Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Shameless, part II

Malcom Nance knows whether waterboarding is torture or not, even if Michael Mukasey doesn't know and if God's own president doesn't think you know. Nance is a former master instructor and chief of training at the U.S. Navy Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School (SERE) in San Diego. He's a counterterrorism consultant for the Government's Special Operations, Homeland Security and intelligence agencies and he's had it done to him. Even though he knew he wasn't going to be killed, those who undergo such treatment in some sordid basement in a third world hellhole don't know that and like most of us, they'll say anything to make it stop.

Nance was waterboarded and supervised the waterboarding of 300 other men, not to elicit information, but so that our men would know what might await them at the hands of some evil empire on a par with the United States of America.

In an op-ed piece in The New York Daily News today, Nance tells us that no matter how you look at it, waterboarding is torture.
"In the media, waterboarding is called "simulated drowning," but that's a misnomer. It does not simulate drowning, as the lungs are actually filling with water. There is no way to simulate that. The victim is drowning. Unless you have been strapped down to the board, have endured the agonizing feeling of the water overpowering your gag reflex, and then feel your throat open and allow pint after pint of water to involuntarily fill your lungs, you will not know the meaning of the word. Usually the person goes into hysterics on the board. For the uninitiated, it is horrifying to watch."
I doubt Mukasky would be able even to watch such a proceeding without being overcome. I doubt that most people would, but the truth is, such evil really does lurk in the hearts of men and the most ordinary people will do the most heinous things given the opportunity and the immunity and there are countless histories to prove it.

But our prospective Attorney General is capable of being evasive and we're capable of looking the other way or telling ourselves that "these people," these "terrorists" deserve it, even when they're kids picked up on the street in random sweeps or for having a suspicious name or because some enemy denounced them. face it we're capable of almost anything.
"One has to overcome basic human decency to endure causing the effects. The brutality would force you into a personal moral dilemma between humanity and hatred. It would leave you questioning the meaning of what it is to be an American."
says Nance, but moral dilemmas don't exist in our administration and are usually avoided by our citizens and beyond the degradation of all our claims of leadership, our pretended ideals, we have created by this sort of action, a worldwide culture of anti-American hate that will not go away in our lifetimes, if ever.

It's well that history will remember Bush as the man who murdered America, but it is not well for us. I think we have been tried and found wanting, our values reduced to meanness our democracy eaten away by the cancer of patriotism and we haven't the slightest ability or inclination to seek redemption.

Al Qaeda in Qalifornia

So it was a little kid playing with matches. Does anyone think Fox News is going to apologize for trying to pin it on "terrorists" or Qaeda operatives in California? I'm not going to hold my breath and I wouldn't be surprised if they continued the idiocy and told us "some people say" there's a Kiddy Qaeda training camp over the border in Tijuana or that the Teletubbies were behind it all.

And speaking of dangerous idiots, Ralph Nader, the most egotistical man in America who got 0.38% of the votes in the last election and helped make sure George W. Bush stayed in office is suing the DNC for conspiring to keep him off the ballot. Hey, he might have got 0.39 or 0.4% if they hadn't interfered and we probably wouldn't be in Iraq and millions of lives wouldn't have been ruined.

Hell if he'd never been born, General Motors might have had a car that could compete with the Europeans. It's time to hang it up Ralph. You know less about government than you know about engineering or driving a car. You have nothing to offer but to keep telling us how corrupt everything is. We already know and we know you have no plan and no ability to do a damn thing about it.

Bombs, Bibles and Bullshit

I'm not surprised at Zogby's poll results. I remember back in the dark days of the Cold War when the University I attended had a symposium on US - Soviet relations and invited the local townspeople to attend. The consensus amongst the patriotic townies was that we should "bomb them back to the Stone Age." That was then, they're just as stupid now.

According to Zogby International, a recent phone poll shows that 52% of Americans favor the bombing of Iran. Amongst the Republicans the number is 71%. A minority of independents and Democrats favor such actions but overall, only 29% of us oppose it.

I'm quite sure that if Bush actually leaves the White House and if the Republicans lose the next election, the scorched earth left behind will include a bombed Iran. This perception serves to and may be designed to frighten voters into supporting whomever they dredge out of the barrel of slime to run against Hillary Clinton. Of course we will get fooled again - and again. We're Americans.

Around the world

John Stewart returned to the Daily Show Monday night and assured us that no government officials had been involved in any sex scandals while he was off duty. I'm afraid he was wrong, unless of course you don't consider State Representative Richard Curtis of Washington to be high enough on the phallic totem pole to be considered newsworthy. Did I mention that he's a Republican?

Seems Representative Curtis, who is married and has children at home, was observed wearing women's lingerie and receiving oral sex from a man in a porn movie viewing booth in Spokane Washington last week. According to police, Curtis later went to a local hotel to have anal sex with another man who allegedly attempted to blackmail him afterward.

Meanwhile the Blackwater mercenaries who seem to have slaughtered innocent Iraqis were given immunity by the Bush administration.

It's nice to know the country and its values voters are well served by the Republican party.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rumsfeld on the run

See Rummy run - run Rummy. If there's one think that could brighten up the dark Sturm und Drang of Tropical Storm Noel working its way north toward Florida, it's the prospect of Donald Rumsfeld in a trench coat, skulking his way over the wet midnight cobblestones down the narrow, misty and medieval streets of some German city; jack-booted Gestapo and barking Rottweilers hot on his trail.

That's a bit over-dramatic of course, but Rummy went on the run yesterday. Embassy officials bundled the former Secretary of Defense out of the land of "surrender monkeys" and into Germany when news got out that the International Federation for Human Rights along with the Center for Constitutional Rights, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and the French League for Human Rights had filed criminal complaints involving "ordering and authorizing torture." Nice to hear the French have more guts than we do - but not surprising.

Rummy had been greeted by taunts of "murderer" and "war criminal" upon showing up for breakfast, shortly before fleeing for his safety to an "undisclosed location" in Germany. French police are however allowed to follow a fleeing fugitive over the border. Run Rummy. Run, run, run.

The Jungle

We're counting the days until Bush becomes just another bad memory but that memory may well live on and on in the dismantled rubble of what was supposed to be a government of, by and for the people. The dismantling of most regulation and of the law itself continues as though Bush's 8 year Reich was intended to last for a thousand and his overwhelming lack of support seems only to have strengthened Bush's disregard for the well being and the will of the people.

Concern for tainted food, dangerous toys, contaminated products of all kinds is being hyped in the media constantly and denunciations of the FDA and Consumer Product Safety Commission for their incompetence are rampant. It's being portrayed as a failure of government, but it's a mark of the success of Bush's unitary rule that the already emasculated agencies that serve to keep the dangers Upton Sinclair scared the hell out of America about are being further depopulated, and de-funded.

The latest stunning violation of common sense and governmental responsibility is to demand that congress do nothing to rebuild the CPSC. According to the New York Times today, Nancy A. Nord, the acting chairwoman of the commission has asked lawmakers in two letters not to approve the bulk of new legislation that would increase the agency’s authority, double its budget and sharply increase its dwindling staff. Ms. Nord, is on record as being critical of banning lead from toys, the argument being that product safety lawsuits eat into profits.

Supporting the American people, of course is anathema to the "Support the Troops" crowd. The sole exceptions to the "government is bad - corporations are good" Republican ethic are War is Peace and Freedom is Slavery and although the Orwellian antinomy thing is wearing thin, it continues to be apt.

