NOVEMBER 27, 2006

Oog- well over 3 hours of video to condense into a 3 minute piece. Right now, I'm just shoving the video through After Effects and boiling it down to what's essential. As always, it's not fun work- one video in particular: hospital footage of iraqi kids that were wounded in our "liberation" just tears your freaking heart out.

I hope to have it pieced together in the next few weeks- the music has been chosen, the video collected- now all that remains is a ton of editing.


I want ya'll to meet my favorite veteran- my Grandpa, Terry Martin.

I could write volumes about this man- he was the guy who always brought me hugs and gifts when I was a kid, the guy who countered my adolescent idiocy with patience and understanding, and while the distance between us has been large, in recent years, he has always been close to my heart.

In addition to being one of the world's best grandparents, he is a scholar, a teacher, an engineer, and before all of the preceding, he was a capital-M Marine. He is a decorated veteran of the battle of Iwo Jima, and I'm proud to call him my grandfather, and prouder to call him a lifelong friend.

Recently, in the advance of the Iwo Jima movie, "Flags of our Fathers", he was interviewed by his local newspaper. In all of the hundreds upon hundreds of hours that I spent with him, he never talked much about his experiences on that island, nor the days afterwards. I hope, in times to come, that I might learn more about what he saw and experienced- it needs to be remembered, and documented.

Martin, who joined the Marine Corps at 17, said he remembers running across the island of Iwo Jima and feeling something on his boots.

"You look down and it's someone's intestines" he said. "That's what I remember about it. But that's the nature of war. They don't make (wars) good."

"They don't make wars good." This simple statement sums it all up. It needs to be broadcast on every network, printed at the head of every newspaper, and projected upon the moon's surface.

We have learned this lesson, time and again, as americans, but we seem to forget it repeatedly. At times, we celebrate our forgetfullness:

I remember Bush Senior, after his Iraqi adventure, lauding this collective amnesia, at a gathering of Gulf War 1 veterans:

"You did more than liberate Kuwait," George Senior exulted, "You liberated us from the legacy of Vietnam."

Uhh- Okay- we're "liberated" from the "legacy of Vietnam." That essentially means we can once again forget that war waged for profit and political avarice is a stupid goddamned idea, and we can go back to thinking of war as a soft, distant abstraction.

My Grandpa knew war- and I have a feeling, had he been sitting behind Bush the elder at that moment, he'd have had a few choice words to interject.

Now- don't get me wrong- Terry Martin isn't Howard Zinn. My grandfather is a Hank Hill republican. He owns firearms, hunts, worked for the defense department, and always lectured me about the dangers of listening to "ivory tower pointy-headed east-coast intellectuals."

However- he always taught me that there was no such thing as black-and-white thinking. Tolerance and "getting along" with those who differed from you were the most important things in life. "Live and let live" were words to live by. Most importantly, he told me time and time again that arguing and causing a ruckus didn't get anyone anywhere.

You have two choices: spend your time on earth causing trouble, or you can be part of the solution.

Before sending my grandfather off to war, his mother admonished him:

"Be a good boy while you're over there killing them japanese soldiers."

He claims that he never did figure out how the hell he was supposed to do that.

I dunno whether he knows it or not, but from my point of view, he did.

I wouldn't be the person I am, today, had it not been for him.

His sacrifice and his service deserves a better legacy than that which has been meted out by the current crop of bastards that lead our nation, and his council serves to educate all of us.

May God, Buddha, "Bob", Allah, and all that is eternal and lasting give blessings upon our troops serving in conflicts current, and in the past- and may those same deities render eternal suffering upon those who sent them into harm's way for selfish and crass reasons.

May we all redeem our souls.


Cut and Run, the Only Brave Thing to Do ...a letter from Michael Moore


Tomorrow marks the day that we will have been in Iraq longer than we were in all of World War II.

That's right. We were able to defeat all of Nazi Germany, Mussolini, and the entire Japanese empire in LESS time than it's taken the world's only superpower to secure the road from the airport to downtown Baghdad.

And we haven't even done THAT. After 1,347 days, in the same time it took us to took us to sweep across North Africa, storm the beaches of Italy, conquer the South Pacific, and liberate all of Western Europe, we cannot, after over 3 and 1/2 years, even take over a single highway and protect ourselves from a homemade device of two tin cans placed in a pothole. No wonder the cab fare from the airport into Baghdad is now running around $35,000 for the 25-minute ride. And that doesn't even include a friggin' helmet.

Is this utter failure the fault of our troops? Hardly. That's because no amount of troops or choppers or democracy shot out of the barrel of a gun is ever going to "win" the war in Iraq. It is a lost war, lost because it never had a right to be won, lost because it was started by men who have never been to war, men who hide behind others sent to fight and die.

Let's listen to what the Iraqi people are saying, according to a recent poll conducted by the University of Maryland:

** 71% of all Iraqis now want the U.S. out of Iraq.

** 61% of all Iraqis SUPPORT insurgent attacks on U.S. troops.

Yes, the vast majority of Iraqi citizens believe that our soldiers should be killed and maimed! So what the hell are we still doing there? Talk about not getting the hint.

There are many ways to liberate a country. Usually the residents of that country rise up and liberate themselves. That's how we did it. You can also do it through nonviolent, mass civil disobedience. That's how India did it. You can get the world to boycott a regime until they are so ostracized they capitulate. That's how South Africa did it. Or you can just wait them out and, sooner or later, the king's legions simply leave (sometimes just because they're too cold). That's how Canada did it.

The one way that DOESN'T work is to invade a country and tell the people, "We are here to liberate you!" -- when they have done NOTHING to liberate themselves. Where were all the suicide bombers when Saddam was oppressing them? Where were the insurgents planting bombs along the roadside as the evildoer Saddam's convoy passed them by? I guess ol' Saddam was a cruel despot -- but not cruel enough for thousands to risk their necks. "Oh no, Mike, they couldn't do that! Saddam would have had them killed!" Really? You don't think King George had any of the colonial insurgents killed? You don't think Patrick Henry or Tom Paine were afraid? That didn't stop them. When tens of thousands aren't willing to shed their own blood to remove a dictator, that should be the first clue that they aren't going to be willing participants when you decide you're going to do the liberating for them.

A country can HELP another people overthrow a tyrant (that's what the French did for us in our revolution), but after you help them, you leave. Immediately. The French didn't stay and tell us how to set up our government. They didn't say, "we're not leaving because we want your natural resources." They left us to our own devices and it took us six years before we had an election. And then we had a bloody civil war. That's what happens, and history is full of these examples. The French didn't say, "Oh, we better stay in America, otherwise they're going to kill each other over that slavery issue!"

The only way a war of liberation has a chance of succeeding is if the oppressed people being liberated have their own citizens behind them -- and a group of Washingtons, Jeffersons, Franklins, Ghandis and Mandellas leading them. Where are these beacons of liberty in Iraq? This is a joke and it's been a joke since the beginning. Yes, the joke's been on us, but with 655,000 Iraqis now dead as a result of our invasion (source: Johns Hopkins University), I guess the cruel joke is on them. At least they've been liberated, permanently.

