And ya know- I could spend a lot of time bloviating about the events that have transpired over the past few days- but a hell of a lot of other political blogs have beaten everything to death, by now.
Indeed- I could pull a weird conspiracy theory regarding the recent death of former Pakistani Prime Minister Bhutto out of my posterior, backing it all up with third-generation quotes from disreputable websites that didn't know what they were talking about- but if I did that...
I'd be Alex Jones, Matt Drudge, or Glenn Beck.
But I'm not.
Just suffice it to say that the trip down to red America was illuminating. I'll try to find time to fill boring column inches with what came to light in coming days, but for now, I just have two items to mention:
1: Been wondering what Ron Paul's been spending alla that money on?
I can only assume it's signs. Up here in NJ, you occasionally see the odd Paul bumper sticker or yard sign- perhaps you'll see the "hip" sign that the campaign has adopted (the one trumpeting the Ron Paul "Revolution", with the "EVOL" in reverse letters, inversely spelling "Love") hanging on a freeway overpass.
But lemme tell ya'll- you couldn't travel a mile in Tennessee or Alabama without seeing Ron Paul signs. Sometimes, they cropped up in the most secluded of spaces: on lonely two-lane roads that led pretty much from nowhere, en route to nowhere.
I seriously doubt that these signs were placed way out in Tim McVeigh country, because those who posted them were swayed much by Paul's anti-war message.
Now, part of me wants to just dismiss the more sinister connotations that come with a candidate being so popular in a part of the country that still plays host to the occasional lynching- but then, the more logical corner of my brain comes knocking:
"Yo- Eric- if it weren't for the patently suicidal voting choices of the south, we wouldn't have had to deal with Reagan, or both Bushes. We wouldn't have had to suffer the shame of Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, or Trent Lott- not to mention the deplucitous idiocy of self-serving charlatains like Ray Nagin."
My time down south was punctuated by moments in which I felt as if I was in a Ron Paul themed episode of the Twilight Zone. When you pass through twenty miles of open territory interspersed with the occasional half-burnt-out trailer, with Ron Paul signs marking the miles, I have a hard time believing that his consituency has much ideological common ground with me...
After all, this is an area of the world where most people believe that professional wrestling is real, while the moon landing was staged in a Hollywood studio.
2: Southern Pit BBQ is the single greatest contribution of the USA to the culinary world.
At the risk of being accused of adding "fluff" to a website/blog that has spent the past four years screaming about the worst abuses of this administration, I wanna just say:
Imagine the most moist and succulent meat, slow-cooked, loaded with grease, fat, and unimaginably bad for you (but too damned delicious to resist) slathered in a sauce that is achingly sweet upon the first taste, then changing to a delectable spiciness that lingers on the tongue for an hour.
This is a food that rivals the finest beluga caviar, french brie, and swiss chocolate in sheer decadence, and you can only find the genuine article below the mason-dixon line. I spent the past five years searching for it, locally, but always in vain.
I was lucky enough to score five pounds of pork from BB's Barbecue, an establishment that occupies a clapboard trailer in the middle of Franklin TN, and this stuff is edible gold.
They say they deliver, nationwide- I can only imagine the expense, but trust me- it's worth every penny (be sure and get the hot sauce...)
DECEMBER 24, 2007
(Image courtesy of Destino.)
Maybe it's because I haven't bothered watching Fox "news" much over the past few months, but I've noticed a lot less of the right-wing nonsense about a "war on Christmas" this year. Guess they've been too busy scaremongering about immigration, to bother looking at the calendar.
Anyway- to one and all: however you celebrate this holiday season, may it be a good one.
MY CHRISTMAS GIFT TO THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT:
A bit of advice to each...
To Fred Thompson:
Okay, leaving aside the facts that you possess all of the visual appeal of a dehydrated monkey's testicle, and your positions on the issues only appeal to those who think that the Bush presidency wasn't loony and simple-minded enough, I'm going to give you the advice that, apparently, none of your staffers or handlers have had the guts to tell you:
Whenever you come out to speak or debate, for the sake of "Bob"- suck on a damned ricola!
Now, Mike- I understand that as a former minister, and fervent christian, you're very quick to give all glory to your version of "god" for your inexplicable explosion in the polls. In good faith, I can't hold that against you- but your recent holy roller act is going to bite you in the ass, should you come out on top.
Ya see- I know you are aware, as am I, that the religious wingnut base of your party is in search of a candidate, but you've already lost over 50% of them- and you're never-ever- going to convert them. You've consistently sided with the "liberal" wing of the southern baptist convention that considers the Bible to be allegorical, rather than literal, and they've always been outvoted by the conservative wing.
While I might agree with you on the metaphorical nature of scripture, to the right-wing "christian" base, your position puts you in the same category as Osama Bin Laden as far as they are concerned, and no amount of prosthelytizing from the podium will win them over.
Your current tent-revival approach to campaigning isn't going to sell with the american public- I'm sure we all remember the last guy who rolled into power, promising to be a "compassionate conservative who is guided by his faith."
We're not electing a pastor, we're electing a president.
To Rudy Giuliani:
Rudy- whenever you smile, and show off that top row of freakishly white choppers, you look like The Maxx. I'm pretty sure that if you were able to break through the rigor mortis in your lower lip and show more teeth, it'd be even more disturbing.
Try and go for the "somber look," or go all-out, and campaign in drag, full-time.
To Duncan Hunter:
I seriously can't remember anything you've done or said of any notice- you're sorta like the Chris Dodd of the republican side. I keep trying to figure out why you're running, other than to out-xenophobe Tom Tancredo, but now that he's out of the race, you're sorta all dressed up, with no place to go.
Three words: Rainbow Clown Wig.
To John McCain:
Dude- just hang it up, go back to your senate seat, and your grave, which will feature your epitaph:
"I coulda been a contender!"
You lost your maverick independent cred, after spending the last eight years sucking up to the guy who spread racist rumors about your adopted child, back in 2000. You lost your integrity, when you embraced Jerry Falwell. You lost your credibility, when you appeared for five minutes in baghdad in full body armor with helicopter gun ship support, and exclaimed how remarkably peaceful the whole scene was.
When you're so damned bad off that your campaign considers the endorsement of Joe Lieberman as a publicity coup, it's time to close up shop.
The more people see you engage in lovefests with arch-fascist bigots like Beck, the greater the chance they will wake up, look past your shiny anti-war veneer, and realize you're chock-a-block with downright dangerous ideas.
To Willard Romney:
I know you're aspiring to an office currently occupied by a guy who wouldn't know who to do with a book if he wasn't using it to beat a newborn kitten to death, but you need to read more.
I'm a lifelong sci-fi geek, and I've suffered through some horrific novels, but Battlefield Earth was unique amongst the numerous space operas I've read, as it was so godawful, that I couldn't finish it. Considering o'l Ron was flying high on methamphetamine and booze, and trying to impregnate 15-year-old adjutants with his malfunctioning genitalia during the time he wrote it adds a tad of flavor to the whole deal.
Why not say that Burrough's "Naked Lunch" is also on your top shelf? Yeah, it's full of homosexual necrophilia and contains a remarkable passage describing a carnival of coprophillia- but it was a far better book than "Battlefield Earth" (and the movie adaptation was far better, too.)
