Monday, January 31, 2005

My prediction:

Mark my words: if you check out the right-wing blogs, they'll be ridiculing this happening, calling her names, saying they wish she had died, etc... and the so-called "christian" blogs will be the most venomous, and will say that it is also God's will.

I'll find examples and list them here as I do. And if I am wrong, I will admit it.

It Must Have Been Tough To Narrow It Down To 34

It's still only January, so it's not too late for a 1st-term recap: "Here are 34 scandals from the first four years of George W. Bush's presidency - every one of them worse than Whitewater."

Of course, no list is complete without this and this and this and this and this and this and... oh well. I don't have time to list them all. The links are on the right [chuckle].

By the way, did I forget to mention that the only democratic scandal the right-wing media can come up with is Chappaquiddick? They wear two different style of T-shirts to their GOP get-togethers. One says, "I spent millions trying to nail Clinton on Whitewater and all I got was a lousy little sex scandal," and the other one says, "Remember the Alamo - er - I mean, Chappaquiddick!"

Iraqi Elections

Since I am usually behind schedule in posting news-related stuff, I had better make my observations about the Iraqi elections now, before it becomes old news. First of all, I think it great for them to have elections, experience democracy (or as close as they can get to it), etc. But what has struck me about it is the way that so many right-wing commenters are using it as an opportunity to bash the left.

Now, before you say that I am doing the same thing in reverse, let me explain. I visit both right- and left-wing blogs, to try to achieve a balanced perspective on opinion. What I have noticed is that the right-wing blogs I visit are saying the the Iraqi elections are somehow a terrible blow to the American left, a defeat for the democrats, for John Kerry, and for liberals. HUH!?

That is ridiculous. First of all, the left has been calling for the end of tyrannical dictatorships for decades; in fact, we did so even while Ronald Reagan and George Bush were giving arms to Iraq and Iran in the first place (hey, isn't doing that "giving aid and comfort to the enemy?"). The left is "all about" democracy and elections (don't get us started about the painful irony of the Bush government's endorsement of free elections everywhere but here). Or perhaps these tightie-righties are referring to the way the American left, along with many countries around the world, opposed the Iraqi war in the first place. They will totally disagree with this statement: I say elections do not justify the war. Oh sure, they always pull out that old chestnut that "the world is better off without Saddam Hussein." Well, it remains to be seen if the election results in 1) a religious theocracy no more friendly to the U.S. than Iran; 2) a puppet dictatorship controlled by the Bush regime; or 3) a friendly government that will cooperate with the rest of the world independently of undue influence from the outside. Of course, that third option would not pass Bush's "global test".

Here is something for the left-bashers to consider: to be a conservative in Iraq is to be a Hussein loyalist. To desire democracy and free elections in Iraq is to be a liberal. Crazy world, isn't it?

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Let's All Go To The Movies IV

Okay, now... some of us, and I certainly include myself, are the Howard Beales* of the world. Some, on the other hand, are neocons. What follows is a sort of two-act play taken from "network."

This is the neocons telling us about the world they want to live in.

This is Howard Beale (us) reacting to it.

Please, listen to the sound on these pages.

*Howard Beale was "the mad prophet of the airwaves" in the movie Network.

Let's All Go To The Movies III

Again, another speech which speaks so eloquently about the issues with which we struggle today.
Please, listen to the sound also.

Let's All Go To The Movies II

This seems terribly relevant as history repeats itself. Just consider the parallels between the events the character desribes and those unfolding around us today.
Please press play on the little mp3 button and listen to the sound, also.

Let's All Go To The Movies!

Cine Del Arbusto! Scroll down a little when you click on the link. They have a great selection of videos. You can also find 'em here. Enjoy! Bring your own popcorn. Or, for that matter, you may need a good stiff drink before viewing...

Republican Corruption (an oxymoron?)

Hah! Concervative media and the right-wing of the internet has been awash for so long with howling condemnations of Dan Rather, that I am thrilled to be provided with the opportunity (thanks to the RNC) to say: In your face, neocon hypocrites! The Bush government caught bribing three journalists so far, with no end in sight! 1, 2, 3, 4.

Will the republican party's vile contempt for ethical behavior ever end!?

Variety Show

Some interesting stuff appears in this one courtesy of Romablog, like the stuff from Truthout's multimedia page.

