Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Roll your own bumper sticker:

Reich Here, Reich Now
Bush/Cheney '04

Go ahead! Do it!
Don't worry. The fascists that are breaking your windows don't know what that word means.
Monday, August 16, 2004
Saturday, June 19, 2004
Poster Child

Go ahead! Print it out and turn it into a few posters.
Hang 'em up around the neighborhood.

After all, can you think of anywhere this poster wouldn't look good?

Oh, my God!
Faithful Citizenship?
Politicians Face Censure From Bishops on Abortion Rights
This really pisses me off! Now the Fundies seem to have buffooned the Catholic bishops into a de facto endorsement of Too Stupid To Be President. "Politicians Face Censure From Bishops on Abortion Rights". The actual text (generically named "Catholics in Political Life") is here. The question here is why, when the Catholic Church's position on abortion has been fully clear for years, these bishops suddenly felt the need to issue a statement like this in the middle of an election campaign. Are Catholics now supposed to vote for Idiot Boy on the basis of a single political stance? The same dry drunk who actual paid for a girlfriend's abortion when it was still illegal. Or has God forgiven that "evil"?

How about a similar statement regarding the ethical considerations involved in blowing up little children with cluster bombs in an illegal war of choice? (Oooh. There's that "choice" word again.) Or maybe a statement about what Jesus would have to say about a "Christian nation" that failed to provide adequate healthcare for all of that nation's sick and injured? Or maybe something about Christian congressmen who chop the legs from under the social safety net as they simultaneously trumpet the need for more costly and effective killing machines? Or funding cuts for education that disproportionately punish those children whose only mistake was that of being born to impoverished parents? What about some statements on these?

Faithful citizenship, my ass. This is nothing more than blatant religio-political hypocricy! And they wonder why I left the Church?

Sunday, June 06, 2004
... with jolting clarity, ... the snarling rictus of an ape.  ...Chris Floyd:

Every now and then the mask slips, and we see the true face of the system that marshals the world. For an instant, the heavy paint of sober wisdom and moral purpose falls away, and there, suddenly, with jolting clarity, is the snarling rictus of an ape.

Note carefully the change in rhetoric -- the change in target -- from "terrorism" to "insurgency." An "insurgent" is someone who rises up to resist or overthrow a ruling power. George Washington was an insurgent; so was Pol Pot. But a perceived "global insurgency" can only be aimed at a global power. What Rumsfeld is clearly saying is that anyone anywhere who resists the world-spanning will of the American Empire will be subject to "the path of action." That's the blood-and-iron terminology that Bush himself used to describe his policies in the official "National Security Strategy" he issued -- just months before killing more than 10,000 civilians in Iraq.

No doubt the definition of "global insurgent" will prove to be every bit as elastic as "terrorist," in a world where Iraqi prisoners -- 70 percent to 90 percent of them completely innocent, according to the Red Cross -- were "Gitmo-ized," treated just like the alleged terrorists in America's lawless Guantanamo concentration camp; a world where even U.S. citizens simply disappear into the maw of military custody, held without charges, indefinitely, on the president's express order. If America controls your country and you don't like it, you're an insurgent. If you're an American who doesn't like to control other countries, you too are an insurgent. And the war against you is "just beginning."

What should you do with such dangerous creatures in a civilized society? Why, put them in a cage, of course.

[ As always, lots of good links.]

Saturday, June 05, 2004
David Brooks:
Circling the Wagons
Finally, a fairly decent Brooks article to point out; on politics this time, but not advocating a particular political view.

Brooks notes here how most people tend to identify with one or the other main political party early in life, and tend to stay with that early selection regardless of how their own political views evolve over their lives. He suggests that this may occur because people tend to use their party affiliations as "filters", which they then use to minimize their opponents' positions while simultaneously maximizing their own.

I would tend to agree with Brooks on this, for it does provide an explanation of why so many people who agree with liberal postions refuse to call themselves liberal. It would also explain the stubbornness of Bush's poll numbers. Still, I find it a most curious position for him to take. After all, conservatives such as Brooks tend to minimize the impact of one's social surroundings, stressing instead "personal responsibility". Yet for Brooks' suggestion to actually be true, a high degree of social "conditioning" must be present in one's political affiliation.

Brooks is planning to do several articles on this topic, and, if like this one, they could be interesting. After all, no one says that we can't learn from conservatives; we just don't take our politics from them.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Intermediate Titles
From an economics viewpoint at least, here's all you need to know about the upcoming presidential election: Kerry will work for people making less than $200K; Bush will work for people making more than $200K. If you are voting your pocketbook in November, your choice is that simple.
That agenda is to impose Dooh Nibor economics — Robin Hood in reverse. The end result of current policies will be a large-scale transfer of income from the middle class to the very affluent, in which about 80 percent of the population will lose and the bulk of the gains will go to people with incomes of more than $200,000 per year.

I can't back that assertion with official numbers, because under Mr. Bush the Treasury Department has stopped releasing information on the distribution of tax cuts by income level.