You are the quintessential republican- a loudmouthed, hyperbolic hypocritical serial loser who doesn't know when to shut the hell up. You haven't a chance of getting your party's nomination- which is a shame, as you're pretty much the only one who embodies every one of their self-destructive principles.
But I'd still like to see you in a rainbow clown wig- in drag.
I'm off, tomorrow, to spend the holiday with my family- in what has unfortunately become a solidly red state. I shall return within the week, and who knows- maybe the CMS will be approaching completion by then.
Be well, and keep hope alive.
DECEMBER 19, 2007
TURKEY INVADES IRAQ
Before I begin my incoherent polemic, I here's the headline link. This is a situation that's been brewing for months (not that you'd know if you spent your days watching american television- but I shan't beat that dead horse again, tonight..) Turkish troops started massing on the Iraqi border months ago- and the shooting war started soon afterwards.
At every step of this precipitous escalation, I felt the urge to post about this, but I made the mistake of thinking that as incompetent as Condoleeza and Co were, they'd maybe find a few seconds to lift a finger and do something to stop something as insane as this. I was quite the idiot, in that regard- when one starts to assume, as the old saying goes, all parties become asses- especially when the Bush Bowl is involved.
This is another case in which we must remember the days before Bush launched this war....
Back then, adults like you and I were able to think holistically, and could very well predict the results of an invasion of Iraq: We knew that this unnecessary and illegal war would result in heightened tensions with Iran (since they now had US occupation forces on each side of them.) We knew that we'd be stuck there for years, and would waste several trillion of our tax dollars in the process (because wars are never cheap.) And heaven knows that it was painfully obvious that Turkey would never- EVER- allow a nominally independent kurdish enclave on their eastern border, since it would serve as a refuge for the Kurdish insurgents that have been a thorn in their collective hides for decades.
You see, unlike the children over at the American Enterprise Institute, we took a few moments to do a tad of research, and found out that successive Turkish governments have been emptying their collective colons onto the Kurdish minority in their country for quite some time.
Ankara decreed that speaking the Kurdish language is a crime, worthy of imprisonment. Kurdish families are forbidden to give their children traditional Kurdish names. This is the same sort of crap that Japan imposed upon the Koreans, before WW2.
And, if I might digress, for a moment- to me, one of the greatest crimes against the Kurds in Turkey is the building of the Ilisu dam, which is being constructed specifically so that the most ancient Kurdish settlements will be submerged, and wiped from the face of the earth- particularly, the city of Hasankeyf- a settlement that has lived, risen, fallen, and thrived for over 10,000 years. (Check out a photo gallery here- yep- This city has been in existence since our species lived in caves- it's that old- and it's gonna be lost forever, simply because the folks who live there happen to be Kurdish.)
But, apparently, none of this was taken into consideration in the leadup to the war in Iraq. In the immediate aftermath of the war, the neocons were always quick to point out that while Iraq as a whole might be a chaotic and bloody place, Kurdish northern Iraq was relatively peaceful and prosperous. For well onto two years, the example of this small part of Iraq was used as a bludgeon to counter any argument about the legitimacy of the war in Iraq.
"Yeah, there are problems, but the Kurds are simply THRIVING! Doesn't that justify our invasion?"
Whenever I heard this defense, I could only heave a heavy sigh- because, as an adult, I knew that it was only a matter of time before the inevitable happened- that the Kurdish separatists in Turkey would realize that if they only walked a few miles over a porous border into Iraqi Kurdistan, they'd have a place to rest, recuperate, raise cash, buy crateloads of weaponry, and then head back home, to raise hell.
And sure enough, it happened, and Turkey is now responding in kind, attacking the one trophy that the Neocons have taken from this whole Iraq Fiasco.
I have to take a moment to once again ask a pressing question: How come a college dropout like me could see this coming, and the highly-educated ivy leaguers in the Bush Bowl couldn't? Honestly- It's not like I'm a genius or anything- it just took five minutes skimming the CIA factbook about Turkey, which is online, and available for anyone to read.
Don't bother- I know the answer...
In the wake of this recent Turkish invasion of Iraq, there has been a diplomatic breakdown that you probably haven't heard of. In the hours after the incursion, Turkey claimed that the United States government backed the move- which was subsequently denied by the state department. Then, as Condoleeza Rice landed in Baghdad for yet another deer-in-the-headlights show, where she was to deliver an empty and meaningless "ultimatum" to the Maliki puppet government, she was roundly rebuked by the Kurdish contingent.
Now- here's what gets me- Idiot boy recently signed a "best friends forever" covenant with the laughably ineffectual Iraqi government, and has spoken about a long-term commitment with Iraq, similar to that which we have with South Korea.
So- does this mean we'll be going to war with Turkey, now?
So much for the surge...
DECEMBER 11, 2007
FIRST OFF- STEVE NEEDS YOUR HELP...
Steve over at IWillTryIt.com needs a liver transplant- in fact, unless he gets such, he is likely to die. His friends and family are trying to raise funds here. Give, if you can.
(And, BTW, some folks have chastised me for linking to this guy's video blog, because he happens to be a dedicated christian who happens to believe in bible prophecy. To those who have, I can only issue a hearty "Screw you"- Bushflash stays true to the homies who stood with it, back in the hard times.)
SECONDLY- let's all pile on!
It is the tradition of political blogs to harp on the opposing side's political rising stars, and in recent weeks, the investigations into Mike Huckabee have grown in numbers commensurate to his rise in the polls.
Now, I try to present something fresh, here, and am loathe to join the herd, but dangit, in this case, I have to make an exception.
Mike Huckabee is a charming guy- Amongst the republicans, he seems, on the surface, to be the most likeable. However, as I have to insert the prerequisite fecal reference, I'll point out the obvious simile at play here- namely, that Huckabee seems to be the most palatable turd that the vast toilet that is the GOP has spewed onto our collective privy floor.
However, there's one photo that sums it all up, here:
Yep- there's ol' Huck, busting a groove for the freepers' 2001 inaugural party.
Now- I could spend about three paragraphs pointing out how horrific republican shindigs are, considering that this is what their musical lineups look like, but that's another post, for another day.. (The guy to the right of Huckabee, however, I saw swathed in marijuana smoke and cheap Nauruan hookers at an after-hours IPDI conference K-street party back in '05 (and I'll save the full story for my anonymous novel.))
Goodnight, ya'll- CMS is coming, within weeks.
DECEMBER 6, 2007
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, BUSHFLASH DEFENDS BUSH...
Okay, in recent days, the buzz has been that the recent intelligence estimate vis a vis Iran proves that Bush has been driving us into war, with full knowledge that his essential argument was undermined by the facts on the ground.
In tuesday's press conference, Bush maintained that such is not the case, as he had only read the brief, last week.
For once in my life, I believe the man.
Remember- this is the guy who ignored the PDB "Bin Laden determined to strike at the US." This is the guy who didn't know what was going on in New Orleans, until the city was underwater. Those administration officials who are claiming to have discussed this report with him are simply covering their asses.
In all of the fear over Bush's recklessness in his rush towards yet another war, we've forgotten an important, fundamental truth:
Bush is, well- dumber than a sack of rocks- he's thicker than molasses in january- and a dozen other folksy metaphors for "incredibly dumb."
To be quite frank, I wouldn't be surprised if he hadn't been briefed about the intelligence estimate until 10 minutes before he hit the podium.