So I don't want to hear another word about sending more troops (wake up, America, John McCain is bonkers), or "redeploying" them, or waiting four months to begin the "phase-out." There is only one solution and it is this: Leave. Now. Start tonight. Get out of there as fast as we can. As much as people of good heart and conscience don't want to believe this, as much as it kills us to accept defeat, there is nothing we can do to undo the damage we have done. What's happened has happened. If you were to drive drunk down the road and you killed a child, there would be nothing you could do to bring that child back to life. If you invade and destroy a country, plunging it into a civil war, there isn’t much you can do ‘til the smoke settles and blood is mopped up. Then maybe you can atone for the atrocity you have committed and help the living come back to a better life.

The Soviet Union got out of Afghanistan in 36 weeks. They did so and suffered hardly any losses as they left. They realized the mistake they had made and removed their troops. A civil war ensued. The bad guys won. Later, we overthrew the bad guys and everybody lived happily ever after. See! It all works out in the end!

The responsibility to end this war now falls upon the Democrats. Congress controls the purse strings and the Constitution says only Congress can declare war. Mr. Reid and Ms. Pelosi now hold the power to put an end to this madness. Failure to do so will bring the wrath of the voters. We aren't kidding around, Democrats, and if you don't believe us, just go ahead and continue this war another month. We will fight you harder than we did the Republicans. The opening page of my website has a photo of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, each made up by a collage of photos of the American soldiers who have died in Bush's War. But it is now about to become the Bush/Democratic Party War unless swift action is taken.

This is what we demand:

1. Bring the troops home now. Not six months from now. NOW. Quit looking for a way to win. We can't win. We've lost. Sometimes you lose. This is one of those times. Be brave and admit it.

2. Apologize to our soldiers and make amends. Tell them we are sorry they were used to fight a war that had NOTHING to do with our national security. We must commit to taking care of them so that they suffer as little as possible. The mentally and physically maimed must get the best care and significant financial compensation. The families of the deceased deserve the biggest apology and they must be taken care of for the rest of their lives.

3. We must atone for the atrocity we have perpetuated on the people of Iraq. There are few evils worse than waging a war based on a lie, invading another country because you want what they have buried under the ground. Now many more will die. Their blood is on our hands, regardless for whom we voted. If you pay taxes, you have contributed to the three billion dollars a week now being spent to drive Iraq into the hellhole it's become. When the civil war is over, we will have to help rebuild Iraq. We can receive no redemption until we have atoned.

In closing, there is one final thing I know. We Americans are better than what has been done in our name. A majority of us were upset and angry after 9/11 and we lost our minds. We didn't think straight and we never looked at a map. Because we are kept stupid through our pathetic education system and our lazy media, we knew nothing of history. We didn't know that WE were the ones funding and arming Saddam for many years, including those when he massacred the Kurds. He was our guy. We didn't know what a Sunni or a Shiite was, never even heard the words. Eighty percent of our young adults (according to National Geographic) were not able to find Iraq on the map. Our leaders played off our stupidity, manipulated us with lies, and scared us to death.

But at our core we are a good people. We may be slow learners, but that "Mission Accomplished" banner struck us as odd, and soon we began to ask some questions. Then we began to get smart. By this past November 7th, we got mad and tried to right our wrongs. The majority now know the truth. The majority now feel a deep sadness and guilt and a hope that somehow we can make make it all right again.

Unfortunately, we can't. So we will accept the consequences of our actions and do our best to be there should the Iraqi people ever dare to seek our help in the future. We ask for their forgiveness.

We demand the Democrats listen to us and get out of Iraq now.


Michael Moore

NOVEMBER 24, 2006

Happy thanksgiving!!!

This, plus the car bomb that exploded within the green zone yesterday really sets things up for a boffo end of the year. We never had control of Baghdad proper, and now the heavilly-fortified green zone is vulnerable.

Now, in light of our inability to even secure ten square kilometers within a city rapidly sliding towards anarchy, my money's on Saddam Hussein being broken out of prison a week or so before his execution date.


Yo, all- here's the deal for the immediate future:

A new animation/video is under works. I plan to take advantage of the software and smarts I have (such as they are), and do something a bit more extraordinary. I spent the day collecting material, and in coming days, this will be the focus of my energies, in regards to this site.

What this means, in regards to the site:

I will be updating, twice a week, with new media, and a short blog that will be high on links, and short on hyperbole. This will continue, until the new video is complete.

NOVEMBER 21, 2006

As always, Keith cuts to the heart of the matter.

Personally, this whole incident brings back a (potentially boring) memory from my high school days...

In my senior class, we had a particular hemorrhoid of a student who I shall refer to here as "Curveball."

Curveball was typical of many in my generation, who, during the darkest years of the cold war, always came to school dressed in what was at the time, a post-punk chic whose wardrobe consisted of military jackets, camouflage coats, etc. At the time, this dress apparently meant "I support Reagan- hoo-RAH! I dress this way to show my commitment to die in our next crusade!" It was roughly analogous to the phenomenon in certain arab states where children don toy suicide vests...

Anyway, one day, it came time for our sociology class to start "Debate Season." We were paired up with partners to take on a particular topic that was of serious import to the world. Curveball requested that he be given the question of war. He wished to argue that war was endemic to the human condition, and should be celebrated, and accepted as a fiat byproduct of humanity. Unfortunately, I had already committed to a debate concerning the existence of God, so I couldn't serve as a contrarian to this absurd notion. The responsibility fell to someone further down the alphabetical scale than I.

One of the details of "Debate Season" was that if the student desired, he or she could bring in a guest speaker, to aid them in their presentation. Curveball immediately announced that his father, a decorated combat veteran who had served in Vietnam, would join him. Apparently, Curveball dreamed of the stolid father and son team standing side-by-side, announcing that in the new american morning, there would be short shrift for anyone who doubted the certainty of America's military destiny.

On the opening session of Debate Season, Curveball proudly announced that he wanted to go first. Marching to the fore of the room (again, in his faux military attire,) he unfurled a map, which he pasted to the blackboard- it was quite a sight. He had all the "commie nations" pasted over in red, with prominent red arrows arching to and fro from various parts of the world. His spoken presentation consisted of two minutes of hackneyed "america first" jingoism, capped with an admonition that "if we do not combat the communist threat, our children will be eaten by goats, blah-blah-blah."

Yeah- I don't recall his exact closing statement, because subsequent to his curtain call, he called in his father...

Here's a recap of his comments- I don't claim to recall them exactly, but I remember the event, as if it had taken place yesterday. I am taking the liberty of re-writing his statement here, and I do so with trepidation, for it was one of the most memorable events of my high school days, and I fear that an interpretation tempered by the intervention of 18 years might fall short of what was indeed said. Nevertheless, this is how I remember it:

Curveball's father came in- he was a small man, curved and bent, bearded, and soft-spoken. He wore a beaten army jacket, along with the medals that he had earned, during his service. He sat, and began to speak:

"I was 19, when I joined up in the marines, and I signed up to serve in Vietnam. There are no words that can describe what I and many others went through.'

