Saturday, April 17, 2004

They Make Ads 

I don't (and won't) usually do this, but here's an ad from the DNC which consists of Bush's answer to the "do you make any mistakes?" question. If you didn't see it on TV, it is worth looking at, because the print accounts can't compensate for the pauses.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Get Your War On 


Punk and Conservative Politics: A Pretty Vacant Lot 

Hilarious article from "Intellectual Conservative" Magazine about Punk Rock's debt to Noam Chomsky. I particularly love how he alludes to punk rock polluting young minds in "concert halls."

Also funny, aside from the article's claim that Chomsky believes America is the "Great Satan" (That would be Ayotollah Kheomeni, who is not exactly a Chomskyite) is this wacky tidbit pulled out of someone's ass: "In 2001, there were more chat room references to this man than to Vice President Dick Cheney". (I'm not saying it isn't true, I'm saying, how the hell would anyone know that?)

The main message is that, to please the Right, you must constantly be stuck on the idea that "terrorism is bad". The Right seems to be worried that people will forget that terrorism is bad if Chomsky doesn't say that and that exclusively. Fire, too, is bad, but to constantly scream about how bad fire is doesn't stop the house from burning down.

Are you sick of punk bands that only endorse radical left politics? Are you a conservative who wants to "keep your punk ideals alive"? Well good news: Conservative Punk magazine, proudly sponsored by staunch individualist Rush Limbaugh in partnership with Matt Drudge and

Here's an excerpt from that proves how totally against the system they are, dude- and completely not parroting, we promise!

Let us say one wants to become a civil servant, a cop or fireman etc... There still is a wait to be called to test then perhaps a wait to be called. Next there is school as well. Once hired in order to climb the ladder of success, applying oneself is necessary or one can just do the 20 years to receive the pension. Again, patience or a lag-time is necessary to succeed. Let's also examine saving money, even with compound interest it still takes time to accumulate wealth. For those familiar with compound interest you that you are greatly rewarded for patience, personal responsibility and accountability. No one just puts money in accounts for you unless you take action in that direction. With all of these scenarios, there must also be the recognition that although it may take years and sometimes decades to build, they all can crumble in an instant. The rebuilding process can and usually does take quite some time. This concept of patience and common sense can also protect us as well.

Nothing is more fuck-you than long term investment strategies!

In case you've come here through a google search, let me just say this: The "Radical Left" agenda of the "Punk" movement isn't a marching army of dittoheads. The fact of the matter is, Punk is anti-authoritarian not because "the system must be destroyed at all costs" but because social control or authoritative control over others is detrimental to human freedom, period. Of course, we have to have some in any given society, and no current political party actually reflects this ideal. But if you're making the leap into electoral politics, then the difference is in what you lean towards.

Republicans will play the "libertarian" card, but true "anarchy" is a libertarian socialist state, not the anarcho-capitalist republican system. Republican "Liberty" is the liberty to create and amass your own power over others- which is more in line with Fascism. The Liberty of the true left is the absence of power and the widespread distribution of sustenance and survival so that people can pursue a life more meaningful than struggling for food and shelter. For the Right, people can be "free" to grovel for power and to desire power over others (Social Darwinism is the hallmark of Anarcho-Capitalism). The left says people can be free to pursue a life outside of mindless consumption and arbitrary power assignments calculated randomly by the circumstances of your birth. Leftist libertarianism is the ability to "make something of yourself" outside of some imaginary measuring stick of "spending power." ("Your future dream is a shopping scheme".)

By the way, it doesn't really matter, anyway, since Punk has become completely irrelevant. Hip Hop still has a chance, but even the underground is not long in the tooth for total homogenization.

Dude, Where's My Gleipnir? 

The AP is reporting that Bushy-Wushy-Tushy asked Rummy-Tum-Tummy-Bum to draw up war plans against Iraq while we were about half way through with the war in Afghanistan. But best of all, he also told Rummy-Tum-Tummy-Bum to keep it like a nasty, nasty secret.

"Bush feared that if news got out about the Iraq plan as U.S. forces were fighting another conflict, people would think he was too eager for war, journalist Bob Woodward writes in "Plan of Attack," a behind-the-scenes account of the 16 months leading to the Iraq invasion.

