America Loses Its Mind
August 17, 2008A Little Reality -- What's really going on in Georgia. Follow the money. See "Readjustments in Pipelineistan" by Kenneth Anderson at opednews.
Of Forged Documents -- Ron Suskind summarizes what all the fuss is about at The Huffington Post: "The Forged Iraqi Letter: What Just Happened?"
August 21, 2008A Fine Mess -- A new Zogby-Reuters Poll has McCain beating Obama by five points? How can this be? How can America sign on to an extension of the Bush administration? (Op-Ed News). Since he effectively won the nomination he has lost support among Democrats, women, Catholics, under 35s, college grads, city dwellers, those with incomes under $50,000-a-year and southerners. Rob Krall, the author of the Op-Ed piece suggests that fall is "a case of Obama's chickens coming home to roost. If Obama doesn't show a whole lot of testicles and throw progressives some bones, he's going to be an interesting, brief note in history. I'm not the only one thinking this way." Anecdotally, I can say that I personally was very turned off by Obama's pandering to the right with is change of heart to support Bush's warrantless spy program and a number of other stomach-turning moves apparently designed to gain support from the right. I could never be so turned off to him that I would vote for McCain, but that diminishment of enthusiasm from some might translate as giving up on him all together and turning to McCain for others. With a third of the country voting on touch-screen machines that are easily manipulated by Rove and company, it makes it virtually impossible to elect anyone not approved by the right wing that controls the voting system. All we need is a McCain presidency. He is clearly on board with Rove, Bush and all the villains of the current regime.
President Obama? Or a Footnote in History? David Lindorff writes that his attempts to "move to the middle" are what has destroyed his campaign momentum. Lindorff writes that "Barack Obama, the prospective Democratic presidential candidate, has managed to turn a 5-8 point lead over prospective Republican opponent John McCain into a 7-point deficit—a double-digit slide—in just two and a half months following a campaign that had voters really excited over his candidacy. How did he manage this feat (which is documented in the latest latest Reuters/Zogby poll)? Simple: he followed the tried-and-true strategy of Democratic centrist advisers who have increasingly dominated his campaign since the end of the primaries, and who have a proven track record of producing Democratic electoral disasters now for several decades. Like John Kerry and Al Gore before him, Obama, who ran his primary campaign as a liberal, staking out an anti-war position, has morphed over recent weeks into a Republican-lite candidate, calling for a hard line against Palestinian rights, threatening to attack Iran, calling for an expansion of the disastrous war in Afghanistan, and backing away from genuine health care reform and other important progressive goals here at home." Obama should realize that "the middle", as it is perceived in America, is manipulated by the corporate media to be way over on the corporate side of the real middle. It represents the middle of power as it has been exercised in recent years, but not the democratic middle. In other words, a tiny minority of big money corporations essentially control the government, which represents their interests and ignores the great majority of Americans. Obama's attempt to "move to the middle" is in relation to a middle as defined by the corporate media, which are in themselves the voices of the corporate state, not of the people. Polls, theoretically, still represent the views of the population, not the actual power players of the political system. Effectively 95 percent of the population has no say at all in anything. We are just bystanders, or the cattle on whom the power players feed for resources. The supposed middle Obama is moving toward is a fantasy thrust upon us by the corporate state. He has moved toward it and has not gained, has in fact lost a tremendous amount of ground. Then Again -- Dave Moore questions the veracity of the polls that say Obama is so far behind.
August 22, 2008Case "Closed" -- The lead story on AOL.com this morning is headlined "Feds Say They've Solved 9/11 Mystery". For anyone who has not followed the issue, this refers to the fact that the first and last three steel-framed skyscrapers in history to ever collapse from fire all collapsed on that day, that is if we are to believe our authorities. And why not? Have they ever lied to us before? So the story on AOL, the most dumbed down of all news channels, proclaims that the Feds have solved the mystery. But the placement of the story seems to have no more importance than to trumpet the headline, because there is virtually no follow up, no explanation. It's just the same explanation that was already there. The third building, WTC 7, which collapsed even though no plane hit it, they say collapsed from fire, which is what they said before. The official report leaves it a mystery why the building would collapse from fire when no steel skyscraper ever did before that day. If you see the footage from that day, the fires were rather small and localized. It's not like the things was consumed in a blaze. And plenty of skyscrapers have been consumed in blazes for hours and hours and still none of them fell. So this is a sort of non-story leading AOL's news today. Perhaps it was a slow news day and they couldn't find anything else acceptable to report. There's a poll that is run (to raise the traffic so they can raise their ad rates) in conjunction with the story asking what people think of the non-explanation. Perhaps the Feds are keeping track of everyone who expresses doubt in the original story so they can round them all up when the day comes to bring down the curtain. In any case it asks first if you believe the explanation "that fire brought down World Trade Center 7", and its a virtual tie, with 44 percent saying yes and 42 percent saying no. Fourteen percent clicked "I'm not sure". Then there's a second question, "Do you think federal officials are hiding anything about the 9/11 attacks?" On this one 57 percent said yes, 35 percent said no and 8 percent weren't sure. So that's today's 9/11 story. Why AOL chose to raise the issue is a mystery. Why they chose to raise it, claim the mystery was solved and then reiterate the earlier non-explanation is mysterious too. They probably assume most readers are too dumb or uninterested to read beyond the headline, or concentrate long enough to follow a train of thought beyond a lead paragraph. Anyway, for those who become irritated whenever anyone questions the official story of 9/11, don't blame me. I didn't bring it up. AOL did.