"War changes people- it makes them into hard, irrational beings who are willing to do terrible things, simply because they can.'

"I was on patrol with a squad, and we had spent the last week trampling through back country. We were about a dozen guys, and a jeep with a mounted machine gun in the rear. It was spring, and not only was it hot and humid, the ground was so soft and soggy that if you took a step off of the road, your boot would sink a foot into the mud.'

"Tennessee is humid- it's hot- but it's nothing like it is in Vietnam. Between the heat, the humidity, and mosquitoes the size of your thumb, every day was hard- and the only way to survive, was to be harder...'

"One day, after a week of marching, after seven days of rations, no showers, and occasional VC attacks, we we tired, we smelled horrible, and were sunburnt and covered with mosquito bites. Then, we saw a woman approaching on a bicycle...'

"Our group fanned out- we didn't know who she was, or what she was doing- it was common procedure. She kept on cycling towards us, and eventually, one guy was sent out front to see who this woman was.'

"It turned out that she was just a food merchant- she had baskets full of water, beer, coca-cola, eggs, and rice- she was just someone trying to make a buck...'

"After we'd been on rations for a week, we loved this- she was asking five dollars for a can of coca-cola, and we paid her. I remember the gunner on the jeep bought a coke, and was so excited, his hands were shaking. When he opened it, it exploded all over his face, but he drank it down, warm, laughing and so happy that he was getting a taste of home.'

"The gunner then bought a hard-boiled egg- we hadn't had a fresh egg in so long- our meals were packaged and powdered. His hands were still covered with Coke, and he had trouble cracking the shell, so he smashed the egg against the butt of his machine gun.'

"When he opened the egg, he found out that there was a half-formed chick inside. For those of you who don't know- that's how boiled eggs were served, in that part of the world. The gunner didn't know this, and he was so angry- so angry..."

Curveball's father rubbed his hands together, and stared off into the distance for a bit...

"The gunner turned his weapon on the merchant woman, and he opened fire- he kept shooting, and shooting, and shooting. After a very long time, he ceased fire- and there was nothing left- there were bits of flesh and skin- pieces of her bike- shredded bits of coke cans- but that's it..."

There was a vary long pause, and then, he repeated:

"War changes people- it makes them into hard, irrational beings who are willing to do terrible things, simply because they can."

At this juncture, Curveball was pretty much lost. He announced that the presentation was over, and he should be excused, so that he could escort his "confused" father from the school.

The upshot of this? After the incident, Curveball said that it was a "mistake" bringing his father into the discussion, because he just had "too much baggage." During the duration of his high school career, he continued his role as a Reagan apologist. He wore his fatigues, until the last day of school, and apparently continued along the path of delusion he forged, so long ago.

Guess where Curveball works, today?

In the weeks following the emergence of, I got a letter from Curveball- and he now works at the State Department. I didn't read his whole letter, before deleting it, but here's the general gist:

"If we do not combat the terrorist threat in Iraq, our children will be eaten by goats, blah-blah-blah."

Indeed, the lessons of vietnam have been forgotten.

Call me a pants-wetting liberal, but I'd like to think that humanity has more potential than to serve as a "hard, irrational being."

Mass Surveillance: A Malefactor Beyond Fiction

Guest editorial by Mike Cucuk

I have read and deeply studied George Orwell’s 1984, and there’s only one word I have that shows its impact in my life…“wow.” I did some research, and found out that he wrote this novel as far back as 1948, a couple of years after the end of World War II. This author has hit himself dead-on to a concept that was already coming to fruition in the actual year designated in the book’s title: mass surveillance.

In the novel, a totalitarian leader by the name of “Big Brother” does not like civilians (or proles, as they are called) in his society to show unorthodox thought about his policies and leadership, out of fear that it will spark a mass revolution (i.e. the Slippery Slope fallacy). Being the pre-emptive leader that he is, he invokes the assistance of the Thought Police long before the society (Oceania) is established so that every available house and apartment have a television screen mounted into the walls (telescreens) and have a camera and microphone built behind the screen to monitor the residents. There would also be spies who would monitor any suspicious prole(s) and hand them over to the Thought Police when the time was right. The prole(s) would then be sent to a secret prison where they could be tortured and “re-programmed” in order to embrace the Parties and Big Brother as much as they have hated them before.

The idea of mass surveillance may sound ridiculous at first, but as a proof of concept, you only need to drive down to your local corner convenience store, or perhaps even your local Target store. You’ll see televisions mounted on the walls near the ceiling showing exactly what the surveillance camera is showing. Inside a Target store, if you advance further into the infrastructure, you will find blue, semi-spherical, panoramic cameras on the ceiling in strategic locations that leave no corner of the store unwatched. These cameras are there for the purpose of security, it also gives a feeling that they could be used for a deeper purpose. But if you wish to erase your fears, then all you have to do is give the laws of the land your silent, obedient consent. So goes the tagline: “If you’re doing nothing wrong, then you have nothing to worry about.”

Aside from the purposes of safety and security, surveillance has taken a serious toll in the early years of the 21 st century. As a result of the digital revolution, many aspects of life are now captured and stored into digital form. Concern has been expressed that governments may use this information to conduct mass surveillance on their populations. Such information can be gathered easily on the internet in the form of social networks (Xanga, MySpace) and message forums. But truth be told, civilians who participate in these places are rarely conscious of their surveillance because they are pre-occupied with the development of their presence on the internet. Such ignorance is unsettling at best, but then again, it has been said before that “Ignorance is bliss.”

The 9/11 attacks has been the ultimate scapegoat for the use of mass surveillance by the U.S. government and the NSA to conduct as necessary for the protection of the nation. The president of the United States claimed that he and the U.S. Government were conducting mass surveillance in order to maintain the security of our nation and protect the homeland from another terrorist attack. This is the ideology that Adolph Hitler brought forth when he proposed the idea for the German Secret Police (Gestapo). In the past couple of years, the President signed the Patriot Act, a law that clearly violates the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments of the Bill of Rights. As of an April 2005 Gallup Poll, 45% of America said that the Patriot Act was going too far, and 49% said that it wasn’t going far enough. As if by coincidence (I don’t believe in coincidence, by the way), only half of the people polled claimed to know some of the provisions of the Act. After the 2004 elections, the number of people claiming to know some of the provisions fell sharply. But this only shows that this percent of America feel that they are safe in their doings, not having to worry about having their belongings and property seized because they’re not doing anything wrong. Well, I wouldn’t be surprised that if a decade or two from now, they become like the proles in Orwell’s novel.