Ya see, Bush screws up so often, it's like the weather- and this particular incident, by and of itself, was a front of ingorance heading into a bank of indifference. Such a combination, in and of itself is indicative of gross neglect, rather than intentional malice.
And that comes from no less a source than the National Intelligence Estimate- you know- the document that Bush glances at briefly, before settling down for an evening of CMT and ritz crackers. It's usually buried underneath a pile of unread Presidential Daily Briefs (not the fruit of the looms...)
I'm pretty sure that Bill Kristol and John Bolton are all twisted up inside, tonight. However, I'm not gonna celebrate, too long. These guys, after all, aren't in the "reality-based community." They still have the ear of the right people, and have their Glenn Becks and Limbaughs to fool just enough people...
What use are facts, when there's a world to win?
DECEMBER 2, 2007
RON PAUL, RON PAUL, RON PAUL...
In recent weeks, I've been asked many times what my opinions regarding Ron Paul are.
My first answer is: "He'd make a better president than Bush." However, that's damning the guy with the faintest of praises. I've got soiled socks in the back of my closet that would make a better president than Bush. With the exception of Giuliani, Tancredo, and Thompson, any of the republicans running would wind up doing a better job than Bush.
I've followed the career of Paul for many years- however, our introduction wasn't all that impressive.
Before the war, he distinguished himself by being the legislative answer to John Bolton- continuously introducing anti-United Nations bills to congress that were routinely voted down. He also spent a lot of time sniffing the backside of Gun Owners of America, whose founder, Larry Pratt, had a history of trolling for support among white supremacist groups.
That having been said, he has been consistently against the war in Iraq, and was pretty much the only republican who refused to drink the Bush Bowl's kool-aid. I was surprised to hear him on Pacifica's "Democracy Now" back in 2003, where he presented a cogent and common-sense rebuttal to the march to war, delivered from the conservative point of view in a charming texas twang. Since the beginning of the war, his anti-war cred has been impeccable, and he's worked closely with the unlikeliest of bedfellows, including Dennis Kucinich.
While his polling amongst republicans has been consistently low, he's surprised a lot of folks (myself included) with his ability to raise a respectable amount of cash in a short period of time, via the web. However, this, in and of itself, isn't really indicative of much- Howard Dean pulled the same trick back in '04, and we all know how far that went.
This isn't 2004, however, and Ron Paul seems to have struck a genuine chord amongst a significant number of folks. This is mostly due to the fact that the republican party has a sizeable anti-war contingent that has been pretty much disowned by the party at large. Add to this the internet Buzz that has won him support amongst a large number of independents and first-time voters who (quite understandably) are turned off by the vacillation of many of the democratic candidates, vis a vis Iraq.
However, despite Paul's continuing insistence that he's running as a republican, he remains a libertarian at the core- and libertarianism is a philosophy of government that embodies social darwinism run amok. Libertarians want to demolish what little remains of our social safety net, and much more:
1: Department of education? Do away with it! Turn education over to corporations, churches, and charitable organizations.
Great! So, we'll have private Haliburton schools for the rich, religious madrassas for others, and overcrowded basket-case schools in poor areas that depend on charity for their operating costs. Pardon me if I fail to see a silver lining, here.
2: Food stamps, WIC, and Social security? Away with them!
Yeah! Let's leave those single mothers, working poor, and struggling families to themselves- if they starve to death, it's their fault for not being smart enough to get rich! And don't get us started on medicaid- poor kids and elderly don't deserve a flu shot- medicine is for those who are strong enough to be rich.
3: Get rid of the UN, and refuse any international treaties!
Great! This approach to international relations makes Bush's seven-year middle finger to the world look downright warm and cheerful. Screw the world- it's not like we live here, or anything...
4: Government oversight of commerce? That's COMMUNISM! AWAY with the FDA- what did they ever do for us?
Again- GREAT thinking, there, Libertarians. Hope ya don't mind your kids sucking up alla the lead and date rape drugs pouring out of their toy chest, before digging into their e-coli laced salads.
And there's so much more- ya see, the paradox of "small government" conservatism/libertarianism is that those candidates who adhere to it are quick to say that government is inherently bad, and once they are elected, they do everything in their power to destroy the government's ability to function, and thus, their admonition of the ineffectual nature of government becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Further, Libertarianism has always been, and remains a destructive philosophy- they want to destroy 75% of what our government does, but when pressed about what is to replace these badly-needed services, they mumble generalities about how the "free market will provide."
We saw this sorta thinking in action, back in the days of Reagan. He decided to dramatically cut the government expenditures for mental health programs, and as a result, hundreds of mental hospitals nationwide found themselves without the money they needed to help their patients. These hospitals were forced into a deadly calculus: treat the patients who were "salvageable", and discharge the rest out into the streets.
As a result of this, the ranks of our nation's homeless population were swelled by tens of thousands of mentally ill people who were all but incapable of surviving on their own. It was a monumental tragedy that begs comparison to the indifference of regimes such as those led by Kim Jong Il and Nicolae Ceauşescu.
Now, I feel the need to change subjects, as this diatribe was supposed to be about Ron Paul, rather than an anti-libertarian polemic, so here we go...
All things considered, Ron Paul is the most palatable of the republican candidates, but that ain't saying much. While I dislike the "candidate whom I'd like most to have a nonalcoholic drink with" comparison, he comes out on top, on that yardstick.
Regardless of such superficialities, I am not a libertarian- I'm a liberal/progressive, and have too many fundamental differences with him to ever lend him my support.
Finally, in the interests of full disclosure... In my research, I discovered that Ron Paul's online support base includes former Klan Grand Dragon David Duke, along with the racist website/forum Stormfront.org (scroll to the bottom of the page for the link.)
Believe it or not, I'm going to defend Ron Paul from those who would use this to defame him.
When you're in the public sphere, you have no control over who supports you, particularly when it comes to the internet. In the early days of this site, while I was receiving hits from Indymedia, Antiwar.com, and Buzzflash, I was also being linked to from White Aryan Resistance supporters, UFO fanatics, and David Icke, a guy who maintains, to this day, that George Bush and Tony Blair are transdimensional shapeshifting avatar lizardmen.
All things considered, I'd rather get a link from Icke, than Ann Coulter (who has endorsed Romney, BTW.)
LATE NIGHT MUSIC CLUB WITH JOY DIVISION
Ya know- this is one of the reasons why YouTube rocks so righteously. This is a performance by Joy Division from 1978, that's pretty much unavailable anywhere else. (Oh- and Ian wasn't high- he was just into the music...)
When I sit and think that this is almost 30 years old...
Considering I was born in 1970, Joy Division will be to this current generation, as the Andrews Sisters were to me...
NOVEMBER 27, 2007
TEXT, AND MORE DAMNED TEXT...
I just wanna interject into the jubilation regarding the supposed "success" of "the surge..."
Ya see, I got sort of sick of hearing the week-plus of the usual suspects citing the diminished death count in Iraq as proof that Bush has known what he's been doing, all along. I could deal with the sickness, though it clawed at my throat. However, then came the day when I heard two idiots say:
"Only 38 dead!"
It was at that point where I found my sobriety taxed almost to the limit, and before I could regain my thoughts, I was clutching the rim of the toilet bowl as my lunch went bye-bye.
