DECEMBER 30, 2006

So, I guess tonight, the secret service agents stationed outside the presidential bedroom will have to listen to the cute chitterings of George's g-rated sexual antics with Laura in celebration of his ability to kill yet another member of the human race.

In the last few minutes, the right wing echo chamber has gone into overdrive, lauding the execution of Saddam Hussein with the same intensity that they perviously exerted on downplaying and denying the deaths of thousands of american servicepeople, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

Saddam Hussein, in the eyes of the muslim world, is now a martyr- a symbol that will rally generations to come to distrust and hate this country. It doesn't matter if Hussein is worthy of such an iconic status- the United States of America just thrust it upon him.

So- almost four years after our invasion- 40 thousand americans have been maimed- another three thousand americans have died. 650,000 Iraqis have died....

In sight of this, how can any sane person look upon the death of Saddam Hussein, and suddenly feel as if this was all worth it? How can we take comfort? How can we feel any relief, or closure?

Tomorrow, more american kids and inncoent Iraqis will die- so, in the end, this changes nothing.

(Click to view flash video)

DECEMBER 28, 2006

Hell- it took Hussein 25 years to kill 2 million Iraqis- it's only taken about 4 years for 650,000 iraqis to die as a direct result of Bush's policies. I guess he ain't lying when he whines about how hard his job is- it takes quite a lot of effort to be twice as deadly as a hombre like Saddam Hussein.

However- add to this dubious distinction the following: In just the past 48 hours, Bush has become personally responsible for the deaths of more americans than Osama Bin Laden. Yep- the current death toll of american servicepeople in Iraq now has surpassed the number of people killed on 9/11. The few people who still support Monkey Boy are constantly lauding Bush, reminding us that there hasn't been another major terrorist attack on american soil since 9/11. Well- as bright and shiny as that pipedream is, the fact of the matter is: Al Qaeda is sitting back, and letting Bush kill americans for them.

'Casue really, that's what Bush does best...


As we head into the new year, hoping that a bit of sanity might waft back into our collective lives, we can only look back at 2006 with the same trepidation that we feel when we look back into the toilet bowl, after an agonizing vindaloo-powered bowel movement. Yes, there were some bright spots- Dick Cheney shooting that guy in the face, the defeat of the republican one-party state in november, and the rise of the nuclear-powered media behemoth that is Stephen Colbert- but overall, it was a pretty nasty experience, all around.

I hope to have a new year's intro animation done, in time for the dawn of 2007 (if I can sandwich it in between alla the freelance I'm dealing with, these days,) but for now, I offer up the following as an Olbermann-esque "highlight reel:"


#10: Glenn Beck

Currently the #1 "knuckle-dragging right-wing demagogue claiming to be an independent" (yes- even outstripping O'Reilly,) Glenn Beck posesses the most punchable face in america, as well as the most stomach-turning, vile, and hateful ideology. He was tolerable, and ignorable, as long as he was confined to the more obscure regions of the AM radio dial, but since the day he was inexplicably given an hour-long daily television program on CNN Headline News, his smarmy invective is now beamed into the homes of hundreds of millions of households, worldwide.

Glenn has the perfect schtick- his claims of being a "recovering alcoholic" allow him to play the role of the "flawed hero." His smarmy, rapid-fire manner and speaking style actually succeeds in being comedic at times. Borrowing from the repertoire of every charlatan since the snake of eden, he peppers his commentaries and diatribes with self-deprecating banter, letting his audience know, with a wink and a nod, that he's not a stuffed shirt, like Limbaugh, Hannity, and his fellow spreaders of conservative bullshit.

His on-air persona is carefully crafted to make him appear the charming average joe- a fun, happy-go-lucky guy that you'd like to have over to your place for a friendly round of Jenga.

However, this tailored media persona does little to conceal a hate-filled, paranoid, and downright delusional agenda.

This is a man who has:

Compared Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum to Winston Churchill

Is one of the few remaining deniers of global warming

Considers blind people to be objects of ridicule

Called the victims of Hurricane Katrina "Scumbags", and admitted his "hate" for the families of the victims of 9/11

Called for the bombing of Venezuela

Called Cindy Sheehan a "really big prostitute"

Further, Beck has spent about 25% of his on-air time engaging in a hysterical, self-indulgent, anti-muslim crusade, including a continuing mini-series, "Exposed," which has no other modern equivalent, outside of Franz Hippler's "The Eternal Jew."

Despite Beck's affable manner, he has distinguished himself on radio, and now on TV, as the preeminent affable, self-deprecating disseminator of hate, lies, ignorance, and intolerance. You can read the full list of his offenses here. The basic problem with Beck, as it is with most alcoholics, is that he hates himself with a passion that he cannot contain- with recovery, rather than confront that self-hate, he has turned his hatred outward, upon an ideological target. Without a timely intervention, he'll implode, leaving his clueless devotees without a central icon for their wasted impulses and tendencies.


There are two kinds of historical revisionists- those who are unable to grasp the facts of history out of ignorance, and those who are unwilling to do so, out of malice.

In the latter category, we have Iranian President Mahmoud Amadenijad, who recently hosted a conference of holocaust denial. Pointing out the idiocy of this is banal, to an extent that defies description. Folks who claim that the holocaust "just didn't happen" are so seriously delusional, they'd give Alex Jones a run for his money.

The holocaust did happen- my only problem with the details of the collective historical understanding of what happened during those years is this:

If you ask the average person on the street about the nazi holocaust, and they'll only be able to quote you one statistic: 6 million jewish victims.

