Thursday, January 31, 2008

50 A4isms 4 A3ists

The Top 10:
  1. Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers
  2. Honk If Your Religious Beliefs Make You An Asshole
  3. Intelligent Design Makes My Monkey Cry
  4. Too Stupid to Understand Science? Try Religion.
  5. There’s A REASON Why Atheists Don’t Fly Planes Into Buildings
  6. “Worship Me or I Will Torture You Forever. Have a Nice Day.”­ God.
  7. God Doesn’t Kill People. People Who Believe in God Kill People.
  8. If There is No God, Then What Makes the Next Kleenex Pop Up?
  9. He’s Dead. It’s Been 2,000 years. He’s Not Coming Back.
    Get OVER It Already!
  10. "All religion is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry."--Edgar Allen Poe.
Plus a couple of personal favs (as it happens, they're #s 11, 12, 13:
#Viva La Evolución!
# Actually, If You Look It Up, The Winter Solstice Is The Reason For The Season
# I Wouldn’t Trust Your God Even If He Did Exist
#24: You Say “Heretic” Like It Was a BAD Thing...
Enjoy

Veterans' Suicides and Attempted Suicides At All-Time Highs

Well, since they started keeping track, in 1980, anyway...Somehow they seem to have neglected that particular statistic during my war. Gee! Wonder how dat happened?
Suicides among active-duty soldiers in 2007 reached their highest level since the Army began keeping such records in 1980, according to a draft internal study obtained by The Washington Post. Last year, 121 soldiers took their own lives, nearly 20 percent more than in 2006.

At the same time, the number of attempted suicides or self-inflicted injuries in the Army has jumped sixfold since the Iraq war began. Last year, about 2,100 soldiers injured themselves or attempted suicide, compared with about 350 in 2002, according to the U.S. Army Medical Command Suicide Prevention Action Plan.
[...]
(A military spokesperson) said the Army must do a better job of making sure that soldiers in distress receive mental health services. "We need to know what to do when we're concerned about one of our fellows."

The study, which the Army's top personnel chief ordered six months ago, acknowledges that the Army still does not know how to adequately assess, monitor and treat soldiers with psychological problems. In fact, it says that "the current Army Suicide Prevention Program was not originally designed for a combat/deployment environment."
Not all mortal wounds bleed.
Every single veteran returning from combat duty is damaged--injured--in some way. Some admit it, some don't; but all are in some way fucked up--unless they were already suffering from psychopathy. Ever-increasing numbers of veterans are also committing violent crimes, murder, attempted murder, assault, and alcohol-impaired auto crashes. The Army's concern for PTSD-effected soldiers is so much bullshit. Check out Army "Tiger teams" that travel the country to intimidate VA officials to keep veterans' disability claims low. Doubt it? Mother-fucking "Lifers...." I hate fucking 'lifers.'

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Note To Self: Hire This Shaller Fella If You Ever Wanna Run

This is pretty close to brilliant, if you're an Obama partisan.
A CHEKLIST FOR BARACK

Herewith, a half dozen suggestions of things Barack Obama could do this week to improve his chances on Super Tuesday:
1. For the next week, only refer to the Clintons in the plural, as in “The Clintons” or “my three opponents in this race, John Edwards and The Clintons.” Lines like these will get you a lot of media play and will force Hillary to respond to questions about her independence by asserting that she, not they, is the candidate—a response that will then also get a lot of play, and take her off her experience/ready-to-lead-on-day-one message.
2. On Wednesday, ask Democrats rhetorically why Karl Rove and other top Republicans (see George Packer’s New Yorker piece last week, e.g.) seem to be hoping against hope that they don’t draw the candidate with the hopeful message in the general, but instead want Hillary to win the nomination.
3. On Thursday night during the Los Angeles debate, remind Latino voters that one of your campaign slogans from both the 2004 senate bid and your current presidential bid--“yes, we can”-- happens to roughly translate to “Si, se puede.” Then make a joke about yourself (humor being your weak spot, as the smart folks at Slate’s “gabfest” podcast correctly observed this week) being a gringo who knows little more than those three words in Spanish--but how those three matter most.
4. On Friday, roll out your wife Michele for a big speech about women’s issues that serves as a powerful reminder that when Hillary Clinton says all the candidates are blessed to have talented spouses, she isn’t lying.
5. Call Al Gore, promise him the Moon if necessary, tell him it’s time to get off the sidelines, and roll him out as an endorsement on Saturday, in time for the Sunday talk shows. Unlike four years ago with Howard Dean (when Gore’s approval numbers were a mere fraction of what they are today), this endorsement would matter.
6. On Monday, talk about how you, as nominee, would make it a special focus not only to campaign hard on your own behalf, but to provide substantial effort and resources to swing congressional states and districts, specifically the two dozen open House seats created by Republican retirements or deaths.

--Tom Schaller
Me? I reckon that'd seal the deal, if the deal were actually gonna get sealed.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Is Obama The Political Equivalent Of "Febreez"?

The whole psychology of marketing in this consumer economy is based on identifying "blemishes"--the insufficiencies, absences, and lacunae of loss and lack; the zits, bad smells, psoriasis scabs which mark us as deficient--in the private, conflicted, insecure, frightened, lonely, empty, craving hearts of the us consumers, and promising fervently (albeit obliquely) that by simply purchasing some product, your skin will clear up, your teeth will get whiter, you will become sexiewr, and you'll get that date with Brad or Suzy, and mebbe even get LAID!

Wahoooooo! Gimme THREE o'dem babies!!!

But what has this to do with Obama? In a clever, thoughtful, generous piece now up on OpenLeft, the commentor Feral cat contributes his thoughts on the prospect of an Obama presidency under this rubric: There is No Staples EASY Button for Economic Justice; Fighting the Man for the Mule. The central purpose of the piece is to interrogate the Obama candidacy in terms of MLK's "Where Do We Go From Here" speech, and King's core question: "Together, for WHAT?" He begins with a discussion of whether Obama's election would satisfy King's "dream," concluding (reluctantly) that it would NOT. Because Obama's campaign is not about the ISSUES that mattered to King, only, perhaps, the appearances: a black man in the WhiteHouse. That, Feral cat, suggests, is NOT enough:
So I voted "No" to the question of having a African American president as somehow the epitome, the apex of Dr. King's and Tom Paine's dream. Yes there is something to be said for symbolism, and yes, we've come a long way, but we have miles to go before we sleep. And the detour we took in 1980 took us down a very low road. Sorry, but we've got to make our way back to the fork in the road and take the high road out of the muck.

We have to get out of the muck and throw off the chains; the chains in our head that reveres the salesmen of Wall Street who sold out the American Dream. The chains in our head that reveres the player over the worker. The chains in our head that gives away our power for some gruel. We have all become slaves to the corporations. And today it is clear from reading economists like Paul Krugman that we can restore dignity and restore decision making to all of us by having universal health care. We will then no longer be slaves to corporations. We can move from job to job freely without fear of losing our health care. And then, what they fear most will happen. The people will like that equality deal. They'll want more of that social democracy stuff that those pesky Europeans have.
He concludes:
Simply put. I Got the faith. I Got the hope. Now for the Love thy neighbor and the love with power part. Power to the People. Let's kick out the Criminal Cannibal Capitalists. Vote Solidarity. Vote for the People. Vote for the Mule. And cut to the revolution.
So well put. The entire essay is really excellent, and it stimulated this reply from me:
"Yes, we can!"
Okay, sure. Can, what, exactly?"
Have hope? Well, okay, cool. Hope in one hand and pee in the other and see which one gets damp. But, whatever floats your boat (so to speak).

Can elect Obama? Mebbe, though that's gonna be lots tougher, cuz there's a huge slice of Middull Murka that is not ready for a black guy with a 'funny' name to be ITS president. They'll come out to vote AGAINST him, I gay-ron-TEE it...

Come together?
Together, for what?
Aye, there's the rub.
With a platform of Universal health care, increased social security benefits, better educational opportunities, social and economic justice? Reparations? Reduced militarism? Rolling back resegregation? All of it?

¡No va a suceder! Nicht wahrscheinlich! Nagahapun.
And not only is he not gonna talk about it, he's not gonna be able to da anything about it, either, without a sympathetic super-majority in Congress. The most wildly optimistic estimates don't give the Dems anywhere near (a reliable) 60 votes.

Because as soon as Obama even so much as HINTS at any such actual agenda ("Power to the People. Let's kick out the Criminal Cannibal Capitalists. Vote Solidarity. Vote for the People. Vote for the Mule. And cut to the revolution." Yeah, shit like dat!), he'll become as 'electable' as Dennis Kucenich is adjudged to be. He'll become the "candidate of (hint/wink/nudge) "special interests" ("knowwadImean? knowwadImean?") He'll incur the entire weight of the disprobation of the corpoRat media, he'll lose his "magic."