Regulating imports, regulating food quality, regulating the marketplace, regulating air and water supplies: these things are still marked for elimination, but regulating the government that was designed to be regulated by the citizens, is not only frowned upon, but nearly treasonous. No price is too high to pay to gain control over the oil, but any price to keep America's Children alive, to keep the lethal bacteria out of our food or dangerous chemicals out of our food, water and air is out of the question. Bechtel needs the money, Halliburton, Blackwater and the Bush family need the money.

I don't see anything in sight that can change it. I see no light at the end of the tunnel, not in 2008 or ever. I see only a long dark road to hell.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Shame on the air

George Carlin's 7 prohibited words and Janet Jacksons breasts may elicit huge fines from the FCC, but hate, racism and bigotry thrive and proliferate on the radio and neither the handful of corporations that decide what we will know about nor the FCC seem to have any interest in doing a damned thing about it. Christian Family Values seem to have more to do with human bodies and human waste than with actual evil, such as hatred or bigotry or calls to violence based upon them.

I don't think you'll be hearing about any massive fines for the following, nor any action by the small group of corporations who pay Bob Newman or Pat Robertson or Neal Boortz or James Edwards. Tune in to this:

"I want every Muslim immigrant to America. . . to be required by law to wear a GPS tracking bracelet at all times" -- Bob Newman, from the Gunny Bob Show, May 8th 2007 on Denver's Newsradio 850 KOA.

"Give 'em all a little nuclear waste and let 'em take it on down to Mexico. . . Tell 'em it's a tortilla warmer." -- Neal Boortz, on the Neal Boortz show, June 21st, 2007, Cox Radio Syndication.

" Islam is not a religion. It's a worldwide political movement meant [sic] on domination of the world." -- Pat Robertson, June 12th on Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club"

Back on May17th, James Edwards, host of "The Political Cesspool" told us the Jim Crow, pre-civil rights era was
"Back when America had a strong moral compass. You had cultural and racial integrity in those days. . . What's been taken from us, we can take back."
Edwards is an open admirer of former Klan leader and neo-Nazi David Duke who often appears on the show. It's sponsors include the CCC, or Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist group and The Institute for Historical Review which produces fake history concerning the WW II extermination of Jews and Gypsies. His show appears on WRLM in Memphis which bills itself as a "Christian news" station.

Cox owns 80 AM and FM stations and tells prospective employees that high ethical standards are required. Evidently, the paleoconservative political action group known as the FCC agrees.

Friday, October 26, 2007

No Irish need apply

Although most of the polemics I hear concerning immigrants in the US stress the lazy, dirty, illiterate, prone to crime and too dumb to learn English stereotype, the only real difference between the hoard of immigrants that arrived in the US in the 19th and early 20th century and those now here has been a change in the law. All those accusations were leveled against the Irish, the Germans, Italians, Poles and others, but there was really no law keeping them out. The truth is that millions congregated in dirty, disease and crime ridden slums where their native languages were spoken, and assimilation for the most part was only achieved by their children and grandchildren, often to the great benefit of the nation.

The public case, of course, is that they're breaking the law and lawbreakers are not to be tolerated, but the real issue is fear and always has been fear. We really don't want anything but "real" Americans as Archie Bunker used to call the descendants of previous generations of immigrants. We don't want them even if they've lived here all their lives; gone to school, learned English as their native tongue and don't remember the "old country."

That's fully illustrated by the failure of the whimsically named Dream Act ( Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) in the Senate yesterday.
"I do not believe we should reward illegal behavior,"
sneered Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who led the fight to kill the measure and whose ancestors without a doubt suffered humiliating treatment and were thought of as subhuman and infectious in this land of dreams. Of course many of the kids who would have benefited (along with the country, in my opinion) from this act, only became aware of their legal status as teens and as minors transported by their parents, really didn't break any laws.

In fact to be allowed to aspire to citizenship, the applicant would be given only provisional status until he had completed high school and at least two years of college or military service. That's more than many native born quasi-literates will ever achieve. Not enough for Mitch, though. Punishment for these kids, who never knew another country but the US, must be swift, unreasonable and everlasting and I wish no less for Mitch himself.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Black pots, black kettles

The state's license plates may claim that Oklahoma is OK, but that's a matter of opinion. Oklahoma Governor's Ethnic American Advisory Council recently gave out 149 copies of the Koran or Qur'an if you prefer, to the 149 Senators and Representatives of this state that includes perhaps 50,000 citizens who identify themselves as Muslims. Not long ago a Baptist group sent them all Christian Bibles.

Representative Rex Duncan, a Republican of course, isn't happy with that and he, along with more than a dozen of his cultured associates, will be returning the books because, as he says:
"Most Oklahomans do not endorse the idea of killing innocent women and children in the name of ideology."
I have to wonder if he will be returning his Bible as well, because if he gets around to reading it in its entirety he will doubtless notice the many instances wherein the followers of that book's traditions are exhorted to do exactly that.

Of course the standard Christian excuse is that no one is really innocent, but if one makes that case, one loses the logical consistency needed to admonish the Muslims for their alleged blood lust. Indeed the traditional New Testament interpretation of the Gospels has all Jews guilty of killing Jesus. How can they be deemed innocent victims?

One has also to question the Republican support for the killing of countless innocent Iraqis in the name of Bush's "plan B" ideology which is the need to spread Democracy amongst the heathen. It's a bit disingenuous to talk about the slaughter of the innocents when the body count stands at 20 or 30 to one in favor of the Bible worshippers.

One has to wonder what would happen if someone sent them the Sutras.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dwell time

They call it dwell time; the amount of time at home between military tours and our troops aren't getting nearly enough of it. That's what an Army Captain told Joint Chief Chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen at his recent stop at Fort Sill, OK.

“That year we’re back, it’s just not good enough.”
Mullen has been hearing a lot of that sentiment both in the US and at stops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“She has put her whole life, her whole career, and everything, on hold for me. ... And now I have to say, honey, I just got back, but we’re moving. And when we get there, I’m gonna leave again" Said a Captain of his wife's efforts to return to college. "I can do that. That’s what I do,” the captain said. “But when it comes to hurting my family, sir, it’s repulsive.”

“Family considerations don’t play a part in the assignment process.” That's what another officer was told and that's what made him decide to leave the service.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, some coddled political warriors like Mel Martinez (R) FL have been telling us that what these men and women who have been fighting for 5 years want is disgraceful to the troops and Commander Guy, who tells us so often that we have to give them everything they need, save adequate equipment, pay, medical benefits and time off, isn't interested in hearing "phony soldier" talk like that.

Mullen himself says: “I am not willing to see the United States military return to the kind of challenges that we had when I was young. We’ve got to figure out a way to make sure that family considerations are very much in play."
Just the kind of America-hating talk you'd expect from a guy who thinks our troops are real people rather than painted tin soldiers.

I expect that he will soon be corrected by true Americans like Rush who would most assuredly be over there himself save for his anal problem.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The last shall be first

It doesn't matter whether you win or lose -- it's all in the spin.

Imagine tuning in to watch the World Series and finding wall to wall coverage of Japanese minor league games. That's how I feel when trying to watch sports car racing on Speed Channel. Laguna Seca at Monterrey, California held the last race of the 2007 IMSA American LeMans series Saturday. These races, based on the French LeMans 24 hour endurance classic include several categories of cars together on the same track, from look-alike prototypes to production based sports cars compete with passenger seats, windshield wipers and brake lights.