Everyone totally fell for that one, eh? The White House has owned up to all this, by the way, which marks about the third time in the administration's history that they've admitted a mistake. Yesterday, they corrected Bush's Turkey Farm Mustard Gas numbers, and today they've admitted this, and then today Rumsfeld admitted that he never expected this many casualties in the war in Iraq:

"I certainly would not have estimated that we would have had the number of individuals lost that we have had lost in the last week."

Of course, it was only "the activist left" that predicted a massive guerilla style inner city street fighting campaign. Why is it that the anti-war left had a better idea of how war works than the guy in charge of planning and executing wars?

But the larger question is: Is there a large, administration-wide effort to start owning up to mistakes, based on the political reality that the "infallibility" strategy has backfired on Bush's poll numbers? Or are these people actually starting to realize that the Fenris Wolf they've been feeding has finally come unleashed?

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Disruption is Free Speech 

Culture Jamming the President: Using Highway signs as "blogs". RTMark has some new culture jamming ideas as well. Have Fun, Kids!

Darwinian Wildlife Preservation 

Bush's Fish and Wildlife / National Parks Guy, Craig Manson, did an interview with Grist Magazine in which he talks about his dedication to the Darwinian approach to the preservation of Wildlife. Which, uh, you can't do. It's an oxymoron.

Grist: You made a comment at a Santa Barbara conference that riled a lot of environmentalists, in which you called into question the inherent harm of species extinction: "If we are saying that the loss of species in and of itself is inherently bad," you said, "I don't think we know enough about how the world works to say that." Can you explain this comment and what you think may be the sunny side of species extinction?

Manson: The reaction to that comment illustrates something about the character of the science that some people would have us use -- which is, "Don't question the orthodoxy of anything." I mean, do we know? The orthodoxy is that every species has a place in the ecosystem and therefore the loss of any species diminishes us in some negative way. That's the orthodoxy. Now that certainly has validity with respect to most things, maybe almost everything. But it's a presumptuous thing to suggest that we know for sure that that is a fact. And it sort of flies in the face of Darwinian science.

Grist: How so?

Manson: Darwinian science suggests that some species are lost because they are unable to adapt to changing circumstances. And those changing circumstances may be natural circumstances, they may not be artificial or human-caused. If that's the case, then we don't know whether to label the loss of that species as good or bad as a scientific matter. That does not mean that we shouldn't enforce the Endangered Species Act. Some people made a leap in logic from that discussion to, "Let's not enforce the ESA." That's fallacious to make that sort of leap of logic.

Grist: There is vast and alarming evidence that the rate of extinction has escalated tremendously in the last several decades. We often hear statistics along the lines of: More species have been lost in the last several decades than have been lost cumulatively in the last several millennia. As the man responsible for species protection in the United States, can you explain why we "don't know enough" to deduce that this is linked to human activity and is an unnatural and potentially catastrophic trend?

Manson: There are statistics like that out there. I don't know what those statistics mean.

Grist: As in, you don't know whether they are well-founded?

Manson: Well, let's assume for a moment that you had a study that said more species have been lost in the last 50 years than in the preceding 10,000 years. And that's all the study tells us -- somehow we are able to figure that out. Well, what does that mean? I don't know what that means.

Turkey and Mustard, Bush and the Truth 

If you watched the Bush Press Conference, you recall that Bush mentioned that authorities found 50 tons of Mustard Gas on a Turkey Farm. He said it at two different points of his speech, but basically used it to prove that the invasion of Iraq had pressured Libya into giving in to inspections. But today, McClellan, in a rare move, corrected the President. Turns out they found less than half the amount Bush said.

Inflated numbers is a common political game. Ie, you say "50" and when it gets reduced to 23, the 23 "still sounds a lot higher" than if you initially lowballed a 17 and then upgraded to a 23. It's done with Casualty counts usually, but works for any number. (Not to mention, of course, that corrections never get as much press as the initial statement.) Of course, if you ask Bush, he'll tell you didn't lie- he just told twice as much truth.