With every speech of his, each utterance of which is brimming with style, and form, warmth, and charm--but is utterly devoid of programmatic ideas, plans, actual agendas, etc.; you know, the real stuff for which a candidate is elected, the real change behind the rhetoric--I become more and more convinced that Obama's just another shiny object, about as actually useful and as durable as a new ipod, designed by the oiligarchs, marketed by the pollutocrats, owned by the elites, but aimed at the masses, as yet another feel-good accessory; the hip, with-it, consumable president.
Like Febreez for the political system, he won't be able to accomplish anything; that's not what he'll be there to do. But he'll make us all feel sooooo much better about how our White House smells.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Thousand Pointed Lies

Well, it's only NINE HUNDRED THIRTY FIVE, but that's CEFGW**. Bill Press, on AAR, this morning, interviewed Charles Lewis. Lewis won't say the word "LIES," but the implications are irrebuttable: Each and every one of the "top seven" was and is a lying sack of shit, "a reeking, leaking, dripping, oozing lying sack of shit!"
False Pretenses
Following 9/11, President Bush and seven top officials of his administration waged a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

By Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith

President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.
"Decidedly false pretenses." Clinton got impeached for ONE lie, about a consentual blow-job. The Busheviks peddle nearly 1,000 lies, drag the country into a senseless, illegal, deadly, ruinous, unwinnable, half-TRILLION-Dollar invasion and occupation, and all they get is richer.
There is something decidedly WRONG with this picture.
Or mebbe it's just me.

**CEFGW = "Close Enough For Govt. Work"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Rest Of The Pack: Dixiebelle, Hanna-Stella, & Budreau



RIP "Mischief" - - 1995-2008 -- A Damn Good Dog

The House Dog's Grave
(Haig, an English bulldog)

I've changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read--and I fear often grieving for me--
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope than when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.

No, dear, that's too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.
And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .

But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved.
Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end.
If this is my end,

I am not lonely.
I am not afraid. I am still yours.

Robinson Jeffers, 1941

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Any Candidate Who Promises To Extract USer Troops From Iraq Is Lying To You

Cuz nobody CAN pull out all the troops.

Cuz they HAVE to keep "non-combatant' troops who'll be stationed there 'temporarily' to man and protect the airplanes and equipment which will be stored there 'temporarily' on the several dozen 'temporary installations' nearing completion all across Iraq.

They can't be 'permanent' bases, cuz that's been forbidden. So they'll have to be "temporary' bases," won't they? Cuz there are gonna be bases...

Until the oil runs out, and/or "we've" secured a better toe-hold in the trans-Caspian--Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Kzakhstan, Uzbekistan (Turkmenistan, damnit; I always forget Turkmenistan): the old Russian 'far east'--which is the last, really enormous, largely untapped pool of petroleum left on earth.

And the Russians--who have a border there-- know that, and the Chinese--who also have a border there, and are ravenous for energy--also know it, and the Indians--who, believe it or not ALSO have a border there, and are ALSO starving for energy--know it, troo. And "We" know it, too, of course, but we are at a serious disadvantage, one which should be pretty obvious, and has to do with having (or not) a border on the disputed region. We don't have one, and everybody knows that.

But, with tactical air-bases in Iraq, it's the next best thing. Tactical fighters are now indispensible for border protection and interdiction. There are going to be USer troops around, to keep those aircraft flying and protected, from now on, evern if it is only "temporarily," gay-ron-fuukin'-TEED, cherie...

And after the oil, there'll be the water...

Nobody's gonna bring the troops home, kids...Nagahapun.

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's Duke George and Grand Dame Babs Lining Up A Place To Fall Back Upon


No matter who it hurts.
Via TruthOut: Selling Out Grandma

Emily Udell, reporting for In These Times, writes: "In late 2007, the investment firm The Carlyle Group purchased one of the country’s largest nursing home chains despite the concerns of regulators, lawmakers and workers’ groups that the acquisition would lead to staffing cuts and cause a decline in quality of care for residents."
Mrs. Bush was heard to opine: "This is a very good thing for most of these people. They have never had it so good. This simply cannot endure.!"

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Alan Greenspan Made Monkeys Out Of All Of Us

That's right.

We're all sub-primates, now...

Four For One: If "They" can have a 'war on terror,' we can start our own "War On Greed"

The Huckleberry Voter, Revealed...

Via Eli, via 4legsgood, via pharyngula, we PROUDLY present a collection of the "top 100' considered opinions of 'the faithful'--presumably Huckster voters--on matters of science and morals. Some selected entries:
On Masturbation:
Masturbation can sometimes be wrong and it can sometimes not. If you masturbate thinking about how pretty the flowers are and how you want a puppy, essentially that's not wrong. But most times, that is not the case. I believe that when one masturbates a high percentage of the time they are fantasizing about a sexual partner therefore making masturbation lust. Lust, as the Bible states, is a sin. But masturbation is something that people in general should stay away from because it's hard not to lust whilst doing it.
Ben Jamin A Foote (Lansing / East Lansing, MI), Facebook [Comments (95)] [2008-Jan-16]
On Nuclear Fuels:
I'm not talking about a simple power outage. I'm talking about enriched plutonium which comes from the conversion of uranium into WMD. It is considered the most dangerous substance known to man and absolutely will shut off the electricity present in planes. All any terrorist has to do is drop large quantities of plutonium from airplanes onto American soil and it will render electricity completely useless. And the chain reaction that will occur from the US shutting down will be global. We Americans have had the capacity to do that to our enemies for years. I had erroneoulsy thought that atheists knew that since they claim to know so much about our universe.[Emphasis added]
But as usual, you haven't thought things through at all and are speaking from ignorance again.
Carico, CARM [Comments (75)] [2006-Nov-09]
On Physical Education:
[Full article includes pictures of women playing sports]
However, if you look at pictures of female athletes who play sports or observe them on the playing fields, you will notice that many develop strong, muscular bodies. Female athletes also sneer, wince, push, and fight just like the men. I notice these things all the time in pictures in our hometown newspaper. The sneers are most obvious; they make young women very unfeminine. The masculine uniforms and sweaty bodies aren’t very attractive, either.
[...]
I propose that sports greatly hinders the development of godly, Biblical, feminine character. Parents today expend extraordinary amounts of time and energy taking their daughters from one sports event to another, week after week, even to the point where it exhausts the family and family resources. The fruits we see are that today’s Christian women are often ill-prepared to be Biblically obedient wives and mothers.

I also notice when driving by our public school grounds and sports fields another phenomenon taking place: the young girls are trained in sports right along with the boys. To me, this can only be degrading to the boys. In some cases, girls regularly participate on boys' sports teams, and therefore compete against the boys themselves. During the past decade, more and more girls participated in wrestling; since there were no girls' wrestling teams, they joined the boys' teams and competed against the boys. I read about one school where the boys refused to wrestle the girls and forfeited their matches; there could be no greater embarrassment to them than to lose to a girl, not to mention it likely violated their sense of masculine chivalry. So not only is female sports participation degrading the feminine nature of women, in many cases it degrades the developing masculinity in boys.

Scott Jonas, Ladies Against Feminism [Comments (99)] [2006-Oct-06]
n Hydro-geology:
No one knows what's happening until the flood comes (according to Matthew). And the flood is here - it refers to the apocalypse. There is a huge amount of supporting evidence on the site. For example, there is evidence for the wh0re of Babylon due to a 666 mile long penis in Mexico.

alasdair, Christianity Board [Comments (81)] [2006-Dec-02]
On Reading:
ok so for school my homework was to read a book on evolution in biology. i didnt want to do it but i had to because i need a good grade in biology. well anyways i waited till the last minute to do it, at like 130 in the morning before school. and i was at my hosue alone in my room. i started to open the book but then i got a really cold feeling. i looked around and nothing was there. i tried opening it again and then it seemed the walls started shaking and i thought i heard a voice saying 'beware the way of heathens' i was just wondering if this was god trying to keep me away. also, should i not do my homework to stay good to jesus mk thanks LoLz.
guitar_nate, www.waroftheangels.org [Comments (69)] [2006-Sep-07]
On Mechanical Engineering:
We prayed during our family devotions. Talitha (11 years old) and Noel and I prayed earnestly for the families affected by the calamity and for the others in our city. Talitha prayed “Please don’t let anyone blame God for this but give thanks that they were saved.” When I sat on her bed and tucked her in and blessed her and sang over her a few minutes ago, I said, “You know, Talitha, that was a good prayer, because when people ‘blame’ God for something, they are angry with him, and they are saying that he has done something wrong. That’s what “blame” means: accuse somebody of wrongdoing. But you and I know that God did not do anything wrong. God always does what is wise. And you and I know that God could have held up that bridge with one hand.” Talitha said, “With his pinky.” “Yes,” I said, “with his pinky. Which means that God had a purpose for not holding up that bridge, knowing all that would happen, and he is infinitely wise in all that he wills.”

