Friday, April 02, 2004


So, Bush created 308,000 jobs last month. I guess he really fooled us, huh? He totally knew what he was doing this whole time! Man, that guy! That guy is crazy, making us think he was all clueless about how to create jobs for the last 3 and a half years. It was all a put on! What a card!

That means he's only lost 1.8 million jobs! Holy shit dude, he is a totally fucking unstoppable job creation machine!

Move Along People, Nothing To See Here 

Looks like somebody broke into the Scottsdale Arizona Democratic Party Headquarters and stole a whole bunch of computer hard drives with voter information, and then got vandalized yesterday.

Apparently this isn't big news, as it seems to have appeared in precisely one newspaper. The fourth estate has become so bloated it's sinking the whole damn ship. But there's this:

Local party officials aren't intimidated by the incidents. [...] "You don't get a group of individuals to staff an office in a Republican area that's just going to lie down and give up," Wercinski said.

"White Lies" 

Hey look, it's another serious allegation of blatant ethical and possibly legal misconduct by the White House!

This time it's the Plame Investigation.

Prosecutors investigating whether someone in the Bush administration improperly disclosed the identity of a C.I.A. officer have expanded their inquiry to examine whether White House officials lied to investigators or mishandled classified information related to the case, lawyers involved in the case and government officials say.

Insert an ironic "at least he doesn't cheat on his wife" comment here, just like you did for every other of the one hundred thousand scandals that have rocked this Administration, which once dared to run on the idea of bringing honor and integrity back to the oval office.

At this point, by the way, there are officially too many scandals to keep track of. So, I've come up with a handy little guide to catch you up on the season thus far, with handy links to fill you in. If you can think of any more, let me know in the comments.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Gag Order Me With A Spoon 

A New Allegation against the Bush Administration's handling of 9/11. And with it comes a new way to spell "al Qaeda", bringing the total to roughly 50,000.

Sibel Edmonds said she spent more than three hours in a closed session with the commission's investigators providing information that was circulating within the FBI in the spring and summer of 2001 suggesting that an attack using aircraft was just months away and the terrorists were in place. The Bush administration, meanwhile, has sought to silence her and has obtained a gagging order from a court by citing the rarely used "state secrets privilege".



Krugman's column today is about Lettermangate. Wild!

Hell Hath No Fury Like Howard Scorned 

Has anyone been to the Howard Stern web page lately? Yeah, I didn't think so. But you'd be surprised. That's not a deep link, either. That's the front page. One link away, however, is this: A litany of Bush-bashing news stories.

Stern's listeners, I think, are more prone to vote Republican if they vote at all. All of this, I think, is very good news.

All Things Fall and are Built Again 

...and those that build them again are gay. (Yeats)

John Derbyshire at the National Review is upset that the "Homosexualists" have ruined one of his favorite Yeats poems. Particularly, the poem Lapis Lazuli and particularly this line: "Their eyes mid many wrinkles, their eyes, / Their ancient, glittering eyes, are gay."

Derbyshire is all worked up in the way that I always assumed only closeted, repressed "homosexualists" can be. He says, I swear to God, "The problem is, of course, that you can't read this poem as it was meant to be read, because that key word has been trashed." Of course!

That word totally ruins everything. I mean, now I'm totally screwed up about West Side Story, for Christ's sakes. "I feel pretty, Oh so pretty! I feel pretty, and witty, and gay! And I pity any girl who isn't me today!"

But you know, isn't this just one more piece of the puzzle of conservative psychology? It seems to me that he may as well just write: "Some people are Gay, and now I am all hot and bothered about it, so when I encounter the word Gay in its alternate meaning, I myself cannot put the gays out of my head whilst reading my precious Yeats. Thus, the gays are the ones who have ruined Yeats and Marriage for me, and not, in fact, my incessant obsession with homosexuality. At all."

Seems like a stretch for the "personal responsibility" party, doesn't it?

April Fools Day 

Just wanted to say that I, by no means, will be posting any sort of April Fools Joke here today. Also, be careful, because more than likely some other asshole is gonna come and get you with one.

Bush To Give Suffrage to Embryo's 

Today Bush "strengthened his base" of Religious Fascists by signing the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. This act makes it an extra crime if, in your assault of a pregnant woman, you harm the collection of tissues in any developing embryo that might some day eventually plop out as a baby.

