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Folks- while in times past I've been prone
to slip into hyperbole and verbosity in my posts, I must
keep my comments about the election of Barack Obama simple.
Why? Because one thing that struck me, as
I watched the celebrations on tuesday night, I was struck
with the diversity of emotion- cheering, dancing, tears
of joy shed openly and freely.
That moment meant something intensely personal,
to everyone who watched it. It was a moment that will be
remembered as one of the great turning points in western
There is nothing that I could add to that
moment that would do anything, aside from clutter it.
Obama, as he has often reminded us, will not
be a perfect president, but after eight years of the most
incompetent and avaricious presidency in modern times, it
is inevitable that he will be a vast improvement.
I just enjoyed turning on my television, and
seeing videos of people all over the world waving american
flags in celebration, instead of burning them out of spite.
As to the future- who knows? The republican
party is in disarray, and seeking to redefine itself. Fortunately,
the strongest faction, and the one most determined and organized
to seize control, is the "christian" conservative
base who sincerely believe their defeat was a result of
not being far enough to the extreme right. We can look forward
to the Sarah Palin camp leading the sheep through the wilderness,
for years to come.
As for Bushflash- it will go down, two weeks
after Obama is sworn in. I'm going to go back to being a
concerned citizen who is active locally, and leave this
blogging stuff to those folks who can understand CMS. I
am considering selling the domain on EBAY- we'll see...
Thanks again to all of those who kept the
flame going, over the past five years.
WE MADE IT!!!!!!
Two weeks after the inauguration of President-Elect Obama,
Bushflash.com will go down, as a site. However, for those
two weeks, prior to the sale of the domain, the entirety of
this site will be available for download as a self-contained
archive. Check back on January 20th!
Obama draws 100K in St. Louis- I've never
seen anything like this...
Folks- just a short missive (I've been ill
and indisposed, as of late...)
Quite a lot has happened, since last I posted,
and well- what a difference a month makes.
All I shall say about the economic crisis
is that hopefully, at long last, we might begin to stuff
Reagan's insane legacy of social
Darwinism into a coffin. It's a damned shame that so much
borrowed chinese money hadda go into saving our economic
skin, but hell- that's just another facet of the glory of
the Bush Administration.
It was a given that Bush was gonna screw everything
up horribly since day one - it's just a wonder that it's
taken this long for the economy to tank.
Now, before I write a word about the Obama
campaign, I just wanna remark about McCain's campaign.
It is dying.
The candidate is forced into walking a tightrope,
trying to be all things to all people, but handling it so
inelegantly that he appears to be suffering from a mild
schizophrenia. Meanwhile, the campaign resorts to the ugliest
tactics in actions that bring shame unto the ticket. The
running mate has, in a few short months, turned from feminist
icon, to an object of national and international hilarity
and disdain, to a long-since lame joke.
This republican ticket is having to play defense
in Mississippi, Missouri, Indiana, and even North Dakota.
It is being outspent three to one, and moderate republicans
are rejecting its divisive tone and reckless behavior.
What has been most remarkable to witness is
the devolution of the Bush "Base" from marginally
human to a pack of neanderthals.
Cue the freak show!
Now, I do admit that this news report was
carefully edited to remove any of McCain's few sane, rational
supporters. It has been one of Glenn "Goebbels"
Beck's favorite routines, in recent months, to sit astride
his desk, ringing a brass bell whilst spending hours repeating
"Voting against Obama isn't racist!"
All the while clad only in his Mormon underpants,
with the words "I'm Not Racist" spelled out in
watermellon chunks secured to his chest by safety pins.
Indeed, a lot of people are steadfastly supportive
of McCain, not because they're racist, but because they're
Please take two hours to listen to the most
informative talk radio experience of your lives- click here,
and listen. This is stupidity that verges on Zen.
(Oh- they just updated with a new
show- haven't listened yet, but I'm sure it rocks!)
But hey, I do know there are people who support
McCain, not because they are racist, nor are they stupid,
because I forgot to mention the clinically insane:
You might dismiss these people as the crazies,
but in recent days, the McCain machine has started to cater
to these, the most destructive and insane personalities
and impulses within our american psyche.
Am I saying that anyone who is voting for
McCain/Palin is stupid, racist, or insane?
Yes- yes, I am. Allow the following pie chart
to spell it out for you:
In recent days,
I have been getting e-mails and chats from McCain/Palin
voters- they feel the above assessment is simplistic, and
Normally, I would
say "Tough Break..."
However, in the
final week of the campaign, I would like to end on a high
note- let it never be said that I'm not fair.
By every objective
assessment, George W. Bush will be looked back upon for
generations as the worst president in our nation's history.
His presidency has been nothing short of disastrous- militarily,
economically, diplomatically, and in every other way one
might wish to gauge the success of an elected official,
he has failed. The damage he has wrought upon our country
will take generations to fix.
Even those who voted
for him twice are finding it hard to defend him, and it's
no surprise- owning one's mistakes is a hard thing to do-
it's a tough hit to one's pride.
Looking back upon
these last eight years, we find ourselves facing a choice.
In but a week, we will be casting our votes in what is undoubtedly
the most important election in our lifetimes.
If you can look
back upon the Bush administration, and believe that voting
for an individual that has sided with Bush 90% of the time,
backed up by a walking object of worldwide ridicule that
believes that dinosaurs walked the earth four thousand years
ago and boasts
a hefty IQ of 83 is the best way forward, then there
can be only two options:
1: There is something
fundamentally unsound with your thought processes- it might
not be full-blown insanity, but a trip to your local psych
ward might be in order.
2: You are willfully
ignoring what is plainly in front of your eyes, (the textbook
definition of "Ignorant,") and unable to understand
that a certain state of affairs has resulted (or can result)
from one's past actions (the textbook definition of "Reckless.")