I don't think finding 23 tons of Mustard Gas is "no big deal", of course, but the other problem is that even Flynt Leverett, a former Bush Admin Senior Director on Middle Eastern affairs, said to the NY Times that the war in Iraq wasn't what pressured Libya. In fact, Libya was pressured by just the opposite:

The lesson is incontrovertible: to persuade a rogue regime to get out of the terrorism business and give up its weapons of mass destruction, we must not only apply pressure but also make clear the potential benefits of cooperation. Unfortunately, the Bush administration has refused to take this approach with other rogue regimes, notably Iran and Syria. Until the president is willing to employ carrots as well as sticks, he will make little headway in changing Iranian or Syrian behavior. -Archived NY Times Editorial

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Barbies No Pasaran! 

The largest Internet Vote Ever in Russian history was for a Miss Universe contestant who entered as a prank.

"The appearance of a common, real-life girl caused an enormous wave of support [...] (She) submitted for the competition usual photos, made by unprofessional photographers, without make-up, with a natural smile and expression of the eyes." The statement says the vote for Alyona was "against unnatural beauties who cannot be distinguished from each other, fake emotions, smiles and gazes reflected in the lenses of professional photographers, products of the same type and trademark, popular music, cigarettes without nicotine and coffee without caffeine". - BBC News

Totally great.


QUESTION: Mr. President, why are you and the vice president insisting on appearing together before the 9-11 commission? And, Mr. President, who will we be handing the Iraqi government over to on June 30th?

BUSH: We'll find that out soon. That's what Mr. Brahimi is doing. He's figuring out the nature of the entity we'll be handing sovereignty over. And, secondly, because the 9-11 commission wants to ask us questions, that's why we're meeting. And I look forward to meeting with them and answering their questions.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) I was asking why you're appearing together, rather than separately, which was their request.

BUSH: Because it's a good chance for both of us to answer questions that the 9-11 commission is looking forward to asking us. And I'm looking forward to answering them.

It Never Stops 

Ashcroft also said that one of the first things he did after becoming attorney general was to conduct a "thorough review" of the authorities that the Clinton administration had given the CIA to take covert action against bin Laden. His review showed, he testified, that there was "no covert action program to kill bin Laden."

But several commissioners disagreed. They cited the 1998 "memorandum of notification" signed by Clinton, which was found among the documents that the Bush White House originally refused to turn over to the commission.
-Wasington Post

[via Roger Ailes.]

Any Inkling 

New Documents show that the August 6th Memo, which, I remind you, was titled, "Bin Laden Determined To Strike Within US", was not, as the Bush Cadre have implied, evidence of a simple traditional hijacking (and thus, apparently, no big deal):

The intelligence included reports of a hostage plot against Americans. It noted that operatives might choose to hijack an aircraft or storm a U.S. embassy. Without knowing when, where or how the terrorists would strike, the CIA "consistently described the upcoming attacks as occurring on a catastrophic level, indicating that they would cause the world to be in turmoil," according to one of two staff reports released by the panel yesterday. -Washington Post

Then, Bush took a month long vacation after he got the August 6th PDB. Yesterday, Bush said at his press conference:

"I can assure the American people that had we had any inkling that this was going to happen, we would have done everything in our power to stop the attack."

Yeah, That is Shrill 

Sometimes, Democrats take it a little too far. The St. Petersburg Democratic Club took out a newspaper ad:

It criticizes the "Bush Bunch" and compared the Iraqi insurgents to American patriots during the Revolutionary War. The advertisement includes this passage: "They're Iraqi patriots who want us the hell out of their country, and we should get the hell out of their country now!" [...] "And then there's Rumsfeld who said of Iraq, 'We have our good days and our bad days,' " the ad continues. "We should put this S.O.B. up against the wall and say 'This is one of our bad days,' and pull the trigger." -The Moonie Times

Here's a hint for political fundraising: Don't call for assasinations. But, at least now I know who Bush is arguing with about "staying the course."

What They Say When They're Saying Nothing 

"Ten months before facing voters, President Bush used an upbeat State of the Union address Tuesday night to promote his stewardship of the nation at home and abroad and to call on Americans to stay the course." January 21st, 2004

"Despite the growing upheaval and U.S. casualties in Iraq, a majority of the nation's 20 largest newspapers, in editorials during the past week, have urged the White House to stay the course." April 9th, 2004

"After a tear-filled meeting with the family of a Charlottean killed in Iraq, President Bush vowed Monday to "stay the course" despite that country's latest surge in violence." April 6th, 2004

"The United States "will stay the course" in Iraq, President Bush said today in Gaberone, Botswana, following a meeting with President Festus Gontebanye Mogae." July 10, 2003

