OCTOBER 31, 2006

And not a moment too soon...

Apparently, the Bush bowl has figured out the true problem vis-a-vis the Iraq war: there aren't enough bloggers spreading the "good news" coming out of Iraq. Yep- you heard it here- rather than address the tremendous failure that the Iraq war is, they've once again decided that the solution is to smear another layer of lipstick on the pig.

Apparently, they believe that there are a lot of "inaccuracies" here on the internet, and are going to send forth a legion of geeks in uniform to counter salacious rumors surrounding the glowing success that Iraq has become.

I, for one, am not dismayed by this development. After almost four years of countering the flaccid, tired talking points of the right wing echo chamber, I find the prospect of going mano-a-mano with the spinmeisters of the Department of Defense a worthy challenge.

I'll start this new chapter in the popular discourse, with the following:

See the list below? These are the names of the american soldiers who have been killed so far this month, in Iraq:

Lance Corporal Eric W. Herzberg
Sergeant 1st Class Tony L. Knier
Corporal Joshua C. Watkins
Lance Corporal Nicholas J. Manoukian
Lance Corporal Nathan R. Elrod
Lance Corporal Clifford R. Collinsworth
Staff Sergeant Kevin M. Witte
Lance Corporal Edwardo Lopez Jr.
Staff Sergeant Patrick O. Barlow
Sergeant 1st Class Daniel A. Brozovich
Jose R. Perez
Staff Sergeant Jesus M. Montalvo
Specialist Daniel W. Winegeart
Staff Sergeant Ronald L. Paulsen
Specialist Joseph C. Dumas Jr.
Corporal David M. Unger
Corporal Russell G. Culbertson III
2nd Lieutenant Christopher E. Loudon
Staff Sergeant Ryan E. Haupt
Sergeant Norman R. Taylor III
Petty Officer 1st Class Nathan J. Frigo
Staff Sergeant Garth D. Sizemore
2nd Lieutenant Joshua L. Booth
Sergeant Jr., Lester Domenico Baroncini
Private 1st Class Stephen Bicknell
1st Lieutenant Joshua Deese
Sergeant Jonathan E. Lootens
Captain Mark C. Paine
Sergeant Brock A. Babb
Lance Corporal Joshua M. Hines
Private 1st Class Keith J. Moore
1st Sergeant Charles M. King
Staff Sergeant Joseph M. Kane
Specialist Timothy J. Lauer
Sergeant Jonathan J. Simpson
Airman 1st Class Leebenard E. Chavis
Lieutenant Johnny K. Craver
Private 1st Class Kenny F. Stanton Jr.
Private 1st Class Thomas J. Hewett
Lance Corporal Christopher B. Cosgrove III
Corporal Aaron L. Seal

Sergeant Gene A. Hawkins
Sergeant Justin T. Walsh
Captain Shane T. Adcock
Sergeant Nicholas R. Sowinski
Private 1st Class Shelby J. Feniello
Lance Corporal Jon Eric Bowman
Private 1st Class Phillip B. Williams
Sergeant Julian M. Arechaga
Lance Corporal Derek W. Jones
Captain Robert M. Secher
Private 1st Class Shane R. Austin
Lance Corporal Stephen F. Johnson
Lance Corporal Jeremy Scott Sandvick Monroe
Specialist Timothy Fulkerson
Specialist John Edward Wood
Sergeant Lawrence Parrish
Corporal Carl W. Johnson II
Sergeant Brandon S. Asbury
Lance Corporal John Edward Hale
Corporal Bradford H. Payne
Corporal Nicholas A. Arvanitis
Corporal Benjamin S. Rosales
Lance Corporal Edward M. Garvin
Staff Sergeant Christopher O. Moudry
Specialist George R. Obourn Jr.
Specialist Timothy Burke
Private 1st Class Dean Bright
Staff Sergeant Jonathan Rojas
Staff Sergeant Daniel Isshak
Sergeant Joseph W. Perry
Private 1st Class Michael K. Oremus
Specialist Justin R. Jarrett
Staff Sergeant James D. Ellis
Specialist Raymond S. Armijo
Specialist Kristofer C. Walker
Private 1st Class Satieon V. Greenlee
Staff Sergeant Joe A. Narvaez
Sergeant Denise A. Lannaman
Sergeant Mario Nelson
Corporal Chase A. Haag
Captain Justin D. Peterson

Now- truth be told, the list is incomplete- there's still one day left in October as of this writing, and two of the names haven't been released by the DOD.

However, I guess I'll just go ahead, and present my first "Inaccuracy": that these men and women would still be alive, today, had not Bush pushed us into war with Iraq- a nation that had never threatened, nor attacked us. Furthermore, I'll recklessly suggest that perhaps the families of these people would be looking forward to a holiday with their beloved children, husbands, and wives, had they not been blown into red mist in this war of choice.

I'll further state that Monkeyboy obviously has serious unresolved issues with his father, that he sought to resolve, by "finishing daddy's business" in Iraq. Perhaps, had Bush Jr. been able to stay away from the bottle long enough to get counseling, when he was a young man, these people would still be with us today.

There you have it, DOD- tell me where I'm "inaccurate." Just be warned- I'm not gonna accept the same bullplop talking points that we've been fed, for the past three and a half years- the good lord (and the congressional budget oversight committee) only knows how much you're being paid, so I expect something novel, here.

OCTOBER 30, 2006

In the wake of the Foley scandal, I got a phone call from one of my associates, asking me assist with the "outing" of an ostensibly gay republican politician- I had a bit of a moral qualm with this...

Being a liberal, I believe that an individual's choices in regards to their sexual lifestyle are their own. In fact- I'll go one step further- as a chronic geek who has more intuition with computers than I have ever had with other people, I've always felt as if I've been someone exiled to the outskirts of human relationships- and being in this rather unenviable position, I've always been somewhat taken aback (and sometimes outraged) when self-righteous morons take it upon themselves to impose their own self-righteous "morality" upon those who are lucky enough to find someone to share their lives with- straight or gay.

As far as sexuality relates to the day-to-day workings of government, it's a no-brainer that there are far more important issues for us to address, as a society, than dictating who sleeps with whom.

However, after a lot of thought, I decided that in the case of closeted gay pundits and politicians within the republican party, I must make an exception to my "no outing" rule- not for my sake, nor my party's sake, but for the sake of consistency and logic...

Am I saying that the gay lifestyle is contradictory to the conservative philosophy that (ostensibly) lies at the heart of the republican party? Hell, no- during my short time on this planet, I've discovered that there is very little correlation between one's sexuality, and one's politics. Indeed, a gay person can be in favor of lower taxes, the invasion of Iraq, unlimited right to bear arms, and school prayer- this juxtaposition, in itself, doesn't make a gay adherent to these precepts right or wrong- it just makes them a gay conservative. More power to them...

However, the current republican party as it exists today is no more conservative, than I am a purple-assed baboon.

When we are confronted with the current crop of rabid gay conservatives, such as "Journalist" Matt Drudge, party chief Ken Mehlman, Second Lady Lynne Cheney, and dozens of other gay americans in positions of power within the republican party, one is left shaking their heads in wonder...

