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The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- and What They Expect in Return

The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- and What They Expect in Return

Arrogant Capital

Arrogant Capital

Great American Political Repair Manual

Sam Smith's Great American Political Repair Manual: How to Rebuild Our Country So the Politics Aren't Broken and Politicians Aren't Fixed

American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare

Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare

The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy

The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy

into the buzzsaw

Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of the Free Press

Amazon Light

Stop Policeware

Campaign for Audiovisual Freedom

Just consider what current events will sound like two thousand years from now -- the greatest nation on Earth bombing some of the smallest and weakest for no clear reasons, people starving in parts of the world while farmers are paid not to plant crops in others, technophiles sitting at home playing electronic golf rahter than the real thing, and police forces ordered to arrest people who simply desire to ingest a psychoactive weed. People of that era will also likely laugh it all off as fantastic myths...

It is time for those who desire true freedom to exert themselves -- to fight back against the forces who desire domination through fear and disunity.

This does not have to involve violence. It can be done in small, simple ways, like not financing that new Sport Utility Vehicle, cutting up all but one credit card, not opting for a second mortgage, turning off that TV sitcom for a good book, asking questions and speaking out in church or synagogue, attending school board and city council meetings, voting for the candidate who has the least money, learning about the Fully Informed Jury movement and using it when called -- in general, taking responsibility for one's own actions. Despite the omnipresent advertising for the Lotto -- legalized government gambling -- there is no free lunch. Giving up one's individual power for the hope of comfort and security has proven to lead only to tyranny.

from Rule by Secrecy by Jim Marrs

You had to take those pieces of paper with you when you went shopping, though by the time I was nine or ten most people used plastic cards. . .It seems so primitive, totemistic even, like cowry shells. I must have used that kind of money myself, a little, before everything went on the Compubank.

I guess that's how they were able to do it, in the way they did, all at once, without anyone knowing beforehand. If there had still been portable money, it would have been more difficult.

It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.

Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control.

I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?

That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.

. . . Things continued on in that state of suspended animation for weeks, although some things did happen. Newspapers were censored and some were closed down, for security reasons they said. The roadblocks began to appear, and Identipasses. Everyone approved of that, since it was obvious you couldn't be too careful. They said that new elections would be held, but that it would take some time to prepare for them. The thing to do, they said, was to continue on as usual.

from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

By the time Oscar reached the outskirts of Washington, DC, The Louisiana air base had benn placed under siege.

The base's electrical power supply had long since been cut off for lack of payment. The aircraft had no fuel. The desperate federal troops were bartering stolen equipment for food and booze. Desertion was rampant. The air base commander had released a sobbing video confession and had shot himself.

Green Huey had lost patience with the long-festering scandal. He was moving in for the kill. Attacking and seizing an federal air base with his loyal state militia would have been entirely too blatant and straightforward. Instead the rogue Governor employed proxy guerrillas.

Huey had won the favor of nomad prole groups by providing them with safe havens. He allowed them to squat in Louisiana's many federally declared contamination zones. These forgotten landscapes were tainted with petrochemical effluent and hormone-warping pesticides, and were hence officially unfit for human settlement. The prole hordes had different opinions on that subject.

Proles cheerfully grouped in any locale where conventional authority had grown weak. Whenever the net-based proles were not constantly harassed by the authorities, they coalesced and grew ambitious. Though easily scattered by focused crackdowns, they regrouped as swiftly as a horde of gnats. With their reaping machines and bio-breweries, they could live off the land at the very base of the food chain. They had no stake in the established order, and they cherished a canny street-level knowledge of society's infrastructural weaknesses. They made expensive enemies. . .

Louisiana's ecologically blighted areas were ideal for proles. The disaster zones were also impromptu wildlife sanctuaries, since wild animals found chemical fouling much easier to survive than the presence of human beings. After decades of wild subtropical growth, Louisiana's toxic dumps were as impenetrable as Sherwood Forest.

from Distraction by Bruce Sterling


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Saturday, March 22, 2003

BBC gets 1000 calls after it "moved a documentary comparing Israel's arms programme to that of Iraq from prime time to a 'graveyard' slot and replaced it with a repeated film on windmills" [u]

7:40 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Plutocrats summon the peasants file

Clear Channel organizes pro-war rallies
Rick Morris, an associate professor of communications at Northwestern University, said these actions by Clear Channel stations are a logical extension of changes in the radio industry over the last 20 years, including the blurring of lines between journalism and entertainment.

