous rationales, such as locating Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and avenging 9/11, are no longer convincing even to the president..." The Extremist Majority -- Now only a third of Americans support Bush's war in Iraq. CNN Security Hokum -- The International Herald Tribune : "Ever since British intelligence did such a masterly job in rounding up terrorists intent on blowing up airliners, the Bush administration has relentlessly tried to divert attention from the disintegration in Iraq and focus instead on its supposed prowess in protecting the United States against terrorist attacks. That ploy ought not to wash. While the administration has been pouring its energies and money into Iraq, it has fallen far behind on steps needed to protect America." Forget Democracy in Iraq -- The Bush administration is "considering alternatives other than democracy," says the New York Times. Read about it in The Progressive.
August 25, 2006
Cruelly Honest -- Norman Solomon gives a very sober assessment of where we're at right now at truthout.org. Solomon refutes some of the optimism seen in some editorial writers. Frank Rich wrote on August 11, 2005, an essay called "Someone Tell the President the War Is Over"in which he said,"The country has already made the decision for Mr. Bush. We're outta there." And yet a year later, Solomon asks, are we outta there? Public opinion be damned, the Bush administration is going ahead with its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while it plans and propagandizes for an attack on Iran. And furthermore, is there any sign of an opposition leader that we can have a prayer will be able to have any inhibiting effect whatever on the corporate war machine? Nothing to write home about. Not yet.
Weekend, August 27, 2006
Doubletalking Joe -- What a way with language Joe Leiberman has! He has that silver-tongued devil's talent of making everything he does sound noble and high-minded. Now that he's trying to join the Repubicans without losing his Democratic party supporters, he has to parse his words very carefully, taxing his talent for doubletalk to the max. When he was denied the nomination by Democrats, he suddenly complained about partisan bickering in Congress, and his attack on the Democratic candidate was framed as a gesture of unity, conciliation, so we could "get things done". "Things" means the New World Order agenda, which is obviously not for everyone. In fact it's blatantly in opposition to almost everyone in the world except a small elite, whom Joe represents, for whom he is a very smooth-talking hitman. Now as he pointedly refuses to help Democrat candidates for Congress while trying not to draw attention to his new affiliation with the Republicans, he tells reporters that he is not supporting Democrats because he is a "noncombatant". Oh great! That's just what Connecticut needs in the Senate, a "non-combatant". Actually it is quite clear that he is a combatant for the New World Order, not a "noncombatant", not a "nonpartisan", not an "independent". That's all meaningless, diversionary crap. Hats off to the New Haven Independent for looking closely at Joe's words and what they really mean. Joe is sure not going to tell you himself. How to Watch the News -- Don't bother with the crap on Fox and CNN. Go right to the essence of the events with acute analysis of John Stewart. A news broadcast that lets you laugh instead of cry. You don't even have to wait until it's on TV, you can go right to it at youtube.com. Check out "Bush blames Iraq on bad accounting". Music Video -- Katrina Ferrer made a great music video out of a song by Pink,"Dear Mr.President." Great stuff, check it out at Youtube.com Is Bush an Idiot? -- A great series of Bushisms on tape. And another: "Bush at his Best". Heavyweight Match -- Michael Moore went on the Bill O'Reilly show on the condition that it would not be edited and Moore would be allowed to ask questions of O'Reilly too. Quite an intense battle of wills and minds. It's from around the time Moore's film Fahrenheit 911, so seeing it now is a striking historical perspective. At that time 900 American soldiers had died. Check it out. Part 1:, Part 2:. O'Reilly ran the episode, he probably felt he looked okay. Of course he could package it in the O'Reilly format and also introduce it and sum it up, giving it the "No Spin" spin. Still, his arguments look awfully lame, especially at this juncture, when all of the things he was standing for then look even more disastrous now than they did then. 9/11 for Gumwrappers -- And one more video for your day's viewing. If you have 2 minutes and 33 seconds, check out a very quick take on the weirdness of 9/11. "The Smoking Guns of 9/11"
August 26, 2006
King Frat Rat -- Unbelievable! Really! It's nearly inconceivable the situation we now find ourselves in with a "president" who is known among his staff for flatulence jokes. The first person to make giving the finger a presidential trademark has now become the first president in living memory to be known for his particular fondness for fart humor. We're not talking just about jokes about farting, which would be plenty stupid for the leader of the nation, but actually doing it as a joke. Here's the report in U.S. News & World Report, a conservative newsweekly: "Animal House in the West Wing -- He loves to cuss, gets a jolly when a mountain biker wipes out trying to keep up with him, and now we're learning that the first frat boy loves flatulence jokes. A top insider let that slip when explaining why President Bush is paranoid around women, always worried about his behavior. But he's still a funny, earthy guy who, for example, can't get enough of fart jokes. He's also known to cut a few for laughs, especially when greeting new young aides, but forget about getting people to gas about that." Presidential Performance Art -- At Youtube.com, you can catch John Stewart's analysis of Bush's recent press conference. You have to see this! This is the way to catch the news. Stewart's presentation of the day's events is one of the only places where the treatment of the events is appropriate. This is Bush as he really is, without the news stooges to prop him up and try to make him look like a legitimate leader.