And while I'm still going on about other people's blogs, visit the arctic outpost of anarchy where screams from the wilderness echo across the tundra! (a phrase originally placed in this post was edited out because blogger apparently adds advertising links to brand names if used in a post... live and learn)

And hey... don't forget to take your daily Bartcop! (I know, I used the wrong link... sorry... fixed it)

Friday, January 28, 2005

Striving for Greatness

Hey, all you Cut To: readers and Kerry Fox Live listeners. My humble thanks to Kerry for the very kind words he gave me on this week's show. Gives one something to strive for. And, it's always nice to know that someone knows we're here! Of course, the irony is that Kerry gave me credit for avoiding foul language in my blog, while my last two post included profanity. I apologize for that. Like Queen Elizabeth once said, "Dignity is a Bitch"*

*don't quote me on that.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Woops! Must Be My "Faulty Memory"

Oops! I forgot to add this bit in the previous post abut Bush's press conference. Guess what! He ridicules senior citizens!!

Just lovely. Moral-value Americans: He's your goddamn president.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

A Quick Synopsis of President Bush's Press Conference

This link is the quickest summary of the press conference Bush gave this morning.

For those who prefer more detail, here are some highlights, from the actual transcript. I swear to God, this is on the level. I watched it. I wish it was satire.

Question: Mr. President, in the debate over Dr. Rice's confirmation, Democrats came right out and accused you and the administration of lying in the run-up to the war in Iraq. Republicans, in some cases, conceded that mistakes have been made. Now that the election is over, are you willing to concede that any mistakes were made? And how do you feel about --

THE PRESIDENT: Let me talk about Dr. Rice -- you asked about her confirmation. Dr. Rice is an honorable, fine public servant who needs to be confirmed. She will be a great Secretary of State. And Dr. Rice and I look forward to moving forward. We look forward to working to make sure the Iraqis have got a democracy. We look forward to continuing to make sure Afghanistan is as secure as possible from potential Taliban resurgence. We look forward to spreading freedom around the world. And she is going to make a wonderful Secretary of State.

Question: No reaction to the lying? No reaction? (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Is that your question? The answer is, no. Next.
Regarding social security:
THE PRESIDENT: I am looking forward to working with both Republicans and Democrats to advance a plan that will permanently solve Social Security.
I'll bet.

Here's a statement that will live in infamy:

THE PRESIDENT: I'm the President; I set the course of this administration.
Let's hold him to that, shall we? Because soon thereafter:

Question: Mr. President, do you think it's a proper use of government funds to pay commentators to promote your policies?

THE PRESIDENT: No. (and in another paragraph) Mr. Armstrong Williams admitted he made a mistake.
Okay. Bush sets the policies, but is not resposible for anything that goes wrong. What a wonderful life! And I love the way he frames it: Willams made a mistake. Yeah, right. By involving himself in unethical behavior on behalf of the republican party! Oh, sure... we're supposed to think he thought the plan up by himself?

Regarding civil rights:

THE PRESIDENT: Civil rights is -- is a good education. Civil rights is opportunity. Civil rights is home ownership. Civil rights is owning your own business.
How nice. Apparently, civil rights is for the wealthy, too. Do the patriot act and the personal accounts go together somehow? I mean, give up your right to protection against illegal search and seizure in exchange for participation in the "ownership society"?

And finally, Bush gave his traditional "f**k you" to the press:

If we'd been having this discussion a couple of years ago and I'd have stood up in front of you and said the Iraqi people would be voting, you would look at me like some of you still look at me, with a kind of blank expression.
First of all, a "blank expression" would be preferable to the snickering, Pat Robertson-like giggling delivery Bush insists on using. But you know what? I saw their expressions. On those journalists who were not obvious right-wing shills, the expressions weren't blank. They were pissed.

Divided We Fall

This one is great.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Finally... Using the "S" Word.

You may have noticed (or not), I am not one of those people who says things like "Bush really scares me." I have two reasons for this.

One, I refuse to be intimidated by a pampered mental defective like George Bush, who has the snickering demeanor of a schoolyard punk who pushes the littler kids around before he is called back into his remedial reading class, or by his sneering, snarling, hunchbacked svengali Dick Cheney.

Two, while I understand the point people are making when they say Bush, or whoever, scares them, I feel that it damages our cause by playing into the neocons' hands: it gives them ammunition to accuse those who say it of being wimps.

Well, therein lies a tale. See, I went looking on the web for that quote by Herman Goering which has been knocked around the internet because it is so relevant to modern republican policy:

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders...All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger." - Herman Goering, Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, President of the Reichstag, Prime Minister of Prussia and Hitler's designated successor.
So anyway, I went looking for this quote, but instead of "Goering" I typed in "Goebbels" (the other Nazi). The resulting quote I found by him was one of those pit-of-the-stomach deja vu experiences. In light of the rampant election fraud the republicans engaged in to place their leader in power, the quote is particularly chilling:
"We enter parliament in order to supply ourselves, in the arsenal of democracy, with its own weapons. If democracy is so stupid as to give us free tickets and salaries for this bear's work, that is its affair. We do not come as friends, nor even as neutrals. We come as enemies. As the wolf bursts into the flock, so we come." - Paul Joseph Goebbels, Nazi German Propaganda Minister.
The fact that so many parallels exist between the republican party and the nazi party... that is scary.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Is It Any Wonder Why I Believe in Separation of Church and State?