Equal Before the Law -- See epluribusmedia.net for a review of Vincent Bugliosi's book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. Bugliosi is a former Los Angeles prosecutor, the man who convicted Charles Manson and won most of his cases and the top-selling true crime writer of all time. Bugliosi discusses "what I believe to be the most serious crime ever committed in American history - - the president of the nation, George W. Bush, knowingly and deliberately taking this country to war in Iraq under false presences, a war that condemned over 100,000 human beings, including 4,000 American soldiers, to horrific, violent deaths." Michael Collins, the reviewer, says, "The mainstream media won't take advertisements for it, the networks and affliates won't interview Vincent Bugliosi, even though he's the top selling true-crime author of all time. Yet the book has been on the New York Times best seller list for 8 weeks, #10 non fiction." Farewell Republicanism -- Many Republican politicians are jumping ship and becoming independents or Democrats. In These Times Another Obama -- Barack Obama's half brother George Obama has surfaced via Vanity Fair's Italian edition. See a report in the UK's Telegraph.
August 23, 2008The Bull Charges -- Alternet "Unable to accomplish his goals legislatively, Bush is trying to get them done by fiat. If you look at proposed regulatory changes at the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of the Interior, and the Justice Department you get a sense of how vast this hustle is. "Political appointees at the Department of Labor are moving with unusual speed to push through in the final months of the Bush Administration a rule making it tougher to regulate workers' on-the-job exposure to chemicals and toxins," The Washington Post reported last month. The Department of Labor is not exactly making the safety of workers a priority. As the Post reported, this change 'would address longstanding complaints from business.'" Other changes would redefine certain forms of contraception as abortion and cut off federal funding for hospitals that offer them or that don't hire anti-abortion doctors. The Bush administration is also trying to gut the Endangered Species Act and remove any remaining restrictions against spying on Americans.
If Pakistan Can Do It -- Code Pink says that the U.S. can do the same as Pakistan just did in pushing out its corrupt military dictator. "In Pakistan this week, we saw the power of the people in action. Ordinary Pakistani citizens rose up to fight President Musharraf's injustice and corruption, and, as a result, Musharraf resigned rather than face impeachment for his crimes against the constitution and judiciary. Our friend from Pakistan writes: 'While the US media's lens focused on the Taliban's resurgence and US casualties in the region, a political and secular revolution was taking place in the streets of Pakistan. The fact that the people of Pakistan rose up against a US-backed military dictator and brought him down with such success is testimony to the will of Pakistan's civilian leadership which wants to save the country from corrupt leaders--both military and religious.' Let us take inspiration from the people of Pakistan. We, too, want to rise up to save our country from corrupt and unjust leaders." The Cost of Failing to Impeach -- Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark writes, "A price the American people are paying for the failure of the House of Representatives to impeach Bush, Cheney and their cabal for crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity -- the greatest assaults on peace and human rights of this century -- is the Bush Administration's bellicose drum beat for war against a widening circle of chosen enemies. Imagine George Bush with the blood of a million Afghans and Iraqis on his hands, the shame of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo hanging around his neck, having trashed the Bill of Rights, the Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, lecturing China for violating human rights at the World Olympics in Beijing, a hopeful symbol of international cooperation through the peaceful competition of athletes in friendship. Imagine George Bush lecturing Russia on human rights after insisting on putting U.S. (not NATO) Star War missile sites on the Russian border in Poland and the Czech Republic despite the tragic lessons of the Cold War, all told the greatest crime in history. Among its costs are expenditures that could have provided food for all, vastly reduced poverty on the planet, progressed toward quality universal health care, education and housing for everyone. Instead it took more lives by military violence on five continents and greater military expenditures than World War II and released the genie of nuclear weapons to a status beyond control." See ImpeachBush.org. The Best News -- One piece of good news sent by Mark Crispin Miller, who has become one of the main champions of the movement to draw attention to the fraud being perpetrated via the electronic voting machines, is that "States