Yeah- only 38 people died in the last month in this misbegotten adventure. Wow- I'm pretty sure those 38 families are just giddy with excitement.
Add to the list the two UK servicepeople who died last month, and it just gets all the more rosy. I'm pretty sure they were having extra portions of bangers and mash, as they reflected on how fortunate they were...
YAY!!! ONLY 38 40 DEAD!
Another 40 will be dead by the time this month ends.
So- after two months, we've gone from an grotesque quantity of death, to a sickening quantity of death. I fail to see any reason to celebrate any "success" here.
After Condi bumbled her way into the Department of State at the head of a parade of failures, I must admit- I grew to like her- well- not "like her", but "find her slightly amusing." Ya see, while her stunning incompetence and inability to accomplish anything in her job is de rigueur among Bush appointees, her speaking style is incredibly distinctive.
It's sort of like watching a sickly baby deer wobbling to its feet to take its first stumbling steps. She sounds like a cross between a battered housewife, and an abused child trying to talk its way out of yet another beating at the hands of its alcoholic father. Her body language is stiff, and I hate to belabor the deer analogies, but she looks exactly like one caught in the headlights on an oncoming mack truck.
She seems intent on suppressing an instinctive urge to flee- to just run as hard and fast as she can from the cameras.
It is while watching this spectacle, that I actually start to feel a bit of pity for this woman. She clearly knows that she's out of her depth, but she's determined to soldier on, and live up to the... Standards? expected of her.
I'll have new video content up, tomorrow- I apologize for being a pissy blogger, as of late, but to paraphrase the pretender-in-chief, "It's hard work." Work continues on getting a CMS together for the site (I just committed 500 bucks to it,) and hopefully, in short order, things will start to pick up again, content-wise.
I'm just at sort of a quandary, regarding Bush. When I started this site, 75% of americans still thought the idiot was doing a fine and dandy job, and that invading Iraq was retribution for 9/11. Now, as Bush is well into his second year of sub-freezing approval ratings, he is set to go down in history as the most consistently disliked "president" in our nation's history. The majority of americans now realize that they were hoodwinked into the war with Iraq, and want it to end almost as much as I do. Even the religious right has abandoned Bush in his final year, as they fall into internecine fighting.
Now, I'm never gonna be so foolish as to parade around my apartment with a crotch-balooning parachute harness on underneath a "mission accomplished" banner, but it's pretty safe to say that the war for public opinion has been won.
The problem is: despite Bush's increasing irrelevance, and the loathing with which most of the nation and the world regards him, he continues to get everything he wants, and the war continues. So much for democracy, eh?
In coming weeks and months, the focus of this site will shift more onto the ineffectual democratic "opposition," and the democratic candidates that seek to succeed Bush.
Hopefully, you'll be able to help me out...
NOVEMBER 13, 2007
One out of four of our nation's homeless once served to defend our country- this is a crime- this is a sin- this is beyond belief.
Now- I'm pretty sure that the right-wing blogosphere will be quick to echo Reagan's tomfoolery, vis a vis the homeless:
"They WANT to be homeless!"
Screw that- there is such a thing as moral certitude- and there is no defending this, in any way, form or fashion.
Those veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are sinking into homelessness in frightening numbers. First, do something to help them out- and then, do something to end this war...
I keep waiting for the fiscally conservative republicans to clear their throats and pipe up- but I'm not holding my breath. These noble guardians of our tax dollars are WAY too busy blocking spending on social programs and badly-needed infrastructure overhauls.
The white house lived up to their sterling standards, by dismissing the figure as "politically motivated." They didn't even bother denying it.
HILLARY CLINTON CANNOT WIN...
I only mention this, because quite frankly, outside of the war he will start with iran in about six month's time, Bush is pretty much irrelevant, when we look to the future.
As disgusted as I am with the democratic party's spineless congressional behavior, I'm still a grim realist, and realize that more likely than not, I will be supporting the democratic party's nominee, this cycle.
Let me make it clear: Anyone would make a better president than Bush. I'll even go so far as to say that (with the exception of Giuliani and Thompson) any of the republicans running for the highest office will make a better president than Bush. However- that's not really saying much, as a moldy cup of ramen noodles would make a better commander-in-chief than Bush has been.
Considering that the republican party is so much out of public favor that it is likely to show up on "The Surreal Life" as Bronson Pinchot's roomie, it's all but certain that the democrats will capture the white house. Further, with resignations and scandals heralding an all-out collapse of the republican congressional delegation, the democrats have a fair chance to gain a fillibuster-proof majority in both houses of congress.
The only thing that could stop this from happening, is if Hillary Clinton gets the democratic nomination.
Again, I've had the chance to communicate with more diehard Hillary supporters lately, and the starry-eyed blind optimism is striking. Nader supporters have nothing on these folks. Let me lay it out for you:
1: While I'm certain that just about everyone reading this shares my deep-set dislike of Karl Rove, one must remember:
Just because you hate the guy, doesn't mean that he's always wrong.
Karl's admonition about Hillary's negatives being the highest of any candidate in recent times is rooted in statistical fact. Like it or not, a near-plurality of the american people say that they will not vote for Hillary. Her supporters are quick to say "Well- when the voters get to know her, they'll come to like her."
Bollocks- if there's one political figure that is almost universally known in this country, it's Hillary Clinton. The american people ALREADY know her, and they don't like what they know, which brings us to:
2: Hillary is as unpalatable to the antiwar base of the democratic party, as she is to republicans. She has voted consistently with the republicans and the whims of the Bush administration in regards to Iraq and Iran. She voted to confirm Alberto Gonzales, Condoleeza Rice, and just seems to have a penchant for buckling.
To assume that the antiwar democrats will fall into line, simply because they have "no other option" post-convention, is fatally arrogant. Should Hillary become the nominee- this life-long democrat will be voting for a write-in candidate.
3: The religious right, which has served the republican party so well for the past twenty years, is in total disarray. I've been listening in to the fundie christian talk shows as of late, and ever since Pat Robertson gave his nod to Giuliani, it's been a joy to behold.
Remember when you were a kid, and you first decided to see what would happen if you tossed a rock into an anthill? The past 72 hours have been sorta like that. Just replace the milling ants with extra-chromosome fundies, and you'll get a visual approximation.
Their preferred candidate, at this point, seems to be Fred Thompson. However, considering that Fred's campaign has shown to have all the momentum of a asthmatic snail crawling up a 90-degree incline in mid-july, it's not looking good. There have been some evangelists who have already begun to tell their flocks to stay home on election day.
Without the dedication of these mouth-breathers, the republican party immediately loses anywhere from four to eight million votes, and a hundred thousand full-time volunteers. Without these crucial voters, the republicans lose the white house, and republicans lose across the board in offices from the mayor's office to the congress.
However- there is one thing that will prompt the right-wing evangelical base back into the voting booth: The prospect of Hillary becoming president.
Should Hillary become the nominee, the evangelical republican base will flock back into the republican fold, and grant the GOP an immediate five to ten point advantage (which, considering point #1, all but cements a loss of both the white house and the congress for the democrats.)
4: Hillary's campaign mantra has been "I'm the biggest Washington insider on stage!" If that doesn't give you shivers down your spine, I don't know what will.