In the Red Corner: ignorant, right-wing, fundamentalist so-called "christians" who pervert christianity into a means of justifying their desire for world domination and eradication of other cultures. (like this, and this, and this)

In the Blue Corner: the rest of us!

See what I mean by clicking here.

Why Didn't He Sing at one of the Inaugural Parties?

Who would have thought this guy could sing, too? (speakers on, please!)

Friday, January 21, 2005

Unity My Ass

Some people are saying we should forget our differences and come together during this inaugural time. Well, this is how I feel. The inaugural was a celebration of lies (1, 2).

When all is said and done, here is the George Bush that I will always remember as our president (this is in quicktime takes a minute or two to load, so you have time go get a cup of coffee. A faster-loading sound-only mp3 version is here).

Why I Express Myself On A Blog:

"In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Catholic. Then they came for me... and by that time, there was no one to speak up for anyone."

Martin Niemoeller, German Pastor, (1892-1984)

Monday, January 17, 2005

Martin Luther King Day

Today we celebrate the Martin Luther King Holiday to honor the work he did to realize the dream of civil rights, and liberty, and justice for all.

I wonder, what would Dr. King think of the "patriot" act (1,2)? What would he think of PNAC? What would he think of these guys (1,2)!?

A lot of us still share the dream. Hope is alive.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

In America

A Must-See! (turn your speakers on!)
This is what we are up against!


Did you know that we have been nuking Iraq? And even with that, the Bush administration still can't manage to win a war?

Hey... maybe the point isn't to win the war! Maybe it is to prolong the war indefinitely in order to maintain Bush's approval poll ratings by pandering to some voters' fears and others' desire to "kick some ass", while simultaneously generating incredible revenue for the fat-cat corporate war profiteers!

Could that be it? Hmm?

I Felt This Way Last November, Too

Every so often I find a columnist who seems to speak for me [to say what I would say, were I in their position]. I appreciated this one so much that I copied the text rather than just the link, so that if the link went bad the story would still be available. Please don't be put off by the title - it's one man's venting. Free speech thing. Also, to put it in context, keep in mind that it is from November 2004, post "election."

Screw you, America
Sometimes the fish in the barrel deserve to die

by Cliff Garboden

America speaks with one voice. Unfortunately, it emanates from its ass. — Barry Crimmins
Don’t forgive my anger. All this needs to be said. And I know that as soon as that stiff-faced to-the-manure-born right-wing lackey in the White House tries to appoint a 21st-century counterpart to Roy Bean to the Supreme Court in a few weeks, more people are going to wish they’d said it sooner. John Kerry fucked up. More important, America fucked up. And the people who fucked up the most — you infamous red-staters — are going to suffer along with the rest of us. To put it in lingo a NASCAR devotee would understand, "Y’all deserve a good talkin’-to."

John F. Kerry, you’re first.

In your befuddling concession speech, you actually called for unity and healing. Sounds good, clown, but can’t you even imagine for a second that the people who supported you so zealously for the past five months might just see that insincere gesture of good sportsmanship as a betrayal? See, unlike you pols, we voters actually believe in shit. We believe that George W. Bush and his henchpeople are a real threat to the survival of democracy. We believe that they’re killing people for profit. And we believe that they don’t have a goddamn clue about forfending terrorism on US soil.

That’s not a position gap; that’s an ideological gash. And it’s not going to heal, because, unlike you expedient professional truth-manipulators, I’m not prepared to meet the enemies of freedom halfway just because you lost the election. Your speechwriters might see the Bush administration’s failings as nothing more than convenient fodder for your campaign blather, but the GOP junta’s sins don’t go away just because decrying them no longer serves your ambitions. Last week they were the imperialist pigs who misled us into war and you were the savior. Now we’re the goddamn Getalong Gang?! Screw that. Fight back or shut up.

Now, the rest of you ...

A lot of us effete Easterners want to know: what the fuck is wrong with you?! You voted against your self-interest at every turn (you dumb-asses in South Dakota deserve special credit for voting out one of the most powerful Democrats in the Senate) and re-elected an ignorant cowboy who can’t be trusted to remember a lunch order, never mind run a country. What in the name of God ...?! Wait, it was in the name of God, wasn’t it? Rendered weak and ignorant by a spoon-fed climate of fear, you slack-jawed inbred flatlanders have sought refuge in the traditional twin towers of mindlessness — jingoistic patriotism and fundamentalist religion. God’s on your side. Like hell. Jesus loves us, dammit.