August 27, 2006
Coming Apart at the Seams -- Various expert opinion is confirming what common sense should tell us: with the Bush administration concentrating all of the nation's resources on its Project for a New American Century conquest of the world, the maintenance of the country's basic operating systems is being neglected, and it's starting to catch up to us. The billions going into the hopeless enterprise in Iraq a being pulled out of America at great cost to the welfare of the people. But as we have seen over and over, most vividly with Katrina, the Bush administration has no interest in the welfare of the people. George W. Bush, who never worked for anything, but inherited great wealth and privilege has an undeveloped sense of the value of what he has walked into. It's just another toy for him to play with and he can run it down and cast it aside as he did so many companies in his years of "youthful indiscretion". A report in the Seattle Times lists some of the warnings from experts. Here is what the Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gassett wrote about it in 1929. "Nature is always with us. It is self supporting... Civilization is not 'just there', it is not self supporting. It is artificial and requires the artist or the artisan. If you want to make use of the advantages of civilization, but are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done. In a trice you find yourself left without civilization. Just a slip and when you look around everything has vanished into air. The primitive forest appears in its native state..." Ortega couldn't have described our situation better if he had been here, instead of writing between the World Wars. Perhaps elements of history do repeat. Ortega continues, "The spoiled child is the heir who behaves exclusively as a mere heir. In this case the inheritance is civilization -- with its conveniences, its security; in a word, with all its advantages... It is sufficient to recall the ever-recurrent fate which constitutes the tragedy of every hereditary aristocracy. The aristocrat inherits, that is to say, he finds attributed to his person conditions of life which he has not created, and which therefore are not produced in organic union with his personal, individual existence. At birth he finds himself installed, suddenly and without knowing how, in the midst of his riches and his prerogatives. In his own self he has nothing to do with them because they do not come from him... So in the'aristocratic' heir his whole individuality grows vague, for lack of use and vital effort. The result is that specific stupidity of 'our old nobility' which is unlike anything else -- a stupidity which, strictly speaking, has never yet been described in its intimate, tragic mechanism -- that tragic mechanism which leads all hereditary aristocracy to irremediable degeneration." There it is. There is our situation, America. Are we going down with the Bush ship? Or are we pushing these fools overboard? Tell It Like It Is -- Jimmy Carter said he's disappointed in Tony Blair's "subservience" to Bush. Carter said, "I have been surprised and extremely disappointed by Tony Blair's behaviour. I think that more than any other person in the world the Prime Minister could have had a moderating influence on Washington - and he has not. I really thought that Tony Blair, who I know personally to some degree, would be a constraint on President Bush's policies towards Iraq."Telegraph.co.uk Out of the Kitchen -- As George W. visits the family estate in Kennebunkport, Maine, an estimated 600 protesters gathered outside demanding a withdrawal from Iraq, carrying signs with messages like: "Hey George, while you're golfing and fishing, kids are dying. Sleep well," and "We were misled and tens of thousands are dead."alertnet.org Angry Military Families -- Heat was also turned up on Don Rumsfeld in Fairbanks, Alaska, as families whose husbands and fathers had been expected home after a year in Iraq responded in anger to news that the tour had been extended. LA Times American Fuhrer -- Bush claims to be "responsible for the U.S.government". The Consitution says otherwise. Correntewire.com
August 31, 2006
The Al Gore Revival -- The only viable Democratic candidate for president in sight. Brent Budowsky writes on Huffington Post, "Imagine this: a President of the United States with vast domestic and international experience who would aspire to unify the American people, uplift a reformed American politics, and inspire friends of freedom and democracy everywhere. Imagine: a President who would assume office with commander in chief quality experience who would be trusted on matters of war and peace; and with a temperament that respects the breadth and diversity of the American Family and brings people together in common cause." Right Words, Wrong Application -- Rumsfeld, a contender for the title of World's Most Unpleasant Man, the pedantic, squinting, arrogant, greasy Rumsfeld, is somehow being marched out as some sort of ambassador for the administration. Who on earth is expected to be persuaded by this charmer? In this article by AP writer Robert Burns Rumsfeld is quoted as saying the world faces "a new type of fascism". Boy is he right! And he's the new Hermann Goehring. Deliberately distorting the word "fascism", Rumsfeld calls "the enemy" (using the generic to avoid having to specify who the enemy is) fascist. If Saddam Hussein was a fascist, consider who put him in power, financed him, gave him weapons -- the U.S. Saudi Arabia is a monarchy, which shares a lot of features with fascism, but to call to call Al Qaeda, or the Taliban, or Hezzbollah "fascist" is to completely blur the meaning of the word. And he does it on purpose because the closest parallel to Nazism in the modern world is clearly the Neocons. So pay no attention to that slimy, hissing creep.