rush to dump touch-screen voting systems" according to Julian Sanchez at arstechnica.com. It appears that the message is finally getting out and breaking through the fog of American media, turning into panic as people realize that our democratic republican form of government is rapidly slipping down the drain. "It's a good time to pick up an electronic voting machine on the cheap -- provided you're not a stickler for things like 'accuracy' or 'security'," writes Sanchez. "States are scrapping tens of thousands of pricey touchscreen systems in response to mounting concerns about the machines' reliability." More Rule by Fiat -- According to a New York Times editorial, "There is apparently no limit to the Bush administration's desire to invade Americans' privacy in the name of national security. According to members of Congress, Attorney General Michael Mukasey is preparing to give the F.B.I. broad new authority to investigate Americans -- without any clear basis for suspicion that they are committing a crime. Opening the door to sweeping investigations of this kind would be an invitation to the government to spy on people based on their race, religion or political activities. Before Mr. Mukasey goes any further, Congress should insist that the guidelines be fully vetted, and it should make certain that they do not pose a further threat to Americans' civil liberties. Mr. Mukasey has not revealed the new guidelines." To the Middle and Beyond -- As Obama continues his supposed "move to the middle", as defined by the corporate media, he has embraced most of what his most enthusiastic supporters have opposed most passionately. According to nndb.com, "Biden is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and sharply criticized other Democrats who were less supportive or opposed. More recently he has called for "decentralizing" Iraq, a plan that he says would give of its major ethnic groups semi-autonomy, and called for more of a US military presence there. He voted for the PATRIOT Act in 2001, then argued against renewing it in 2005, before voting for legislation that generally renewed the PATRIOT Act's powers in 2006. For decades Biden has been at the forefront of the war on drugs, supporting new prohibitions against methamphetamine, Ecstasy, steroids used by athletes, and other new drugs as they became popular. Biden wrote the legislation that created the position of a national "Drug Czar", and his Anti-Drug Proliferation Act provides 20-year prison sentences for club owners, concert promoters, and people who throw parties in their home, if "drug use" takes place in such settings."
August 27, 2008The Democratic Convention on CNN, brought to you by Exxon Mobil ("tackling the tough energy challenges")! Since Exxon Mobil, the gargantuan oil monster, the human-eating corporation, doesn't have to pay taxes it can put its money into brainwashing you into accepting its manipulation of the energy crisis to produce the largest profits of any entity in history, to suck the blood of Americans who choose to leave their homes and go somewhere. Hurray for Exxon Mobil! Too bad for you. And CNN gets to soak up some of the profits for helping to blitz the brains of Americans so they are so stunned they can't do anything effective to save themselves from being devoured by predatory corporations like Exxon Mobil. But this part of the story is the subtext. CNN would not dare to offend such a big benefactor by discussing this particular elephant in the room. So CNN installs gutless wonders like Wolf Blitzer, perhaps the tamest wolf in history, to attempt to affect intelligent facial expressions and babble on about nothing.
This rogue's gallery of talking heads, these idiots ordained by the corporate masters to jabber to us like monkeys and interpret events for us, tell us what we all supposedly think. They speak often in terms of the Hegelian "we". "Everybody is looking forward to Hillary's speech," says Chris Matthews on MSNBC. Everyone? All organisms in the known universe? They create a closed system in which they control all the ideas, all the possibilities. They are paid very well to walk a thin line, one that manages to hold an audience enough to sell advertising, but not to offend the corporate masters, not to go beyond the premises of the corporatocracy. "You had to be proud to be an American tonight," said one, or maybe a dozen of them Monday night when Michelle Obama gave her speech. I personally think she is extraordinary, in a class by herself among practically all the candidate's wives in history. But not everyone would share the feeling that "You had to be proud to be an American tonight." Right or wrong, there are many who will not share that feeling. It's a pretty mindless statement to make by someone charged with interpreting history in the making.
Paul Begala, one of the people Jon Stewart called a "political hack" to his face and urged to "just stop," is still present on CNN. And James Carville, the hissing reptile who sleeps with Dick Cheney's girl Mary Matalin. CNN trolls the deep, dark waters to produce these characters for us.
