Thursday, April 30, 2009

Varmints, Beware!

Thanks to the inexpressably odious stupidity (or callousness; I am not sure which is worse), even more grief and pain has now been heaped on the memory and family of Matthew Shepherd, even on the eve and the day of the passage by the House of a Bill that bears his name. The source of that unforgivable offense stares smugly at you from the margin here.

In the discussion surrounding that landmark act, an incredibly, unspeakably vile piece o' shit from North Carolina, one Rep. Virginia Foxx (R.-N.C.), an opponent of all such legislation, claimed that the 1998 execution-style murder of Shepherd, a gay university student, by a couple of drunk "cowboys" near Laramie, WY, was not a "hate-crime" but rather was "just a robbery gone horribly wrong" and that the 'hate-crime' ASPECT of the story was a "hoax." Her word.

When the story blew up on the blogs, she hastily retreated from the 'hoax' word, but maintained she still didn't regard the killing as a 'hate-crime.' She also issued an apology to Shepherd's family:
"I am especially sorry if his grieving family was offended by my statement," she added.



That's not an apology, you vile, vicious vilifying slag.

It is, rather, a perfect paradigm of the classic "not apologizing for shit" apology perfected over the last eight years--but really since Nixon--by a parade of shit-head politicians, mainly on the Right, who have managed to offend sensibilities and then glibly pass off their bias with a brisk statement that always contains the word "if."

There's nothing I can write--no curse, no profanity, no invective, no expletive, nothing--which would do justice to my revulsion, disgust, and gut-sickness that I have to breathe the same air as this feculent, reeking, dripping, foul, stupid, self-righteous, self-pitying excrescence of a 'woman.'

I wouldn't trust myself in the same room with her.

Her contention was belied by testimony in the trial, when one of the killers tried to invoke "gay-panic" in his own defense.

But there is one thing more which speaks louder than words on the subject.

I've lived in the west most of my life, and I recognized--as any westerner would--one particular signal the killers sent which stated their intent more clearly than any words: They strung/slung/nailed their victim's body across a stock-fence. This is the way the knuckle-dragging, slobbering rancher contingent disposes of the carcasses of the 'varmints'--coyotes, wolves, etc--they kill.

They claim it 'sends a message' to other critters..

Max Blumenthal In Gun-Loon-Land

He's a very brave guy, our Max. He's taken on the CPAC, the Xians-For-AIPAC, and several other groups of total fucktard/wackloon/Flying-Monkeys and lived to tell the tale. I posted the Vid of Max's sojourn into on Rightard/Wackloon nirvana at Have A GREAT Day.

Max wrote about his adventure on The Daily Beast (which he is just about the only reason to visit), and has this to say:
On April 18 and 19, I attended gun shows in Antioch, California, and Reno, Nevada, to probe the culture of gun enthusiasts at the onset of the Obama era. I came away from these events with a portrait of a heavily armed, tightly organized movement incited by right-wing radio to a fever-pitched resentment of President Obama and his allies in Congress. Even as the economy suffers, gun dealers and their Washington lobbyists are leveraging renewed anti-government sentiment into unprecedented sales figures and fattened membership rolls. “We’ve been swamped today,” an NRA representative from Antioch boasted. “We’ve practically ran out of our materials that we give away at sign-up.”
Both the commentary and the comments are worth attention.

You've probably already noticed that those dudes hottest for the .50 Cal are usually packing a pea-shooter behind their zippers...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

You Might Be A ...

A blog-pal Liberality, the librarian who runs the eponymous blog, Liberality, posted this little exercise over the weekend, and I am only lately come by it. It is very comprehensive, but obviously not complete. So feel free to add your own suggestions here or on her blog:

*You've tried to argue that poverty could be abolished if people were allowed to keep more of their minimum wage.
* You've ever referred to someone as "my (insert racial or ethnic minority here) friend."
* You're a pro-lifer, but (pro-war. W )support the death penalty.
* You've ever referred to the moral fiber of something.
* You've ever uttered the phrase, "Why don't we just bomb the sons of bitches."
* You've ever called a secretary or waitress "Honey."
* You don't think "The Simpsons" is all that funny, but you watch it because that Flanders fellow makes a lot of sense.
* You don't let your kids watch Sesame Street because you accuse Bert and Ernie of "sexual deviance."
* You use any of these terms to describe your wife: Old ball and chain, little woman, old lady, tax credit...
* You scream "Dit-dit-ditto" while making love.
* You've argued that art has a "moral foundation set in Western values."
* You think Birkenstock was that radical rock concert in 1969.
* You argue that you need 300 handguns, in case a bear ever attacks your home.
* Vietnam (or Iraq...W makes a lot of sense to you.
* You point to Hootie and the Blowfish as evidence of the end of racism in America (or Barack Obama. W).
* You've ever said, "Clean air? Looks clean to me."
* You've ever referred to Anita Hill as a "lying bitch" while attending a Bob Packwood fund-raiser.
* You spent MLK Day reading "The Bell Curve."
* You've ever called education (housing, health-care, a decent diet...W) a luxury.
* You look down through a glass ceiling and chuckle (or just see "tile"...W
* You wonder if donations to the Pentagon are tax-deductable.
* You own a vehicle with an "Ollie North: American Hero" sticker.
* You're afraid of the "liberal media."
* You ever based an argument on the phrase, "Well, tradition dictates...."
* You've ever called the National Endowment for the Arts a bunch of pornographers.
* You think all artists are gay.
* You ever told a child that Oscar the Grouch "lives in a trash can because he is lazy and doesn't want to contribute to society."
* You've ever urged someone to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, when they don't even have shoes
I know you can add some more and feel free to put them in the comments section. In the interest of full disclosure I got this from here. Oh, and just so you know, I don't think the democrats are a whole hell of a lot better although I vote for them.
That last one, about the bootstraps, is one of my favorites. Adding my own: *If you've ever uttered the phrase "reverse discrimination" in anything but an ironic tone of voice, or: *Believe only religious people can be moral/Believe atheists CANNOT be, or: Think you can't be propagandized...

I objected mildly that this list is not especially partisan and was probably a more reliable index of general ass-holesomeness than evidence of particularly partisan douche-baggery. I also added my own coda:
Another that I find particularly obnoxious is: "You don't solve problems by throwing money at them."


Well yes you do, actually.

Money's usually the first necessary ingredient for 'solving' problems, especially social problem.

I'll believe throwing money at them doesn't solve problems when people with lots of money stop throwing it at their problems...
As to the graphic at the top, well I have never been able to resist a good, gratuitous insult...

So sue me.

Morin, Every Morning

Pulitzers by the dozen, this guy. There's an archive feature. DOTOF™: Rising Hegemon/Atta J. Turk

Monday, April 27, 2009

RIP, RMN: 4/27/94

Yep, Tricky Dick's still dead. Funny thing, near the end, when the Marines start the honorific volleys, car alarms go off all OVER the place, it has an oddly, ironically antic and celebratory sound, against the staged, ritual somberness of the scene...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Who Still Regards "thePrez" As "Guardian" of Your Rights?

Suckers! Professor of Constitutional Law? Bwahahahahaha!
This is just fucking reprehensible, though probably not unexpected, given the constriction of our liberty by the 'imperatives of security.' It does seem of a part with the ambiguous signals sent about the legitemacy of torture, because if successful, it would deprive the 'suspect' ("perp"/"skel") of a witness to her/his interrogation...

From the London (UK) Telegraph, via OpenLeft, today.
DOJ urges SCOTUS to overturn suspects right to counsel when questioned by police

The Obama administration is urging the US Supreme Court to overturn a landmark decision that stops police from questioning suspects unless they have a lawyer present.
The effort to sweep aside the 23-year-old Michigan vs Jackson ruling is one of several moves by the new government to have dismayed civil rights groups. ("thePrez") has already provoked controversy by backing the continued imprisonment without trial of enemy combatants in Afghanistan and by limiting the rights of prisoners to challenge evidence used to convict them.