Perhaps "Stupid" was a strong word, but it was
easier to type.
Now- finally, I
will entertain the idea that there are people that are voting
for McCain/Palin because they have too much of a fundamental
disagreement with the policies put forward by the democratic
party, at this time.
The problem there,
is that the last eight years have been a judgement on the
conservative movement, as it now exists. The Bush administration
has been the most ideologically conservative government
that we've had in the modern age, and it has failed- why?
Because the conservative
movement, a movement that has been for decades defined and
honed under the guidance of minds that even I, as a liberal,
must admit are among the most audacious and intriguing,
has been hijacked.
Where once stood
studious and cautious philosophers such as William F. Buckley,
Leo Strauss, and Ayn Rand, now stand guttersnipes of the
most base description: Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, William
Kristol, and Sarah Palin. In these reckless hands "Conservatism"
has been warped into something that would be alien even
To paraphrase the
late Bill Buckley:
"It is time
for the right in america to lose gracefully, go out into
the wilderness, and heal."
George W. Bush has
severely crippled the conservative movement- a McCain/Palin
administration will destroy it.
I hope that clears
I will admit that it looks good for Obama/Biden,
but the problem is, while there are only 14 more days, that
is an eternity in politics.
There are a thousand and one things that could
change this race, overnight, and the result is far from
In recent days, the gap in the polls between
McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden has shrunk perceptively. While
such shrinkage is being hailed by the dwindling republican
base as evidence of a last-minute turnaround, they are simply
grasping at straws.
In the final weeks of each and every election,
the race tightens. It happened with Dukakis in '88, Mondale
in '84, and just about every other election one wishes to
That doesn't mean that one should simply sit
back and assume that Obama has it in the bag. There are
still Diebold machines out there, crooked election officials,
minority intimidation at the polls, and republican operatives
at every polling station that will challenge the vote of
anyone they deem suspect of being left of center. This election
will be VERY tight- within the margin of a few percentage
points, and it's important that that we do everything we
can to make sure that we're not condemned to another four
years of republican misrule, by virtue of the same dirty
tricks that gave us the last eight.
Now, let me be clear, in this last posting
before the election:
Barack is far from being the perfect
candidate for me, personally. As odd as this might
sound to drinkers of the republican Kool-Aid, Barack is
actually to the right of myself, and a majority of the democratic
base. His votes to confirm the maniacal Alberto Gonzales
and the utterly incompetent Condoleeza Rice still gall me,
to this day.
On fiscal policy, he's far from the "socialist"
that he has been painted by the McCain campaign. If you
want to vote for a true socialist, I suggest voting for
or writing in Ralph Nader,
or Brian Moore.
I, myself, am an unapologetic socialist. There
was a time at which the richest amongst us paid 90 cents
on a dollar in income taxes, and they still lived quite
comfortably and prosperously, thank you very much.
Whenever taxes have been reduced for the rich,
taxes for the rest of us have gone up, and social programs
that benefit the least among us have been slashed.
The result has been a shrinking upper class
that has it all, a shrinking middle class that's struggling
to keep their heads above water, and a vast underclass that
is struggling to just survive.
Obama does not offer the radical change that
is required to fix things, but he's willing to take a broad
step in the right direction.
On foreign policy, I have my differences with
Obama. I don't enjoy seeing him cozying up to the neocons
over at AIPAC. However, his stated intention to open up
diplomatic dialogue with nations that have hence been excluded
from our diplomatic roster on account of the childish "I
don't wanna play with you no more" policy of the Bush
administration is wonderful, and refreshing. We've stood
apart from the rest of the world for far too long.
I'm sick of being a country that's reviled
around the world, and electing Barack (yes!) Hussein Obama
as president of our country would send a signal to the world
that we're not the close-minded, insular, provincial assholes
that the Bush administration has painted us as.
He will not end the war in Iraq as swiftly
as I would prefer, but his 16-month withdrawal is far more
preferable to McCain's open-ended occupation.
I could write a book about other reasons why
I am voting for Barack Obama, but I shall simply leave it
at the following:
I believe that Barack Obama has the potential
to be, in what has long since become a hackneyed expression,
a truly transformational leader. Unlike any other presidential
contender in my lifetime, he has inspired and motivated
people in ways that defy description. He is sharply intelligent,
eloquent, and has shown magnificent executive experience
in running the most aggressive, comprehensive, and vast
presidential campaign in our nation's history.
And above all- his call to national service-
his insistence that his campaign was not about him, but
about us, has struck so close to home, for me.
The conservative/republican ideology is all
about looking after number one, and letting those who fall
short of their twisted interpretation of "christianity,"
and their downright perverse social darwinism fall by the
It is long past time that we wake the hell
up and realize that our nation- our people- are very much
like the proverbial chain that is as strong as its weakest
The republicans, for the past eight years,
have told us that it is our sacred common duty to not give
a crap about one another, and when a national crisis arises,
our only duty is to go out and spend money at the local
We're a better country than that- we're a
better people than that- and that's why we need to elect
Barack Obama as the next president of the United States
It's time to feel proud, again.
I shall see you all on election night- let's
continue to fight for victory.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2008
An open letter to the Obama campaign...
Note: I'm writing this on the evening of the 15th, as the shockwaves are still reverberating in the wake of today's stock market plunge, and the continiung bank collapses/buyouts. It is likely that this will fundamentally change the nature of the political race, and much of what follows will be rendered moot. Nonetheless, I feel the need to add my tiny voice to the chorus that has been building...)
Heya, guys- big fan, here...
I make it a point to be a booster for "my guy" in the race, and while sitting on the sideline and playing cheerleader is fun, it's only one part of the duty. I voted for ya, gave you money, and spent a lot of time talking to people, convincing them to support you.