On MSNBC, we see Chris Matthews, looking like Alfalfa with his green hair all disheveled. Why doesn't someone tell him? It's national TV. He looks like a drunk.
August 28, 2008Slavery: A Covert Re-entry -- We congratulate ourselves that slavery was outlawed a century and a half ago, but in fact the country has not really rid itself of slavery, it has only driven it underground. America's prison system, which now holds more of the population than any other country, has become the hidden substitute for the institution of slavery. See Maya Schenwar, "Slavery Haunts Plantation Prisons" at truthout.org
Zinn to Obama -- Howard Zinn's advice to Obama: "You want to win? - Speak boldly to the American people, the American people want to get out of Iraq. Speak boldly and say, 'I'm going to withdraw from Iraq as fast as ships and planes can carry them'- , and I think that Obama will have a much better chance of winning the election because he will be speaking to the hearts of the American people, who really are sick of the war. And instead, he gives us these half-baked solutions about 'I will withdraw in 16 months and will send some troops to Afghanistan and keep some troops in Iraq for security purposes.' Now that's - you know-- that's not what the American people want. And if he thinks he will win more votes by being moderate and centrist, I think he's wrong. So my advice to Obama, not just from the standpoint of being right, but even from the standpoint of being pragmatic and winning, is be bold - be bold on the war - be bold on having a single payer, government financed health system. Be bold on ending our position as a militarist nation. Obama is calling for a strong military - big military - he should stop doing that!" opednews.com
August 29, 2008Float Like a Butterfly -- Truthout, which is really one of the best news entities in America, sent out one of their e-mail blasts this morning and it is titled "Obama comes out swinging." Not to pick on Truthout, because it's one of a handful of news organizations with real integrity, but the boxing metaphors really become ludicrous after a while. It's something that's spilled over from the mass media. Truthout is not one of them, but it's hard not to fall under their influence sometimes. These sports metaphors are hard to resist for people participating in the public dialogue about the election. But what an image! Obama coming out swinging. It's nothing like what I experienced watching the speech. He seemed very poised, very focused. He outlined his arguments clearly and delivered them with grace and force. How does this translate into "comes out swinging"? Of course they are referring to him opening the first round of the contest aggressively and addressing very well-honed arguments directly at McCain. But if we want to follow through with the boxing metaphors, Obama would not be a fighter who would "come out swinging". He would be like a young Muhammad Ali (or Cassius Clay), who would dance gracefully and throw perfectly aimed jabs and punches without an inch of wasted motion. Ali never swung. Ernie Shavers swung. And usually missed. Ah, but such is the insanity of the electoral circus.
Still, beyond the contrived circus as presented by the newsmedia, there is a real political phenomenon playing out before us that is stunning. After two stolen elections, there is now a candidate challenging the Bush faction with a potential base of support that could be so great as to surmount even voting machine manipulation and the whole spectrum of vote suppression tactics of the Republicans. The rage of the American people has finally boiled over to such a point that the election manipulation tactics of the last eight years may not be sufficient to swing it. It's one thing when you have a close election as in 2000, in which Gore only won the national vote by half a million votes and the Bushites were able to control Florida and the Supreme Court enough to stop Gore's victory in Florida from being acknowledged until too late. In 2004, we you had a lackluster candidate in Kerry, a Skull and Bones colleague of Bush's at Yale, who mysteriously came from the back of the pack to overcome the frontrunner Howard Dean in some strange vote counts in New Hampshire and a couple of other states to become "frontrunner", who never inspired much enthusiasm in the public. He was just the only alternative to Bush. If the votes in Ohio were counted fairly, Kerry would have won anyway, but it wasn't enough of a margin to overcome the vote manipulation.
But now the public's rage has found a candidate to represent it. Obama is right that it was never about him. He was just the guy who gauged the public sentiment, saw an opportunity, gave voice to the passionate desire to overthrow the Bush regime and thereby rose from obscurity to where he is now. With 80 percent of the public saying the country is "going in the wrong direction," it should be almost impossible for McCain, a clone of Bush with nothing to offer but his POW record and a vague, fading reputation as a "maverick", but who really sucked up to Bush through the whole disastrous term. But the Bush regime is a gang of desperate criminals, not metaphorically, but literally. They cannot standby and let their iron grip on power slip away. If the wheels of justice were to turn legitimately, they would be facing prison terms. It's absurdly naive to think that people who gangstered their way into power the way they did and have shown nothing but contempt for all law and convention for eight years, will peacefully submit to an orderly transition of power. They don't care if 80 percent of the public is against them. They haven't the slightest regard for democracy. That's just pretty talk. They are all about power. So be ready for some desperate, drastic measures.