The republican party, after all, always uses gay marriage, gay spousal rights, and gay empowerment as "wedge issues" to bring the knuckle-dragging christian right folks out to the voting booths, come election day, for well over a decade. Why the hell would any gay american support a party that uses them- (again-) USES THEM, as if they were mere objects- as a wedge issue, come election time? It's roughly analogous to a vegetarian working for a party that supports human cannibalism...

In the case of these high-profile closeted gay republicans, it's a mixture of two philosophies:

In Matt Drudge's case- well, he and many like him believe that if they are obsequious and servile enough to the same republican party that wants to relegate them to sub-citizen status- if they spend enough time licking the ass of those who wish them ill, they hold out the hope that they'll be spared the axe, come the night of long knives- 'cause after all- "we're not like 'THEM'"...

In the case of the fully-closeted gay republicans, such as RNC chair Ken Mehlman, they sincerely believe that they can "change the party from the inside." Good freaking luck- I bet Ernst Rohm felt the same way...

Now- this brings us back to "outing."

These diehard gay republicans are living a lie- to perpetuate a great, collective lie that is hurting ALL of us.

Worst of all- they're lying to themselves, simply because they believe it will ensure their political survival...

Screw that- republican gay politicians and pundits deserve to be outed, if for no other reason that their hypocrisy is perpetuating an agenda that is harming themselves, much less millions of other americans.

Maybe, once enough of these republican bottom-feeders have had to own up to their true nature, they'll be forced into a reckoning amongst themselves. Perhaps they'll follow in the path of Andrew Sullivan, and own up to the fact that their beloved party has let them down. Perhaps, they'll take part in a paleoconservative coup, and reform the republican party.

I'm not holding my breath...

An afterthought:

I'm so damned glad to be a liberal democrat. In my party/ideology, we can be gay, we can be straight- and it doesn't matter who knows. We are free to be what we are, and we don't waste one minute disguising what we are. We don't have to spend our lives pretending that we're something we're not, simply to gain a few political points among bible-thumping idiots, and can focus on more important issues...

Because, who the hell cares about two men or two women getting married, when our soldiers are still dying in Iraq?

OCTOBER 26, 2006

Okay- if you failed to catch Bush's press conference, watch it here. This is one of those pivotal moments in a presidency- when the chief executive exposes himself for what he is, warts and all.

Bush straddled the podium, and delivered his message to the american people, and the world: "It's my way, or the die-way."

If there was any hope that this idiot would find it within himself to change his thinking regarding the atrocious failure that Iraq has become, Bush ruthlessly crushed it. If there was anyone who still felt that this man retained within himself the qualities that are essential to the post he holds, all such presumptions now lie empty. In his opening remarks, Bush bellows his pronouncements in a shrill, bleating cacophony that, instead of sounding confident and presidential, comes across as a desperate harangue, each line punctuated by a metallic echo and deafening silence.

During his more hysterical moments, I experienced a synesthesia, of sorts- for all the world, Bush's words evoked imagery of flailing knifeblades, leaving trails of blood behind them in the air.

I have a problem integrating everything that was so wrong about this spectacle into a narrative, so I'm going to have to resort to a numerical list:

1: Bush always tries to demonstrate his comprehensive understanding of the situation in Iraq, by recapping events that we've all known about, for months. I would be far more impressed, if he demonstrated any knowledge about the situation on the ground there, as it exists TODAY, beyond point #2:

2: During the hour's length of this press conference, Bush complains no less than thirteen times about how "tough" the job is, in Iraq. Enough whining, already- you broke it, you bought it, kiddo.

3: Bush referred to the Iraqi Government as "sovereign," eight times, during his harangue- patently absurd: The government of Iraq doesn't even enjoy authority over Baghdad, much less over the entire nation- furthermore, the Iraqi government can't bring itself to sneeze, without permission from the occupying power. Bush's assertions that the puppet government of Iraq needs to "meet benchmarks" are nothing but semantical bullplop.

4: Bush, surprisingly, accepted responsibility for how things are going in Iraq- but quickly followed this "admission" by repeating his oft-spewed comment that he makes his decisions by "listening to the commanders on the ground." Thusly, Bush covers his ass: The reason why things are so bad in Iraq, is because some RAT out there is lying to him...

5: Bush apparently hopes that insurgents in Iraq can be convinced that "Civil war isn't worth the effort." I'm sorry, moron, but the insurgents in Iraq aren't ones to complain endlessly about how "tough" their efforts are.

6: I know ya'll are sick of hearing Bush/Hitler comparisons, but when this sad sack of shit launched into the admonition that, if americans didn't continue to unquestioningly follow his failed war policy, future generations will look back upon us as the lowest of the low- it blew my mind...

Okay- so your failure in Iraq is now suddenly OUR fault?

Hitler, near the end, continuously stated that if the German people lacked the mettle to win his war for him, they deserved extinction. Bush, similarly, is laying the mantle of responsibility for his war's failure not upon himself, nor Rumsfeld, nor his cabinet- but upon us.

In the final analysis, Bush's press conference was little more than a hysterical repetition of the same talking points, issued in a higher register of voice, and laced with a smattering of superfluous mentions of "flexibility" and "adaptation."

And that brings us to...

NOFX performing the iconic song about this administration at The Roxy, NYC. Six years later, and he's still the idiot son of an asshole...
OCTOBER 25, 2006

The senatorial race in Tennessee is usually a footnote in '06 election-watching, but recent events in that state have caught my attention. I will confess, here and now, that I lived in Tennessee for 14 years of my life- longer than in any other place. Whether or not this makes me a "southerner" is open to debate, but it makes that state still close to me in more ways than one.

This race, like many others across this nation, is within the margin of error in all polls- surprising many, considering that this was assumed to be a "safe seat" in the "solid republican south." In this contest, we see Former republican Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker facing off against Representative Harold Ford.

In the past few days, the republicans, facing the possibility of losing yet one more state to the democrats, have trotted out a few very suspect advertisements that are playing to the most vile tendencies of the most ignorant of Tennesseeans- racism.

Now, the first advertisement that warrants notice was a radio advertisement paid for by a republican shadow-group that said that Harold Ford, as a member of the congressional black caucus, was (paraphrasing) "advancing the agenda of black americans at the expense of the interests of white americans."

The naked racist tone of this advertisement aside, it surprised me- Harold Ford is black?

No, no- stay with me here.

I'd been watching a lot of stuff at Harold Ford's website, and it never occurred to me that the guy was black- it's not because I claim to be "colorblind", nor am I insensitive to the subtleties that exist within this country that sometimes blossom into horrific tragedy (as we saw in the aftermath of Katrina.) No- I've seen the guy- and it NEVER OCCURRED TO ME THAT THE GUY WAS BLACK.

Let's take a look here- on the left, you'll see a picture of Rep. Harold Ford (the "darkest" I could find)- on the right, you'll see a picture of the late William Pierce- founder of the "National Vanguard"- a white supremacist organization. On the lower right of each picture, you'll see a block of color, designating the average tone of the individual's skin, next to an RGB value thereof:

Seriously- if Nazi Bill happened to have been blushing when this picture was taken, he would have been DARKER than Harold Ford...