I feel as if I own a part of this campaign- a very small part to you, but it's big, for me.
And I value that which I have too much to see you piss it all away.
Now- don't get me wrong. I'm not one of the bedwetters that are running around, declaring the race already over. I know you have more money than McCain- so much so that you could go a whole month without raising a dime, and still be able to out-spend the guy. You have more offices in just about every state, and a ground army of staff and volunteers that is well up to the task of deflecting the resurgent religious right. McCain's one-to-two-point lead in the polls is within the margin of error, and there's yet to be a single debate.
We've got fifty days left, and the "Palin Bounce" will be gone, by next week.
However, all of that being said, I just wanted to say:
Your performance since the republican convention has been ABYSMAL.
I hope, by now, that you've woken up to the fact that you're being swiftboated. For a good week, it looked like you guys had no idea what was going on, and I wonder- were any of you aware of what "swiftboating" IS?
I have had the displeasure of watching Karl Rove speak at a number of events on C-Span, and every time, he always amends his statements with an aside:
"We'll talk more about this, when the media leaves."
He says it not out of malice, as one would expect from a republican (being so enamoured with their "liberal media bias" myth.) Rather, it's in the manner of a corporate CEO wishing to keep his business plan under wraps.
Rove doesn't want the media to know: he LOVES them, because he knows how to play them like a violin.
Swiftboating is lowering the signal-to-noise ratio to the point that no rational conversation takes place, and Rove knows just the kinds of noise that the media loves to toy with.
Even before the media spent 48 straight hours talking about lipsticks and pigs, the McCain camp was tossing out so much nonsense, that you couldn't turn on a newscast without seeing one of McCain's outrageous, dishonest, and outright FALSE television advertisements being shown in full, and reported on as if they were REAL NEWS.
Every day, a new ad, a new falsehood, a new claim of victimhood by a republican party which has suddenly discovered the novel concept of "sexism," and was weilding it with a careless and unthinking abandon of a six-year-old boy with a watering hose turned up to full.
It was at this time that the polls started pulling even. I saw Barack on Olbermann, and I must confess:
When pressed about what action he would take in response to these relentless and unfounded attacks, he seemed genuinely confused. He could only state some rote campaign boilerplate about "Trusting the american people to see through it all, and make an informed judgement, come election day."
Guys, Barack- that strategy didn't work in 2004, and that strategy is the one thing that has the potential to sink a campaign that was, and still can be, invincible.
Obviously, the subsequent 48 hours of useless chatter about pigs and lipstick was a wakeup call, because last friday, I saw Barack get up and finally take the offensive, and use the word "Lie" to describe McCain's attacks. Then, Biden stood up, and took off the gloves. Today, the campaign seems to back on the rails, and is coming out, swinging.
But all of that is simply a good start.
The economy is in the toilet, both wars are still going badly, and costing us 10 billion a month. Poverty and unemployment are skyrocketing, banks are collasping, millions are losing their homes, we're in debt to the chinese up to our gills, and all around, there isn't a single thing that bodes well for the republicans...
However, up until now, the "trusting the american people to make the right choice" has put McCain neck-in-neck with Barack.
Because a sizeable portion of the american people believe what they see on TV, and when they're given a steady diet of McCain BS, for long enough, they'll buy it. The only way to distract the media that is supplying this steady diet of partisain horseplop is to go on the offensive.
Oh, and by the way, guys- "Going on the Offensive" doesn't mean "Going Negative." There is no reason why Obama can't keep to the high road, while at the same time simply and forcefully stating the truth.
And in the wake of today's disaster, the media is now actually listening to you, instead of whining about the latest manufactured distraction...
Don't waste this chance.
SEPTEMBER 3, 2008
YOU'VE GOTTA BE KIDDING ME...
I must admit- I spent all weekend laughing my posterior off. If you've been following the headlines, you know why...
Last week, when I predicted that McCain would choose another Dan Quayle- another unknown hailing from some red state backwater- I had no idea that McCain's team read this site, much less that they would take my suggestion to heart.
And what a choice they made- dangerously unqualified, shallow as a gravy boat, and so right-wing that she makes Tom DeLay look like Abbie Hoffman.
The hail of disclosures over the past 72 hours have been wonderful to behold. I've not seen a national candidate so universally derided since David Duke ran for president, back in '88.
However- my joy at the developments over the past few days has been tempered by what I've been hearing from the darker regions of the republican party.
You know the place of which I speak- the dark, feces-encrusted ideological corners in which the likes of James Dobson, Gary Bauer, and Ralph Reed dry-hump each other in paroxysms of self-righteousness. A place of trailer parks, mega-churches, and WASPy communities that shut themselves away from a century that they are too lazy, or too unwilling to understand.
They claim to be the "heartland," but in reality, they are the last remnants of a skin that this country has long outgrown, but has been unable to shed.
I speak of course, of the amorphous "christian" right that, through their electoral choices of the past generation, have caused untold damage to our country, our people, and to you and I.
In reality, these people are about as Christian as I am a Scientologist. If Christ were alive today, He would weep over the travesties that these worms have committed in His name, and tell them to "Depart from me- I never knew you!"
Regardless, in these dark recesses of the american psyche, there has been an unending collective moan of unbridled ecstasy over Palin, and I must admit- that frightens the hell out of me.
These, after all, are the people who gave us two terms of Bush Junior, and the shameful travesties of Rick Santorum, Tom DeLay, and Bill Frist. Until now, it has been the consensus that it was very likely that a goodly percentage of them would stay home this election day. They didn't like McCain one bit, despite the endorsement of many "christian" evangelical leaders.
However, Palin has brought this misbegotten corner of the electorate home to the GOP- and ya wanna know why?