Okay, you want God? Let’s talk about God. Your religion is bogus. Fundamentalism, the facile belief in the unexplained and un-researched, is something you born-agains (couldn’t get it right the first time, huh?) share with Al Qaeda, whose ideologues doggedly adhere to religious misinterpretations every bit as silly and dangerous as yours. Just like you, Muslim fundamentalists long to impose an unrealistic and intolerant pseudo-Calvinist morality on the world. In fact, America’s religious right has so much in common with the Shiah, it’s a wonder you guys don’t invite them to join the Rotary. Born-againsters look for the face of Christ in the wallpaper; fundamentalist Muslims hallucinate the voice of the 12th Imam; but aside from that (and extremely divergent attitudes toward pork), you both hate the same stuff — homosexuality, pacifism, Jews, education, uppity women, enlightenment, short skirts, gangsta rap, tattoos, infidels ... (They also share your love of super-lethal weaponry.)

Well, sorry to burst your holy bubble, Jesus freaks, but God did not create the world in seven days; that’s just ignorant. Like a lot of stuff in the Bible, it didn’t happen. And Moses looked more like Jeff Goldblum than like Charlton Heston. Jesus didn’t hunt; he fished. Jesus wouldn’t want you (or anyone else) to have an assault rifle. What would Jesus do if he met you? He’d ask you to stop ruining his hard-won good reputation. (Y’know the guy died to redeem your sorry ass; you might at least show a little respect for what he was really about.)

What else is bothering you self-destructive morons? What other overwhelmingly urgent issue caused you to vote yourselves into the retirement poorhouse and sacrifice the four freedoms? Gay marriage? Dig it. Right at this moment in your little picturesque insular East Silage-for-Brains, USA, there are gay and lesbian couples walking around — possibly even copulating. Really. It’s been going on around you all your lives, and you’ve never been hurt by it. Now, if these same couples were "married" in any legal sense, they’d still walk and copulate as usual and it still wouldn’t make any difference to you. You don’t like or understand homosexuality? Fine. Nobody’s asking your permission. But it’s not your problem. And hiding it won’t make it go away. Nor will persecuting gays change anybody’s sexual preference. So, to put it aptly, go fuck yourselves and leave other people alone.

Anything else? Education deform ... er reform. Some of you weren’t even born the first time when, in 1968, legendary secular-humanist prophet Frank Zappa wrote: "All your children are poor unfortunate victims of lies you believe. A plague upon your ignorance that keeps the young from the truth they deserve." We repeat, creationism is absurd. Yet in the name of protecting this ridiculous and irrelevant belief, you toothless crank-heads are willing to eschew all science and learning this side of Copernicus. (Or do you still think the sun orbits the earth?) The Bushies really are on your side here. Leaders like G.W. and (yes, it’s a fair comparison) Hitler rise to power by exploiting the support of the weak and stupid, so it’s in their interest to encourage weakness and stupidity. That’s where universal education becomes a threat. Education encourages creative thought. Creative thought empowers people. Fascists hate creative thought. So it’s incredibly convenient for the GOP that you folks actually want your kids to be dumb. Which is why the No Child Left Behind initiative you endorse has, in fact, done nothing! Happy? Perhaps ignorance really is bliss.

What else is on your hate-laden Limbaugh-laid table? Flag burning? It’s just cloth, guys. Sex ed? Heaven forbid your daughters learned the facts of life in time to prevent having to avoid an abortion.

Gun control? We said "control," not confiscation. And there are high-powered automatic weapons most civilians really do not need. Even moose tend to come at you one at a time. "But shooting’s fun!" you argue. "It’s a sport." Breaking windows and driving 100 miles an hour are fun, but they’re legally controlled activities. "But," you object, "how do I defend my family when the nigras and the Jews and the Communists from Harvard come on my property?" Right. Lock the gate; everybody covets your Tupperware and your chard. We’ll be right over.

Does it really bother you cornpone chuckleheads that "we" think you’re under-educated, culturally limited, and ignorant? Well, how about proving us wrong? For starters, get this straight: there were no weapons of mass destruction; the Iraqis did not attack the World Trade Center; lots of children (including many of yours) are left behind every day; the greenhouse effect is for real; and the Dixie Chicks were right. Pin down a few of those basics and then perhaps we’ll talk.

Am I being elitist here? Disrespectful of the dignity of the masses? I fuckin’ hope so, because 51 percent of the masses have had their say and it doesn’t make sense. Besides, when I think about people being tortured while they’re held without representation at Guantánamo and Iraqi families crawling out of the rubble of their own homes, I’m not too worried if I insult some Bible-sucking insurance salesman or a possum-breathed saw sharpener.

TOO HARSH? I know (because I’ve been so chided) that there are lots of good, right-thinking/left-leaning liberals out there who feel it’s my responsibility to "understand" you. These are good people; unlike you assholes, they voted the right way. But this is why in true progressive circles the word liberal attracts adjectives such as "wishy-washy," "self-serving," and "useless."

