Monday, December 31, 2007

Please, People! The Busheviks are NOT "Incompetent."

And we have to stop pretending that they are.

On ThinkProgress, in a thread about the resignation of a FEMA functionary, and the inevitable litany of FEMA's failures, one commentor asked:Will the bounds of George Bush’s incompetence ever be fully realized? I replied:

I do wish we could agree to forego this whole 'incompetence' thing.

The Busheviks are anything but 'incompetent.' It's like the US 'school system.' Everybody regards it as a failure, but it is sublimely successful at what it is designed to do, which is to provide evidence retroactively (grades, test scores, permanent record, etc) to ratify the socio-economic decisions regarding the students' life-prospects made before they ever entered a classroom.

The Bush cabal has not done anything it was not designed, by its owners and masters, to do. As I have been saying for nearly five years: They were installed for the (almost expressed) purpose of undermining, attacking, subverting, and delegitemizing any and all instruments and/or institutions of democratic republican self-government. At that they have succeeded beyond their happiest imaginings.

No one any longer trusts the 'franchise,' the vote, the centerpeice of the whole enterprise.
No one today trusts the Supreme Court, or much of anything about the us judicial system, from the DOJ on down. Why were 98 US Attys allowed to keep their jobs, fer the love of christ?
The US Army, arguably the proletarian arm of the sevices, is virtually in ruins. The National Guard is 'guarding' some other nation.
Congress is a laughingstock, with nominal Dems and Pukes falling all over each other ti institutionalize thought crimes.
FEMA? Right.
HSA was an authoritarian power grab from the outset, into which has disappeqared just about all the 'disposable' income that wasn't sucked up by the illegal war.
Torture? Fuck! Torture?
Medical costs put mere health beyond the rech of about 20-25 percent of our citizens.
His lies to the UN torpedoed Colin Powell as a avatar for decency (whatsoever was left for him after My Lai).
The FCC? Powell? The new guy just got finished giving away the store before their 'political capital' went completely away. General Electric thanks your ass!

What the fascist GOPhux haven't fucked up, they've privatized or stolen.

I think it fair to say that the consequences of the Bush Inc. cabal's control over the machinery of the state for the last 7 years will NEVER be repaired.

Shit, they'll never even be recognized.
Ahhhh, fuckit! FIGMO!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

MLKing's Letter from Birmingham Jail: Paul Rosenberg, on Open Left,

has a lenghty, erudite excursus up, in which he reminds us its continuing relevance and pertinence to the project of social liberation and civil liberty, and includes the following remarkable text--which I admit to having neglected and forgotten. It was written to the white clerical establishment which was chastising Rev. King for his impatience, in the cause of civil rights for black Americans. Calling him an 'out-side agitator,' they warned him that his 'attitude' was not 'helping his cause.'

King replies (in part):
"...I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."
Lo, hear the voices of the oppressed net-roots, ye Democratic apparatat-chiks and corporatist minions!

This could be posted in the cubicle of every DLC/DCCC functionary and satrap and be read daily accompanying the Maoist calisthenics.

If Edwards Wins Iowa, What Will Be His "Dean Scream?"

Cuz assuredly there's gonna be one.

I don't really care all tha much whether Edwards can govern from his expressed platform, because he'll never have the chance. Even if he 'wins' in Iowa, he's STILL toast.

He's too 'shrill,' meaning he complains too loudly about the power of the wealthy, the corporations. The hegemons may permit such language when the speaker is already marginalized, cus it makes the yokels think there's actually an open political discourse in play. But let a real, progressive populist get a leg up, and s/he's doomed. Howard Dean came out of Iowa as 'winner.' But the next week, on Hardball (iirc), he announced that, should he win, he'd look at rolling back media consolidation.

Enter: The Dean Scream!

Exit: the Dean campaign.

Even should Edwards, upon winning Iowa, avoid the pitfalls of victory, they'll get him.

I have long thought the People of the USof A need a really sharp, smart, nasty, aggressive trial lawyer in the Presidency. The President, as the representative of ALL the People, is a majority of one when the Cabinet (which is composed of the institutional avatars of all the "special interests) convenes. We, the People, need a really strong, mean, fierce, ferocious advocate for OUR interests. A trial lawyer would understand that, and act accordingly.

John Edwards is the only trial lawyer in the bunch of corporate hacks and shills. As such he's the one we need; but he's also the one we won't get./

Friday, December 28, 2007

TruthOut.Com: If you don't subscribe, you should

That's how I came across this interview with Naomi Klein. There's also a transcript. She nails it.

Listening to her, it occurred to me that a case could certainly be made that virtually all Presidents in power during national crises--from James Madison forward, and including Lincoln and just about every President in the 20th Century--have used those crises to expand the powers of the presidency. And that practically speaking, none of the expanded powers won or taken have ever been rescinded or returned to the People.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

We Are ALL Prisoners Of This Bus(h)...

That's not me, not the Firesign Theatre.

It's Paul Craig Roberts, former Raygunaut functionary and abiding Conservative luminary (an HONEST version of Ron Paul) in his X-mas message on blog.
All Americans are now imprisoned in a world of lies and deception created by the Bush Regime and the two complicit parties of Congress, by federal judges too timid or ignorant to recognize a rogue regime running roughshod over the Constitution, by a bought and paid for media that serves as propagandists for a regime of war criminals, and by a public who have forsaken their Founding Fathers...

Americans are also imprisoned by fear, a false fear created by the hoax of "terrorism." It has turned out that headline terrorist events since 9/11 have been orchestrated by the US government. For example, the alleged terrorist plot to blow up Chicago’s Sears Tower was the brainchild of an FBI agent who searched out a few disaffected people to give lip service to the plot devised by the FBI agent. He arrested his victims, whose trial ended in acquittal and mistrial...

Raising doubts among Americans about the government is not a strong point of the corporate media. Americans live in a world of propaganda designed to secure their acquiescence to war crimes, torture, searches and police state measures, military aggression, hegemony and oppression, while portraying Americans (and Israelis) as the salt of the earth who are threatened by Muslims who hate their "freedom and democracy."
(Ed. Note: The whole society is awash in propagandas. There is probably no piece of information in the public discourse today that is NOT always already spun for propaganda before it passes onto the public tongue.)
Americans cling to this "truth" while the Bush regime and a complicit Congress destroy the Bill of Rights and engineer the theft of elections.

Some Americans have begun to comprehend the tremendous financial costs of the "war on terror." But few understand the cost to American liberty. Last October a Democrat-sponsored bill, "Prevention of Violent Radicalism and Homegrown Terrorism," passed the House of Representatives 404 to 6.

Only six members of the House voted against tyrannical legislation that would destroy freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and that would mandate 18 months of congressional hearings to discover Americans with "extreme" views who could be preemptively arrested.

What better indication that the US Constitution has lost its authority when elected representatives closest to the people pass a bill that permits the Bill of Rights to be overturned by the subjective opinion of members of an "Extremist Belief Commission" and Homeland Security bureaucrats? Clearly, Americans face no greater threat than the government in Washington.
(Ed. Note: Fuck Jane Harman with Timmy McVey's dead dick.)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Please remember: This is NOT an "Urban Legend"

Via Snopes:
Claim: Hermann Goering proclaimed that although "the people don't want war," they "can always be brought to the bidding of their leaders."

Status: True.

Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2002]

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

Origins: Another timely quote in the vein of the apocryphal Julius Caesar warning about political leaders who can all too easily send the citizenry marching eagerly off to war by manufacturing crises that purportedly threaten national security and making popular appeals to patriotism. In this case the sentiment expressed is even more disturbing because it comes not from a venerated figure of antiquity, but supposedly from a reviled twentieth-century figure associated with the most chilling example of genocide in human history: Hermann Goering, Nazi Reichsmarshall and Luftwaffe-Chief. We may be made somewhat uneasy by the idea that the head of a classic Swastika civilization recognized 2,000 years ago that the populace could be manipulated into sacrificing themselves in wars at the whims of their leaders, but we're outraged (and maybe even scared) at the thought of a fat Nazi fascist flunky's recognizing and telling us the same thing.

The notable difference here is that although the Caesar quote is a latter-day fabrication, the words attributed to Hermann Goering are real. Goering was one of the highest-ranking Nazis who survived to be captured and put on trial for war crimes in the city of Nuremberg by the Allies after the end of World War II. He was found guilty on charges of "war crimes," "crimes against peace," and "crimes against humanity" by the Nuremberg tribunal and sentenced to death by hanging. The sentence could not be carried out, however, because Goering committed suicide with smuggled cyanide capsules hours before his execution, scheduled for 15 October 1946.