Here's my favorite little piece of the story: Bush has said he doesn't believe the country is ready to completely ban abortions; he opposes them except in cases of rape or incest or when pregnancy endangers a woman's life.

That's great George, so how about, if you're ever pregnant, you only have an abortion if you're a rape victim or your life is in danger? Then let every other pregnant woman decide on what their personal conditions are for an abortion. I just love how George Bush has decided on when abortion would be appropriate to his own sensibilities and then wants to legislate it to the people who, you know, can actually get pregnant.

There's also this: The legislation defines an "unborn child" as a child in utero, which it says "means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb." Which means that, should a 15 year old boy be living in his mothers womb, it is protected by law, but if a Squirrel was, it isn't. I just love that they felt the need to make this distinction.

Of course anyone who speaks out against this law is speaking out against a law that protects pregnant women. I, as a liberal, am all for violence against pregnant women (just as I am in favor of Terrorism, Nuclear annihilation, and a 100% income tax rate). What gets lost in the bill, though, is the little notion of giving legal rights to a fetus, ie, giving a fetus the rights of a person.

So my question to Bush is, if a fetus is in development and decides to marry another developing fetus, is it okay if neither of them have developed sexual organs yet? Because there's a chance that it could turn into gay marriage eventually, right?

25% of 11,000: Those Lying Clintonistas 

Looks like the Bush Administration is refusing to give the 9/11 commission records from the Clinton Administration that shed light on Clinton's handling of terrorism. The Clinton Library has allowed 11,000 papers to be opened up five years early for the sake of the investigation, Bush has vetted all but 25% of those pages. "Slick Willie" Clinton's Lawyer is quoted in the story:

"I don't want (the commission) drawing the conclusion the Clinton administration didn't do X or Y and then there be a document that contradicts that and they didn't have access to that document because the current administration decided not to forward it to them."

Yes, that's a run on sentence. But remember when we had a President whose biggest "cover up" was an extramarital affair? Also, for the people who argue that Clinton should have been impeached for lying under oath (My Token Republican Friend, this means you!) what does it mean that Bush and Cheney refuse to testify under oath to the 9/11 commission? In other words, they're going to testify, but only if they are assured that there will be no legal repercussions if they decide to knowingly lie. Yeah, that's a totally normal thing to demand before you'll testify.


I don't know if you've been following this, but it is starting to border on disturbing.

On Monday, Letterman played a clip of Bush speaking at a podium, with people behind him, including a 12 year old boy, who was yawning, twisting his neck, touching his toes, with very evident boredom, as all the adults pretended not to notice him. CNN showed the clip in one of its token "lighter moment" bumpers, and then, inexplicably, the anchor says:

"All right -- had a good giggle before the break, that video was from David Letterman. We're being told by the White House that the kid, as funny as he was, was edited into that video, which would explain why the people around him weren't really reacting. So, that from the White House."

Later, on CNN, another anchor says the same thing on another broadcast. So Letterman shows this that night: "Now that, ladies and gentlemen, as sure as I'm sitting here, is an out-and-out, 100 percent absolute lie. The kid absolutely was there and he absolutely was doing everything we pictured via the videotape."

At which point, CNN states that there was never a call from the White House, and that it was a mistake. Which is fine. Until Wednesday night, when Letterman announces that he has a source that says the White House did contact CNN.

Then, there's that news article in the Washington Post, which says that Letterman was "joking" about that. I saw it, he wasn't. In fact, they write about it on the Late Show Website:

Something strange is going on, and Dave smells a cover up. CNN is now saying the White House never called them. But why would CNN say the White House HAD called if the White House never did? Hmmm. And Dave reveals that our source, a very good source, confirms the White House DID call the CNN. Hoo boy, this is getting interesting. While Condoleeza Rice is testifying in front of the 9/11 Commission, perhaps she can shed some light on this as well. Perhaps the White House truly believes the kid wasn’t there due to faulty intelligence."

So, we'll see what happens. I find it really amazing that this is happening, part of me thinks that, if this turns out to be true, it's one of the more interesting revelations over how the Bush White House operates. Alternatively, it's a really fucking weird statement about how CNN operates.

Bring Them On 

"There are some who feel like that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is: bring them on." - George W Bush

And then, this attack on American Civilians yesterday:

After the attack, a jubilant crowd of civilians, none of whom appeared to be armed, gathered to celebrate, dragging the bodies through the street and hanging two of them from the bridge. Many of those in the crowd were excited young boys who shouted slogans in front of television cameras.