Any government or leader that claims to protect their country and provide security by means of dispensing with a few of the liberties of their citizens is contradicting their own claim. As an example, in Orwell’s novel, a slogan reads that “Freedom is Slavery.” It means that when freedom is brought about, the people are enslaved to it. Consider the following scenario as food for thought:

You are completely locked up inside a bomb-proof facility for the rest of your life because of a recent terrorist attack close to you, and you brought enough provisions and necessities to provide for an entire army. You’ll be protected from any terrorist attack, that’s for sure, but what about exercising your freedom? You can’t go anywhere because of your fear of being caught in another terrorist attack, and therefore remain inside the facility for the rest of your days.

The motive behind this scenario is ridiculous. It’s like avoiding cats because you are afraid of lions. You are not essentially free if your fear becomes a staple of your daily agenda, thus robbing you of your common sense. Anyone who would do so for security does not deserve to even have their liberties, for what good is a liberty that you are ready to give up when you are told to by your government or leader? It is like Benjamin Franklin once said: “ Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

I am not a big fan of mass surveillance. I do not like the fact that even though I am obeying the laws of the land, I am still being observed by a colossal electronic/digital entity from a distance like I’m some sort of lab experiment. Why is it that I’m still being observed even though I’m doing what the U.S. Government is telling me to do? I feel betrayed and watched closely, and I bet that 45% of America feels the same way as I do. As such, I am a great opponent to mass surveillance, and find that it would serve as a means for the U.S. Government to find the dissenters of their policies and criticize them for their “lack of patriotism.” As for Orwell’s novel, I can only say that this author has defined a society that would terrifyingly come to life some day. As for those who chose to allow it to happen, may you enjoy the inconveniences that come with almost no liberty. Thomas Jefferson once said so: “ I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”

Thank you, George Orwell. Your novel has become a great influence on society as of the present, and I will work and pray for your society to never become a reality.

(ed) I feel a need to amend this essay:

The emergence of the modern surveillance state does hearken to the grim predictions advanced by Orwell. However, there is another dimension to the contemporary surveillance phenomenon that I've yet to see touched on:

Just a few days ago, someone at UCLA flipped their cell-phone camera on, when they heard a commotion in the study lab. They recorded the LAPD repeatedly tazing a fellow student, and uploaded the video to YouTube- within 12 hours, it had been seen by millions.

In a similar situation: Recently, "Seinfeld" alumni Michael Richards had a meltdown on stage, and if it wasn't for someone in the audience with their camera on, it would have just been here say.The video found it's way to, and it was seen by millions.

In concert with the surveillance state, we see the emergence of a surveillance society. Half the cell phones on sale today have cameras attached. The cheapest DV cam is 99 bucks. Video sharing networks are being expanded to accommodate alternate media delivery, such as blackberries, PDAs and the ubiquitous cellphones.

During an antiwar march in DC, I saw some guys from the secret service standing about, snapping photographs of the crowd. What was remarkable is that each one of these black-suited, earpiece-wearing weirdoes was surrounded by a circle of people, returning the favor by snapping photos and shooting videos of the officers.

Regardless of such happy stories, the potential for abuse within a surveillance society is every bit as frightening as that which comes with a surveillance state. Who knows if the guy who asked his buddy to video his slammin' 15-second-long bong hit, only to find out the next month that it was now on YouTube, will ever want to run for senator? I swear- THAT WASN'T ME IN THAT VIDEO, MA!

Think of it- we're living in an emergent society where several million people are carrying around video recording devices that can deliver media to the world, in minutes. I believe these conditions will do more to forge the shape of things to come, than the efforts of just another government program which will invariably be underfunded and undermanned.

NOVEMBER 20, 2006

"If you mean by 'military victory' an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible,"

When Henry "Grim Reaper" Kissinger is stating things in a timbre reminiscent of my own statements, I have to sit back in wonder of how much things can change in a year...

Indeed, Kissinger went on to say that we need to "redefine the course," but what could you expect from such a heartless bastard? In one breath, he declares Iraq to be unwinnable, and in the next, he posits that we have no other choice but to continue smearing lipstick on pork chops...

I'll have more videos and media for you, tomorrow- today's been a crazy day of relaxation, where I assiduously avoided anything having to do with news. Ya gotta take a day off, once in a while- but to tide you over, here's a bumper deluxe movie review!


Hooray! Finally, I get to see this, courtesy of the fine folks at Special Ops Media (who apparently don't mind it when I occasionally grace their products with horribly-written, negative reviews with more spelling and grammatical errors than your average Free Republic thread.)

I wanted to see this in the theater, but as you might recall, I could never score tickets- it was always sold out. In the end, I wound up seeing "A Scanner Darkly," which, as you might remember, is the worst film ever made. (Read the review here.) Fortunately for all of us in blue communities who could never scalp a ticket, and for those good folks in the red states whose local theaters never featured it- "An Inconvenient Truth" is now out on DVD.

For those few who aren't aware, A quick synopsis: Someone decided to join together the dynamic action of a power point presentation, and the intensity of a scientific lecture delivered by an ex-politician. Who knew that the film would turn out to be a virtual blockbuster, which succeeded in both pleasing audiences, wowing critics, and raking in a goodly sum of money?

Albert Gore has been touring the world, speaking about the issue of global warming. Well...

Gore doesn't just speak- he educates, he entertains, he enlightens. I'm not gushing here- props are due...

I've had the opportunity to view his presentation on global warming online several times, and what can I say? The man delivers: in simple, concise language, Gore presents irrefutable proof that Global Warming is a reality, and that- surprise, surprise- WE'RE RESPONSBILE FOR IT.

If you're anything like me, this is a no-brainer- however: the movie isn't aimed at the converted- it's aimed at a general public that has been fed a daily dose of "doubt" about the reality of global warming. What's exceptional about Gore's presentation, is that it has the power to change minds. If you still believe the crapola about "clean coal technology," you're in for an awakening. If you're harboring any doubt about global warming, this film will convince you. If you're already convinced, this film will shock you as to the extent of the problem.

We are going to be facing things in the next few decades that will fundamentally alter the nature of the human race, and the planet we cling to. In times to come, people will look back to the clarion call that Mr. Gore is sounding today, and mark it as one of the most important documents of this era. You owe to yourself to see it.

My one complaint about the movie is that some of the biographical segues of the movie were ill-timed, and almost bordered on the self-indulgent. I personally like the guy, but there are folks out there who will find their attention wandering, when the movie focuses on the man, as opposed to the message.

Now, in closing, I feel I must spend a moment or two talking about- yes- the packaging..

When I got the DVD, it came in a slim, small cardboard folder. For a while, I thought that I had received a copy in "review packaging" (Sometimes, I get DVDs sent to me in folders full of publicity material.) However- it turned out that this folder is the actual shelf packaging- it's made from 100% post-consumer waste. Nice...

On the inside, you're presented with a list of simple things you can do to help reduce carbon emissions, and a short form that you can fill out, should you choose to pass the disc on as a donation or a gift. Double nice...

We're going into the holiday season, and I can't think of a better gift for anyone on your lists...

