Monday, April 30, 2007

I Got Yer Civility Right HERE, Cully!

From the schedule of today's Congressional hearings and proceedings (via Atrios):

9 a.m. -- (POLITICS/CIVILITY/BOEHNER/LIEBERMAN) CONFERENCE -- The American Enterprise Institute, the University of Pennsylvania and the Brookings Institution sponsors a conference titled "Civility and American Politics," to discuss "how incivility affects our political system and our ability to tackle the problems of twenty-first-century life." Location: 902 Hart Senate Office Building.
The feature about the Intertubes that most feared among the oligarchs and (a serendipitous typo) 'polutocrats' is the ease with which it is possible for the rest of us to tell them to go fuck themselves.

"FUCK YOU,CULLY!" is the cry of a citizen who is not afraid, not intimidated, not silenced.

Such a citizenry is dangerous to oligarchs and polutocrats, because it proclaims with the invective that it is the equal of those who pretend to be it's betters.

Bloody fascinating how 'incivility' will happen to be identified as strident criticism of the policies advocated and promoted by Lieberputz and Boner. Indeed; stridency seems, short of fucking torches and pitchforks, the only thing that seems to distract your fucking self-absorbed self-satisfaction, you fucking pricks.

The nation has come to a pretty pass when regulating the capacity of the populace to register an emphatic "FUCK YOU" to the oligarchs and 'polutocrats' is a matter of Congressional concern. They might find the level of incivility reduced in direct proportion to the extent that these greedy, callous, sold-out, corrupt, ethically challenged cretinous shitwhistles stopped spending their time dissing their constituents and started to try to even partially ameliorate the horrendous, truly global crises their mendacity, corruption and venality has gotten us, the whole fucking planet, the whole fucking world, into.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Ever hear of Bayji, or Haditha?

Did you ever wonder why the names of certain places in Iraq were so familiar? Haditha, for example. There was fierce fighting in Haditha in late 2005. There were reports of a massacre there: 24 Iraqi civilians were slaughtered for no reason or purpose. (By the way, the officer in charge of the Marines who committed the massacre was naominated for a medal on the basis of his behavior that day.)

Bayji? Ever hear of Bayji?
ell, there's a big, important foreward ops base, Camp Sumerall, right outside Bayji. There's been a fair amount of 'action' around Bayje, too.
There was a LOT of action around Haditha; there still is.

Know why?
The map above can provide a couple of clues. You will note that, for example, bot sit astride a vital pipeline intersection. Both are quite close to major refining facilities, too.
Are you still wondering why the fighting in thos places was so fierce, so desperate, so persistent?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Da finger

..\................. /........\................../

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

You Don't Want To Miss: Moyers Journal Returns To Skewer Media War Pimps & Hustlers

Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell reminds us:

NEW YORK: The most powerful indictment of the news media for falling down in its duties in the run-up to the war in Iraq will appear next Wednesday, a 90-minute PBS broadcast called "Buying the War," which marks the return of "Bill Moyers Journal." E&P was sent a preview DVD and a draft transcript for the program this week.

While much of the evidence of the media's role as cheerleaders for the war presented here is not new, it is skillfully assembled, with many fresh quotes from interviews (with the likes of Tim Russert and Walter Pincus) along with numerous embarrassing examples of past statements by journalists and pundits that proved grossly misleading or wrong. Several prominent media figures, prodded by Moyers, admit the media failed miserably, though few take personal responsibility...

...The program closes on a sad note, with Moyers pointing out that "so many of the advocates and apologists for the war are still flourishing in the media." He then runs a pre-war clip of President Bush declaring, "We cannot wait for the final proof: the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud." Then he explains: "The man who came up with it was Michael Gerson, President Bush's top speechwriter.

"He has left the White House and has been hired by the Washington Post as a columnist."

Why Bush? The Connecticut Wanker & St. Ronald's Court

At the Eschaton crack-den today, someone wondered, in the face of the disaster that is the Bushevik regime, how it came to pass that the Dim Son had been elevated to a job he at which was so manifestly ill-equipped to succeed.

One commenter explained it this way:
Bush was chosen because everybody kind of assumed going into 2000 that the Democrat would win, so they didn't want to run Jeb who was the one who was meant to be president. Instead, Dubya ran, and got the nomination, mostly becasue people confused Dubya and his father.

Then they put all the "wise old men" from his father's and Nixon's whitehouse around him to ameliorate the fact that Bush wasn't any more than an empty suit and a complete joke of a candidate.