If you and I go to McCain's website, we see this:
When the Religious Right extremists see the same picture- they see this:
Seriously- I've been listening to "Focus On The Family," "News and Views," and other evangelical outlets, and I've heard nothing- NOT ONE WORD, about Palin, herself. All I've heard is "Guns," and "Her daughter's unborn child."
Never mind any other item, policy, perspective, issue, or concept- it was 100% "Guns," and "Her daughter's unborn child." To these cretins, she's but a mere flesh shell into which they have invested these two incongruous concepts.
(Oh- and before you ask- no- they didn't breathe one word about the irony of Palin's "abstinence-only" sex-ed position, in relation to her daughter's situation- these folks are quite adept at doublethink.)
In the name of these two things- guns, and an unborn baby (a child that they would have certainly condemned as a hallmark of irresponsibility, had it been in the womb of a poorer or darker-skinned woman,) they have flocked to the Palin banner (with only a passing afterthought to McCain,) and are girded for battle.
Regardless of all of this, my concern about this turn of events is somewhat softened by a few facts:
1: The "christian" right was looking for an excuse- any excuse- to flock to the McCain banner. Eventually, they would have, even if he had chosen George Clooney as his running mate. They are quite adept at compromising their most closely-held beliefs, when it comes to politics. Their shift to McCain is a fait accompli.
2: While Palin will bring the "christian" right to heel, her selection is failing to sway the largest voting demographic in this country- women. They ain't buying this token appointment, and most of the women I've spoken with consider her selection as an insult.
3: This republican convention is turning into an extremist echo of the 92 convention- a show that was so far-right that it scared millions of voters away from the republican party. They have purged all of the moderate speakers, in favor of the likes of Fred Thompson.
4: There are two more months, and Obama has more money, more volunteers, more offices in more states, is still leading in the polls, and has never dipped below 270 electoral votes in any comprehensive electoral forecast.
5: The majority of the american public considers the "christian" right that is in such a tizzy about Palin to be as palatable as dog turds on rye- the extreme right's allegiance to this ticket will be a net loss, come election day.
But that doesn't mean we should retreat into the comfortable certainty that we have enjoyed, and rest upon our laurels.
Again, check out if there's an event in your area. If there isn't an event in your area, start one. If you don't have the time to do so, give a few bucks to the campaign. If you haven't the bucks, or the time, talk to your friends, and family.
Get active, and keep fighting- we have two months left, and the stakes couldn't be any higher.
AUGUST 29, 2008
"America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this."
I know I promised ya'll a full commentary when Obama got the formal nod, but a shorter summation will have to suffice, for this eve...
There exist two kinds of people in the american political landscape, today:
On one hand, we have those few schizophrenic holdouts who, even at this late hour, consider the works of the republican party, and see them as good. They blandly dismiss the daily failures that we have seen over the past eight years as mild distractions of a greater good that has still yet to manifest itself, outside of their twisted intentions.
They see thousands reduced to poverty, and blame the victims left behind. They see a city drowned, and fail to find fault, outside of those who were left to die in muddy waters. They watch a million Iraqis die, and dismiss it as collatoral damage. They see a handful of billionaires grow rich, while 90% of our people grow poorer, and laud it as a triumph of capitalism. They consider tens of millions of americans without health isurance, and dismiss them as "lazy."
To those few holdouts, whose labors are few, and whose vision is limited, and whose soul has found refuge in the most narcisistic and self-obsessed recesses of their painfully limited imaginations, nothing of significance happened, tonight.
I cannot ever say a word that could serve as a magic missile that would hope to puncture the bubble of self-delusion that has become the refuge for these poor souls, so I shan't even bother.
On the other hand, we have the rest of us: The family that has seen their loved ones off to the unforgiving sands of iraq, hoping that they will soon return. The mother and father that has had a harder and harder time paying the bills, and wonder if they can afford health insurance. The people who are still residing in shoddy trailers in lots dotting the oft-forgotten ruins of New Orleans. The child who has been left behind in a perverted travesty that has been wrought upon our educational system. An elderly american who cannot afford the medication that they need to keep breathing for another month, and millions of every age, worldwide, who desperately look to our country for an example, and a single gesture that we care about them.
To them, and to me, and to all of us, tonight was a historic moment.
I'm not gonna be like many of those who have commented tonight, and profess to shedding tears. For once in my life, I'm done with that.
When I watched Obama's speech, my sentimentality was tempered by something that I had not felt for eight long years:
Pride, and what's more- courage.
And when I speak of courage, I want to address those out there who are wringing their hands over the upcoming election, and predicting doom and gloom, becuse Obama is but a mere one point ahead in the polls, ranther than the comfortable 12 percentage points he was a few weeks ago...
WAKE THE HELL UP!
Did you think this election was going to be a cakewalk? Holy hell!
Did you think this was going to be an election that you, I, and the other armchair warriors of the blogosphere could sit idly by our keyboards, and victory would ensue with a buttload of good intentions, more flattering blog posts, and a youtube video?
Well- if you do- then you're missing the entire point of this campaign. (and, you're understimating the Rovian machine that is 100% behind McCain.)
It has never been about Obama's spinmeisters. It has never been about his media handlers, nor his media surrogates.
It hasn't even been about Obama, himself.
It's been about you and me- it's been about the hundreds of thousands of ordinary americans who have been willing to go door to door, to make phone calls, to talk with our friends, our families, and give a few bucks here and there.
We overtook insurmountable odds, to be where we are, today, and I would be remiss if I were not to say:
Now is not the time to sit back and quibble over percentages in this state of that. Now is not the time to engage in a navel-gazing defeatism, two months before a single vote is cast. Now is not the time to lose hope.
Rather, now is the time to do what we can to spread the word. Now is the time to leave the keyboards, the televisions, and take up the mantle of our common responsibility.
Now is the time to ensure that we are worthy of the trust put upon our shoulders by those who came before us.