In saying this, I am not insinuating that Harold Ford is white, any more than I would say that Pierce was black. The point is that we're getting to a situation in this country where our customary prejudices and labels just don't hold water, and there's going to come a time when the race card just isn't going to play anymore.

Good news for this country- bad news for scuzzy-ass republicans who resort to such tactics.

Now- as far as Ford's membership in the Black Caucus being "at the expense of the interests of white americans." Such couldn't be more wrong- as Jesse Jackson famously said: "We might have not all come over on the same boat, but we're in the same boat, now." I can walk through the tenements of Washington DC, where black americans are faced with crippling poverty and privation- then, I could catch a flight (should I be able to afford such), and walk through a trailer park in Shelbyville, Tennessee, where I'd see white americans suffering under the same misery, for many of the same reasons (down south, the epithet "white trash" is uttered with the same disdain that graces "nigger.")

If the Congressional Black Caucus is ultimately successful in their goals, everyone will benefit- regardless of what color they happen to be.

The second advertisement that the republicans have trotted out is every bit as odious- if you have the stomach, you can watch it here. Aside from the usual fear/smear BS that this particular piece has to offer, you'll notice two sequences in which a blonde, white woman vamps at the camera, espousing her desire for Ford.

This, ladies and gentleman, is the most cynical and crass thing I've seen in this election season. This is worse than Bush and Cheney's repeated assurances that should the democrats take over congress, we'll all die in a nuclear fireball.

This ad plays to the utter fear that a few in the south still hold towards interracial relationships- and it's one of those situations in which I have to wonder how low the republicans will go, when it comes to winning an election.

Now- to be fair, I've been told that Tennessee has become a far more progressive state than it was a decade ago- and I'd like to believe that such is the case. That having been said, I am sure that this ad wouldn't have been aired, had not the republican party figured that it would bring a few racists out to vote for Corker.

Let's go a tad deeper- the "white hussy" segments are a veiled allusion to Ford's appearance at a party at the Super Bowl, sponsored by Playboy Magazine- rather innocuous, considering that many republicans were also in attendance. Despite this, the republican architects of this particular piece of video sleaze decided to highlight this otherwise unremarkable event, by insinuating miscegenation.

Kudos, GOP- your robes and hoods are waiting, in the next room...

Good God, I hate republicans.

OCTOBER 24, 2006

Keith is excellent, as always.


I saw this, when it first aired, and it was quite shocking, seeing this sorta stuff on american TV... I mean, we've been lied to, grotesquely and consistently, by the corporate media since this war began. It was surprising to see the brutal, unvarnished truth about the war appearing on a TV show that wasn't streaming from the UK via realplayer.

Now, in the wake of this, we've had a few congresspeople wringing their hands, amidst a deafening chorus of idiocy by the right-wing echo chamber. Seeing them fret in such a hysterical manner was and is an incomprehensible spectacle.

I'm sorry, guys, but you supported this illogical, pointless war in Iraq from the day after 9/11, and now that the american public gets to see the ill fruit of your labor, you're so damned bereft of decency, that instead of showing remorse, you bellow and spout like a beached manatee, because the jig is up...

The reason I started this site is because the american public was being led into a war by a bunch of draft-dodging chickenhawks who thought war was some goddamned great adventure- They sold the whole case to the american public like it was going to be the invasion of Grenada, part two- with a bit of sand thrown into the folds of the craggy faces of our gallant american conquerors.

People don't know what war looks like. The average american today thinks of war in terms of shaky footage from the rice paddies of vietnam, or stark, black and white imagery from "Hitler night" on the history channel. They didn't realize the true horror of what they were being led into- and that's why I started this site. Yeah, I presented the pictures synched to industrial music- but hey- people are more apt to watch a music video than a news program.

I wanted the american public to know what they were certain to see: Bloated, twisted corpses, literal pools of blood, dead children, mangled remains. They needed to see it.

I'll always remember one old (former) friend of mine, and the day that our friendship came to an end. Weeks before the war began, he snidely counseled me to keep my mouth shut, because I "didn't appreciate the true gravity of war."

His qualifications for this denouncement? He owned the entire time/life books series on WW2, and spent his weekends participating in paintball re-enactments of famous battles that same war (or as close as you can get with twelve overweight 40-year-old virgins stuffed into heavy wool uniforms as your only forces.)

As absurd as this situation sounds, it was the EXACT mirror of what was happening, in our national discourse. Stuffed shirts who had never had the courage to put on our nation's uniform were callously sending the young men and women of america to die in a war spun from their fantasies of glory.

And now, on CNN, the american public is confronted with the consequences of a massive and tragic lie. If you haven't watched the video yet, watch it here. If you've watched it before- watch it again.

Bang- dead.

Bang- dead.

Bang- dead.

These are people dying, right in front of your eyes, for Bush's lies. The people you see dying would still be alive today, save for Bush's lies. Their families would not be suffering, save for Bush's lies. These people would have had a future, save for Bush's lies.

Blood shed for lies stains us all.


I loved this tune, when it came out back in '92, during the latter days of Bush the elder, but the music video seems more reminiscent of the world as it exists under his misbegotten bowel-movement of a son.

OCTOBER 23, 2006

Remember our "liberation" of Afghanistan, in the latter part of 2001? GREAT JOB! five years later, two million afghanis are still in desperate need of food aid. Call me a monday-morning quarterback, but perhaps this problem wouldn't be so pressing, had Bush followed through with his promise to rehabilitate that country, instead of screwing around with Iraq...

But hey- who cares- the only people starving to death are dark-skinned muslims, after all, and they're like canadian pennies, right?

OCTOBER 22, 2006
U.S. 'ARROGANT AND STUPID' IN IRAQ. -U.S. State department

In an interview with the Al-Jazeera television network, Alberto Fernandez, senior state department official, said that the United States has shown "arrogance and stupidity" in Iraq, further stating that "We are witnessing failure in Iraq and that's not the failure of the United States alone, but it is a disaster for the region,"

I'm pretty certain we'll be hearing news of Mr. Fernandez's "retirement" in coming days- this sorta of internal criticism just ain't kosher in official circles, in these times. As we all know, once you've stated any disagreement with dictates handed down from on high, you're officially "dead" to this administration.

Now, in the past, I've gone over the root of this myopia on the part of the Bush administration, but it bears repeating. As Michael Dukakis pointed out in '88, the fish usually rots from the head- and in this case, we're dealing with in individual who suffers from a dissociative disorder- solipsism. A solipsist is a nihilist of sorts- nothing to them is real, outside of their preconcieved notions and beliefs- information that contradicts what they believe to be true isn't just "wrong"- it doesn't even exit.

The implications of this are pretty staggering to contemplate- but the case in Iraq is a particularly troubling result of this denial of reality. Only six months ago, Bush was still trumpeting Iraq as an awesome success story, an example of democracy so damned awesome that he recommended that the Russians sit up and take notes. Despite close to a year of unceasing sectarian strife, it wasn't until last week that Bush admitted things aren't going swimmingly (and watching him say it, I'm not so convinced that he believes it. More than likely, this statement was sold to him as a bit of election-year hyperbole that'll go out the window, come november 8th.)