"President Bush Should "Stay the Course" in Postwar Iraq to Ensure Battlefield Victory is not Lost, Says Council Task Force." March 12, 2003

"President Bush said the US would "stay the course" in Iraq yesterday as the latest wave of violence raised questions about America's timetable for withdrawal of its forces." October 28, 2003

"In Address to Veterans, President Bush Pledges to Stay the Course in War on Terror." August 26th, 2003

"There is one major reason that I will vote for George W. Bush in November. It is to keep on course with his course against killers international. To vote against Mr. Bush for anybody else is to open America's door to the murderers, opening it wider than ever before." February 7th, 2004

"Stay the Course on Disarming Iraq" January 23, 2003

"Senators McCain, Bayh: U-S must stay the course in Iraq"

"Iraqis who want to replace Saddam's deposed dictatorship with a new, democratic government "cannot do it alone," Armitage said. "That is why the United States will stay the course."

"We stay the course, also, against the threat of terrorism," he [Colin Powell] said. "There's no question that the new ideology that threatens us is not called communism or fascism, but it is terrorism."

"Cheney to ask Asian Allies to Stay The Course in Iraq."

All of this surprisingly comes when absolutely no one besides Dennis Kucinich is calling for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Even Howard Dean has said we should "stay the course." But for whatever reason, it gives Bush a headline when he says it, and he always says it. It is precisely what he says when there is nothing to say to acknowledge the death and misery that this war has incurred. When the shit goes down, Bush says "stay the course" and suddenly the people are sated; but what, precisely, is the "course"? The course is, as far as it has been explained to me, to simply imagine what a peaceful and stable Iraq will do to the region. But we already had that once, didn't we?

A Closer Look 

The Complete August 6th Memo formatted just as the President received it. The words "World Trade Center" are in the second sentence of the memo.

If I've been especially caustic this week, if I have been overbearingly cynical, it's on account of frustration, and I'll apologize but also warn you, I have a feeling it isn't going to stop.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Bush Intends To Stay The Course 

Full Text here.

Bush is going to stay the course. He doesn't know who he will hand power over to in Iraq, ("You'll find out soon", he said) but he is going to stay the course, so don't worry. What's the plan? We don't know, but we're staying the course, and it's gonna rule.

Asked if he ever made mistakes, the answer was that there weren't any he could think of on the spot like that. They asked him again, later, and he literally stammered, stood there silent, flummoxed. The result? He was confident that they'd find weapons in Iraq. I'm really glad that Bush is going for the "totally infallible, pretty much non human because my actions are divined by the Almighty" thing. How can you not vote for a guy who is totally infallible?

Are you wondering why he's speaking with Dick Cheney at the 9/11 commission as opposed to separately? So was I. Well, it's because it's such a great chance to help the commission get to the bottom of what happened on 9/11. "No, no," you say, "why is he appearing with Dick Cheney, instead of separately, as the commission requested?" The answer: because it is a great opportunity to help the commission get to the bottom of what happened on 9/11. Next question?

On the line of going to war because "just imagine if Saddam Hussein had WMD's", there's this: "A free Iraq is going to be a major blow for terrorism. It'll change the world. A free Iraq in the midst of the Middle East is vital to future peace and security." The problem is that a Free Iraq, as of now, is completely imaginary. So he's saying, "once there's no more terrorism or instability in the middle east, there will be no more terrorism or instability there." That's gonna be totally awesome. Thank God that Bush is staying the course!

Oh, and do you think Iraqi's can't be free because of their skin? Well, Bush has some words for you.

"Some of the debate really centers around the fact that people don't believe Iraq can be free; that if you're Muslim, or perhaps brown-skinned, you can't be self-governing or free. I'd strongly disagree with that." Take that, all you racist anti war protestors out there. Looks like you got served.

Bush Gets It Right, Again 

"Of course I expect good information. I can't make good decisions without good information!"


Bush Gets It Right 

"A country that hides things is a country afraid of getting caught."


Question To The Media 

Why do you keep saying that Bush's goal is "to convince Americans to stay the course in Iraq"? Who is arguing otherwise? Are we phrasing the question because of Dennis Kucinich? Or are we setting up the false dichotomy that Bush is for "staying the course" where the other political option and candidate is not?