Talitha said, “Maybe he let it fall because he wanted all the people of Minneapolis to fear him.” “Yes, Talitha,” I said, “I am sure that is one of the reasons God let the bridge fall.”

John Piper, Desiring God [Comments (85)] [2007-Aug-06]
On Chemistry:
All elements in the universe (periodic table) get their properties based on their combinations of 3 specific sub-atomic components. Protons, Neutrons, & Electrons. No element has the same combination. (ie…Gold has 79 protons, 118 neutrons, 79 electrons)Carbon (man) has 6 protons, 6 neutrons, 6 electrons. [666]. This will be the number in which the Anti-Christ will be identified by. And because a clone does not have working sexual organs, this explains why a “cloned” Anti-Christ will not have need for a woman.
On Parenting:
I am a bit troubled. I believe my son has a girlfriend, because she left a dirty magazine with men in it under his bed. My son is only 16 and I really don’t think he’s ready to date yet. What’s worse is that he’s sneaking some girl to his room behind my back. I need help, God! I want my son to stop being so secretive!

Here endeth our sermon for the day. Domine, domine, domine, Yer all Catholics now.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

White Nationalists Are Planning To "Celebrate" MLKing Day In Jena, LA (Amended)

Two groups, drawn by the recently acquired iconic stature of the little cracker town of Jena, LA, off in the red-neck, peckerwood piney hills of central part of the state, plan to hold gatherings in the town to mark Martin Luther King Day.

One group includes Rev. Al Sharpton, who is scheduled to appear there to preach a Sunday sermon in a local church. Sharpton will not stay for the planned parade, and MLK memorial service, and community celebration on Monday.

The other group, The Nationalist Movement, a self-described "pro-majority" group headquartered in Learned, Miss., plans to stage "Jena Justice Day" on Monday.

Jena, a town of about 20,000 3000 population, of which (Ed.: about 15 percent) are black, sprang into the news last year. Racial tensions erupted in the high school there, when whites attempted to prevent black students from sitting in the shade of a tree which had been the special province of whites for as long as the school had stood. Black students had asked school officials why they could not also sit in the shade.

School officials--unwilling to face inevitable exposure of the racism embedded in their 'tradition,'if they arbitrarily backed the white students' tacit segregation--allowed that there was no reason the black students couldn't also gather there. Thereupon, white students hung nooses in the tree, as a warning to the blacks, to intimidate them with explicit threat of lynching. Tensions mounted from there, and spilled over into several incidents of escalating violence, culminating in the beating of a particularly obnoxious cracker kid--one Justin Barker--by a handful of black students who'd had enough.

The black students, known later as the Jena 6, were all arrested and charged with major felonies, including assault & battery, and attempted murder, by the revenge-minded, predominantly white judicial system in the town, which was out to set an example. National controversy swirled around the charges against the six, which civil rights leaders, as well as citizens of many communities, black and white, said were overly harsh, retaliatory, and obviously race-founded. In September, a rally led by the Rev. Al Sharpton drew as many as 20,000 people in support of the teenagers who were arrested in December 2006 and charged with attacking Barker, a one of the ring-leaders among their cracker antagonists at Jena High School.

Nationalist spokesman Richard Barrett said the group wants to voice its opposition to the holiday and the so-called Jena Six, a group of black teens accused of beating a white school mate. And Barrett say they'll be packing:
JENA, La., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Protesters with the Nationalist Movement said they "will be armed" during marches in Louisiana protesting Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Richard Barrett, a spokesman for the "pro-majority" organization, said "we will be armed" for a protest of Martin Luther King Jr. Day marches that will also support six black Jena, La., teens charged with beating a white classmate, the Alexandria (La.) Town Talk said Thursday.

The remarks are in contrast to statements by the Nationalist Movement's lawyer, Gregory Aymond, who said Friday the group has "no intention" of carrying weapons following a successful lawsuit filed by the organization against the town of Jena regarding rally permit requirements, the newspaper report said.

The ruling, however, didn't address the organization's opposition to a ban on weapons during marches.

A release by the organization said attempts to search vehicles for firearms would be a violation of the court order.
Looking for a fight, much? I have a the beginnings of a pretty bad feeling about this. I'm uneasy about the fact that it seems the Klan no longer seems to think it needs the white hoods. I think that's actually a bad thing. The same way that the Pukes no longer seem to feel the need to make their lies plausible, or to disguise the naked greed, and fear-mongering in which they so profitably trade makes me uneasy...(Amended)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Developing: Zoo Authorities Say "Victims" Brought On The Attack

Well Sooooo-prahz, soooo-prahz!!!!

The little pissant bastards WERE taunting the tiger which later killed one of 'em.

I knew as soon as I heard the reports that the surviving "victims" weren't cooperating with the authorities to discover the truth of the matter. Turns out the little pendejos were drunk, and stoned, and had spent much of the day taunting and teasing other animals before they got to the tiger.

The ONLY tragedy here is that the cops hadda play big fucking macho heroes and kill the tiger. (Zoo officials were ready to tranq her, but the fucking cops said no, and opened fire.) Motherfucking, punk-ass fuckwits!

Why Does Rep. Waxman Hate The USA?

Via TruthOut.Org:
Waxman: 473 Days of Email Missing From White House Agencies From 2003 to 2005
Dan Eggen and Elizabeth Williamson, of The Washington Post, report,
"The White House possesses no archived e-mail messages for many of its component offices, including the Executive Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President, for hundreds of days between 2003 and 2005, according to the summary of an internal White House study that was disclosed yesterday by a congressional Democrat."
Clearly, there's a plausible reason for this odd data: Those offices just didn't get or send any e-mails on those 473 days. Some of those days were probably weekends, you know? I mean, c'mon! Didn't you ever hear of holidays?

Chuy, why do you people hate the USofA???

Remember Ted Klaudt, the 600 Pound GOP Sexual Predator Who Raped His Foster Daughters?

You can read about the case of the 49-year-old, former South Dakota GOP State rep, here.

The sentence is in: Four eleven-year sentences, served consecutively; eligible for parole in 20 years

Big Ted's unrepentant; still says he was just 'helping' the girls. His defense atty says this amounts to a death sentence.

Tough shit.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fearless Prediction #2: Huckleberry Wins GOPuke Nomination

(with someone 'serious'--mebbe Jeb Bush--in the Veep slot). He's the 'compromise' candidate out of the RNC.

It's irrelevant whether it's Hillary or Barry on the Dim side. From a perspective informed by any kind of historical, 'real-politik' view of the circumstances, they're both destined to be footnotes.

McStain/Loserman = Unity '08 ticket. Ensures the victory of Hucka-Bush, because they draw most of their support from Raygun/Loserman "Dems," who won't vote for either one of the other two, but can't stomach the Huckster...

Woody's Work History Maxim: "I never lost a job in my life..."

"...I knew where every last one of them motherfuckers was the day they run me off."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Was Huckleberry's First Piece of Ass A Stump-broke Hinny?

Iirc, conservatard pundit Neil Horsley claimed that, down below the M/D Line--where the Huckelberry was growed up, where they cook squirrels in pop-corn poppers--the fellas all learned about sex from their congress with farm animals. Horsley, at any rate, claimed it was true for him and all his ass-hole buddies down at the corn crib. In Huckleberry's case, apparently, judging from the family photo, he probably felt guilty and married her.

International Terrorists Training In USofA

Yeah, they're Cuban 'volveristas.' Doesn't mean they're not terrorists; just that they're OUR bloody-minded, international murderers.

Including one Jose Posada Carilles, a murderous, cold-blodded, fascist gunsel who, it is alleged, while working for the CIA in the '70s, planted a bomb on a Cuban airliner. It exploded over the Gulf Of Mexico, killing 73 people (including the Cuban international fencing team--the motherfucker sounds like a decent candidate for waterboarding to me; in fact, I'll hold the goddamn bucket. The guy's a cold-eyed killer!).

Everybody knows the Cubans in Murka are planning--and training, with AK-47s, RPGs, etc--to return to their 'home' and take Cuba back from the Fidelistas, by force. They fully expect that USer resources will be there to assist them. (I do wish they'd ALL leave, but I'd hope they got sunk in a hurricane 20 miles from shore). Via RawStory.com:
The "Global War on Terror" has been a primary concern of the US government in recent years, but a new exposé reveals a network of international "terrorists" have trained and apparently found refuge in America for decades.

Tristam Korten and Kirk Nielsen, writing for Salon.com, profile a group of Cuban exiles who are believed to have plotted attacks against Cuba and continue to operate in Florida with virtual impunity.

"[O]ther than an occasional federal gun charge, nothing much seems to happen to most of these would-be revolutionaries. They are allowed to train nearly unimpeded despite making explicit plans to violate the 70-year-old U.S. Neutrality Act and overthrow a sovereign country's government," they write.