But that just covers the "stupidity" part of Mr. Fernandez's statement- what's far more damning is the arrogance.

Bush has consistently stated that the United States armed forces will not withdraw from Iraq "as long as I'm president." In saying this, Bush has callously condemned the men and women of the armed forces (and the Iraqi people) to two more years of the same crap they've had to put up with for the last three and a half years- not because he particularly believes that a solution will come about during his remaining time in office, but because he's incapable of acknowledging to himself that he's made one of the greatest political and military mistakes of the past century.

Bush has absolutely no problem with the additional thousands of Americans and Iraqis who are certain to die, just so he can delay withdrawal from Iraq until the end of his term- because to him- they aren't even real.

And if that isn't arrogance, I don't know what is...


Indeed- it's true! He'll be back on the air 9PM on october 30th, courtesy of the new Nova M Radio network. It looks like they'll be streaming online, so be sure and check it out!

Oh- I almost forgot- go check out these great t-shirts available from the Mossadegh Project. I recently got one, myself, and my, but they're fine- certainly eye-catching...

Justifying War with Iran: A False Strategy for Nuclear Nonproliferation

by Patrick McElwee

Six nations have been most frequently mentioned in discussions of nuclear non-proliferation in recent years. Four are known to have nuclear weapons and do not allow U.N. inspections of active nuclear weapon sites. Israel's nuclear stockpile is an open secret. India and Pakistan both have nuclear weapons; they conducted highly publicized nuclear tests in 1998, creating a very tense moment between the rivals. This month, North Korea tested a nuclear device.

Another frequently mentioned country, Iran, does not now have nuclear weapons. It actually signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), the international legal foundation of nonproliferation. Iran allows U.N. inspections of its nuclear facilities, which it claims will be used solely for civilian power plants – legal under the NPT – and never to create a weapon. No proof has ever been offered that Iran is taking steps to produce a nuclear weapon.

The sixth country, Iraq, was invaded on the pretext of having a serious program to produce nuclear weapons, as well as other weapons of mass destruction, which are now known not to have existed since soon after U.N. inspections began there in 1991.

Yet, leaving out occupied Iraq, the only one of these countries the U.S. is threatening to attack is Iran -- despite the lack of proof that Iran is even seeking a nuclear weapon. In fact, of those five countries, Iran is the only one currently playing by the rules.

The use of nuclear nonproliferation as justification for threats to attack Iran looks like a sham, just as it was shown to be a sham in Iraq.

This impression gets even stronger when we compare the behavior of the Bush administration toward the real proliferators of this group (excluding for the moment the biggest proliferators, declared nuclear powers including the United States who are obligated under the NPT to work toward disarmament).

Israel is one of the closest allies to the United States and the biggest recipient of U.S. military aid. Its nuclear program has not noticeably slowed that aid.

Last year, President Bush went to India and effectively endorsed their nuclear weapons program. He even signed a deal to provide them nuclear fuel and technology, once Congressional approval is secured. India is not a signatory to the NPT, so their nuclear arsenal sits outside international law.

Pakistan is considered a close ally of the United States despite its nuclear program and weapons.

North Korea is not an ally, in fact they are part of the so-called "axis of evil," but the Bush administration is not credibly threatening to attack them militarily (barring a disastrous change in policy). This is largely because the administration recognizes that there is no military solution with North Korea, which is heavily armed. The Pentagon reportedly estimates that a war with North Korea would kill 300,000 to 500,000 American and South Korean soldiers as well as hundreds of thousands of South Korean civilians within the first 90 days. That is not to mention the North Korean and possibly Chinese deaths.

On the other hand, diplomacy has been shown to work with North Korea. From 1994 to 2002, North Korea actually shut down its nuclear weapons program under an agreement with the United States. However, the United States failed to meet its side of the agreement – shipments of fuel oil to replace nuclear energy until completion of construction of two light-water reactors that could not produce material for a weapon. Yet the North Koreans kept their program shut down until early 2003. They kicked out U.N. inspectors, withdrew from the NPT and began enriching plutonium again. Diplomacy is the only way to defuse the current crisis.

Diplomacy has also been shown to be capable of dissuading Iran from pursuing even peaceful nuclear technology. In July 2004, Iran announced the suspension of uranium enrichment as a sign of good faith in negotiations with the European Union. Those negotiations failed to deliver for Iran, and they resumed uranium enrichment early this year. Even so, Iran has offered ideas for resolving the stand-off, including having a French company conduct the enriching process for Iran. There is every reason to think that there are diplomatic solutions to this situation.

On the other hand, an attack on Iran could have catastrophic consequences, just like an attack on North Korea. Recent experience in Iraq shows us that; a meticulously conducted study from Johns Hopkins finds that over 600,000 Iraqis have died who would still be alive had the U.S. not invaded. An expansion of the war to the broader region could be extremely bloody.

As in North Korea, there is no military option for preventing nuclear proliferation in Iran. In fact, there is no military solution to preventing nuclear proliferation in general. The threat of a U.S. attack – especially when that attack can come without real justification, as the world rightly perceived in Iraq – actually creates an incentive for governments around the world to obtain nuclear weapons as a deterrent. Diplomacy, serious moves toward disarming ourselves and the creation of a world where countries feel secure from attack is the only rational way to pursue non-proliferation.

As in Iraq, it seems that our government has ulterior motives for threatening Iran, most likely based on its strategic position and its role as a regional rival in the Middle East. The nuclear justification once again does not hold up. Even if a threat from Iran were proved, the rational response would be diplomacy, not war.

Still, our government's threats against Iran are real and credible. Time Magazine has reported the movement of large naval fleets toward Iran. Retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardner has said that military operations are already being conducted there in secret. Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh reports that the administration is making detailed and serious plans for an attack.

Even as we question the asserted but unproved nuclear threat from Iran and the claimed motivations of our government, we need to build our strength and organization against another war (for a first step, sign the petition (http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/involved/iranpetition.html) being circulated by Just Foreign Policy and Peace Action).

Though the justification for war is weak, we know from experience in Iraq that this administration does not need a good reason to start a war. Domestic political pressure is our most potent tool. It may soon force an end to the occupation of Iraq and we have reason to hope it can prevent a new and needless war with Iran.

Patrick McElwee works with Just Foreign Policy (www.justforeignpolicy.org). He can be reached at patrick [at] justforeignpolicy.org.

© 2006 The Progressive

OCTOBER 19, 2006
But for the past week, I've been dogged by more freelance than I could deal with. Updates have sucked- but I promise to catch up, over the next week.
REVIEW- "DEATH OF A PRESIDENT" (With spelling corrections- I'm gonna have to stop writing, so late at night..)

When news about this movie emerged a few months back, the talking heads were abuzz about this fictional "documentary" about the assassination of George W. Bush. Even some liberal commentators said that they found such a premise "distasteful" at best, and "disgraceful" at worst. Many objected, in particular, to a short, jerky-cam sequence in which a digitally-composited george W Bush is gunned down (you can see a bit of it in the trailer, here- but more about that, later.)