From a business perspective, Morris said, the rallies are a natural fit for many stations, especially talk-radio stations where hosts usually espouse politically conservative views.

"Nobody should be surprised by this," Morris said.

In 1987 the FCC repealed the Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcasters to cover controversial issues in their community and to do so by offering balancing views. With that obligation gone, Morris said, "radio can behave more like newspapers, with opinion pages and editorials."
Which makes you wonder if CC has tie-ins to companies making money from war- or reconstruction-related industries.

7:35 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Lost in the WarHaze file:

Last Sunday's memorial service for the American peace activist who was killed by the Israeli bulldozer was attacked by Israeli forces firing tear gas and stun grenades

Plus these attempts to harass and obstruct those charged with her removal and burial according to her parents' wishes.

7:17 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Friday, March 21, 2003

Eclipsed by Iraq and with an administration compliant with US business in place, Afghanistan slips back into a medieval stupor [u]

Old traditions of the casual use of children as sextoys, public flogging and private torture, and a flourishing opium trade are back. The CIA steals soldiers from the Afghan army with better wages to chase al Qaeda. The American presence continues to create resentment. And requests for aid fall on deaf ears in the White House.

10:40 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Richard Perle is testing those pesky conflict-of-interest rules again
Perle has been retained by Global Crossing in order to assist in overcoming Defense Department resistance to its proposed sale to a partly Chinese-owned joint venture, a sale which may have American security implications. Perle is chairman of the Defense Policy Board, and is thus subject to conflict of interest rules that prohibit him from using his public office for private gain. The Global Crossing bankruptcy court has to review and approve such a sale, as well as the agreement that Perle has with Global Crossing, so we know details of his agreement. Perle is to be paid $725,000 by the Global Crossing, including $600,000 if the government approves its sale to the joint venture.

2:51 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

I've added a section of Iraq/war blogs at the top of the right column

1:07 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Unprecedented antiwar protests in US and around the world lightened my heart today -- there were even a handful of high schoolers protesting on a busy corner of my little Arizona town, which is unheard of

I'm fighting off the last of this cold/flu/whatever that's been dogging me (and many others it seems) for weeks, and a sudden stomach bug attack tonight on top, so few posts today/tonight.

As a result I haven't even been on the PC much, to monitor what bloggers were saying from Iraq -- TV useless as usual.

12:44 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Senator Byrd
"Today I weep for my country," said West Virginia Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd. "No more is the image of America one of strong, yet benevolent peacekeeper. ... Around the globe, our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed, our intentions are questioned.

"We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance," Byrd said, adding: "After war has ended the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America's image around the globe." [link]

9:27 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

"Not war protest" file

Top shrubco anti-terror official resigns
"This is a very intriguing decision (by [Randy] Beers)," said author and intelligence expert James Bamford. "There is a predominant belief in the intelligence community that an invasion of Iraq will cause more terrorism than it will prevent. There is also a tremendous amount of embarrassment by intelligence professionals that there have been so many lies out of the administration -- by the president, (Vice President Dick) Cheney and (Secretary of State Colin) Powell -- over Iraq."

Bamford cited a recent address by President Bush that cited documents, which allegedly proved Iraq was continuing to pursue a nuclear program, that were later shown to be forgeries.

"It is absurd that the president of the United States mentioned in a speech before the world information from phony documents and no one got fired," Bamford said. "That alone has offended intelligence professionals throughout the services."

9:24 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Pentagon shrugs off claims of links to spiking cancer rates where depleted uranium shells have been used, despite evidence to the contrary

1:01 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Also from CG -- most US troops don't have ammo for their guns (unless they're on active patrol) so nobody gets shot by accident

12:53 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Claim that What Really Happened is a front for a Christian Right disinformation network [Conspiracy Girlfriend]

Don't have time to investigate this, but it seems serious. I never quite trusted the site, though I have linked to it a time or two.

Starting to feel like Palmer Eldritch again.

12:48 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Where is Raed?

Of the manifold bloggers signing in from Iraq or thereabouts, this is the one I find worth reading so far. Raed is an Iraqi in Baghdad (I think). I'll wade through some others and post 'em if I like 'em.