And then, because of a confluence of prosperity, shitty press coverage, a vanity campaign gone wild, and the machinations of the USSC, the fucker ended up in office against all odds.
Bas-O-Matic | 04.24.07 - 5:47 pm

To which I replied:

i think you're wrong about dat.

i think the pukes knew that they'd poisoned the Dem Party (per se, not necessarily the voters; but when have they ever mattered to anybody) against Clinton which would impair Gore's candidacy, forcing him to run away from the Clenis legacy to appease the DLC and their bidness constituency.

The DLC also imposed the Connecticut Wanker, to further inoculate the ticket against Clenis sympathy (it will be recalled that NoMoJo was a fervent clenis critic).

this was a campaign the PNAC had been planning for a decade. through a wicked twist of fate, Jeb (a prominent signatory of numerous PNAC documents) wasn't available to top the puke ticket... but the chimp was, and was stupid and malleable and venal, and corrupt and drunk enough to go along and do as he was told.

the compliant press painted gore for the pukes enough to make it close enough to steal, which had been the plan all along: keep it close enough to steal, in court.

mission accomplished....

Monday, April 23, 2007

What It means To Be "FUCKED"--Domestic Edition

Joe Conason, on the HuffPost, concluding a discussion of the latest skirmishes in the Class War of the Elites versus every-fucking-body else:
Yes, the Ruling Class War is on, folks - replete with Democrats who look middle-class economic disaster in the eye and demand more tax cuts for billionaires, Republicans who give company owners the middle finger, and Beltway reporters who toast it all to flutes of champagne provided by runway models. While our country is driven into the ground, it's party time in Washington. And when the rest of us outside the Beltway look back, our kids will have just one question: What did we do to stop it?
It'll be hard to look 'em in the eye and tell 'em the best we could do was to get Sanjaya off American Idol

Sunday, April 22, 2007

What It Means To Be "Fucked"--International Edition

Colloquy from the Eschaton crack-den on the subject: Iraq and the US Future There

Actually, the geostrategists have been saying, "reconcile the Iraqis or get out before it is too late" since the end of 2003. It is now too late, because indeed, if the US pulls out now it will be perceived as a victory for the "resistance", and that means Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Jihad, etc. with repercussions for the entire region.
Nur al-Cubicle

So what's the alternative?
If the US stays, it must find a Shi'ite leader who can restrain the masses from cleansing Iraq once and for all of the Sunni Arabs. This will happen in the long run anyway. It cannot defend the Sunnis because 1) the Sunni elite have all left; they _are_ the insurgency and they are also _al Qaeda_. If the US leaves, then the Sunni and Shi'a will fight it out, with the balance tipped to the Iranian ally.
In other words - you are saying we must leave and this will happen.
Or - we can't leave because this will make it worse?
Tena | Homepage | 04.22.07 - 12:55 pm

I replied:
I think what he's sayin' is "both."

Which is ontologically impossible....

Which is a nice way of saying we are well and truly fucked.

Not partially fucked,
not semi-fucked;
not sorta-kinda fucked;
not temporarily fucked;
not repairably fucked;
not regrettably fucked...

Well, and truly and--for all practical purposes--eternally fucked.

The Bushevik ICORP* in Iraq is already the worst possible geopolitical mistake undertaken by a world-power since Hitler invaded Poland. In there with the Kaiser's invasion of Belgium? the Franco-Prussian War? Firing on Fort Sumpter? Xerxes' invasion of Greece?

It is world-shatteringly, planet-alteringly mistaken.

And it is more and more likely to have, eventually (and sooner more than later), very much the same consequences for this country, this Nation...and with even less tolerant, less liberal victors as our new overseers than we have been.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Harry Shearer: Media-Savvy Assassins

From the HuffPost Blog:

So Mr. Cho gets his fifteen minutes. The question bewildering journalism observers--why'd he send his goodie bag to NBC News?--has an easy answer: it was in gratitude for their firing of Imus.

Not so easy is the answer to the question: what is the possible journalistic explanation for splashing Cho's self-dramatizing poses and self-justifying bullshit over network and cable air? Did we learn anything useful during the spate of interviews of Charlie Manson years ago, except that he was one crazy motherfucker?

Cho's pathetic outpourings deserved to be put back where they came from--in a small room, with FBI guys sentenced to read/see and parse them. Instead, a hundred thousand self-pitying mentally ill young men (and women?) have just been shown the road to glory one more time. A society in which it's easier to become famous for killing people than for doing something useful or constructive is one remarkable place in which to live.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

How D'Ya Like The US Supreme Court Under Pope Ratzi, the Nazi?