Ashcroft's Testo-mercial 

"The simple fact of Sept. 11 is this: We did not know an attack was coming because for nearly a decade our government had blinded itself to its enemies." -LA Times

But we did know an attack was coming. According to the August 6th PDB, annoyingly titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside US," : "FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York."

So John Ashcroft can go fuck himself. But we have to be civil, so we let this guy pimp the PATRIOT Act anyway:

"Our agents were isolated by government-imposed walls, handcuffed by government-imposed restrictions, and starved for basic information technology," he said. "The old national intelligence system in place on Sept. 11 was destined to fail."

Of course, all of these things- let's, for the sake of convenience, call them "civil liberties"- were there when Clinton stopped the Millennium Bombings.

So John Ashcroft can go fuck himself twice.

2 + 2 = ? 

Two Articles that really illuminate each other:

Krugman and Chomsky.

Krugman: Again and again, administration officials have insisted that some particular evildoer is causing all our problems. Last July they confidently predicted an end to the insurgency after Saddam's sons were killed. In December, they predicted an end to the insurgency after capturing Saddam himself. Six weeks ago -- was it only six weeks? -- Al Qaeda was orchestrating the insurgency, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was the root of all evil. The obvious point that we're facing widespread religious and nationalist resentment in Iraq, which is exploited but not caused by the bad guy du jour, never seems to sink in.

Chomsky: As pretext after pretext for the war has collapsed, commentators have had to scurry to take the next one seriously. The latest, after the collapse of all others, is that the US goal was to establish democracy in Iraq, indeed the whole Middle East. The assumption is taken for granted in news reporting, and accepted even by the harshest critics, who laud the noble vision but think it is beyond our means, etc. Only Iraqis seem to reject it; in recent polls, 1% of people in Baghdad think the US invaded to defend democracy, 5% to help Iraqis, while most of the rest assume that the goal was to take control of Iraq's resources and to reorganize the region for US power interests -- an option that is virtually inexpressible here, though it sounds pretty simple and obvious.

So it would seem that, for one, we have to start admitting we wanted Iraq for "strategic" purposes- we pretend it means military bases and stronger "presence" in the region, but that's tied to easier defense and regulation of "the oil", and we should stop pretending otherwise. The "otherwise" scenario (numerous as they are, as Chomsky points out) was force fed to us by "Steady Leadership" Bush in the context of 9/11- even daring to say that we need to topple fundamentalist regimes as a way to pre-empt terrorism by owning up to America's (re: Clinton's, when it should have been re: Reagan's) foreign policy mistakes. There's no ties to "old" terrorism in Iraq, in fact, the CIA had long stated that it would increase our risk for "old" Terrorism.

The Iraqi people are not stupid people. They can see as well as we can, if not better, that the occupation was for the sake of American Power (and for the sake of expressing American Power, as a "reminder" to other nations to stay in line- which is exactly what Bush claims has happened in Libya). Iraqis- and foreign fighters- know that making this American Occupation as bloody and difficult as possible will have the same effect on American Power as 9/11, and they also know that they can profit from it- if Sadr can chase America out of Iraq, then Bin Laden looks like Pancakes. Fundamentalism and Globalisation are at war, and the battle can produce martyrs, heroes, and new political power in Iraq. So of course, they'll try to reach that ring. The more blood spilled by Americans in that process, the easier it becomes to sway them against Bush and the Occupation.

Gov. Craig Benson's Paranoia 

In the Manchester Union Leader (or the Union Freeper, if you like) was this, regarding Kerry's speech yesterday at UNH:

Gov. Craig Benson, co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in New Hampshire, criticized Kerry for putting a negative tone on the economy, particularly before young people. "That could put a stall on the economy," Benson said in a conference call with reporters. -Union Leader

Yes, now we know what's killing the economy: Kerry's speech to a bunch of Guster fans.

McSweeney's Is On It 

McSweeney's now has a Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush feature. Here's one I didn't know, and I tend to know these things:

George W. Bush is listed, through 1999, as a donor to the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, having raised money for their annual ball. The event is held in a former slave hall, where slaves were forced to build war material for the Confederate army.

