Thursday, May 31, 2007

A 40-Year-Old Question Returns To Haunt USer Soldiers In Iraq Today

After seeing his roommate fatally wounded in a roadside bombing, an Army private wonders why the lives of good men are being lost when the Iraqis pose no threat to us and don't want us there. But HoJo Liarman's getting a 'deal' on sunglasses. Prob'ly, he'll pick up a rug or two for Hadassah?

...His face had been badly burned. His leg was horribly wounded. We placed him on a spine board and did our best to attempt "Buddy Aid". We heard him trying to gasp for air. He had a pulse and was breathing, but was not responsive. He was placed into a truck and rushed to the "Green Zone", where he died within the hour. His name was Michael K. Frank. He was 36 years old. He was a great friend of mine and a mentor to most of us younger soldiers here.

Now I am still here in this country wondering why, and having to pick up the pieces of what is left of my friend in our room. I would just like to know what is the true reason we are here? This country poses no threat to our own. So why must we waste the lives of good men on a country that does not give a damn about itself? Most of my friends here share my views, but do not have the courage to say anything.

There are some folks of my generation who once asked, and are still asking, similar questions, though I'd take exception to the claim (pretty standard fare in both the relevant conflicts) that Iraq (or Vietnam, in its time) "does not give a damn about itself."

Indeed, quite the opposite obtains--which is why your buddy's dead...

Anti-Flag: Welcome to '1984'

A tribute/memorial to the anonymous man who stopped the tanks--at least temporarily--on their way to Tiannmen Square. The guy was, imho, the bravest man in the world. I heard he was later killed by the State.

You may find more, similarly in-spirited songs at Woody Guthrie's Guitar...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

This Day in Peace: Congress Stops War Funding

May 31, 1955

The U.S. Supreme Court ordered (in a decision known as "Brown II") that school integration be done "with all deliberate speed," ordering the lower federal courts to require desegregation. Between 1955 and 1960, federal judges held more than 200 school desegregation hearings.

May 31, 1957

U.S. playwright Arthur Miller was convicted of contempt of Congress after refusing to reveal the names of alleged Communist writers.
May 31, 1966

May 31, 1966

Nguyen Thi Can, a 17-year-old Buddhist girl, committed suicide by setting herself afire (self-immolation) on a street in the city of Hue. She was protesting against the South Vietnamese regime; it was the fifth such death in three days.

May 31, 1973

A bipartisan majority (69-19) of the U.S. Senate voted to cut off funds for the bombing of Cambodia despite pleas from Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Obama Premieres Universal Health Care Plan...For Insurance Companies

In essence, Obama's plan retains the private insurance system but injects additional money into the system to pay for the expanded coverage boost insurance company revenues.

Under Obama's proposal, every American would be required to carry health insurance, and the Illinois senator would create a National Health Insurance Exchange to monitor insurance companies in offering the coverage.

Those who can't afford coverage would get a subsidy on a sliding scale depending on their income, and virtually all businesses would have to share in the cost of coverage for their workers. The plan that would be offered would be similar to the one covering members of Congress (ed. note: That's the FEHBP. For an interesting by-play, read the "comments" here.)

The package proposed by Obama would "prohibit" insurance companies from refusing coverage because of pre-existing conditions (ed. note: how that would be accomplished is not specified). It promises to cover the 45 million (roughly one-sixth of the US population) currently without health insurance coverage.

In addition to broadening coverage, Obama called for a series of steps to overhaul the current health care system. He would spend more money boosting technology in the health industry such as electronic record-keeping (ed note: this will doubtless please--and further enrich--Ross Perot), put in place better management for chronic diseases (ed. note: via more Government surveillance?), and create a reinsurance pool for catastrophic illnesses to take the burden of their costs off of other premium payers.

His plan also envisions savings from ending the expensive care for the uninsured when they get sick. That care now is often provided at emergency rooms. The plan also would put a heavy focus on preventing disease through lifestyle changes (Ed. note: Via MORE surveillance?).