They've already manipulated a confrontation with Russia, by encouraging their friends in Georgia to attack Russia. Our media and politicians all ignore the fact that Georgia attacked first, not Russia. Putin says the White House engineered it to help McCain (see New York Times), and he's not just blowing out his ass. The crisis did help McCain's poll numbers, but it has not been enough, so be prepared for more incidents. We will no doubt see videos alleged to be from Osama bin Laden, who will mysteriously poke his head up again and express his support for Obama, even though Bush's foreign policy has been the best boost for Al Qaeda ever. We are likely to see more supposed terror attacks of one kind or another, like the mysterious anthrax attacks of the week they rammed the Patriot Act through Congress, the anthrax for which later turned out to come from the Pentagon.
With such desperate men trying to hold on to power, there is little that we can rule out. These are not decent people who observe the moral restraints of the average person. They see themselves as Ubermen for whom the rules of normal men do not apply. So, God forbid, we can't rule out more incidents like we have seen before, not even the "next 9/11" they have threatened us with ever since the last one. And we can't rule out that ultimate political tool that has altered the outcome of so many American elections in our time -- I don't even want to say the word. God help us, and God protect Barack Obama and his beautiful wife and daughters.
I keep reminding myself that many countries that lack our rich heritage of democracy and freedom have overthrown tyrants, and even the awesomely powerful Thousand Year Reich only lasted 12 years. The Bushites are ruthless and they have exercised power deftly and mercilessly for eight years, but they are not, as they would have us believe, omnipotent. Their rule is not absolute and inevitable, though it seems so at times. They can be defeated. Our only hope is that basic democratic principle, not the democratic apparatuses of government, because those are effectively undercut and neutralized by corporate lobbyists and gangsters, but the basic raw force of numbers. We are back to that, to the basics of raw political power. The system is broken. Only a mass movement in which that 80 percent of unhappy Americans show their muscle can save us from continuing down into that dark abyss into which we've been heading for the last eight years. \
Who Encouraged Georgia to Attack Russia? Vladimir Putin, prime minister of Russia, said that the White House "may have orchestrated the conflict to benefit one of the candidates in the American presidential election," according to the New York Times. Putin alleged that "the Bush administration may have tried to create a crisis that would influence American voters in the choice of a successor to President Bush," the Times said. "Mr. Putin said in the CNN interview that Russia had thought that the United States would prevent Georgia from attacking South Ossetia, but suggested that he now believed that the Bush administration encouraged Mr. Saakashvili to send in his military." 911 False Flag -- a German documentary on the inconsistencies of the 9/11 story by NuoViso.
August 30, 2008The Saviour of the Women's Cause -- All women who supported Hillary Clinton just because she was a woman can now vote for a woman who is against abortion rights, thinks creationism should be taught in schools, doesn't believe human beings have any effect on global warming, recently sued the federal government for putting polar bears on the endangered species act because it might hamper oil drilling, has a year and a half experience as governor and was previously mayor of a town of 6,000. She worked as a journalist for a while, she says. That's her whole resume for being vice president, the proverbial heartbeat away. Recently, in fact, she asked, "What is it exactly that a VP does?".
A TV bio on the day the nomination was announced said she helped with her husband's fishing business, portraying them as a hardscrabble working family, overlooking the fact that her husband is an oil man. According to defendersactionfund.org, "Sarah Palin, whose husband works for BP (formerly British Petroleum), has repeatedly put special interests first when it comes to the environment. In her scant two years as governor, she has lobbied aggressively to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, pushed for more drilling off of Alaska's coasts, and put special interests above science. Ms. Palin has made it clear through her actions that she is unwilling to do even as much as the Bush administration to address the impacts of global warming. Her most recent effort has been to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the polar bear from the endangered species list, putting Big Oil before sound science. As unbelievable as this may sound, this actually puts her to the right of the Bush administration. This is Senator McCain's first significant choice in building his executive team and it's a bad one. It has to raise serious doubts in the minds of voters about John McCain's commitment to conservation, to addressing the impacts of global warming and to ensuring our country ends its dependency on oil."
But she has a sense of style -- She recently posed for Vogue. See also, "Sarah Palin, Buchananite," The Nation; "McCain VP Pick Completes Shift to Bush Energy Policy"; and "Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past."
