Wednesday, December 31, 2008

269 Reasons To Perp-March That Swaggering, Murderous, Criminal Fucker Into Den Hague

A new book has been published, reciting and documenting the appalling litany of GW Bush's personal complicities in war crimes, near-treason, murder, torture, and other high crimes and misdemeanors. There is absolutely NO reason to expect any Murkin tribunal to take up the matter, so the only recourse would be the International Court. The book, titled George W. Bush, War Criminal? The Bush Administration's Liability for 269 War Crimes, is the product of the efforts of political scientist Michael Haas, emeritus prof of poli-sci at UnivHawai'i-Manoa. Haas is also Chairman of the International Academic Advisory Board of the University of Cambodia. He played a role in stopping the secret funding of the Khmer Rouge by the administration of President George H. W. Bush. He has taught political science at the University of London, Northwestern University, Purdue University, and the University of California, Riverside. He is the author or editor of 33 books on human rights, including International Human Rights (2008), International Human Rights in Jeopardy (2004), The Politics of Human Rights (2000), Improving Human Rights (Praeger, 1994), and Genocide by Proxy (Praeger, 1991). Haas, obviously, is not without a substantial bona fides, though he also clearly blames America first for everything.

His book could function as a brief for future international prosecutors who might have occasion to apprehend the Chimp on some inadvertent trip abroad. Haas divides the 269 war crimes of the Bush administration into four classes: 6 war crimes committed in launching a war of aggression; 36 war crimes committed in the conduct of war; 175 war crimes committed in the treatment of prisoners; and 52 war crimes committed in postwar occupations.
Based on information supplied in autobiographical and press sources, the book matches events in Afghanistan, Guantánamo, Iraq , and various secret places of detention with provisions in the Geneva Conventions and other international agreements on war crimes. His compilation is the first to cite a comprehensive list of specific war crimes in four categories-illegality of the decision to go to war, misconduct during war, mistreatment of prisoners of war, and misgovernment in the American occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Haas accuses President Bush of conduct bordering on treason because he reenacted several complaints stated in the Declaration of Independence against England, ignored the Constitution and federal laws, trampled on the American tradition of developing international law to bring order to world politics, and in effect made a Faustian pact with Osama Bin Laden that the intelligence community blames for an increase in world terrorism. Osama Bin Laden remains alive, he reports, because Bush preferred to go after oil-rich Iraq rather than tracking down Al Qaeda leaders, whose uncaptured presence was useful to him in justifying a "war on terror" pursued on a military rather than a criminal basis without restraint from constitutional checks and balances.

The worst war crime cited is the murder of at least 45 prisoners, some but not all by torture. Other heinous crimes include the brutal treatment of thousands of children, some 64 of whom have been detained at Guantánamo. Sources document the use of illegal weapons in the war from cluster bombs to daisy cutters, napalm, white phosphorus, and depleted uranium weapons, some of which have injured and killed American soldiers as well as thousands of innocent civilians. Children playing in areas of Iraq where depleted uranium weapons have been used, but not reported on request from the World Health Organization, have developed leukemia and other serious diseases.

"Bush's violations of the Constitution as well as domestic and international law have besmirched the reputation of the United States," Haas writes. "In so doing, they have accomplished a goal of which the Al Qaeda terrorists only dreamed-to transform the United States into a rogue nation feared by the rest of the world and loved by almost none."
There's no penalty severe enough for the deeds these heartless, ruthless, gutless fuckers have committed. I'd personally be happy to watch as their carcasses rotted away in gibbets hung from lamp-posts along Pennsylvania Avenue...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Not To Put TOO "Fine" A Point On It...But, YES, This Needs Said, Soon & Loud

Somehow, a lot of Dims apparently have been seduced (or narcotized by Obamanic Kool-Aid) into believing "post-partisanship' is possible to the GOPukes. Even announcements like today's from GOPuke "leadership" that the Party plans to obstruct the Obama agenda "unless GOP(uke-friendly) proposals" are part of the mix (Puke spokesperson on NPR, ME, 2nd hour) does not seem to have the capacity to dis-abuse the 'true-believers' of the folly of 'trusting' the Pukes to act in any way other than in their narrow, partisan self-interest. The country can go to hell, if in doing so it allows the Pukes to regain one House or the other in '10, and drive the Dims and Obama into oblivion in '12.

D-day, on her/his own blog today raised--and answered--the question:
Obstructing on the basis of principle or holding out for a particular point of compromise is a very different animal than obstructing for obstruction's sake, obstructing because, if a bunch of egghead economists say we need a massive public spending program, then real Murcans have to stand astride history saying "stop". As we hear a lot about bipartisanship and Republicans and Democrats having to come together to solve the nation's problems, as we hear from a President whose focus is "what works" instead of ideology, someone's going to have to stand up and mention that the modern Republican Party defines ideology through negation. Someone might want to mention that there's no compromise with those who reflexively oppose for no reason other than denying your opponent a victory is seen as a higher good than helping someone get a job or health care or a higher wage to support their family. Someone might want to suggest that accommodation is impossible.
Or as I have written elsewhere, and often: You cannot compromise with someone who wants you gone. There's no "compromise" with "gone." One is or one isn't, "gone." No in-between. A "quick-and-dead" scenario.

Obama and the Dims now own the whole mess. That 'mess' includes Pukes like McConnell and Inhoff, and a bunch (41) of others, who will do ANYTHING if it diminishes or prohibits any possible accomplishments that might redound to the benefit of the Dims. This is, unfortunately, that Inescapable First Law of Institutions cropping up again: Individuals wielding power within any Institution will suffer the diminishment, even the destruction, of that Institution so long as their own power within that Institution remains undiminished relative to the Institution.

(Ps: The golden, smiling Hindu figure at the top is Manjushri, alleged at one site to symbolize "blockage." Most everywhere else, Manjushri is the avatar of wisdom. Is that gilding the lotus?)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cheney Claims In 30 Years "History" Will Vindicate The Booosh Regime: Sadly, He Could Be Correct

Mission: ACCOMPLISHED!!! HUA!!!!


Via ThinkProg, Darth Cheney told a "home-town" newspaper in Casper, WY, that eventually the Boosheviks will be as fondly remembered as good, ol' pardoning Gerry Ford. No, Really!:
"My own experience has been, in the administrations I've served in, for example Gerald Ford, a man who made a very, very tough decision when he decided to pardon Nixon, something that was extremely unpopular, universally condemned, but 30 years later he was praised as having done the right thing. So I think you need to have that kind of approach to it rather than watch the polls on any given day."
...
“I’m personally persuaded that this president and this administration will look very good 20 or 30 years down the road in light of what we’ve been able to accomplish.”
His troublingly obtuse interpretation of Ford's legacy notwithstanding and, depending of course on your POV, he's quite possibly correct, since history is always written by the victors.

It is entirely likely–-probable; indeed, almost inevitable–-that in 20 or 30 years the Busheviks WILL be highly regarded and warmly remembered, for either/both of two reasons: 1) Things will have deteriorated to such an extent in the interim that their regime will seem to have been ‘happy times,’ and/or 2) Their ‘agenda’ will have proven the durable model of the future performance of the subsequent regimes their CorpoRat Bosses ill have installed: that is, they will, in fact, have ‘won,’ the CorpoRat State will be triumphant, and the Chimperor and his lick-spittles will be admired for having decided the contest.

The Chimperor and His Imperial Court, of course, were NEVER legitimately 'elected;' instead, the SCROTUS stepped in and (succumbing to S.D. O'Connor's demand NOT to be replaced by a Dim president) installed the regime. Their mission, from those who sponsored them (corpoRats, elites, oligarchs, aristocrats, etc.--"I call you my 'base,' heheh..."), was pretty simple: Protect CorpoRat Hegemony.