Imagine that. One more set of numbers they don't want you to know about.
By Jon Brown
Amid important corrections about Carole King's high school and the spelling of a Pixar executive's name, Times editors at last saw fit to mention the paper's coverage of Iraq in the months preceding the war. After a modest round of self-congratulation, the editors venture into darker waters, filled with imaginary chemical and biological weapons reported, in banner type, by the Times. Now it appears the threatening shapes were without substance, hoaxes and illusions foisted upon an otherwise capable, even exemplary staff of doughty professionals who did their utmost to present "an accurate reflection of the state of our knowledge at the time."

Garbage. Here is what was obvious at the time, though not at the Times. The entire discussion of WMD was a canard, a red herring, a decoy, call it what you will. Allow me to refresh the paper's institutional memory: The inspectors, with full access, were finding no evidence of weapons stockpiles or programs; the U.S. intelligence community was dubious of claims put forward with alarming stridency by political appointees; and sources like Chalabi and the INC, the brainchild of lie factories like Rendon and Hill & Knowlton, were likely to churn out more tales of babies thrown from incubators to have their way. All of which was duly reported in the international press.

What did the Times do? In editorial after editorial, report after report, the vaunted newspaper of record framed the Iraq debate as a question of WMD, making its coverage inseparable from Bush administration propaganda. The war was never about WMD. That was obvious to all but the most cravenly stenographic of so-called journalists from the get-go. It was, to name a few, about midterm elections, military bases, crackpot imperialist ideology, Israel, payoffs to cronies, and even, though you'd never, ever guess it from the New York Times, plentiful, cheap oil. But WMD? The Times obliged not only by hanging the window dressing but by supplying fancy material.

About which the May 26 "correction" is dead silent. So let me give the Times something to put in its next mea culpa. The paper was complicit in a war of aggression that led to the death and mutilations of tens of thousands-that bears repeating, the death and mutilation of tens of thousands-mounted for stupefyingly cynical, shortsighted, vicious reasons. Its dogged refusal to stray from the Bush administration script about WMD and admit other explanations for the hell-bent rush to war into mainstream discourse is nothing less than a monumental journalistic disgrace.

What the Times did was bad enough; what it failed to do was perhaps worse. It's past time to see a correction about that.

[ Via counterpunch.]
Sunday, May 30, 2004
the daily outrage:
by Matt Bivens (the Nation)
Matt's last column for the Nation. Think about thisone next time the Bushies start yapping about more nuclear weapons.
To launch a Minuteman in those days, one had to "unlock" the missile by dialing in a code -- the equivalent of a safety catch on a handgun. However, Blair reports, the US Strategic Air Command was worried that a bunch of sissy safety features might slow things down. It ordered all locks set to 00000000 -- and in launch checklists, reminded all launch officers like Blair to keep the codes there. "So the 'secret unlock code' during the height of the nuclear crises of the Cold War," Blair says, "remained constant at 00000000."
And there's more ...
Prose & Cons
A comparison of writing from the Left and writing from the Right.
Prose: A Shadow on the Land
by Douglas O'Rourke
A great little liberal rant:
They've brought America to its knees. They're a ruthless band of fundamentalist religious fanatics that respect no international laws and seem destined to cause only death, misery, and destruction. They strike without warning using stealth, torture, lies, and deception to rain down violence without regard to innocent lives lost. They cynically exploit the World's media. They constantly invoke the name of their God, to justify every cruel act for their holy cause. They'll use and sacrifice innocent believing kids as warriors. Most of the world already hates and fears them, and no country on Earth is safe from their rage or terror.

They are the new evil in the World.

So much for the Bush folks. Those al-Qaida guys are no picnic either.

Also contains perhaps the best short answer yet as to why the administration went to war in Iraq:
The Republicans apparently made war on Iraq just because they could.

YAHOO! News:
By Ann Coulter
The bitch godess of the criminally insane. Talk about rewriting history!
Abu Ghraib is the new Tet offensive. By lying about the Tet offensive during the Vietnam War, the media managed to persuade Americans we were losing the war, which demoralized the nation and caused us to lose the war.
Coulter really needs an M-16, a Humvee (no plating, of course), and a one-way ticket to Iraq.

To be fair to Coulter however (while I hold my nose), this idea about Tet is hardly hers. It was this very idea, that we only lost Vietnam because we lost our will, that led to the creation of the Neocons shortly after that war's conclusion. The idea of course is false. We didn't lose Tet, and it wasn't reported that way.

The real problem with Tet was that we had been told for so long how we were winning the war that it should have been impossible for the Tet offenesive to even have been launched. That the Viet Cong alliance was strong enough to launch it immediately put the lie to the earlier reporting, and it was that recognition that caused the drop in public support. In that sense, Abu Ghraib was not Iraq's Tet offensive; Fallujah was.

Anyways, this is a fun article (unless you're dead set against self-flaggelation). There's hardly a sentence in it where Coulter isn't flipping history on it's head. They only thing I can't understand is why the editors don't put it where it belongs -- in the Comics Section.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words:
State of the Union: Laura Bush and special guest Ahmed Chalabi

State of the Union: Laura Bush and special guest Ahmed Chalabi
[Chalabi is directly behind the First Lady (clapping)]

See the rest of the Chalabi Photo Gallery at The Liberal Conspiracy.

[ Via daily KOS.]