I have stayed awake a day and a half watching the real thing in person, but this endurance race was unendurable for more than an hour. I confess that although I love sports car racing, I love to see the Corvettes win - and for the last few years, they always do. I enjoy it partly because I own one and partly because I love to see the dance of denial done by the stuck in the 80's traditionalists who see foreign manufacture as the prime factor in judging what is and what isn't a sports car. To watch the beautifully televised High Definition coverage, you'd think the race was all about the not-for-sale prototypes and the GT-2 class sports cars; the slower, less competitive vehicles like Porsche and Ferrari. The audio sounded like nothing else but a farrago of Audi-Porsche-Mazda-Lexus-Accura commercials.

Call me a traditionalist curmudgeon, but in most sporting events the name of the winner or the season's champion team gets mentioned at least as often as the runners up and the minor leagues are generally seen as less important than the majors. Not once during the hour I watched, was the GT-1 category; the fastest sports cars which include Aston Martin and Maserati, either mentioned or shown. Not once during the festival of foreign name shouting was it mentioned that the Americans were about to win again.

But Automobile racing is not about cars, it's about global consumerism, unless you're talking about NASCAR and I'm still trying to figure out what that is all about. It's about winning in the magazines and TV commercials. It's about maintaining the profitable illusion that the guys who are 20 years behind are the cutting edge; that the competitors who finish a distant second and third are really winners.

Anyway, another season of America bashing, flag pin wearing, Toyota driving Americans pretending that the Axis powers are unbeatable even after we beat them year after year is over and the point standing is 19 points for Aston Martin, 38 for Maserati and 238 for the technological wonder from Bowling Green Kentucky. Who knows, maybe some day they'll come with heated Latte holders just like the real sports cars.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Murdoch's Ministry of Information

What if one company owned the daily newspapers, the weekly “alternative” newspaper, the city magazine, suburban publications, the eight largest radio stations, the dominant broadcast and cable television stations, popular internet news and calendar sites, billboards and concert halls in your city -- in your country, asks John Nichols, blogger at The Nation? Is there anyone but Rupert Murdoch who thinks the public interest is served or rational democracy enabled by allowing such a thing to happen?

Yes, there is; he's FCC Chairman and Smirkmeister Kevin Martin, a product of an administration that would like to hand everything from the airwaves to the air itself over to the highest bidder, if not the highest contributor. The New York times tells us the plan is for sweeping deregulation that would finally put to rest the idea that an information monopoly is a bad thing and that the broadcast spectrum is a natural resource, access to which requires an obligation for public service. Let the biggest dog have the only bark in town as long as they support the Republican Corporatocracy!

There seem to be no plans for the customary public hearings and we may be handed the dismemberment of yet another important public protection by December of this year. Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation is already the largest media empire in the world. It's only the beginning.

Under the Bush administration, the function of the venerable agency has become to apportion public resources amongst media moguls without any regard for public interest. They have, as a matter of policy, routinely refused to protect licensed spectrum users against encroachments from large corporations and has been accused by the GAO of collaborating with corporate lobbyists; using secret meetings to pass them the information they need to avoid congressional actions and others have accused them not only of stifling entrepreneurship but of stifling minority ownership of radio broadcast licenses.

The idea of a free and open internet where bloggers can at least offer opposing viewpoints and cover items deemed unworthy by Murdoch or Clear Channel may soon die a similar death. Can anything resembling democracy fare any better?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Let's medal and not meddle

"Can we really send our athletes to compete in a country that tortures its own citizens merely for expressing political thoughts? That has enabled the Darfur genocide by supplying weapons to Sudan?"
asks an editorial in The New Republic. (10/22/07) The country in question is of course, China, which soon will host the 2008 Olympic Games. It almost makes one nostalgic for a time when the US had enough moral standing to be able to ask that kind of question without risk of seismic damage caused by worldwide jaw dropping.

Yes, as the article points out, political protest is often treated brutally in China. China often supports brutal dictatorships. Those who blow whistles and expose or protest corruption or in one case, start a petition against the Beijing games, are treated brutally; sent to prisons where prisoners have to carry out humiliating tasks and are forced to endure uncomfortable positions. It's called "subverting State Power" and sadly, the US has any number of proponents for the same kind of thing. You can read about it every day in letters to editors, hear it expressed in barber shops and bars and hear it on Fox News. Our human rights are eroding along with the polar ice caps and our record of support for barbaric regimes is well known.

Of course it's worse in China, but "enhanced" interrogation, disappearances, denial of council, denial of Habeas Corpus, domestic surveillance and extended "detention" of people the government is suspicious of are now firmly identified with the US in the mind of the world. Valerie Plame wasn't chained to an iron cot for embarrassing the Bush administration, but official power was used to punish her for that embarrassment and it wasn't an isolated case.

The New Republic would have us use the Olympics for it's primary value; a way for nations to insult and humiliate each other while pretending to be resurrecting an ancient Greek body worship cult. They're advocating more than athletic victory however; their proposal is for our athletes deliberately to be insulting toward their host and overtly support the subversion of China's government.
"Chinese-language banners unfurled by athletes at the opening ceremonies that call for the government to permit free speech, t-shirts slipped on during medal ceremonies that carry messages of solidarity with Chinese dissidents--these gestures could reach tens of thousands of spectators and, through word of mouth, many more."

Right -- and allow the long litany of American offenses: the wars of aggression, the torture, the kidnappings, the destruction of a country that had not attacked us and slaughter of it's citizens to be broadcast throughout the world to a chorus of laughter. Let's allow our athletes to be booed, jeered and shunned. It doesn't matter that we can rationalize our having become the ogre we are because the world does not believe in us any longer even when we are right. Yes, the Olympic games have always been a theater of nationalism and propaganda, but this time perhaps it's better simply to treat it as an athletic event lest we have our noses rubbed in our own mess.

Friday, October 19, 2007

It's elementary Watson

"What I really meant to say was. . ." is a phrase we hear too often when there's campaigning going on, but of course politicians aren't the only ones putting their feet in their mouths. Nobel Prize winning biologist Jim Watson, co-discoverer of the double helix DNA structure, has managed to get himself quoted on various occasions as saying that women should be allowed to abort gay fetuses if a genetic marker can be discovered, and that there may be a correlation between skin color and sexual prowess.

His recent comments seem clearly to state that the intelligence of Africans is "not the same" as that of non-Africans and that while he hoped everyone was equal, "people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true."

After the predictable furor and the cancellation of a lecture, the venerable Dr. Watson seems to have become aware of the multiple gaffe and has now told the Royal Society that "I cannot understand how I could have said what I am quoted as having said." It's easy, Jim -- just open your mouth and the rest will come naturally to you.

"To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologize unreservedly. That is not what I meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief."

Well I think that drawing an inference isn't the same as hearing an unequivocal statement, but OK, that's not what you meant and I'm sure that the explanation is elementary. Just don't tell us it had anything to do with a wide stance or a piece of toilet paper on the floor. That one's been used already.