All well and good- 6 million dead is a horrific thing to contemplate- but I wonder why the additional 17 million people who died at the hands of the nazis- Gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, Slavs, Russians, Muslims, and political prisoners, are always left out of the equation.

But that's another topic for another website than this.

However, Mahmoud isn't alone on his walk down the road of lunacy, along with him, you'll find Bill O'Reilly, who asserted that US troops went on a brutal killing rampage during World War 2- the Malmedy Massacre. (Unfortunately for Falafelman, the massacre was actually a mass killing of american troops by German forces.) Right alongside Billy, we have professional contrarian gobshites like Michelle Malkin, Christopher Hitchens, and Ann Coulter, who attempt to defend everything from Joe McCarthy's red scare, to the notorious Tuskeegee syphilis experiments.

But hey- maybe we're not giving these jokers enough credit- they're the eternal optimists: "Don't worry- everything's GREAT! Holocaust? Never Happened! Segregation? Hell- black folks THRIVED under Jim Crow! Prescott Bush didn't have ANYTHING to do with supporting the Third Reich!"


Those other historical revisionists- those who embrace a flawed view of history out of their inability or unwillingness to think coherently, have formed a few grand sewing circles in the shrinking minority that still adhere to Bunnypants' view of the war. In amongst those who adhere to Bush's personality cult, you find stunning ignorance.

In recent months, I've spoken with diehard conservatives and have repeatedly brought up one of the major flaws of the Neocon strategy, vis a vis Iraq:

"The Bush Bowl thought they could conquer Iraq with a force smaller than that which was required to conquer the island of Iwo Jima- doesn't that strike you as, well- idiotic?"

Their response, invariably, is:

"Well- the Iraqis are just UNCIVILIZED. We're just trying to help the Iraqis, and they send suicide bombers out to kill people."

Uhh- all due respect for the new, reformed Japan, but I'd suggest that anyone who holds on to the belief that the fight against the Japanese was a cupcake party to read Iris Chang's "The Rape of Nanking" If you can think of a bestial horror that can be perpetrated by man against man, the Japanese perfected it, seventy years ago.

And as far as suicide bombers go- ever heard of the "Divine Wind" Kamikaze pilots? Talk about being ahead of one's time...

Yeah- those damned Iraqis- we went in and bombed the hell out of their country, killed over a half-million of them, and dang it, if they were just "civilized" enough, they'd collectively bend over, and ask for more- it's the only civilized thing to do.


Lee Raymond might have quit his job as chair of Exxon Mobil at the end of 2005, but we didn't learn about this guy's record-busting 400 million dollar retirement package wasn't known about publicly until April of this year.

The year prior to this guy's retirement, he gouged the american people to the tune of hundreds of billions at the pump. Taking advantage of the turmoil in the middle east, the complicity of the Bush Bowl, and the wrath of Hurricane Katrina, he jacked up the price of gasoline to ridiculous levels, simply because- hell- HE COULD.

Currently, he serves as vice-chair of the notorious conservative "American Enterprise Institute" think tank, where he presides over the intellectual pursuits of other grotesquely fat rich white men.

The only nice thing one can say about this guy is that the above portrait has become quite famous on the web, because bulimics no longer have to finger-gag themselves- now, they just whip out a glossy of this guy's mug, and before you know it, EVERYTHING'S coming up.


Rush Limbaugh has long since resigned himself to being the one member of the "Surreal Life" who never shows up on-set. Whether it be his mocking of parkinson's disease, his admission to lying to his audience, or getting caught with illicit stashes of penis pills, his antics over the last year are just a few more drabs of paint on a Pollock-esque mess of a career.

But one must wonder- what kind of self-loathing, delusional idiot still listens to this man, much less believes Limbaugh has anything to say that's worth listening to? Okay- I admit- there might be some who listen in to the guy because, sometimes, mind-blowing idiocy is kinda fun- that's why I STILL watch "Springer" from time to time- but that doesn't account for the massive audience that this cretin still drags in, every day.

It's more apparent than ever that Reagan's cuts to education back in 80's continue to bear bitter fruit.


Yeah- it's not all about politics, folks...

Back in 1959, Pat Frank wrote the classic post-apocalyptic novel, "Alas, Babylon," which still remains iconic and unique in a genre that has spawned countless novels, films, and television shows. In the novel, we witness how a small, rural Florida community strives to survive in the wake of a global nuclear war. It's a fantastic read, particularly, because of the skillful use of character development: After the bombs fall, the rich banker finds out that his prestige and wealth are now just pieces of paper- the librarian who found herself marginalized in the dawning age of the television finds herself the guardian of the only source of knowledge and entertainment in town- the white and black communities, formerly separated by history and mutual prejudice, are brought together.

Now- apparently, someone over at CBS had read this novel, and has bowlderized it into the Worst. Apocalypse. Ever.

Watching this show, I found my intelligence being insulted every 30 seconds or so, and startled to find my pants being blown off by the sheer force of my boredom. You'd think that, in the wake of a nuclear catastrophe, people would have better things to do than have melodramatic arguments with their parents about their failed marriages. You'd think that after several weeks of no running water or electricity, some of the people might show a tad of grime. You'd think that after thousands of plot holes and inconsistencies pile up, the writers would do us the courtesy of committing collective suicide on prime time TV...

But Alas, Babylon, this show is 90210 without alla that troubling depth and nuance. The characters are unlikable, unbelievable, and the acting is the worst I've seen outside of those "Why, I didn't order a plumber!" segues at the beginning of porn films.