WIR? loaded slow today, no doubt because war is near and he's been noticed by a number of folks in the US and elsewhere.

3:03 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Unmitigated gall file

Bill Kristol "riled" that he and Perle/Wolfowitz et al "are somehow pushing war with Iraq to help Israel"
That charge "really is just about the fact we are Jewish," Kristol says. He dismisses the claim "that neoconservatives, which really means Jews, hijacked the Bush administration. It's a little creepy."
More than a little creepy, Bill.

Not that their agenda doesn't suit the Oil Boys to a "T".

But to act like they have no influence is just flat-out lying. To act like Israel's ruling party and pro-Zionist think tanks aren't a huge factor in US policy towards Iraq and the Palestinians is flat out lying.

You're a liar Bill.

2:36 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

As mortgage rates hit a new low, housing starts drop 11%, biggest fall in 9 years

10:55 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Military scientist and antiwar activist Stan Goff analyses the seemingly inevitable conflict, with an emphasis on the destabilizing Kurdish factor
The Bush regime seems to have a clear understanding of what desperate straits they were in well before 9-11. The empire is in decline, and this means Americans will have to reconcile themselves to a new world in which their profligate lifestyle becomes a thing of the past.  Americans do not understand that this is an irremediable situation.  That is why we are witnessing the beginning of what is possibly the most dangerous period in human history.


The real bet that Bush & Co. make on this war is that it can secure oil at $15 a barrel, rescue dollar hegemony, gain the ability to wage its economic war on China and Europe, and inaugurate a fresh upwave of real profit. That will not happen.

When the invasion goes, we will certainly see plenty of images of cheering "liberated" Iraqis. This is common after any successful military incursion, a combination of real relief in some cases, as we saw in the first stage of the 1994 Haiti invasion, but also of self-defense and opportunism.

The costs incurred by the war, combined with the insane Bush tax cuts for the rich, will deepen the Bush regime's economic conundrums. The coming social crisis in the US will emerge against a backdrop of elevated public expectations.  The hyperbole employed by this administration to justify this war, against rapidly strengthening resistance and a corresponding loss of credibility outside the indoctrinated and gullible United States, led them to warn the public about perpetual "war on terror," but with the sugar coating that there would be no domestic economic sacrifice. The mountain of personal and institutional debt in the US, the threat of deflation, the trade deficit, the overcapacity, the rising unemployment and insecurity, all these factors will be worsened by the Bush doctrines. And Bush, like his father before him, will go down. Along with him, Tony Blair and Jose Maria Aznar will go down in political flames, and it will be a long time indeed before anyone can align themselves with the US as an ally. As in the last elections for the Republic of Korea, candidates will find that election victory depends on now independent one can prove oneself of the United States.

10:42 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

BTHN bumper
Bring Them Home Now

1:14 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Assassinated Serbian politico not lauded in homeland [u]
Despite the western eulogies, Djindjic will be mourned by few in Serbia. For the great majority of Serbs, he will be remembered as a quisling who enriched himself by selling his country to those who had waged war against it so mercilessly only a few years earlier. Djindjic's much lauded reforms have led to soaring utility prices, unemployment has risen sharply to over 30%, real wages have fallen by up to 20% and over two-thirds of Serbs now live below the poverty line.

It is still unclear who fired the shots that killed Zoran Djindjic. The likelihood is that it was an underworld operation, his links to organised crime finally catching up with him. But, harsh though it sounds, there are many in Serbia who would willingly have pulled the trigger. On a recent visit to Belgrade, I was struck not only by the level of economic hardship, but by the hatred almost everyone I met felt towards their prime minister, whose poll ratings had fallen below 10%.
I'm no fan of Milosevic, but this guy wasn't exactly Abraham Lincoln either.

1:09 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Pics from antiwar marches over the weekend [u]

12:56 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

ISI's grainy video of the Khalid "arrest" fools no one; former ISI chief claims cover-up, arrest happened "some time ago in a different city" [u]

So it's obvious this was all a set-up to background the UN resolution and hearing testimony on the Hill, and to high-profile the "efficiency" of the ISI.

All of which happened last week, so it's already off the screen of most Americans' consciousnesses.


Besides, we've got a war to fight.