In its own well-intentioned way, liberalism is, when you think about it, almost as big a problem as fundamentalism is. See, as much as I disagree with you and am disgusted by the shallow and pathetic pawns you’ve become, I respect your potential. That’s why liberal Democrats can’t bring themselves to do what the Republicans do so well — cynically lie to you for selfish gain. (Do you really think Kerry would have banned the Bible?) We nice people actually expected reasoned arguments, logic, and incontrovertible evidence to convince you that Kerry was the better candidate. Turns out that the GOP’s double whammy of fear and loathing is a more powerful vote-getting tool.

Of course they, not we, laid the groundwork there. And that’s the real shocker you fly-over chicken-rubbers are going to realize just before the end (of freedom, that is; I don’t mean the Rapture, which is something else you believe in that’s not going to happen): you’ve been duped, and the Bushies are laughing at you behind your spineless backs right now. The Republicans don’t care about you; they just wanted your vote so they can stay in power and make their oil-and-blood-soaked cronies even richer. They’re going to send your job overseas and destroy Social Security. In the name of catching terrorists, they’re going to make sure you don’t read any interesting books or travel without permission. They’re going to toss you a minuscule tax cut in exchange for under-funding public education and social services, so there will be more poor people around to bother you. Perhaps you will become one of them.

They’re going to shower the pharmaceutical companies with excess profits while denying you life-saving medical attention. They’re going to let corporate conglomerates fill the air you breath with carcinogens while they discourage clean-energy research. They’re going to insist the ozone layer’s okay until y’all bake your little red asses off. They’re going to alienate the rest of the Western world and any portion of the Eastern world that isn’t willing to supply Wal-Mart with cheap labor. They’re going to throw more Saddam-esque bogeymen in your face while tacitly supporting Saudi terrorists and ignoring nuclear-armed Korean dictators. They’re going to rig the system so that even you law-abiding yahoos won’t be able to get a fair trial. And worst of all, they’re going to dehumanize your children and send them off to kill or be killed in the name of oil profits.

And you bought into it all because you’re afraid. And you’re afraid because they scared you. And it was all so unnecessary. You don’t have to be frightened. You (okay, most of you) aren’t really stupid or helpless. I know you at your worst and best. I grew up with you; I shared outdoor plumbing with you; I complimented the dead deer hanging on your front porches. You can open your minds and accept or reject things on their merits instead of on their reputations in small-minded circles. You can think for yourselves.

And some day, you might figure that out. Meanwhile, you deserve what we all got thanks to you, you bastards.

Copyright November 12-18, 2004, The Portland Phoenix

I Recommend...

"Never in human history have such genocide and cruelty been witnessed. Such a genocide was never seen in the time of the pharaohs nor of Hitler nor of Mussolini." - Mehmet Elkatmi, head of Turkish parliament's human rights commission on Bush's atrocities in the Iraq war.
The preceding quote was borrowed from Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green. Although I post a lot of links, a site has to be really special for me to lend it full endorsement. This one is great! Check out his pages about politics and religion, and of course, don't forget to visit the page revealing that Bush is gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Maybe when he was serving valiantly in the Texas air national guard he was accidentally hit with one of these.

History Repeats Itself

Here we have an example of "Christian" aid workers trying to force Indian refugees to convert to Christianity, telling the disaster victims that they cannot receive aid unless they do so. At first glance, this is yet another example of an organized religion attempting to destroy another culture to appease their god. But, it is also an ironic example of history repeating itself. We all know the story, "In fourteen-hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue," and encountered who he thought were Indians. Among the evils committed against them was the enforcement of Christian religion. Now, another group of Indians, this time the real ones, is faced with the same evil message: "repent, and ye shall be saved (refuse us, and you may die)." Christianity hasn't changed much over the centuries... so you would think that, if they believe in hell, they would stop doing this sort of thing.

Political Capital

Bush thinks that the results of the 2004 election justify his administration's policies of death and destruction.

No, they don't.

First of all, he was not "re-elected." 2004 was the first election he won. In 2000 he was installed by the supreme court after he sued to force Florida to stop counting the votes (the opposite of democracy). And in 2004, the jury is still out about whether he would win in a fair election, since that one, like 2000, was subject to rampant corruption. Even with that, he only won by the slimmest margin since Woodrow Wilson. In my humble opinion, a "mandate from the people" would be evidenced by the results of the popular vote, which Bush only "won" by 1%. 1%! That is not a mandate. He is delusional, or lying, or stupid, or all three. It doesn't much matter which.