The quote cited above does not appear in transcripts of the Nuremberg trials because although Goering spoke these words during the course of the proceedings, he did not offer them at his trial. His comments were made privately to Gustave Gilbert, a German-speaking intelligence officer and psychologist who was granted free access by the Allies to all the prisoners held in the Nuremberg jail. Gilbert kept a journal of his observations of the proceedings and his conversations with the prisoners, which he later published in the book Nuremberg Diary. The quote offered above was part of a conversation Gilbert held with a dejected Hermann Goering in his cell on the evening of 18 April 1946, as the trials were halted for a three-day Easter recess:
Sweating in his cell in the evening, Goering was defensive and deflated and not very happy over the turn the trial was taking. He said that he had no control over the actions or the defense of the others, and that he had never been anti-Semitic himself, had not believed these atrocities, and that several Jews had offered to testify in his behalf. If [Hans] Frank [Governor-General of occupied Poland] had known about atrocities in 1943, he should have come to him and he would have tried to do something about it. He might not have had enough power to change things in 1943, but if somebody had come to him in 1941 or 1942 he could have forced a showdown. (I still did not have the desire at this point to tell him what [SS General Otto] Ohlendorf had said to this: that Goering had been written off as an effective "moderating" influence, because of his drug addiction and corruption.) I pointed out that with his "temperamental utterances," such as preferring the killing of 200 Jews to the destruction of property, he had hardly set himself up as champion of minority rights. Goering protested that too much weight was being put on these temperamental utterances. Furthermore, he made it clear that he was not defending or glorifying Hitler.
Later in the conversation, Gilbert recorded Goering's observations that the common people can always be manipulated into supporting and fighting wars by their political leaders:
We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."

"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Last updated: 25 September 2007
The URL for this page is

Gilbert, G.M. Nuremberg Diary.
New York: Farrar, Straus and Company, 1947 (pp. 278-279).

Urban Legends Reference Pages © 1995-2007
by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson
This material may not be reproduced without permission.
I didn't ask for permission, a priori. I shall seek forgiveness, if the issue should arise. I don't see this as anything but advertizing for them. But WTF...

Fatally Tainted: I Regard Any Candidate For National Political Office

who cites their personal religious convictions as grounds for (my/public) support to be irreversibly and inextricably compromised. I will not contribute to, nor shall I canvas or vote for, any such expressly 'religious' candidate. I do not care, or want to know, to what particular religious sect anyone belongs, as long as they are silent about it in matters of public interest, policy, or action.

The USofA is a secular state. It's leaders--be they in power or aspiring to it--have no business invoking 'A Higher Power' to guide their deliberations. In a secular state, there is no "higher power" than the People and the Constitution. Personal sectarian 'belief' should be and remain private. No "faith," nor "God," nor sectarian dogma is in any way relevant. To assert that any such 'article of faith' should be considered by the electorate is to REJECT the explicit injunction of the Founders, and is a prima facie case for immediate and automatic DIS-qualification from the political process...

Fuck God!

Shrillary Blames "Irresponsible" Iraqis for Legislative Foot-dragging

I just heard a clip on AAR (Steph's place) of Mrs. Clenis (I caught flack for calling her "the Clintoris," but I still think it's an effective one-word 'diss') berating the Iraqis for not 'stepping up' to their "legislative responsibilities," and ignoring the needs of the "Iraqi People."

This is Beltway shorthand for: "Those ingrate fucking rag-head Hajiis haven't passed the Oil Law, with the proceeds from which we USers were supposed to have "paid" for the ICORP (Invasion, Conquest, Occupation, Rape & Pillage).

If al Maliki can get the Iraqi parliament to pass that ONE piece of legislation, he'll be hailed along the Potomac as the Iraqi Washington/Jackson/Lincoln. If he doesnt (and he won't, because blocking passage of the oil distribution scheme is aprta nd parcel with the rest of the Iraqi resistance to USer imperialsism), he'll be tossed aside (probably dead), and somebody else will be raised up to try it.

I STILL think Ahmad ("Judy, Judy, Judy") Chalabi will become the eventual strongman in Iraq, supported by 14 "temporary" USer bases and a 75-100,000 USer troops.

Gay-ron-fuukin'--TEEd, chers...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Magic of Implicature!

My friendly Vet out in the East Mountains sent me this last week. I've seen it before, but it was a while ago, and it still brings a smile (Ah, the joys of implicature!):
Working people frequently ask us retired people what we do to make our days interesting. We really have no trouble in finding interesting things to do.

For example, the other day I went downtown to go to the newsstand. I wanted to pick up the Wall Street Journal so I could track my investments. I was only in there for about 5 minutes. When I came out, there was a cop writing out a parking ticket.

I said to him, "Come on, man, how about giving a retired person a break?"

He ignored me and continued writing the ticket. I called him a "Nazi." He glared at me and wrote another ticket for having worn tires. So I called him a "doughnut eating Gestapo."

He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he wrote a third ticket.

This went on for about 20 minutes. The more I abused him, the more tickets he wrote.

Personally, I didn't care.....The car that he was putting the tickets on still had a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker.

I came downtown on the bus.

I try to have a little fun each day now that I'm retired.

It's important to my health...

Monday, December 24, 2007

If you could inject yourself with a drug which MIGHT help make you rich beyond your wildest dreams

or irresistibly attractive to the opposite sex, or help you attain the highest ranks of your profession--as long as you did EVERYTHING ELSE that was necessary to achieve such aims/goals--would you take it? This isn't trivial: It's the gratification of your every desire. With a shot. C'mon?!?

Would you "Dope" for success?
  • * Yes, and I wouldn't care who knew.
  • * Yes, but I wouldn't tell anyone.
  • * Yes, but I'd deny it.
  • * No. It's cheating and that's dishonorable.
  • * No. It wouldn't be worth being caught
  • * No. I'm already too sexy/rich/talented enough
  • * I really don't know; I'd like to think I wouldn't
  • * I don't know, but I'm weak, so I probably would.
  • The actual poll is up on My Left Wing
  • WASF: Greenland's ice-sheet's melting about twice as fast as "anybody could have predicted."

    And the rate is increasing, too.

    Got beachfront property? Manhattan? Long Island? Miami? Honolulu? Lost Angeles? Corpus Christi? Sell, sell, sell! For a while at least, there'll be people to buy it.

    How long can YOU tread water? Practice, practice, practice, people...

    More than a BILLION people live within three vertical feet of sea level. Can you say Bangladesh? Sure you can!

    They're not gonna have anywhere to go.

    Except where YOU already are.

    How much of where you are doesn't already have have somebody on it?

    You see the problem.

    For any and all practical purposes, these conditions are IRREVERSIBLE: My life-time (mebbe 20 years), your life-time, your kids', your kids' kids', your kids' kids' kids' lifetimes. least in terms of humans' intervention...Without a super-volcano eruption somewhere (or nuclear winter), it's not gonna get and stay cold enough long enough to even begin to 'repair' the damage.


    Oh, yeah. Merry X-mas. And Happy New Year, too...

    Sunday, December 23, 2007

    Dead Girl's Family May Seek Murder/Manslaughter Charges Against CIGNA.

    Carpetbagger: (Often), the national healthcare scandal isn’t limited to those without insurance; sometimes it’s equally outrageous what happens to those with insurance.
    Case in point: Over on Crooks & Liars, there is a nice little summary of the case of Nataline Sarkisyan, the terribly ill 17-year girl in California whose liver transplant--the only thing that sould have kept her alive--the company denied, only to reverse itself after the case became public knowledge and the callousness of their previous decision became a 'cause celebre' among the "Sicko-"quoting detractors of the corrupt, insensitive, incompetent, vile, profit-centered 'health insurance' industry. She went into a coma and died within hours of the reversal.
    All Spin Zone: It’s all about risk management. Keep this in mind as you read further — because you are a risk, not a client — to your healthcare, life, auto, and homeowners insurance providers…In other words, a bean counter at Cigna made the decision that since they had already shelled out a lot of cash for the bone marrow and kidney transplant, that the cost of a liver transplant and followup care was just too high...
    Remember this: You're not a "client," not a "customer," not a "valued friend." To your insurer, it's a game and you are nothing but a risk. Stick it to 'em at any and every chance you get. I think if you are insured by CIGNA--or any other player in this macabre game--you should be very worried about getting sick. And you should lay in a supply of flammable materials and a map to their nearest corporate hq.
    (Ed. Note: I blogged about this story the day it broke, over on The Lamb.)

    Saturday, December 22, 2007

    Study Shows TSA "Security" Measures Don't Improve Airport Security

    This was up in The Muck on TPMuckraker today:
    A Harvard School of Public Health research team believes that there is no evidence to prove that routine (Ed. note: Routine since 9/11)( airport security measures make air travel any safer. The study was especially critical of searches of shoes. Asked the researchers: "Can you hide anything in your shoes that you cannot hide in your underwear?" (Reuters)
    This confirms my long and firmly held suspicion that the imposition of "routine"--draconian, intrusive, abusive--'security' measures by Govt. thugs in airports were directed far more at cowing and bullying the travelling public than at 'security.' These things are not only the province of the airline passenger, either: it occurs in all transport hubs, really; there's a TSA office in your local interstate bus depot, too, with all the authority the pigs at the airports wield. They wear guns.)