(Source: The Book on Bush, Eric Alterman and Mark Green, Viking, 2004)

Monday, April 12, 2004

John Kerry, UNH Campus in Durham, NH 

A woman tried to get us to move to a row of seats, saying it was just so we could be on television. That was the exact opposite of what we wanted, so we stayed, and later we found out that our seats were directly in view of the television cameras. (Much like the time the Wesley Clark people wanted me to sit on stage with Wes, then told me politely to sit in the bleachers. I don't understand the internal mechanizations of these strategists, but I assume my general at-rest demeanor doesn't match with the blaring of "Walkin' On Sunshine", especially after it's been played the fourth time in an hour. Can someone tell the set up people to prepare more than four songs when warming up a crowd at a rally? Particularly when your candidate is consistently an hour and a half late. To everything.)

Right before Kerry finally came out (Tickets said Doors open at 1:30, Kerry came on at 4) we were told that we would be on camera, so to try to look enthusiastic. We were then handed two American Flags to wave and a sign as well as a giant finger pointer, which, if you overlapped them, looked like one giant middle finger, which may be handy if I crash a Bush rally. But the weirdest thing was that Kerry staff were handing out "home made" signs to the crowd, having confiscated all the others at the door, just in case someone had made a "fake" sign, I was told. The signs were distributed with slogans like "Students for Kerry", which was, at one point, held by an elderly Korean War Veteran before it was held by a middle aged Kerry campaign staff member.

The problem I have always had with every candidate save Dean and Kucinich is the amount of pageantry and spectacle orchestrated around these events. These things are not about politics, they're about image, they're about "hope" and "positivity", they aren't debates, they aren't cabinet meetings, and I understand that. But they also aren't very good at getting to the heart of what one candidate means as opposed to the other, about what politics should be. I long, at every political rally, for the moment of disruption. When the events are so carefully choreographed that even the home made signs are faked, the crowds forced into strange configurations for the sake of television cameras, all orchestrated to present the candidate in an entirely positive light, usually devoid of controversial statements that are the heart of progress, the moment of disruption is the only human moment of any event. Be it a lone Bush Wrangler, a LaRouche Attack, or an overly feisty critic in the crowd, it lets the candidate show off his wit, if he has it, his temper, if he has one, but mostly, you get a glimpse into the candidate, and sometimes politics in general, when something goes astray.

The College Republicans began banging flip flops together and chanting "Flip Flop, Flip Flop." To which Kerry said, "Yeah, well- let me send some people to a Bush Rally to bang their unemployment checks together." The crowd went nuts. Even the flip flop guys knew they got served. They had nothing to say, they just stopped banging the flip flops together and they walked out.

It took me a while to really understand the complete and total idiocy of these brownshirts. On the ride home, the radio was playing the news of the day: A dairy farmer, whose farm went out of business, had signed up to be a truck driver in Iraq for Halliburton. The pay was astronomical for his hometown in Mississippi, and he needed to support his wife and children, so he signed up. Today, he's being held hostage by terrorists who are threatening to torture him if American troops don't pull out of Fallujah. They won't, they can't. Negotiating with terrorists leads to more terrorism, more kidnappings. But that doesn't really matter much to the milk farmer who is going to be tortured tomorrow, or to his family, whose last sight of their father and husband is going to be the terrified look he has on a video tape made by sadists.

Meanwhile, three Japanese soldiers were being held hostage as well, the first time the Japanese have been involved in a conflict since 1945. These soldiers were sent to assist in a reconstruction effort, not in the war effort, per se. In fact, they had Iraqi soldiers protecting them. But now they've been kidnapped, and they will be burned alive unless Japan removes it's soldiers from Iraq's borders. They won't, you can't negotiate with terrorists, but what does that matter, really.

There's been over 70 killed this weekend in battles against a religious revolution- what people ought to consider a third war in Iraq, this time not against Saddam and the Baathists but against Revolutionary elements of the religious population. The Sunnis and the Shiites are united, for once, and it is against us, and Democracy is coming to them in less than three months.

All of this, and the College Republicans are sitting there, banging sandals in the air, chanting "Flip Flop, Flip Flop." It's an act of absolute, unquestionable stupidity. But it's also an act of unfathomable and deliberate ignorance. If you believe in this President, then there is a time and a place for frat boy grandstanding, for testosterone induced competitive yelling. If you are educated enough to have drawn a conclusion on this president, then you should know that this weekend wasn't that time or that place. I imagined, in the car on the way back, these pathetic, frat boy, conscription aged children, throwing their stupid sandals at televised images of a Dairy Farmer, forced out of work and into delivering goods for Halliburton, caught and tortured on tape for the guy they want for four more years, and yelling about how John Kerry changed his mind on tax cuts back in 1995. I'm wondering if anyone understands what America means anymore, if anyone understands the degree of power we are wielding in this election?