IMHO: Any plan that preserves the dominant role of private, for-profit insurance and hospital/clinic corporations must primarily serve the interests of the profiteers rather than those of the people relying on them for health service and care.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Way to GOOOO, Amurka! You DON'T 'Support the Troops' By Getting 'Em Killed

In just about a year, since last Memorial Day, the passified, pre-occupied proles managed to stand quietly by while another just about ONE THOUSAND more of your kids, parents, and spouses GOT KILLED, and about another 10 THOUSAND more of 'em wounded--to say NOTHING AT ALL of the scores of thousands of innocent Iraqis killed and injured--in a worthless, illegal, immoral, vain-glorious, criminal imperial occupation of a sovereign nation which NEVER posed ANY threat to the peace and security of the USofA. (AP Photo, opposite: Charles Arbogast)

According to the AP:

By the end of Saturday at least 100 American troops had died in the first 26 days of May, an average of 3.85 deaths a day. At that pace, 119 troops will have died by the end of the month, the most since 137 soldiers were killed in November 2004, when U.S. troops were fighting insurgents in Fallujah.

As of Saturday, May 26, 2007, at least 3,451 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 2,817 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military.

Ah know Ah Fill Ver' Prahd!

USA! USA! USA! Number 1! Number 1! Number 1! Number 1!

PS: Can we PLEASE stop dignifying it by calling it a "war"? It is an illegal, immoral, imperial Invasion & Occupation. The casualties are not "our dead war heroes." They are victims of an immense criminal enterprise, just as are the innocent Iraqis they've helped to slaughter.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The USAF Anniversary: Honoring God...and oh, yeah, Country, In THAT Order

Matt Renner, of TruthOut.Org, reports: "A scheduled three-day celebration of the US Air Force's 60th anniversary, sponsored in part by evangelical Christian organizations, has prompted a military watchdog group to threaten legal action against the Department of Defense."

This church/state/wall-breaching extravaganza was/is scheduled for this weekend, Memorial Day, by USAF officials at Robins AFB in Georgia.

Renner: "The controversial event, sponsored by Task Force Patriot USA, an evangelical organization, and LifeWay Christian Resources, the publishing house of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), was described by the official publication of the Robins Air Force Base as "an official US Air Force 60th Anniversary event." The paper stated that the religious groups and the United States Air Force "have joined together to create a three-day celebration ..." (Emphasis supplied)

Slated for the Memorial Day weekend, the "Salute To The Troops, Memorial Day Celebration" will take place at Stone Mountain, an Atlanta, Georgia theme park (Ed. Note: There you will find the effigies of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis inscribed in the granite wall which dominates the place. We ALL know what patriots those guys were. Stone Mountain was also the scene of the second founding of the KuKlux Klan in 1915.)

The event is supposed to feature hourly flyovers by Air Force planes and parachute jumps by the US Army's Silver Wings Parachute Jump Team. Scheduled speakers include former SBC President Bobby Welch and US Air Force Major Brian "Jethro" Neal, a B-2 pilot, who will speak during a worship service that was to feature a flyover by a stealth bomber. SBC officials stated that special Bibles for military personnel would be disseminated at the gathering. (Ed. Note: How nice; a little something for everyone.)

Plans for the event prompted a forceful response from watchdog groups. In a letter to Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne and Acting Secretary of the Army Peter Geren, the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU), said, "There are legitimate ways to celebrate the Air Force's 60th anniversary and to pay tribute to military personnel who bravely serve the nation, but this three-day religious extravaganza is certainly not one of them." Lynn called the event "a stunning display of the federal government using vast resources to trumpet a religious celebration."

Lynn added, "Military personnel and veterans come from many religious traditions and no religion at all. So it is wholly disingenuous for the organizers of this evangelical Christian gathering to promote it as a salute to all our troops. It is anything but."