"In Greater Miami, home to the majority of the nation's 1.5 million Cuban-Americans, the presence of what could credibly be described as a terrorist training camp has become an accepted norm during the half-century of the anti-Castro Cuban diaspora, Alpha 66 and numerous other paramilitary groups -- Comandos F4, Brigade 2506, Accion Cubana -- are so common they've taken on the benign patina of Rotary Clubs with weapons."
This situation, it seems to me, makes vividly clear how much an "insurgent" in one theatre resembles a 'patriot' in another.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Okay, so "hate-speech" prosecution is a slippery slope. I get that.

Over on WWL, the ever-industrious, indefatigable, and reliably trenchant observer of the passing scene, M_A, has tucked among his daily dozen an item on the pernicious consequences of a Canadian law aimed at punishing what might be called "intentional affront," the violation of ordinary politesse, the allusion to stereotype, the rude suggestion, the racial slur, the gendered innuendo. As probably should have been expected, because of the nature of laws themselves, it has had other, less salubrious consequences. The source is a recent Glenn Greenwald column for Slate.

I replied:
I agree with you that prosecuting so-called hate-speech is a difficult precedent. But that being said, if such speech is not legally actionable, then neither should be the quite understandable instinct of the victim to set upon such a speaker--should one so accost you--with whatsoever implement is available to impress upon them the folly of their arrogance and the error of their ways...

It seems only fair...

What's "Wrong" With Faith In Our Politics? (Other Than "EVERY-Fucking-Thing," You Mean?) Part II

It's this kind of crap that drives me to regard 'religious sentiment' as hazardous to the health of the democratic Republic of the USofA. There's a video. Copy and save it.

And no matter how you cast it, you cannot escape the fact that this is 1) a minister who is 2) near the top of the heap among GOPukes running for President who 3) hates the Constitution, 4) promotes the idea of a "Christian" nation, against the evidence of history, custom and sense, and 5) wants to amend the fucking Constitution to better mirror some fucking imaginary "God's" will.

What the fuck!!! This guy stands at least a 50-50 chance to secure the GOPuke nomination. Why don't his fellow candidates stand up to this wack-tard asshole slimeball crackpot bastard? Audiences should be hounding him off the fucking stage aamid showers of rotting fruit and fecal matter, and foul howls of derision!

Driving While Black

This story was on NPR, this morning discussing the arguments at the SCROTUS yesterday concerning:
... (T)he case of a man who was stopped for driving with a suspended license in Virginia. Instead of following a state law that directs police to write a ticket and let suspended drivers go, officers arrested David Moore and (much later. Ed.) searched him. They found crack cocaine in his jacket and Moore was convicted and sentenced to prison. The Virginia Supreme Court overturned the conviction, saying the cocaine should never have been admitted.
Listen to the piece, here.

Now here's the nutz: How did the cop/pigs know the guy was driving on an expired license BEFORE they stopped him? How would that be possible? Was he flaunting his unlicensed status, somehow? Did he hang a flag out the window that said "Here's a Black fella with an expired license?" Wouldn't you think that the pig/cops would have to have stopped the driver, asked for his license, and then noticed it was expired?

So, what was the probable cause for the stop in the first place? But of course the answer is: This was Portsmouth, VA, Pat Robertson country. Tidewater. Where they STILL celebrate Lee-Jackson Day. Betcha a DOLLAR the accused was non-Caucasian.

The whole case seems flawed, to me. How did these arguments escape the attention of the Justices?

Monday, January 14, 2008

We Are SOOOOOOOOOOO Fucked, Part II: Wholesale v. Retail

The Chimp's director of National Intelligence, the strangely bloodless Mike McConnell, told The New Yorker, (in pdf)in a story out today, that, yeah, if he were to be waterboarded, he'd consider it torture.

But that's not the really BEEEEEG story from the interview. That distinction falls to these revelations (via The Raw Story; read it--read the whole fucking thing--and kiss your privacy good-bye, cuz NOBODY--not Obama, nor Hillary, nor Edwards, and certainly NONE of the GOPhreaks--would forswear this policy if the Busheviks can get it started). Can you say, "unlimited, unrestrained domestic ComInt, with the enthusiastic assistance of Google, and the whole array of IT "bidness"? I KNEW you could.
US drafting plan to allow government access to any email or WebSearch
Published: Monday January 14, 2008

National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell is drawing up plans for cyberspace spying that would make the current debate on warrantless wiretaps look like a "walk in the park," according to an interview published in the New Yorker's print edition today.

Debate on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “will be a walk in the park compared to this,” McConnell said. “this is going to be a goat rope on the Hill. My prediction is that we’re going to screw around with this until something horrendous happens...”

...McConnell is developing a Cyber-Security Policy, still in the draft stage, which will closely police Internet activity.

"Ed Giorgio, who is working with McConnell on the plan, said that would mean giving the government the autority to examine the content of any e-mail, file transfer or Web search," author Lawrence Wright pens.

“Google has records that could help in a cyber-investigation, he said," Wright adds. "Giorgio warned me, 'We have a saying in this business: ‘Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.'"

A zero-sum game is one in which gains by one side come at the expense of the other. In other words -- McConnell's aide believes greater security can only come at privacy's expense.

McConnell has been an advocate for computer-network defense, which has previously not been the province of any intelligence agency.

According to a 2007 conversation in the Oval Office, McConnell told President Bush, “If the 9/11 perpetrators had focused on a single US bank through cyber-attack and it had been successful, it would have an order of magnitude greater impact on the US economy.” (See, money's gonna be the thin edge of the USer ComInt wedge. Ed.)

Bush turned to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, asking him if it was true; Paulson said that it was. Bush then asked to McConnell to come up with a network security strategy.

"One proposal of McConnell’s Cyber-Security Policy, which is still in the draft stage, is to reduce the access points between government computers and the Internet from two thousand to fifty," Wright notes. "He claimed that cyber-theft account for as much as a hundred billion dollars in annual losses to the American economy. 'The real problem is the perpetrator who doesn’t care about stealing—he just wants to destroy.'"

The infrastructure to tap into Americans' email and web search history may already be in place.

In November, a former technician at AT&T alleged that the telecom forwarded virtually all of its Internet traffic into a "secret room" to facilitate government spying.

Whistleblower Mark Klein said that a copy of all Internet traffic passing over AT&T lines was copied into a locked room at the company's San Francisco office -- to which only employees with National Security Agency clearance had access -- via a cable splitting device.

"My job was to connect circuits into the splitter device which was hard-wired to the secret room," Klein. said "And effectively, the splitter copied the entire data stream of those Internet cables into the secret room -- and we're talking about phone conversations, email web browsing, everything that goes across the Internet."

"As a technician, I had the engineering wiring documents, which told me how the splitter was wired to the secret room," Klein continued. "And so I know that whatever went across those cables was copied and the entire data stream was copied."

According to Klein, that information included Internet activity about Americans.

"We're talking about domestic traffic as well as international traffic," Klein said. Previous Bush administration claims that only international communications were being intercepted aren't accurate, he added.

"I know the physical equipment, and I know that statement is not true," he added. "It involves millions of communications, a lot of it domestic communications that they're copying wholesale."
Friends, we are sooooooooooooooo fucked.

What's "Wrong" With Faith In Our Politics? Other Than "Every-fucking-Thing," You Mean?

Why does the public invocation of Religion as a campaign/political issue threaten the whole fabric of our fragile 'democracy'? Well, for one thing, of course, there's "autos de fe," as the illustration illuminates, shall we say?

According to Ira Chernus, via TomGram:
"For starters, it's a direct threat to democracy. The essence of our system is that we, the people, get to choose our values. We don't discover them inscribed in the cosmos. So everything must be open to question, to debate, and therefore to change. In a democracy, there should be no fixed truth except that everyone has the right to offer a new view -- and to change his or her mind. It's a process whose outcome should never be predictable, a process without end. A claim to absolute truth -- any absolute truth -- stops that process...

...(Because the) political arena is the place where the whole community gathers to work for a better world, it's even more important to insist that politics must be about large-scale change. The politics of moral absolutes sends just the opposite message: Don't worry, whatever small changes are necessary, it's only in order to resist the fundamental crumbling that frightens so many. Nothing really important can ever change.

Many liberals and progressives hear that profoundly conservative (I'd call it 'reactionarily fascistic': ed.) message even when it's hidden beneath all the reasonable arguments about church and state (Wtf is a 'reasonable' argument for breaching the wall? Ed.). That's one big reason they are often so quick to sound a shrill alarm at every sign of faith-based politics. (Fucking A: "BWOOOOOP, BWEEEEEP! General Quarters. God-squad approaching, prepare to repel pirates! Ed.)