It is oft said that, should a nuclear war occur, the survivors will envy the dead. I concur whole-heartedly- if if post-nuke Montclair resembles Post-Nuke Jericho, I'd be so tortured by banality and boredom, that I'd be among the first to off myself...


Okay- we get it- you have a very small penis, and are enough of a corporate ass-kissing tool, that you can afford to go out and buy a sixty thousand dollar paperweight.

However- in times in which wars are being fought for oil, and in a world in which global warming is the greatest threat the human race will have to face in the next half-century, the purchase and use of one of these viagara-on-wheels is the vehicular equivalent of walking around while wearing a swastika armband.

Whenever I'm walking down the street, and I see a hummer parked, or waiting in traffic, I make an effort to cross the street, dredge up the nastiest wad of boogers and phlegm I can muster, and spit it either on the hood (10 points), or on one of the door handles (20 points.) Sometimes, while walking through neighborhood streets at night, I notice a parked Hummer, away from the streetlights- I check to make sure the streets are clear, and well- let's just say I drink my 8 glasses of water a day, it's gotta come out, and there's no better place to put it than on the driver's side door handle of a strategically-parked Hummer (50 points and a GOOOOOOAL!)


As the neoconservative agenda falls to tatters, one is struck by their relisilience- think about it- they advocated an american imperial agenda that has succeeded in pretty much destroying the United States of America on the world stage in just a few short years. You'd think that these folks would have the good sense to shut their pieholes, but dangit, they just keep springing back into the limelight.

Foremost amongst these geopolitical dead-enders is a man who was once given the distinction of being called "Quayle's Brain"- William Kristol.

He was one of the most strident advocates of Bush's invasion of Iraq- and still thinks that it was a grand idea. In fact- he thinks it was such a grand and glorious success, he currently advocates the use of the United States military to bring "Regime Change" to Iran.

Normally, you'd dismiss a guy like this as a lunatic. However, this guy is a longtime washington insider, and as Bush's coterie continues to shrink, folks like Kristol will be among the last left in the bunker.


Holy freaking "Bob" on a stick, with sparklers- where do I start?

An evil, nepotistic bastard that spent the lives of his countrymen like they were wooden nickels. An anti-american, fear-mongering demagogue who will hopefully die soon in infamy. Getting rid of this guy was more painful than passing a foot-wide turd spiked with acid-dipped razor blades, and we're only left with sandpaper to wipe with.

This man put into motion a mechanism of death that has surpassed the genocide in Darfur. This man makes me ashamed to be an American.


As if it were to be any surprise..

What can I say, that has not already been said?

Let's get active, in the new year, and erase a few assholes from the world...

DECEMBER 25, 2006

Have fun with the yuletide thing, folks. Myself, I'm just looking forward to being able to walk into a store in 48 hour's time, and not hear Nat King Cole's christmassy warblings bleating from every corner. I've been able to conquer my holiday blues, pretty well, but it didn't help, when I called my jewish friends to see if they wanted to hang out, only to discover they were spending the day with their families...

Damn- even the jews are having a better christmas than I...

But hell- I should count my blessings... This weekend in Iraq saw another 6 american soldiers blown into red mist, ensuring another six families have the worst christmas of their lives- thanks, Bush! Add to this the news that 12,000 Iraqi policemen have been killed since the toppling of Saddam Hussein, and you can FEEL the rosy christmassy glow emanating from every pore.

I'd write more, but my usual rants would do little to embellish these sad numbers. I'm going to give myself a christmas gift, and spend the last two hours of wakefullness playing Gothic 3.

More in 48...

DECEMBER 21, 2006

I dunno if you watched Monkey Boy's press conference today, but if you missed it (or are too lazy to click on the link,) you missed another dazzling performance- not as frantic and hysterical as his previous dog and pony show, but still fascinating- as it gives you an idea of what's ahead...

A hallmark of this administration, and of Monkey Boy in particular, is that once you disagree with them, you're officially dead to them- you're now part of the "reality based community" that is at fundamental odds with how the Bush Bowl perceives the world. We've seen many instances of this peculiarity, as administration officials and former loyalists who give voice to their discontent find themselves ostracized by their former employer.

Watching this press conference, you see it happening again- however, this time, it is on a far grander, and dangerous scale. It is clearly apparent that in the wake of the election, the majority of the american voters, having crossed him, are no longer relevant. Now that the congress is no longer a rubber stamp for his policies, that entire branch of government has ceased to exist. Now that a growing number of higer-ups in the military are voicing their opposition to a rumored troop boost in Iraq, these vaunted "commanders on the ground" no longer exist, nor do they have a say in what shape the vital policies in Iraq will take.

The frightening, delusional disconnect between this administration and reality is becoming strained, to the breaking point. As Bush ignores any who dare to oppose him, he is left with a smaller and smaller pool of opinion and perspective to validate his positions and his policies. In what is the only logical conclusion of such a situation, we find a leader isolated amongst a small cadre of the most loyal, the most fanatic, and the most extreme elements of his formerly vast base of support.

Bush is already in the bunker, building models of the great cities he'll build in Baghdad (once the current troubles are over, of course.) He is absolutely convinced that even if everyone in this country abandons him, his actions will be validated, in a mystical future fairyland that exists wholly within his mind.

Bush, for lack of a better term, is insane.