12:51 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

At the end of a long and worthy discussion of Moran & Jewish/Israeli influence on the Iraq campaign -- and why it's taboo to mention it -- Sam Smith nails the Current Situation on the head
What we are facing is, in major part, a religious war in which bin Laden, Bush and Sharon comprise a triptych of theological terror that is putting everyone at great risk. They are each involved in a vicious heresy, falsely defining their own immoral, sadistic ambitions as their religion's moral faith. This is no time for politeness, politics or silence. And while Jews are far from alone in needing to call their leadership back to sanity, neither are they exempt.
Hear hear.

12:34 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Knowingly or not, bread basket countries are exceeding the sustainable yield of their aquifers [u]
In effect, governments are satisfying the growing demand for food by overpumping groundwater, a measure that virtually assures a drop in food production when the aquifer is depleted. Knowingly or not, governments are creating a "food bubble" economy.

As water use climbs, the world is incurring a vast water deficit, one that is largely invisible, historically recent, and growing fast. Because the impending water crunch typically takes the form of falling water tables, it is not visible. Falling water tables are often discovered only when wells go dry.


The diesel-driven or electrically powered pumps that make overpumping possible have become available throughout the entire world at essentially the same time. The near-simultaneous depletion of aquifers means that cutbacks in grain harvests will be occurring in many countries at more or less the same time.

12:26 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, March 17, 2003

This report questioning the EPA's determination that the air at Ground Zero was "safe to breathe" days after the collapse put me in mind of a post I did last fall on this book -- which amazon says isn't published yet, for some reason

10:09 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

MTV refuses antiwar ad, Not In Our Name does endaround using local cable

Rejecting advocacy ads is a no-brainer for the corporatocracy, which shuns anything controversial and that makes less time for selling their products. And they get accused of advocacy themselves, and then are forced to allow rebuttals.

But since 9/11 BigMedia's toadying to shrubco's American World Order and a growing public awareness (overt or subliminal) of the connection between that and the dominance of a corporate paradigm that cares more about profit than people, there's a sense of disenfranchisement that is getting increasingly restive.

9:42 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

"Don't appreciate your anti-American attitude!"

TSA inspector leaves Orwellian note in flyer's suitcase after finding antiwar signs

9:26 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Foreign news sites surging with US visitors frustrated with US media lockstep behind shrubco
The only debate in the U.S. media is on the Web, Dennis said. "Weblogs are doing all the work that the U.S. media did in the past," he said. "That's an interesting development."

In fact, a lot of the Guardian's U.S. traffic is referred by weblogs, especially Matt Drudge's Drudge Report, said Nielsen's Goosey.

"The new war in Iraq has made world news sources far more important," said Stephen Gilliard, who posts a lot of foreign news stories to the weblog at NetSlaves. "While not all news sources are reliable, there is such a gap between the way Americans see the world and the way other people do that it is invaluable to use these resources."

There is also a growing tide of criticism of the U.S. media from members of the media, such as veteran CBS broadcaster Dan Rather.

Rather recently complained to the BBC about the media's lack of access to government officials, and the growth of "Milatainment" reality shows on U.S. TV, including ABC's Profiles from the Front Line and VH1's Military Diaries.

9:16 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Bad science and scapegoating

Adolphe Quetelet, the deviation from the average and Total Information Awareness
In 1844, after years of research, Quetelet published an astonishing article analyzing the chest sizes of 5,000 Scottish soldiers. His theory was simple: some people are more normal than others. Borrowing a premise called the law of error from astronomy, Quetelet asserted that the more human specimens you measure, the less your margin of error will be in determining what is truly normal. Out of thousands of Scottish body parts, Quetelet created the "average man." This became the first identity profile against which all deviants, criminals and undesirables could be measured and found wanting. For Quetelet, abnormal bodies were invariably linked to criminal behavior. He argued that prostitutes were "enervated" by the immorality of their lives, often giving birth to stunted, doomed children who rarely lived beyond childhood. The "average man" thus defined his degenerate counterpart.

2:22 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Despite all the hoohah about "centralizing intelligence" about terrorism etc., shrubco is making sure the old turf wars and rivalries in the Intel bureaucracy live on [FAS]
[James] Lewis [a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies] says that the DHS has been the clear loser in the turf war over who will own counterterrorism intelligence. He predicts that the CIA and FBI "will cobble something together as they go along that lets them combine their authorities to do some kind of domestic intelligence work. But it's not going to be the kind of broad-scale thing people were thinking about." As for the DHS, Lewis says we should have no illusions. "We're creating a new department that will be like a dinosaur," he says, "with a really big body and a really small brain." Which is to say a lot of bureaucracy -- and very little intelligence.
And with the radicalization of more Muslims in the Arab world as a result of the Iraq War, there will be more terrorists and likely the same inability to effectively counter their activities.