Friday, May 25, 2007

More Good Environmental News--If You're Related To Peabody Coal

Global carbon emissions in overdrive

From 2000 to 2004, emissions grew at a rate of 3 percent a year – more than the highest rates used in recent key UN reports.

Page 1 of 2

Global emissions of carbon dioxide are growing at a faster clip than the highest rates used in recent key UN reports.

CO2 emissions from cars, factories, and power plants grew at an annual rate of 1.1 percent during the 1990s, according to the Global Carbon Project, which is a data clearinghouse set up in 2001 as a cooperative effort among UN-related groups and other scientific organizations. But from 2000 to 2004, CO2 emissions rates almost tripled to 3 percent a year – higher than any rate used in emissions scenarios for the reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

If the higher rate represents more than a blip, stabilizing emissions by 2100 will be more difficult than the latest UN reports indicate, some analysts say. And to avoid the most serious effects of global warming, significant cuts in CO2 emissions must begin sooner than the IPCC reports suggest. At the moment, no region of the world is "decarbonizing its energy supply," the analysis says...

"There is concern among many experts that factors such as China's continued, very rapid coal-based growth may not be a blip that would turn around," he says...So far, developing countries account for only about 23 percent of emissions accumulated since the start of the Industrial Revolution. But they also account for 73 percent of the global emissions growth in 2004. This has been largely driven by China's explosive growth.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Standing For Something: "If Wanting To See Vaginas Is A Crime, Then I, Your Honor, Am Guilty"

The "Money Quote":

...Have we as a society really come to the point where it is a crime for a man in a ski mask and black coveralls to place a simple ladder against the side of a building and climb his way to a vantage point from which the glorious beauty of the nude vagina can be gazed upon with the rapt wonderment it deserves? Where the mere act of placing hidden cameras in a dorm lavatory is to be looked down upon in hypocritical shame? Where even something so innocent as the posting of live streaming feeds on the Internet—so that all men, regardless of race, creed, or color, may share in the beauty of these vaginas—is somehow considered "wrong"?
The simplicity of the complaint is compelling: Free the Vagina Rangers!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Memory Hole Gapes, The Yawning Maw of Forgetfulness Beckons, Lethe Looms!

Protect "Fair Use"!
You'd have thought something MORE could be done to keep these things viable. But there a are a lot of inconvenient truths which it would be convenient to have forgotten.

Divid Iglesias, to Abu Bin Gonzo: "Cowboy Up, You Lying Little Shitball!"

We should recall that Iglesias was originally chosen for HIS post PRIMARILY because of his party affiliations, party loyalty, and deep, personal relations with Sen. Pete Domenici, and the rest of the New Mexico GOP cabal. (I've always thought that Hispanics in the GOP had a lot in common with the bull in a corrida, but I'm a gabacho; que mi sabe ?)

By David Iglesias
WHAT HAPPENS in a presidential administration when loyalty, to borrow a phrase from "Star Trek," becomes the "prime directive"? What happens when its all-encompassing fog obscures all other values — such as fealty to the Constitution, the rule of law or simple humanity?

What happens is that terrible decisions are made, repeated and then justified by this shibboleth. That's just one of the lessons that has emerged from the U.S. attorney scandal.

This week, the Senate is threatening to vote on a resolution of no-confidence in U.S. Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales. Today, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear testimony from Monica Goodling, the attorney general's former aide, who will be asked why at least eight U.S. attorneys, including me, were put on a list to be forced from office.

What has become clear already is that the "loyalty uber alles" mentality has infected a wide swath of the Bush administration. Simple notions like right and wrong are, in their eyes, matters of allegiance, not conscience.