    As one (or both) of those incredibly perspicacious Canadian Naomis--Klein/Wolf--points out, authoritarian regimes predictably and regularly seize upon emotion-laden crises to ram through oppressive/repressive/suppressive measures that wouldn't--couldn't--pass without the crisis to camouflage the true intents and consequences of the objectionable measures... The only 'security' they guarantee is that of the regime, its satraps, luminaries, and functionaries...

    I am not the only one I know who has remarked after a necessary trip, there is something in the blankly, stupidly, antagonistic, malicious stance and demeanor of the uniformed TSA "agents" as they grope and poke at the passengers that betrays the intimidation factor that underwrites and rationalizes the entire enterprise. This is part and parcel with the metastacising fascism, hardening citizens to the inevitable increases in "security' interference in our lives.

    As for the underpants, don't give the sadistic morons any MORE ideas as to where they might poke their brutish paws...

    Why Do Democrats ALWAYS Promise To Co-Operate W/the GOP?

    You NEVER hear the Pukes campaigning on promises to co-operate with the Dems. It would be laughable. No one would 1)believe it or 2) tolerate it.

    Yet Hillary, Barry O, even John E, have said AL-fucking-READY that they'll GLADLY, even enthusiastically, seek GOPukes to asppoint to Cabinet positions, and look forward to 'working' with their 'friends' across the aisle.


    What portfolio in the Cabinet is suited to the talents of ANY contemporary GOPuke, considering their near-decade-long complicity and connivance with the Bushits to destroy and undermine the capacity of the People to withstand the very interests they so bloodily and enthusiastically represent?
    • "Defense"? In an Administration that ran on a "peace" platform, it wouldn't make sense to install a GOPuke war-monger in the "Defense" Department.
    • State? In an administration that ran on international cooperation, it wouldn't make sense to install a GOPuke 'confrontationalist.'
    • Treasury? In an Administration that ran on decreasing the gap between rich and poor, it wouldn't make sense to install a Wall Street banker to regulate the financial system.
    • Education? In an Administration that ran on a program of expanded educational opportunities, it wouldn't make sense to install a GOPuke who thought the Department was unnecessary.
    • Etc.
    I do NOT want a putatively 'oppositional' candidate, ostensibly devoted to rolling back the previous regime's fascistic excesses installing any avatars of the very regime they will have been elected to erase.
    And I won't vote for one, either.

    Friday, December 21, 2007

    Xian Fundie Fux In Chaplain Uniforms Recruit "Xian Soldiers" At Boot Camp

    Never EVER forget the links between "religion" , "obedience," "conformity," and "authority."

    I'm just gonna give you the leed, the fotos and the first coupla grafs. Follow the link , below or above, to the full story. It is waaaaaay beyond appalling.

    This is past being a small thing, folks:
    Military Evangelism Deeper, Wider Than First Thought
    By Jason Leopold t r u t h o u t | Report Friday 21 December 2007
    For US Army soldiers entering basic training at Fort Jackson Army base in Columbia, South Carolina, accepting Jesus Christ as their personal savior appears to be as much a part of the nine-week regimen as the vigorous physical and mental exercises the troops must endure.

    That's the message directed at Fort Jackson soldiers, some of whom appear in photographs in government issued fatigues, holding rifles in one hand, and Bibles in their other hand.

    Frank Bussey, director of Military Ministry at Fort Jackson, has been telling soldiers at Fort Jackson that "government authorities, police and the military = God's Ministers,"

    Bussey's teachings from the "God's Basic Training" Bible study guide he authored says US troops have "two primary responsibilities": "to praise those who do right" and "to punish those who do evil - "God's servant, an angel of wrath." Bussey's teachings directed at Fort Jackson soldiers were housed on the Military Ministry at Fort Jackson web site. Late Wednesday, the web site was taken down without explanation. Bussey did not return calls for comment. The web site text, however, can still be viewed in an archived format.

    The Christian right has been successful in spreading its fundamentalist agenda at US military installations around the world for decades. But the movement's meteoric rise in the US military came in large part after 9/11 and immediately after the US invaded Iraq in March of 2003. At a time when the United States is encouraging greater religious freedom in Muslim nations, soldiers on the battlefield have told disturbing stories of being force-fed fundamentalist Christianity by highly controversial, apocalyptic "End Times" evangelists, who have infiltrated US military installations throughout the world with the blessing of high-level officials at the Pentagon. Proselytizing among military personnel has been conducted openly, in violation of the basic tenets of the United States Constitution.

    Perhaps no other fundamentalist Christian group is more influential than Military Ministry, a national organization and a subsidiary of the controversial fundamentalist Christian organization Campus Crusade for Christ. Military Ministry's national web site boasts it has successfully "targeted" basic training installations, or "gateways," and has successfully converted thousands of soldiers to evangelical Christianity.

    Military Ministry says its staffers are responsible for "working with Chaplains and Military personnel to bring lost soldiers closer to Christ, build them in their faith and send them out into the world as Government paid missionaries" - which appears to be a clear-cut violation of federal law governing the separation of church and state.

    "Young recruits are under great pressure as they enter the military at their initial training gateways," the group has stated on its web site. "The demands of drill instructors push recruits and new cadets to the edge. This is why they are most open to the 'good news.' We target specific locations, like Lackland AFB [Air Force base] and Fort Jackson, where large numbers of military members transition early in their career. These sites are excellent locations to pursue our strategic goals."
    Fucking Vultures for their murderous fucking Sky-God. I am of the opinion that the chaplaincy may have out-lived its usefulness in the military of a secular state.

    The Morning 'Must-Read': "A Reality-Based Assessment Of Iran's Nuclear C apability"

    By Phillip Giraldi, in The American Conservative (Emphases supplied): The Money Quote:
    The history of how the NIE was developed provides an effective rebuke to those attacking it. Since late 2006, the White House has been aware that the NIE would not confirm the existence of an Iranian weapons program. In January 2007, John Negroponte resigned as director of national intelligence because he backed his analysts and refused to order the rewriting of the key judgments that appeared in the NIE draft. Vice President Dick Cheney’s office subsequently demanded several revisions and numerous reviews of the source material. Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell is loyal to the president, but, like Negroponte, was unwilling to alter the conclusions for the White House, and the administration eventually became resigned to a final report that it knew would contradict policy.

    Contrary to administration claims, when conclusive new intelligence demonstrating that the Iranians had cancelled their weapons program became available in early summer 2007, the White House was informed. It is no coincidence that President Bush and his aides soon began to downplay Iranian nukes and started to emphasize “they’re killing our soldiers” to make its case against Tehran. In November, McConnell, under pressure from Congress to finish the NIE, agreed to White House demands that it be kept classified, but when the report was finally completed a month later, an unclassified summary was prepared because of concerns that inevitable leaks by Democrats in Congress would make it appear that the administration was again deceiving the American people.

    Thursday, December 20, 2007

    Obama? Nah...

    Matt Taibi, usually a clear-eyed realist about these matters, asks:
    "Would it be such a terrible thing for America to show that it's big enough to elect a black president? Wouldn't that be something all by itself?"
    No. Yes.


    Mid-dull Murka is NOT going to 'elect' a (terribly young) Black dude with a Muslim name as President. I gay-ron-damn-TEE you, chers.


    P.S.: Recent polling in New Mexico indicates Obama does not beat ANY GOPukes head-to-head. Mrs. C loses the state to McStain and the Huckleberry, at this time. Edwards name wasn't included in the polling.Check the data here.

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    Olberman, 12/06/07: "This Remarkable Historical Malfeasance!" A Content Analysis

    Bush is either the pathological presidential Liar or the Idiot-in-Chief; either too dishonest or too dumb. Either way, can you say "impeachable offenses?"You'll have noticed how the (somewhat lesser) CIA Tapes Destruction scandal has replaced the NIE on the front and editorial pages, or the pundits of the cable channels. Just the normal "news cycle," right?

    Let's "Savage" Michael Weiner ("Weener? Whiner"?) "Savage"!!!

    I mean, let's really really get the barbarous, vicious, scum-sucking shitheel (The essence of this approach was developed and perfected by Bay-Area blogger/activist, Mr. Spocko, who took on the odious. drooling asswipes on the Disney channel, KSFO.):
    I refer you to Chicago blogger "Driftglass" on his 'experiment.'
    Make Them Choose!
    ...(As) the Denial Condom that “Moderate” Republicans have to slip over their Huge!Throbbing!Racist!Crazy!Party grows thinner and more fragile every day, there has never been a more fruitful opportunity to get up in the grills of those who want to silently support the Party of God and start loudly and publicly framing their alternatives for them.
    Make them choose -- Do you or do you not stand behind what these looney motherfuckers say? -- and then make them publicly accountable for those choices.
    So I’m going to try an experiment based on these simple facts:
    1. WIND is a Chicago radio station that features one of the ubiquitous, all-wingnut-all-the-time line-ups. [Ed. Note: KKKOB (770 AM), in Abq.]