Personally, I find the concept of gunning down the president reprehensible- especially George W. Bush. I want Bush to live a long, long time, so that he will have more years to contemplate his crimes, while rotting away in a jail cell in The Hague. However, unlike the folks who went so rabid over the film, I have the ability to differentiate fiction and nonfiction within my mind. I found the premise to be an interesting one: considering the chaotic nature of the world in which we live, a presidential assassination would turn the world upside down, overnight- a film contemplating the ramifications of such an event couldn't help but be interesting..

Or so I thought...

Before I get into the main review, I want to keep up my tradition of having something nice to say, at the outset:

The filmmakers have done an excellent job of melding video of real events with their own footage. I remember how we were all so impressed when Forrest Gump shook hands with Nixon- now, less than a decade later, that same technology is at the disposal of small production companies. The shots of Bush shaking hands and interacting with digitally-composited actors are close to flawless (I did notice a few shoddy jobs here and there- but overall, it was well done.)

The first reel of the film keeps you pretty riveted. The building of suspense is well-done, and some sequences (such as the protestor who gets close enough to touch Bush's Limo) are impeccably shot and presented. The best sequence of the film is when Bush emerges from the hotel, and does a little red-rope "Meet and greet." Footage, voiceover, and interview are brought together in an almost mesmerizing collage. And then...


Yeah- "Pop." This is where the film jumps the shark. If you just watched the trailer, you'll notice that there are shots of Bush turning and dodging around amidst the chaos. These were not in the film. It is painfully apparent that a sanitized "american" version of this film was released, excluding the footage that the pundits were in such a tizzy about. So- at this point, I automatically wonder "what else has been edited out?" In the film, you only see a frame or two of someone going down- and you're not even sure who it is- someone is shoved into a limo, and driven away- that's it...

Now- here's where the filmmakers could have excelled- I was hoping for something along the lines of Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ." A twenty-minute long segment of slow-motion footage of Bush falling to the ground while a foot-wide torrent of gore erupts from his chest would have been cool. Additional shots of the crowd being sprayed down by three fire hoses filled with red paint would have made this the "must-see" film of 2006- but I digress, and the last paragraph has just been my lame attempt at humor...

Back to the serious review.

To fully document how this film goes so wrong, I'd have to write down so many spoilers, I'd most likely get sued by Newmarket Films, so I'm having to tread lightly, here.

After Bush is whisked off to the hospital, the film just sorta comes to a wrenching halt. The initial investigations into the incident are somewhat interesting- we all wanna find out who was behind this. However, the film then turns into perhaps the most plodding, dull, and circuitous condemnations of US Intelligence failure and the patriot act that I've ever had to sit through.

Events in the world outside of the U.S. following Bush's death are only lightly touched on. Syria is implicated indirectly in the crime, and there's about five minutes of the film dedicated to a diplomatic row that fizzles out, in the end. I'm sorry- but this is simply unbelievable- Cheney is now president of the US, he has a suspicion that the Syrians are behind the murder of his predecessor, and he doesn't DO ANYTHING? The Cheney I know would reduce the entire muslim world to nuclear rubble, five minutes after being sworn in, even if he didn't have a reason other than that it made his penis feel a few millimeters larger.

A crisis with North Korea is hinted at the beginning of the film (prescient, of course, because it's a timely reminder of blah, blah, blah, wank, wank) but after Bush takes a dirt nap, apparently, it's all over, because it's never mentioned again.

And as far as how the film covers how such an event would change things here in the USA? Well- congress passes a fictional "Patriot Act 3", that pretty much gives the government the same power it has, today. We are shown no consequences of this, outside of the prime suspect's trial, and only in the most oblique of ways.

This is the fatal flaw of this film. It could have been a documentary about how the world changed, because of this event. Instead, it turns into a morass obsessed with itself. The conclusion had me yawning at what was apparently the greatest epiphany that the film had to present- that "violence begets violence."

It's a sad waste of a great concept. I had a lot of hope for this film, but it just didn't deliver.

(BTW- after this review, I doubt I'll ever get a prescreening ticket from SpecialOps media again- such is life...)

OCTOBER 19, 2006

Bush's suspension of Habeas Corpus yesterday was one of those incidents that defy description. This is something that cannot be conveniently explained away, and in the end, only the most craven voices in the right-wing echo chamber have been able to bring themselves to even mention it.

There is no excuse for this- there is no way that any patriotic citizen of good will and honest intent could support this. Bush has effectively pissed on the constitution- there's no other way to put it.

OCTOBER 16, 2006

For the past 48 hours, the index page has been inaccessible, for 90% of the folks out there. This was due to a freakish problem with Google Videos that were embedded on this page- after about an hour of troubleshooting, I discovered that as soon as the videos were removed, the page behaved properly.

This incident would be unremarkable, were it not for Google's recent acquisition of YouTube. They say they're taking a "hands-off" approach to their ownership, but they'd be well advised to adopt the YouTube imbed process, which has yet to cause a single problem (at least as far as I'm aware.)


(For those few who even bothered to follow it.)

After a month and a half of sitting around and watching Fox "news" 12 hours a day, I had to call it quits. I found myself spending my entire day sitting behind my desk, staring at an endless torrent of bullcrap. It was depressing, if for no other reason that my entire life now consisted of watching my computer monitor, all day. Had the refrigerator been moved next to my desk, and a toilet installed where my office chair now sits, I'd never even move.

I may not have much of a life, but I treasure what moments I can grab away from the computer. Being a video blogger demanded that I abandoned any pretense to a life away from my computer monitor, and it was just too dreary of a lifestyle to continue.

However, the whole experience, if nothing else- was educational. I now know, definitively, that corporate "news" is toxic to both your soul, your body, and your mind. I was beginning to feel like my brain was slowly being replaced by fresh horse manure- I was consistently physically ill- and I found myself not wanting to get out of bed in the morning, knowing that I'd have to spend yet another day watching highly-paid idiots spew disinformation at me.

I hated to resign after a mere month, as Bob Fertik and the other folks over at Democrats.com are good folks doing good work. I still may add the occasional Olbermann segment there, but I can no longer spend my days being a pair of eyes staring at a damned screen. The last thing I want on my tombstone (or scratched on the header of my mass grave) is "Here lies Eric Blumrich- He watched over 200 hours of Brit Hume in a single month!"


One thing that struck me about the month and a half that I was a captive of Fox "News", was the re-emergence of another holdover from republican administrations past- James Baker. For those who aren't familiar with the guy, he served as chief of staff under Reagan, and as Secretary of State under Bush the first. His last great public hurrah was a stint representing the Bush campaign in their successful effort to steal florida in the 2000 election. After that rather ignomous performance, the guy pretty much sunk from view.

In recent days, he's been trotted out as a genteel, homespun media handler and advisor for the Bush administration. He's been popping up on every news channel, including a rather long interview on the Daily Show, selling himself as a voice of experience and moderation within an administration that continues to distinguish itself by refusing to accept reality.

His talking points, in these interviews, are unremarkable- little more than the standard spin we've grown all too accustomed to hearing. What makes Baker's contribution to the discourse remarkable, however, is his "Baghdad Initiative." Baker's remarkable and innovative plan?