Just in case ya'll haven't been paying attention for the past seven years, we've been dealing with the ultimate insiders- a perversely perfect nexus between freakish Washington neocon think tanks, war profiteers, and rampant cronyism.
We really can't stand any more of that...
5: Hillary claims to be "the girl" for those who want to take on the right-wing smear machine.
Uhh- Please show me one example of when she did such- and NO- I'm NOT going to accept that "vast right-wing conspiracy" soundbite.
Hillary was able to ENDURE the right-wing smear machine, but has never taken it on, never confronted it, nor has she ever defeated it. Likewise, John Kerry was able to ENDURE the swiftboating- and we all know how far that got him.
In her boasts, she's bragging about her ability to sit around and do jack-all, while being slimed from all quarters. Kudos for your ability to show no spine and do nothing in the face of unfair and manufactured smears, Hillary! That's JUST what we want from a candidate!
Trust me, should she get the nomination- when the right-wing smear machine goes into overdrive, she'll pull a Dukakis: she'll disappear from sight for three months, and then make a noble, yet fruitless push just in time for an ignoble defeat.
Now- I could spend the next couple of hours going into more detail, but I trust you get the idea...
The problem I have here, is that those misguided folks who are so steadfastly in Hillary's corner are sure to counter:
"But if we only click our heels together, screw our eyes up tight, and WISH hard enough, all of that won't mean anything!"
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. (John Adams)
The facts are in: Hillary is unelectable. Yes- that puts her in a category below that of George W. Bush- does that surprise anyone?
Now- let me daub the teary eyes of those Hillary supporters who might take exception to what I've written:
Yes- I agree- it's long since past the time that we have a woman as president. That having been said, that doesn't mean that anyone who claims posession of a uterus is automatically qualified for the office, anymore than George W Bush was qualified for office, because he owned a pair of testes (albeit very, very, very, very, very small ones.)
In recent days, Hillary's lead has shrunken, and one can only hope that she'll implode, in coming months. I have no snappy ending- I need to get to bed.
NOVEMBER 6 , 2007
MAKING GOOD A PROMISE...
(I'll have new media and such for you, very soon- I've been going through a recuperation, of sorts...)
Back in the early days of running this site, I was bombarded with hate mail.
I don't mention this out of complaint- I enjoyed getting these inarticulate screeds from the hardcore wingnuts. Ya see- for years, the most extreme provincial yahoos of this nation had ensconced themselves in discreet trailer parks and neoconservative thinktanks dotting the more blighted areas of america, and had pretty much kept to themselves. You could only hear from them, if you knew where to look.
However, during those heady years of irrational fear and prideful ignorance following 9/11, these folks had started to scuttle out, emboldened, into the light, and were leaving their verbal droppings everywhere.
Whenever I got one of these e-mails, My confidence grew in the certainty that this dark time was to be a short one. Certainly, I thought, such a childish mindset would self-destruct before too long.
However, occasionally, one of these mouth breathers would fairly admonish me:
"If the democrats ever gain power again, I hope that you'll be honest enough to be as critical of them, as you are of Bush."
Here's what you've been waiting for, Buford....
It has now been a year since the democratic party regained control of both houses of congress, and it is time to show the honesty that was fairly demanded of me. I am not, and never have been, a water carrier for a party, or a politician. While the pundit corps on the right has turned collective ass-covering into a fine art, and their major league icons continue to report from the depths of the bunker that "all is right and good," I cannot similarly engage in such blatant tomfoolery, in regards to "my side."
This has never been a sport- and I'm not a "team player." I have no interest in covering the Democratic Party's ass- rather, I come to kick it.
So let me make this clear:
On just about every level, the democratic party has not lived up to the trust put in it. It has steadfastly refused to do its job in opposing the Bush Bowl, and in its recalcitrance, has become complicit in the crimes of this administration.
I have no time for those who weakly try to defend the ineffectual nature of the democratic party's "opposition" by protesting that the party lacks a veto/filibuster-proof majority.
In presenting this defense, one is saying that almost half of the democratic delegation votes routinely with the republicans on the most important issues, because they're afraid their vote will get overturned or blocked.
This is utter bullshit. If these democrats had the moral courage that we mistakenly assumed that they possessed, they would vote in accordance with the will of those who elected them. Instead, they are allowing themselves to be led by the nose by a "president" that now enjoys the support of only 24% of the american public, and none of the world, outside of the government offices of Australia, Israel, the UK, and Pakistan.
This party- the party that I worked and fought my ass off for- is unwilling, or unable to do the job it was elected to do- to put a stop to this nightmare that we've suffered through for the past six years.
Yes- there have been piecemeal achievements by this congress, but when it comes to issues such as the war in Iraq, Torture, Iran, (and so many others,) they have collapsed like a house of cards, whenever they've encountered the slightest opposition.
The greatest indignity of this, is that it shows just how much "democracy" is just a word, in the final analysis- even here, in the nation that espouses to be that noble idea's greatest and most ardent proponent.
In only the most severe of dictatorships do governments survive that enjoy the merest percentage of its people's support- and they do so, without the shackles that an opposition party would impose. In this country, we have a government that is able to continue to defy the will of the overwhelming majority of the american people, and is able to do so, with the aid of the loyal opposition..
It's a crying shame...
AND A LATE NIGHT MUSIC THINGIE...
I've been a fan of Laibach since my college days, and while I don't like the "techno" direction they've taken in recent years, they remain an inspiration to me on so many levels that it would take a 12-volume set to describe, adequately.
Their rendition of "Hej Slaveni" is a diamond in the rough of their recent releases, and this official video is equally impressive- but dang...
Red "impact" font text used as a prominent visual element? Either great minds think alike, and the boys in Ljubljana caught on to the same zeitgeist that inspired my videos, or they're imitating me...
(The latter's not very likely, but it makes me feel all nice and warm inside- indulge me in a tad of "truthiness.")
OCTOBER 3, 2007
TO THOSE WHO ARE DISGUSTED WITH THE DEMOCRATS...
I'm right there with you.
They rarely can muster a majority to counter a "president" that has enjoyed sub-freezing approval ratings for two years. They can't muster 30 votes to stop a war that is opposed by 70% of the american people.
(Oh- and let me digress, for a sec... I'm sick and goddamned tired of turning on the TV, and hearing pundits talking about the "antiwar left." Opposition to this war has never been a "right-left issue," even back when only a few dared to speak out against it. The majority of the american people now know that it was a stupid idea to invade Iraq. A majority of the american people now want our servicepeople to come home sooner rather than later. I want to hear more people on the news using the term "antiwar majority.")
The presidential candidates, with a few marked exceptions, refuse to do anything that fills me with any confidence.
The right-wing pundits are very happy to point out that the approval ratings for the democratically-led congress are quite lower than Bush's- they neglect to mention that these low numbers result from the congressional democrats' lack of any opposition to Bush. The voters thought they'd see changes- but they got the same Bush BS- only this time, the turd polish is of a blue tinge, rather than that tired old red.
I've been editing rug cleaning videos, creating corporate websites, and making 3d models of vacuum cleaners and steam irons move about in a pleasing way. Six days a week, at three different studios.
Freelancing, as some of you might know, is a freeze-or-fry occupation. You can go through months of intense poverty and inaction, followed by an equal number of months in intense overdrive, as dollars flow into your account.