More And More Lost In The Abu Gonzales the decision yesterday by the Opus Dei wing of the SCOTUS to restrict abortions, and drive the next nail into the right of a woman to choose whether she wants to be pregnant or not. (For an account of the consequences of this decision, follow the link to NPR's Nina Totenberg, and her absolutely chilling analysis.)

I do not know whence came the following text, but it deserves attention It was posted at the eschaton Crack Den this morning:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was among those who denounced yesterday's Supreme Court ruling upholding the Federal Partial Birth Abortion Act. Commenting on the decision, Reid said "A lot of us wish that Alito weren't there and O'Connor were there," indicating his desire that there has been a fifth vote to invalidate the statute, as Justice O'Connor had provided the fifth vote to invalidate Nebraska's partial-birth abortion ban in Stenberg v. Carhart.

What is curious about Reid's statement, as NPR and some news outlets have noted, is not Reid's criticism of Alito -- Reid opposed Alito's confirmation -- but the fact that Reid supported, and voted for, the federal statute upheld in yesterday's decision. . . .

So, despite his repeated support of legislative restrictions on abortion, Reid's latest comment suggests that he believes the Supreme Court's decision was regrettable and wrongly decided, and that a law that he supported is unconstitutional. To me, the latter is of greater concern. Call me old fashioned, but I believe that if a member of the Senate believes a law is unconstitutional, he or she should vote against it.
wonderin' 04.19.07 - 11:20 am

Harry Reid and the other Dumbofux who voted FOR this piece of shit legislation, did so for the political cover. They were relying on the SCOTUS to rule it unconstitutional, as they had 7 years prior, when a virtually identical piece of shit bill , passed by the FUCKTARD legislature in Pennsylvania, made its way to the Court.

Then Sandra Day O'Connor--may she rot slowly and painfully, unable to move in her own filth, from some horrible condition, and may one of her grand-daughters get knocked up by a meth dealer to bear a genetically damaged child--decided to resign. The Senate confirmed Alito, a sworn opponent of Choice. Reid voted against Alito--but tacitly approved the gang of 14 arrangement that prevented Dems from filibustering the appointment of either Roberts as Chief or Scalito as Assoc., in return for the Pukes refraining from the Nukular Option.

So Antonin Kennedy officially joined the Opus Dei band--Roberts, Scalia, Alito & Thomas--to throw US jurisprudence into the laps of the Vatican Curia.

This proves once again, to me, the wisdom of the following dictum, articulated by JFK, to allay the fears of the voters that he might preside too much in the shadow of Rome:

Whatever issue may come before me as President--on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject--I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.

But if the time should ever come--and I do not concede any conflict to be even remotely possible--when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do the same.

Antonin Kennedy, in writing his decision, clearly demonstrated he shares not a scintilla of the same conscience that animated that other, more honorable Kennedy.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Men Weep...Of Course They Do

At the Eschaton crack-den, in the wake of a difficult, emotional day, the question came up. This was my reply:

i'm a man, and i have wept...bitterly...

over lost love and disappointed
passion, mostly, i suppose--those most selfish tears;
at the death of parents and, lately,
all the more often, friends, of years...
at the health of my nephew;
at the recovery of my wife;
at the death of any number of good dogs...

...................................................i even fog
up at the climax and denoument
of well-made plays,
whether cinematic, dramatic, or operatic...

I am a man and I know how to weep.
But I 'husband' my tears,
lest they overwhelm me...


Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Good, the Bad, and The Imus

A trool on Eschaton, responding to a commenter's opinion of the trool's extreme disappointment at the firing of Don Imus, to wit that "TCB is just mad that the "Angry White Man" segment of the American public doesn't have a spokesman on the radio anymore," replied:
Imus was center-left, idiot.
Texaschilibean | 04.15.07 - 8:24 pm

The angry white-man segment , of which the mis-informed TCBeaner is clearly a specimen, is still amply represented by the usual suspects, whose names so depress me that I am loathe even to type them. But you know who I mean; Imus was never in the same class of prostrate propagandist for power that is the lot of O'Shrilly and the rest of the right-wing echo chamber...

No, as far as politics were concerned--as distinct from, say, crude cultural stereotyping--Imus probably was the most non-partisan, equal opportunity asshole in the bidness of being an asshole. To my mind, given the persona he created and inhabited, his tasteless crudeness in his 'roast' of the Clintons was almost balanced by his excoriation of Darth Cheney as a war criminal.