In order to secure Iraq, we first must secure Baghdad. If we can provide security and basic social services to the people of Baghdad, it will serve as an example of America's intentions in the country.

All together, now: THE HELL YOU SAY!

I'd like to just skim over the banality of this idiocy, but I just can't stop myself. When Baker speaks about this momentous epiphany of his, he speaks as if he's just stumbled upon the cure for cancer.

Three and a half years after the invasion of Iraq, the white house has brought in someone that tables the "innovative" concept that it would be a good idea to secure the Iraqi capital. Dwell on that- drink it in- talk amongst yourselves. Until just a few weeks back, no one in the white house had considered the importance of securing Baghdad.

I've repeatedly described the planning and execution of this war as "Childish", "Inept", "Godawful", and a lot of other terms that I really can't repeat (despite a few lapses, I try to keep things PG-13, here.) This new "initiative" on the part of Baker makes me feel as if I've been just a tad too charitable.


In the wake of the nuke scare from the DPRK, the Foley scandal has been pushed off the front pages. Due to the short attention span of the american public, I have a feeling that in the end, the republican cover-up of pedophilia within their ranks just ain't gonna prove decisive. The last two weeks of the campaign will prove the most important, and who knows what will break.

Personally, I am not optimistic. As I've stated before, the diebold machines only have to throw a few thousand votes in favor of the republicans, in about a dozen states, to ensure that they maintain their stranglehold on congress.

That having been said, I won't fall victim to apathy- and neither should you. Get involved, here, here, and here.

Despite the media consensus that the democrats will win the house, I'm not entirely convinced (again- the diebold machines play a large role here.) A victory in the house would be a good step forward- but unless it is accompanied by a swing in the senate, it really doesn't mean much.

The senate will boil down to four races- Tennessee, New Jersey, Virginia, and Missouri- and the democrats need all four to gain a majority. Missouri and New Jersey are pretty much a democratic lock at this stage of the game, leaving Virginia and Tennessee as the most pivotal races. As of today, Tennessee is blue, by the skin of its teeth, and Virginia is more likely than not to go to the republicans, leaving a 50/50 split in the upper house, which is more than desirable- now that Cheney will have to actually show up in the senate everyday, the chances of a live broadcast of his next heart attack via c-span are more than likely.

OCTOBER 14, 2006

Hadda deal with a ton of freelance, over the past two days, and quite frankly, I'm tuckered out- more in 24...

OCTOBER 11, 2006

I've never been a fan of Saddam Hussein- during his reign over Iraq, he was responsible for some of the more horrific atrocities that the middle east has ever seen. The number of people who met their deaths at his hands will never be exactly known, but if one does a tad of arithmetic, adds up the body counts from known atrocities, and includes the million soldiers killed on both sides of the Iran/Iraq war, the figure roughly stands at two million. Averaged out over the 24-year duration of Hussein's reign as president of Iraq, it comes out to approximately 83,500 dead per year.

Now, according to a recent study by the John Hopkins School, 655,000 Iraqis have died, since the Invasion of Iraq, about 3.5 years back. That averages out to just over 187,000 deaths per year.

So, this unofficial tally makes Bush the equivalent of 2.23 Saddam Husseins- hell- let's just round it out and say Bush is twice the murderer that Hussein was.

Now, the few remaining supporters of this war and this administration are quick to dismiss this report out of hand, by simply saying it is "not credible."

Ex-Squeeze me? How can the few uneducated bumpkins who are still stupid enough to support this war claim to have the authority to say that they know what is "credible", in regards to Iraq? I've been following this war, since before it even began, and I've yet to see one iota of credibility be exhibited by the republican party in relation to anything, much less Iraq. I've long since given up pointing out how these people have been wrong, at every turn- it's just too redundant:

"We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators"

"Within a year, a grand public square will be built in honor of George W Bush in Baghdad"

"Weapons of Mass Destruction"

"The elections mark a turning point in Iraq" (Wave inky finger)

"As they stand up, we'll stand down"

"We're making great progress"

"Oil revenues will pay for reconstruction"

And so on, and so forth. To point out the torrent of lies that have fueled this war in the highest levels of power is sorta like repeatedly pointing at an apple, and screaming "It's RED, DAMMIT!"

Given a choice between believing the right-wing echo chamber, and a report by one of the most prestigious medical schools in the world, I'll believe the latter, thank you very much.

Bush Still in North Korean Fantasy Land

Published on Wednesday, October 11, 2006 by The Progressive

The Bush Administration’s North Korea policy has yielded its nuclear fruit.

For years, instead of engaging in serious diplomacy, Bush preferred to bully and to namecall, as when he so diplomatically referred to Kim Jong Il as a pygmy.When Colin Powell wanted the United States to begin bilateral talks with North Korea, Bush dressed him down.

Perversely, the neocons seem almost as pleased by North Korea’s nuke as Kim is.

And Bush refused to agree to a promise not to destroy North Korea, so Kim, long described as erratic and irrational, did the rational thing: He hurried up and got himself a nuclear weapon to try to deter Bush.

North Korea’s test is a highly unwelcome one.But it doesn’t change the basic facts.

Back in March, when the Bush Administration published its new National Security Strategy document, it noted that North Korea “continues to destabilize its region and defy the international community, now boasting a small nuclear arsenal and an illicit nuclear program in violation of its international obligations.

”Nothing fundamental has changed since then, except—as Jon Stewart noted—North Korea now has one fewer nuclear weapon.

Perversely, the neocons seem almost as pleased by North Korea’s nuke as Kim is.

“For some in the Bush Administration, the nuclear test is cause for celebration,” writes John Feffer, editor of The Future of U.S.-Korean Relations. “The coterie around Dick Cheney rejoices at the growing divide between North Korea and China, the more aggressive military and foreign policy of Japan, and compromised efforts of South Korea to engage the North. . . . An amplified North Korean threat works wonders on Capitol Hill and with our allies to push missile defense, more military spending, and the like.”

Republican hawks, such as John McCain, David Frum, and those that perch over at National Review, all are shrieking now for a U.N. Security Council resolution under Chapter 7 that would authorize the United States to use coercive measures against North Korea. They like nothing more than to act as the world’s enforcer.

But this would risk sending brinkmanship right over the edge.

To goad Kim Jong Il into a military confrontation could result in hundreds of thousands of deaths on the Korean peninsula and more in Japan.

Even at this stage, substantive, bilateral negotiations represent the best available option.

But Bush and Cheney don’t want any part of that.

They alternate between believing that North Korea is about to implode and fantasizing that they should take Kim out.

They still live in fantasy land.

And even Kim’s nuclear test can’t snap them out of it.

Matthew Rothschild has been with The Progressive since 1983. He keeps a running tally of civil liberties infringements in his "McCarthyism Watch." In the January 2002 issue he writes about The New McCarthyism.

© 2006 The Progressive

OCTOBER 9, 2006

Why the hell this should surprise anyone, is beyond me- the day that Bush belched out his idiocy about the DPRK being part of the "axis of evil", I saw mushroom clouds on the horizon.

Monkeyboy will undoubtedly spin this into a cause celebre for fear, in coming days- because hell- if there's anything that brings the knuckle-draggers into the booth, come november on even-numbered years, it's fear.