The chilling congressional testimony given by former Deputy Atty. Gen. James B. Comey last week provided a graphic example of loyalty run amok. Comey recounted how, in 2004, former White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. and then-White House counsel Gonzales visited a hospitalized Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft, who had undergone surgery for pancreatitis. Undoubtedly under the influence of powerful painkillers, Ashcroft had just enough presence of mind to refuse, as Comey already had, to approve the extension of the illegal warrantless wiretap program. Comey was right there in the darkened hospital room but was ignored by Card and Gonzales, even though both knew he was the acting attorney general while Ashcroft was critically ill. Where was the compassion, conservative or otherwise, in that dark, silent room? Where was the humanity? Subsumed by loyalty.

Loyalty is a virtue with limits. That was one of the many hard lessons from Watergate. In that scandal, some of President Nixon's staffers carried their loyalty to the president all the way to federal prison.

All federal prosecutors take a public oath when they assume office. I personally swore in about 30 new federal prosecutors during my tenure as U.S. attorney for New Mexico. The oath is to the U.S. Constitution, not to the president or his Cabinet.

Somehow Goodling did not understand this keystone concept. She appears to have placed her loyalty to the Bush administration and the Republican Party above any allegiance to the Constitution — which may have led her to believe that Bush acolytes would make the best federal prosecutors. Paradoxically, she knew enough of the Constitution to claim the protections afforded by the 5th Amendment—the right against self-incrimination.

I trust she now understands what is at stake in the U.S. attorney scandal: the rule of law, the independence of the prosecutor and the apolitical calculus of who should be prosecuted. Now, her immunity deal secured, she needs to seek redemption by clearly testifying about how my colleagues and I came to be placed on the to-fire list. It will demand moral courage, but she must name the political operatives regardless of where they sit in the West Wing of the White House. She needs, in the words of Isaiah the prophet, to "maintain justice and do what is right."

And what of the embattled attorney general? Will Gonzales stay on to be the only Cabinet officer to receive a no-confidence vote? I once said that I found Gonzales to be a personal inspiration. No one can deny him his life's story, which is the American dream writ large. It began in Humble, Texas, born of impoverished Mexican American parents. He, like me, is a veteran of the U.S. military. He went to some of the best schools in America, including Harvard Law. Yet, somewhere along the line, he drank the loyalty Kool-Aid. Watching him testify before the Senate and House was painful for me. He had been a trailblazer for the Latino community, and then, in the space of a few hours of tortured testimony, he became just another morally rudderless political operative.

Will he "cowboy up," as we say in New Mexico — that is, find the courage to do the right thing? Or will he make the Senate go right up to the precipice of a no-confidence vote?

To be sure, the Justice Department is "dysfunctional," in the words of Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), but it is also in desperate need of leaders who place loyalty to the Constitution on a higher level than politics. We don't need latter-day Haldemans, Ehrlichmans or Colsons going to jail. The nation needs leaders who take ultimate responsibility for the wrongful actions of their subordinates; leaders who do the right thing, regardless of the consequences. Mr. Attorney General, it's time for you to cowboy up and do what's best for the American people you serve.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Uniter Guy, Decider Guy, Commander Guy. Now The Chimp's The "Ensurer Guy," Too

With a stroke of the pen, the gibbering, simpering, smirking, strutting Chimperor-in-Chief has arrogated unto HIMSELF the responsibility for ensuring civic/civil continuity in the event of a "catastrophic" emergency.

With scarcely a mention in the mainstream media, Chimpy has ordered up a plan for responding to a catastrophic attack.

Under that plan, the worst president in HISTORY--a man who fled catastrophe in 2001, and abandoned a whole city in 2005--entrusts himself with leading the entire federal government, not just the Executive Branch.

Are you feelin' better yet?

He laid this all out in a document entitled "National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51" and "Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20." The White House released the plan on May 9.

It defines a "catastrophic emergency" as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government function."

This could mean another 9/11, or another Katrina, or a major earthquake in California, I imagine, since it says it would include "localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies."

The document emphasizes the need to ensure "the continued function of our form of government under the Constitution, including the functioning of the three separate branches of government," it states.

But it says flat out: "The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government."