Meanwhile I'm going outside to work on my tan.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A blast in Karachi

I was afraid there would be violence in Pakistan. Tight security surrounding the return of Benazir Bhutto who has received threats from militant commander Baitullah Mehsud didn't prevent a bomb attack from killing at least 30 people in Karachi a short while ago. Bhutto's return has been allowed under the National Reconciliation Ordinance instituted by Musharaf the day before the recent elections giving here immunity from corruption charges. Part of the deal was her party's abstention from voting and a boycott in protest of Musharraf's nomination made the results seem far less than a democratic expression of the people's choice.

According to South Asia News, opinion runs from approval for a move toward actual Democracy and opposition to what is seen as a US brokered deal to make Pakistan seem more like a democracy while allowing strong man Musharraf to remain in power.

Whatever it really is, today's developments do illustrate the fragility of Pakistan and the fragility of the idea that democracy simply pops up of its own accord when undemocratic governments are toppled.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rice in the house of bread

"Being here at the birthplace of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, has been a very special and moving experience,"
said Condoleezza Rice the other day in Bethlehem. Beit Lechem or the House of Bread, is of course attributed by most Christians as the place in which Jesus was born, although historians tend to discount the story as a contrivance to make his history seem more in line with the ancient predictions that some young woman would give birth to a male continuation of the line of Ahaz that has been fixed up and resold as a prediction of a soul-saving messiah.

But Condoleezza with all of her academic degrees simply accepts the story about the census and the flight to Egypt even though the census of Quirinius occurred in 6 AD when Herod was 10 years dead and didn't require anyone to return to their birthplace to register. I won't get into all the historical evidence that makes this incredible story incredible, but when Condy says
"It is also, I think, a personal reminder that the prince of peace is still with us"
and calls on Islam, Judaism and Christianity to make religion a "power of healing," I have to wonder about her grasp on reality. Has there ever been a more divisive and violent influence on humankind than the insistence that one myth be taken as axiom and all the other fact and fiction as heresy? How can there be peace when my prince of peace is tougher than your prince of peace?

I could detect no trace of allowance for differences of opinion about what happened or didn't happen in Bethlehem, no hint of respect for the historical record or the myths of others; no phrasing like "here by Christian tradition, Jesus, whom I hold to be God was born" but only this is the way it really is, damn the facts, you heretics and damn your religion.

Is there really any hope for peace, for tolerance, for mutual respect amongst people who confuse belief with entitlement?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The cost of free speech

Lars Vilks has a price on his head: $100,000 for anyone who kills him and a $50,000 bonus if his throat is slit. He drew a picture of the Prophet Muhammed as a dog.

Randi Rhodes, the Air America host was beaten up in Manhattan last night at 39th and Park Avenue; her teeth knocked out. No purse, no jewelry, just a penchant for speaking against the right wingers.

Someone fired a shot through the window of KPFT in Houston, narrowly missing the host on the air at the moment. They've twice been blown up before by the Klan.

My local gun store has a nice deal on a Romanian AK with a folding stock. I'm thinking about it.

Slime Time

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign hypocrisy continues to know no bounds. It is rather unbelievable that Clinton would listen in to conversations being conducted by political opponents, but refuse to allow our intelligence agencies to listen in to conversations being conducted by terrorists as they plot and plan to kill us. Team Clinton can expect to see and hear this over and over again over the course of the next year.”

If you believe that, you're probably a Republican, perhaps even the kind of Republican who defended Richard Nixon's wiretapping and insisted the charges against him were politically motivated. You'll doubtless overlook the false equivalence of legal wiretapping and illegal wiretapping and the specious assertion that Democrats don't want to investigate terrorists because they prefer to acknowledge the fourth amendment.

At any rate, the quote from an unnamed GOP official appears in Alexander Bolton's article about the book Her Way in The Hill today. Her Way, by experienced and prize winning investigative reporters Don Van Natta Jr. and Jeff Gerth asserts on the basis of information by another unnamed source that Hillary Clinton listened to recordings of cell phone calls by political opponents 15 years ago. I agree with the quote -- I can't believe it either, but my scepticism has more to do with the technical difficulty involved. Yes, analog cell phone signals of that period were easy enough to copy for anyone with a scanner that covered the 800 MHz spectrum, but receiving both sides of the conversation is not as easy and listening to that scanner waiting for an individual to make a call is, I think, likely to be futile unless you're following them around.

Of course it is possible, just as it is possible that John Kerry shot children and never was wounded in Viet Nam. It's possible that a 6 year, $60,000,000 investigation failed to uncover a Bluebeard's closet full of demonic corruption, but there's as much if not more evidence that Mother Theresa was the devil. There's enough evidence about the Bush family dealings from unassailable sources and court records to choke a jackal, but they're not Democrats.

Who knows? But evidence is never necessary for believers - innuendo and the will to believe are proof enough and although the book isn't selling very well, there will be more -- and whoever becomes the Democratic candidate is going to have to cope with enemies who can equate Al Gore with Joseph Goebbels and do it with a straight face. There is going to be an eruption of denunciation and accusation and fabrication and hysteria such as we have not seen.

It's going to be a very slimy year.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Gore Again!

What is it about Mr. Gore that drives right-wingers insane? asks Paul Krugman. Probably the same Pavlovian thing that makes them bark like dogs at the sound of "Clinton" or "Moore" or any of the suite of scapegoats in the inventory but perhaps one has to be one of them to understand their rationalizations for the irrationality. Of course Krugman is right that Gore's habit of being right makes the Right's habit of being wrong too apparent for comfort, but that doesn't help me to understand the kind of contempt that requires them only to mention the name to cause pandemonium in the ape house.

Perhaps some of the barking and hooting and cage rattling simply serves to drown out the quieter and more dignified voices of those who know what they're talking about; witness Tucker Carleson's success in stifling conversation with an emotional outpouring of high speed, hyperbolic non-sequitur on Bill Maher's Friday night show. Poor Krugman didn't have a chance and even Joy Behar could hardly get in a word. It's what Ann Coulter does, it's what Rush Limbaugh does, it's what O'Reilly does but it's a technique and not an explanation or an answer to the question.

Perhaps the best we can do is to emulate the medical profession and pretend we understand it by giving it a name like GDS or Gore Derangement Syndrome as Krugman calls it. At any rate, there's no profit in understanding the irrational if we want to further the interests of the sane and is there anyone more likely to be able to do that than Mr. Gore himself? Isn't it time we remember that Al Gore was the one to tell us that if we invaded Iraq, the results would be more dangerous than anything Saddam could do? Isn't it time we remember who laughed and ignored him and isn't it time we remembered who lied by calling him a liar and isn't it time we stopped being the kind of voters who dismissed him because he sighed in frustration during a "debate" with a moron?

Al Gore got more votes than George Bush in 2000 and since then, many of his controversial statements have proved to be right and his detractors have lead us into the biggest disaster in 50 years. Isn't it time?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

We don't need another hero

The English language isn't what it used to be. It's not as much the expression of a culture but more and more a tool for manipulation. Take the word hero. It used to connote a doer of bold and noble deeds; someone favored by the divine, but as with most things these days, the requirements have been dumbed down and conferring the title of hero is a way to make the exploited seem, well, less exploited.

The guy who runs into a burning building to save someone else can fairly be called a hero but what about the guy who unwittingly holds the door for the guy who runs in to pillage the place before it all burns up? Is he a hero if he's killed so that others may steal during a fire that was set for the purpose? Most people wouldn't say so; they'd say he was a victim and the law would agree, but if we talk about soldiers and not firefighters, everyone is a hero now.