I'm going through one of the wet seasons, right now, and only have about 20 hours to myself, in a given week. You'll pardon me if I don't exacerbate my recent burnout by spending those few hours here. I have books to read, movies to watch, and the last few nice days of fall to enjoy, during my offtime.
My burnout has yet to be cured. Whenever I get into animation mode, and start looking at recent pictures out of Iraq, I get a tight knot in my stomach. I've told ya'll several times that I've grown sick of looking at mangled soldiers, dead kids, and grieving families- I'm still not over that.
In the time in which I haven't been blogging, and happen to be sitting behind my computer, I've been researching MMORPG authoring software, and have been entertaining the fantasy of creating an online interactive version of Walter Miller's "A Canticle for Liebowitz." Preliminary 3d architecture is being fashioned after the St Bishoy monastery in Egypt (which has become #2 on my "places I want to visit before I die" roster.) However, I doubt I'll ever be able to put together such a project on my own- a staff of twenty would be required to do it properly- but hey- it's a relaxing diversion...
I have another diversionary project that's due to go live, soon, but I can't really talk about it, here.
New animation, when it comes...
SEPTEMBER 11, 2007
SIX YEARS LATER...
"I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people -- and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!"
-"President" George W Bush speaking at the WTC "ground zero", after the 9/11 attacks
Those who knocked those buildings down, heard nothing, because Bush's words, while filled with bravado and broadcast to a nation slavering for revenge, were caged within callous indifference and utter incompetence. Bin Laden was ignored, and rests comfy and secure in the mountains of NW Pakistan to this day. Afghanistan remains a crippled narco state with a government that holds little power outside of Kabul. The taliban are resurgent, flush with millions of dollars procured through opium sales.
Our country is now more isolated and reviled, worldwide, than we have been in the past fifty years. Even the newly-elected conservative governments in europe regard our country with a jaundiced eye, and what few regimes in the middle east we've bribed into our corner are despised by their own people, and tottering on the verge of collapse. Terrorism, worldwide, is more prevelant, destructive, and widespread than it has been in modern history.
Instead of pursuing those that had attacked us that day, we now find ourselves in the fourth year of war against a nation that had nothing to do with those attacks. While we mourn the three thousand americans killed on 9/11, Iraq now mourns over a million of their countrymen, consigned to a shallow grave by the indifferent violence of a war waged out of the blind greed of defense contractors, and the poisoned Straussian Neoconservative dream of bringing democracy to the world at the tip of a cluster bomb.
And yet, in the face of absolutely no evidence of such, a full one-third of our country believes that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks.
Our phones are being wiretapped- habeas corpus is dead- the books we check out of libraries are still being reported to the department of homeland security- our constitution lies in tatters.
Six years after the 9/11 attacks, this is the legacy- this is the monument that stands to mark the thousands who died that day: war, ingorance, and self-betrayal.
SEPTEMBER 5 , 2007
OLBERMANN'S LATEST SPECIAL COMMENT...
I have nothing to add to this.
AUGUST 30, 2007
I'm through with blogging, I have to work on a good video.
I have enough cash to keep the site going, for a few months...
I'm through with being a blogger, and a media portal- There are a million other sites that fill these roles, and they're far better than I could ever be.
You'll hear from me, when I have a news about the next video. The CMS is still under development, but I can't make any promises.
For those too lazy to click and read, I'll summarize:
A christian evangelical entertainment troupe, "Operation Straight Up," has been performing live shows proselytizing the troops in Iraq with the blessing and support of the pentagon. In their own words:
"We feel the forces of heaven have encouraged us to perform multiple crusades that will sweep through this war torn region."
Pointing out everything that's wrong with that one sentence would keep me at my keyboard until the wee hours- I trust you understand what's going on, here.
In the past weeks, it became known that this group was also planning to send "care packages" to the troops in Iraq- all well and good. However, each of these packages were to include one of the tens of thousands of unsold copies of the "Christian" video game, "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" (read my review of the game here.)
Now- that just sucks: Your job is to patrol the streets of baghdad- strolling about in full combat gear in 120-degree heat- and the best you can hope for is that your shift will end without an IED, a carbomb, or a sniper making your day even worse. Subjecting such a person to the incredibly lame gameplay that LB:EF provides is just cruel.
Ya see- I don't care about the "christian message"- this game makes Christianity look about as appealing as giving Robert Novak a full-body massage. What I object to is that out of all the video games that could be sent to the troops to make their fourth rotation in hell a tad more bearable, they're getting the worst one since Kabuki Warriors.
Fortunately, the news made the rounds of the internet, eventually landing in ABC's lap. After a few questions were asked, the program was immediately halted by the Pentagon. Score one for the good guys.
However, this whole affair got me thinking...
I am steadfastly against this war, but as long as American Servicemen are in harm's way, they deserve the best that we can provide. Unlike the erstwhile SecDef Donald Rumsfeld, I believe that our men and women in Unform are entitled to the best body/vehicle armor, the best medical care both on the ground in Iraq and at home, and a swift return to their friends and families.
Just as our servicepeople should not be limited to waiting for Halliburton to fit adequate body armor into their fiscal quarter, they shouldn't have to rely on a right-wing apocalypse cult to supply their entertainment. I'm just throwing the following link at ya:
We'll see if it goes anywhere...
IRAQ BY THE NUMBERS
Surging Past the Gates of Hell
By Tom Engelhardt
Number of American troops in Iraq, June 2007: Approximately 156,000.
Number of American troops in Iraq, May 1, 2003, the day President Bush declared "major combat operations" in that country "ended": Approximately 130,000.
Number of Sunni insurgents in Iraq, May 2007:At least 100,000, according to Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar on his most recent visit to the country.
American military dead in the surge months, February 1-June 26, 2007:481.
American military dead, February-June 2006: 292.
Number of contractors killed in the first three months of 2007:At least 146, a significant surge over previous years. (Contractor deaths sometimes go unreported and so these figures are likely to be incomplete.)
Number of American troops Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and other Pentagon civilian strategists were convinced would be stationed in Iraq in August 2003, four months after Baghdad fell:): 30,000-40,000, according to Washington Post reporter Tom Ricks in his bestselling book Fiasco.
As I stated before, the war in Iraq will continue until there's not a single penny to be made by its continuance. Bush isn't going to let it end, while he's in office, simply because he doesn't want such a horrific failure to be associated with his already-failed presidency- but here's the rub:
The Democrats don't want to stop the war, either. In 2008, they are looking at a 90% chance of capturing the white house, and widening their majorities in both houses of congress. The cornerstone upon which their electoral strategy is built? The Iraq war.
If the Democratic party, tomorrow, showed a tad of backbone and ended the war, their chances in november '08 would sink precipitously. It is in the Democratic party's best interest to play along with Bush, and give him enough rope to hang himself, further.
For Bush to continue this war to save his political hide is so execrable as to be grotesque. For the Democratic party to do the same, to ensure electoral victory, is nothing short of betrayal of the voters who placed their trust in them, and the ultimate disrespect to the hundreds of US soldiers who are sure to die, before the democratic party grasps its certain victory.
BUSHFLASH ON IRANIAN TELEVISION?