From The Progressive, via TruthOut.Org...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Hearts & Minds, Motherfuckers; Hearts & Fucking Minds. It Was Fucking BEATUFUL!!!

First-hand account of a former Marine corporal on the struggle for Fallujah, the human consequences for both sides.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Research Reveals Lies In Cheney's "Shot-His-Pal-In-The-Face" Story

The story, repeated endlessly but never actually investigated by local cops, was that Cheney shot his buddy, Harry, in the face from a range of 30 yards.

This appears to be yet another Bushevik 'whopper.' Harry's injuries, and the pattern of the shot in his body, suggests he was A LOT closer: more like inside 30 FEET.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

"Sicko" Only Barely Begins To Describe Horrors That Are USer Health-Care "System"

Michael Moore's new film, which premiere'd to rave reviews and enormous publicity recently at Cannes, has raised barely a ripple of awareness in the CorpoRat-Owned SCUM (the So_Called_Unbiased_Media), even though there are loud and persistent rumors that the Bushevik regime, at the behest of their CorpoRat masters in the Big Sick/Big Pharma industries, will try to prevent it's release and distribution in the USofA.

The message they are so desperate to stifle is one Moore himself iterated after the Cannes screening, in the simplest possible terms: the private insurance companies "have to go."

Terms of that simplicity and transparence, one may recall, were sufficient--when spoken about media concentration and monopoly--to condemn Howard Dean to 'scream' in total obscurity after he uttered them on the heels of his Iowa victory in '04.

There's a link to a good Rose Ann Demoro piece on HuffPost Blog under the headline of this post.

Oh, but did I mention that Michael Moore is fat?

NAFTA & Some Under-Valued Factors Encouraging "Illegal" Immigration

At Firedoglake (where my posts apparently no longer need moderation), I posted: prob’ly know about how more and more of mexico is being corpoRat farmed, and the subsistence farmers being driven from the land, where they grew corn and beans and the occasional cabrito…they can’t afford to BUY tortillas and beans they usta raise, and they cant raise any anmore, either…

con agra and dow chemical are colonizing the continent, displacing more and more people, many–at least a large number–of whom migrate to El Norte, where–deprived of their traditional diets, and swamped with fat and hfcs, they balloon, and their kids too…

the best (JSwiftian) hope is that climate change will exterminate enough people that the competition for the diminishing resources will subside a bit…
which elicited this reply--and which is the REAL reason for this post:

kirk murphy says:

there was a really good comment here about the disruption of traditional Mexican agrarian communities by Big Ag.

(hey, now it’s up nested in 224)

The subsistence farmers’ displacement was caused by NAFTA.

NAFTA forced open Mexican agricultural markets to megacorp commodity imports…

So US Big Ag sells subsidized low cost corn….

(at) below-costs of traditional production.

(edit)And now that indigenous/local corn production is disrupted…

and the global markets’ mercy leaves rural Mexicans to ourbid Mercedes owners for the corn they eat..

tortilla prices steadily rise out of reach.

Massive displacement of rural Mexican ag families.

Massive internal dislocation and emigration.

US tax dollars at work.

How - the exports forced upon Mexico by the NAFTA are made possible by - taxpayers!

Lucky us.

We finance the destruction of Mexica local subsistence ag and the massive human dilocation.

Such a deal.

Here’s where we ante up:

- US farm subsidies (to Big Ag)

- US Corps of Engineers subsidies (required to turn the Upper Mississippi into a barge pond)

- New Orleans (Corps of Engineers’ ship channels hastens wetland destruction)

- “export” of US topsoil (Big AG commodity farming is not sustainable; massive topsoil runoff is the price fo surplus grain)

- US Medicare/Health care (Big AG chemicals cause widespread increases in lymphoma and other malignancies as well as increased infertility and neurodevelopmental abnormaliites. Our tax dollars pay for these costs)

- US energy consumption / carbon production (Commodity AG is wholly dependent upon massive fossil fuel input [for fertilizers, herbicides, machinery, and transport].