Over the next year, we will bear witness to a political meltdown of a magnitude that has never been seen in the history of our republic. Now- it ain't gonna be on the level of Mussolini's "Hang and Swing" party at the end of WW2, but it's gonna make watergate look like a farting contest between two people on an all-meat diet (go look it up.)

It's unfortunate that so many more Iraqis, Americans, (and possibly Iranians) will have to die, as this sorry spectacle plays itself out, but there's nothing we can do in relation to influencing the policies of this nest of vipers, short of occupying washington DC with defecting national guard units (seriously- we're at that stage, with this joker.)

However- that doesn't mean we're powerless: You know where to go, what petitions to sign, which websites to visit, and what meetings and rallies to attend. The new congress will listen, if we make enough noise, over the next few months.

But, in a few weeks, as you flip on c-span to watch live coverage of Bush's whiskey/methamphetamine-fuelled hostage standoff in the Washington Monument, we'll see telescope-lens footage of Bush peering through the windows of that famed structure, and breaking through the glass with the butt of his sniper rifle while popping handfulls of Vivarin. At that moment, you'll need some jiffy-pop.

Go and buy a box, today.

DECEMBER 19, 2006

Is a serious mistake.

Last night, I wrote the following, in the spirit of sarcastic jest:

Uhh- you ARE aware that Barak Obama's middle name is "Hussein," right?

Folks- If you think that anyone with that name has a chance of getting elected president, please send me a pound of what you're smoking, because you're OUT THERE, and I can't afford a trip to Amsterdam.

Apparently, some folks out there who didn't recognize the humor in which this was stated, so I am behooved to make the following statement:

I do not advocate the use of drugs- especially marijuana. After all, according to the US government, marijuana is an evil weed that causes spontaneous generation of carnivorous microworms in the brain, and we've all got enough troubles in life, already. Furthermore, I would never suggest that anyone use the U.S. postal service to ship large bales of controlled substances. I do reccommend visiting Amsterdam- it's a beautiful city, and you can avoid the nasty areas, pretty easilly.

I guess I should follow this up with a warning not to slam a door on one's head repeatedly- but I have to get back to my freelance work.

DECEMBER 18, 2006

That updates have been slow in coming, in the past week. Chalk it up to holiday depression (I suffer from clinical depression, and have been having to deal without meds for the past two years- I can usually hack it, but the holiday season always brings with it a serious "low",) a roomie moving out (and the desperate search for a replacement,) and a HUGE freelance job that landed on my head, a few days back (yeah- sometimes, ya gotta take time offa hating republicans, and earn money, ya know...)

Hopefully, once the accursed holidays are over, and I've made headway with my freelance, I can provide something more substantial, but for the next few weeks, expect media, and minimal chatter.

I apologize to the readers and advertisers, but until I can get a CMS framework going, this remains a one-man show, and there's only so much one dude can do.

So- until we meet again in 48 hours, I'll leave you with the following to ponder:

Uhh- you ARE aware that Barak Obama's middle name is "Hussein," right?

Folks- If you think that anyone with that name has a chance of getting elected president, please send me a pound of what you're smoking, because you're OUT THERE, and I can't afford a trip to Amsterdam.

DECEMBER 13, 2006

Okay- let me be among the first to break the rockstar aura that has surrounded Barak Obama's potential bid for the whitehouse in '08.

Let's list Barak Obama's qualifications for the whitehouse:

1: He's kinda good looking in an obliquely ethnic "Tiger Woods" sorta way.

2: He gave a pretty good speech at the DNC convention in 2004.

3: He's a freshman congressman who has four years of legislative experience. He gained the office because the republicans could only find a lunatic like Alan Keyes to run against him, and quite frankly, a ten-pound sack of horse dung could win in a race against Alan Keyes.

Now, as stunning and jaw-droppingly awesome (sarcasm fully intended) as these qualifications are, when you go beyond the aforementioned media-created rockstar status, there just isn't much there. Some might say that a limited congressional record is a benefit when it comes to seeking the highest office in the land- tell that to John Edwards.

When I consider Obama's limited congressional experience, two votes stand out, personally:

1: His vote to confirm the catastrophically incompetent Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State,


2: His vote to confirm Alberto "Torture Memo" Gonzales as Attorney General.

I'm not in the least sorry to say that these two votes are enough to cast serious questions upon this man's qualifications for the presidency.

But let's cut to the meat of the matter: Barak Obama's potential presidential bid is taking on the trappings of a media-created phenomenon, one that currently serves to counter another media-created phenomenon in the 2008 race- that of the potential bid by Hillary Clinton.

Both of these figures are being served up as the hottest item in the politics of the day, but quite frankly:

In 18 months, neither Clinton nor Obama will be the democratic frontrunner. Think about it- a week before the 2004 primary season began, we expected Dean to be the nominee. Now, two years before the race of '08, we're in the personality phase of the pre-game, and anyone who places their bets, at this stage, is a simpleton, at best.

That having been said, it's good to see Kucinich entering the race. I worked for him in 2004, all the way to the convention, and to the detriment of my career in political media (Kerry's campaign wanted to hire me away from him, but I remained loyal.)

Kucinich is a longshot- hell- he's the mother of all hail marys. He's short, he has a foreign-sounding name, and he's the only vegan member of congress. We'd like to think that such superficialities wouldn't count, but in a political system dominated by the most cynical aspects of the mass media, he's at a distinct disadvantage.

However, I've met the man- and lemme tell ya...