I don't know if the fake signs are any different than the flip flop banging, but I know that the Kerry Campaign is run on the energy of not allowing any mistakes on the way to correcting the ones Bush has made. The college boys, they didn't stand for anything. They walked out knowing full well that they accomplished absolutely nothing, they walked out knowing they lost this round, and they didn't even bother standing ground. To them, election is a shouting match. To the rest of us, to the rest of the world, this election is something akin to the resolution of an international crisis, a deathwave of staggering uselessness, a politics of incomprehensible doctrines imposed by dead men and weapons.

Banging sandals together about tax cuts just doesn't cut it anymore.

On Canada 

Alternet has a great article about Canada, specifically, why American's don't "respect" Canada: an absence of war, genocide and nationalism make it seem "weak" and "second class". But also why Canadians have the last laugh: they have a greater respect for developing a national consensus, and they have real media and dialogue that reflects this, which, coincidentally, leads to actual, innovative solutions beyond the realm of partisanship. In other words, they're what America pretends it is, minus our wars and Genocide.

One thing I liked about Canada, while I was driving through Ontario, the radio played a story about giving citizens free bus fares when there was a smog warning, to help cut down the amount of car exhaust that, you know contributes to the smog problem. It operated at a loss, obviously, but no one seemed to care. It made sense, and sometimes you operate at a loss. Running a Nation "For Profit" is nothing short of Libertarian Capitalism, and that seems to be what we have in charge now.

Bush's Excuse 

"The question was, who was going to attack us, when and where, and with what. And you might recall the hijacking that was referred to in the PDB. It was not a hijacking of an airplane to fly into a building, it was hijacking of airplanes in order to free somebody that was being held as a prisoner in the United States." GW, in the Washington Post.

Well in that case, doing nothing would have been perfectly acceptable. Right, guys?

Sunday, April 11, 2004

What Bush Really Thinks 

"George sees this as a religious war," one family member told us. "He doesn't have a PC view of this war. His view is that they are trying to kill the Christians. And we the Christians will strike back with more force and more ferocity than they will ever know."

- LA Times with a must read story.

[Update: Totally forgot to give a shout out to Corrente for finding this one.]

What the Fuck 

In his first comments since Saturday's release of the presidential daily brief, Bush said the document contained "nothing about an attack on America." Bush said if there had been any specific intelligence pointing to threats of attacks on New York and Washington, "I would have moved mountains" to prevent it. -AP

The memo, which everyone has already read by the time Bush said this, read, and I repeat:

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

"Nothing About An Attack On America" vs "preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York."

"If there had been any specific intelligence pointing to threats of attacks on New York and Washington" vs "preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York."

What the fuck is wrong with this guy? Why isn't anyone calling him on this shit? "Moving Mountains" my ass,

"On that day, after a dusty morning run, the president put faded jeans with a big belt buckle, a short-sleeved, button-down shirt, cowboy boots to get down to work. He met aides for 45 minutes. He took the call from Rice. Bush put on a white cowboy hat and drove his pickup to the canyons. He was building a nature walk." -AP

August 6th Memo: 


You can read the whole thing there, but here's what you'll want to know:

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

And when a plane hit the World Trade Center, remember, Bush himself claims to have said, "That's one lousy pilot", and when he was told the second hit, he sat for fifteen minutes reading "The Pet Goat" with Florida school children.

Christianity is not Christians 

Happy Easter!

GLASSPORT, Pa. -- Several parents and children were upset by a Glassport church's Easter show, in which a bunny character was whipped and eggs were broken. People who attended the performance Saturday at Memorial Stadium quoted performers as saying, "There is no Easter bunny," and described the show as a demonstration of how Jesus was crucified. Jennifer Norelli-Burke, another parent who saw the show, said performers broke eggs meant for an Easter egg hunt and portrayed a drunken man and a self-mutilating woman. "It was very disturbing," Norelli-Burke said. "I could not believe what I saw. It wasn't anything I was expecting."

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