- Global warming (see above).

But - on the bright side - think how well this all works for ConAgra and Cargill and Monsanto and friends…

Not so well for the global cradle of corn biodiversity. Monsanto’s GMO corn has contaminated the Mexican corn genome.

Food and health and hope?

Bon Appetit

Friday, May 18, 2007

Chicks With Big Tits

If I Weren't 'Banned" At Eschaton (I'm Beginning To Think It's Not A Glitch), I'da Posted This, Re: Wolfowitz

I bear not a chinchilla of sympathy for Wolfowitz, upon his firing by the World Bank.
His tenure at the Bank was bought by his credentials from the PNAC, of which he was a prominent Cabalista.
He will graduate from the World Bank to the boardrooms of numerous, neo-liberal/global corporations, notably those with important Israeli contacts.
He will no doubt be invited by Georgetown or GMU or one of the other 'beltway credential factories' to join the faculty, alongside the OTHER 'dumbest fucker on the planet,' douggie feith (another PNACabalista; foookin amazin' coincidence, n'est pas?), where he'll collect a fat salary for one or two courses a year...
He will undoubtedly hit the lecture circuit and, though he may not assemble the $16 MILLION Rudy Ghooliani has amassed from that source, he'll do just fine.
Shaha will be able to quit work, I'm sure.

In the longer view, nothing the Busheviks do is either incomprehensible or surprising when you have internalized one important fact: their one, and only, job since Jan 20, 2001, has been to attack and where at all possible to destroy the instruments and institutions of democratic republican self-governance in the USofA; to overturn the Constitution, and to undermine the faith and trust of the People in their own elected representatives.
Wolfie's career just another of their successes.
Mission Fucking Accomplished...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

"If I Weren't 'Technically' Banned From Eschaton, {Part II}

It is well to remember that, beyond the accruing of obscene and extortionate profits, which frenzy reached it's current fever pitch under the Ray-gun Regime, the MAJOR reason for media concentration, was to ensure as far as humanly possible that no newspaper, no reporter, nobody EVER AGAIN was able to raise enough of a stink in the Press to force the resignation of a President, and the consequent shudders in the Status Quo (aka, "The Force'')...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

If I weren't 'banned' by the webmaster at Eschaton,

due to a 'technicality,' I would have posted this:

After watching frontline last night, I am now even more certain than ever I was before that 'they' have ways to discover who says what to whom, any time they want to. And that they mean to fundamentally change the nature of the discourse on the internet...'They' mean to control it as a means of democratic communication....

By extension, of course, this means they are actively using every resource and every tool they have--which, you'll learn as you consider Frontline, are formidable, and are mainly the products of PRIVATE ENTERPRISE--to accrue more and more opportunity and power to impose the chill of self-censorship...

What happens to the country, to dissent, to liberty, when you can no longer shout "FUCK YOU" at the oligarchs and plutocrats??? We are about to find out, as long as dissatisfaction with and disaffection from the Regime grows.

The crime of 'lese majeste' is the only onforgiveable sin to the autocrats and demogogues...the web provided a way to do that in the most detrimental way: through mockery. The mob annot be allowed to be SOOOO democratic...

You need to watch that frontline and follow the links.

And don't forget while you're watching it that you're watching the (necessarily) sanitized version of it...

There is a link between the civility fascists and the data miners...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

TOP BILLING!!! WoooooHooooo!

check dis out! I'm the Secretary of Hate!!!

This Seemed An Apt Follow-up To Kondi's Dubious Ancestry

Gloves come off in George Bush buttplug rumpus
Litigation likely in anal copyright scrap
By Lester Haines

There's nothing our American cousins like more than a bit of light litigation, and it appears that two US websites are about to unleash the lawyers in an unholy scrap over copyright on a rubber George Bush figurine which disgruntled Democrats can stick where the sun don't shine.