    2. Some months ago they proudly announced the addition of Michael Weiner Savage to their line-up. (Ed. Note: As of Dec. 7, he was on KKKOB at 1 pm daily)

    3. To keep the Pig People a'squealin' and a'listenin', Michael Weiner Savage likes to run his mouth.

    4. The good people at Media Matters helpfully jot down what Michael Weiner Savage says and publish it, which makes Michael Weiner Savage very, very sad.

    5. Advertising revenue is the life's blood of radio, and is what makes it possible for bottom-feeding moral CHUDs like Michael Weiner Savage to exist and enjoy a handsome living.
    Thanks to a lot of tedious digging on the part of my army of (mostly imaginary) minions, I now have a fairly exhaustive list of the organizations that advertise on WIND:
    • The addresses of their corporate offices.
    • Their websites.
    • Their phone numbers
    • The names of their principle corporate officers.
    [This is the money part, the template for writing the sponsor a letter they cannot ignore. It's Drifty's Part 3.]
    Writing The Complaint Letter.

    STEP 1: Tell them why you are writing.
    Dear Sir/Madame:

    I am writing you because I hear advertisements for your business on Albuquerque's KKOB radio station, and I wondered if you were really aware of what sort of programming your advertising dollars are underwriting.
    STEP 2: Quickly emphasize your bona fides, and your specific complaints.
    I am writing as an American citizen. (As a veteran, too; USAF, '64-68.) As someone active in my community. As a hardworking, honest, decent person, who loves my country as much as I’m sure you do, and cares about our kid’s futures as much as you do.
    The country faces many problems, from war and terrorism to economic and environmental degradation. I know you agree that as Americans we need to find a way to do what we have always done: work together to solve our problems. But these days it’s harder than ever to find ways of working together, and a big part of the reason why is that "Conservative" Talk Radio stations like KKOB apparently have discovered that peddling hate on radio using on-air personalities like Michael Savage is profitable.

    It’s right there on their billboards -- “Liberals Hate Us!”

    For the last 20 years, people like Mr. Savage have been allowed to poison the public airwaves for the amusement of the vicious and the ignorant. For the last 20 years, people like Mr. Savage have been able to make a very nice living not because his is smart or informative, but because of his willingness to use his position to promote a cruel, ugly, and deeply un-American agenda.

    Frankly I’m sick of it, and hope you are too.
    STEP 3: Cite specific examples (these are not fabricated; all of them are taken directly from Media Matters site here.)
    Here is a small sampling of the kind of things Mr. Savage says on the air:

    After Vice President Al Gore won the Nobel Prize:
    "90 percent of the people on the Nobel Committee are into child pornography and molestation....”

    When he asked questions about military policy, calls Retired Brig. Gen. Keith Kerr :
    "gay, phony general"

    Refers to an organization that collates and publishes his remarks in a effort to make him accountable for what he says on the air as:
    "is a fascist front group" and "bunch of punk coward psychotics"

    Stating that a "[L]oving, kind lesbian" is:
    "the type that stuffed ovens in Hitler's concentration camps".

    Regarding the grave possibility of a military conflict with Iran:
    "Let's get it on! Let's bring it on! Bomb Iran, bring our boys home now!"

    Regarding a minor seizure suffered by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts:
    "You're telling me there's no possibility of a conspiracy by the Democrats" to cause Roberts' seizure?

    Compared the firing of radio talk show host Don Imus to:
    "what was done in Nazi Germany to Jews"

    Stated that Representative Keith Ellison (who is a Muslim) and atheists share:
    "hatred of Christianity and hatred of Jews".

    On Martin Luther Kings birthday, referred to civil rights as:
    “…a racket” designed to steal “white males’ birthright.”

    He blamed the Columbine school massacre on sexual reassignment surgery. He frequently refers to gay marriage and parenting as “child abuse”. I am NOT making ANY of this up.
    STEP 4: Preempt any silly-ass argument about this being a Freedom of Speech issue.
    Of course what makes America great is that, here, people like Michael Savage have an absolute Constitutional right to hold any sick, malevolent beliefs they choose. But nowhere are they guaranteed the right to a national radio platform for spewing those beliefs, or the right to profit handsomely from spreading the doctrine of hate and divisiveness that is destroying our country.
    STEP 5: Outline a specific course of action, and a specific warning.
    This is a matter of choice, and as a nation we can no longer allow people who support extremists like Michael Savage to be quietly complicit. So now that you know exactly what kind of filth your dollars are going to support, I am asking as a concerned fellow American that you make a choice; choose to stop footing the bill for putting hatemongers like Michael Savage on there air, or choose to let it be known that your organization will continue to support his extremist views with your advertising dollars.

    I look forward to hearing from you regarding your decision. I will wait (two weeks/30 days) for a reply before publishing your lack of response online.

    Yours truly,

    So, there's a template, and a letter. Of course, the hidden genius of the letter is that it allows you to imply that the advertiser is sympathetic with the bigoty of the "Savages," while explicitly exonerating them of ill-will. I will NOT volunteer to listen to KKKOB to gather the necessary information about Savage's sponsors. I cannot listen to him at all. I hope someone else can do it. Or has a trained monkey who would not go batshitCRAZY ubder the influence of his shrill barbarities.

    War Criminals In The BuSHITEHouse?

    You betcher sweet ass there are. Can we put these fuckers in jail NOW? The NYT, in an unsigned piece, reveals the following:
    At least four top White House lawyers took part in discussions with the Central Intelligence Agency between 2003 and 2005 about whether to destroy videotapes showing the secret interrogations of two operatives from Al Qaeda, according to current and former administration and intelligence officials.

    The accounts indicate that the involvement of White House officials in the discussions before the destruction of the tapes in November 2005 was more extensive than Bush administration officials have acknowledged.

    Those who took part, the officials said, included Alberto R. Gonzales, who served as White House counsel until early 2005; David S. Addington, who was the counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney and is now his chief of staff; John B. Bellinger III, who until January 2005 was the senior lawyer at the National Security Council; and Harriet E. Miers, who succeeded Mr. Gonzales as White House counsel.
    I want these feculent fuckers in irons, goddamn it.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    "Our country is wounded and bleeding..."

    Keith Olberman, on Bill Moyers' Journal. Go watch the whole thing, it's about 20 minutes, but they're vital, vigorous, voluble minutes. GO KEITH!

    From the transcript:

    KEITH OLBERMANN: Well, it is the question of the future of the nation. It's one of those pivotal times in our history. And I don't know that necessarily everybody sees it in those terms because it is, once again, an opportunity not merely for any external threat but for internal threat. Governments exist based on power that is taken from people. It is-- they are necessary. I'm not an anarchist. I believe in government. But there is-- there's no-- no possible interpretation other than to say that this administration and the Republican Party, to some degree the Democratic Party, have taken advantage of fear, of the unprecedented, nearly unprecedented attack that we saw in 2001, to expand their powers on the premise always of security, which is, you know, the famous Franklin, Jefferson warning about that is it's never been more applicable. So it is, yeah, it is emergency circumstances as Walter Cronkite saw it. I mean, here-- objective Uncle Walter, most trusted man in America. When I have an opinion on the most important political issue of the day, I'm gonna sink a president and maybe throw the election to the other guy right now. And he said, well, you know, the chips have to fall in this direction because people are dying and our country is, to some degree, wounded and bleeding. And our country is wounded and bleeding now if we don't know whether or not habeas corpus exists.

    BILL MOYERS: Alright, last question. Name the four 20-game winners on the 1971 Baltimore Orioles.

    KEITH OLBERMANN: Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar, Pat Dobson, and Jim Palmer....

    Monday, December 17, 2007

    USA: Universal Surveillance of Americans

    UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald: “More than anything else, what these revelations highlight — yet again — is that the U.S. has become precisely the kind of surveillance state that we were always told was the hallmark of tyrannical societies, with literally no limits on the government’s ability or willingness to spy on its own citizens and to maintain vast dossiers on those activities.”

    Nobody, it seems, could have EVER anticipated how the GWOT would become best excuse for the limitation of citizens' civil liberties since the Red Peril.

    Fucking morons!

    What the fuck ELSE did anyone think was gonna happen?

    Surveillance has been the telos of civilization for the last 220 fucking YEARS, assholes.

    Bentham proposed, and advocated for the "Panopticon," in 1787, or there abouts. Foucault claimed (justifiably, imho) that the over-riding PURPOSE of the "human sciences" (psychology, anthropology, sociology, psychiatry, psychology, all of them) EVER SINCE was to perfect the process of surveillance, and to impose that regime, seemlessly, over all civilization. Civilization would be defined as "Humanity in a State of Perfect Surveillance."

    Sunday, December 16, 2007

    In Case You Missed It, Israel Wants War With Iran

    Go Google/search "Israel war Iran" in the "NEWS" block of your favorite search engine and you'll discover that Israeli leadership, having gotten the USofA to eliminate Saddam Hussein and destroy Iraq as any kind of a credible threat, is eagerly anticipating an outbreak of (USer) hostilities with Iran...
    Israel: US Report on Iran May Spark War
    By LAURIE COPANS – 23 hours ago (@8 am MST)

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's public security minister warned Saturday that a U.S. intelligence report that said Iran is no longer developing nuclear arms could lead to a regional war that would threaten the Jewish state.