NOVEMBER 17, 2006

This video has become a literal overnight sensation- here's the bottom line:

Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a student at the University of California in Los Angeles, was studying at the university's computer lab, and was approached by university staff, who asked him to produce his student ID. Apparently, Mr. Tabatabainejad didn't have his student ID on him, and the staff decided to call in local police...

Full stop...

Okay- what exactly was the university staff's complaint to the police? "We have a man who is sorta foreign-looking, with an odd name, and he doesn't have student ID- can you come in, and remove him from the building?"

Hold on...

I had a very peripatetic youth- I wandered all over the country. In the days before the internet came to the fore, I spent a LOT of time at local universities, doing research. I wasn't a student, but since the facilities were publicly funded, I believed that I had the right, as a taxpayer, to partake of the facilities. In Seattle, I reasearched John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen. At Stanford, I researched comparitive religion. In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, I raided the libraries for books about the art of Kurt Schwitters, and the writings of Salvador Dali.

In all cases, I was not a student of the university in question- but in all cases, I was allowed to partake of the university's facilities.

Mr. Tabatabainejad, on the other hand, after taking advantage of the same liberties that I have, time and again, found himself being manhandled and repeatedly tazed by police officers.

Those who have defended the police's actions in this incident have said "well- the guy resisted the police."

Screw that- The guy was guilty of NO CRIME WHATSOEVER. The police should have never even entered the picture. Our universities, might I remind you, are centers of learning, and are routinely visited by a cross-pollination of minds from all over the world. What if Stephen Hawking had been at UCLA's library that day, finalizing a particular theorum of string theory, and not been able to produce a student ID to prove the he had "the right" to be there?

Or more importantly- what would have happened, had you or I been in Mr. Tabatabainejad's shoes?

When I first heard of this story, It appeared, on it's surface, to be something somewhat (please forgive me) trivial. I doubted that this incident is truly indicative of a larger trend.

However, this is one of those events that collapses the entirety of the idiocy of the times we live in, into a piercing moment of clarity.

If this could happen to this guy, it could happen to me, or you.

Here, we have an example of police brutality, as naked as that which confronted us in the Rodney King incident- and ya know- we'd have no idea that such had happened, had it not been for someone with a cell phone, and a membership at youtube.

Watch the video again- notice that students repeatedly ask for the officer's badge numbers, and there a dozens of cellphones out, recording the incident.

If there's any more sterling example of why we need to maintain net neutrality, I doubt if I could come up with a more eloquent example- the people on-site wanted to show the whole world what was going on in their midst- and they did. The YouTube videos have been viewed almost a million times...

The people who recorded this incident are true heroes...

Knowing the LAPD, the offending officers are going to be let off with a reprimand, and the victim of this assault will most likely be recieving a healthy settlement from the county- hopefully, he gets a few hundred thousand- I'd like to see him get a million...

Once the "authorities" realize their assholery leads to more trouble than they can handle, mayhaps this sorta crap will never happen, again...

NOVEMBER 14, 2006

Okay- so Conyers has flip-flopped on impeachment...

I still maintain that this conciliatory anti-impeachment tone taken by the incoming democratic majority is a political ploy. After all, if the democrats walk into power waving impeachment articles, they look like they're out for blood, and naught else (although that wouldn't cost them any points, in my book.)

I sincerely believe that after about six months of hearings and investigations, articles of impeachment will be brought against Bush- but hell- it's all conjecture, for the time being.

Mayhaps the folks out there who are complaining about recent anti-impeachment statements by Conyers, Pelosi, and Dean need to recieve a refresher course in civics:

Yes- if you sit out there and grouse, blog, and e-mail each other about how much we should be dissapointed about these anti-impeachment statements, it's likely that impeachment will never occur- because well- in the wake of any circle-jerk (or blogging frenzy,) one can only expect two outcomes: sore wrists, and a messy floor. Ultimately, someone is called in to clean up the mess, and I sure as hell don't wanna be the one handling the mop.

There is, however, another alternative- PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY.

Let me propose a radical idea: Instead of whining to me about the statements of Pelosi and Dean, Mayhaps you can spend a few minutes WRITING YOUR CONGRESSPEOPLE, and ask them to hold investigations looking into the impeachable offenses of the Bush administration.

Now, before I hear you grousing "no- they never listen"- SHUT THE HELL UP. I've written to my representatives and senators many times, and in every case, I've gotten a letter (albeit canned) back from them. Their response may dissapoint, but trust me- THEY ARE PAYING ATTENTION.

If you don't know how to contact your congressperson, go here. In the upper left-hand corner of the screen you can enter your zipcode, and get all the info you need.

One last note: If you step away from your computer, and compose a hand-written letter, the congress critter in question is far more likely to take notice of what you have to say.

Stop complaining, and get active- no one said the fight would be over, once the election passed.

NOVEMBER 12, 2006

The beast has been hobbled, and though we rightfully take cheer in this, we must remain wary. Any animal handler will tell you that a dangerous animal becomes all the more threatening, when they are wounded. Much like a rottweiler caught in a bear trap, the republican party has gone into full cornered-rat mode, casting about itself in fear, and lashing out in fearful desperation.

In the leadup to the transition to the new congress, the Bush Bowl is faced with their last chance to make their ruinous policies permanent, and we're sure to see the lame-duck session rubberstamping like there's no tomorrow. There's little than can be done about this last-ditch offensive, other than to grin, bear it, and entertain a bit of confidence that when the adults are sworn in on January 3rd, perhaps some of the damage these children have wrought can be repaired.

So, we must keep an eye on the tremendous task before us, as a country.

Firstly: The war

Unfortunately, there are things that even a tremendous swing in the congress cannot solve. The powers of the legislative branch in the realm of foreign affairs are limited, but through their actions, they can force the executive to make changes. Considering that Bush has proven himself incapable to admitting any mistakes, and even less adept at accepting reality, I'm not too hopeful.

The only solution, in light of this, is for the democratic congress to end our involvement in Iraq.

We invaded Iraq on a penny, and now, we're in for a few billion pounds. Our current path in Iraq will only lead to further disaster, and the only solution is a phased withdrawal of U.S. forces, letting the UN and NATO take over the security situation (with both forces invested with the funding, weaponry, and powers necessary to control the situation. Pro-western, secular muslim nations should be given a prominent role in the peacekeeping forces- Pakistan should be sent packing.)

Further, all no-bid Iraqi contracts to US firms must be rescinded, and investigated. Those companies found to have been gouging the american taxpayers should be fined to the tune of at least 75% of their gross earnings, with the money from these fines given over to Iraqi small businesses, with the caveat that the funds will be used to employ Iraqi citizens (The unemployment rate in Iraq is hovering at around 70%- give a guy a job to feed his family, and he's a hell of a lot less likely to volunteer to be a suicide bomber.)

While this is underway, Iraq must be made open to outside investment- this means that Halliburton, KBR, and the rest of the usual suspects need to leave- NOW. A full american divestment from Iraq is necessary, and essential- the american speculators need to be brought home, right alongside the troops.