Their instructions were obvious: Interfere, attack, subvert, undermine, reduce, limit, undo, destroy, dilute, and otherwise prevent and prohibit 'the People' any access to or the use of ANY instrument or institution of "popular democratic sovereignty" --i.e., the Constitution--which could assist 'the People' in obtaining "redress" for the abuses heaped upon them, and and/or for resisting or rejecting the privatizing agenda of the Masters.

And the Busheviks have certainly been successful at that.

In fact, if you examine the evidence, they've been nothing less than brilliant. Vide: 1) The justice system is poisoned by conscious, intentional politicicization. Partisanly targeted prosecutions are common. The Court has been revealed as a tool of special interest. 2) The military is nearing exhaustion, and has been drawn into the overt commission of atrocities to merely sustain its existence. 3) Posse Comitatus and Habeas Corpus are functionally dead, in the name of 'national security,' which also ratified internal communications intelligence gathering AGAINST citizens WITHOUT warrants. Other civil liberties are curtailed more than at any previous time since the Civil War. Unwarranted search-and-seizure is common at Transportation Security chokepoints on inter-state transportation. 4) The economy has been compromised, possibly (probably!) fatally, by 30 years of studious non-intervention. The middle-class is in tatters and terrified of the future. 5) Wars proliferate internationally, and violent chaos reigns on the southern border.

Plus, the Busheviks have spent the last 8 years installing partisan, loyalist, often theocratic zealots in cells embedded in the bowels of EVERY Agency, Bureau, Commission, and Department of the State. It will be 30 years before the last of them retires or dies.

So, yes, in 30 years, if the 'Nation' survives, there is a very good chance that the Boosh regime will be warmly remembered, despite our current feelings and understandings, for its 'successful' tenure.

Yup. Mission: Accomplished

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Man & Dinosaur: Together Back Then?


Quoth, Pastor Rick ("Reverend Dick") Warren of Brokeback Cathedral:
...(Once) I believed that evolution and the account of the Bible about creation could exist along side of each other very well. I just didn't see what the big argument was all about. I had some friends who had been studying the Bible much longer than I had who saw it differently...Eventually, I came to the conclusion, through my study of the Bible and science, that the two positions of evolution and creation just could not fit together. There are some real problems with the idea that God created through evolution... My prayer is that you will have this same experience!
(...)
The Bible's picture is that dinosaurs and man lived together on the earth, an earth that was filled with vegetation and beauty...man and dinosaurs lived at the same time...From the very beginning of creation, God gave man dominion over all that was made, even over the dinosaurs.
Forgive me if such speculation seems intolerant, or narrow-minded, or jejune, but please explain to me what important national, or international, goals are achieved by granting the MOST public forum of the political season--and the implicit imprimatur of the new President--to someone who has made, and never repudiated, such a statement? What has such a person--one so deeply immersed in delusion, so blind to reason and truth, and so proudly misguided--to contribute to the national dialogue?

Would Obama have invited a spokesperson for the Hale-Bopp-frenzied Heaven's Gate cult to make he benediction for his new regime? A Scientologist?

The only qualification seems to be that the delusion be jointly held by sufficient number of 'believers' in order to qualify it for inclusion in the national discourse.

How is what Warren asserts in that passage any LESS ridiculous than the Heaven's Gate "believers"? (DOTOF™: PZMyers' Pharyngula.)

One more question:

If as the Evangie/Fundies also believe, the Bible is the inerrant and inviolate "word of God," why do they have to keep reading and studying it? If it is what they say it is, then by definition it admits no interpretation, so reading it once--slowly, if you're home-schooled or a Liberty U grad--ought to be enough, nest paw?

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Pukes Will Not Be Able To Recover Power in '12


...unless things are worse then than they are today.

One way to guarantee that they will be--worse that is--will be to interfere in every effort to rectify the clusterfucks left behind by the busheviks.

They have passed the 'football' to the Dimz. Now EVERYTHING is Mr.O's problem. "Failure" is inevitable, given the scope and scale of the disasters on the table. Nobody can end wars, fix the economy, bring health-care, or restore the OTHER consequences of nearly 30 years of tax-breaks and give-aways to the rich.

NAGAHAPUN, friends...

So the stage is set to finally and totally screw the Dim "party," Dims in general, and the whole Nation, and blame it on "the Negro"...

Hmmmm. I'm sure nobody could ever have anticipated this...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bushevik "Midnight" Regs May Endure Past 1/20/09

George Bush is on pace to impose more last-minute changes to federal rules than any president in history
Soo-prahz, soo-prahz. Nobody could EVAR have anticipated this, could they?


DOTOF™: The Real News

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"DUCK!": Darth Cheney Hunts His Pardon

That's Michael Rattner's hunch about why he's suddenly becoming more forthcoming about his own part in the plethora of Bushevik criminal activities. Of course, just as no USer will ever face capital charges for anything done to Iraqis in Iraq, no member of the Bushevik regime will ever face the bar for deeds don "protecting the country." But consider this anyway:
Last week, outgoing US Vice-President Dick Cheney made a series of remarkable comments in his exclusive interview with ABC. Cheney admitted to playing a role in the authorization of the use of waterboarding and other 'aggressive interrogation techniques', defended the decision to listen-in on domestic phone calls, and essentially provided broad approval for all the actions taken by his government over his tenure. In the first part of our interview with Michael Ratner, Michael gives his analysis of both the significance of the interview, and what he believes are Cheney's motivations for such an uncharacteristic offering of information from the notoriously secretive VP.
See a related story on The Pond. Oh, and support "The Real News."

Addendum: Via CJR's Sinners& Winners today:
Sinner: Chris Wallace, who conducted one of those interviews and managed to let Cheney get away with nearly all of the lies the Times called him on. But Chris did manage to get one extraordinary answer out of the vice president:
CHENEY: Highest moment in the last eight years? Well, I think that the most important, the most compelling, was 9/11 itself, and what that entailed, what we had to deal with, the way in which that changed the nation and set the agenda for what we’ve had to deal with as an administration.
So there you have it: Cheney’s favorite day was the one when thousands of innocent Americans were murdered by terrorists—because it made it possible for him and his henchmen to wiretap innumerable Americans without obtaining warrants, commit war crimes, and destroy America’s reputation in every corner of the world.
Nice work, Wallie...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A "Monkey-Wrencher/Hero" In Utah Screws Up BLM Oil and Gas Lease Auction


(This is an image from Canyonlands, in the part of the SE Utah landscape the Bushies were endeavoring to fuck up with surreptitious, "midnight" energy leases.)

Stories like this give me the will to carry on. This is environmental activism you can actually BELIEVE in: Via Huffpost (but I heard the entire interview yesterday on Democracy Now):
Tim DeChristopher Throws Utah Oil And Gas Drilling Leases Auction Into Chaos
SALT LAKE CITY — An environmental activist tainted a (controversial) auction of oil and gas drilling leases Friday by bidding up parcels of land by hundreds of thousands of dollars without any intention of paying for them, a federal official said.

The process was thrown into chaos and the bidding halted for a time before the auction was closed, with 116 parcels totaling 148,598 acres having sold for $7.2 million plus fees.

"He's tainted the entire auction," said Kent Hoffman, deputy state director for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Utah.

Hoffman said buyers will have 10 days to reconsider and withdraw their bids if they think they paid too much.

Tim DeChristopher, a 27-year-old University of Utah economics (grad) student, said his plan was to disrupt the auction and he feels he accomplished his goal.

DeChristopher won the bidding on 13 parcels, auction records show, and drove up the price of several other pieces of land.

"I thought I could be effective by making bids, driving up prices for others and winning some bids myself," the Salt Lake City man said.

Some bidders said they were forced to bid thousands of dollars more for their parcels, while others fumed that they lost their bids.
Guerrilla action against the system pay dividends. The guy finished his last final and then went down town to fuck up the lease auction. He was able to get in, he says, because the Busheviks, being in such a hurry to get the leases done before the Obama transition comes into effect, lowered some of their usual vetting procedures, making it possible for DeChristopher to get a bidder paddle.