Remember, this war was supposed to stop terrorism; instead it has spawned a generation of excited young boys printing up homemade signs that read "Fallujah is the cemetery for Americans".

The only thing you can really do to try to understand this is look at the past, why we're in Iraq, and it is all the more enraging to remember that we are there solely by virtue of a parade of damned lies followed by distortions and false promises. From "Meet the Press", March 16th 2003:

Mr. Russert: If your analysis is not correct, and we're not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?

Vice President Cheney: Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators.

Meanwhile, yesterday:

Associated Press Television News pictures showed one man beating a charred corpse with a metal pole. Others tied a yellow rope to a body, hooked it to a car and dragged it down the main street of town. Two blackened and mangled corpses were hung from the green, iron bridge spanning the Euphrates River. [...]

In all, at least 597 U.S. troops have died in Iraq since the war began March 20, 2003. Of the total, 459 have died since May 1 when Bush flew onto an aircraft carrier off the California coast to declare the end of major combat. Kimmitt said that over the past week, there has been an average of 28 attacks daily against coalition military, compared with an average of just under 20 daily attacks in previous weeks.

The deaths don't shock me. What shocks me is how the war has to get ugly to a new extreme for Americans to temporarily realize that this is an ugly war. The war is chronically, persistently obscene and vile. It's the cancer hanging over our skies, it's what makes America what it is today: A Wartime Nation. The tension that taints laughter with a shred of guilt, where watching the news or listening to the radio breaks into news reports with shot gun fire, death counts and terrorist color code announcements. The tension of war, on this side of the shore, is a luxury compared to the tension of lives lived on the other side: a litany of children with PTSD being asked to carry the torch of a Democracy they didn't fight for, brought by way of a bombstorm, daily gun fire in the streets and constant military humiliation by a foreign and despised political force. We had 2 soldiers killed a day and the ivory tower watchmen told us, "well it's still not Vietnam." 28 attacks a day, it's still "no Vietnam."

"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" It's Kerry's question, and they'd ring a lot brighter if he hadn't voted to send us sailing directly into this distracting and suicidal fog. But now that the war is "getting ugly", how long will Americans sit at home and watch television with frustration and anger before they get into the streets?

Gay Marriage in Georgia 

Georgia Voters to Make Decision on Gay-Marriage Issue in Fall

Gee, I totally wonder how that one turns out.

"Lawmakers here and elsewhere, alarmed by events in California and Massachusetts, are pursuing constitutional amendments, arguing that while laws can be overturned on appeal, amendments provide a more resistant foil to judges who might find the law unconstitutional."

Sort of like banning the color pink, isn't it? IE, Banning a thing that you have no evidence is a source of harm just so you can prevent it from ever, ever potentially becoming a source of harm. Like the color pink- or, say, a small Middle Eastern Country.

Knee Jerk Police Declare War on Fashion 

Merrillville schools ban pink clothes.

Quote: "There is no evidence of gang activity. But because of the growing use of the color pink we decided to be proactive. Girls and boys are supposed to avoid wearing pink."

Wednesday, March 31, 2004


"It's obvious to me that this country is rapidly dividing itself into two camps - the wimps and the warriors. The ones who want to argue and assess and appease, and the ones who want to carry this fight to our enemies and kill them before they kill us." - Zell Miller, Democrat from Georgia.

Colin Powell, Meet Morris Pripstein 

"Three days before President Bush's inauguration, Colin Powell at his confirmation hearing discussed for the first time his priorities as the nation's new secretary of state. He spoke on 20 topics - from China and the Balkans to U.N. sanctions and Iraq. He never mentioned the al-Qaida terrorist group."

That's from this report from the AP.

Meanwhile, a month before the inauguration of President Bush, the UN was imposing sanctions on Afghanistan to encourage it to hand over Osama Bin Laden. The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday gave the Taleban regime a month to hand over bin Laden and to close terrorist training camps -or suffer new sanctions. A month later, as those sanctions ended without, obviously, any handover, The New York Times ran a three part investigation into Osama Bin Laden. It spawned this letter to the editor:

"'Dissecting a Terror Plot From Boston to Amman' (front page, Jan. 15) highlights a greater threat than that being considered by the missile defense shield proponents in the new Bush cabinet. That threat is terrorism from fundamentalist groups using aspiring martyrs as delivery systems, which are certainly simpler and cheaper to use than missiles. The Bush administration may be gearing up to face the wrong threat, as was the case in the 1930's with the French High Command, led by Gen. Maxime Weygand, who advocated a buildup of its cavalry at the expense of mechanized tank divisions. Not great horse sense, to judge by the subsequent events." - MORRIS PRIPSTEIN, Berkeley, Calif., Jan. 15, 2001

Comrade-Lovers, For Your Health's Sake, Fuck Freely! 