Indeed- I'm afraid- I'm afraid what this administration will do, now that the North Korean regime has yet again called the neocons' bluff. Mike Malloy described the situation best:

What we have here, is a confrontation between two lunatics- On one side, we have a half-pint despot with a messianic complex- and on the other- we have Kim Jong Il. As much as I believe face-to-face negotiations between the US and DPRK would do much to solve the problem, I just don't trust this administration, when it comes to any issue whatsoever- much less issues as important as nuclear brinkmanship.

The only solution is to remove one of the lunatics from the mix, and as much as the right wingers out there love to issue threats against Kim Jong Il, he ain't going anywhere, barring full scale war. What logically follows is that the Bush Bowl should just excuse themselves from international diplomacy, on this front, as soon as possible, and let more mature and stable powers resolve the situation.


In the wake of the foley scandal, and increasing trouble for the republican party, I've decided it was time to drop in on the last, besieged bastion of pro-bush groupthink, Free Republic, for another installment of:

In recent weeks, things have been looking badly for the republicans- how the transitory polling numbers of today play out over the next month remains to be seen- but the hysteria of the far right leaves no doubt as to their sorry state:

If Democrats take over this country, I think I will go join the Taliban.

The petulant childishness of this aside, one relishes imagining the scene, should this basement-dwelling chickenhawk show up in Peshawar, asking for work. I'd give him two minutes before his lifeless carcass is dumped into the local pit toilet by a thirteen-year-old talib who gunned the poor fool down, after getting sick of having this pasty white american dude shoving Ann Coulter books in his face.

And to turn the Congress over to the Party of Treason, at this critical period in history? Anyone who would vote for a Democratic Congress is a traitor to the United States and deserves the punishment due to traitors.

And we wonder how Hitler came to power...

Time for the "real America" to stand up again, and pi$$ on the whining spineless minority.

If, by "real America", the author means "Republicans," he needn't worry- the republicans have been pissing on minorities, for the past fifty years.

What are my options? 1) Stay home and turn the country over to communists and America haters who love homosexuality; 2) Vote democrat and turn the country over to communists and America haters who love homosexuality; 3) Vote republican and turn the country over to debt-addicted legislators who now and then send perv messages to pages. I think I know what I'll do.

I wish I had this guy's skill at trivializing the opposition: Don't support Bush? Then your entire political philosophy can be boiled down to two points: "hating america" and "loving homosexuality." And they wonder why they're so unpopular, these days...

This is a call for war.
Jim Noble

YEAH! Another basement-dweller threatens to take up arms, should his party lose the election. I wish I loved democracy, as much as these guys...

The conservative base is NOT going to stay home or vote for democrats.I will vote straight ticket republican even if they've committed murder!

Perhaps the most honest words I've ever seen on Free Republic.

Is it time to ask Gay Republicans to leave the party?

HAHAHAAAA!!!! Yeah- go right ahead- the only way to counter a disastrous slide in the polls is an interior witchhunt- you'd have to fire your PARTY CHAIRMAN, pinhead! Matt Drudge would be left without a party to shill for- and without the drudge report, where would clueless morons get their news?

I have wonder if we need to just turn off Fox for a few weeks. They are becoming a more and more liberal.

I am in agreement- EVERYONE IN AMERICA- STOP WATCHING FOX- not because it's (hrmph) too "liberal"- but because watching Fox "News" is like having a sumo wrestler sit on your face and fart, for hours on end.

There are over two million registered Muslim voters in the United States. Never thought I'd see the day when we count on the votes of pro-family, pro-Christian, illegal, ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT VOTES to beat back the muzzies. Oh my.

Yep- some in the republican right see this election as a fight between two minorities- Muslims (supposedly on the democratic side), and hispanic immigrants (who they apparently believe will vote republican, across the board.) Just like the republicans- divide, divide, divide.

Now I remember why I haven't been over to that damned site, in so long.

Wish I could cover more, tonight, but I'm under a crunch- my roomie of several years is moving back up to new england, which means I need to find a replacement. If anyone out there knows anyone looking for digs in the Montclair NJ area, lemme know!

OCTOBER 8, 2006

According to the latest Newsweek poll, Bush approval ratings are at 33%, with only 25% of the voters thinking we're headed in the right direction, as a nation...

A week might be a long time in politics, but if the dems can't even pull a win in the house, there's no future for this country.

More in 24...

OCTOBER 5 , 2006

And DAMN- it's fun when the whole rotten structure falls down.

As of this writing, it is predicted that Dennis Hastert will lose his position as House Leader- pending another day of revelations, it's likely that he will be forced to resign his seat in the house, entirely. The republicans, having enjoyed four years of near-total immunity and exclusion from any scrutiny, have turned upon each other in a manner reminiscent of a pool of sharks, intoxicated by the smell of blood. In coming days, it's just gonna get worse/better...

Now- this doesn't upset Rove all that much- as long as we're talking about Foleygate, we're not addressing the war in Iraq, shrinking wages, skyrocketing poverty, the miserable state of healthcare in this country, and the veritable smorgasbord of issues on which the republicans are vulnerable. After all- when the smoke clears, only a handful of republicans will be implicated directly with this scandal, and the rest will be able to rise above the issue.

I do hope that the democrats are able to walk and chew gum at the same time, over the next month, and see this not as a decisive issue, but as yet another weapon in their arsenal- another nail with which to hammer shut the coffin of republican dictatorship.

That having been said, what is certain to follow, in coming days, is what can only be described as a witch hunt (carried out, admittedly, by the democratic blogosphere,) to "out" gay republicans in congress, and expose how some of them played a role in suppressing the disclosure of the Foley scandal (as did their fellow straighter republican compatriots.)

The reason why this will come to pass is not an effort on the part of the democrats to draw any parallel between homosexuality and pederasty, but to let the religious right (which is largely responsible for the republican majority in congress) know that- surprise, surprise- there are gay people in the party which they have held in such high esteem. Trust me- if there's anything that will keep a few million evangelical rapture-right voters at home on election day, it's knowing that the party that they spent so much time boosting isn't as "John Birch" as they were told, by Pat Robertson, et al...

Personally, I'm steadfastly against "outing" people, for whatever reason. One's own sexual behavior (as long as it's between consenting adults) is their own business- but in these times, a gay republican (as opposed to a gay conservative) is sorta like a black klansman. How the living hell a gay person could consider themselves a republican these days is utterly beyond me:

"I'm against granting myself full status as a human being- further, I'm steadfastly opposed to granting myself the right to marry my partner, and gaining the health insurance benefits or the legal rights entitled to me as a spouse. In addition, people like myself shouldn't be allowed to become schoolteachers, scoutmasters, public servants, or be allowed to adopt children. People like me are the reason behind the moral degeneracy of our country, and the quicker we're put out of our misery, the better."

But hey- even the Nazis got Jewish collaborators to serve as policemen for them. Go figure...

(Oh- one last thing- I watched four hours of Fox "News" today- not ONE, SINGLE MENTION of Foleygate. They DID spend ten minutes talking about a youtube video featuring domino tricks on a pool table- so I guess they're still "fair and balanced.")