They also know how easy it is to go from "there is a fixed truth" to "I have that fixed truth." And they've seen that the fixed truth in question is all too often about personal behaviors that ought to be matters of free choice in a democracy. "
And that's just for starters. Read the whole thing. His conclusion, after such accurate analysis, though, is troublingly imprecise:
In itself, faith in politics poses no great danger to democracy as long as the debates are really about policies -- and religious values are translated into political values, articulated in ways that can be rationally debated by people who don't share them. The challenge is not to get religion out of politics. It's to get the quest for certitude out of politics.

The first step is to ask why that quest seems increasingly central to our politics today. It's not simply because a right-wing cabal wants to impose its religion on us. The cabal exists, but it's not powerful enough to shape the political scene on its own. That power lies with millions of voters across the political spectrum. Candidates talk about faith because they want to win votes.

Voters reward faith talk because they want candidates to offer them symbols of immutable moral order. The root of the problem lies in the underlying insecurities of voters, in a sense of powerlessness that makes change seem so frightening, and control -- especially of others -- so necessary.

The only way to alter that condition is to transform our society so that voters will feel empowered enough to take the risks, and tolerate the freedom that democracy requires. That would be genuine change. It's a political problem with a political solution. Until that solution begins to emerge, there is no way to take the conservative symbolic message of faith talk out of American politics.
Ay, there's the rub, innit: "The only way to alter that condition is to transform our society so that voters will feel empowered enough to take the risks, and tolerate the freedom that democracy requires."

Like THAT'S going to fucking happen. Voters tolerate insecurity? When the whole platform of at least one of the two political parties has been to create ever more and more IN-fuckin-security for the past 8 years? To say nothing of the fact that the whole economy depends, top to bottom, on consumer insecurity. That would mean that the fascist fux who want to use, and have spuriously and cynically appropriated, 'faith' as a lever to actually, actively OVERTURN the 'democratic state' would have to change their stripes, and EVERYBODY knows there's NO FUCKING CHANCE of that.

We Are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Fucked, friends!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Speaking of the "troops," this is the saddest story of the week

Report: 121 veterans linked to killings
Sun Jan 13, 9:08 AM ET
NEW YORK - At least 121 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have committed a killing or been charged in one in the United States after returning from combat, The New York Times reported Sunday.
(Ed. Note: I do not think anyone ever collected such statistics for Nam vets, but I bet the number would be stratospheric.)
The newspaper said it also logged 349 homicides involving all active-duty military personnel and new veterans in the six years since military action began in Afghanistan, and later Iraq. That represents an 89-percent increase over the previous six-year period, the newspaper said.

About three-quarters of those homicides involved Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, the newspaper said. The report did not illuminate the exact relationship between those cases and the 121 killings also mentioned in the report.

The newspaper said its research involved searching local news reports, examining police, court and military records and interviewing defendants, their lawyers and families, victims' families and military and law enforcement officials.

Defense Department representatives did not immediately respond to a telephone message early Sunday. The Times said the military agency declined to comment, saying it could not reproduce the paper's research.

A military spokesman, Lt. Col. Les Melnyk, questioned the report's premise and research methods, the newspaper said. He said it aggregated crimes ranging from involuntary manslaughter to murder, and he suggested the apparent increase in homicides involving military personnel and veterans in the wartime period might reflect only "an increase in awareness of military service by reporters since 9/11."

Neither the Pentagon nor the federal Justice Department track such killings, generally prosecuted in state civilian courts, according to the Times.

The 121 killings ranged from shootings and stabbings to bathtub drownings and fatal car crashes resulting from drunken driving, the newspaper said. All but one of those implicated was male.

About a third of the victims were girlfriends or relatives, including a 2-year-old girl slain by her 20-year-old father while he was recovering from wounds sustained in Iraq.

A quarter of the victims were military personnel. One was stabbed and set afire by fellow soldiers a day after they all returned from Iraq.
More than one quarter of all homeless men are Vietnam vets. The number of Iraq vets on the streets is increasing every month. As is the number of suicides among Iraq veterans. Providing care to the soldiers damaged by the ICORP in Iraq will end up costing as much as the prosecution of the thing itself, in the first place, according to the February number Harper's Index.

By time they are done, the fascist fux of the Bushevik Cabal will have fucked this country up beyond ANY hope of repair or even salvage. And they'll just walk the fuck away. What is needed, of course, is to mount their dead heads on the iron pickets of the fence around the White House as a warning to subsequent 'leaders.'

Remember early in the week, when the Chimp was scampering and prancing and smirking

his simian strut around the Middle East, and he told a command-performance audience of troops in Kuwait he was going to bring 20,000 troops home by the middle of the year?

Well, fugGEDdaboddit! Nagahapun.

Via The Raw Story, today:
Bush says troop cutbacks might stop

Bush Says No Decision Yet on Deepening Drawdown of U.S. Troops in Iraq

TERENCE HUN, AP News , Jan 12, 2008 22:47 EST

President Bush said Saturday he is open to the possibility of slowing or stopping plans to bring home more U.S. troops from Iraq, defying domestic demands to speed the withdrawals. Updated on war developments, Bush said the U.S. presence in Iraq will outlast his presidency.

Bush said any decision about troop levels "needs to be based upon success," but that there was no discussion about specific numbers when he was briefed by Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad.

The president was cheered by news that Iraq's parliament had approved legislation reinstating thousands of former supporters of Saddam Hussein's dissolved Baath party to government jobs. Bush had prodded Iraqi leaders for more than a year to enact the law.
The US presence in Iraq will outlast his residency and probably the next several presidencies. Romney and Ghouliani want to EXPAND the military presence in the region; McStain says he's okay if troops are stationed there for a thousand years--but the oil will run out LONG before that... Both Hillary and Obama say that they'll be fulfilling their campaign promises if troops are out by 2013, and neither claims that they will bring ALL the troops home. And there will be NO change at all in the status quo until the Iraqi Parliament ratifies the USer Oil Exploitation Plan, otherwise known as the Iraqi Oil Law, about which I have written previously.

But of course, NONE of the candidates can bring all the troops home, or even the majority of them. If they did, who would fly the aircraft that they are stationing in those huge ("temporary") bases from which they intend to ("extend influence") intimidate possible antagonists in the region? Who will protect those bases, those aircraft, those flyers?

You see the dilemma?

Friday, January 11, 2008

If I Were A World-Class/Olympic Athlete, I'd Skip The Beijing Olympiad


I cannot imagine competing in the pollution of Beijing. It would almost necessarily entail developing asthma, and might well curtail a promising career by inflicting permanent damage on the lungs. Via TruthOut.Org:
Consultant Questions Beijing's Claim of Cleaner Air
By Jim Yardley
The New York Times, Thursday 10 January 2008
Beijing - A new study has cast doubts about whether air quality has truly improved in Beijing and has concluded that "irregularities" in the city's system of measuring air pollution have enabled the city to meet environmental targets linked to the coming Olympic Games.

The study, written by an American environmental consultant, found flaws in Beijing's "Blue Sky" system of air quality monitoring stations and noted that the city changed its method for measuring pollution in 2006. In particular, officials stopped including readings from two stations in polluted areas and began using readings in three other stations in less polluted locales.

Without this switch, Beijing would have fallen far short of its goals in 2006 and 2007 for the number of days that met national air quality standards, according to the study. The study also found that a disproportionate number of days were rated just below the statistical break point that separates a polluted day from one that passes standards.

"Irregularities in the monitoring of air quality account for all reported improvements over the last nine years," said Steven Q. Andrews, the author of the study, in a telephone interview. Mr. Andrews published an op-ed article about his study on Wednesday in the Asian edition of The Wall Street Journal.

On Wednesday afternoon, Du Shaozhong, deputy director of Beijing's Environmental Protection Bureau, reviewed a faxed copy of the article but responded in broad terms rather than addressing any specific findings. He agreed that Beijing still needed to make progress in reducing air pollution but said the city's air had undeniably improved.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Uncovering the "Id" in "ideology."

Hey, Boys and Girls!!! Oh Boy, Oh BOY!
Let's Play "SEE SPOT SPOT THE PROPAGANDA"

See if you can spot the distortion!
I don't know how to page-capture, or I'd reproduce the whole thing right here. At 5:10 pm, MST, on the Yahoo FrontPage, the following message was featured prominently juxtaposed against the faces of popular television stars, the only one of whom I recognized was Charlie Sheen. The other two were of the interchangeable, pneumatic starlet type. Here's the tag for the story about series cancellations:
No more new episodes
See which of your favorite shows have been halted because of the writers' strike.
There! Do you see it? No reader could escape the impression, or hardly NOT form the opinion, that they were gonna lose their 'favorite show' because of those damn, selfish, motherfucking WRITERS!
Concision! They've done it in fewer than 20 words. The science guys call this "elegance."
It is, of course, equally true that the shows are halted because of managerial intransigence.
But that doesn't have the 'zing' of "writers' strike." And of course, in the SCUM (SoCalledUnbiasedMedia), lazy labor 'demands,' but magnanimous management 'offers.'
Plus, ask your brother-in-law what 'intransigence' means...