I've done the meet and greet with a goodly deal of politicians in my time, and when you shake their hands, they do it, because it's part of their job. Kucinich, on the other hand- he's the real deal. He genuinely cares, and believes- you only have to speak with him, look into his eyes, and you know. Within this man lies a spirit and will that is indominatable.

His voting record speaks for itself- alone amongst the 2004 democratic candidates, he was the only one who had cast his vote against the war in Iraq, and the USA Patriot act. He was the only candidate who was willing to stand up to the machinations of the DLC, before Dean took over as party chair.

And most importantly- he was the only candidate who was calling for the immediate withdrawal of american troops from Iraq.

I'm placing no bets- but I'm backing Kucinich, in this phase of the game.

He was right in 2004, and he's right, today. In coming months, we'll see Obama, Bayh, and other candidates voicing echoes of Kucinich's policies of two years ago. In my book, it's too little, too late. In a year, we'll see how thing lie, but for now, there are two choices:

The johnny-come-latelys and the media flavors of the month, or the guy who was with folks like me, from the beginning.

I'll back the latter, for now.

DECEMBER 9, 2006

It seems that the Iraq study group report has hit the dirt, right out the gate, and ain't going anywhere. It's no real surprise...

The group was commissioned purely as a face-saving gesture in advance of the election, and Bush had no intention of listening to their recommendations, regardless of their nature. As I've stated time and time again, here- as far as Bush is concerned, the only thing that's "real" in this world, is whatever exists within the few centimeters of his remaining brain tissue. Due to his solipsism, Bush is innately incapable to understanding, or even acknowledging, anything that is external. He's vaguely aware of the world about him, but from his viewpoint, the world in which you, I, and about six billion others live in is nothing but a pretty filmstrip that occasionally shows him some unpleasant stuff (but it doesn't faze him, because the real world to him is about as substantial as a John Wayne Movie (probably less so.))

It's just as well, really. The commission's basic job was to figure out ways to haul Bush's ass out of the fire, before his term expired, so he could secure a legacy slightly less bloodstained than that which is certain to dog him, for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, such a plan doesn't exist. Faced with an impossible whitewashing job, the commission issued forth a slew of recommendations which, if followed to the letter, might delay the inevitable american defeat in Iraq long enough so that it will land in the lap of Bush's successor.

But this ain't enough for Bush- he likes killing people- and well, anything that gets in his way of killing more people before he leaves office just ain't cool.

But Bush isn't alone in the rejection of the Iraq Study group. I, and a good portion of the american antiwar majority have found serious flaws- Primarily, that the ISG report was ostensibly commissioned to find a way to "win" in Iraq. It is written from the viewpoint that our invasion and occupation of Iraq was a good and decent thing, and the only thing that's gone wrong over the past three and a half years of horrific bloodshed is that we made a "few key errors."

Paradoxically, the right wing has condemned the report for diametrically opposed reasons- that the report doesn't guarantee "victory". They see the report as a touchy-feely thing that fails, because it doesn't call for the carpet-bombing of the entire middle east.

Now- the lynchpin here, between the right and left condemnation of this report, is that key term:


When you watch the corporate news, over the next few weeks, I want you to watch how often that word comes up- "Victory." Because apparently, that's how they've been instructed to define the only outcome of the war. For example, the other day, CNN's anchors, to a man, described that Bush was "disappointed with the progress towards victory in Iraq."

When I recently attended the Bar Mitzvah of a friend's son, one part of the service really struck me- the rabbi admonished the congregation that words need to be taken seriously, and used judiciously. After all, in the Judeo Christian mythos, the universe in which we live was brought into existence by words: "Let There Be Light." Words, in this context, are incredibly powerful things.

Amongst those conservatives who decry the report, this word "Victory" heralds great things in their minds- flags waving, burger kings opening in Damascus, and the Rush Limbaugh show being simulcast in Beijing. To them, this word is like a diamond- a bright, shining, high-condensed lump of everything they hold dear: the world-spanning ideology of Neconservatism, the legacy of Reagan's "truimph" in the cold war, the idea that everything that's wrong with the world can be solved with a few bombs and a few million dead brown people.

They have endowed this word, in relation to the horrific situation in Iraq, as the be-all and end-all of their ideology, and in the wake of their crushing defeat in the last election, they hold to this word, as a drowning man grasps at any straw to save his life.

The only problem is that, despite its power, "Victory" is only a world- three syllables, 7 letters, and a dictionary definition.

As long as our policy in Iraq is held hostage to this word, people are dying, our tax dollars are being wasted to the tune of 200 million a day, and so on, and so on (you know the drill.)

And that's the fatal flaw in the ISG report: There cannot be any "victory." This is a basic, fundamental fact that we, as a nation must grasp- we have lost in Iraq, and there is no way we can win.

This isn't defeatism- it's reality.