As much as we love hearing about a republican's sexual fantasies about post pubescent kids, I'm hoping that a few bits of info about the continuing collapse of our Iraq occupation make it into the discourse, such as:

This month is shaping up to be the bloodiest, since "Mission Accomplished."

Thousands of Iraqi police were dismissed, today, after they were found to be aiding insurgents.

75 iraqis were killed in car bombings today.

Colin Powell continues to criticize the lack of an exit strategy.

Congress just acquiesced to Bush's request that our monitor of Iraqi reconstruction be recalled.

Oh- and one last thing- in a week that's seen three fatal school shooting sprees, one must consider that Bush's budgets have consistently slashed federal funding for school violence prevention.

Gotta go check and see if my passport is still current...

OCTOBER 3 , 2006

"It's vile. It's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such
potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction."
--Mark Foley, on Bill Clinton, in 1998

Okay- so a conservative republican used his position as chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children as a smokescreen for his compulsive pederasty. The house republican establishment, aware of Mr. Foley's indescretions, did nothing to censure or discipline him, thus rendering unto him de-facto immunity.

Shocked- SHOCKED, I tells ya- or maybe not.

Haven't you been paying attention, for the past four years? These GOP cretins approve of TORTURE- why the hell should they care if one of their number spent his spare time trying to weasel his way into the pants of post-pubescent children? The republicans have shoved us into unconstitutional war. They've stripped away just about every protection that our fragile middle class enjoyed. They've raped the poor. They've sold our environment to the highest bidder, and shipped our jobs overseas.

Is it really so surprising that people who pursue such a destructive and ruinous agenda are sick, twisted creatures, under their thousand-dollar suits? Okay- so Mark Foley is an unregistered member of NAMBLA- it doesn't surprise me one bit. Hell- I wouldn't be surprised if Dennis Hastert drinks human blood, or if Bill Frist takes pleasure in torturing kittens to death (hmn- hold on...)

However- the current grandchampion ass in this whole mess has been Tony Snow- during his press briefing today, he said that Foley's predatory missives were "overly-friendly emails." He later dismissed them as "Naughty Emails."

Maybe this will serve as a wakeup call to alla you folks out there who didn't fully appreciate just how vile these bastards are.

OCTOBER 2 , 2006

And here's what gets me:

The republican response has basically consisted of two canned soundbites:

1: The book is full of "myths." Strange- it hasn't even hit the bookshelves yet, and suddenly, every pundit out there in the right-wing echo chamber has apparently read it. No one has called any of these talking heads to actually pin down a single "myth".

2: The book doesn't disclose anything that isn't "Old News." FINALLY! The republican party has admitted that gross incompetence and cluelessness on the part of the Bush administration is "Old News." Indeed- we in the reality-based community have known this since January 20, 2001.

However- the one unsettling development surrounding the release of Woodward's book is the re-emergence of Henry Kissinger into public view. I awoke, this morning, switched on the tube- and there he was- assaulting my eyes with his bloated, pale bulk. Put aside the fact that the guy should be in chains, for his multitude of war crimes across the world- he's just plain offensive to the eyes.

Yeah, yeah- cut the old bastard a break, you say- he's over 80- and no one looks great that late in life. Uhh- I beg to differ- I've known many who have made it to that age, and for the most part, the onset of seniority has lent stolid dignity to their countenances- this guy, on the other hand, looks like the unfortunate progeny of a chance mating between a bullfrog and a truckload of dog turds. To think back in the 60's, he was considered a pop figure, of sorts- I might have to re-evaluate Limbaugh's condemnation of that decade, on that basis alone.


Running up to the november elections, the liberal blogosphere has consistently ignored the 500-pound gorilla in the corner:

The democrats are not unified, in their Iraq policy. Yeah- go head- send me your DCCC white papers- your MoveOn links- your congressional statements- they do nothing to distract from the facts on the ground:

Some democrats favor immediate withdrawal- others are calling for a phased withdrawal- still others have hatched more comprehensive and complex measures including UN and NATO troops.

Yes- the democrats are disunited as to the means towards an end that we all can agree on- the cessation of this horrific, juvenile exercise in empire-building. Does that disqualify them, when it comes to this issue?

Not at all, when measured against the republican mantra of "stay the course" (recently and conveniently changed to the meaningless phrase "adapt and win.") Under the one-party rule of the republican party, the issue of war- perhaps the most important that a nation can face- has been held beyond the realm of debate- whenever the republican party has been asked to justify the bitter harvest that their actions have reaped, have only one response:

"Trust us, or you will die."

And thus, the issue has been quashed, and closed to reasoned debate. Lemme tell ya- if the republicans had one, single positive thing to show for their bullheaded and exclusionary approach to the war in Iraq, I'd be willing to give them the benefit of a doubt (as would any decent american- results speak for themselves, after all.)

But, alas, since the day that this war began, there has not been one single glimmer of evidence that the republican strategy towards this conflict has had any merit, whatsoever. Ask the republicans to justify their policies, and they will mumble a carload of bullplop about the "elections" that brought in the "unity government", that now after a year, can't even control events within the streets of Iraq's capital city.

The democrats must stop avoiding the difference of opinion within their ranks over the way to bring this war to a close. In fact- this debate can be turned into a net plus, if the party would pull it's head out of Washington.

I'm waiting to hear the democratic party say:

"Yes, we have a difference of opinion within our party- there is much to debate about this war- but alas, over the past four years, this urgently-needed debate has been suppressed and ignored by the same republican party that has misled us into the mess that confronts us, today. They fear debate, difference of opinion, and open discussion, because they know that in the light of inquiry, their policies, excuses, and bald-faced lies will melt, like the last snows of winter. They say to you: 'The issue of war and peace is too important to leave to the vagaries of debate- patriots don't argue- they act.' How dare they? When, in the course of human events, would the great men and women who came before us forfeit their efforts, their teachings of liberty, and their sacrifices upon the expedient and temporary altar of one party's ambitions? How dare they say that one issue is sacrosanct, when it has led to so much loss, so much suffering, and heaped such ignomy and ill repute upon our nation? By what measure have these charlatans weighed their incompetent and incomprehensible actions against the traditional values of our republic, and found these cherished institutions wanting? Childish obstinacy and stubbornness might be well and good for the schoolyard, but it doesn't play well, when the lives of americans are on the line."

I'm not holding my breath.


It's been done a million and one times- "What would (insert historical figure here) think and do, should they be brought to our modern times?"

That having been said, I really enjoyed this book, in which founding fathers Jefferson, Washington, and Franklin are brought into modern-day america. The author has strived for a "warts and all" depiction of these men, and hell- when Franklin on the toilet is described as resembling an "elephant sitting on a barstool", you can't get any wartier than that.

But perhaps I'm simplifying the whole issue, here. The book is well-researched, fast-paced, and every historical exposition is fascinating. The timeframe of the book covers all of about four days, but such is only natural- detailing the reactions of men brought two hundred years into the future is no small task. However, author Lawrence Lee Rowe leaves very few stones unturned, and every revelation is as fresh to the reader, as it is to the time-travelling protagonists.

This, apparently, is the first installment in a trilogy, and I find myself hungering for the next volume.