Grist calls DeChristopher "The Last Auction Hero," a title he richly deserves.
At a federal auction for oil and gas leases in Utah last week, environmental activist Tim DeChristopher posed as a buyer, successfully bidding up lease prices on BLM land by hundreds of thousands of dollars and winning 13 parcels that he admits he can't actually pay for. The BLM is giving the other (real) bidders 10 days to decide if they want to withdraw their bids on the parcels they won at inflated prices. Some bidders indicated they would likely hold on to their leases despite the increased price since the incoming Obama administration may not offer the same leases again.
The 'suits' are out for the guy's head, of course. You may fuck with anything in Murka except MONEY. And the UofU has been silent so far about his fate there. But DeChristopher credits his UofU profs for inspiring his action (see the Democracy Now transcript).

I expect THESE GUYS to stay on top of the shit that's gonna rain down on the this environmental hero. They've already got up a page to collect for his legal expenses.And I, for one, will happily donate the price of my next bottle of scotch to his defense.

In "Democracy," Our "Leaders" Come From Among "Us." We CAN Shout "FUCK YOU," Or Throw Shoes, At Them! "Yes, We Can."

And all I want for X-mas is that our lap-dog, compliant, prostrate, prostate-laving, supine, shit-savoring "Press" would get a fucking clue about it. Just once. Somebody throw SOMETHING--other than incredibly weak, easy, soft-balls--at the lying, murderous, criminal asswipes! A shoe, a used "dependz," a rotten egg. Throw SOMETHING, please!!!

Notice: Bush DUCKED! The slimy little pimp didn't try to catch the shoes tossed at him. He cowered away. He lamely joked about it later, but the truth is there for all to see. The cretinous, cowardly, chicken-shit little dick-weed DUCKED.

Now, democracy is supposed to make "lese majeste" irrelevant, since we don't--aren't supposed, in any case, to--have monarchical pretensions about the 'representatives' we choose for leadership roles. Kennedy, Bush, Clinton, Reagan: They are no better than we (as the current incumbent amply demonstrate at every opportunity), and are not supposed to be immune from expressions of disapproval or rebuke for their excesses. I think merely tossing shoes showed remarkable restraint from a man who has undoubtedly seen friends and relatives exterimnated by the forces the Chimp unleashed. I'd like to shower the Shitwhistle-in-Chief and all his minions with spoiled produce, rotten eggs and offal at their every appearance until they disappeared, drenched in shit and humiliation, forever from view.

Rick Perlstein is one of the last people I'd expect to challenge such an assertion. But he did, arguing volubly for a "long prison sentence" for the Iraqi journalist who, unable to bear the avalanche of Bushit mendacity, crimionality, and denial any longer, hurled his shoes at the strutting, smirking Chimperor when the latter was on his final--and tellingly surreptitious--victory lap to Bagdhad.

The exceedingly literate, thoughtful, incisive Bernard Chazelle, at Jon Schwarz' lapidary A Tiny Revolution blog, has offered a sensible and compelling rebuttal to Perlstein.

Whenever a liberal "of impeccable credentials" shouts "long prison sentence!" I reach for my deconstruction toolkit. First, a rhetorical question: Should Marylin Klinghoffer, of Achille Lauro fame, have gone to jail for a rather long time after she spat in the faces of the terrorists who murdered her husband? After all, no one wants to make light of or license the physical assault on any man, no matter how much he's deservedly hated. This is not how we do justice, unless we're in favor of something tending toward anarchy, or fascism.

The question is useful because it disposes of the rejoinder: "You're not being serious by defending shoe throwers." For Perlstein, the parallel stops there. He is clear about it. It's not about the person but the authority behind it: a "leader of a sovereign state, no matter how much he's deservedly hated" deserves respect. Two interesting points: first, Perlstein presumably confines his sphere of respect to "our kind of leaders" (not Pol Pot, Kim Jong-il, Saddam, etc.) Second, Kant's theory of respect-for-persons as an end in itself is neatly swept aside. It's OK to spit at a terrorist but not at a president. Why? Because, as liberal bloggers write, out of spectacular ignorance, one should "despise the man but respect the office." Do they realize the essence of the Enlightenment was to reach precisely the opposite conclusion? That shoes should be aimed at kings and presidents, not at the persons behind them.

Chazelle concludes with an appreciation for Al Muntadir, the would-be shoe-socker, for revealing the appalling cowardice of the Chimp, thanking the Iraqi reporter--who faces trial, and has already been beaten--for providing anyone interested with the tools for humiliating the pretentious little Pimp-in-Chief at any future time.

People should start throwing shoes at the Chimp wherever he appears, from now on until he disappears completely from the public stage. And sending every pair of worn-out footwear to whatever is the Chimp's current residence.

And if you can't get close enough, Bernard offers this substitute.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The reason for the season: All Hail The Prince of Peace

Christianity during the height of the Renaissance -- the so-called "rebirth" of learning -- looked a little like this: Citizens of a city would gather in the city square. In the square would be set up posts surrounded by piles of firewood. People who had been identified as 'heretics,' or 'non-believers,' or Jews, often, would be hauled or dragged into the square, where they would be bound to the stakes. Attended by prayres and pious invocations, flaming torches would be applied to the kindling. then, amid horrific screams and the stench of charred human flesh, congregants -- men, women and children -- would cheer as "heretics" were burned alive. These atrocities were performed in the name of the "God of love" and his son, the "Prince of Peace."

Before they were burned, the "heretics" were tortured -- their limbs mangled and broken and their flesh torn, to extract from the victims the admission of their own sinfulness. If they hadn't been executed, most of the "heretics" would have died slow, painful deaths anyway. The executions were conducted at the whim of the church leaders. If they particularly disliked one of the "heretics", the firewood would be arranged so that the fire would consume the victim slowly, prolonging his or her agony.

These "heretics" were dressed only in a thin shirt. It was especially festive when young women were burned, because their shirts would be burned away first, giving the crowd a glimpse of their naked flesh before the flesh blistered and blackened. The "heretics" most common "crimes" were to dare to suggest that the leaders of the Christian church lived too luxuriously while many of their congregations lived in poverty. Other "heretics" were burned because they believed that the church's rituals should be conducted in the local language, so the everyone could understand it. They didn't need a reason to burn Muslims of Jews; their mere existence was enough to merit the treatment.

Good times. Allelujia, Alleluljia!

Friday, December 19, 2008

White Vigilantes Hunted Black Katrina Survivors In Algiers Point

White Vigilantes Hunted Black Katrina Survivors In Algiers Point
Reporting an 18-month investigation appearing this week on the cover of The Nation and supported by the Nation Institute Investigative Fund, reporter A.C. Thompson paints a terrifying picture of New Orleans in the days following Hurricane Katrina. Black residents, desperate to flee the flooded, deadly Lower Ninth Ward were hunted and gunned down with impunity by white vigilantes in the Algiers Point neighborhood, which stood between the Lower Ninth Ward and the designated rescue point, Algiers Landing.

In Katrina's Hidden Race War and a companion piece, Body of Evidence, Thompson uncovers at least eleven unreported, un-investigated vigilante shootings.
Algiers Point has always been somewhat isolated: it's perched on the west bank of the Mississippi River, linked to the core of the city only by a ferry line and twin gray steel bridges. When the hurricane descended on Louisiana, Algiers Point got off relatively easy. While wide swaths of New Orleans were deluged, the levees ringing Algiers Point withstood the Mississippi's surging currents, preventing flooding; most homes and businesses in the area survived intact. As word spread that the area was dry, desperate people began heading toward the west bank, some walking over bridges, others traveling by boat. The National Guard soon designated the Algiers Point ferry landing an official evacuation site. Rescuers from the Coast Guard and other agencies brought flood victims to the ferry terminal, where soldiers loaded them onto buses headed for Texas.