Imus was a uniter, not a divider, and he united along a particular axis: he had particular talent was to pick the low-hanging fruit along the cultural/class divide, and mash on it like a Gallagher fruit basket. And, not unlike like Gallagher as well, Imus did it mostly for the delectation of an audience composed of angry, middle class white males of varing ages but of similar complaints. These are the guys who now spit the term "PC" with the same scorn as they once wielded "NIGGER," "SPIC," "CHINK," and "GOOK." They feel their patrimony had been stolen from them, since they may no longer with impunity voice--and significantly, no longer benefit from--their crass and gross biases and prejudices against those whose social weakness had hitherto made them easy targets for derision, scorn, and contempt.

For the likes of the TCBeaner, of course, these middle-class heroes there is weaker prey close at hand: women. So they turn their repressed fury against women, because women are, obviously, easier targets. Patriarchy already has created all the negative stereotypes necessary for the transference of the aggression generated by middle class white males deprived of the occasion to act the 'superior' by the extension of verbal and behavioral immunities.

It is, in the vocabulary of the TCBeaner, et al, in fact much to be preferred that women become their surrogate enemies, because 1) women are a much weaker target, and one which can usually be counted upon merely to weep, not whip out a pair of brass knuckles and take out all your teeth.; and 2) because women have been getting uppity lately and if there's anything a threatened, angry middle class white male bigot doesn't need, it is some goddamn cunt telling him what to do.

Imus' slur against the Rutgers players was the worse because there probably was no personal malice in it at all. Imus noticed the Rutgers' girls tats...and that immediately marked them as his social inferiors, if the color of heir skins, and their natural endowment of hair had not already done so; it rendered them fair game.

So when he engaged his "nigger-joker", Mcguirk, in banter about the distance between the standards of pulchritude demonstrated by comparison of the Tennessee girls with the Rutgers girls, and the latter were found wanting, they immediately became--for Imus and his audience--skanks and hos, a topic much beloved by the WHITE audience for mysegynistic hip-hop...

Now Imus is toast*; I seriously doubt that any of explicitly political assholes--who not incidentally to their own schticks engage in similar racist/classist/sexist commentary will face similar fates...

*I predict Imus will be back on radio within one Friedman Unit.

Friday, April 6, 2007

If she weren't the former First Lady, would HRC even be in the race?

Based on her record, alone --that is, leaving aside her status as the (popular) former First Lady to a very popular president, and absent the novelty of her gender-- I seriously doubt Hilary Clinton would be even thought of as a viable candidate, let alone the front runner for the Democratic nomination for president.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

You Don't Hafta Be Nerdy To Blog

From my friend, Echidne's wonderful blog:
Be A Pundit!!!
It is easy and fun and quite legal.
Freewayblogger tells us how you can participate in a pundit competition even if you don't have a blog to use as your pulpit.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Returning to the Scene of the Crime: War Crimes in Iraq

By Noam Chomsky (via TomGram)

Tomgram: Noam Chomsky on War Crimes in Iraq

In the Vietnam era, the subject of war crimes was the last to arrive and the first to depart. When, in 1971 in Detroit, Vietnam Veterans Against the War convened its Winter Soldier Investigation into U.S. war crimes in Southeast Asia, it was roundly ignored by the media. Over 100 veterans gave firsthand testimony to war crimes they either committed or witnessed. Beyond the unbearable nature of their testimony, the hearings were startling for the fact that here were men who yearned to take some responsibility for what they had done. But while it was, by then, possible for Americans to accept the GI as a victim in Vietnam, it proved impossible for most Americans to accept him as a human being taking responsibility for a crime against humanity. There was no place for this in the American imagination, it seemed, no less for the thought that the planning and prosecution of the war were potential crimes committed by our leaders. Evidently there still is none, which is why it's important to follow Noam Chomsky back into the Iraq of recent years to consider the American occupation of that country in the context of war crimes.

The piece that's linked here is an excerpt from Chomsky's new book, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy. It is Chomsky at his best, a superb tour (de force) of a world in which the Bush administration has regularly asserted its right to launch "preventive" military interventions against "failed" and "rogue" states, while increasingly taking on the characteristics of those failed and rogue states itself. It will be an indispensable volume for any library. (You can check out a Chomsky discussion of it at Democracy Now!)

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Big Media Calling In It's Markers From The Bushevik Regime & Congress

The CorpoRats--"ViaCom" ring any bells?--move in to ensure their grip on the vital, economic choke-points of the Information SuperHighway--via TruthOut.Org

Big Media Runs to the Nanny State
By Dean Baker
t r u t h o u t | Columnist

Tuesday 03 April 2007

In today's hyper-competitive market economy, we all know what happens to businesses that can't compete: they run to the government for help. That is exactly what Viacom did last month as it became concerned about its future prospects in the Internet age.