By the way, dig the uniform he wears in the photo. What other national leaders wear military-style uniforms like that? Let's, see there was Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Muammar Kaddafi... too many to count, really, from all over the globe and throughout history. They all enjoyed dressing up like soldiers for various reasons which are better left to Freudian analysis. In any case, he can certainly be judged by the company he keeps.

Bush's Lies, part 2

The right-wing media and blogs are still going on and on and on about Dan Rather (after all, it's the only thing they've been able to come up with besides blaming everything on Clinton), saying his head should roll, in spite of the fact that the republicans were bribing a journalist at the same time (hypocrites!). Let us not forget how the Bush administration rewards corruption.

One More Thing About Social Security Priviatization

It hasn't worked very well for England either, apparently.

Hokey Smokes, Bullwinkle!

This stuff is all at once amazing, ridiculous, horrific, disgusting, and, well, typical. 1, 2. Now is it obvious why I am in favor of separation of church and state?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Bush Finally Admits He's A Liar

Well, well. So Bush actually has to admit, finally, that he is a liar (read the story here or here).

And, once again demonstrating behavior indicative of an under-developed, immature mind, he says in an interview, "I felt like we'd find weapons of mass destruction."

He felt like it?

He claimed that he had irrefutable evidence. Absolute proof! He even told a Polish interviewer that they actually found the WMD's!

Like a spoiled adolescent.

"George, why did you do this horrible thing?"

"Because I felt like it!"

Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children. Dead. Maimed. Limbs blown off, flesh burned off, skulls laid open, because George Bush felt like it.

Whole cities laid waste, homes demolished, because George Bush felt like it.

People thrown into prisons for life, without ever hearing the charges against them or given a chance to defend themselves, because George Bush felt like it.

Prisoners of war tortured as if their captors were members of the Nazi SS, because George Bush felt like it.

American soldiers, young men and women, killed, maimed, murdered, because George Bush felt like it.

A soaring economy and a budget surplus reduced to a the biggest deficit in the nation's history, because George Bush felt like it.

America's honor and reputation destroyed, reduced to hatred in the eyes of the world, because George Bush felt like it.

Click here (warning: graphic) to behold the result of the Bush administration's bloodlust, the fruit of the "moral values" vote. And in case they try to claim they were "just following orders," the guilt is shared by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Ashcroft, Blair, the people in congress of both parties who supported the war, and all who voted for them. The blood is on their hands.

A Ray of Hope

In past blogs I have compared the republicans to the mighty dinosaurs who dominated the planet, and the democrats to the tiny mammals that managed to survive in their midst. Now, we discover that
mammals were eating dinosaurs, too.

Neocons, beware. We progressives have evolution on our side.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Bush Says, "Get To Work, Grandma!"

From MoveOn:

Social Security provides monthly benefits to some 44 million Americans who are retired, disabled or the survivor of a deceased parent. It provides most of the income for older Americans--some 64 percent of their support. It has lifted generations of seniors out of poverty.

Social Security is not in crisis. That is an outright lie perpetrated in order to create the urgency for radical changes. Under conservative forecasts, the long-term challenges in Social Security do not manifest themselves until 2042. Even then Social Security has 70 percent of needed funds. That shortfall is smaller than the amount needed in 1983, the last time we overhauled Social Security. George Bush's Social Security crisis-talk is an effort to create a specter of doom -- just like the weapons of mass destruction claim in Iraq.

Phasing out Social Security and replacing it with privatized accounts means one thing: massive cuts in monthly benefits for everybody. Social Security privatization requires diverting taxes used to pay current benefits into privatized accounts invested in risky stocks. Without that money Social Security benefits will inevitably be cut - some proposals even cut benefits of current retirees. These benefit cuts are inevitable, since diverting Social Security money into privatized accounts means less money to pay current and future benefits.

Every serious privatization proposal raises the Social Security retirement age to 70. That might be fine if you're a Washington special interest lobbyist but it is incredibly unfair to blue-collar Americans with tough, physical jobs, or for African Americans and Latinos with lower life expectancies.

Privatization means gambling with your retirement security. There is probably an appropriate place for a little stock market risk in retirement planning -- but it isn't Social Security. Privatization exposes your entire retirement portfolio to stock market risks -- and the risk that you'll outlive any of your savings at retirement. You can't outlive your Social Security benefit.

So who does benefit? Wall Street. Giant financial services firms have been salivating for decades over the prospect of taking over Social Security. Wall Street would make billions of dollars in profit by managing the privatized accounts -- money that would come directly from your benefits.

Action is urgently needed today. President Bush and Republican leaders in Congress are joining forces with the financial services industry for a major campaign to convince the public there is a major crisis and pressure members of Congress to vote for privatization. Action is needed now before it is too late. Please sign MoveOn’s petition to protect Social Security at the link below.

Sunday, January 9, 2005

GOP Values

Lovely. Just lovely. The Pentagon may put Special-Forces-led assassination or kidnapping teams in Iraq.