The Michigan vs Jackson ruling in 1986 established that, if a defendants have a lawyer or have asked for one to be present, police may not interview them until the lawyer is present. Any such questioning cannot be used in court even if the suspect agrees to waive his right to a lawyer because he would have made that decision without legal counsel, said the Supreme Court. However, in a current case that seeks to change the law, the US Justice Department argues that the existing rule is unnecessary and outdated.

The sixth amendment of the US constitution protects the right of criminal suspects to be "represented by counsel", but the Obama regime argues that this merely means to "protect the adversary process" in a criminal trial. The Justice Department, in a brief signed by Elena Kagan, the (Obama) solicitor general, said the 1986 decision "serves no real purpose" and offers only "meagre benefits".
Seems like so simple a decision when you yourself likely will never encounter serious Polizei interrogation: "Choo dun neet no steenkeen' lawyer, esse. Chust tell us wachew were doeen..."

What kind of delusional fuckwit ever believed Obama would restore civil rights? Civil rights are entirely antithetical to the imperatives of both the CorpoRats and the CorpoRat State. And 'thePrez' is ENTIRELY a creature of those two, conjoined interests.

I don't know the Obama position, but the Bushevik DoJ were also trying to overturn Miranda. Given this, I would be very careful. Perhaps we should console ourselves that he's not as bad as Bush was or McStain would have been...

Not yet...

I googled the story and there's nothing out in public about it except on blogs. None of thge SCUM have anything about it...


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Clusterfuck 2: Pre-flight Checklist

1.. Cabal of 'experts' who won't listen to outside advice?
2.. Little understanding of predispositions of the many local factions?
3..Imposing country boundaries drawn in Europe, not by the locals?
4.. Unshakeable faith in invincibility of our superior technology?
5.. France secretly hoping we fall on our asses?
6.. Russia secretly hoping we fall on our asses?
7.. China secretly hoping we fall on our asses?
8.. SecDef/Pres pushing a conflict the JCS never wanted?
9.. Fear we'll look bad if we back down now?
10.. Land war in Asia?
11.. Right-wing unhappy with outcome of previous war?
12.. Enemy easily moves in/out of neighboring countries?
13.. USer Soldiers dosed with *our own* chemicals/toxins?
14.. Friendly fire problem ignored instead of solved?
15.. B-2 bombers deployed?
16.. Helicopters that clog up on the local dust?
17.. In-fighting among the branches of the military?
18.. Locals who cheer us by day, shoot us by night?
19.. Local experts ignored?
20.. Local politicians ignored?
21.. Locals used to conflicts lasting longer than the USA has been a country?
22.. Against advice, Prez won't raise taxes to pay for war?
23.. Blue water navy ships operating in brown water?
24.. War unpopular at home?
25.. Use of nukes hinted at if things don't go our way?

Vietnam 2, you are cleared to take-off...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Greider: Does "thePrez" Have The Cojones To Face-down The Banksters?

Over on AlterNet this morning, the always readable Bill Greider asksObama Is Getting Punked By the Big Dogs of Banking;, Does He Have the Balls to Do What's Right? Me? I'd guess not. I think "thePrez" is all ears and big smile, but political cojones the size of a gnat's.

Being a public intellectual, Greider has to be a bit more circumspect, but here's the money quotes:
The bankers think they have the president cornered. His rescue plan cannot possibly succeed without much more money -- hundreds of billions more -- that Congress will be extremely reluctant to provide (Obama hasn't yet had the nerve to ask for it). The bankers' offer to return their welfare checks is a cute gesture, but a bluff. They know Obama's government is committed to save them, whatever it costs. As usual, the big dogs want to have it both ways -- take the public's money but promise nothing in return.

Roughly speaking, that has been Obama's posture, too. He acts as though the old order must be restored with public money, but without forceful government direction. He can call their bluff if he has the courage -- shut down a couple of big banks, take control of the system -- and the public would cheer. During the campaign, Obama demonstrated he is a great teacher -- his political vision changed the country. But we do not yet know if he is a confident political leader willing to use his power against formidable adversaries in order to get his way. Every potential rival is now taking his measure. Weakness would doom him.
(E)verything Obama does now -- or fails to do -- becomes an inescapable precedent for the future, defining the true meaning of law and moral principle. The president's rationale on government-led torture sounds dangerously close to the line of defense invoked by Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg. We were only following orders. CIA barbarians are invited to hide behind that excuse.