Edit: I erroneously stated in the article below that Iran was one of the few Islamic states that allowed women the right to vote and hold office. The fact of the matter is that women's suffrage has been an established institution in many other Muslim nations, and some (Pakistan, Bangladesh) have had women as presidents. However, it is important to point out that women do, indeed, wield significant political and social power in Iran. They are not the cloistered burqa-laden caricature that too many americans believe them to be.
I apologize for my misstatement.
Every day, as I toil away at the various freelance jobs that lend me the tenuous existence that I so enjoy, I like to listen to the various news sources via the Internet. I'll spend an hour or so with Russia Today, another hour with Al Jazeera English News, a bit of time with France 24, and so on and so forth.
It's not that I believe that any of these networks do a better job at supplying unbiased news than our U.S. networks. However, when you broaden your perspective, your ability to spot "spin" sharpens. It's one thing to watch american news, and get the traditional right/left perspective- it's entirely another to find out how the Chinese, the Russians, the Germans, and the Africans view what's going on in the world. It's quite fascinating...
Back to the subject:
After I awoke and had a hearty breakfast of bachelor chow, I sat down at my computer, started an IGS to MAX conversion via Polytrans, and cruised over to PressTV, Iran's state-sponsored 24-hour english language TV network. Soon after I launched the player, I heard Ronan Harris singing the "Anachron" version of VNV Nation's "Legion." I looked over at the video feed, and...
Sweet Merciful "Bob" - my third anniversary animation was being used as an element in a trailer for an upcoming PressTV documentary, "Third Eye." I stayed connected to PressTV for the next five hours, just so I could see it again, in rotation, and make sure that I hadn't hallucinated it all. It turns out that I hadn't...
My feelings? Well- to be honest...
For any lowly flash animator to see his or her work on the big screen is the ultimate rush. It's pure ego, but hell- we live in an ego-driven society, here in the U.S. Considering my recent bouts with depression, I'd have to say it made me feel damned good.
But then, it got me to thinking, and this personal situation raises a heck of a lotta stuff that I'd like to address, here and now.
First off- do I object to someone using my flash animations for their own ends, on a legal basis? Absolutely not. In fact, by the shady laws governing "fair use", my flash animations are 100% public domain. Anyone- the Republican party, Code Pink, Robert Mugabe, Not In Our Name, or NAMBLA is perfectly within their rights to download, convert, use, and broadcast my work for whatever purposes they see fit. Even though I created them, I have no legal rights to them- that's the way the law works.
Do I have a moral problem with Iran state broadcasting using my works for their own ends? Not a bit.
Lemme address the concerns one by one:
Iran is our enemy- by letting them use your work, you're giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
While the current government in Iran is doing things that strike me as utterly repugnant, I have to weigh that repugnance against that which I feel towards my own government, and the loyal opposition.
Iran is not my enemy. I have never been wronged by the Iranian government, or by the Iranian people. I have only been told that these people and their government are my enemies, by self-serving politicians who have done me and my country nothing but harm.
Iran supplies arms to Iraqi Insurgents that are killing our men and women in uniform.
And who could freaking blame them? Iran is bordered by two countries (Iraq and Afghanistan) which are crawling with no less than 200,000 american military personnel, not to mention a few tens of thousands of western mercenaries. Iran has been labeled as part of the "axis of evil" by our idiot-in-chief, and in such a situation, the actions taken by the Iranian government are nothing less than self-preservation. If Canada and Mexico had suddenly been occupied by a foreign power that said that the USA was next in its sights, I'd not only expect my government to send aid to insurgents in those countries- I'd demand it.
Do I blame the Iranians for supplying the means to kill our servicepeople in Iraq? No- I blame the neocon idiots who put our servicepeople in the line of fire, in the first place.
Iran is a dictatorship!
Bullshit. Iran is a democracy. It is, despite what we've been told, the most vibrant and dynamic democracy in the middle east, outside of Israel. They enjoy relative freedom of the press, unequalled access to plastic surgery, and a highly literate population They're the only islamic state (to my knowledge) that allows sex change operations (Yes- the Ayatollah Khomeini approved transexuality- who would have known?)
George W. Bush and Mahmoud Amedinejad (president of Iran) are twin peas in a pod. They were both elected by rural, undereducated fundamentalists who were motivated by fear and ignorance of a world that they were unwilling, or incapable of understanding. They both reign over nations that are far more liberal and progressive than a sideways glance might show.
Iran is anti-semitic!
If by "anti-semitic", you mean Amedinejad's recent holocaust-denial idiocy, all well and good. Can I assume that our "president's" statements about the war against terror being a "crusade" are equally full of horse hockey? (note to the uneducated: the word "crusade," in the muslim world, is analogous to the "final solution.")
Bush's fundamentalist christian backers like to claim that they love the jewish people. What they really believe is that, come the end times, the great and mighty christian host will ascend to a just reward, while every jewish person in existence today will burn in everlasting fire.
Did you know that Tehran has 25 synagogues, and that the jewish population of Iran is guaranteed representation in the Iranian parliament, by virtue of their constitution?
Uhmmm... Iran is imperfect!
Show me a perfect government on "Bob's" green earth, and I'll give you a million dollars, which I will poop out of my own private asshole, delivered to you upon a winged stallion, while playing three trumpets, and a dozen xylophones.
That covers everything, to my knowledge...
In the end, do I feel my work has been hijacked?
No. In fact, this whole incident has made me realize more than ever that I have to get back to creating animations. When your work is shown on television on the other side of the world, it makes you think...
In recent days, the floods in southern asia have claimed the lives of thousands, and as many as twenty million people have found themselves homeless. Half of Bangladesh was underwater. This is Hurricane Katrina multiplied by a thousandfold.
Oh- and as an addendum- Whenever I've posted these appeals, I get a few freakish emails from people telling me that the Red Cross is actually a front organization for a secret mystical cabal of transdimensional shapeshifting lizards (or the bilderbergs, or the illuminati- what have you...) Screw that- people need help, and the Red Cross- while far from perfect- has a far better track record than any other existing charitable organization.
AUGUST 14, 2007
CAN'T BE HAPPY ABOUT ROVE'S DEPARTURE...
I dunno if any of you have gone to see the new "Simpsons" movie, but as I was watching the brief announcement of Turd Blossom's coming departure, I couldn't help but notice that life was imitating art.
In the film, Springfield's lake is woefully polluted, and like many Springfield landmarks, it has become a pretty horrendous eyesore. Lisa, being the person that she is, successfully lobbies to ban dumping in the lake, and the problem is averted- Until Homer is in a hurry to dispose of a twelve-foot silo of pig/human feces, and just can't find the time to wait in line to properly dispose of it.
Once this few dozen cubic meters of raw sewage is unceremoniously dumped into the lake, it not only turns the lake into a deathly miasma, it causes the entire city to be quarantined, as the "most polluted city in america."
In light of today's events, I cannot help but see this as a contemporary parable.
Our political system has become so vile, that we've witnessed the election of the most corrupt and extreme elements- Bill Frist- Tom Delay, and of course, George W. Bush. In the last election, the process seemed to halt, and move (albeit far too slightly) in the proper direction. We all breathed a sigh of relief...
Until George "Homer" Bush decided it was time to say goodbye to the twelve-foot silo of feces, and watch stupidly as it was tossed back into an already repugnant lake.