Mrs. C Hints At Racism, Mr. O Hints At Sexism. WTF?!?!?!?!?!

The Intertubes (e.g., OpenLeft dot com) are alive with commentary on the latest campaign ads and strategies between the two front-runners for the Democratic nomination. People are shocked, shocked, I tell you, that things have degenerated so far so fast.

But:
Mrs. C. and Mr. O must be understood in these things in the same way in which, to understand what has happened in Africa, especially, but in all former European colonies, we must understand the relations of power usually called 'colonialism.' (you can )

The 'world' gasped in disbelief at the "savagery" of the newly independent peoples, their 'corruption', and immediately created stereotypes by which to negate and dismiss the struggles of emerging nations to adapt. But the newly freed/liberated indogenes had only--albeit readily and enthusiastically--adopted the oppressive tactics and practices of their former colonial masters.

Given the infrastructure, and the structural demands of the universe into which they were thrown (think Heidegger), and which in fact was/is STILL the universe of their former masters, it is not a strike against their capacity for self-government, for example, that they mainly/often became mere local avatars of the system into which they were thrust.

So, is it so surprising that in a culture which has expunged neither racism not sexism from its underlying epistemological premises, infrastructures, and power relations, that even avatars of the victims of race/sex-ism would gravitate to the instruments which won and secured power for their masters/oppressors previously?

It's disturbing. But it is also an artifact of the necessity of the campaigns to inhabit all the old, colonial forms perfected over all this time, which have been almost 'unimproved'--that is, worked flawlessly--for the last 450 years.

Aside: So the 'boomer bashing' begins. Predictably, as the first of us start to call in our markers.

Woody's Daily/Occasional Homily: Legislative Measures For Public School Funding

are made by middle- and upper-class legislators who decide/provide the minimum funding with which the poorest school districts can function at the barest level.

Wealthier districts supplement their 'minimum' allocations through local property taxes, taxes on extractive industries (lots of this in Oklahoma), etc.

Legislators will NEVER propose--and NEVER, EVER, EVER enact--a universal school funding formula that brings the poorest districts up to the levels expected by the parents of the students in the wealthiest districts.

Nagahapun.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Here's a novel idea: Freedom of Expression...For Canadians, Anyway

AdBusters, a "a global network of artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age, whose aim is to topple existing power structures and forge a major shift in the way we will live in the 21st century," is going to court in Canada to force Canada's private broadcasters to sell the organization time to broadcast AdBusters' famed, and often barbed, 'Public Service' spots.

From the press release announcing their forthcoming 'day in court,":
For more than a decade, Adbusters, a magazine and media foundation, has been trying to pay major commercial broadcasters to air its public-service TV spots, but these attempts have been routinely blocked by network executives, often with little or no explanation. In 2004, Adbusters finally turned to the courts. It filed a lawsuit against the government of Canada and some of the country’s biggest media barons, arguing that the public has a constitutionally protected freedom of expression over the public airwaves.

At issue is the right of all Canadian citizens to have (as stipulated by the Canadian Broadcasting Act) “a reasonable opportunity…to be exposed to the expression of differing views on matters of public concern.”

“This case will decide if Canadians have the right to walk into their local TV stations and buy thirty seconds of airtime for a message they want to air,” says Kalle Lasn, editor-in-chief of Adbusters.
Canadian law is a bit more specific about the right of citizens to hear diverse points of view than are laws in the US on this matter. In fact, I cannot think of any USer statute that empowers an audience like the Canadian one does.

The case, on the whole, raises an interesting question: Is there within the right to speak a right to communicate? A right to speak is pretty much meaningless if the only venue available to you to proclaim your speech is the bottom of a very deep, lonely, singular well. Doesn't the right to speak imply the concomitant 'right' to be heard? Absent that latter coda, isn't the former 'right' rather a cynical joke, a sham on the spirit of the protected liberty than anexplicit condition of freedom?

I have never understood the position that the broadcaster, using the public airwaves, had an a priori right to censor political speech merely because such speech might express opinions inimical to the commercial interests of their sponsors and advertizers. For USers, any 'right' to diverse sources of information would have to be 'implied' or 'inferred' from the First Amendment, and possibly from whatever Communications Act was in place at the time.

Given the tenor of the current SCROTUS, it is unlikely that such an argument as is proffered by AdBusters in Canada would find any traction in the USer jurisprudence. But it will be interesting, nevertheless, to see if the Canadians have a more highly developed sensibility here--aas in so many other ways--than their brutish, criminal cousins to the south.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Here's A Big Surprise: "Dirty" Mary Landrieu Took a Bribe To Set An Earmark For Bushevik "Pioneer"

Sooo-prahs, sooo-prahs. I know I was shocked to read the news, via RawStory:
Watchdog alleges Louisiana Dem was bribed for earmark
Nick Juliano, Published: Tuesday January 8, 2008
An ethics watchdog has requested a criminal investigation in order to determine whether a Democratic senator was bribed when she received $30,000 in campaign contributions less that a week before delivering a $2 million federal earmark to the company whose employees and lobbyists donated the money.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) today sent a complaint to the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District for Louisiana and the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, asking for an investigation into whether Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) violated federal bribery law by including a $2 million earmark for Voyager Expanded Learning in a bill a mere four days after receiving $30,000 in campaign contributions from company executives and their relatives. CREW also asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate the matter.

Landrieu's relationship with Voyager was exposed by the Washington Post in December. The Democratic senator has denied any connection between the donations and the earmark and says she did nothing wrong.

CREW notes that Voyager's founder, Randy Best, is a Bush pioneer, and he decided to hire lobbyists to secure federal earmarks for his untested reading program, rather than sell it on the open market. (Ain't it amazing how the acolytes of Capitalism avoid competition at ALL costs? Ed.) Landrieu has acknowledged meeting with Best and attending fundraisers he's organized for her, but she says she supported his program purely on its merits.

“(Best) is a very impressive person, somebody I believe in, somebody that is doing some great work around the country. This program is one of hundreds of other things that he does,” Landrieu told WWLV TV. “I don't know the time frame of when that happened, but people come into my office all the time. We either sometimes help them, sometimes don't. Sometimes they help us raise money, sometimes they don't.”

Regardless of how closely Landrieu was watching her calendar, CREW notes that the timing of the donation and earmark were very suspicious.

"After the fundraiser, she received $30,000 in campaign contributions from individuals associated with the company -- donors who had never before contributed to her," CREW says. "Four days after she received the money, she inserted an earmark into a D.C. appropriations bill, giving D.C. schools $2 million to buy Best’s reading program, which was unproven and had not been requested by the school system."

The Post outlined the mutually beneficial connection between Best and President Bush's education initiatives and Congressional earmarks.
When George W. Bush ran for governor of Texas in 1998, Best and his fellow Voyager investors contributed more than $45,000 to his campaign, and they gave more than $20,000 to his running mate. As Voyager grew, it hired several state education officials, including the Texas education commissioner under Bush. When Bush ran for president, Best signed up to join the Pioneers, an elite group of "bundlers" who pledged to bring in $100,000 for Bush. Best said he raised only about $10,000.

As president, Bush appointed former Houston schools superintendent Roderick Paige to be secretary of education, and Paige launched Reading First, a $1 billion-a-year reading program. To develop it, the Department of Education turned to some of the same researchers Best had hired to create Voyager's program.

By that time, Best had hired a Washington lobbyist and was looking for a way to get pilot programs in some schools without going through the process of selling curricula district by district. He signed up with the firm of former U.S. representative Bob Livingston, a Louisiana Republican and former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Livingston began seeking "federal funding support for Voyager educational programs," according to his lobbying disclosure form.
CREW says Landrieu violated federal bribery law and may also have violated the rules of the Senate because of the seeming quid-pro-quo between her earmark and Best's donations. (DAT'S what I call connecting the dots. Ed.)

“Senator Landrieu appears to have traded a $2 million earmark for $30,000 in campaign contributions. It was a win-win situation for Best and Senator Landrieu, but a lose-lose for the taxpayers and D.C. school children.” CREW executive director Melanie Sloan said in a press release. “The Department of Justice and the Senate Ethics Committee should look into this matter immediately. Members of Congress need to understand that trading earmarks for campaign funds is illegal -- no exceptions.”
This report does nothing other than to cement the (NOT-mistaken) impression that--party, schmarty--they are ALL dirty, ALL on the take, ALL for sale, ALL corrupt. And it provides all the more evidence that there will never be anything like accountability in Govt til CorpoRat money is cleansed from the process.

You Know That "Recession" The Chimp Sez Ain't Happening? Merrill-Lynch Would Disagree

The Beeb has the story this morning:

Recession in the US 'has arrived'

Merrill said Friday's employment figures confirmed the recession

The feared recession in the US economy has already arrived, according to a report from Merrill Lynch.