Viacom is one of the world's biggest media companies. It owns MTV, Comedy Central, Showtime and Paramount Pictures in addition to many other cable networks. Its gross revenue was almost $10 billion last year and its profits were $1.26 billion. It also manages to write very healthy paychecks for its top executives. Three years ago, it split $160 million in compensation among its top three executives, enough to support almost 15,000 workers for a year at the minimum wage.

But all is not well at Viacom. Its stock price is down by close to 10 percent over the last year and a half, the period since it decoupled itself from CBS, reversing an earlier merger. Apparently the markets question Viacom's ability to prosper in a world in which web postings of video clips, produced spontaneously by millions of people around the world, take up an increasing portion of the time of its potential audience.

The point is fairly simple: if people are watching video clips that college students or frustrated office workers produce in their spare time, they will have less time to watch the latest Britney Spears MTV clip or the newest third-rate comedy flick from Paramount Pictures. To deal with this problem, Viacom wants the government to shut down the competition. It sued YouTube last month to require it to get advance approval for any copyright-protected material that gets posted on its site.

While the issues involved in this suit may seem very complicated, they are actually quite simple. In 1998, Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which dealt with exactly the sort of problem that Viacom is raising. This law clearly sets outs out the legal responsibility of web site hosts such as YouTube. Under the DMCA, a copyright holder has the responsibility for notifying a host, such as YouTube, of any copyrighted material that it has posted. At that point, the host has the obligation to remove the copyrighted material or risk being sued for damages for copyright infringement.

The top officials at Viacom are very familiar with the DMCA; their lobbyists played a large role in writing it. However, having gotten their way with Congress less than a decade ago, they are now unhappy with their own bill. They want YouTube and other hosts to be responsible for prescreening posted material to determine that it does not infringe on copyrights. This sort of prescreening would impose an enormous burden on YouTube and other sites that host video (or audio) material produced by the general public. Clearly, the days when anyone could quickly and without cost post any zany video clip that they had produced would come to an end.

It is important to recognize that this lawsuit is not just a battle between two huge companies (YouTube is now owned by Google). The purpose of the DCMA was to bottle up the web, giving major media companies like Viacom a mechanism to enforce their copyrights in a new medium. Now they have decided that the DCMA didn't go far enough. They want the state to enforce their copyrights in a way that will strangle a distribution system that has already allowed hundreds of millions of people located all around the world to see tens of millions of video clips.

The public has a huge stake in ensuring that YouTube and similar sites don't have to spend themselves into bankruptcy to ensure that none of Viacom's copyrighted material ever appears without permission. Viacom has a simple remedy when their copyrighted material appears on a site: tell them about it. Viacom officials thought this was fine when they helped write the law back in 1998. If they don't think they can live with it today, maybe they should look for a new line of business. It would be much better than suffocating the web with Byzantine rules for copyright enforcement.
I thought an important point was raised on Eschaton the other night, in the aftermath of the flap over whether Michael Ware, a TV news guy in Bagdhad, had 'heckled' Sen. John McCain when the Senator had made a complete fool of himself by holding a ridiculous, impromptu TeeVee news conference in Bagdhad in which he claimed he felt perfectly safe strolling along Haifa Street. The poster (I regret that I did not not note or recall the author's nym) declared in utter--and unarguable--certainty that, had Ware indeed heckled McStain, there would have been video of it on YouTube within moments; and that there was none supporting the assertion detracted from the truth claims of those who were accusing Ware of lese majeste.

YouTube, and similar services, are exactly the kinds of safeguards that are needed to assure the survival of free political discourses. And it is obvious that the suppression or other interference with such safeguards is in the interlocked, oligarchic interests of the Media/Governmental propaganda enterprise. So Viacom's unsubtle attack should be seen and treated as what it is: an attack on principles of democratic communication.

Monday, April 2, 2007

A battle over "Habeas Corpus" between "the two finest legal minds in the Senate"

William Fisher, at TruthOut. Org, reports on what could turn out to be an epic battle brewing in the US Senate. But unlike most of this chamber's epic battles, this one pits Republican against Republican. The battle is over the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007. The proposed legislation would repeal provisions of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that stripped US civilian courts from jurisdiction to hear or consider applications for a writ of habeas corpus filed by aliens detained as enemy combatants (his seriousness is only somewhat vitiated by his claim that Specter and Graham are two of the most accomplished minds in the Senate).