If you thought that the republican dirty tricks we saw in '04 were a sorry show- just you wait. The last election eventually disgusted the entirety of this country- the next campaign will repulse the entire world (yes- far worse than it is now,) and as it was before, we'll have Karl Rove to thank for it.
I just hope the rest of the world doesn't decide to just build a great glass dome over this country, and forget about us.
Of course, the few remaining supporters of this war will be quick to dismiss this number out of hand- such is their right. They were every bit as quick to dismiss the Lancet estimate of 601,000 Iraqi dead, a year or so back, while in the next breath steadfastly asserting that those legendary WMDs had been found in Iraq.
But here's what gets me about the argument over Iraqi war dead- I've heard it time and again:
"Heck- we Amur'kans ain't responsible for alla them dead mooslims- it's those danged INSURGENTS!"
This speaks of a disconnection with the fundamental understanding of "cause and effect" so profound, that it leaves me stunned. Let me make an analogy, here:
You just took over a farm in a land where Mongeese and Cobras are plentiful- so much so that they are preferred stock in an environment that is not friendly to conventional livestock.
On this farm, there are two corrals- in one, there are a thousand mongeese. In the other, there are a thousand cobras. These pens are adjacent to each other, separated by a thin fence.
As you back your moving van into the driveway, it hits the automated systems that provide water and feed to both the mongeese, and the cobras. Rather than doing anything to rectify the situation, you spend your first months at the farm building your own private version of the Imus Ranch, complete with en suite bars for all bedrooms.
After a few weeks, you're too danged busy telling all of your friends about your recent takeover to notice that most of the cobras and mongeese are starving. The one time you bother to walk out to the corrals, you notice that the fence separating the two is falling apart at a frightening pace- but you don't bother to do anything, because, in your reasoning: "Mongeese and Cobras are both animals, and thus should get along just fine."
Before you know it, the fence breaks down, and carnage ensues- starving reptiles and mammals fall upon each other, and the spectacle is pretty horrific to behold...
But you're away on vacation in Crawford, Texas, clearing brush, and you don't see any of it. You're too busy skimming articles (penned by a Cobra that hadn't seen a Mongoose in 35 years) about how starving Mongeese and dehydrated Cobras are really the best of friends.
Now, as much as you would like to claim that your hands are clean- that you had no control over the situation- that your intentions were pure- or that it's just that cobras and mongeese are just incapable of living together in a civil manner, because they're just too danged primitive- the fault lies solely at your feet.
Explanation for right-wing dumbasses:
Am I comparing Iraqi human beings to base animals? No- I'm pointing out that the Iraqis were treated like animals by the Bush Bowl, along with every one the reds who thought that bombing a country back into the stone age, and then treating it as a corporate sewer was just a grand ol' idea.
While the road to hell is marked by a path of good intentions, a far darker destination lies to greet those who tread the path of ignorance, and arrogance.
AUGUST 13, 2007
I HAVE NO NEWS....
Nothing to say...
Great 'blog, huh?
AUGUST 6 , 2007
NEW VIDEO FLUFF
I've withdrawn from the video competition. A lot of great videos were submitted, and I freely admit that the one I made is little more than a lot of superficial style over very little substance. Honestly, when I was creating it, I spent a lot of time figuring out how I could cram a lot of "edgy" movement on the screen, in order to distract the viewer from the lack of any content.
I'm through with this crap of "supporting our majority." I'm not a goddamned water-carrier like Limbaugh, Beck, Boortz, and Coulter...
The democratic party has screwed us, yet again.
Show me the power of your "netroots", Kos! Show me!!!!
AUGUST 2 , 2007
BRIDGE, BRIDGE, BRIDGE...
Okay, lemme state the obvious, from the git-go:
The bridge collapse in Minnesota was a danged horrific thing, and my best wishes go out to those who were injured, and those families who lost loved ones in this disaster.
However- Those grieving family members can take heart, because our flawless damned media has elevated their tragedy to a level of coverage not seems since Paris Hilton went to the hoosegow. During my lunch break at the office, I turned on the TV, to catch up on the news.
Fox "News": "Bridge, Bridge, Bridge, Bridge bridge bridge, and bridge."
CNN: "Bridge, Bridge, Bridge, Bridge bridge bridge, and bridge."
MSNBC: "Bridge, Bridge, Bridge, Bridge bridge bridge, and bridge."
CNN Headline News: "Bridge, Bridge, Bridge, Bridge bridge bridge, and bridge. Up next: Glenn Beck. "
And thank goodness they did spend so much time on this, because, as we all know, nothing else in the world warranted a single minute of coverage.
They could have dedicated a bit of airtime to the 140 Iraqis that were killed in baghdad over the past 24 hours, but hell- they're just too danged foreign- who cares? One third of Iraqis are without the basic necessities of life, but that's just a distraction, when a bridge collapses in Minnesota- it's not like we have anything to do with the horrific situation in Iraq...
Now, I realize that I'm preaching to the choir- like myself, you folks out there reading this are well aware of the sorry-ass job our corporate media does in delivering information that matters. That's why we get our news via the internet (but hopefully none of you come to this site expecting "news"- anyone who does is deluding themselves.)
However, when I was switching around today, and saw bridge, after bridge, after bridge- just as I saw the same footage of Paris Hilton swaggering out of a california jailhouse like a five-dollar streetwalker plastered across every news broadcast for two damned days...
Two thoughts came to mind:
1: We here in america continuously like to congratulate ourselves on our "marketplace of ideas." Well- all the local idea markets have been bought up by Wal-Mart, and Wal-Mart ain't gonna show you jack that interferes with the bottom line. The defenders of our current media paradigm are quick to point out that the media in many other countries is appreciably worse than what we have here- all well and good, but I'd like to think that we as a society could shoot for a higher ideal than being the "least crappy."
2: Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that we have the internet, because without it, we'd have nowhere else to go to find out what's really going on- another reason to support Net Neutrality. Should the media giants take over the net, as they have the rest of the media, this last resource of independent inquiry will turn into a grotesque echo of what we see on our televisions.
Oh- and you might wanna gird your loins for more such disasters. Bush's tax cuts, along with his penchant for handing down unfunded mandates, have led to budget shortfalls in every state of the union. The national infrastructure is hovering on the edge...
LATE-NIGHT MUSIC CLUB WITH BUSHFLASH
In my totally worthless opinion, the best science fiction novel of all time was and is Walter M. Miller Jr's "A Canticle for Leibowitz." At the dawn of the nuclear age, Miller revolutionized and re-invented the genre of apocalypse fiction.
Written in three parts, the book follows the two-thousand-year development of a catholic order whose mission is to save the few remaining seeds of knowledge that survived the "Simplification," a massive luddite rebellion that gripped the survivors of the "Flame Deluge" (global nuclear war, to you and I.)
In "Canticle," Miller addresses concepts both complex and mundane, humorous and serious, uplifting and depressing. It touches, subtly and eloquently, on the value and irrelevance of religion, the nature of the emergence of faith and science, and the eternal folly and self-destructiveness of mankind.
Along with Orwell's 1984, I make it a practice to read "Canticle," every year. Each time I read it, I discover something new.
I keep hoping that someone in Hollywood (a town so bereft of ideas that they deem "The Brady Bunch" worthy of two movies) will see this book worthy of translation to the silver screen, but alas, they're too busy shoving through the new "Underdog" movie.