Which is perhaps the idea.

2:00 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

FOIA docs on shuttle Columbia [FAS]

1:36 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

1953 case that established "state secrets privilege" was based on fraud by the Air Force

The SC would "take no position on the body of law that derives from it," though.

Fat chance of that happening these days.

1:27 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, March 16, 2003

"There is no need to prolong the damage she has caused in real and perceived terms for an additional three months"

Weird daughter of Rehnquist -- the HHS Inspector General who with an aristocratic flourish fired 6 deputies a while back -- is at the center of a widening probe into department "improprieties" though she "resigned for family reasons" a week and a half ago
The escalating controversy focuses in part on a Florida pensions program that was partly funded by Washington. When states hire personnel to run a federal-state program like Medicaid, the federal government contributes money to state pension funds.

Knowledgeable officials contend Florida took unused funds from the pension fund to help pay for other programs. Concerned that Florida was not repaying the federal government its fair share, the Office of Inspector General launched an audit of the Florida program in April of 2002. But the audit still has not been completed even though such reviews normally take only several months.


If such an audit had been released before November, it could have "embarrassed" Bush and could have significantly hampered his reelection campaign, in the minds of some political observers.

Bush easily defeated Bill McBride in November, collecting 56 percent of the vote against McBride's 43 percent. Political experts note that the race was expected to be much closer.
Previous post on gun-totin' HHS Czar-Without-Portfolio Janet Rehnquist.

8:12 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Raging Cow blogvirus campaign backfires [incublogula]
Max Valiquette, president of Youthography, a Toronto youth marketing firm, said Dr Pepper/Seven Up made at least one crucial error: It wasn't completely up front about the nature of the campaign.

To win the trust of young people, "first and foremost you've got to be honest. ... The mistake that Dr Pepper might have made here is that they've gone into this turf without respecting the rules of the turf."

He said the campaign is part of a larger trend called roach marketing, in which companies try to disguise their come-ons as spontaneous interactions in a bid to give products credibility. But, as Dr Pepper/Seven Up is discovering, such deceptions can backfire.

"The inherent problem is that we're living in such an unbelievably media-savvy age where young people are so incredibly media-literate that eventually they find out," Mr. Valiquette said.
No shit.

6:27 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

New Mexico snubs shrub, upholds Constitution [incublogula]

6:08 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Oppose the RAVE and CLEAN-UP Acts -- and join the Drug Policy Alliance while you're at it
Congress is considering two pieces of legislation that could effectively ban live music and dancing, while throwing innocent people like you in jail. If enacted, either bill could prevent you from hearing your favorite band or DJ live. Every musical style would be affected, including rock and roll, Hip Hop, country, and electronic music. Both bills would allow overzealous prosecutors to send innocent people to jail for the crimes of others.

2:51 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Detained: Immigration Laws and the Expanding I.N.S. Jail Complex by Michael Welch: review [u]
Welch suggests three sources for our current harsh policies toward immigrants:

(1) a country that has long been ambivalent toward immigrants;

(2) "moral panic" that used immigrants as scapegoats for whatever national ills are the outrage of the time (today, it is "terrorism); and

(3) the "industrial-incarceration" complex that makes big bucks out of building big prisons that demand big numbers of detentions to justify its existence.

2:44 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

On the Moran scandal

Have to quote Sam Smith in toto this time
THE JIHAD AGAINST Rep. James Moran for suggesting that "if it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this" is proceeding apace. The hyperbolic hyper-hawks at the Washington Post have called on his constituents to elect someone else next time. And a group of six Jewish Democratic congress members have called on Moran not to run again. This demand - which violates the deepest congressional taboo of not messing in someone else's district if they're in your party - reflects a haughty presumption of power not unlike that to which Moran alluded.

While it's true that Jews support the war in an almost identical percentage as the American average, it also true that politics, particularly in Washington, is mainly driven these days by money and access. The one third of Jews who are not happy with the way things are going in the Middle East receive little attention from either politicians or the media. According to the latter - which gets to decide these things - the highest ranking Jew opposed to the war is Michael Lerner and he makes it primarily because he's accused some of his allies of anti-Semitism.