Assassination. Kidnapping. Vile, loathsome hypocrisy, thy name is Bush!

Those are the "moral values" that won the last election. Those are the values of the republican party. Those are the values of the so-called "Christian right." Those are the values of the "red states." They're red alright... with blood.

If the Bush-Cheney government does this, it is no better than that of Saddam Hussein, or any other murderous dictator.

The gates of hell are flung open waiting for the Bush-Cheney administration to return home.

See this story also.

Hope (as in, "don't give up...")

I know this is two-and-a-half years old now, but the truth is eternal. Liberal Pride. I've been looking for things lately to give me hope. This does.

Give 'Em Hell, Harry-O

In light of my last post, "Hi-Ho Kerry-O," wherein I bemoan the current state of the democratic party, I want to remind people of what the democrats once were, and could be again. Check out this speech by President Harry S. Truman.

You see, the republicans gave us the horror of the Great Depression, pandered to the rich, and profiteered from war... sound familiar? And don't forget where a lot of the Bush fortune came from 1, 2.

Moreover, the democrats not only gave us the things which made life bearable following the republicans' economic debacle, but the republicans have somehow managed to convince millions of people that anything good the democrats achieved was actually created by republicans, and anything bad the republicans did was the fault of democrats. Again... sound familiar?

Harry Truman gave the republicans hell in the 1940's (actually, he said that he didn't give them hell, he just told them the truth and they thought it was hell). Now the republicans have given us hell, in the form of perpetual warfare, attacks against our society, lies, deception, corruption, more lies... but we don't have to live in the neocon hell that the republicans would have us live in.

Democratic party... where are you?

Thursday, January 6, 2005

Hi-Ho Kerry-o

Many Kerry supporters have by now received the emailed "letter from John Kerry." I did, too. All of the responses to it that I have read (at other sites, etc.) have been the same: those who received the letter are very unhappy. The letter was a disgusting reminder of Kerry's betrayal of his supporters in 2004, when he conceded the election when there were still hundreds of thousands of votes to count. Not only that, the letter rubbed salt in the wound by stating that Kerry would not support efforts to protest the election results or the voting irregularities.

Many supporters gave so much to this campaign... our time, our money, our loyalty, our faith, and our precious vote. We gave our all for democracy. We united to defeat the most dangerous, anti-American political power in America's history. We even overlooked one mistake after another made by Kerry, in the hopes that he knew what he was doing, as if he had some sort of strategy that involved saying stupid things and not fighting back against the republicans. Yeah, he had a plan alright... to lose the election. Skull and Bones my ass.

All this we gave, and what did we get in return? A political knife in the back.

And another thing about this: I spent the larger part of the election year living in a neighborhood full of idiot right-wingers... the kind who are ignorant, hypocritical, racist, misogynist, xenophoic, mindless drones of their limbaugh-hannity-coulter-ad nauseum neocon elite. It is absolutely MORTIFYING to face these idiots and admit that they were right about Kerry all along. And furthermore, now that Kerry has justified the republicans' characterization of him (and indirectly, of us), the democrats are saddled with a reputation of complete political ineptitude that will follow them, possibly, forever.

Kerry and the democrats have disgraced us all. Worse, they have handed America over to the neocons, the most wretchedly evil presence in American history. Goodbye, democracy. Hello, corporate plutocracy. Goodbye, civil rights. Hello, "Christian" Taliban.

Has the democratic party forsaken us? I don't know. I hope not. If JK represented the democratic party, then it has. John Edwards seemed to be sadly out of the loop regarding the concession. Maybe the democratic party, like the republicans, is led by a few power brokers who operate independently of the party's constituents. If that's the case, then the democratic party is in DIRE need of repair. If they are simply going to cave in and concede on every issue, if they refuse to run winning candidates in elections, then quite frankly, they're finished.

Hear me, brothers and sisters: the vote was the only thing we had to enforce democracy. Without the vote, democracy does not exist. Democracy in America was in a coma for four years. It died November 2004.

Thanks a lot for the letter, Mr. Kerry. Crumple it up and stuff it into the empty space where your heart or your brain used to be.

Sunday, January 2, 2005

What Am I?

To begin the New Year, I have decided to define my beliefs so that this blog will make a little more sense.

When a response to one of my previous posts resulted in a bit of a debate, the commenter described as a moderate liberal. This inspired me to think about where I might land on the dartboard of political ideology.

For years I have called myself a political pluralist, a term defined by myself and for myself as one who reviews political ideas from all political ideologies and tries to choose the best of the lot. I chose this path because I figured almost every political ideology must have benefited someone, somehow, or it would not have gained support in the first place. Obviously, some of them only benefited the tyrants at the top of their political food chain, so I tossed those right out. The rest I explored.