Indeed, those among you who might think there's a limited market for US presidential buttplugs are directed to and Celebritybuttplugs, both offering synthetic Dubyas for the discerning Friend of Dorothy and both claiming to be the inventor of the Texan poo-packer.
Click here to find out more!

According to Celebritybuttplugs - manufacturer of the George W Tush - there's already "enough competition in the anal effigy market from Dubya himself", and the website has pledged to "kick the ass" of's rival Bushplug. The latter declares that there "may not be room in this world for The Bushplug and George W Tush!" and ominously notes: "I'm not real sure what to do about this. I need to talk with the lawyers."

We look forward with relish to the seemingly inevitable court case, in which highly-paid attorneys will make impassioned pleas for their clients' rights to punt the Bush buttplug while the judge looks to find precedent in the now legendary "Tricky Dicky" clitoral stimulator patent spat of 1972. ®

Addendum: I earlier neglected to acknowledge "holden" at eschaton for finding this delicious morsel; apologies tendered...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Klingon In The Woodpile?

Best Thing About Bush Is How He Illustrates White Supremacy's a Myth

President Bush on Sunday hailed the nation's humble beginnings as a reminder of the value of perseverance and the promise of democracy.

"From our own history, we know the path to democracy is long and it's hard," Bush said in a ceremony honoring the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, America's first permanent English colony.

"An' Ah was able to wreck it all in just a little over 6 years. (heh heheh heheheh) Who they callin' a failure? (heh heheh)..."

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ya Know, That Whole High-Stakes Testing Thingy I Working Out SOOOOO Well...?

Graduate rate is lowest in 10 years
High school exit exam at center of debate over failure of a third of state's seniors to earn diploma

(Jill Tucker and Nanette Asimov, SF Chronicle Staff Writers Saturday, May 12, 2007)

California's high school graduation rate dropped to a 10-year low last year as a third of the Class of 2006 left without a diploma, according to state Department of Education numbers posted Friday.
Statewide, the graduation rate was 67 percent of the 423,289 seniors in 2006. That is down from 71 percent in 2005.
That 4 percentage point decline works out to an additional 21,000 students who did not don a cap and gown.

It is no accident that high-stakes testing of students is proving to be hard on the students. Such testing operates to enforce social orthodoxy: conform or perish. A major purpose of such testing is to provide grounds for denying necessary credentials to a certain fraction of students: those who prove refractory, and refuse the indoctrination/assimilation strategies upon which much, if not most, of USer schooling relies to impose its 'discipline.'

Tests do not assess the general state of any students' knowledge. They only assess (at BEST) the state of a given student's ability to answer the questions on the given test on a given day. That is pretty barren ground upon which to stake the students' futures.

For most of the time that it has been a subject of interest, those kids who reject school have been called 'drop-outs'. But calling them 'push-outs' is far closer to the truth.

Capitalism doesn't work without a pool of unemployed/unemployable workers with which to threaten rebellious workers. The graduation tests have the effect of supplying that pool with ever-increasing numbers of 'failed' students whose options are thereby limited to 'the jobs most Americans wont do,' and--as the enlistment requirements decline in response to declining enlistments--a steady stream of cannon-ready fodder for continued imperialist, military adventurism overseas.

Anyone who believes USer schools are 'failing,' according to Jonathan Kozol, 40 years ago, doesn't understand what American Schooling is designed to do.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mothers' Day For Peace

Probably you already know that Mothers' Day was not invented to make a profit for Penney's or Wal-Mart, but was actually founded out of respect for the mothers of the children slaughtered as soldiers in the Civil war. Julia Ward Howe wrote a poem about it. Robert Greenwald has made a short film. My mother is deceased, and her sons never felt the mortal pang of battle. But I still offer this in her honor...

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Bring 'Em Home

John Bruhns, a former sergeant in the Army, stuck his neck out when he went to Iraq and now he's doing it again, by speaking out against the president.