Facing an influx of refugees, the (far luckier) residents of Algiers Point could have pulled together food, water and medical supplies for the flood victims. Instead, a group of white residents, convinced that crime would arrive with the human exodus, sought to seal off the area, blocking the roads in and out of the neighborhood by dragging lumber and downed trees into the streets. They stockpiled handguns, assault rifles, shotguns and at least one Uzi and began patrolling the streets in pickup trucks and SUVs. The newly formed militia, a loose band of about fifteen to thirty residents, most of them men, all of them white, was looking for thieves, outlaws or, as one member put it, anyone who simply "didn't belong."

The existence of this little army isn't a secret--in 2005 a few newspaper reporters wrote up the group's activities in glowing terms in articles that showed up on an array of pro-gun blogs; one Cox News story called it "the ultimate neighborhood watch." Herrington, for his part, recounted his ordeal in Spike Lee's documentary When the Levees Broke. But until now no one has ever seriously scrutinized what happened in Algiers Point during those days, and nobody has asked the obvious questions. Were the gunmen, as they claim, just trying to fend off looters? Or does Herrington's experience point to a different, far uglier truth?
If you guessed "a different, far uglier truth," you'd be ...ummm...correct.
Fellow militia member Wayne Janak, 60, a carpenter and contractor, is more forthcoming with me. "Three people got shot in just one day!" he tells me, laughing. We're sitting in his home, a boxy beige-and-pink structure on a corner about five blocks from Daigle's Grocery. "Three of them got hit right here in this intersection with a riot gun," he says, motioning toward the streets outside his home. Janak tells me he assumed the shooting victims, who were African-American, were looters because they were carrying sneakers and baseball caps with them. He guessed that the property had been stolen from a nearby shopping mall. According to Janak, a neighbor "unloaded a riot gun"--a shotgun--"on them. We chased them down."
Go figger, hunh? Nobody could ever have anticipated this, could they?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What is "Fifty To One?"


"50-to-1" is the ratio of Palestinians slaughtered this year by Israeli forces in Palestine (West Bank & Gaza) to the number of Israelis who have lost their lives this year to VIOLENCE by Palestinians: "More than 500 Palestinians, 73 of them children, have been killed this year alone as a result of the conflict - more than double the figure for 2005. Eleven Israelis have lost their lives this year." So reported Karen AbuZayd, the commissioner general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (unrwa.org), writing for The Guardian last week.

AbuZayd notes the ironic juxtaposition of the approaching anniversary of the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights, the ratification of which was contemporary with the establishment of the State of Israel in the land of Palestine. The plight of European Jewry in Nazi Europe was one of the main stimuli for the Declaration. Hence, there is no small amount of irony in the fact that Jews in Israel are among the most flagrant violators of that document, for their treatment of Palestinians, especially the over 1.5 MILLION of them effectively imprisoned in Gaza.

AbuZayd writes:
The need to give substantive meaning to the protection of Palestinians has never been greater. The former high commissioner for human rights, Mary Robinson has said that in Gaza, nothing short of a "civilisation" is being destroyed. Desmond Tutu has called it "an abomination". The humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Maxwell Gaylard, said that in Gaza there was a "massive assault" on human rights. Most recently, the European commissioner, Louis Michel, described the blockade of Gaza as a "form of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians, which is a violation of international humanitarian law".
It is important to note that there is nothing particularly, or inherently, 'Jewish' about these atrocities. It's the usual business of ethnic cleansing, an art perfected elsewhere, but whose practitioners happen, in this case, to be Jews.

As with the case of the fervent opposition of Blacks in California to the right of gay couples to marry, which is counter-intuitive given the history of black oppression and the court struggle to overturn anti-miscegenation laws, it never ceases to bemuse and befuddle me that Israelis--many of whom or of whose parents were victims of Nazi terror--can find rationalizations and justifications for conducting the same reign of terror against their Arab neighbors as was conducted against them or their ancestors in Europe.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nunn-Bush?

Anybody Seen El Boosh Since He Got Back From Iraq?

Sure looks like Al-Zaidi plumb nailed the fucker, donit?

One-Hundred Percent X-mas Certainty: Karl Rove Gets A Pardon


Scott Horton's one smart fella, and he's all OVER the machinations of Karl Rove to escape justice. He more or less assumes a Chimperial pardon. But "The horse may talk," and Rove can't take any chances, given his record. If he were sentenced for only half of his misdeeds, he'd face centuries in the jug. So he's bending every effort to complicate the appointment of Obama's choice for AG. From his "No Comment" site at Harper's, yesterday, Horton opined fiercely on how the porcine political procurer and provocateur is squirming, trying to avoid his fate by positioning himself as the next generation GOP "Leader."

Really!
Ever since the election, and indeed starting from early October when it became clear that 2008 would be an anti-Republican blowout, the Beltway bloviators have focused their speculation on one question: who would assume the mantle of leadership for the Republicans after the catastrophe? Would it be their presidential nominee, John McCain? Or perhaps Mitch McConnell, a survivor of the massacre and the leader of the Senate Republicans? Their George Hamilton-look-alike House leader, John Boehner? Or their leader-in-the-wings, Newt Gingrich, prepared to make a return to center stage like DeGaulle’s trek from Colombey-les-deux-Églises as the Algerian conflict brought France to a fall? Today we have the answer. The man to whom the Republicans turn to lead them out of the Sinai is Karl Rove. He’s been the party’s brains and spirit for the last decade, and a large number of Republican elected officials are happy to adopt his schemes to help achieve a comeback. No need to reflect on the inherent merits of the policy decisions they implicate.
Here's why I admire Horton's acumen: next paragraph he 'splains the whole thing.
Where do we see the evidence of Rove’s rise? The Republican strategists have decided that they will wage a war over one of Obama’s cabinet picks: his nomination of Eric Holder to be Attorney General. Their basis for opposing the Holder nomination will be that he was instrumental in securing a pardon for fugitive financier Marc Rich in the waning days of the Clinton administration. As Obama put the Holder nomination on the table, he received assurances from leading Republicans, including Judiciary Committee ranking member Arlen Specter, that, while there would be some questions about the Rich matter, Holder could expect smooth sailing. Suddenly, however, this has shifted, and it is increasingly clear why: Rove urged leading Senate Republicans to take on Holder. This weekend, we learn Rove’s advice was taken and Karl Rove had been tapped to serve as lead strategist in this effort. True to form, Rove was busy telling the Today Show’s Matt Lauer that Holder was the “one controversial nominee.”
Why, it's Eric Holder! Why is it Eric Holder? Horton says:
I think. Karl Rove has his own agenda at Justice. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s report on the U.S. Attorneys scandal identified the individual whose manipulations produced the firings of eight of the country’s best U.S. Attorneys so they could be replaced with partisan hacks: Karl Rove. The Justice Department’s Inspector General hints at just the same conclusion, but notes that it was thwarted from completing its study by the refusal of Karl Rove and those who worked for him to cooperate with the probe. When the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Rove to testify on these same issues, and his nefarious role in the prosecution of Alabama Governor Don E. Siegelman, Rove failed to appear, chosing instead to vacation with post-Soviet Mafiosi at a Crimean resort favored by Stalin. Now a special prosecutor is looking closely into Rove’s dealings and speculation that he may face criminal charges mounts.

This is not Rove’s first brush with the law. He clearly was also involved in the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame, and he lied about it to a grand jury. He narrowly escaped being indicted for this criminal conduct by Patrick Fitzgerald. And in all of these dealings, Rove has held an ace in the hole—political appointees at the Justice Department have undermined the inquiries into him and furnished him with highly improbable cover to avoid answering to Congress. Thus no one in Washington faces greater exposure as a result of the changing of the guard at the Justice Department than Karl Rove.