While voting in internet polls, and posting in various blogs might make us feel good- it just ain't enough.
I know I'm only speaking to about 20 people, with this rather long missive, but I hope to all that is holy and trustworthy that those twenty will take the following advice:
Get involved- if you can participate in an event, do so. If there are no events in your area, you can still talk to your friends and family. If you have a dollar spare in your wallet, donate to the campaign.
Because nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices, calling for change.
It's time to stand proud, and resolute.
Against us, we have the forces of collective nihilism, solopsism, greed, arrogance, and a self-hatred borne out of an inability to understand ourselves, and those around us.
What's worse, some have labelled the latter quality as "patriotism."
We're better than this.
While our nation might have been lead astray, there is still yet hope that we can fulfil the promise that was handed down to us that came before...
And I'm sure that every last one of you will agree that "Yes, we can!"
Get involved- get active- and stand proud.
AUGUST 27, 2008
HILLARY- ALL IS FORGIVEN.
I hope all of ya'll had a chance to view Hillary Clinton's convention speech...
She hit it out of the park- it was every last thing she needed to say, and it was as close to perfect as anyone could hope for.
She rocked the house, denounced McCain, endorsed Obama in the clearest of terms, and coupled it with a rousing call to action that was downright inspiring. If she had been like this, 18 months ago, I would have been one of her most diehard supporters.
This is the story of America. Of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.
How do we give this country back to them?
By following the example of a brave New Yorker , a woman who risked her life to shepherd slaves along the Underground Railroad. And on that path to freedom, Harriett Tubman had one piece of advice.
If you hear the dogs, keep going.
If you see the torches in the woods, keep going.
If they're shouting after you, keep going.
Don't ever stop. Keep going.
If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.
Even in the darkest of moments, ordinary Americans have found the faith to keep going.
I've seen it in you. I've seen it in our teachers and firefighters, nurses and police officers, small business owners and union workers, the men and women of our military – you always keep going.
We are Americans. We're not big on quitting.
But remember, before we can keep going, we have to get going by electing Barack Obama president.
We don't have a moment to lose or a vote to spare. Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hang in the balance. I want you to think about your children and grandchildren come election day. And think about the choices your parents and grandparents made that had such a big impact on your life and on the life of our nation. We've got to ensure that the choice we make in this election honors the sacrifices of all who came before us, and will fill the lives of our children with possibility and hope. That is our duty, to build that bright future, and to teach our children that in America there is no chasm too deep, no barrier too great – and no ceiling too high – for all who work hard, never back down, always keep going, have faith in God, in our country, and in each other.
Thank you, Hillary!
AUGUST 23, 2008
Now, afore I get into my proper rant, I feel the need to apologize (color coded for easy skipping, if so inclined.)
Ya see, over a month ago, I promised ya'll a long and windy commentary. I did so with the best of intentions. However- a page-long article grew into a ten-page monstrosity that was only scratching the surface of the subject. After trying once again to condense the whole mess, I realized that it would be a disservice to the subject of the article (which I wholeheartedly support) to post anything less than comprehensive. After a long period of thought, I've decided to lay it aside, for now. Many apologies for those who were waiting for such...
Now- onto the big news of the day:
Biden was the best choice that Obama could have made. Yeah, he's not perfect- he's cast some votes in his career that I find suspect- primarily his vote to authorize Bush's war. However, Biden is a scrapper, a fighter, tough as nails, and posesses a resume that's almost recond to none in the Senate.
However, the campaign has about seven days to get him on-message, and while I hope they do drill a tad of verbal finesse into him, they'd do well to avoid any steps to clip the guy's talons. This guy can rip any in the republican field to shreds, and can deliver...
Oh- and one other FANTASTIC thing about this ticket:
Many apologies to my peeps south of the mason-dixon line- I know there are a heck of a lot of good, decent folks down there, along with a surprising number of good liberals and progressives.
That having been said, I've been absolutely sick of enduring the spectacle of the talking heads endlessly repeating the mantra:
"How will the Democratic ticket find a way to appeal to the south?"
Every damned cycle, the Democratic party has had to put a southerner on the ticket- why?
To supposedly appeal to a part of the country that routinely gives the democratic party a pittance in the voting booth, decade after damned decade.
I want Obama/Biden to win the presidency, without carrying a single southern state. If they are able to turn the tables in Nevada, Indiana, and Colorado, and hold on to the Kerry states, we can elect a president without the aid of a single state of the old Confederacy- and that thought makes me smile.
The tyranny of the south will finally be broken.
Oh- and McCain's running mate? I've wasted a few moments in speculation. Pawlenty is out- he's dull, and McCain is quite capable of lulling people to sleep, as it is. Romney's a mormon, which is gonna further cheese off the "Christian" fundie knuckle-draggers that put Bush into the white house, and already despise McCain. Ridge is pro-choice, which will fundamentally shatter the republican's "Pro-Life" charade.
I'm confident McCain will choose a southerner no-name- a Quayle for the 21st century, if you will: A young, fresh face with a bible in one hand, and a foot in his mouth.
JULY 11, 2008
IN THE INTERESTS OF PARTY UNITY:
I have removed my commentaries about the erstwhile Clinton '08 campaign.
In the end, I cannot but help but respect her- she fought one of the most aggressive campaigns in american political history, and inspired millions.
I am working on a large commentary, to come in a week or so. Stay tuned.
JUNE 5 , 2008
Goodnight, until Denver.
APRIL 21, 2008
WHERE THE HELL HAVE I BEEN?
Ya know, it's been quite some time since I posted a retrospective, and not without good reason:
Everytime I've done so, I've been reminded by numerous readers that Bushflash ain't about me, and I shouldn't waste column inches talking about myself. While there is a great deal of merit to this argument, I feel that concerned parties and individuals deserve to know why I've been away, for the past month-plus.