    In his remarks — Israel's harshest criticism yet of the U.S. report — Avi Dichter said the assessment also cast doubt on American intelligence in general, including information about Palestinian security forces' crackdown on militant groups. The Palestinian action is required as part of a U.S.-backed renewal of peace talks with Israel this month.

    Dichter cautioned that a refusal to recognize Iran's intentions to build weapons of mass destruction could lead to armed conflict in the Middle East.

    He compared the possibility of such fighting to a surprise attack on Israel in 1973 by its Arab neighbors, which came to be known in Israel for the Yom Kippur Jewish holy day on which it began.

    "The American misconception concerning Iran's nuclear weapons is liable to lead to a regional Yom Kippur where Israel will be among the countries that are threatened," Dichter said in a speech in a suburb south of Tel Aviv, according to his spokesman, Mati Gil. "Something went wrong in the American blueprint for analyzing the severity of the Iranian nuclear threat."

    Dichter didn't elaborate on the potential scenario but seemed to imply that a world that let its guard down regarding Iran would be more vulnerable to attack by the Islamic regime.

    Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had disputed the U.S. intelligence assessment this month, saying that Iran continues its efforts to obtain components necessary to produce nuclear weapons. Tehran still poses a major threat to the West and the world must stop it, Olmert said.

    Israel has for years been warning that Iran is working on nuclear weapons and backed the United States in its international efforts to exert pressure on Iran to stop the program. Israel considers Iran a significant threat because of its nuclear ambitions, its long-range missile program and repeated calls by its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for the disappearance of Israel.

    Iran says its nuclear program is for purely peaceful purposes.

    Israel will work to change the American intelligence agencies' view of Iran, said Dichter, a former chief of Israel's Shin Bet secret service agency.

    "A misconception by the world's leading superpower is not just an internal American occurrence," Dichter said.

    Any future faulty U.S. intelligence on the actions of Palestinian security forces could damage peace efforts, Dichter said.

    "Those same (intelligence) arms in the U.S. are apt to make a mistake and declare that the Palestinians have fulfilled their commitments, which would carry with it very serious consequences from Israel's vantage point," Dichter said.

    Saturday, December 15, 2007

    Your Fire Department: Not Just For Kittens Anymore

    Steve Clemons at The Washington Note: Imagine a society where even the firemen were trained to spy on a nation's citizens -- reporting back to central "big brother headquarters" what suspicious things that they may have seen while in someone's home ostensibly to save lives and squelch fires.

    That used to be places like the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Vietnam and the like -- but today, we need to look at ourselves -- the United States of America.
    Then, quoting former GOP Rep Bob Barr: "The image of the friendly firefighter helping rescue a wayward kitten from a tree might need updating. If the federal Department of Homeland Security has its way, firefighters across the country will be armed not only with firefighting equipment, but also issued training materials on how to recognize suspect behavior on the part of citizens and what to look for in peoples' homes that might be "suspicious." In other words, firefighters would become domestic spies. In fact, such training already has begun."
    I got a fire lieutenant lives across the street from me. I like the guy.

    One PhototShop = 10,000 Words

    US Border Agents Are Firing Tear-gas And Pepper Spray INTO Mexico?

    Sounds like an act of war to me (via the LA Times).

    I invite any USer citizen to imagine the furor that would ensue were the situation reversed. Imagine if some blue-eyed, blond-haired lil Minuteman clone/drone got sprayed or gassed by Mexicans on the other side of the line. There'd be slaughter on the border.

    I am ashamed of (and for) my 'country.'


    Friday, December 14, 2007

    It Is A Wonder We Can Think At ALL

    Kiernan Healy, over on CrookedTimber dot com, bemoans the slow, steady creep of "anti-History" into the prose he reads from undergrads. In particularly, he is (gently) exercised by the appearance in student papers of referrences to Iraq's participation in the 9/11 attacks. Quoting a commentor:
    I have now received three (3) student papers that discuss Iraq’s attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11. All three papers mention it as an aside to another point. I’ve had two papers on the virtue of forgiveness that argue that if we had just forgiven Iraq for the 9/11 attacks, we wouldn’t be at war right now. I just read a paper on the problem of evil which asked why God allowed “the Iraq’s” to attack us on 9/11. The thing that upsets me most here is that the the students don’t just believe that that Iraq was behind 9/11. This is a big fact in their minds, that leaps out at them, whenever they think about the state of the world.
    I'd flunk any student who floated such a piece of shit over my desk, but that apart, I replied:
    The People of the United States have been the targets of the largest, most expensive, longest, most sustained, most extensive, most permeating, most cynical propaganda campaign ever undertaken in the history of Humanity.

    It began in earnest in the early years of the last century, with the work of Freud’s favorite nephew, and the man—incidentally—who coined the phrase “the manufacture of consent,” Edouard (“Edward”) Bernays, Sigmond Freud’s favorite nephew and, when the old man was in the States, his amenuensis. It has continued unabated for close to 100 years. Bernays appropriated the old man’s ideas, wholesale, and wove them into the fabric of both ‘industries’ in which he as a major figure: ADVERTIZING, and the ‘field’ he is credited with founding, PUBLIC RELATIONS.

    In the meantime, in the last 30 years, civic education has declined to the point of invisibility, while the schools bent every effort to ‘teach’ students to be willing, passive, uncritical consumers of media, especially television.

    We may well despair for the fate of the country when we see such examples of propagandized ‘thinking,’ but really, we should be grateful, if not happy, that it isn’t more wide-spread than it already is (though there is no reason to believe it will not become so).
    The trend is irreversible, of course.

    MLB Steroid "Scandal," Amended.

    I'm reneging on my pledge not to discuss this sham scandal because a new dimension has been added with the allegations in the "Mitchell Report" that Roger Clemens was/is a serial violator. Clemens, while not the most popular player in the league among players (he throws AT batters), is a fan favorite, a (record) seven-time Cy Young winner (and thus a certifiable Hall-Of-Famer/'star'), and is (most importantly) White.

    Former MLBer John Kruk said on one of the ESPN shows yesterday that he wasn't surprised that Clemens was juicing, because athletes do not NATURALLY improve their performance, post 40.

    So I am wondering if those folks calling for Barry Bonds' scalp (indictment, conviction, & execution) for his alleged violations will be as hard on Clemens--or the doe-eyed Andy Pettitte--as they had planned to be on Bonds.

    That is, not to put too fine a point on the matter: I will be fascinated to see if the folks who want to strip Barry Bonds' of his home-run record will be as adamant about stripping Roger Clemens of his 7 Cy Youngs, also a record.

    My guess? mmmmmm...not so much!

    We shall see...

    Thursday, December 13, 2007

    NOLA: USer Disaster-Fucking-Capitalism At Work

    Here's your paradigm case for Naomi Klein's thesis in her new book, The Shock Doctrine. (There's a very good vid there).

    Via Truthout:
    New Orleans: Demolition of Public Housing Starts
    Cain Burdeau, reporting for The Associated Press, writes: "In normal times, redevelopment of public housing to make way for mixed-income neighborhoods might have gone largely unopposed. But passions are high in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, where residents are desperate for cheap housing."
    The motherfuckers have no shame. The population in NOLA who need public housing simply to survive has DOUBLED since Katrina/Rita in '05.

    The plan, as I understand it, is to tear down the Projects and rebuild far smaller projects with far fewer accommodations for the poor, while building up-scale units for sale at much higher prices. These projects largely escaped the flood-ravages of the storms, so they are in now-desireable locales. Part and parcel with turning NOLA into a fucking Disney theme-park-cum-gated community.

    It's HUD housing they're tearing down, and it's poor, black CITIZENS who they're dispropriating, but it's rich, white developers and realty folks who're gonna make out like the dogs in the manger that they are. White folks are spooked because of a flyer that was circulated threatening to set fires to expensive downtown condo developments if the destruction of the Projects continued.

    Ah, smell it? The Divine Wind! Gwine Blow Aw Dem Sweaty Kneegrows Plumb A-Away!

    And I'd bet you any money you'd care to wager that there are STILL Blackwater gunsels in the woodwork.

    P.S. For a truly harrowing trip through the devastated landscapes that are STILL not unusual on the Gulf Coast even today, go HERE, and go through the portfolio. Awesome!

    Other than to note what an utter, total, complete waste of time and energy it was, I shall not comment on the MLB/Steroids flap

    And it was and is a colossal waste of time...

    Nobody died, and even of those injured, who gives a fuck? Mark Maguire? Sammy Sosa? Roger Clemons? Die already, with your pea-sized 'nads and your middle-age acne.

    It's just a fucking game.

    And EVERYBODY cheats if they can.

    Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    The GOPuke Nominee WIll Be... (Wait For It):


    Huckleberry Huckabee seems to me positioned very well to become the GOP nominee.