  1. The human cost of war is unacceptable.
    The U.S. decision to invade and occupy Iraq comes with a horrific price tag: deaths of an estimated 100,000 Iraqis and more than 2,345 occupation troops, including 2,140 U.S. military personnel. The numbers rise daily. Hundreds of thousands have been physically wounded or traumatized by chronic violence and insecurity. This path will not lead to victory. There are no winners, and there is no military solution. In spite of this, the U.S. continues to embrace military rather than diplomatic approaches. An immediate end to hostilities is essential to stem the carnage and loss of human life.
  2. The U.S. occupation is a catalyst for violence.
    The longer the U.S. occupation continues, the more Iraqis will join the resistance, which primarily opposes the foreign presence. Conservative estimates say the number of resistance fighters in Iraq increased from 5,000 in November 2003 to 20,000 in November 2005. Violence is aggravated at all levels by the U.S. presence: in neighborhoods, among militant extremists, and between ethnic groups. When the brutality of occupation — raiding homes and hospitals, detaining people without charge or due process, torturing detainees, imposing curfews on communities, using military force to suppress demonstrations — ends, the majority of resisters will lay down their weapons.
  3. U.S. actions inflame divisions and the chance of civil war.
    The occupation and its divisive policies deepen tensions within Iraqi society. Three major mistakes the United States made from the beginning of the occupation were: (1) dissolution of the Iraqi army and police, leading to insecurity, looting, and violence; (2) failure to dismantle militias, allowing the number of armed combatants to increase; and (3) support for Shi’a demands for regional autonomy, fueling the possibility of a break-up of the country along ethnic lines. Problems from these mistakes will continue as long as the United States controls Iraq politically and militarily. If U.S. troops leave, an independent Iraqi government, free of external control, could open the door to discussion and reconciliation between groups.
  4. Iraqis want the United States to leave now.
    Recent polls reveal that Iraqi opinion coalesces on four demands: (1) an end to foreign occupation, (2) compensation to Iraqis for damages caused by the U.S. invasion, (3) release of Iraqi prisoners, and (4) establishment of political and military institutions independent of outside influences. A survey in Iraq commissioned by the British military in September 2005 found that 82 percent of Iraqis “strongly oppose” the continuing presence of coalition troops, and 45 percent feel attacks against coalition troops are justified. The battle for hearts and minds has been lost.
  5. Democracy cannot flourish under an occupation.
    For Iraqis, the key issues in the December 2005 election for the first permanent government were security, economic opportunity, and removal of foreign occupation. The mechanics of voting worked — the third election for Iraqis during 2005. However, the election is only a milestone in the country’s difficult journey toward self-determination, with great challenges ahead. The new government must now move beyond artificial deadlines set by outsiders, determine its own goals, and see the process through.
  6. The United States has failed to rebuild Iraq or provide for Iraqis’ basic needs.
    Twelve years of economic sanctions (1991-2003) nearly crippled Iraq. Malnutrition became widespread. Life-sustaining systems such as water and sewage treatment, electricity, and health care were severely degraded. These problems led to deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraq’s most vulnerable citizens, many of them children. Since the beginning of the occupation, U.S. forces not only failed to reverse these trends, but also failed to restore services disrupted by war and looting. This is not due to a lack of funds, but to a perversion of priorities. While the United States spends $6 billion a month fighting the war (a total of more than $226 billion so far), it has not spent even half of the $18 billion allocated for reconstruction. Much of the money evaporates due to corruption and ballooning security costs. Plus, awarding major contracts to U.S. corporations who fail to complete their work takes money out of the economy and creates little benefit to Iraqis. The money that is spent on war and occupation should be spent on meaningful Iraqi-led reconstruction.
  7. The Iraq war and occupation waste resources needed for U.S. domestic programs.
    Community programs are being cut in every corner of the United States – from public schools to libraries to hospitals to transportation. Meanwhile, the U.S. deficit continues to skyrocket, building a massive debt for future generations of Americans. Money that could be used for domestic needs instead goes into the war and occupation. Furthermore, using National Guard troops in Iraq leaves states shorthanded when disasters strike at home. Hurricane Katrina, in particular, highlighted the need for massive reallocation of resources from armaments into disaster preparedness and infrastructure at home.
  8. The U.S. occupation of Iraq destabilizes the Middle East.
    The rash, ill-advised, and nearly unilateral invasion of Iraq and subsequent U.S. occupation has profoundly damaged the United States’ relations with other Middle East governments, including those it considers to be allies. U.S. actions have galvanized militants in the region to join the insurrection in Iraq and attack other countries, such as Jordan, considered to be too closely aligned with the United States. Elsewhere, the United States’ “tough talk” toward Syria has led the Israeli government to warn that U.S. actions threaten to destabilize the region. The massive number of civilian casualties in Iraq are caused by heavy weapon attacks and flesh-burning compounds such as white phosphorus, particularly devastating in urban areas. Such attacks greatly damage U.S. credibility and political influence in the Middle East, as well as respect from the international community. The many U.S. bases in Iraq are seen as a long-term threat to the region and the future of Iraq. They should be removed when the troops leave.
  9. Humanitarian aid is crippled by the occupation.
    The U.S. military seeks to win Iraqis’ support by delivering food and medicine and implementing reconstruction projects. Such activities are also used to gather intelligence, blurring the lines between the military and humanitarian efforts. As a result, civilian humanitarian aid is confused with military-led operations, creating the misperception that relief workers are part of the occupying forces and a legitimate target. These conditions have forced almost all NGOs and UN agencies to leave. Coupled with lack of progress by the U.S. military in rebuilding Iraq, this severs the lifeline of international humanitarian aid to Iraqis. Ending the U.S. occupation would reduce tensions and clear the way for humanitarian organizations to support Iraqis in rebuilding their country.
  10. The global community wants the war and occupation to end now.
    The United States cannot afford to ignore the voices and sentiments of the many other countries that oppose the occupation. Bridges need to be rebuilt between the United States and the international community. The past three years show that unilateral militarism, with disregard for our allies, leads to isolation and failure. Iraq needs political and diplomatic support from the international community—including its immediate neighbors—to get back on its feet and keep peace internally and externally.
DECEMBER 7, 2006

And Russ Feingold summed it up, pretty succinctly:

Unfortunately, the Iraq Study Group report does too little to change the flawed mind-set that led to the misguided war in Iraq. Maybe there are still people in Washington who need a study group to tell them that the policy in Iraq isn’t working, but the American people are way ahead of this report.