To fully describe where Bushflash finds itself today, one must understand how this all started.
I started Bushflash in 2003, a few weeks before the invasion of Iraq, because the words of those who were speaking out against the coming war were not being heard. No one on any television network was daring to utter a single word of caution against the desperately suicidal path that we were embarking upon. Those who had a nasty habit of questioning authority, like Phil Donahue, were jerked off the air, and replaced with foul-mouthed brownshirts like Michael Savage.
Whenever someone like Scott Ritter, Amy Goodman, or Jim Hightower was granted a measly 20 seconds of airtime, they were never given their fair time to speak, and were roundly condemned by the show's host for having the gall to question the policies of a man so brilliant and visionary as George W. Bush. Neil Boortz, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck were shoved into our collective living rooms as the final arbiters of truth in the new Bush Order.
The only place where any dissent or word of caution could still find purchase was the Internet, and even there, things were dicey. In the wake of 9/11 hysteria, many websites critical of the idiot-in-chief had voluntarily shut down.
The country was being led down the garden path to a war that was certain to be more disastrous than Vietnam, and it seemed that the american people were perfectly willing to surrender their power of critical thought, in favor of a chest-thumping groupthink peddled by charlatans. Even the now-venerated Jon Stewart refused to utter a critical word, in the leadup to the war.
It was an utterly distressing time, for those of us who still were able to think clearly. Recalling those days- it was, at that time, credible to believe that book burnings and torchlight parades were right around the corner.
Now, I was raised in a household where I was taught the lessons of history- particularly those which were learned at great expense during the years of World War 2. While much can be said about that horrific conflict, the question that arises time and again is:
"When The Nazis were ascending to power, how come so few spoke out? How come so many could not find it within themselves to stand up for what was right, when it mattered the most?"
(Oh, and for the purposes of this discussion- Godwin's law is bollox.)
Now, we here in the USA were being called upon to utter those few, crucial words of dissent- and I was determined that no matter what came, I'd do whatever I could, in my limited capacity, to make it known that when things were darkest, there was at least one human being left in the United States of America that refused to be a "loyal German."
When Bushflash came into existence- there was no YouTube, archive.org, or- for that matter- 99% of the Blogs that exist today. If you were looking for online political media, you had a few realplayer streams, a few talk radio archive sites, and a few sites like Information Clearing House. "User-generated content" had yet to be coined as an advertising buzzword.
It was into this primordial soup that Bushflash took form, and grew to become one of the most popular political sites, for but a brief time. It all started with a simple flash animation that, despite its primitive nature, garnered tens of thousands of views in the first week it was online.
I was soon to learn that in times that are consumed with lies, daring to tell the truth is certain to be deemed as treasonous. Death threats soon came- threatening phone calls- nasty letters- e-mails containing nothing but my home address, along with the word "click."
Rather than do anything to dissuade me in my activities, every one of these dribbles of cowardice that I encountered only confirmed in me the knowledge that I was doing the right thing- and I WAS HAVING AN EFFECT. I was letting the brownshirts of america know that there were still people out here who hadn't sacrificed their reason on the altar of a grotesquely shallow and transparent political expediency- and goddammit- they resented the hell out of me, for doing that .
But rattling the cage of the radical right was just icing on the cake- ya see, the real joy of making and maintaining Bushflash was getting all of those thousands upon thousands of e-mails from people saying:
"Thank you for letting me know I'm no the only one out here who feels this way."
The true honor of running this site is that, during the darkest times of the past few years, I was able to give other people hope- because such was a commodity in short supply, for far too long.
Now, five years later, that spark of dissent and independent thought has once again strengthened, and has been fanned into a flame that now illuminates 89% of the american people.
I turn on CNN, and I see Jack Cafferty shouting that Bush is a "Moron," and his cabinet is a "Gaggle of mutants." Every night, I can tune into Keith Olbermann, and get a full hour of righteous truth, free of any semblance of whitehouse spin. The blogosphere has finally awoken from its dormant slumber, and surprise, surprise, we find the paleoconservatives finally re-emerging, and calling bullshit on the entirety of the Bush administration, loudly and fiercely.
When I look upon this spectacle, I can only think:
"My job is done, here."
Ya see, I never wanted to be a blogger- I never wanted to be a media portal. I never wanted to do anything, but whatever I could to make sure that dissent stayed alive, during those dark years.
I can't claim that I did it single handedly- but I did what I could- and it's cost me.
For two whole years, I pretty much ran Bushflash as a full-time job- and even turned down a few REAL jobs, because they restricted my ability to run this not-for-profit site. I didn't even offer or accept advertising for the first three years, because I didn't want to have anyone get the idea I was running this site, for any other reason, outside of ideological ones.
Needless to say- during those three years, times were pretty lean... To make matters worse: even though I was making just enough to get by on, the IRS decided that I was just too fat and wealthy, so they bumped me to the 25% tax bracket.
In addition , running Bushflash was psychologically damaging. You try running a website that demands that you are pissed off and angry every waking moment for five years, and see how you end up feeling. There are so many pictures of dead kids that one can look at, before one starts to lose their grip.
Needless to say- this could not continue. I like being a dissident, but I don't wanna be one that winds up dying in a cheap hotel room amidst a million cigarette butts, and thousands of hand-written pages in a coded script that will be puzzled over by cryptologists for generations to come.
In 2006, I started working less on Bushflash, so that I could work with a friend to start a highly speculative business. Long story short- they don't call 'em "speculative" for nothin'. I had another year of lean times, and another whopping tax bill (ya see- the IRS thinks that anyone who makes 18,000 a year is just too danged rich for his own good, and should pay extra penance to make up for those Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy.)