    He'd be the perfect successor to Incurious George. He's dumber than Bush, he's less curious than Bush, he's less well prepared for the office (if that is possible) than Bush, as an ordained minister, he's 'holier' than Bush, he's poorer than Bush, he's more malleable than Bush.

    Stick Jeb in the VP slot for discipline, and 'voila', the Regime rolls on.

    Of course, it may be that the Elite/Corpo-cRat/Oiligarchs want to have a Dem in there this time.
    They need to have somebody expendable to take the heat for the inevitable failures in cleaning up the Bushevik mess.

    Hillary or Obama are ideal--from the perspective of the Corpo-Right--mainly because, being the "first" of their "kind" to hold the office, when they inevitably fail to actually accomplish anything to ameliorate the damages inflicted by the Bushevik Cabal, it will taint the whole "class" of which they are the most prominent members--women and Blacks--which will than become a barrier to further challenges from those (inconvenient) quarters...

    Plus, a catastrophic failure by the Dems would open up the door to a return of the anti-government Puke permanent majority in '12, which would benefit their long-term agenda.

    Or the Oiligarchs and their douche-bag minions may have decided that, the Rubicon having already been crossed by Bush (indeed, with a toll-bridge up and running), and the American republic having already been crushed, without any notable resistance from the citizenry or any appreciable push-back from the (putatively oppositional) Dumbocraps, they can just forge ahead with their anti-Government agenda with a malleable, suggestible, amiable, religiously manipulable dolt like Huckabee, as long as there's a Cheney-like figure pulling the strings--e.g., Jebby. I do not see any other alternatives.

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007

    Carrots Or Sticks?

    Matt Stoller today discusses the problem that 'enterprising' bureaucratic 'entrepeneurs' go into Govt to learn enough about how to exploit it to make millions defeating it for the benefit of the corpoRat/elite/oiligarchic class. It's a very bad idea. He says (t)he only real solutions involve a progressive tax code, open legislative processes, and public financing of elections.

    In terms of the famed "double positive": Yeah, right!

    Now will somebody please explain to me exactly what kind of incentive can be provided to convince the wealthy, authoritarian, corporatist elite to foresake the powers they've spent the last 100 years, and several trillions of dollars amassing?

    Appeals to altruism will certainly be unavailing. Neither honor nor patriotism (in its best sense or its worst) nor ethical concerns nor the future of their progeny will move them.

    So what do we do to persuade them NOT to use their consideraqble power/wealth to obstruct justice and fairness, given they've spent their whole lives successfully combatting both justice and fairness to make their fortunes?


    Sing It LOUD, Children!: Oh, He's A Lying Sack of Shit, A Lying Sack Of Shit...

    ...He's a Reeking, Stinking, Dripping, Ooozing, Lying Sack of SHIT!

    Monday, December 10, 2007

    A Rhetorical Question: Why Do No Dim Candidates Campaign to Repeal The Military Commissions Act?

    I know the answer, already, of course. Any such attempt would be labelled by the Pukes and amplified by their loyal ass-lickers in the SCUM, as examples of 'softness-on-terrism.'

    Here's how Arthur Silber phrases the question:
    No one speaks of repealing the Military Commissions Act. If anyone in Congress actually gave a damn about liberty and civilization on the most basic level, that is what they would discuss, and they would discuss it all the time. For the Military Commissions Act did not simply destroy habeas corpus; it also established the state's use of torture as an acknowledged, acceptable, standardized means of governance. All the Democratic presidential candidates have recently condemned torture as an element of official government policy -- although I am not aware that anyone has asked Hillary Clinton why she has apparently altered her previously expressed approval of a supposedly narrow "exception" to the prohibition against torture, and if she now rejects her own earlier view. But as long as the Military Commissions Act remains the law, all such condemnations are meaningless, and they deserve to be disbelieved. If any of these politicians were seriously opposed to torture, repeal of the Military Commissions Act would be among their very highest priorities.
    Of course, the Dims will NOT try to repeal the MCA, because they see practical advantage in its provisions. Silber takes this theme a step further:
    I refer you to this statement from one German, noted in Milton Mayer's, They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-1945, and excerpted in my essay, "Thus the World Was Lost":
    "Yes," said my colleague, shaking his head, "the 'excesses' and the 'radicals.' We all opposed them, very quietly. So your two 'little men' thought they must join, as good men, good Germans, even as good Christians, and when enough of them did they would be able to change the party. They would 'bore from within.' 'Big men' told themselves that, too, in the usual sincerity that required them only to abandon one little principle after another, to throw away, little by little, all that was good. I was one of those men.

    "You know," he went on, "when men who understand what is happening--the motion, that is, of history, not the reports of single events or developments--when such men do not object or protest, men who do not understand cannot be expected to. How many men would you say understand--in this sense--in America? And when, as the motion of history accelerates and those who don't understand are crazed by fear, as our people were, and made into a great 'patriotic' mob, will they understand then, when they did not before?

    "We learned here--I say this freely--to give up trying to make them understand after, oh, the end of 1938, after the night of the synagogue burning and the things that followed it. Even before the war began, men who were teachers, men whose faith in teaching was their whole faith, gave up, seeing that there was no comprehension, no capacity left for comprehension, and the thing must go its course, taking first its victims, then its architects, and then the rest of us to destruction...."
    I do not want to be misunderstood on this point, so let me state it as plainly as I can. The time is long since past for every minimally decent American to take a stand: either you are on the side of civilization and humanity, and the irreplaceable, supreme value of an individual human life -- or you are on the side of evil, brutality, torture, sadism, genocidal war, and endless death. The Democrats and the Republicans both stand for Empire, and for the endless horrors already inflicted -- and the endless horrors that still lie in our future. If the Democrats do not repeal the Military Commissions Act or at least try to do so, and if you still support them in the 2008 elections, then you are on the side of all these horrors as well.
    Arthur Silber is a Jeremiah of the first rank, which does NOT mean he's wrong, only that he's ignored.

    Sunday, December 09, 2007

    Here Come De NEW Bahss! Best Betta Knuckle Yo Brow, Boy

    It starts here:
    If you’ve been quietly going about your business this year, you may not have noticed the new class of kings atop of Wall Street. Pity the poor suckers who studied at Harvard Business School and worked the corporate ladder to become mere Fortune 500 CEOs. They’ve had to get by on single or double-digit millions, while hedge fund managers and private equity titans took home hundreds of times that amount.
    It ends here.
    If, on the other hand, you live in a working-class neighborhood in America, you may have noticed a different phenomenon: people losing their homes in a wave of foreclosures that, in some cities, rivals Hurricane Katrina in its destruction. The worst is still to come. There are neighborhoods in places like Cleveland, where a third of the houses sit empty, boarded up, or repossessed. If the devastation looks like a war zone, it’s because it is. Finance has become an arms race, pitting billionaires devising new instruments of wealth accumulation against regulators whose duty is to keep them in check. The regulators are losing badly, in part because Wall Street is closer to the government’s ear than to Main Street. Entire cities may be laid to waste and people’s lives may lie in ruin, but there are still people much wealthier than them, inventing more ingenious ways to screw them.
    Read what's in-between, here.

    Saturday, December 08, 2007

    "A Good Cop On A Bad, Or A Bad Cop ANY DAY..."

    Over on Jon Schwarz's lapidary there's a story of the the tragic series of (seeming) miscarriages of 'justice' set in train by a single, (apparently) simple act of loaning your friend your car. The discussion that ensued, which focussed in no small part on the retributive aspects of the eventual conclusions of the case, prompted the following reply from me:
    In the USofA, 'justice' is and always has been a metaphor implying the 'satisfactory' punishment of the malefactor. "Penology" comes from the idea of a "penalty." It is a system which now will never change, because far too many interest groups draw power from the penal structures. Too much money, too much power, too little accountability. Too many Murkins (wrongly) believe they'll never come acropper of the law.

    When i was a professor, i always found an occasion and a reason to challenge my students to answer or rebut the following propositions: "Resolved: Police "keep the peace," meaning primarily they protect the interests of the propertied, monied class against all comers. They are doing what is expected of them and what they are payed to, when they treat outsiders unfairly, when they abuse their power, when they unjustly accuse, prosecute, and imprison the poor and disempowered. That is what the communities they serve WANT them to do. If it weren't true, they wouldn't do it.

    "Therefore, all members of the middle and upper classes should experience, first-hand, a full-on, no-holds-barred, guns-drawn, "assume-the-fucking-position-motherfucker" bust at the hands of good cops on a bad day, or bad cops any day."
    Most members of the country's privileged class have NO idea about how the cops treat people they regard as beneath them (meaning, 'beneath their employers'), except from seeing television portrayals...

    Friday, December 07, 2007

    Here's A Good Question: Why SHOULD Anti-War Voters Support Pro-War Democrats?