I was struck by an article in the Miami Herald this morning about Staff Sergeant Lillian Clamens, wife and mother of three, killed in Iraq by a missile. Lillian was a personnel clerk only three days away from coming home to her family. Her three children have already bought the costumes for the Halloween party planned to celebrate her return. Her husband, a logistics manager for the Army ROTC program seems stoic, or so the Herald plays the story. They're all heroes, you see and heroes don't cry and consequently neither should we. We should celebrate the heroism of another senseless death, another casualty of the Neo-con crusade to make the world free for exploitation by the rich and corporate; another destroyed family, three more orphans because of a colossally mismanaged power grab by a government that never sheds a tear unless it has to pay for some kid's medical insurance or old person's medicine.

Maybe it's OK to be stoic; to act as though it was important that men and women are dying, but it's not OK for us to pass by it all, to absolve ourselves by calling her a hero, to pretend her children aren't crying, because she's a hero, that we haven't lost one of our own forever, because she's a hero, because soldiers are warriors and warriors are heroes even if they die for someone else's ambitions, our arm chair patriotism and our apathy.

What have we done to ourselves if fathers and mothers, sons and daughters and husbands have to believe that our government hasn't got the blood of their families on their hands and in their wallets; what has become of a nation that it can't cry for someone's mother, someone's wife? What of a culture that has to hide contempt for what they know is wrong; hide grief for what they know is a tragedy behind the cult of Bush and the myth of the warrior hero?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Let them die and decrease the surplus population

One presidential candidate in a dress doesn't make the whole party into drag queens, but evidently, if we can find a welfare queen (or invent one as Ronald Reagan did) we can dump the whole project. That's Republogic. If we can find find one Social Security recipient who is making a few bucks on the side the entire system should go and let's cement the mordant logic of this with some gratuitous smears and sneers and a chorus of LiberalLiberalLiberalLiberal!

I do not know if the Frost Family or their son Graeme were the perfect people to use as an argument for the S-CHIP program. I can think and without much effort, of many people held up as patriots, saints and heroes recently without qualification for the job, but somehow this Baltimore family proves to the already convinced that every-man-for-himself libertarianism serves justice and the Christian Principle of "I've got mine" that our country is supposedly built upon.

Robert Stacy McCain, the assistant National Editor of the Moonie owned Washington Times insists that Michelle Malkin is only doing what good reporters do by presenting the Frosts as insurance cheats and giving us an off the cuff appraisal of their assets, which "proves" that they could have afforded health insurance sufficient to cover their misfortunes. Assuredly that appraisal is flawed at least in some respects.

Talking about private school tuition without mentioning the full scholarship that pays for Graeme -- and that the other "elite" private school is for his disabled sister and his parent's don't pay a dime for it, isn't exactly Kosher but you can easily make the smell go away by reciting 10 LiberalLiberalLiberals and showing pictures of shiny new cars that aren't the ones they actually own. Sure, another house nearby sold for a half million, but I'm sure the owner's equity was somewhat less. There are houses within a mile of mine that sold, before the slump, for tens of millions, but I don't own one of them and the bottom line is that their "lavish" home in a less than safe neighborhood was purchased for $55,000 which is in line with a low end mobile home in South Florida. They have two mortgages.

The purpose of S-CHIP stems from the undeniable fact that many people who earn a living and own their homes cannot come close to affording adequate health insurance for their children. It's this fact that the Malkins and other Fuck You Conservatives are trying to obscure.

Yes, Halsey Frost has a business and the business owns property but together they earn less that $50,000 a year. Look up the cost of private health insurance for a family of four with medical problems and tell me how much would be left over after paying premiums. Sure they could sell the business and house and live in the Chevy Suburban but who would pay next year's premiums? No, the Frost's aren't indigent but without insurance they might well be homeless burdens on the State. Ever since the Great Depression, the Republican Party has spread the notion that the poor are poor because they are lazy and shiftless although crushing medical bills are the number one cause of personal bankruptcy and one way or the other, the burden of supporting the medical industry's massive profits falls on all of us, whether we help the less affluent children or let them decrease the surplus population.

But McCain says Malkin will prove her assertion and I will agree, but of course the definition of proof will be part of the proof and will be as relevant as McCain's blaming of Al Gore for the level of viciousness in public discourse and his truly idiotic repetition of a fictitious claim to have invented the Internet. The retarded right never seems to tire of that one.

The "proof" of course, wouldn't really diminish the need for the program. The existence of widespread insurance fraud does not argue against the need for insurance, it only argues for proper enforcement and procedure. But of course we're dealing with idiots who think failures of government argue for feudalism or even anarchy. The existence of publications by anti-American Korean religious crazies who have proclaimed themselves to be God or Australian plutocrats pretending to report news in the public interest doesn't argue against the legitimate ones either - as few as they may be.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I had no idea I was a Bill Richardson man until I took this quiz. Select a Candidate 2008 Of course things like this depend on the publicly stated positions of the candidates and we know how those relate to what they actually think and what they will actually do in office. Just look at the promises of George the Liar before 9/11 allowed him license to do what he really wanted.

But somehow this guy lacks the three generations of conniving, chiseling amoral ancestors Bush has. He doesn't have a bumbling country boy accent, wasn't raised in the Bible belt. He's been a popular governor. He actually does speak Spanish - and of course he agrees with me on a large number of important issues. Somehow, he's the only Democrat that comes across as sincere to this cynic. In fact his personality is a refreshing change from the slick hucksters and side show barkers we typically elect and there lies the problem.

Of course I have to admit I've taken this quiz several times over the last couple of days and it may reveal as much about me as anything. Yesterday I was a Chris Dodd man with Dennis Kucinich as a close second. Tomorrow, who knows?

Take the test - who is your secret candidate?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Less is more

There's a lot of diminishing going on - in the mind of Pat Buchanan, that is. When Pat Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank agreed with that former Nixon speech writer who helped the previous pinnacle of corrupt and demented presidencies divide the country with scurrilous arguments, that President Carter's characterization of Dick Cheney as "a militant who avoided any service of his own in the military" is not appropriate for a former president and "diminishes" Carter. Sure, it's the same old argument that obedience is freedom but it's also irony; Buchanan having avoided service by faking a bad knee.

Why is it not appropriate? Beats me. Most Americans dislike Cheney and his intransigence in the face of constant error, constantly contradictory facts and failures of policy. There must be some reason why someone with foreign policy expertise and experience can't say what most people would agree with. (and please take note Ann: he's a committed Christian.) I guess it's the same reason Obama has to wear a tawdry flag pin to prove the required degree of mindless allegiance; or the reason decorated veterans can't give back their medals because of matters of conscience and for the same reason that no one can criticize a general for fudging the figures when there's evidence he has.

Poor Gerald Ford is apparently "diminished" post mortem for criticizing Cheney and Rumsfeld as well, even though I don't think any sane person can argue his right to apply his insight or his right and indeed duty as a public citizen to advocate for better government. But he's diminished, says the man who never thought to diminish the felons he worked for in the Nixon White House - so diminished that the shop worn effigy of Michael Moore can be brought out of the warehouse and propped up against the wall. That's diminishment!

I don't expect much different from that lying old Nixonian hack and supporter of disastrous and bloody wars. I expect that the same old patriotic nonesuch to be performed ad infinitum and I expect the United States, like some angry, lonely and delusional teenager with his diminished ability to deal with reality to reach for the weapons and go out in a blaze of violence.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Down with the Armenians, up with the war!