Even the pro-Israel Richard Cohen of the Washington Post had to admit that "Moran's remarks have produced an overreaction. In the first place, his reference to Jews did not come out of left field. He was attending an antiwar meeting at a church when a woman who identified herself as Jewish wondered out loud why more Jews were not present." It was then that Moran made his comment. Cohen also notes that "Jews are politically potent -- and no one knows that better than a member of Congress. Their activism, their prominence in political life, is a fact. What's more, one reason -- and it is one among many -- that the United States is almost uniquely pro-Israel is that the American Jewish community makes its weight felt. Moran, who at times has been highly critical of Israel, knows this better than almost anyone." In fact, the Israel lobby in Washington is the NRA of religious activism.

Everyone knows this in the capital but if you treat Jewish politics with the same frankness (and the same generalities) as black or feminist or Catholic politics, you reap the whirlwind from the avengers of appropriateness. The Post stuffily declares that "the argument moves from merely wrong to patently offensive when it attributes to Jews or 'the Jewish community' a single view and a nefarious influence." Of course, if the paper applied that standard to its discussion of other groups (including blacks, liberals, Republicans, and environmentalists) it couldn't fill the space between the ads.

The sort of attack that has been launched against Rep. Moran is, in gentler moments, just part of the silly, hypocritical, and bullying character of American politics. In black politics it's called playing the 'race card.' It's a bit different this time for a couple of reasons. First, the last thing the Democrats need right now is another family squabble and the attack on Moran, coming so swiftly on the unseating of Rep. Cynthia McKinney with the help of the Jewish right, is another indication of the how badly frayed the classic Democratic coalition has become. Bush, Cheney and Rove probably cheered when they read of Henry Waxman's attack on Moran.

The second point is that this is not some polite, antiseptic discussion on the Lehrer Hour. This is one of the most dangerous, dismal and disastrous moments in American history and to haul ourselves out of it we need a great deal more honesty in our debate over the Middle East than has occurred in recent decades. It is a problem that is intricately intertwined with the political goals of religious groups primarily Christian and Jewish dogmatists and this can no longer be shunned any more than we can ignore the role of the Catholic Church in the abortion debate or that of the Protestant fundamentalists in the faith-based dismantling of constitutional freedoms.

Religious politics - in this case that of Christian and Jewish fundamentalists - is absolutely fair territory when it leaves in its wake war, a crusade against another religion, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the destruction of constitutional government, and the endangerment of domestic tranquility. Politeness will not get us out of this mess; honest and frank argument just might.

2:29 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Easter Bunny cuffed and arrested for protesting G.I. Joe Easter baskets in Manhattan [u]

2:22 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

"They told us that if we were in their country then we would be thrown in jail for what we were doing."

US troops attack peace camp in UK
[link to original story kept crashing Opera, but here it is, probably works in IE]

2:14 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Why people like Richard Perle sue for libel in the UK: it's a tool for censorship [u]
Britain has the most repressive libel laws on earth. American companies come here to silence their critics - they know they have a better chance of suing a magazine in Britain than in the US, even if it only sells a tiny number of copies over here. In America, public figures seeking damages must show that the published information was maliciously fabricated. Here, by contrast, the burden of proof is carried by the defendant. Available only to the rich, our libel laws are a devastatingly effective means of silencing the cries of the excluded.

2:01 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Why not just hire the Olson twins as Pentagon spokeswomen?

shrubco's "secret surrender" negotiations with Iraqi generals outed by giddy whifflehead Rumsfeld, a la Wolfowitz and the Yemeni drone attack

He just couldn't help himself. Get this guy a Gameboy and send him off to a corner wouldja?

I'm embarrassed and I'm not even a shrubco flak.

1:51 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

A Washington Post column by a Richard Perle dittohead attacked Dennis Kucinich for having the temerity to say the Iraq War is connected to oil -- then they refused to print the latter's response [u]

Have they moved the Post's offices to the Cheney bunker yet or what?

1:41 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

All Iraqi bioweapon supplies sourced in France and US

No surprise here.

But when is it going to dawn on people to demand the end of international trade in anything that is or could be used as a weapon?

Outlaw international weapons trade now.

Follow the money.