    From Counter-Punch, by Sharon Smith:
    (In a recent number of The Nation, 60s radical Tom) Hayden's "Field Guide" exhorts antiwar activists to get out the vote for 2008-for whichever candidate becomes the anointed Democratic nominee. "Only in this way," Hayden argues without evidence, "will the peace movement succeed in expanding and intensifying antiwar feeling to a degree that will compel the politicians to abandon their six-year timetable for a far shorter one....(But) why would politicians feel pressured to change their pro-war policies when legions of antiwar activists are already working for grassroots votes on their behalf? Far from empowering the antiwar majority, this strategy appears doomed to enabling the pro-war and bi-partisan status quo...
    (Activist) Phyllis Bennis: "It is very hard, at an emotional level, for people to understand that none of the Presidential candidates likely to win in 2008 is committed to ending the war. Still, it matters very much who gets elected in 2008."
    Both main parties do, however, share certain overriding aims that dwarf their differences. One of those aims is their shared desire to preserve the credibility of U.S. imperialism, and that requires salvaging a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq, in the form of permanent military bases. This is the reason why Clinton et al refuse to commit to removing all U.S. troops by the end of their first term in 2013. Indeed, according to White House adviser General Douglas Lute speaking to the Financial Times, the Bush administration is already negotiating a bilateral agreement with the Iraqi government authorizing a "continued presence for US and other coalition troops outside of the UN Security Council mandate."
    All movements must aim to influence government policy. There is no evidence to support the claim that supporting pro-war politicians furthers the aims of the antiwar movement, while there is plenty to discredit it.
    It's a pretty compelling argument, imho. Emphases added.

    Thursday, December 06, 2007

    Cheney Swinging His Big Dick Around

    TPM has this:
    Too Much Freud From a Guy Named Dick
    12.06.07 -- 12:35PM
    By David Kurtz

    From Vice President Cheney's interview with The Politico:

    Most striking were his virtually taunting remarks of two men he described as friends from his own days in the House: Democratic Reps. John Dingell (Mich.) and John P. Murtha (Pa.).

    In a 40-minute interview with Politico, he scoffed at the idea of two men who spent years accruing power showing so much deference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the big spending and energy debates of the year.

    Murtha “and the other senior leaders … march to the tune of Nancy Pelosi to an extent I had not seen, frankly, with any previous speaker,” Cheney said. “I’m trying to think how to say all of this in a gentlemanly fashion, but [in] the Congress I served in, that wouldn’t have happened.”

    But his implication was clear: When asked if these men had lost their spines, he responded, “They are not carrying the big sticks I would have expected.”
    Mysogynize, much, Biggus Dickus?

    Wednesday, December 05, 2007

    I Wanna Thank Alan Bock For Being One-Third Right

    on crucial matters I've been discussing since 2003: The Reason(s) Why...

    Why the Bushevik/PNAC/Zionist/Oil Cabal invaded and conquered (so far) Iraq, that is.

    Bock says "the purpose was to establish permanent U.S . bases in Iraq, to serve as forward staging areas for future forays in the world wide "war on terror," in someplace other than Saudi Arabia, home to the most universally sacred-to-Islam sites.

    But even at that, he's only half-right; so really he's only a sixth right. Yes, it will be convenient to have USer troops on the ground in the middle east. But the real prize is the air-cover that Iraqi bases extend out into the steppes of central Asia. The Grand Game for the riches of the trans-Caspian continues a pace

    And he completely ignores the other two fundamental reasons for the Iraqi ICORP. The first of these was, of course to negate existing Iraqi energy resource exploitation agreements to the advantage of US/multinational energy giants like BP and Exxon/Mobil, which had been shut out of agreements Saddam Hussein's govt had negotiated with Russians, French, and other concerns during the earlier embargo and post-Gulf War period. Since you cannot have binding agreements with the dead, Hussein and all his cronies--to say nothin g of the Ba'athist Iraqi State--had to go.

    The second was to protect Israel, the West's most enduring Imperial/colonial toe-hold in the region, and the darling step-child of the Flying Monkey zealots of the USer/Xian Right-wing, who need an "Israel" in order to act out their eschatological fantasies. It is in pursuit of this purpose that the proposals to "Balkanize" Iraq have arisen, since there could hardly be a more effective way to prevent any further Iraqi interference with Israel's regional hegemonic objectives than to fracture the country into three, competing, hostile, semi-federated states enveloped in fratricidal disputation over power, resources and wealth.

    Saddam Hussein assuredly signed his own execution warrant with the first SCUD he fired off in the general direction of Tel Aviv in 1991. He assured the destruction of his country when, in the conduct of "bidness," he turned his back on "US/Western/Big Oil," and threatened to deal in Euros instead of Dollars.

    Nuttin' poyssonal, ya unnerstan'?

    The ICORP of Iraq has ALWAYS had these three purposes at its heart. An explanation of the 'reason why' that leaves out any of them must be incomplete.

    Remember Willie Horton? Ask Huckleberry About Wayne Dumont

    Dumont's a convicted (and now deceased) serial rapist and murderer from Arkansas, one of whose victims was a cousin of Bill Clinton, who was released from prison in Arkansas with more than 25 years of his sentence unserved, and who went on to rape again and then to murder at least two more victims.

    Dumont became a token in the "Slag Clinton" program of the Flying Monkey/Fundie Right in the redneck hinterlands. Here's how Murray Waas describes the deal, in a longish piece up on HuffPost this morning:
    In 1996, as a newly elected governor who had received strong support from the Christian right, Huckabee was under intense pressure from conservative activists to pardon Dumond or commute his sentence. The activists claimed that Dumond's initial imprisonment and various other travails were due to the fact that Ashley Stevens, the high school cheerleader he had raped, was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton, and the daughter of a major Clinton campaign contributor.

    The case for Dumond's innocence was championed in Arkansas by Jay Cole, a Baptist minister and radio host who was a close friend of the Huckabee family. It also became a cause for New York Post columnist Steve Dunleavy, who repeatedly argued for Dumond's release, calling his conviction "a travesty of justice." On Sept. 21, 1999, Dunleavy wrote a column headlined "Clinton's Biggest Crime - Left Innocent Man In Jail For 14 Years":

    "Dumond, now 52, was given conditional parole yesterday in Arkansas after having being sentenced to 50 years in jail for the rape of Clinton's cousin," Dunleavy wrote. "That rape never happened."

    A subsequent Dunleavy column quoted Huckabee saying: "There is grave doubt to the circumstances of this reported crime."

    After Dumond's release from prison in September 1999, he moved to Smithville, Missouri, where he raped and suffocated to death a 39-year-old woman named Carol Sue Shields. Dumond was subsequently convicted and sentenced to life in prison for that rape and murder.

    But Dumond's arrest for those crimes in June 2001 came too late for 23-year-old Sara Andrasek of Platte County, Missouri. Dumond allegedly raped and murdered her just one day before his arrest for raping and murdering Shields. Prior to the attack, Andrasek and her husband had learned that she was pregnant with their first child.

    Dumond died of natural causes while in prison on September 1, 2005. At the time of his death, Missouri authorities were readying capital murder charges against Dumond for the rape and murder of Andrasek.
    Is there any reason why this is not the same sort of story that ruined Mike Dukakis? I'd only quibble about the timing: Waas probably should have held off until Huckleberry wins in Iowa, and THEN torpedo the sanctimonious motherfucker's campaign.

    Tuesday, December 04, 2007

    "Education" v. "School"

    During my academic career, writing on a computer--usually without any looming deadline--was the bane of my existence. I sent off relatively few mss, because I never finished them. Everytime I'd open up a piece to work on it, I'd change the goddamn thing. I've already done it atleast once already in this piece.

    It wasn't the writing thata was so difficult. It was reading what I had previously written, which one is almost compelled to do by the arrangement of the various data files in the word-processor, was my bete noir. Which is because I am (apparently) genetically unable to read my own texts without rewriting them. So I would seldom get more than a couple of grafs into what I was writing before I was being driven, as if by some daemon, to CHANGE EVERYTHING!!!!

    Because once one changes something on top, the change must be reflected throughout the body of the piece. That was a nearly impossible discipline on 'thoughtful' writing for generations. But since the advent of word-processing, wysywig, etc., change is much easier. I think the ease with which one may reconsider one's thoughts, along with the ease of adding or (for me, less often) deleting, makes doing so damn near irresistible.

    This is preface to a piece I posted yesterday, which is a spontaneous rewriting of a piece I posted here about a year ago.
    Education Vs. School (+)
    by: konopelli
    Tue Dec 04, 2007 at 11:39:58 AM PST
    [edit diary]

    From time to time, here and elsewhere, I have been at some pains to distinguish between what is commonly called 'education' (in which a very few people actually engage) and that process called 'schooling,' which is well nigh universal in this culture.

    The purposes of 'education,' and the purposes of 'schooling' are quite different. The purpose of 'education' is emancipatory. Education is the process whereby people learn to craft and use the tools of intellectual life which they will apply to their life's problems and the issues which will occupy their attention for their entire lives.

    The purpose of schooling, on the other hand, is almost entirely assimilative: to induct 'students' into the culture of obedience, acquiescence, and complicity with the interests of corporations. Schooling exists to prepare students to become willing drones in the marketplace, and unconscious consumers of mediated 'reality.'