Second: Rumsfeld

I'd be remiss, were I not to point out the revolting nature of Rumsfeld's departure: He wasn't removed because he hopelessly bungled the war in Iraq, from day one. He wasn't removed because of the nearly 3000 americans and 650,000 Iraqis he killed. He was only removed, after George Bush found it to be politically expedient. In light of this, one can only assume that Bush would have kept Rumsfeld on, regardless of the death and destruction he certainly would wreak in the future, had the election gone the other way.

This overt politicization of the disaster that Iraq has become is only to be expected, but it's still chilling. What's even more chilling is that Rumsfeld, who is responsible for more horror and death than possibly anyone alive today, might very well walk away, and spend the rest of his days in peaceful retirement.

Fortunately, "Old Europe" has risen to the occasion, and charges have been brought against Rumsfeld in the German courts, and criminal prosecution is set to proceed. The U.S. Government is leaning on the the Germans to put a damper on the case, but it's likely that U.S. efforts to interfere in the German judicial process will just piss them off.

Thirdly: The Neocons

They're down, but not out. In recent days, faced with the reality that their pet project in Iraq has turned sour, they have been making their disapproval public- but not in the way you might imagine...

They claim that the invasion of Iraq was a damned sterling idea, but are lamenting that those amongst their number who executed their glorious plans screwed the pooch.

This is roughly analogous to an architect who designed a 100-story skyscraper built entirely from toothpicks and stale cat turds blaming the builders for using an inferior grade of feline feces. Make no mistake- this neocon "revolt" is an exercise in ass-covering, designed to ensure their ideological survival. They still have designs for a war in Iran, and they have their fingers in a hundred other pies- they're still among us, and we need to remain vigilant...

Fourthly: Impeachment

Much hay has been made about the assertions by Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean that impeachment isn't on the table. Ladies and Gentlemen- this is nothing but politics.

Howard Dean, as chair of the democratic party, is more of a CEO, than a politician. He isn't in charge of the party's agenda- he's just someone who decides how the party is managed. As such, he is not in a position to define the party's programme. Similarly, Nancy Pelosi is making her anti-impeachment statements from her position as leader of the democratic majority in the House- not as a representative.

Putting it plainly: When Dean and Pelosi say that impeachment isn't on the agenda, they're saying so in their capacities as administrators of party apparati, not as legislators. Nancy Pelosi, as leader of the House democrats, might not advance articles of impeachment against Bush, but that doesn't stop John Conyers from doing so.

If impeachment is to succeed, it cannot be seen as an issue closely tied with any one political party- it must be framed not as a partisan issue, but as an issue that transcends party lines (which is the primary reason why the republican-led impeachment of Clinton failed- it was so nakedly partisan, it was doomed from the start.)

Impeachment proceedings against Bush will begin- and when they do, we're going to have to handle this with finesse, rather than the ham-handedness that marked the GOP proceedings against Clinton.

Number 5 : Oversight

In the five days following the election, I've watched Fox "News" quite a bit- The spin has been simultaneously dizzying and downright hilarious. I haven't heard schizophrenia on this level since I listened into short wave broadcasts of Radio Moscow, in the days following the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

Whenever a democratic politician is interviewed, the Fox talking head invariably leans into the camera, and in level tones tinged with barely-concealed fear, asks the question:

"Will the democratic congress waste the american people's time with endless hearings, second-guessing this administration?"

Once again, the republicans display their ignorance of how our government works. "Second-guessing" the executive branch is the MOST IMPORTANT role that the legislative branch plays. In the next two years, expect to hear endless protestations from the republican party, as they're called to account for their actions...


In the days following the election, I have spoken with a lot of my liberal friends, and all of them have been very upbeat. I, on the other hand, have been morose and depressed- "Hey- we won!" they say- "We'll see", I reply...

And that's a damned shame...

After four years of seeing every last hope being crushed like a newborn kitten beneath tank treads, I've become more pessimistic than I have ever been, in my life- but then, I got to thinking...

Hope is the lifeblood of human progress. Hope is the unique human emotion that allows us to fight for a better day, no matter the forces arrayed against us. Hope is the ephemeral, yet vital thread that united Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, and Martin Luther King, during their darkest hours in their march towards justice. Hope is the force that sustains Aung San Syoo Ki, Cindy Sheehan, and Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole, and millions upon millions of others who are fighting for peace and justice in this world.

I realized that I had let these evil bastards rob me of this essential necessity of life- But no more.

The arc of history is long, but it always has, and always shall, bend towards justice.

The revolution's started- it's up to us to make sure it succeeds.

NOVEMBER 10, 2006

Another gay republican loses his job...

Believe it or not- I heard it first via my Fox "News" e-mail alert- Ken Mehlman is to step down as RNC chairman... No really big deal, in the grand scheme of things- when either of the two major parties loses an election, the party head is normally obliged to resign. DNC chair McAuliffe did the same, in the wake of the 2004 fraud- so this is only to be expected in the wake of the ass-handing that the republicans suffered this past tuesday...

But here's the deal- I wanna address the following comments to Ken, Himself:

Ken- you're a pig- you're a disgusting shill who wallows in self-hate, and you only attained your position, by denying what you are: a gay American.

Now that you have time off, and are no longer under the pressures foisted upon you by the republican party, you have a chance to save your soul, and be what you are, at long last.

I'd suggest getting a membership over at Big Muscle Bears, and after a bit of e-mailing, find a guy you're comfortable with (assuming you don't already have a significant other,) get a ticket for two to Aruba, rent a suite at Sandals, and for God's sake- BE WHAT YOU ARE. After a few days of raucous sex, I want you to return to this country, and COME OUT OF THE GODDAMNED CLOSET- stop being a pussy, admit that you're gay, and for the love of "Bob", be proud of it.

Maybe you and Andrew Sullivan can go on a joint book tour, and force the republican party to join the rest of us here in the 21st century...

NOVEMBER 9, 2006

We just won a hard-fought battle, and as Jon Stewart pointed out, we on the democratic side haven't had much to celebrate in so long, we've pretty much forgotten how to kick back, and take it easy...

I'll have a full update tomorrow- but for the final hour that I'm awake, tonight, I'm gonna relax, and watch the idiots over on Fox "News" try to spin the events of the past 48 hours into a "stunning republican success." Hell- Cavuto just said it was "the end of the world", and we should don protective vests. The news crawl keeps freezing up, and the camera/graphic transitions are all screwy- maybe half the staff of Fox "News" resigned, overnight, and no one is left manning the boards...

Take some time off, ya'll- breathe a sigh of relief, and have a smoke and a drink of whatever substances you enjoy (I'm drinking lemonade, and pretending that it's a tall glass filled with republican tears- so sweet...)

Feel good for a while- you've earned a break...

NOVEMBER 8, 2006

This completes a 51-49 democratic majority in the Senate.

There will be a recount, but a number of republicans are actually leaning on Allen to concede. This concession might come as early as tomorrow.

Late note- NBC follows suit, and calls Virginia for the Democrats- this is as official as it can get- we've swept both houses!