So let me get this straight, Mr. Gates. We all know that the 1915 killings of Christian Armenians by Muslim Turks happened and that such mass exterminations of ethnic groups are genocide, but we can't allow Congress to call it Genocide because we need to depend on the Turks in our fight for whatever it is we're fighting for in Iraq. Turkey after all is warning us of "grave consequences" if we call a spade a spade and we know that Turkey has been spending a fortune in the US. giving grants to universities if they refrain from teaching the history of the Armenian genocide. Best just to give in to them, say our otherwise fearless leaders.

The Gates and Condoleezza show appeared on CNN this morning, to plead the indefensible case of the Turkish government and to advise that we give in to their threats. It's just another way Bush's war has made us the allies of evil and the cohorts of corruption. Anything; anything at all to keep that war going. It doesn't matter if we lie, cheat, steal or murder or who we ally ourselves with. Just keep the war going.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Little Traveler

I was a 12 year old radio nut on October 4th, 1957 but all I had available at the time was a two tube Knight-Kit Ocean Hopper of antiquated design that refused to operate at all with the coil I wound for 20 MHz. I had to rely on other people's recordings of the magic of Sputnik. That beep-beep changed America perhaps as much as had the attack on Pearl Harbor 16 years earlier. For many of us it was the end of the fatuous feeling of superiority; for others the beginning of paranoia, but for all of us it was the beginning of the turn toward science and technology and education that propelled 12 men to the moon and spun off enough byproducts to propel us into an entirely new world that included Teflon frying pans and the integrated circuits that made computers smaller than apartment buildings possible. Like the World War, the technology race of that period of the Cold War led us to new levels of strength.

I wonder where we would be if the Russians hadn't had us to kick around? Within the year, my Junior High School science class was covering things deemed too advanced for High School the year before. New teachers were being recruited from industry; many of whom were the best I encountered in my school days. Within few enough years the US had overcome the advantage Sergey Korolyov's big rocket motors gave the Soviets and our electronic technology was decades ahead. The dominance of American science and technology in subsequent years owed a great deal to Sputnik and the Space Race and it still does even now that our educational system has invented other priorities and our government is held by the crushing death grip of history hating, hairy hominid "conservatives" suspicious of science and steeped in simian superstition.

Last Thursday, on the 50th anniversary of the launch of mankind's first earth orbiting vehicle, Google as is its custom, included a cartoon image of the satellite in the logo for the day. They might just as well thrown a soccer ball into the gorilla cage, for the flag waving apes of the American Right are flinging dung and screaming "liberal" at the affront to their fabricated self image. It's an insult to mention history that does not orbit around us as the center of the universe. It's an insult to acknowledge the achievements of mankind that didn't originate from God's own ape-house: the United States. I'm not surprised that Google refrained from acknowledging Columbus yesterday since not only wasn't he an American, he represented Spain with whom we fought a war for reasons yet to be determined.

It's hard to avoid using the metaphor of apes in a cage when discussing modern American Conservatism although the metaphor fails in that the apes aren't there voluntarily and the apes would hardly try to drag more apes into its confines much less prevent an escape from it, but the plight of the ape and the human condition are really so similar, it's hard to avoid it. Gorillas and Chimpanzees are almost as close as we are to transcending the smallness of our minds and vastness of our limitations.

Cross posted to The Reaction

Monday, October 08, 2007

We who are about to die

Perhaps you saw it on CNN last night. Perhaps it made you sick, or furious or both, but When Mitt Romney, the picture of foppish, condescending Republican snobbery snubbed the man in the Wheelchair, whose continued existence depends on the relief given from the nausea caused by his muscular dystrophy medication. I wrote him off as anyone who deserved to breathe the air polluted by his party and his supporters.

"I am not in favor of medical marijuana being legal in the country," said the man in the $1500 suit and $400 haircut, turning away with a smile to chat with someone else. Of course not. It grows like a weed, can't be patented, makes no money for his "base" and although no credible evidence of it's harmfulness has ever emerged in thousands of years, it's the only drug too dangerous for a doctor to prescribe even for a terminal patient. How should I describe a man who to avoid annoying his ignorant, superstitious, demented and greedy backers would turn his back on a dying man; a fixed and phony smile on his cosmetically prepared face?

I really hope Mitt dies painfully during a fit of projectile vomiting while loaded up to the gills with chemotherapy drugs because medical cannabis could well make the difference between life and death and he isn't worthy of a good life or a good death.

Cross posted to The Impolitic

The Voice

Amidst the tumult Roberts heard as from afar
Ancestral voices demanding denial of all charges

-with apologies to Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Back in the 1980s, Oral Roberts once told his viewers that God would strike him down if his supporters did not send him $8 million bucks within a year. As with so many evangelistic rock stars, it seems the Roberts' have a thing about money. Of course that the money appeared for Oral and that God has yet to destroy the 89 year old retiree, proves to the great irrational masses that God does keep his promises.

Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart were brought low however and no doubt because despite their promises, they had spent the hundreds of millions they made on prostitutes, the low life and shady investments rather than paying protection money to God. Bakker was sentenced to 45 years for fraud, although God's voice told Swaggart that none of this was our business and after a few setbacks, he continues to rake in the money of the poor.

Pat Robertson had his problems with money too, the feds having suggested that using his many millions to invest in gold mining operations with some of Africa's worst dictators wasn't kosher, so to speak. The late Jerry Falwell, who took over the Bakker family racket after Bakker's arrest, milked what was left of the organization into bankruptcy and in 1989 dissolved his Moral Majority "ministry," as well.

Falwell's Liberty University, the school that has supplied so many morally bankrupt graduates to the Bush administration's justice department, was also milked, bilked and skimmed into a $110,000,000 debt and eventual bankruptcy. It shouldn't be a big surprise then that Richard Roberts, heir to the Roberts' money machine and ministry has now heard the same voice his father heard demanding money, only this time the Voice says "deny the allegations."

Those allegations of lavish and unrestrained use of university funds to finance a life style appropriate to the richer and holier than all of us can be written off, says Roberts to our "litigious" [pronouncing it wrong] society and to intimidation, blackmail and extortion. That's not quite the same as saying he didn't steal the money.

The allegations come from three professors, fired, as they claim, for blowing the whistle on Robert's illegal involvement in a political contest. Other accusations include special relationships between Mrs. Roberts and a number of underage male students who received cell phones at the schools expense which phones frequently received late night text messages to the tune of $800 per month.

The list of the Roberts family expenses, which would be enough to make Caligula's accountant faint, is a long one, and at first glance would seem singularly offensive considering his holier than God attitude and his tax exempt status, but perhaps if he can scrape together another 8 million bucks, or whatever the street price for salvation is these days, God will wash it away.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Deus ex Video

God loves slaughter. Never mind that stuff we tell you about Jesus and love-thy-neighbor; God not only likes you to kill, he'll sometimes hate you if you don't. I'm not just talking about the battle of Jericho, I'm talking about God II, Deus Ex Video, the shoot'em up game called Halo.

Microsoft's latest version hit $300,000,000 in sales in its first two weeks and at first glance, you'd think it was the sort of thing that Fundamentalists as well as actual Christians would hate. It not only takes place in worlds the Bible does not discuss, but it's all about the thrill of killing and kids love the wanton destruction of life so much they'll put up with lectures about God and his upcoming first person shooter called Armageddon. Even more so if there's free pizza.