Now, in 2008, we see Bush heading towards the exit, and quite frankly, it's a completely different internet, than it was, when I crafted the first version of Bushflash. Now, there are literally thousands of hours of online political videos/documentaries, available in seconds, that are far better than any flash I ever created. Blogs like DailyKos allow anyone to piggyback their opinions on a site that gets millions of daily hits. Obama is shattering any and all preconceptions of what a political campaign can accomplish, via the web.
15 years after Jello Biafra exhorted his post-punk fans to "Become the Media!", his words have become the unknown gospel to a generation that is emerging- a generation that has used the internet since they were in kindergarten- and they don't see media as something to be observed- they see it as something to CREATE.
But I digress....
In recent months, I have woken up from a long slumber, and realized that I had to make changes. It was finally time to quit smoking- time to stop spending so much time at the keyboard- time to get out to the local Y, and get in shape, at long freaking last (still single at 38, and certainly ain't getting any younger.)
I have also been working demanding jobs (sometimes three at a time,) paying off my back taxes, and actually leaving the keyboard for a few hours, to remember why life is worth living...
I cannot continue to run this site in a manner that can keep up with what is expected of blogs, by myself. I have tried hard to find someone who could create a content management system that would allow me to turn Bushflash into the community that I always envisioned, but despite a lot of time and money spent, such searches were always ultimately fruitless.
In times past, I have asked for contributions, but always felt guilty for doing so. This time, I shall pay off my debts with money that I've EARNED.
I must lay aside Bushflash, so that I can repair all the damage that has been done, in my own life, during the Bush years.
Does this mean I'm shutting up, giving in, or surrendering?
Bushflash will stay online- every last sentence, youtube link, video, picture, and scatological reference will be freely available, until the day that Bush leaves office. I stand by everything I've done or written for this site, and am proud to have done so, when too many others sat silent.
I will be posting comments on the night of Obama's nomination, and the day prior to the election. I will also post, should the Bush Bowl initiate war with Iran.
I am years behind in my e-mail, but will answer every one of you, over the next few months. I owe each and every last one of you all my thanks.
Despite the challenges and hardships of the past five years, they have been the greatest in my life.
I love all of you- and it has been an honor to stand with you in times past- as it shall be, in the future..
Make me proud- fight the power- and keep hope alive.
MARCH 18, 2008
AN OPEN LETTER, TO AN UNDEREDUCATED PERSON
(And I know this kinda cheeses folks off, as I'm supposed to be about slamming Bush, and his misbegotten, illegal war. The problem is that these days, attacking Bush is akin to throwing dirt on dirt, and is about as edgy as a bowling ball. Aside from a few delusional whackjobs, just about everyone has come around, and now sees that the emperor is butt naked.)
Today, the following odure plopped into my inbox:
I'm wondering why there is no comment on your site after the recent news coverage of your candidate being a racist, America hater. Do you still support him?
Well, the first thing I wanna say about this is that if you send crapola like this to me, signed with your real name, you deserve to be outed. Now, afore ol' Ronnie starts to feel all butthurt over this, he should understand that If I were truly malicious, I have his IP address, and I could quite easily find his home address and phone number, and post them anonymously on a few image boards crawling with the worst 15-year-old hackers you could imagine- but I am kind...
Now, to move on to the meat of the matter:
In the wake of this story breaking, I've noticed that only the most ill-informed and delusional people tend to call into C-Span, complaining about it. Campaignnetwork.org has a comprehensive archive of call-in programs, where you can hear them expressing their hillbilly outrage in monosyllabic grunts.
But for now, let's take Ronnie's letter as an example:
Note that he accuses Obama of being a "Racist" and an "America Hater", not because of anything that Obama has said or done, but because of statements made by the pastor of the church that Obama attends. I have a feeling Ronnie might have known of the disconnection with the facts contained in his letter, but alas, Pabst Blue Ribbon is still less than five bucks a sixer, and I can tell you from bad experience that it's hard to form cogent arguments while under the influence.
I will say that Obama made a rather large blunder, by keeping Pastor Wright on his campaign, despite knowing full well that this guy had been caught on tape, saying some rather nasty things.
I would say that it was a lapse of judgment on the level of John McCain's acceptance of the endorsement of John Hagee, an obese, pathologically insane rapture-right whackjob that spends half of his time falling over himself professing his love for the jewish people (because Jesus ain't gonna return until 144,000 jews convert to christianity, the rest to burn in hell,) and the other half of his time condemning the USA as a "damned nation" because we've committed the unpardonable sin of allowing women control of their reproductive rights.
The difference between McCain's bad call and Obama's is that Obama promptly dismissed the bad apple from his campaign. John McCain has yet to repudiate the the craziness of Hagee ('cause he needs the extra-chromosome vote.)
And hell- Idiot Boy has been the extreme "christian" right's BFF since the day he slithered into office, and I've never encountered a larger pile of crazy racists in my life than what I've seen, while doing oppo research on their websites. Much of the stuff over at oneplace.com is far more shocking than anything to be found on Stormfront.
And let's not forget Reagan's embrace of Jerry Falwell, a man who said every woman who fell victim to rape was pretty much asking for it, and proclaimed that God does not hear the prayers of jews.
So, in closing, Ronnie, get your facts straight, before wasting my hard drive space with your drivel.
(Why no new videos/media? Too danged busy, and hell- that's why I wanted a damned CMS.)
ANOTHER SHOUT-OUT TO ANONYMOUS
Last month, an internet collective known as "anonymous" pulled off a seeming impossiblity: They were able to organize almost 100 peaceful worldwide protests against the Church of Scientology. They did it with no funding, aside from what they were willing to spend, themselves. They had no central authority, no leader, and no place to organize, aside from a few websites and message boards. In order to avoid prosecution/persecution by the Church of Scientology, they did everything anonymously. 99% of those who attended and organized had no idea who anyone else was. They were mostly young, and 99% of them had never taken part in any street action, before. Despite all of this, they were able to exceute their plans, flawlessly.