Thus it appears Rove has two objectives in taking on Holder. The first is to delay the turnover in the attorney general’s office as long as he can, providing more time in which his misconduct can enjoy the cloak of nefarious secret opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel and the attorney general’s own wink-and-nod. The second is to tar Holder as a political player, so that if charges are brought against Rove in the coming administration—as appears increasingly likely, unless Rove gets the pardon he wants for Christmas—Rove can bellow charges of “politics.” The charges would, of course, be brought by a special prosecutor appointed by Bush’s attorney general. But that’s just the sort of detail that frequently gets lost in the political belching that emanates from the nation’s capitol.
That's some analyzing, folks, though it leads to the conclusion that Rove will indeed and inevitably get his pardon for X-Mas...

Monday, December 15, 2008

RIP: Bettie Page, Naughty Pin-Up Queen

Via Avedon, yesterday, comes word that Bettie Page has died, last week, at age 85. From the LA Times Obit:
Bettie Page, the brunet pinup queen with a shoulder-length pageboy hairdo and kitschy bangs whose saucy photos helped usher in the sexual revolution of the 1960s, has died. She was 85.

Page, whose later life was marked by depression, violent mood swings and several years in a state mental institution, died Thursday night at Kindred Hospital in Los Angeles, where she had been on life support since suffering a heart attack Dec. 2, according to her agent, Mark Roesler.

A cult figure, Page was most famous for the estimated 20,000 4-by-5-inch black-and-white glossy photographs taken by amateur shutterbugs from 1949 to 1957. The photos showed her in high heels and bikinis or negligees, bondage apparel -- or nothing at all.
(...)
According to her agents at CMG Worldwide, Page's official website, www.BettiePage.com, has received about 600 million hits over the last five years.
I couldn't guarantee it, but Bettie was probably one of my first masturbatory fantasy figures as a teen in the early '60s. She was hot.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Passengers On A Hijacked Airliner?

Earlier today I read a terrific rant by Diane on her blog, WildWildWest. In it she expresses deep and justifiable frustation at the apparent, obdurate stupidity of 'workers' and citizens to arise in unison to overthrow, or at least obstruct, the wholesale compromising of their very lives.

As much as I rail (perhaps too frequently) against/about the "Ovine" qualities of the Murkin electorate, still to entirely blame the 'people' for their stupidity is not unlike blaming the passengers for being aboard a hijacked aircraft that, say, slams into tall buildings.

No one 'schooled' in Murka, in public/non-elite schools, since before 1970, has NOT been socialized to be, first and foremost, a pliant, docile, manipulable, passive, lazy 'consumer' whose passions have been turned to God/Celebrity, NASCAR, the NFL, the Bible, and Cosmetic Surgery. The further from 1970 you experienced your schooling, and the "lower" the SES of your family, the MORE likely you are to have been schooled to be a 'consumer,' above and beyond all else.

We sometimes accuse folks of 'learned' helplessness; but that blames the victim. Far more often it's a case of "schooled" ignorance. Similarly, consider the discourse of "dropping out." Who is at fault when the issue is phrased that way? What a difference between that and when it's called "pushed out," which is the real fate of marginal kids.

If we judged schools' intentions by the condition of their graduates, we'd have to conclude the purpose of the whole enterprise was to justify, a posteriori, decisions made about students' life-chances--education, social standing, income, career, etc.-- before they ever entered a classroom. The 'telos', if you will, of USer schooling is to ensure that as few as probabilistically possible students can avoid the socio-economic niches they were born to occupy.

It doesn't surprise me that the people are credulous. What annoys me is the tenacity with which they cling to their credulity.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Naomi Klein & Jeremy Scahill

Most of this you've probably heard, if you pay attention to the critical voices cryiong out from the margins. Naomi Klein on "Disaster KKKapitalism" and Jeremy Scahill on "Blackwater."

A panel from the recently concluded (last month, after the election) Miami Book Fair. If you haven't heard Klein and Scahill on the dangers embedded in the underlying, unquestioned assumptions that mark the two phenomena they examine, this is a really great compendium, cuz they've both got their whole presentation down. Most interesting is the Q/A session at the end, at about an hour in.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Empire In Eclipse: Why The US Govt Acts The Way It Does & Why It's Not Going To Change

What most folks in the USofA seem not to recognize is that America is an empire in decline.

Empires seldom decline gracefully, and never gladly.

You gotta make a WHOLE SHIT-POT of enemies to make an empire. Those enemies remember what you–the empire–did to ‘em on the way up. They wait for the inevitable decline.

So Empires, as they sense their powers declining, feel they can no longer AFFORD the 'principles' on which their earlier successes might have been predicated. Freedom fairness, justice, honor, compassion (well, Murka's NEVER been a 'compassionate' power) all are sacrificed on the hope that a bit of brutality here, some chicanery there, a dollop of murder and mayhem spread among the colonies will still the surging tide that threatens the security and the power the Empire has 'always' enjoyed.

Most Murkins are blissfully ignorant of the real state of international affairs. Murkins, mostly do NOT realize theirs is an Empire on the wane. Most of ‘em think–probably most of you think–that all that needs to happen is a little jiggling of the economy, send a few thousand troops off to slaughter some benighted population, boost consumption, steal a few MORE natural resources and: BINGO, we’ll be good to go again.

Not true.

The American Empire is in eclipse, fading faster than a month-old X-mas tree in a warm room. And like that tree, it needs only a slight spark to light a conflagration that consumes the whole house.

I hate being the one t break it to y’all, but “we” are history. The future is being written elsewhere…

Snake Oil and Rose Water: Obama's Promises To Keep


I am happy to find that I am not the only skeptic. John Caruso, an admirable, acute, reliable, alternative blogger on Jon Schwarz's lapidary, 'little' blog, A Tiny Revolution, is also not bedazzled.

He quotes another vividly skeptical commentator, Jeremy Scahill, on Obama's "nuanced" promises about the pllans his regime considers for Iraq:
The New York Times is reporting about an "apparent evolution" in president-elect Barack Obama's thinking on Iraq, citing his recent statements about his plan to keep a "residual force" in the country and his pledge to "listen to the recommendations of my commanders" as Obama prepares to assume actual command of US forces. "At the Pentagon and the military headquarters in Iraq, the response to the statements this week from Mr. Obama and his national security team has been akin to the senior officer corps' letting out its collective breath," the Times reported. "The words sounded to them like the new president would take a measured approach on the question of troop levels."

The reality is there is no "evolution."

Anyone who took the time to cut past Barack Obama's campaign rhetoric of "change" and bringing an "end" to the Iraq war realized early on that the now-president-elect had a plan that boiled down to a down-sizing and rebranding of the occupation.
Caruso appends Scahill's observations cunningly:
I particularly appreciate the Times' choice of headline: "Campaign Promises on Ending the War in Iraq Now Muted by Reality." This is an extremely useful principle I'm sure we'd all like to employ at one time or another: "Unfortunately, Tom, my promise to pay back that money you loaned me has now been muted by reality—namely, the reality that I never had any intention to. Sucker!"

For anyone who actually wanted to know how Obama would govern, the single most important thing he said during the campaign was this: "Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified. ... Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don't exempt myself."
Caruso also directs a well-aimed jab at FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) for their capitulation to Obamania:
I'm sad to see that FAIR is handling this same story with the new favorite strategy of Obama backers: to point to his official campaign policy positions and pretend that he never said anything different then from what he's saying now—and if anyone foolishly thought so, they just weren't paying attention. This is a particularly disingenuous tactic since it studiously ignores the "overheated rhetoric" Obama used on the campaign trail that contradicted those official positions and convinced so many of his supporters that he intended to bring the Iraq war to a complete close.
Yep, I am a querulous, cranky, dirty, old, fucking hippie.