While the report has regenerated a few good ideas, it doesn’t adequately put Iraq in the context of a broader national security strategy. We need an Iraq policy that is guided by our top national security priority – defeating the terrorist network that attacked us on 9/11 and its allies. We can’t continue to just look at Iraq in isolation. Unless we set a serious timetable for redeploying our troops from Iraq, we will be unable to effectively address these global threats. In the end, this report is a regrettable example of ‘official Washington’ missing the point.

However, the sad fact of the matter is that Bush will put this report on the bookshelf, where it will proceed to gather dust, unread, over the next two years. Remember- Bush doesn't care what anyone thinks- he's gonna do what he thinks is right until only he, Eva, and Barney are the only three left on his side of the issue (I wonder if Bush's gonna test the cyanide on Barney...)

If anyone believed that Bush was likely to accept the message the voters gave him on election day, their hopes were dashed on the morning of November 8th, when he once again retreated to the pugilistic language of the schoolyard bully, and could only describe it as "a thumpin'."

Bush saw this as the equivalent of a fight that he lost, but, much like the proverbial bully, refuses to learn any lessons, as a result.

Tony Snow spent a good deal of today's press briefing spinning the report- protesting that it is a "partisan document", yet, at the same time, asserting that it does little but reinforce and compliment the "strategies" Bush has followed since the first day of the war. This sort of doublethink would have, in years past, shocked and stunned any thinking individual. However, after six years of blatant illogic, we simply shrug our shoulders, and accept it...

Don't expect things to change, anytime soon...

Bush really doesn't care- Stewart had a great commentary about his acceptance of the report- hopefully, video will appear tomorrow (I STILL haven't been able to get windows movie maker to work.)

Oh- one last thing.


DECEMBER 5, 2006

To Bolton:

As we used to say down in Tennessee- Don't let the door knob hit ya, where the good lord split ya. My only worry is who Bush appoints as his successor. Every time that Bush has had one of his cronies quit, he's always replaced him with someome who is ten times worse. Think about it...

After John Ashcroft quit, we rejoiced- but this fundamentalist christian whackjob was replaced with Alberto "Torture memo" Gonzales. After Simple Scotty left as press secretary, we got Tony "Fox 'News'" Snow. One wonders who will be Bolton's replacement...

My money's on Alan Keyes (UN ambassador under reagan.) The guy's been down on his luck, as of late. His last three presidential bids floundered (a black republican has work ultra-hard to pander to the rapture-right base- his platform was basically "Outlaw abortion and homosexuality" After his lesbian daughter came out of the closet, he disowned her,) and he got whupped by Barak Obama, in the '04 Illinois senatorial race (when he carpetbagged on behalf of the RNC.) Considering that Bush has been reviving the reagan legacy for his current cabinet/echo chamber, he'd be a shoo-in.

Rumsfeld's memo...

This is a case of obtuse ass-covering that will unfortunately stand the test of time. Knowing he was on the way out, Rumsfeld issued a flurry of memos covering all contigencies, so that he could claim that he was on the "right side", and actions taken after his resignation occurred despite his wishes. This is in line with the greater noecon strategy of the day:

"Our intentions were pure- the Bush administration screwed it up."

Yeah, right.

It is at this point that I again wish I were a christian, because if there's anyone alive today that is certainly headed for the the christian version of Hell, it's Rummy. I'd sleep better, at night, knowing such is the case.


As is the case in the wake of each new election, I have gone through the media archives, and deleted any dead links. If you are the creator of any media that was deleted, and believe that your work was removed unfairly, drop me a line, and provide me a link, and description, and a thumbnail image (150X113).

Just so's ya know- now offers you 637 anti-bush media features- to view everything in the archives, you'd have to watch for a full week, 24 hours a day. Hell- I could start up a Television network, with these assets.

DECEMBER 3, 2006

It has become fashionable, in recent days, for the punditry to declare that the best thing the United States can do in relation to Iraq is to "Declare Victory, and leave."

I like the part about leaving- but I just can't get behind "declaring victory"...

In the wake of this american-created monumental disaster in Iraq, there is no way that we can walk away from this mess (as we inevitably will,) and say that we were "victorious."

We've lost in Iraq- this shouldn't be news to anyone.

Our defeat in Iraq was certain, even before the first cruise missiles slammed into Iraqi ports, and the first troops spilled over the border from Kuwait. Bush and his cronies believed that an entire nation could be subdued with a smaller force than that which took the island of Iwo Jima, in WW2- they believed bullplop that was shoved into their ears by the likes of Achmed Chalabi and "Curveball." They believed that a nation that lies at the heart of the Muslim world would consider a christian invader as the best thing since chilled hummus.

The war in Iraq was justified by false claims of weapons of mass destruction, and then later upon a dream of exporting Jeffersonian democracy to a part of the world which really didn't want it, and then, it was presented as "The central battleground in the war on terror", which has subsequently only served to breed a new generation of terrorists.

All of the "official" reasons for this war aside, in the end, we must see it for what it was: A war fought for oil, initiated by a bunch of childish clowns who had no idea what they were doing, at the behest of a president who wanted to "Whup Saddam", because of deep-rooted freudian issues relating to his father.