11:38 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Just skip lightly around that McCarthy corpse, Roxie

Oscars hijacked by frightened corporate weebles

11:18 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

I know! Let's tax the indigent!

shrubco's "Eat the Poor" ethos trickles down

11:04 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Good Zippy today

10:58 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Euro-government paedophile links

Scotland Sunday Herald links UK/NATO bigwig Lord Robertson with Dunblane killer, the latter being the organizer of a ring for govt officials

20-year Portuguese ring scandal engulfs elites

2:50 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

A Florida congresswoman has proposed that the government pay for families who might want to bring home from France the remains of Americans who fought and died in the world wars [History News Network]

2:08 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

The talking fish diet

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from Sassafrass (9/23/02)
"Unconventional viewpoints at 'charging the canvas'

Opinions that will ruffle feathers, from someone who clearly knows their way around information and the blogosphere."

Blog of the Day


In the eyes of posterity it will inevitably seem that, in safeguarding our freedom, we destroyed it; that the vast clandestine apparatus we built up to probe our enemies' resources and intentions only served in the end to confuse our own purposes; that the practice of deceiving others for the good of the state led infallibly to our deceiving ourselves; and that the vast army of intelligence personnel built up to execute these purposes were soon caught up in the web of their own sick fantasies, with disastrous consequences to them and us.

-- Malcolm Muggeridge

Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.

-- Mark Twain

(link to list against Iraq War)


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[Get Opera!]


They were past the motels now, condos on both sides. The nicer ones, on the left, had soothing pluraled nature-names carved on hanging wooden signs, The Coves, The Glades, The Meadowlands. The cheaper condos, on the right, were smaller and closer to the road, and had names like roaring powerboats, Seaspray, Barracuda's, and Beachcomber III.

Jackie sneezed, a snippy poodle kind of sneeze, God-blessed herself, and said, "I bet it's on the left, Raymond. You better slow down."

Raymond Rios, the driver and young science teacher to the bright and gifted, didn't nod or really hear. He was thinking of the motels they had passed and the problem with the signs, No Vacancy. This message bothered him, he couldn't decide why. Then Jackie sneezed and it came to him, the motels said no vacancy because they were closed for the season (or off-season or not-season) and were, therefore, totally vacant, as vacant as they ever got, and so the sign, No Vacancy, was maximum-inaccurate, yet he understood exactly what it meant. This thought or chain of thoughts made him feel vacant and relaxed, done with a problem, a pleasant empty feeling driving by the beaches in the wind.

from Big If by Mark Costello

*       *       *       *

Bailey was having trouble with his bagel. Warming to my subject, I kept on talking while cutting the bagel into smaller pieces, wiping a dob of cream from his collar, giving him a fresh napkin. "There's a pretense at democracy. Blather about consensus and empowering employees with opinion surveys and minority networks. But it's a sop. Bogus as costume jewelry. The decisions have already been made. Everything's hush-hush, on a need-to-know-only basis. Compartmentalized. Paper shredders, e-mail monitoring, taping phone conversations, dossiers. Misinformation, disinformation. Rewriting history. The apparatus of fascism. It's the kind of environment that can only foster extreme caution. Only breed base behavior. You know, if I had one word to describe corporate life, it would be 'craven.' Unhappy word."

Bailey's attention was elsewhere, on a terrier tied to a parking meter, a cheeky fellow with a grizzled coat. Dogs mesmerized Bailey. He sized them up the way they sized each other up. I plowed on. "Corporations are like fortressed city-states. Or occupied territories. Remember The Sorrow and the Pity? Nazi-occupied France, the Vichy government. Remember the way people rationalized their behavior, cheering Pétain at the beginning and then cheering de Gaulle at the end? In corporations, there are out-and-out collaborators. Opportunists. Born that way. But most of the employees are like the French in the forties. Fearful. Attentiste. Waiting to see what happens. Hunkering down. Turning a blind eye.

from Moral Hazard by Kate Jennings

*       *       *       *


When the sashaying of gentlemen
Gives you grievance now and then
What's needed are some memories of planing lakes
Those planing lakes will surely calm you down

Nothing frightens me more
Than religion at my door
I never answer panic knocking
Falling down the stairs upon the law
What Law?

There's a law for everything
And for elephants that sing to feed
The cows that Agriculture won't allow

Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow

-- John Cale

© me