It said that Friday's employment report, which sent shares tumbling worldwide, confirmed that the US is in the first month of a recession.

Its view is controversial, with banks such as Lehman Brothers disagreeing.

But a reserve member of the committee that sets US rates warned that it could do little about the below-trend growth expected in the next six months.

"I am concerned that developments on the inflation front will make the Fed's policy decisions more difficult in 2008," Charles Plosser, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said.

He was referring to the problems faced by the US Federal Reserve, which might want to cut interest rates to avoid a recession, but is worried about inflationary factors such as $100-a-barrel oil.

'Significant decline'

An official ruling on whether the US is in recession is made by the National Bureau of Economic Research, but this decision may not come for two years.

The NBER defines a recession as "a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months".

It bases its assessment on final figures on employment, personal income, industrial production and sales activity in the manufacturing and retail sectors.

Merrill Lynch said that the figures showing the jobless rate hitting 5% in December were the final piece in that puzzle.


"According to our analysis, this isn't even a forecast any more but is a present day reality," the report said.
Of course the drones all lined up to deny it. And the scavengers are jacking prices on the Exchange today. But don't be deceived: It's here, and it's gonna be a bad one...Just in time to get blamed on the incoming President (if s/he's a Dem) or on Bill Clinton (if he's a Puke).

This news is just another indication to me that the deck is being stacked against the amelioration of ANY of the clusterfucks the Bushevik cabal has been instrumental in starting. A recession, national health care, the ICORP in Iraq, the Constitutional crises around "security" and liberty, the global climate crises, etc: all line up to make it all but impossible that any 'change' agent can effect any substantial contribution to solving them.

Which works to the advantage of the elite/oligarchy/aristocracy/plutocracy, which will trumpet the failures of any Dem (and ignore those of any Puke) to further undermine the Franchise, as well as the rest of the 'democratic experiment.' In addition, if Shrillary or Obama is actually installed, their failures will be used to indict the whole panopy opf interests they might be seen as representing.

Oh, by the way: ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, oil will likely hit $150/bbl by the time of the "election." If a tanker gets sunk in the Straits of Hormuz, it'll be $200-plus. When gas is $5/gal, for whom do you suppose the USers will vote? I remember the Cliff Robertson character in the final scene of "3 Days of the Condor." There will be all-out war!

Monday, January 07, 2008

How Do Ya Like Yer 'Competin' Narratives? Me? I Like Mine 'Bout Evenly Plausible (Revised)

(Revised, 1.8.08 @ 8 am.)
Remember last week, that Iraqi soldier who "inexplicably" shot and killed two American soldiers and wounded several others on a patrol?

What made him do it?

Al-Qaeda plant? Insurgent? Death wish? What???
Well, what if it turns out that mebbe the Murkins were pulling their usual bullying shit, pushing people around, shouting curses, manhandling folks to get information? Mebbe abusing, bullying, insulting Iraqi women as the soldiers rousted the people, and conducted their searches for insurgents?
The women. Maybe touching them, maybe pulling their hair, maybe violating their privacy...

And the soldier--a tribal man--just decided his honor could bear no more? Mebbe he protested. Mebbe he said, hey, stop fucking with the women, and when they kept ignoring him, he just said "well fuck you," and opened fire, though it will cost him his life.

Yup, maybe...

Like I said, I like mine plausible.

Which is what makes this story so compelling. Dahr Jamail, a relaible reporter, is co-author on the piece. So it's got some credibility.

Side-bet: I have always maintained that no USer would ever face maximum sanctions for ANYTHING done to an Iraqi in Iraq. I'm batting 1.000, so far. I'll broaden the bet: This guy gets stood up against a wall and shot...by Iraqis, probably.

UPDATE: Go to Voice Of The People dot org, for vids of USer "house raids." Ask yourself if it were Iraqis rousting your countryfellows, how would you react?

Woody's Daily/Occasional Homily: "Humanity' is a cosmic experiment

testing whether "LIFE" can withstand 'intelligence."

So far, the nul hypothesis holds.

Chalmers Johnson on "Charlie Wilson's War"

From the lapidary Jon Schwarz's "A Tiny Revolution":
"It makes the U.S. government look like it is populated by a bunch of whoring, drunken sleazebags, so in that sense it's accurate enough. But there are a number of things both the book and the film are suppressing."
Follow the links and read them, here...For instance:
"The author of this glowing account, [the late] George Crile, was a veteran producer for the CBS television news show '60 Minutes' and an exuberant Tom Clancy-type enthusiast for the Afghan caper. He argues that the U.S.'s clandestine involvement in Afghanistan was 'the largest and most successful CIA operation in history,' 'the one morally unambiguous crusade of our time,' and that 'there was nothing so romantic and exciting as this war against the Evil Empire.' Crile's sole measure of success is killed Soviet soldiers (about 15,000), which undermined Soviet morale and contributed to the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the period 1989 to 1991. That's the successful part.

"However, he never once mentions that the 'tens of thousands of fanatical Muslim fundamentalists' the CIA armed are the same people who in 1996 killed nineteen American airmen at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, bombed our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, blew a hole in the side of the U.S.S. Cole in Aden Harbor in 2000, and on September 11, 2001, flew hijacked airliners into New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon."
Just a minor oversight, due to an excess of high spirits, probably, right? Well, nooooo.The rest of the review, plus a thoughtful, useful side-bar are posted by TomGram.
Addendum: Jon Schwarz put up a second post reviewing "Charlie Wilson's war in which you'll find the following:
Reagan's Bargain/Charlie Wilson's War
by Peter W. Dickson, former CIA analyst

...surely the most glaring omission in the film is the fateful trade-off accepted by President Ronald Reagan when he agreed not to complain about Pakistan’s efforts to acquire a nuclear weapons capability in exchange for Pakistani cooperation in helping the Afghan rebels...

The movie producers evidently concluded that scenes of Wilson’s desperate efforts to cover up Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions would not look too good in the film, so that part of the story disappeared from the cinematic version of history...

Unfortunately, the glaring omissions tend to reinforce the triumph of a false narrative about the dismal record of American involvement in the Middle East, including the Reagan-Bush administration’s indifference, almost blasé attitude about the emergence of a Muslim nuclear bomb.
The latter, of course, stimulated me to wonder if there is a difference between a "Muslim" nuke, an "Israeli" nuke, and a non-sectarian nuke.

The Story of the Fucking CENTURY: Neo-Con/Fascist/Zionist Double Agents Sold or Gave Nuke Data Away

What do all these folks have in common?
Richard Perle
Doug Feith
Eric Edelman
Marc Grossman
Larry Franklin
Dennis Hastert
Roy Blunt
Dan Burton
Tom Lantos
Bob Livingston
Stephen Solarz
Graham Fuller
David Makovsky
Alan Markovsky
Enver Yusuf
Sabri Sayari
Mehmet Eymur
Well, according to Sibel Edmunds (via Larissa Alexandrovna & Brad Friedman/Bradblog), they are all deeply involved in several, on-going, long-lasting, treasons. Many are or have been be double agents for foreign powers stealing nuclear technology and passing it along to such powers as Israel, Turkey, and Pakistan.
Here's what they're accused of:
● Foreign intelligence agents from Turkey, Israel and Pakistan enlisted the support of high-level US officials in order to acquire a network of moles deep inside of sensitive American military and nuclear agencies, including "PhD students – with security clearance [at] Los Alamos nuclear laboratory in New Mexico, which is responsible for the security of the US nuclear deterrent."

● Members of the diplomatic community were given lists of potential "moles" at the sensitive installations. Edmonds tells the Times: "the lists contained all their 'hooking points', which could be financial or sexual pressure points, their exact job in the Pentagon and what stuff they had access to."

● Well-known US officials were then bribed by foreign agents to steal US nuclear secrets. One such incident from 2000 involves an agent overheard on a wiretap discussing "nuclear information that had been stolen from an air force base in Alabama," in which the agent allegedly is heard saying: "We have a package and we’re going to sell it for $250,000."

● Nuclear secrets were then subsequently sold by foreign agents to America's enemies, including Iran, North Korea and Libya.

● Pakistani officials involved in the nuclear black market network have significant cross-over with al-Qaeda and 9/11. Officials such as the chief of ISI, Pakistan's spy agency, allegedly sent $100,000 to 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta, and aides of A.Q. Kahn --- who had used the stolen secrets to develop nuclear weapons for Pakistan --- met with Osama bin Laden "weeks before 9/11...to discuss an Al-Qaeda nuclear device."

● Elements of the US government have repeatedly shut down investigations into these crimes under the guise of protecting "certain diplomatic relations."

● The US government has been aware of all of the above information since at least 2001.
Follow the MONEY, folks.