This morning's Times tells us about the hundreds of Churches around the country offering free access to the violent video game on big screen TVs to lure kids into indoctrination. In Denver, the Colorado Community Church uses the joy of wholesale slaughter to lure pre-teens. “We want to make it hard for teenagers to go to hell,” says the youth minister. Of course other Churchmen are raising holy hell, metaphorically speaking. “If you want to connect with young teenage boys and drag them into church, free alcohol and pornographic movies would do it,” said James Tonkowich, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy and he's right.

Of course this is America and what makes money is what is right and the business of religion is business and if it gets asses onto church pews and donations onto the plate it's good. All that's needed is a better video game more in line with the Bible; its drownings, burnings, stonings, floggings, hangings and disembowelments. Why go looking for alien worlds when you have all the mayhem you need right there? As for going to hell, Microsoft is planning to release that one for the X-Box in time for Christmas.

Cross posted to The Reaction.

Blade Runner?

Little things that happen in laboratories often change the world as suddenly and dramatically as the Chicxulub meteor. It was impossible to predict at the time, were there anyone able to do such feats of cogitation, that that event, some 65 million years ago would result in a life form able to recover and analyze the data and discuss the mass extinction that lead to its evolution, but there are other, smaller and more recent events that are sure to change our short segment of time and our understanding of existence.

We, as a species of course, have been able to decode genomes for a while although as with the free version of Adobe Acrobat, we couldn't write in that format. Now suddenly, perhaps we can. British researchers led by geneticist Craig Venter have revealed that they have been able to assemble "from scratch" a simple bacterial chromosome, using laboratory chemicals. That chromosome will, they say, be able to survive and reproduce; a new living thing created by men; a new species that is capable of evolving into other, newer things.

The ramifications for science are vast and although an article in the Guardian immediately began to speculate about the ability to generate bacteria that would reverse global warming (without speculating about the possible horrific unintended consequences) it's impossible to tell where and how far it may lead, should this attempt or an inevitable subsequent one prove to be real. Even science fiction writers have a poor record with this sort of thing.

I like to speculate however, and it is Sunday after all, about whether that strange subset of humanity, the Religious American, will be able to understand the meaning of this theological calamity; about what religious dinosaurs will be made extinct. Of course the proof that we are not animated clay figures moved by an invisible spirit is old stuff, long ago sidestepped by fundamentalists eager to believe, but here, we may have more than the tower of Babel offered as a challenge to the angels: life created by man. It won't be easy to Moonwalk around this one even for those so God-besotted and afraid of death that they insist they will outlast their bodies.

Of course a synthetic chromosome that is 381 genes long and contains 580,000 base pairs of code is barely enough to make something that meets the definitions of life and it's a bit like comparing a paper airplane with the space shuttle but life, unlike airplanes, evolves and of course this is only the first step. People yawned and sometimes dismissed the potential of that little piece of germanium that Bell Labs researchers Shockley, Brittain and Bardeen at first called the Transit Resistor, but its offspring made modern life possible in fairly short order.

It's also a big step in the demystifying of life and the demystification of life is the demise of religion as we know it. Of course to those in the know, the mystery disappeared long ago, but it takes a big meteor to get rid of dinosaurs and this may be the one that creates on the small human scale, something like the Cretaceous Tertiary boundary; the other side of which offers the opportunity for newer and smarter and less limited creatures to evolve.

As the power of technology and scientific method expands our ability to fill in those spaces where we used to hide God; to argue that only God can do this or that, will there be a time we recognize that creating life or even creating universes isn't much harder than creating computers or linear particle accelerators? Will we recognize that we are on our own and always have been?

Cross posted to The Impolitic

Friday, October 05, 2007

Phony soldiers

Of course Rush "phony soldier" Limbaugh supports the troops. Congress would love to congratulate him for it because they both agree that our fighting men and women need to keep fighting and shut up instead of embarrassing the people who are tirelessly supporting them. I had it pointed out to me by readers of my recent post about Rush and his accusation of phoniness against troops that don't think we're conducting God's own war the way God himself would conduct it, that Rush was only talking about those still in boot camp that were afraid to go and perhaps just signed on for the good pay and benefits.

Never mind the fellow who took a piece of shrapnel in the head - he's just like a suicide bomber: a terrorist sent by the Democrats, but what about the Minnesota National Guard soldiers sent home after 22 months of hell and exactly 24 hours short of receiving the educational benefits they would have been entitled to? Perhaps the appearance of these heavily armed 2600 men on Rush's $26,000,000 ocean view front lawn in beautiful West Palm Beach would give him the opportunity to call each and every one a phony, a terrorist. Perhaps he could explain why he gets massive tax cuts while they get shit - and support, of course. You can't forget about his tireless support.

Yes sir, Congress and Balloon Butt Limbaugh will be speaking up any minute now to express their legendary support - just like the support they showed for keeping them there for extended tours and short leave so as not to "disgrace" them and "embolden" alqaedainiraq. Any time now.

Sometimes I ruminate about how small the offenses of the British government were that caused the American revolution when compared to the outrages of our own time. Perhaps there never would have been a revolution if Washington had to contend with the likes of our current overlords.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I need a Jew

It seems like an out-take from some cheap cartoon blending of the Simpson's and Borat, and it's making money for Fox. We know what people at Fox will do for money.

Initially, Fox withheld a 2003 episode of The Family Guy for reasons that will soon become obvious, but the lure of money eventually prompted them to issue more than a million copies on video that twisted the venerable ballad When you Wish Upon a Star and used it in an episode titled: When You Wish Upon a Weinstein. Weinstein, of course is a name selected to sound Jewish and as everybody at Fox knows, Black people are good at frying chicken, the Irish are drunks, Italians are all hoodlums and Jews are good at making and keeping money. It's only fair and balanced. "I need a Jew" sings the main Family Guy, Peter Griffin, unable to manage his finances by himself.

Perhaps now he will get one or at least Fox will. The Bourne Company, owner of the rights to the academy award winning song that premiered in the 1940 Disney Classic Pinocchio, has filed suit in a Manhattan court, claiming that:
"By associating Bourne's song with such offensive lyrics and other content in the episode, defendants are harming the value of the song."

I wonder if Fox executives are humming If I Only Had a Brain to themselves this morning.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


If anyone entertained notions that the the constant exposure of Republican transgressions and failures would in any way weaken support for them or their champions or would generate contrition in their ranks, they've long since been converted to militant cynics or émigrés to some more rational realm. If anyone thought Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter could be embarrassed by their overt support for a criminal empire or being seen to attack fundamental American values and institutions or even American heroes, they should by now be treasuring their right to keep and bear arms and burying the valuables in the back yard.

Did you really think that billionaire balloon-butt blowhard, who avoided service because of an infected asshole would feel shame for insulting troops who through experiencing war know a bit more about it than he? Of course not, his response is to insult them further. Hell no, he isn't going to call that wounded soldier a phony to his face, he's going to sit on his pus-oozing ass and insult him again and the network that airs him will continue to support him and we will continue to pay to have his slime shipped overseas to our troops and we will pay to have our Congressional whores praise him for his patriotism.