Step One To Overthrow the Bush Regime: Kiss a Random Stranger. Same Sex, opposing sex, who cares. You owe it to yourself and to your country to explore your sexuality.

Joe Trippi has it. It's the new Bush Admin position that allows federal employees to be fired or demoted for the grave offense of being homosexual. Not because you are an outspoken homosexual rights activist who causes problems at work. Not because you are having gay sex at work in full view of the workplace nursery. But because you, in fact, engage in a certain sexual act in your private time that is unrelated to your job performance.

Bloch, who began a five-year term as special counsel in January, said he does not believe the list of prohibited personnel actions outlined in the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act covers discrimination based on sexual orientation. - Federal Times.

Then, Trippi finds this: "A newly arrived Republican appointee [Bloch] has pulled references to sexual orientation discrimination off an agency Internet site where government employees can learn about their rights in the workplace."

Bloch used to be deputy director of the Task Force for Faith-based Initiatives, or, in a parallel time- say 1936, when Heinrich Himmler set up a specific branch of the Gestapo: "The Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion" or "Special Office (II S)". They also, in 1933, set fire to the Institute for Sexual Science, which "sponsored research and discussion on marital problems, sexually transmitted diseases, and laws relating to sexual offenses, abortion, and homosexuality." Good to know that no Republican threatens to blow up or kill the people who work in such buildings today. Oh, wait...

You know why politicians hate sex? Because it is the last unpolitized moment of absolute freedom available to us cogs. It's the last autonomous zone, the last span of time that cannot be properly politicized. As Wilhelm Reich said it, "Fascism is the frenzy of sexual cripples." Try as they might to commercialize it, exploit it, strip it of all the creative anarchy it brings with it, it's the last piece of relief left to many a lost and sputtering wheel, which also accounts for the tremendous amount of energy and power capitalists give to the sexual image. It's like when newborn turtles go toward streetlights instead of the reflection of the moon on the ocean; when we're all supposed to be shacking up, humans go to the store and we both end up crushed.

That's the problem: give the people actual, personal sex and they're turning off the TV. It's non consumptive and completely creative, and the creative force is the precise enemy of authority. Creativity subverts, undermines, turns the wheels around. Proper Sex liberates, and that is why our society is ordered principally on alienation, sexual puritanism, and the repression of creative energy. Because Fascists hate spontaneity.

Air America Starts Now, More On Chomsky and Saving the World 

Streamin' it. 12 Noon, the premier of "The O'Franken Factor." Gonna be great. I hope.

PS: A night with the Chomsky Blog is seriously strenuous. "Structural Adjustment" starts out with this: "What can we do about it? Just about everything." Then proceeds to provide absolutely no advice as far as what it is that we, in fact, can do about it.

What do I do about it? I swear to god, there has to be something I can do about it besides making phone calls asking if the Registered Democrat on the other end of the phone is a 1 or a 6 in support of Kerry. I want to affect positive change and I'd do anything to get it done, but no one seems to have a clue as to where people like me, and possibly you, are supposed to put our energy. This is what Dean did right and what Kerry and the DNC do wrong, and Kerry and the DNC do it wrong because they don't want the same damn things, not most of the time. The only reason we have any agreement with the DNC right now is because we both want Bush out. But after that there is a whole generation of kids out there who want to save the world. So we need to figure out how to do it.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004


Noam Chomsky has a weblog. So you know what to do. I like this post: "The voters are heavily skewed towards the wealthy and privileged, who tend to vote for the more reactionary of the two factions of the business party." Which seems to be a continuation of this one.

-c/o Mr. Pants

Condi To Testify 

We'll see if what she says opens up a perjury charge against her or Richard Clarke. Either one would be good because it keeps the issue alive in an election year and also gets "Condoleeza Rice" and "Lying Under Oath" into a lot of the same sentences.