    One does not "get" an education; it is not a pair of Levis or a new video game. One MAKES an education recursively, out of the apprehension, appreciation, interpretation, and analysis of experience, the way an artisan in previous times MADE their own tools as part of their training for their professions. Education exists for the purpose of integrating the learner as a critical 'reader' into the shared texts and discourses of a common civilization.

    One does, on the other hand, "get" 'schooled' in the needs of the status quo ante. Schools exist to supply, retroactively, the data which support decisions made about children, their life-prospects, and their usefulness to culture as a whole, on the basis of their parents' socio-economic status, long before the kids ever cross the school's threshold for the first time.
    (Cross-posted @ MyLeftWing)

    Betcha Thought Catch-22 Was A Metaphor, Right?

    You thought Joe Heller was just making shit up, right? Hah!
    Witness Names to Be Withheld From Detainee <Via TruthOut.Org: William Glaberson, in Saturday's New York Times reported:
    Defense attorneys representing a 21-year-old being held prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "have been ordered by a military judge not to tell their client - or anyone else - the identity of witnesses against him" in the prisoner's upcoming war crimes trial, newly released documents show, which the attorneys say "would hamper their ability to build an adequate defense because they cannot ask their client or anyone else about prosecution witnesses, making it difficult to test the veracity of testimony."
    These 'security' fuckers are bat-shit fuukin' CRAZY., chers. Check this out:
    "It is conceivable, if not likely, that Al Qaeda members or sympathizers could attempt to target witnesses," a prosecutor, Maj. Jeffrey D. Groharing of the Marines, wrote to the judge, Col. Peter E. Brownback III of the Army...

    ...Mr. Khadr's military defense lawyer, Lt. Cmdr. William C. Kuebler of the Navy, said that while he has been given a list of prosecution witnesses, the judge's decision requires him to keep secrets from his client and that he would ask Colonel Brownback to revoke the order. He said it treated Mr. Khadr as if he had already been convicted and deprived him of a trial at which the public could assess the evidence against him.

    "Instead of a presumption of innocence and of a public trial," Commander Kuebler said, "we start with a presumption of guilt and of a secret trial."
    You know who the (alleged) witnesses are? USer troops--who may well be covering their asses, cuz the kid was 15 at the time, and was wounded in the 'fire-fight' (which could as easily be a massacre of innocent civilians); No one should EVER believe the 'official' accounts about fights in a war.
    In an interview, Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann, a senior official in the Pentagon's Office of Military Commissions, said that the commission system was open to scrutiny from news organizations and human rights groups and that the order was necessary to protect the lives of witnesses.

    "The system is designed to be open," General Hartmann said. "But there are certain things that simply must be protected."

    Most witnesses in Mr. Khadr's case are expected to be military personnel who took part in a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan when an American special forces soldier, Sgt. First Class Christopher James Speer, 28, was fatally wounded. Mr. Khadr, who was 15 at the time, was badly injured.

    "It is so fundamental," General Hartmann said, "that we're in this global war on terror. We need to protect our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines and there's nothing nefarious about it."
    The accused is a Canadian, by the way.

    Makes ya wonder how they ever successfully prosecute murderous mobsters, don't it?

    Monday, December 03, 2007

    Have you ever heard of "coltan"?

    It's a mineral.
    It's in every technology that requires a computer chip: computers, cell phones, satellites and weapon systems, of course. Without it, virtually the whole mobile electronic empire collapses.

    Know which country sits atop the largest coltan deposits in the world?

    The Democratic Republic of Congo. So Bechtel, the CitiBank boys, the World Bank, IMF and various covert elements have been supplying brutal regime after brutal regime in the region. Well over four million and counting have died there.
    Joseph Mobutu, the last President-for-life, was installed after the elimination of Patrice Lumumba, in the '60s, by John Negroponte and the CIA.

    Mobutu was one of the cruelist, craziest, richest dictators in the whole world. He presided (with USer aid and assistance) over the deaths of more than a million of his countryfellows in order to retain his position, until his death 10 years ago. An example of his corruption: He required a deposit into Swiss accounts in his name of amounts equal to the whole nationa debt of the country, as a bribe to permit certain firms to continue resource development. Since his death, there has not been an effective central Govt. in the country and internecine warfare proliferates in just about all the country's 27 'states.'

    These are just a few of the interesting facts contained in "Confessions of a Covert Agent:
    Once the resource is identified, special ops figures out the most efficient way to suppress or extinguish the population that is unfortunate enough to live near it. Then the big companies come in, from the United Fruit Company to the Bechtels and Halliburtons of the world. That is the way it has been and still is, from John D. Rockefeller and Allen Dulles right through Kissinger, Bush Sr. and Cheney. Millions of innocent civilians have been slaughtered. Let me repeat that: Millions of innocent civilians have been slaughtered. And I'm not kidding you. These are evil motherfuckers and they are no friends of ours. These things don't have anything to do with protecting the US people or standing up for freedom and democracy. They don't give a shit about the average American. In this age of the global economy, the concept of nation state is obsolete. If only proud Americans could understand that. Pride in the American way is just another propaganda device for PsyOps agents — people like me — to use to manipulate you and make you think that black is white and white is black.
    There's more. Go to the link. It's not like nobody's ever revealed these things before; but it's still enough to make an orc puke.

    Saturday, December 01, 2007

    Authoritarian-Corporat-Cronyism At Home; Abroad, Hegemonic Militaristic Imperialism: "Pax Americana, Bipartisana!"

    Why does Jane Harman hate privacy, the 4th Amendment, and civil liberty?

    Really? What the fuck is that dumb, drooling, vapid bint doing?

    I have been complaining literally for years (along with many more far better known, better read, more conspicuously employed bloggers than I) that the claims of the Democratic party to be the champions of the 90% of the country which did NOT own the GOP, Congress, and/or 70% of the national wealth were spurious at best. Both (ostensibly competing) 'Parties' are irreversibly, irremediably, and irredeemably committed to the politics expressed in the hed, above. Such differences as may be 'detected'/imagined are in the means to those ends, not to the ends themselves. The Dems believe the People are better bought or bribed; the Pukes, that they are better--and more cheaply--compelled. Nowhere is the utter synonymy of their interests better illustrated than in their programmatic approaches to 'national security.' A case in point: the (impending) Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, sponsored by (DLC) Democrat Jane Harman of California.
    Harman's bill contends that the United States will soon have to deal with home grown terrorists and that something must be done to anticipate and neutralize the problem. The act deals with the issue through the creation of a congressional commission that will be empowered to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and designate various groups as "homegrown terrorists." The commission will be tasked to propose new legislation that will enable the government to take punitive action against both the groups and the individuals who are affiliated with them. ... Harman's bill does not spell out terrorist behavior and leaves it up to the Commission itself to identify what is terrorism and what isn't. Language inserted in the act does partially define "homegrown terrorism" as "planning" or "threatening" to use force to promote a political objective, meaning that just thinking about doing something could be enough to merit the terrorist label. The act also describes "violent radicalization" as the promotion of an "extremist belief system" without attempting to define "extremist..."
    I am not the first person to have remarked that this certainly smacks loudly of 'thought police.'Yet a different, tho' screamingly similar, story appeared yesterday, which puts the whole fiasco into its proper, Orwellian perspective, from TruthOut.Org:
    H.R 1955: the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 recently passed by the House - a companion bill is in the Senate - is barely one sentence old before its Orwellian moment: It begins, "AN ACT - To prevent homegrown terrorism, and for other purposes."

    Those whose pulse did not quicken at "other purposes" have probably not read George Orwell's essay, "Politics and the English Language," or they voted for the other George both times.

    Orwell's jeremiad on the corruption of the English language and its corrosive effect on a democracy was written two years before his novel "1984" spelled out in chilling detail the danger of Newspeak, which renders citizens incapable of independent thought by depriving them of the words necessary to form ideas other than those promulgated by the state.

    After its opening "tribute" to Orwell, H.R 1955 is strategically peppered with Newspeak regarding the establishment of a National Commission and university-based Centers of Excellence to "examine and report upon the fact and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism and ideologically based violence in the United States" and to make legislative recommendations for combating it.

    The "sheer cloudy vagueness" of H.R 1955, as well as its terror factor, may account for its bipartisan 404-6 House vote, but how, in an era informed by the Bush-Cheney administration's egregious assault on the Bill of Rights, can the phrase "other purposes" fail to raise the "National Terror Alert" from its current threat level of "elevated" to "severe"?

    Future "other purposes" will undoubtedly be justified by the Act's use of the term "violent radicalization," which it defines as "the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence ..." or by the folksy, Lake Wobegonesque "homegrown terrorism," defined as "the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born [or] raised ... within the United States ... to intimidate or coerce the United States, the civilian population ... or any segment thereof ...."
    So, now, you all who put your faith in the "Democratic Party" for the preservation of civil liberties, 'splain this to me. Wtf is going on?