Why do you ask?

It's not for naught that "libris" and 'liberty' have the same root


Behold! The power of the mighty BLOG!

A friend sent this plea for seasonal (as well as enduring) support for the small press she manages here in Albuquerque. We at Woody's Bloggy Enterprises try always to do the best we can, harnessing the mighty awesomeness of the Bloggy Universe in good causes.

SUPPORT AMADOR PRESS!
Dear Friends,

Best wishes to you for this holiday season and 2009.

Books make great gifts at any time of year and your purchases help us keep our very small, totally independent press alive. We have a little something for all tastes: cookbooks, children's, biography, philosophy, romance, fantasy, and southwest fiction. Our complete catalogue is on-line at amadorbooks.com. There are several ways to order from the web site, but if you get stuck, just e-mail Harry@amadorbooks.com or call during business hours: 505-877-4395.

Amador Authors on TV: Two of us have taped spots for the "Good Day New Mexico" show with Mary Ann Orate on KOB-TV4, which airs Monday through Friday from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Watch Adela Amador talk about her books, Monday, December 15.

Zelda Gatuskin will discuss our Christmas Blues Anthology, Monday, December 22.

View the podcasts at gooddaynm.kob.com - you will find the links on the the home page for the first week and in the archives thereafter. Go to amadorbooks.com/amnews for direct links.

Harry Willson's Rant of the Month: amadorbooks.com/amrant...Great reading every month from our fearless leader. Speaking of which - December's rant is "On Leadership".

Thank you for your interest and support, we couldn't do it without you!

Harry, Adela and Zelda

Amador Publishers, LLC
www.amadorbooks.com

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oar Yew Orta Yer Mahnd? 'Ar Ain' No Hellifans Nowheres Near Hyar!

On ThinkProgress this morning was this announcement:
The White House is sending a two-page memo to Cabinet members “and other high-ranking officials” with official talking points meant to bolster President Bush’s legacy. The memo, obtained by the L.A. Times, is called “Speech Topper on the Bush Record” and looks at Bush’s presidency through distinctly rose-colored glasses:
Titled “Speech Topper on the Bush Record,” the talking points state that Bush “kept the American people safe” after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, lifted the economy after 2001 through tax cuts, curbed AIDS in Africa and maintained “the honor and the dignity of his office.”

The document presents the Bush record as an unalloyed success.

It mentions none of the episodes that detractors say have marred his presidency: the collapse of the housing market and major financial services companies, the flawed intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war, the federal response to Hurricane Katrina or the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

In a section on the economy, speakers are invited to say that Bush cut taxes after 2001, setting the stage for years of job growth.

As for the current economic crisis, the memo says that Bush "responded with bold measures to prevent an economic meltdown."

The document is otherwise silent on the recession, which claimed 533,000 jobs in November, the highest number in 34 years.
The sins of omission notwithstanding, the whole mendacious, slimy trick claiming the Busheviks "kept the country safe" since 9/11 misses two key points. The first is the obvious one: the Bushies were in-charge hen the IX/XI attacks were successfully conducted whi, even if they were correct in their subsequent claims, makes 'em one-for-two at best.

The second point is illustrated by this Middle-School 'joke':
A man sees another man standing on a street-corner, waving a huge photo of a ferocious-looking mouse, and making loud, squeaking noises through a speaker. Asked what he's doing, the fellow suspends his squeaking for a moment and proclaims he's "keeping the war-elephants at bay." The observer patiently notes that there probably aren't any war elephants anywhere on the entire continent, whereupon the demonstrative fella replies: "Yeah! Ya SEE! It's working!"
There's no such thing as an 'out-side' joke...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

This Is What I Gotta "Just Get Used To?"

Via the invaluable RealNews:

"Much has been said about the strong personalities who will feature in President-elect Barack Obama's national security "team of rivals." But Obama has already made it clear that "the buck stops" with him. Pepe Escobar argues that instead of "change," what America has in fact brought is an Obama vision that may not be too dissimilar from the war on terror framework."

One need look only at the appointments already announced. And the Obamanauts are telling me to "Get Used To It!", and if I don't like it, I can just pound sand...

Where have I heard that before?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

WTF: Is the DIM Party now telling me I "gotta get used to it"?

This matter of Obama appointing the acolytes of FIRE and the Chamber Of Commerce to key positions is starting to get to me. And now the Obamanauts are declaring they ALWAYS knew he was gonna govern 'from the Center," and I should a know'd it, and if'n I didn't, well, I guess I'm jis stupid...And I jis gotta git usta it, dad burn it!

The indefatigable Lindsey Beyerstein, freelance journalist, tolling the mindless void that is the blogosphere, happened upon this piece from the Politico blog, extolling the virtues of Mr. O's choice for National Security Advisor from the perspective of the wants and needs of the ENERGY INDUSTRY as it faces the grim prospect of serious regulation in the face of the need to reduce emisions, if Mr. O's protestations about the centrality of "climate change" to his planning are to be accorded even a modicum of sincerity.
December 01, 2008
National Security Adviser darling of energy companies

Barack Obama picked a national security adviser who fought the Senate climate change bill tooth and nail when he worked for the Chamber of Commerce.
Why, you might ask, would the proclivities, sympathies, and employment history of the nominal National Security Advisor with respect to energy be of significance for appointing the National Security Advisor? The implications of this are significant, as Beyerstein outlines in her piece.

The NSA coordinates National Security policy, which must include energy resources, if the rhetorics of crisis and threat are to believed. What is to become of 'alternative energy initiatives' if the National Security Advisor advise that the President may give the country energy ("clean" coal, more oil, nukes) or he might act in such a way as to possibly, maybe, save the planet from catastrophic damages sometime in somebody ELSE's administration. An exec of the giant regional power company Duke Energy was reported to have told an audience of sympathetic auditors that the country could have an economy or a world, but not both. Mr. O has already proclaimed his loyalty to (the endlessly oxymoronic) "clean coal technology," of the Ohio River coal economy.

Beyerstein concludes:
It seems inevitable that the next national security adviser will have more to say about domestic energy production. I don't expect to hear much from Jones about energy conservation as a national security issue, even though it's the logical flipside of increasing production.

Jones hails from the rightwing Chamber of Commerce. He and his allies in the oil industry want to expand domestic drilling because oil prices are rising and they hope to make quick profits with taxpayer subsidies.

Will Jones argue on bogus national security grounds to lift bans on offshore oil drilling and drilling in ANWR?
Gee, I dunno. That's sure a puzzlement! I certainly wouldn't bet against it, though...

It has NEVER really mattered who, precisely, Pres.-Elect Obama is or was. It matters overwhelmingly who he listens to, who persuades him. His positions prior to his election offer suggestions as to his authentic sympathies, and they--along with the advisors he's chosen--do not bode well for the "green" future we need to be building right now.

The appointment of Jones does NOT suggest that building a green energy infrastructure is actually going to be a big priority--unless and until "Big Energy" can absorb its potential competitors. The short shrift naming Jones accords environmental concerns was echoed today by another announcement:
Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- President-elect Barack Obama is considering a stimulus package that will include a heavy dose of spending on environmentally friendly projects aimed at creating “green-collar jobs” and saving energy.
Consider the difference that phrasing of slightly different emphasis would make: "President-elect Barack Obama is considering has proposed and will advance a stimulus package that includes a heavy dose of spending on environmentally friendly projects aimed at creating “green-collar jobs” and saving energy."

Seewaddahmeen? Said in the conditional mood, there's all kinds of ways to rationalize side-tracking such "radical" (imagine Jim Inhoffe's reactions to such a program: it'd blow his lil inbred haid plumm awf!) proposals. But said in the declarative mood, the speech has the effect of an act, not a mere description of a set of possible outcomes.