Even Orwell with a toothache couldn't have invented such a scenario nor envisioned the hellacious harpy who hangs around Limbaugh like a bad smell. Who in all of history ever imagined that Ann Coulter could argue against allowing Women to vote? Sure, it's as hyperbolic as anything she writes or says to promote yet another one of her insanely fascist screeds, but her consistent insistence that she and her familiars are brilliant thinkers and the rest of the world from Einstein to Jesus Christ are a bunch of liberal weeny faggots, seems real enough to earn her a straight jacket if not an appointment to a high level security job in Burma.

Coulter, when she's not busily licking the puss off Limbaugh's anal sores, likes to compare Democrats and in fact anyone not promoting wars of aggression for the sake of war and aggression, to women -- or in her kinder moments to homosexuals. It's women looking for handouts, you see who elect Democrats says she:
"If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat [sic] president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women."
Of course it wasn't women who elected two felons to office by a landslide in 1972, it was Republicans; Republicans who love war, profit from war, hate freedom and profit from suppressing it. Perhaps women are after all, a bit more opposed to syphoning off incomprehensibly huge sums to benefit companies like Blackwater and Halliburton with relationships to the administration so close it's almost sexual. Perhaps women are a bit more opposed to killing children by the tens and hundreds of thousands to promote a more friendly business atmosphere in some other country, but only a bit. The simpering sisters for safety and security did their part to put the shiftless shitweasel who used his father's presidency to sell worthless Enron stock, sell energy deals to the Taliban and get interest free loans and handouts for his failed businesses from the bin Laden family, into office.

Have no doubt, we don't have a say in what happens any more and by "we" I mean the private citizens. Smiling Christian-face fascists like Mark Mays, CEO of Clear Channel who broadcast Limbaugh over our airwaves through 1200 outlets is as supportive of Mr. Butt-boils as he can be because he supports the truth and it doesn't matter how many letters he gets from whomever sends them - the gravy train will roll on. it's not our truth, not our country, not our radio spectrum, it's his. It's not our country. It belongs to clean cut Jesus jabberers like Erik Prince who has made billions from Iraq who thinks he's doing the Lord's work by soldiering for a fortune - our fortune, although if you ask him to tell us how much he's ripping us off for, he'll all but tell you to Fuck off because it's "private" which means that our money is his private property. The Lord works in mysterious ways, after all, and the Lord has granted Blackwater immunity from all law as effectively as ever the Devil did. So go ahead and get the FBI to investigate. They'll have Blackwater mercenaries standing guard for the Lord just in case the law or the secular government gets in the way. You can't trust the military or the cops any more - some of them are women and Democrats, I hear.

Cross posted to The Impolitic

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Where's the beef?

We know that we're all in imminent, clear and present danger from dangerous Chinese products. Horrified housewives bleat "will we ever feel safe anywhere?" on TV screens and Lou Dobbs gets so tired from the relentless jawboning about COM-unist China that he has to take a vacation before he pops an aneurysm. Danger danger - there's danger everywhere.

Of course there's another anti-American, freedom hating, Godless entity posing bigger dangers - and not only to our children, but to the troops who stand between us and the chaos Bush created in Iraq. Someone has been trying to poison them and to poison us and as if that weren't enough, they want to do it by using our sacred national meal, our national symbol: the Hamburger.

Of course you know I'm talking about the Topp's ground beef recall of what now appears to be of over 20 million pounds of e-Coli tainted beef. It's being pulled off the shelves of US military commissaries as well as from the shelves at the local supermarket. That's enough to sicken and kill countless people and keep so many troops in the latrine that they can't be deployed. That's enough to constitute a terrorist attack as big or bigger than most.

Of course our last line of defense, the Congress of the United States has the situation well in hand. The 2007 Farm bill passed by the House last July is awaiting the Senate stamp of approval and it protects us by relaxing inspection of meat products. Better we die than place an unnecessary burden on Agri-Business and thus reduce the benefits they supply to Senators. The beef industry does not agree that we need more inspectors and inspections and yes, it is their country not yours, you Left-Leaning, Tofu-eating, Liberal Surrender Monkey.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The sooth sayer

Perhaps if Fred Thompson gets to the point where he's considered a serious candidate, he will need a single, mindless slogan like "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" or "I like Ike" or the infamous "Don't swap horses in midstream" that succeeded in re-electing the thug Nixon by a landslide.

I would suggest "you can beat a dead horse for ever." I'm not referring to Thompson's wishfully described resemblance to a dead ex-president, since he reminds me much more of a character from Howdy Doody than Reagan, but to his relentless thumping on that large lump of equine carrion, the Nuclear Weapons Plants of Saddam Hussein.

In a fulsome speech at a Newton, Iowa cafe today, the Bullet headed buffoon from Tennessee concluded that although there was no evidence for such things found in Iraq and although hiding a uranium processing facility large enough to produce weapons would be harder than hiding the Pentagon under the wide open skies of Iowa, Saddam none the less had one until the day we invaded. He just knows. And even if he didn't have one then, he would "clearly" have one by now, said he to a "crowd" of about 60 people.

Perhaps Thompson cultivates the appearance of a crystal ball because he would like you to believe that he, like some fortune teller, sees into the past and future and into the minds of dead dictators as well. It doesn't work with me - he just looks like another cheap carnival huckster.

You can feel it on the air

The last day of Summer now seems to mark the beginning of the Crusade season, October is become a cruel month, breeding anger out of the dead truth, mixing memory with hate, stirring dull brains with new lies. In other words, It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

Of course there's no chill in the air where I live and the local merchants are hawking Halloween candy and plastic pumpkins made in China but Fox is gearing up it's war stories again. Captions like "War on Christians" and "Anti-Christian Crusade," are appearing on the official propaganda channel of the religious-military-industrial complex.

In case you forgot, them Liberals; those lefties are warring against Christians and against Christmas.
"This is a small part of a big, huge attack by the left on Christianity, which has always disliked the concept of Christianity, "
said Fox News blowhard Andrew Napolitano on Friday, of advertising for a San Francisco block party that used leather bar imagery to depict the Christian myth of the Last Supper.

Using their customary travesty of Socratic method Fox News hosts tossed about every conceivable fallacy in the attempt to build a bigger straw man than last year, using popular Radio Brown-shirt "Mancow" to make the case that mythology and belief should be protected by law, particularly if it's Christian. Mancow, who was criticized for playing a song called "Burning Mosques" 6 years ago apparently feels that appearing on a Fox program gives him the authority to say "I don't make fun of Religion" and asks us what would happen if there were a parody of Gay people.

Well of course there are parodies of Gay people spewed like green vomit from pulpits and political platforms and in televangelistic tirades every Sunday and that's only a small part of the crap about heretics and Jews and infidels and sinners burned at metaphorical stakes. Those people don't need to have their opinions legally protected from humor, criticism, analysis, parody or the inquisitiveness of historians, but Christians do.
"It's a godless group there, and they hate it,"
says moronic Mancow who apparently can't see the comedy in his assertions - as if anything said that invokes the magic word Christ were protected to the detriment of the beliefs of all others. But in a sense Fox has a point. The left leaning people who founded our laws in the secular enlightenment of the time did not distrust religious institutions, religious writings, priests and nations under God and tried to created a nation free of their intrusion into government and into civil liberty. Their ideas have been steadily eroded and never so swiftly as today, with an uneducated and indoctrinated public and modern methods of mass mendacity.