I always used to register to vote as “independent.” I always believed that the two major political parties in America were hopelessly corrupt. I also believed that partisan politics in America caused more harm than good. Politicians placed their parties’ interests ahead of their constituents’. Senators, representatives, judges, and presidents were loyal only to their campaign contributors. None of them showed any concern for the ordinary citizen, except when they were pandering for votes prior to an election. Otherwise, they were political whores, bought and paid-for by lobbyists and contributors.

So, for most of my voting life, I was like so many others who loosely defined themselves as socially liberal and fiscally responsible, yet avoiding the term “moderate” because right-wing media pundits had successfully redefined the word as “indecisive.” In America, if you weren’t a snarling, hate-based extremist, you were considered wishy-washy.

Then came the 2000 election, when we witnessed the end of our voting rights and the beginning of the republican party’s audacious new policies of voter fraud, vote suppression, voter disenfranchisement, etc.* Our most precious right as Americans was taken away from us by the republican party, to feed their ravenous bloodlust for money and power.

In disbelief and denial, I hoped it was an aberration that would be corrected by the politicians whom I, in my optimism, thought would fight to preserve the one thing that was not only most precious to Americans, but also of utmost importance to them. I was wrong. They allowed it to happen again in 2004, only worse, because they weren’t taken by surprise. They failed us.

If you have perused my blog, you know that I was pro-Kerry and anti-Bush for the 2004 presidential election. During 2004, I became more supportive of the democratic party than ever before, for various reasons, not the least of which was that those of us whose goal was to remove the neocon regime from the presidency, needed to present a unified front to achieve success. Am I a democrat? I registered as one in 2004. But if I review the available options here, then who knows? Maybe my values are more in line with the Greens.

Here are a few things I believe:

Government of some form is necessary, because people, in general, are not yet capable of living in harmony without it. However, too much government is a bad thing. Government should be a tool used by us to better our lives, not a tool used by corporate interests to increase their profits by controlling us.

There are some things which, when available, benefit all of mankind; and the unavailability of which is detrimental to all of mankind. These things should be made available to all, provided by society for the common good, again, to benefit us all. The ones that are not yet provided, but should be, include healthcare, education, and electrical power. Just like the other things taxes provide (paved roads, police & fire protection, military, etc.), these are essential, and all our lives are improved if we all have access to these things.

I believe in free enterprise, but I am passionately opposed to oppression or exploitation of workers by their employers.

I am opposed to the death penalty, as a rule, although I do not begrudge anyone’s right to kill themselves.

I am pro-choice, and I think it is folly when anti-choice people define pro-choice people as “pro-abortion.” Pro-choice supporters do not favor abortion, they simply are aware of real-life situations where difficult choices must be made. They also do not want to be subject to laws based on someone else’s religion.

I believe everyone has the right to their own religious beliefs, but not the right to impose those beliefs on others. Religious fundamentalists who wish to impose their belifs on the rest of us remain one of the greatest threats to our civil liberties.

I believe in complete separation of church and state. I agree with the founders of our nation that America is NOT a christian nation, nor was it ever intended to be one.

I am a pacifist. I believe that war is wrong, violence is wrong, aggression is wrong. They are the tools of immature minds. Similarly, I believe that lying and stealing are also wrong. So… lying, stealing, hurting, and killing: wrong.

I was opposed to the Iraq war from the beginning, and I still am. I believe it is partly a propaganda tool employed by the Bush regime to gain popular support for their Hitlerian expansionist agenda. It will not end as long as they are in power. They gain popular support through perpetual warfare. They unashamedly seek to overthrow other countries and gain control of their resources. The Bush regime and their associates will kill and maim many thousands to achieve their goals of power, corporate profit, and political control.

I believe the United Nations is a good thing. It is comprised of humans and they might make mistakes, but an organization of the world's nations designed to cooperate with, and help, each other, is worth having.

I believe that people should be able to freely travel between countries, crossing borders without restriction and staying as long as they want to.

I believe that animals do have rights.

I believe teachers are underpaid, or at least undervalued, in America.

I believe the "liberal media" is a myth perpetuated by right-wing paranoids who want to control everything and will whine until they achieve it.

I believe the right-wing panders to lowbrow demographics by perpetuating tried-and-true predjudices against what they call "the elite" ("intellectuals," college professors, lawyers, etc.), while the republican party is, in reality, the party of the elite.

I believe that, for years, people said that the world was going to hell in a hand basket, and now we can justifiably ask ourselves, “are we there yet?”

I believe that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and their partners in crime are collectively the biggest assholes on the planet. And that’s saying a lot.

(this list will grow as we think of more stuff!)

So what have I learned? Which one of these am I?

I am what I am!

* Gore won, and Bush lost in 2000: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7