Folks are saying inside the Dim party and out that Mr. O's gonna govern from the 'center,' and that I just gotta get "used to it." And I am recalling with growing distrust and angst the LAST time a cult of personality told me I had to get used to it, and I didn't, and I won't now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

So Help Me, I Swear To Pledge My Faith In And Fealty To A Just And Merciful Deity

on the day that Grover Norquist is found drowned in a bathtub.

Until then, there should be some kind of open season on the over-fed, over-feted pile of neo-con feculence and fatuity. Something like what they've initiated over at Crooks & Liars, where the headline proclaims: "Grover Norquist blames economic crisis on the 2006 mid term election results."

People that delusional should not be permitted to operate machinery of any greater complexity than a can-opener.

Ken Silverstein (Harper's): Cabinet Appointments DO Matter

Well, folks, welcome back the DLC:
Face it: if you’re a self-described Democratic Party progressive, Barack Obama’s picks for top spots in his administration look pretty grim thus far. Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner are disciples of former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. The latter was a chief architect of Bill Clinton’s pro-Wall Street policies who then moved on to Citibank, where he helped bankrupt the company and the country (in return for over $100 million in compensation since 1999).

“The ultimate irony, of course, is that just as Rubin and Co. at Citi were being bailed out by the Bush Administration, President-elect Barack Obama was getting set to announce a new economic team drawn almost entirely from Rubin acolytes,” Steven Pearlstein wrote the other day in the Washington Post.

And Paul Volcker to head Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory board? A hero to central bankers everywhere, Volcker under Presidents Carter and Reagan whipped inflation by creating the worst depression and highest levels of unemployment since the 1930s. “It’s not that Obama…turns out to be a pragmatist,” Fred Barnes writes in The Weekly Standard. “The point is he’s pragmatic (so far) in one direction-rightward. Who knew?”

If Obama's got Fred Barnes' approval, you who hoped for 'real change' are more fucked than you could ever have imagined.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

How Obama Could Thwart The Bushevik Regulation Reversals

On Think Progress today, there's yet another story about the feculent fux in the Bushevik regime who are using the last days of their power to push through regulation changes that are designed to steal the last fucking dollar lying around loose, undermine worker health and safety rules, and roll back environmental protections covering both endangered species and clean air/water standards.

There is nothing short of actual violence to prevent this, apparently. Obama seems to be unable to prevent the Busheviks from these last few crimes during the lame-duck/inter-regnum. There seem to be few legislative solutions, nor any will to effect them.

So it comes down to the people in the Federal Government, the employees, the career people (those not hired by the likes of Monica Goodling, in any case) to take matters into their own hands and thwart the feculent Bushevik fux on the ground, in the bureaus, agencies, commissions and departments.

They need to intentionally violate --that is, ignore-- any and all the new regs. Take individual responsibility. Resist these immoral and hurtful changes.

And Obama himself, in his next radio address, should take the lead in encouraging this stratagem. Using the bully pulpit he's already got, and the fact that nothing he says or does these days goes unreported, he should announce that if HE were an employee in an agency which enforced any of the rules the Busheviks were trying to roll back, he would refuse. And he would document the case, and the regulation, and the replies of any supervisors. And he should announce that he would hold faultless any Federal employee who resisted the further diminishment of the protections that the regulations exist to preserve.

He won't, of course. But he should!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Woody's Corollary" To "Poe's Law"



There exists in the blogo-sphere a catalogue of maxims the employment of which is said to poison subsequent discourse. Godwin's Law, for example, stipulates (via Wiki): "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."
Godwin's Law is often cited in online discussions as a deterrent against the use of arguments in the reductio ad Hitlerum form.

The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that one arising is increasingly probable. It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued[4] that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact. Although in one of its early forms Godwin's Law referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions,[5] the law is now applied to any threaded online discussion: electronic mailing lists, message boards, chat rooms, and more recently blog comment threads and wiki talk pages.


Then there is Poe's Law: "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."
Poe's Law relates to fundamentalism, and the difficulty of identifying actual parodies of it. It suggests that, in general, it is hard to tell fake fundamentalism from the real thing, since they both sound equally ridiculous. The law also works in reverse: real fundamentalism can also be indistinguishable from parody fundamentalism. For example, some conservatives consider noted homophobe Fred Phelps to be so over-the-top that they think he's a "deep cover liberal" trying to discredit more mainstream homophobes.
There is, I think a crying need for "Poe's Corollary," to wit: "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Neo-Con Rightardedness that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."

Dare I presume to call it "Woody's Corollary"?

As evidence, I offer Exhibit 1. "Pretty In Mink," :
Following in the tradition of past calendars from the Luce Policy Institute, Pretty in Mink celebrates smart, conservative women role models ... with flair.

We took some of your favorite leaders of today’s conservative movement on a journey back in time, and made them up into glamorous movie stars of classic Hollywood. Back when the big screen was a little more glamorous, women were a little more feminine, the men a little more charming—and the world a little less politically correct.

We’ve saved Clare Boothe Luce herself for the last month of the year; we think you’ll agree that the legacy of this conservative icon makes her an appropriate ending for our calendar. And every single one of the other beautiful women featured in Pretty in Mink is one hundred percent a “Luce Lady.” Whether they’re speaking for us regularly—on college campuses, at our Conservative Women’s Network luncheons in D.C, and at regional Luce events—or they’re working directly with staff to reach out to students, these women contribute so much to the Institute, and more importantly, to the next generation of women leaders.It is with pride that we showcase these talented Luce Ladies in our 2009 Pretty in Mink calendar. We hope you enjoy the show!

The Players

Miss January — Kellyanne Conway
Miss February — Star Parker
Miss March – Susan Phalen
Miss April – Nonie Darwish
Miss May – Mary Katharine Ham
Miss June – Michelle Malkin
Miss July – Amanda Carpenter
Miss August – Sandy Liddy Bourne
Miss September – Ann Coulter
Miss October – Kate Obenshain
Miss November – Miriam Grossman, M.D.
Miss December – Clare Boothe Luce
I admit, when first I saw this page, I would have sworn it was a parody.

Sadly, though, it's not.

Ya, Basta!: Just Stay Wherever The Fuck You Are


Really!

Albuquerque's really a pit. You wouldn't like it here. Too windy, too dry. Ladies, you skin will eventually resemble aged lumber. We're a great terror target, too. Fewer than 30 miles to Los Alamos, Murka's 'nukular heartland.' Plus there's a big defense Lab right in the city, too. And the bunkers on the airport, under the shadow of the Monzano Mts? Storage for the majority of Murka's tactical Nukes. Really...

You'd hate it. Beautiful sunsets don't compensate for the poor wages, the sprawl; the Gangs. It's bi-lingual. Billboards in Spanih. It's real dusty. There are rattlesnakes; Coyotes; Mountain lions; Bears. And REALLY stupid drivers.

And GAYS! Teh Gay is here in force! Lesbians everywhere!

Besides, there's not enough water here for those of us already here. And the supply is diminishing all the time. And there's a LOT of Govt' interference, because of the Indians and their reservations.

You wouldn't like it here.

Really!

So don't even THINK about it. Ya, basta! Salga! Vuelva! ¡¡Sí, ese le significa!

Morality Master 2.0 -- How Godly Are YOU?


DOTOF™: PZ Myers' Pharyngula.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Chimperor Is Both A Smarmy Pimp and Tiny Shrimp


The Bushies have been lying again/still/all along.

Every bio of the turd-licking, dishonest, vicious little shitwhistle Bush says he's "five feet, eleven and three-quarters" in height.

Nah. No fucking way he's even CLOSE to 6 feet...

Yo, regardez-vous the foto above: Obama's bio says he's 6'1, plus (1.87 m). He TOWERS over the smarmy, smirking, strutting, simpering, shrimpy Chimp a good three inches. The top of the Chimp's head barely comes to Obama's eyebrows...