More in a bit...


The good news keeps on coming...

Could this be morning in america, at long last?



It's a beautiful day...

It was John Kerry's campaign theme, and despite the theft of '04, it remains one of my favorite songs, of all time.

Pump the volume, and believe, for a while...

The fight continues, on the morrow...


Webb in Virginia and McCaskill in Missouri too close to call, with Dems having the advantage in both races...

Holy freaking lord, and JR "Bob" Dobbs as my witness- I'm writing this at 2:00 AM, and the possibility of a democratic majority in both houses is on the razor's edge....

If Virginia and Missouri go to the dems, we have a total democratic sweep, with a...

Hold on...

Sorry- Missouri has just been called for McCaskill- and Montana is a shoo-in for Tester... The best the republicans can hope for, as of this hour, is a 50/50 split in the senate- unless Allen's lawyers can call into question the vote, we'll have a 51-49 democratic advantage in the senate...


I have been a pessimist, in the leadup to the election, for reasons we're all too familiar with.

Tonight, my "best-case scenario" for the elections has come to fruition- the democrats have taken the house, and at this hour, it looks like Tester will take Montana, and Webb is leading by a slim margin in Virginia, making the senate a 50-50 split. Allen may yet take Virginia, after recounts and chicanery, but the facts cannot be denied:

Tonight, the american people have rejected the republican party. Yes, in coming days, Ken Mehlman and the rest of the echo chamber will throw a number of statistics around to spin this loss into a positive, but the facts remain:

The republicans lost seats in the house, the senate, and in the gubernatorial mansions. There are very few places where the republicans can point to success, outside of places where republicans retreated from the Bush bowl...

Keep in mind- the republicans had 40 seats in the senate that weren't in play, while the democrats had 27 safe seats. Had the numbers been reversed, the democrats would have won the senate by at least five seats.

Let us breathe a minor sigh of relief... We have brought a tad of balance, to what has been a one-party state- what remains, is where we go from here... I'm far from a prognosticator, so I'll leave you with three final notes on this election:

Let's hear it for Tennessee! My former home state has gone for Corker, a republican. The watershed moment in his campaign came about when the republican party aired racist ads, preying on redneck fears about black men dating white women... Apparently, this motivated a lot of tennesseeans to go for Corker, because it wasn't until those ads were aired, that Corker emerged as a clear frontrunner...

Thank you, Tennessee, for reminding me why I moved out of your backward, racist-ass state. Yeah- I know- there are a lot of tennesseeans who are of a liberal stripe labouring down there in the volunteer state- my heart is with you- but when I see this sorta back-assward idiocy resulting in concrete gains for republicans in your state, I can't help but look at the whole damned place, and sneer in revulsion.

Katherine Harris and Kenneth Blackwell, two republicans who were personally responsible for the election thefts of 2000 and 2004, have been defeated, in their efforts for higher office. So long, suckers!

And finally, on our own election eve, let us look abroad: Daniel Ortega wins the Nicaraguan presidency- yet another nail in the Reagan legacy coffin!

Let us take comfort in tonight's results- yet let us not forget that the greatest struggle is yet before us.

NOVEMBER 7 , 2006

Allrighty- if you folks out there are anything like me, you're at pretty much your wit's end. We've spent the past four months following polls and election news from fifty different states, and our synapses are all but fried.

We all know how important this election is- this is our last chance to put brakes on this out-of-control administration. After six years of the most ruinous, incompetent, and arrogant government in our nation's history, we have a chance to bring change to this country.

Forget your assumptions about voting machines, gerrymandering, and republican dirty tricks- go out and VOTE.

If you don't know where to vote, find out here. Bring identification with you, and if you happen to live in an area that is either poor, or majority african-american/hispanic, prepare for a long wait at the polls, and be prepared for republican poll monitors to challenge everyone who shows up.

If at any time you witness voting irregularities, or have problems voting, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE, and report what has happened. (For more info, go here.)

If you have a video camera, go to Record The Vote, register, bring your camera to the polls, and record what's going on.

Let us hope that by this time tomorrow, we have something to celebrate.


George Bush currently enjoys a mid-30's approval rating. The congress is even worse off, with an approval rating that hovers in the mid-20's. In such a situation, the supposition that the american voters would vote for a continuation of the status quo is patently absurd.

Listening to the right-wing echo chamber, you find Limbaugh, Beck, Boortz, and the rest of the usual suspects almost crapping their pants in hysterical panic. This is remarkable, in contrast to the cool, collected confidence one finds amongst the likes of George Bush and Karl Rove. Some might say the latter are just whistling past the graveyard- I'd like to believe such is the case, but after three successive elections which were laughable, at best, in their authenticity, I am loathe to leap to any conclusions...

I have two sets of predictions- the first set of predictions assumes that everything is on the level, and no chicanery or illicit behavior occurs, tomorrow:


Republican: 207-202
Democratic: 228-233


Republican: 50 Seats
Democrats: 50 Seats

However- again, after three elections that were suspect, at best, I see another possibility:


Republican: 222
Democratic: 213


Republican: 52 Seats
Democrats: 48 Seats

Now- I'm realistic- I'm willing to assume that the republicans can pull enough dirty tricks out of their hats to retain the senate- but if, come 48 hours from now, we find the republicans holding on to both houses, there can be only one explanation:

Massive fraud.

See you in 24, people.

NOVEMBER 6 , 2006

And I really couldn't care less...

After making the rounds of the chickenhawk blogs, one gets the impression that something momentous happened, and the bloggers themselves were the ones sitting on the jury.

"We did it!" they proclaim...

Uhh- no- you sat on your rapidly-expanding white asses and played sedentary cheerleader for a war that you wouldn't even pass muster to serve in. After three and a half years of watching every justification for this war that you've pulled out of your asses melting like a snowflake in the noonday sun of reality, you're so damned desperate to cling to any possible rhetorical justification for the madness that is our adventure in Iraq, you've siezed upon this non-item as a new excuse for your indefensible positions.

Listen up- here's the news: Saddam Hussein was an evil bastard, to put it mildly- but ya know how he got his start? As an "intelligence asset" of the United States of America (see the whole story, here.) Now, I'd be remiss if I were not to point out that Hussein is just one example of an american investment gone bad. (You can see a comprehensive list of the dictators supported by the United States, here.) Just as it has happened so many times in the past, our investment in a dictator turned sour, and we decided to institute "regime change" to cover our collective asses.

This isn't "Blaming America First"- it's just stating facts as they are.

Now- onto the trial itself- To be fair, Hussein DID get a trial, unlike the hundreds of thousands he killed. Score one for our side. The bad news is that the whole proceeding was a kangaroo farce of the worst order, since the day the trial began- when Hussein's attorneys weren't being gunned down in the streets, the judges were forced to play musical chairs by american puppets in the "Interim government" because they were deemed to be "too fair." Subtract one point for our side...

If any of you were keeping score there, this leaves us back at zero, in the area of jurisprudential moral advantage.