The American people cannot turn their backs on such a historically absurd spectacle, and comfort themselves with the trappings of rhetorical "victory." We did the same thing, at the end of the vietnam war, and as a result, we didn't learn anything- here we are, thirty years later, scratching out heads in wonder at this abominable mess, and wondering why...

"Gee- we were always victorious before.... Howcum we lost, this time?"

Those who forget the past are likely to quote historical figures ad infinitum...

Now, let me draw a historical parallel, here:

A goodly number of germans in the 20's believed that they could have won The Great War, but had been forced to accept defeat through the machinations of corrupt politicians. In the minds of these germans, they had lost the war, but could comfort themselves in the knowledge that the war had been a "victory" of sorts- a victory unfulfilled, but one that still could be realized, perhaps, in years to come. The nation was forced to submit to horrific economic penalties, and this only deepened resentment.

Fast forward 20 years, and for most germans, the war was something to be forgotten, until a group of germans (Hitler, Goering, Himmler) who still held to the belief of the "unfulfilled victory" came to power, and sought to redeem their fantasies, through war and conquest.

Today, we can draw a similar parallel: A goodly number of Americans in the 70's believed that we could have won the vietnam war, but had been forced to accept defeat through the machinations of liberal congresspeople. In the minds of these americans, they had lost the war, but could comfort themselves in the knowledge that the war had been a "victory" of sorts- a victory unfulfilled, but one that still could be realized, perhaps, in years to come. The nation was forced to submit to horrific diplomatic penalties, and this only deepened resentment.

Fast forward 30 years, and for most americans, the war was something to be forgotten, until a group of americans (Bush, Rumsfeld, Kissinger) who still held to the belief of the "unfulfilled victory" came to power, and sought to redeem their fantasies, through war and conquest.

Now- in the case of the germans, their second modern adventure into pre-emptive unilateral warfare ended in a situation in which no german could walk away from feeling very good about themselves, and the war that they had walked into. There were more rapes in the city of Berlin following the collapse of the third reich than there had been during the infamous Rape of Nanking. The country was split up, blown to bits, and an important lesson was learned: The Lesson of Defeat.

They were forced to become humble- and did germany suffer as a result?

Nope- despite that nation being split for almost a half-century, Germany bounced back, and is the economic and cultural powerhouse of central europe- more powerful now, than it has ever been, before.

They would not have been able to do this, culturally, economically, or socially, had they not accepted their defeat, and learned the same lessons that are staring us in the face, today...

We here in the USA have two choices- walk away from this war, claiming "victory", or accept it as a collective mistake, and admit defeat.

If we accept the former, we'll be embroiled in yet another senseless war in another 20-30 years, while a more handsome, bio-engineered version of myself will be running a website very much like this (By then, cybernetic sex robots will be in every home, so he won't be as depressed as I am, but will be every bit as hopeless.)

My future clone's living habits aside, it will be yet another war, yet another litany of dead people, and another huge waste of recourses, cash, and lives.

On the other hand, we can accept that the fantasies of the Bush Bowl have led us to defeat, and learn the hard lessons that defeat always brings.

These lessons will be hard to swallow, but the alternative- yet another war- is far worse.

Some say that talk of our inevitable defeat in Iraq casts dishonor upon those who have served in that country. I beg to differ.

Those who are serving in Iraq need to know they have been serving in the cause of a great lie. They need to know that their honorable, valiant efforts are for the cause of one man's hubris, and freudian fantasies. Mayhaps, once they learn that their sacrififced so much, for so little, parhaps they'll join the ranks of those opposed to war, and we here in the USA will not have to learn the lesson of defeat, so deeply, as those in Germany did.

Let us declare defeat, and leave. And let us never do this sorta crap again....

DECEMBER 1, 2006

Tonight, Olbermann's program featured another of his now-famous "special comments", and I was hoping to present it here. However, windows decided to screw the pooch...

Now- lemme tell ya- In the computer wars, I am, and always have been, a solid and dedicated PC/Windows user. The lack of software available for the Mac is dreadful, and I find the Mac Interface to be counter-intuitive, to my thinking. Further- Mac folks creep me out- when speaking about their computers, they get a "heaven's gate" look in their eyes that makes me wanna leave the room.

That having been said, I must give props to Apple for being a solid blue company, while microsoft continues to misguidedly funnel millions to republicans. Further- additional props are due:

Every Macintosh computer comes with a full creative suite. Right out of the box, you can edit video, sound, and images. If you're cool with the apple vibe, and are willing to spend a few grand (the average apple costs three to five times as much as the average PC,) you have a virtual multimedia studio at your fingertips, ten minutes after you unpack the thing.

Windows, on the other hand, gives you squat, unless you buy "XP Media Edition." I had to download Windows Movie Maker (which is basically a windows version of IMovie) from a third-party site, because the Microsoft site just didn't seem to wanna make their software widely available to those who use their OS.

This was the program I used to convert captured video to YouTube-friendly WMVs.

It worked great, for months- functioned flawlessly- easy to use- every bit as good as IMovie. However- last night, I downloaded a long-overdue windows update, and wouldn't you know it- after the update installed, Windows Movie Maker crashes on startup. I go to the Microsoft site, and they proudly declare that there's a new 2.1 update available, but don't give a direct link to the installer- the only way you can only get it through the windows updater website, and unless you have XP Media Edition, it doesn't detect your current install of Movie Maker 2.0, and thusly, I'm screwed.

I'm still wading through google for a direct download- if anyone knows of such a link, or another free suite for such endeavours, drop me a line...