He's the subject of a new TV ad made by Oliver Stone—the culmination of our VideoVets project.

Right now, the president is trying to bully Congress into submission over the Iraq Accountability Act by slamming them for "not supporting the troops." John's voice—and other Iraq veterans' voices—can counter that. They can tip the debate toward ending the war. Will you chip in $50 to help us get these vets on the air?

Click the headline

Courtesy of can contribute...

Monday, May 7, 2007

Social Justice Quiz

Just out of curiousity, which of the two New Orleans' families' homes, ruined by Katrina and the aftermath, do YOU think is now habitable?

Friday, May 4, 2007

Before and After

This is a photograph of Britain's monarch upon being told she'd be visiting Jamestown...

This is the same person, upon being told her escort woould be US Vice-President Darth Cheney.

Her majesty is NOT pleased.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

You Just CANNOT Make This Shit Up:

In the Bushevik ShiteHouse, EVERYTHING is scripted. Why? Probably because the Chimp simply CANNOT be relied upon not to fuck-up the simplest task.

You Do NOT Want To Know Where He Left His Comb...

...Or shake that hand 'til you've SEEN him wash it.

Hatchlings From The Same Egg?

"Kiss Me, You Crazy Wal-Mart Man, You! You Love Me Long Time!"

Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi speaks to the press in December 2006.

"Did You Ever Hear, Nicolai, The One About Prince Charles And The Teabag? Wait, Wait. Gimme A Minute. What Were We Talking About? And Who Are You?"

Quoted without comment:
The diaries of the late US president, to be published later this month, reveal a special animosity for Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, a fondness for dancer Fred Astaire, and an embarrassing incident involving Prince Charles and a tea bag.(AFP/File)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Mission Accompliced: Semiotics + Busheviks = Idiotics?

"Four years ago, on May 1, 2003, the Bush production company devoured some of America's most powerful national and cultural signifiers, not just for crass political gain, but to inspire and enthrall the populi. It was a circus without the bread. Here are a few examples:
1). The aircraft carrier. This mighty vessel evokes the surrender of the Japanese on September 14, 1945 to General Douglas MacArthur. The USS Abraham Lincoln is named after the first GOP president, and Bush sought to capture some of the earthy glow of the Great Emancipator. (The USS John F. Kennedy need not apply.)...
2). The flight suit. Bush donned the one-piece jump suit instead of the business suit he normally wears to symbolize adventure, danger, Top Gun, masculinity, and virility. Benito Mussolini wore similar get ups for the same effect...
3). Bush as the flier. As the pilot (or co-pilot) Bush is part of the mission, risking his life for the cause. It's tricky business sitting in the cockpit while a jet aircraft lands on such a thin floating platform filled with explosive ordnance...
4). The jet aircraft. This technological marvel harkens back to the Wright Brothers, and fulfills the dream of flight humans had pondered for centuries. Our leader was soaring like a bird in the sky with the help of American technological know-how...
5). The adoring crowd. The smiling, waving, hugging, ethnically and racially diverse U.S. sailors aboard the aircraft carrier told America: "Our brave men and women protecting our nation obviously adore Bush, so should we!" Team Bush used these military personnel as cheesy, but effective, stage props. (Ed. Note: The first, but by no means the last, time.)...
And, thanks to the heroic efforts of the SCUM, it was a seamless Mission Accompliced:
Naturally, the corporate media swooned over their leader's performance. Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball held forth breathless fawning commentary of the event while the caption shot across the screen: "Why are the Democrats raining on Bush's parade?" Said Matthews: "We're proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as a president, a guy who has a little swagger, who's physical . . . Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president." Matthews' comments were consistent with other media commentators' enthusiasm across the board.
The list--which is more elaborated than I posted here--goes on to articulate 5 additional 'sememes' by which the Bushies commandeered the "Murkin" signifying vocabulary. I heartily commend the entire exercise to your attention: click on the headline of this post.