August 30, 2008Judge For Yourself -- Barack's speech.
Palin Abuse Scandal Just Getting Started -- According to the Washington Post, "The July firing of Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan by Gov. Sarah Palin, who was announced as John McCain's running mate on Friday, has unearthed a stream of soap-opera-like details about Palin, her husband, her family and top state appointees. The controversy has also cut against Palin's reputation for holding an ethical line and standing up to colleagues in the Republican Party over matters of principle. Monegan, 57, a respected former chief of the Anchorage Police Department, said in an interview with The Washington Post's James V. Grimaldi on Friday that the governor repeatedly brought up the topic of her ex-brother-in-law, Michael Wooten, after Monegan became the state's commissioner of public safety in December 2006. Palin's husband, Todd, met with Monegan and presented a dossier of information about Wooten, who was going through a bitter custody battle with Palin's sister, Molly. Monegan also said Sarah Palin sent him e-mails on the subject, but Monegan declined to disclose them, saying he planned to give them to a legislative investigator looking into the matter." Feminist Backlash -- Sarah Seltzer says, "It's always ting to see women enter the political fray at higher levels. But a lot of feminists out there, are appalled by the cynicism and condescension inherent in this choice. It's as though the McCain camp believes our irrational she-hormones will lead us, like sheep, to pull the lever for any candidate who looks like us--even if she has a strong record, as Palin does, of standing against women's interests. He hopes to court Hillary Clinton supporters with a woman VP who said on camera that she didn't like Hillary's 'whining' about gender issues, a woman with unpopular, far-right positions on reproductive justice issues and LGBT rights. She's a woman who rides high on being a super-mom, but has an environmental record that won't leave the world in good shape for the next generation, her kids' generation." Huffingtonpost.com McCain's Risky Move -- Art Levine on the Huffington Post, writes "Sarah Palin: The New Harriet Miers -- or Dan Quayle in Drag?" Says Levine, "McCain's stunning choice of the ex-beauty queen, evangelical half-term Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin may be one of the biggest political gambles in modern political history." Besides the fact that she'll be deposed before the election in her scandal over trying to get her ex-brother in law fired, Levine says, "She is so manifestly unqualified to be a 'heartbeat away' from the Presidency, just three years away from being a small-town mayor, that the selection could be used to add to the unfolding 'temperament' narrative the Obama campaign is seeking to apply to McCain. And it neutralizes the 'dangerously unprepared' mantra that McCain has used as the centerpiece of his campaign's lowball attacks on Obama. On top of that, the pick could reinforce the deserved sexist reputation of John McCain, because the selection of Palin reflects a condescending view of women, especially Hillary supporters, as being so stupid they'll rush to back the GOP ticket just because Palin is a woman."
August 31, 2008Pre-emptive Policing in Minneapolis -- Very disturbing goings on in Minneapolis in the run-up to the Republican convention. According to Rob Kall at opednews.com, "There's something coming down in Minneapolis-St. Paul that looks very menacing-- real "Can't Happen Here" fascist, gestapo tactics that look they are coordinate from on high-- with FBI and Homeland Security participation. Preventive strike forces by police have invaded homes of people planning protests, or even planning to protect protesters by video-taping police. The victims of these raids have been forced to lie face down on the floor, have been handcuffed and then, their computers, records and some money has been taken from them. This frightening abuse of constitutional rights has been done using vague claims that the police are preventing riots. Here's what Glen Greenwald reports: 'Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets.'"
Small Things -- Frank Rich, NY Times columnist, writes that Obama's speech penetrated the media circus with some reality. "After a weeklong orgy of inane manufactured melodrama labeled 'convention coverage' on television, Barack Obama descended in classic deus ex machina fashion - yes, that's Greek too - to set the record straight. America is in too much trouble, he said, to indulge in 'a big election about small things.'" I feel like a stranger in a strange land when I hear people talking about airline security, the hours of delays and lines, people getting used to being herded, having their fingernail clippers and shampoo confiscated, all predicated on the theory that 19 Arabs with boxcutters were able to paralyze the entire defense system of the most powerful military power in history. Do architects and city planners now have to make their plans based on the idea that steel skyscrapers may spontaneously collapse as a result of some isolated fires on a few floors? We're living in a massive fantasy, a tall tale. Oh, to be able to know what really went on that day behind the scenes, to have been there when the decisions were made, as WTC leaseholder Silverstein gave the order to "pull it." Don't you get curious about it?
-- David Cogswell