Up til now, the shrimpy Chimps pimps have never shown him in company with anyone tall. He had a fucking box to stand on in the debates w/Kerry, who is a LEGIT 6'3+.

I'll take my schadenfreude any-fucking-where I can find it, thank you...

Oh, yeah, and by the way: Would somebody dump a load of dog-shit all over the Bushster once he's out of the ShiteHouse? Or just cow-manure? a rotten egg? Anything at all that would make the motherfucker crawl as small as his shrunken soul?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Eli's Google Obsession, Revisited: We're #6!

For the search "The biggest boobs in the world." Sixth in a list comprising over six million, six hundred thousand pages. Wahoooooo!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Remember Monica Goodling?

She was the GOPuke Rightard/Funndie functionary/Bushevik Loyalist installed at the Justice Department whose job it was to vet potential Department 'career-hires' (covered by Civil Service protections) for their ideological purity and Regime loyalty. There were hundreds of them at Justice, before the scam was uncovered in the dust-up over Fredo Gonzales' dismissal. Most STILL remain on the payroll, and will remain there until they either die or retire, because under the rules that were broken to hire them, their jobs are protected from 'political' interference.

Got it? Good.

It would require credulity of an absolutely monumental scale and scope to believe there WEREN'T other "Monicas" in every single Agency, Bureau, Commission, Department and/or Office in the Federal Government, but whose machinations havee NOT been exposed to the light of day. Unquestionably and indubitably, these folks have positioned enclaves (perhaps 'cells' would be a better term) of "God-fearing ('blighted'), GOPuke/Bushevik clones in the works of every Agency, Bureau, Commission, Department and/or Office in Government.

Now it turns out, according to AfterDowningStreet, in the inter-regnum between now and Jan 20, by golly, the Bush administration is embedding hoards of their (frantically loyalist) foot soldiers inside the government in order to sabotage any Obama initiatives while at the same time terminating federal employees who they assume would be supportive of the new administration. And, meanwhile, they're firing people whom they regard as 'enemies' before those 'enemies' can report on the Busheviks' crimes...

(Who could have EVAR predicted? Well, other than me, I mean...)

If it weren't illegal to do so, Mr. Obama's first act as President should be a blanket firing of every employee hired into ANY Government job or position whatsoever since Feb 1, 2001...

Monday, November 17, 2008

By His Nominees Shall You Know Him!!!

I hope nobody's too surprised by this:
The Summers Bubble
The selection of Larry Summers as treasury secretary would send a message that Wall Street is more powerful in the Obama administration than the progressive coalition that brought him to power.
Kevin Connor and Matthew Skomarovsky, TAP | November 17, 2008
The choice of a new treasury secretary presents an early test of President-elect Obama's commitment to change in the realm of economic policy, where the need for a new direction is most painfully evident. Will the new administration find a bold answer to decades of trickle-down economics? Or will Wall Street-affiliated party insiders summon the political muscle to remain relevant and deliver for their friends in finance? A battle for the soul of Obama's White House is underway.

Considering what is at stake, the emergence of Lawrence Summers as a leading candidate for treasury secretary is an alarming indicator that Wall Street Democrats with abysmal records are gaining an upper hand over the broad progressive coalition that lifted Obama to victory.

Summers' candidacy, pushed heavily by Democratic Party rainmaker and Citigroup executive Robert Rubin, is premised on the notion that Summers' expertise and experience is urgently needed in our time of crisis. Whatever his gaffes at Harvard, the argument goes, Summers has a proven capacity to lead the economy in the right direction.

But a sober look at history suggests the opposite; it is precisely Summers' record of service that is his biggest liability. On the critical economic issues he encountered as a Clinton administration official, Summers' expertise translated into consistent advocacy for policies that infected the financial system with deadly risk.

Recently, Summers has tilted toward progressive stances on several questions of economic policy. But when considered against the backdrop of his career, his pontifications are an unconvincing resumé point -- especially when many other economists got it right all along, without the benefits of hindsight.

On three major issues that have had special bearing on the recent crisis -- financial deregulation, asset bubbles, and government bailouts -- Summers flouted basic tenets of his profession, ignored warnings, and pursued a short-sighted strategy. A thorough review of this record undermines Summers' only serious claim to the Treasury: his much-hyped expertise.
In this context, I would suggest that, if y you have the time, you listen to Amy Goodman's Democracy Now today:

* Naomi Klein on the Bailout Profiteers and the Multi-Trillion-Dollar Crime Scene
* Ex-CIA Officials Tied to Rendition Program and Faulty Iraq Intel Tapped to Head Obama’s Intelligence Transition Team
* As Obama Vows to Close Guantanamo, His Advisers Are Reportedly Crafting a Plan to Create a New System of Preventive Detention and National Security Courts
I think it is important to consider the question that runs through the whole of this program, and it's not "Who Is Obama?", but "Who Is Obama LISTENING TO?" because he hasn't been in Washington long enough to learn enough of the ropes to pick his advisors without any critical scrutiny. I suspect The Clenis and HRC both regret their early affiliation, fresh from Little Rock, with Dick Morris.

Ah, Schadenfreude! The Sweet Smell of Flop-Sweat...

For those of you who are not regulars at Jon Shapiro'sSchwarz' A Tiny Revolution are missing a regular treat.

Over the weekend, there appeared a post which is utterly awash in the delectable sweetness in delight at the discomfiture of the detestable. Shorter ATR: The mega-mall holding corporation on whch the fortune of Tom Friedman's multi-billionaire in-laws depends has lost 98% of its worth (on paper) in the last TWO MONTHS.

This state of affairs apparently led Friedman to discourse in an atypically honest column late last week at in NY TIMES. Quoth ATR:
Suck. On. This.

Schadenfreude has never been so, so sweet:
It would be easy to dismiss today’s rant (however spot-on it might be) by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as yet another ideological tirade against the U.S. automobile industry. But based on the bad news coming out of shopping-mall owner General Growth Properties [GGP], it is no wonder Friedman is feeling crankier than usual. That’s because the author’s wife, Ann (née Bucksbaum), is an heir to the General Growth fortune. In the past year, the couple—who live in an 11,400-square-foot mansion in Bethesda, Maryland—have watched helplessly as General Growth stock has fallen 99 percent, from a high of $51 to a recent 35 cents a share. The assorted Bucksbaum family trusts, once worth a combined $3.6 billion, are now worth less than $25 million.

If you click through to this chart, you'll see the drop has actually been even more precipitous than described above. GPP was trading at $27.55 the week of September 8th. It's now at $0.44. Thus, it's lost 98% of its value in the past two months.
SO, THIS is how a "Free Market" works? Schweet, schweet, schweeeeeet! Down from $3.6 BILLION, to "less than $25MILLION"? WhaddaRIDE!

My own (substantial, to me, though amounting only to some 10s of THOUSANDS of dollars) losses (retirement accounts down 30-35% in two months) somehow don't seem so terrible.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Crane Spotting

This time of year, the passing squadrons of migrating sand-hill cranes wheel and veer over my casa near the Rio Grande, which is their flight-way. They're heading today toward a wet and watery refuge 100 miles south, at Bosque del Apache.

Their cries fill the sky, but they're tricky to spot, because their undersides are pale and, at the altitudes where they fly, their slim silhouettes don't stand out against that azure sky.

Their cries are unmistakable. They're there, but you look where the sound says they should be and there's nothing there. But then in a shimmer, the flock wheels and changes course and as they bank and swoop, they appear.

Even at the distance--they're at least 700-1000 feet in the air, and often at a remove of many hundreds of meters in lateral distance--the effect can be mesmerizing.

I invariably stop to try to spot the flocks when I hear them, when I'm out walking a dog on the ditch.

Twice a year, late autumn and middle spring...

Since forever.

For now, at least.