Next up: considering that this suspect verdict was delivered a mere three days before the congressional election, one cannot help but wonder what quality of justice was meted out, when the sentence was clearly delivered as a "november surprise" on behalf of the Bush administration... Justice delayed might be justice denied, but justice delivered just in time to capture a few minutes of evening news on the eve of an election is just worthless...

Finally, in the wake of this trial, I would like to see another trial- I wanna see the american politicians and arms merchants who aided and abetted Hussein's crimes brought before the same tribunal. I want to see Perle, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and the rest of the usual suspects sitting in that same cage, and being forced to answer for their willingness to sell chemical weapons and arms to Hussein, during the time he committed the crimes that he was on trial for.

If there's any justice in this world, they will hang, right alongside Hussein.

(BTW- If anyone out there in the right wing thinks this is going to matter jack-all, as far as the situation in Iraq goes, they can only expect things to get worse- more car bombings, and more american soldiers dead- relish your talking point while you still can, idiots...)


From the Army Times

“So long as our government requires the backing of an aroused and informed public opinion ... it is necessary to tell the hard bruising truth.”

That statement was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Marguerite Higgins more than a half-century ago during the Korean War.

But until recently, the “hard bruising” truth about the Iraq war has been difficult to come by from leaders in Washington.

One rosy reassurance after another has been handed down by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: “mission accomplished,” the insurgency is “in its last throes,” and “back off,” we know what we’re doing, are a few choice examples.

Military leaders generally toed the line, although a few retired generals eventually spoke out from the safety of the sidelines, inciting criticism equally from anti-war types, who thought they should have spoken out while still in uniform, and pro-war foes, who thought the generals should have kept their critiques behind closed doors.

Now, however, a new chorus of criticism is beginning to resonate. Active-duty military leaders are starting to voice misgivings about the war’s planning, execution and dimming prospects for success.

Read the entire erticle, here.

(more updates as the evening proceeds- I'm trying to balance freelance jobs with this update...)
NOVEMBER 4 , 2006

This falls under the category of "I shit you not."

Seems two republicans were so desperate to sustain the Iraq/WMD myth, that they decided to set up a website containing an exhaustive video, audio, and text library containing every document regarding Iraq's supposed WMD program. One can only shake their heads in wonder at this, as whatever purpose this would serve remains elusive to me.

In amongst the information that was presented on this website is a virtual step-by-step walkthrough of how to assemble a nuclear weapon.

Ladies and Gentlemen- these republicans are personally responsible for the greatest mass leak of weapons technology, in perhaps the past 100 years.

This website was put up despite the objections of neoconservative insider John Negroponte, who apparently was finally confronted with a republican plan so vile, even he couldn't sign on to it. Additionally, the IAEA strenuously objected to the public release of this information, but neither Negroponte or the IAEA could muster an argument persuasive enough to convince Bush that putting up WMD blueprints up on the web was anything other than a fine and dandy idea.

Bush personally approved the posting of this material.

Thanks to the republican party and Bush, the "how to" manual for the most deadly weapons on earth was put up on the internet- and while you or I might have missed it, it surely caught the eyes of The Iranians, the North Koreans, and I'm pretty sure a few select people in Waziristan dropped by (as long as you have a laptop and a cellphone, you have broadband...)

Strange- I, and millions of other americans have been labelled as "enemies" by the republican party, the ostensible president of the united states, and their useful idiots amongst the blogosphere, simply because we opposed the war in Iraq. Now that the republican party, and Bush in particular, are guilty of giving concrete aid and comfort to nations and individuals who most certainly use this information to further their chances of harming not only americans, but everyone on earth- one wonders...

When will the trials start? To the best of my recollection, this sorta crap got the Rosenbergs the electric chair.

Editorials in Military Papers to Call for Rumsfeld Ouster

From Pensito Review

On Monday, the day before the midterm elections, editorials will run in the most influential military newspapers calling on President Bush to fire Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

The editorials will say they are giving voice to a silent majority of uniformed personnel who are are prohibited from speaking because of respect for the office of the presidency.

The editorials will run in Army Times, Air Force Times, Marine Corps Times and Navy Times, which are privately owned and not affiliated with government.

NOVEMBER 3 , 2006

If you needed any more clues as to how "out of it" I've been as of late, I received my sample ballot the other day, and was suddenly reminded- we have voting machines in this state. I was peripherally aware of this, but had been so damned busy and burnt out as of late to register for absentee paper ballots.

However, I know that there are tens of millions of voters out there who find themselves in the same situation. We're faced with the repugnant prospect of stepping up to one of these devices, to cast a vote via a system that is so ridiculously suspect, that it would be funny, were it not so immediately frightening.

In the face of this, far too many have fallen prey to fatalism, and some have even said that they'd rather stay home, and not vote at all, rather than cast their ballots via voting machines.

I may be a clinically-depressed dude who'se been off his meds for two years, but even I won't go that far into the depths of nihilism.

You MUST VOTE- the surest way that your vote will not be counted, either by traditional means or electronic, is for you to not vote at all. We have one last chance to believe that through our efforts, our actions, and our conviction, we can change things through the ballot box.

But voting isn't enough- if you haven't signed up to help out, do so, here- the Democratic Party needs donations, until the last hour before polls close- help them out, here (if you only have a single dollar to give- give it- they're not going to think ill of you...)

And finally, I want to announce a private initiative of mine:

In these days of notoriously suspect voting machines, gerrymandering, and unfair election practices, we cannot afford to let another theft of democracy go undocumented. On november 7th, get out and vote- and TAKE YOUR VIDCAM WITH YOU. If you witness irregularities, unusually long lines to vote, or suspect activity- record it, upload it, and let the world see it, here.

Let's use the net in one last hurrah for democracy, before the republicans eliminate Net Neutrality...

Frank Schaeffer: I should be supporting Allen. Instead, I'm leaving the party.

I'm a Christian, a writer, a military parent and a registered Republican.

On all those counts, I was disgusted by an e-mail I just received that's being circulated by campaign supporters of Republican George Allen, who's trying to retain his Senate seat in Virginia.

The message goes like this: "First, it was the Catholic priests, then it was Mark Foley, and now Jim Webb, whose sleazy novels discuss sex between very young teenagers. ... Hmmm, sounds like a perverted pedophile to me! Pass the word that we do not need any more pedophiles in office."Democrat James Webb is a war hero and former Marine, wounded in Vietnam and winner of the Navy Cross. He was writing about class and military issues long before me and has articulated the issue of how the elites have dropped the ball on military service in his classic novel Fields of Fire. By the way, that's a book Tom Wolfe calls "the greatest of the Vietnam novels."

Mr. Webb's son is a Marine in Iraq. That's an uncommon fact in this era in which most political leaders' children act as if it is only right and proper that it's someone else's war to fight.

Mr. Webb also happens to be running against a desperate opponent supported by people who circulated the stupid e-mail, something that reminds me of a 2000 smear campaign aimed at another war hero, John McCain.

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