Since their first protest, their activities have become the most entertaining saga currently gracing the internets. Scientology has tried to fight back, but has been comically incapable of stopping these guys. Scientology's last stand was to try to get a restraining order against the entity known as "anonymous", and was laughed out of court, with a warning to stop filing unconstitutional lawsuits.
This last saturday, Anonymous picketed scientology, once again. This time, their numbers grew, and their coordination worldwide was again, without flaw (aside from the Atlanta riot squads arresting two protestors in a case that's certain to be overturned.) These guys are motivated, savvy, professional, and having the time of their lives.
If Anonymous ran the antiwar movement, we would have been out of Iraq in 2004.
(Listen to the audio, for full impact... But afore I address the topic at hand, I have to get the following off my chest- just skip to the end of the blue text for the meat of the matter.)
Someday, someone somewhere will be able to explain to me in coherent, cogent terms how Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David became the multibillionaires they are, on the basis of "Seinfeld-" a televisiual effort that is unique amongst american comedy television shows, in that it consistently failed to deliver anything that could be described remotely as "comedy."
Ya see- comedy shows are supposed to make the viewer engage in an activity called "laughing." For such activity to occur, a quantity called "humor" is required.
I've sat through about a dozen episodes, and to me, it's like watching video of a decade-old city council meeting- Let's look at the characters:
Every single "joke" that Jerry Seinfeld has ever delivered:
Hey, have you ever noticed how all observational comedians just take received opinion and blatant cliches and spout them off at the audience as if nobody's ever thought of them before? And they keep presenting statements as questions?
(Waves hand out at the audience, palm facing upward)
I mean, come on? And then they'll try to expand the joke by basically just repeating it in a specific context, like how I watched this Jerry Seinfeld guy and he did exactly that?
(Walks to the other side of the stage, continuing the arm movement.)
And, you know, the jokes usually just peter out without a proper punchline, and yadda yadda yadda?
Actually the most brilliant guy on the show (Jason Alexander- actor of stage, film, and wonderful as the voice of "Duckman,") but is resigned to second fiddle. Despite his character's nominal identity as a catholic, Jason comes across as a grotesque charicature of the "angsty jewish guy" in a performance so shallow and blatant that even Franz Hippler (director of the notorious nazi antisemitic film "The Eternal Jew") would dismiss it is "unrealistic." (And in doing so, succeeds in being an unflattering, unrealistic cartoon of both catholics AND jews, in one regrettably unfunny package- way to go, Jason.)
Okay- so the guy jitters around, and acts like a spastic clown. If I were three, i'd consider such behavior to be downright hilarious, but as I'm rapidly approaching middle age, it fails to impress.
Lamely shows up in each episode, to lend a bit of balance to the testosterone-laden cast, and performs as if she couldn't give a rat's ass about the show (and in doing so, comes out smelling like a relative rose.)
So, please- if anyone out there can explain how "Seinfeld" could be considered even remotely funny, please explain it to me- I'm genuinely curious...
Now- to the meat of what Larry had to say:
After watching Hillary's behavior for the past few days, I've been shaking my head in wonder. Her campaign has gone from being a symbol of empowerment to women, to become a living validation of the worst elements of contemporary male chauvenist sexism.
You know the crap to which I allude: "Women are flighty," "Women are unpredictable," "Women are irrational," "Women are driven by their emotions, rather than logic."
And the crowning gem of male chauvenism: "Gee- catch a load of HER- she must be on the rag..."
It's all bullshit, of course- if we're honest with ourselves, for every dysfunctional/crazy person we've met of one sex, we've met their equivaled in the opposite sex. The generalizations and crap we burden gender with are archaic, and need to be buried, along with the equally odious unfounded hyperbole that accompanies racism.
What are we to make of a democratic candidate for president that, on the night of a debate, states with apparent sincerety that she is "Honored" to share a stage with her rival, and yet, within 12 hours, is denouncing that same rival as being no better than Karl Rove? What are we to make of a democratic candidate that is endorsing her republican rival, over her democratic competitor? What are we to make of a democratic candidate whose demeanour changes so radically from day to day?
If someone were to make the sexist answer to the aformentioned antisemitic Hippler film, it is doubtful that they would present a figure whose actions could be more irrational and reckless than those which Hillary has displayed, in recent weeks- and it's a damned shame, because we need to have a woman as president of this country- the sooner, the better.
But for every month that Hillary continues in her doomed and fratricidal campaign, and continues to behave in the manner that has so unfortunately become her recent hallmark, she delays the coming certainty of a woman's presidency in this county, by four years.
And yes, I can see the utter unfairness in this conclusion. Heaven knows, for the past few thousand years, many unqualified people have attained office, simply because they possessed a pair of testicles.
Such is our world- and we're certainly not going to overcome this paradigm, when we are stuck with someone such as Hillary to serve as the ground breaker.
Damned strange conicidence....
MARCH 6, 2008
AN' HE'S GAWIN' TA BE PRESIDENT!!!!
Such were Idiot Boy's words, as he bestowed the mantle of successor to John McCain, today....
I just wanna take a sec here, to thank "president" Bush for spewing his verbal approval upon the candidacy of John McCain, because, as we all know far too well- everything that comes out of Bush's mouth is completely opposite of what is certain to come to pass (can anyone cite an example of when the guy's been right about anything? Do I need to even bother asking?)
NO END IN SIGHT
THE definitive documentary
about the Iraq debacle
What happened to the
It's from '06, but
still relevant as hell.
The full HBO doc-
again, from '06- but still relevant as all hell.
THE WAR ON DEMOCRACY
Just. watch. it.
GO LEFT TV
Excellent daily news
LOTS of important
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