But my question today is, why is there a fire engine directly behind Bush on the White House Lawn? With the caption that Bush will testify to the 9/11 commission? A little bit of terror-nostalgia at work, perhaps?



On Eagles and Turkeys 

My last week on the road was a delightfully bad one for Bush. Richard Clarke on "60 Minutes" and "Meet the Press" got the White House to open their wings and squawk full throttle, which makes you wonder- if Dick Cheney, Condi Rice and the likes are all co-ordinating so well to take this guy down, who's running the country?

The polls have shown a frustrating trend: Bush's approval on his "key strength", the "War on Terror", are down to 57% from 65%. But he's tied with Kerry, and it appears this is a non-Nader poll.

The only question is, what will it take for Bush to get below 45%? Because that is where he should be, in terms of voter support. The Clark testimony should have told Americans a thing or two- you know, Bush didn't do anything against Al Qaida until 2001. But there are people who are, by and large, "Republican", the party of the crushed soul and annihilated spirit, who will stand by their man like the abused dogs they have been told they are. Which may explain why "Half those surveyed in the poll after Clarke's testimony Wednesday said they thought he was acting for political and personal reasons." Of course, because otherwise they'd lose Bush's anointing of American Victimhood that they embrace.

On the side of the road in Western New York I saw the back of a farm covered with rotten, rusted cars and scraps of sheet metal. The house was falling apart, the paint was chipping, there was no joy in that man's farm. But certainly, that doesn't dissuade him from nailing a hand painted chunk of wood to a tree that reads "Vote Bush Lazio" on it. It's now about 4 years old, crooked, and part of the sign is splintered. But that's the guy who sees Clarke out of the corner of his eye while watching the local news and says "that guy is a real son of a bitch." Neverminding that Clarke served under Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton and Bush 2, that he has rejected the notion of a seat in Kerry's cabinet, and that he's criticized Clinton as well. What matters is, he's saying something bad about the President, so he's a partisan. He's saying we didn't do all that we could have, and that transforms us from a Wounded Eagle into a Nation of Turkeys, wandering out dumbly into a field and getting shot by an enemy in plain sight.

A wounded eagle, by the ethos of bootstrap-republicanism, has a right to his SUV, a right to his tax refund. A wounded eagle is entitled to vengeance against the foreigner. A Turkey, though, a turkey "deserves what he gets." A Turkey is a welfare mom, a gay married couple getting AIDS, it's the black kid who can't read. Republicans view these people with disdain because they "chose" to be victimized: they were Turkeys. A Republican can't stand to think that he's a Turkey too. It's no longer a matter of evidence, since no stack of condemnations from any source will convert those Americans immunized by self righteous outrage over their own forced victimization.

I found some of Ben Franklin's writing on the subject of the Eagle vs the Turkey as our national bird, and it is surprisingly apt today. I'll post the whole thing here:

"For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

"With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country....

"I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Canadian Arthouse Cinema 

I just watched "The Corporation" here in Toronto.

The film is pretty much a composition and unification of the left's complaints about the current organization of society, noting that corporate power has usurped the position in the olden days once held by the Church- that is, the position of transnational (as in, transcending national government) influence.

Most of the stuff I already knew about, but was pleased to be reminded of. Case in point, the chemicals in American milk that not only increase the rates of cancer in Americans but can also create tremendous and unnecessary pain for the cow in a market that is already flooded with product. The Canadians may put their milk in plastic bags, but at least their cows are happy and it's citizens don't get cancer from their cocoa puffs. Also a notable piece of trivia: when the reporters who uncovered this story tried to show it on their local Fox owned 10 o'clock news, Fox bowed to pressure from Monsanto. After several legal battles, Fox was later vindicated in a court case that set up a precedent: Whistleblower status only applies when a corporation asks its employees to break the law. In the case of releasing a misleading news segment that was altered by Monsanto lawyers, no law had been broken. Thus, Fox News set up a legal precedent from a case in 1999 that news had no legal responsibility to provide true, accurate information. We Report, You Decide.

"The Corporation" is also notably positive. It definitely is one of those documentaries that, unlike it's anti-corporate manic-depressed and proudly unmedicated brethren, Adbusters, shows how some victories have been achieved in the battle against corporate dominance. Most notably, two towns in Pennsylvania that have stripped corporations of their ill-gotten "constitutional rights" to be treated as "people" instead of multi-personal entities.

There's a ton more to the film, it's definitely recommended. It comes out in the US in June.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?