Oh, yeah: and the dual passports.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Outta The Blue, Into The Black: The Place Of The USofA In The International Surveillance State


Verbatim, from Wired: Outta the Blue and into the Black (where 'blue' = "consistently upholds human rights' standards for privacy," and black = "endemic surveillance societies," and the once-free USofA is a fucking black hole)...It's gonna get MUCH worse before--if ever--it gets better. "Universal surveillance" -- the Panoptican, of Bentham, et seq -- is the hot, sticky, flying-monkey wet-dream of the Fucktard Right.
Privacy International, a UK privacy group, and the U.S.-based Electronic Privacy Information Center have put together a world map of surveillance societies, rating various nations for their civil liberties records.

Both the U.S. and the UK are colored black for "endemic surveillance," as are Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Russia, China and Malaysia. (What was that about the company you keep? Ed.)

Among the trends that the two organizations have tracked:

* The 2007 rankings indicate an overall worsening of privacy protection across the world, reflecting an increase in surveillance and a declining performance on privacy safeguards.

* Concern over immigration and border control dominated the world agenda in 2007. Countries have moved swiftly to implement database, identity and fingerprinting systems, often without regard to the privacy implications for their own citizens

* The 2007 rankings show an increasing trend amongst governments to archive data on the geographic, communications and financial records of all their citizens and residents. This trend leads to the conclusion that all citizens, regardless of legal status, are under suspicion.

* The privacy (shredding) trends have been fueled by the emergence of a profitable surveillance industry dominated by global IT companies and the creation of numerous international treaties that frequently operate outside judicial or democratic processes.

* Despite political shifts in the US Congress, surveillance initiatives in the US continue to expand, affecting visitors and citizens alike.

* Surveillance initiatives initiated by Brussels have caused a substantial decline in privacy across Europe, eroding protections even in those countries that have shown a traditionally high regard for privacy.

* The privacy performance of older democracies in Europe is generally failing, while the performance of newer democracies is becoming generally stronger.

* The lowest ranking countries in the survey continue to be Malaysia, Russia and China. The highest-ranking countries in 2007 are Greece, Romania and Canada.

* The 2006 leader, Germany, slipped significantly in the 2007 rankings, dropping from 1st to 7th place behind Portugal and Slovenia.

* In terms of statutory protections and privacy enforcement, the US is the worst ranking country in the democratic world. In terms of overall privacy protection the United States has performed very poorly, being out-ranked by both India and the Philippines and falling into the "black" category, denoting endemic surveillance.

* The worst ranking EU country is the United Kingdom, which again fell into the "black" category along with Russia and Singapore. However for the first time Scotland has been given its own ranking score and performed significantly better than England & Wales.

* Argentina scored higher than 18 of the 27 EU countries.

* Australia ranks higher than Slovakia but lower than South Africa and New Zealand.
The rest of the color code:
  • teal = "Significant protections/safeguards";
  • chartruese = "Adequate protections";
  • canary = "Some protections, but weak";
  • carmine = "Systemic failures to uphold standards";
  • cerise = "Extensive surveillance."
If'n this don' meck you PRAHD, then yew prolly hate Murka.

O"Reilly NOT Tased For Crossing Secret Service Lines

The Carpetbaggerreport was the first place I visited today which featured this story prominently:
Fox's Bill O'Reilly in confrontation with Obama staffer at rally.

NASHUA, N.H.-- Fox News host Bill O'Reilly got into a confrontation with an Obama aide after O'Reilly started screaming at him as he tried to get Barack Obama's attention following a rally here. O'Reilly eventually did chat briefly with Obama and asked him to be a guest on his show.

The incident was triggered when O'Reilly--with a Fox News crew shooting--was screaming at Obama National Trip Director Marvin Nicholson "Move" so he could get Obama's attention, according to several eyewitnesses. "O'Reilly was yelling at him, yelling at his face," a photographer shooting the scene said.

O'Reilly grabbed Nicholson's arm and shoved him, another eyewitness said. Nicholson, who is 6'8, said O'Reilly called him "low class."

"He grabbed me with both his hands here," Nicholson said, gesturing to his left arm and O'Reilly "started shoving me." Nicholson said, " He was pretty upset. He was yelling at me."

Secret Service agents who were nearby flanked O 'Reilly after he pushed Nicholson. They told O'Reilly he needed to calm down and get behind the fence-like barricade that contained the press.

Obama had his back turned at this point and did not see any of this.

O'Reilly yelled "sir" at Obama and Obama walked over, not aware of what happened and told him he had an overflow crowd to visit. According to the time code from a photographer shooting the two, Obama and O'Reilly talked near 11:45 a.m. eastern time.

He just came right around the barricade. They shook hands and Mr. O’Reilly said he thought Sen. Obama was great and that he loved him and loved to have him on the show and said he would think about coming on after the primaries.

The situation took place near risers in the gym at Nashua North High School where Obama just addressed a jammed rally.

Yeah, right after Obama didn't answer when O'Reilly yelled "Hey, boy! Yes, you, boy! Look over here!!!"

Fuck Yoo!

UC Berkeley lawyer who justified harsh treatment of detainees sued
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer, Saturday, January 5, 2008
A man who was held in isolation for more than three years before being tried and convicted of aiding terrorists filed suit Friday against the UC Berkeley law professor and former Justice Department official whose memos justified inflicting physical and mental pain during interrogations.

Military officials relied on John Yoo's writings in subjecting Jose Padilla to prolonged sensory deprivation, sleep interruption, stress positions and other techniques designed to break his will, Padilla's lawyers said in a lawsuit filed in San Francisco. Padilla faces sentencing Monday in Miami.

The same lawyers filed a similar suit in South Carolina last year against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other Pentagon officials who they said authorized Padilla's detention and harsh treatment. One new element in Friday's suit against Yoo is that it seeks to hold a former government lawyer responsible for allegedly unconstitutional acts by officials who followed his legal advice.

"John Yoo was central to the justification and creation of the torture system," Jonathan Freiman, an attorney at a Yale Law School human rights clinic who represents Padilla, said in a statement. "What Yoo seems to have forgotten is that lawyers are not above the law."

Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor, said the suit faces difficult hurdles because lawyers normally can't be held liable for the consequences of their advice, or government officials for their policy decisions.

Yoo was unavailable for comment. In a 2006 book, "War by Other Means," he described working on a memo that led to Padilla's 2002 detention in a Navy brig, and also defended his August 2002 memo on interrogation methods that was cited in Friday's lawsuit.
There is no one in the whole Bushevik Cabal whom I would rather see stretched out on his back with a rag in his mouth and a water can over his head than this vicious, soul-less, moon-faced fuckwit, John Yoo...

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Post-Iowa Caucus/Pre-NH-Primary: Obama's STILL not my guy

And I don't see it changing. He's too much of a meliorist, and incrementalist. He doesn't seem to me to have the fire. I don't think he's got the stones for the job. To me, he seems like a kinda "Stuart Smalley" character of the campaign season: He wants too much to be liked by EVERYBODY; doesn't want to offend anybody; wants to negotiate with everybody. Tell me: How do you negotiate with people/interests which want you dead?

IF (a BEEEG word) he gets to be President, I cannot see Obama turning around to prosecute the departing fascist fux for their thousands of crimes, major and minor. The thing that permitted the Buashevik revolution to get the traction it got was the fact that the country never punished Nixon, and that sent a very bad message to the oligarchs, plutocrats, and the rest of the fascist elite.

So, I expect him to start his regime with talk of reconciliation with the Pukes. I for one DO NOT WANT to 'reconcile' with the fascist fucktards. I got nothing to say to 'em, once the "Get the fuck out of here" is over. But Barry O' will be talking about letting bygones be, and looking ahead, not back, and forgiveness, and all that crap...just as Jimmy Carter did, just as Bill Clinton did...They didn't wanna be labeled 'divisive' by the people (the PUKES, fer chrissake) whose whole platform and political ontology DEPENDS on divisiveness. In consequence they left in place the people who would ultimately destroy 'em.

Which will mean the fascist fux just roll back under their rocks, untouched, unrestrained, undead...just like the first Clinton walked away from the Reagan/Bush 41 scandals.

If Clinton had gone after them, made an issue of their corruption, it wouldn't have changed anything in his presidency, cuz they'd still have gone after him.

And I don't see Shillary doing it either.

Edwards is the only candidate pissed off enough at the fascist motherfuckers' predations over the last 30 years to actually act against 'em, to call 'em on their bullshit, and try to make 'em pay for it....

Which is prob'ly why he's getting the media treatment he's getting (like the late R. Dangerfield, he don't get no respect)...

The country--the PEOPLE--need a goddam bloodthirsty, vicious, dedicated, determined TRIAL LAWYER on their bond. There's already too many pansy-ass corpoRat assholes dividing the shit they have stolen. We, the People, need an advocate for our interests, who knows they are not the same as the interests of the fascist/elites...

The People of the USofA have had their innards sucked out by the GOPuke recirculating pump, and somebody needs to PAY!

That's why I'm supporting John Edwards.