So in a sense are the bankers from Wall Street. They were merely doing what the financial markets wanted and what the government allowed. Rescuing these players now, while declining to force fundamental structural changes on the banking system, would essentially ratify the bankers' arrogant beliefs: "They are too important to fail. The government will never let it happen." Despite their destructive behavior, they will be allowed to remain in power and free to do it all again.

I do not doubt the president's good intentions, but if he is not vigilant, the "Obama precedent" could prove to be an ugly legacy. His name might someday be linked to wilful evasion of misdeeds and the degradation of law and moral principle. When great crimes are committed in the future by government or by powerful private interests, people in authority might decide to let them go by, citing the national interest and recalling how Barack Obama dealt with similar events.
He may not doubt the Good Intentions of the regime, or if he did, he would probably be constrained to disavow skepticism at this point. I am under no such constraints, and I am growing far more confirmed in my belief that Obama is a simple tool whose ambitions outstripped his ability, and who permitted himself to be swept into a position he's no fucking way qualified to fill.

Raygun DoJ Prosecuted Texas Sheriff For Waterboarding

The fucking Texas pigs--Cops CANNOT be, can NEVER be, trusted not to abuse their power-- used it to extract confessions (w3hich is the sole and only effective use of the procedure,unless it is to punish or terrorize the victim). And were convicted of crimes for it, in 1983!

The story is at ThePublicRecord blog, reported by Jason Leopold:
George W. Bush’s Justice Department said subjecting a person to the near-drowning of waterboarding was not a crime and didn’t even cause pain, but Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department thought otherwise, prosecuting a Texas sheriff and three deputies for using the practice to get confessions.

Federal prosecutors secured a 10-year sentence against the sheriff and four years in prison for the deputies. But that 1983 case – which would seem to be directly on point for a legal analysis on waterboarding two decades later – was never mentioned in the four Bush administration opinions released last week.

The failure to cite the earlier waterboarding case and a half-dozen other precedents that dealt with torture is reportedly one of the critical findings of a Justice Department watchdog report that legal sources say faults former Bush administration lawyers – Jay Bybee, John Yoo and Steven Bradbury – for violating “professional standards.”
Apart from some sophistry worthy of the Inquisitorial Jesuits, regarding the 'absence' of physical pain being enough to excuse the practice from torture, there is nothing much new in the report until:
At the trial of the Texas sheriff, Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Woodward said the prisoners who were subjected to waterboarding were not “model citizens” but they were still “victims” of torture.

“We make no bones about it. The victims of these crimes are criminals,” Woodward said, according to a copy of the trial transcript. One of the “victims” was Vernell Harkless, who was convicted of burglary in 1977.

Gregg Magee, a deputy sheriff who testified against Sheriff Parker and three of the deputies said he witnessed Harkless being handcuffed to a chair by Parker and then getting “the water treatment.”

“A towel was draped over his head,” Magee said, according to court documents. “He was pulled back in the chair and water was poured over the towel.”

Harkless said he thought he was “going to be strangled to death,” adding: “I couldn't breathe.”

One of the defendants, Deputy Floyd Allen Baker, said during the trial that he thought torture to be an immoral act but he was unaware that it was illegal. His attorneys cited the “Nuremberg defense,” that Baker was acting on orders from his superiors when he subjected prisoners to waterboarding.

That line of defense has come up in the current debate about whether CIA interrogators should be prosecuted for their roles in the torture of detainees. President Obama, CIA Director Leon Panetta and Attorney General Eric Holder have ruled out prosecuting CIA interrogators who acted on Justice Department legal advice.

Some other legal analysts have suggested that the ambiguity of the Bush administration’s decision process – in which CIA interrogators suggested the harsh tactics, national security officials, including Condoleezza Rice, concurred, and Justice Department lawyers gave their approval – would make getting 12 jurors to agree on a conviction difficult.

But the jury in the Baker’s case didn’t buy the “didn’t know it was illegal” defense, convicting the deputy on three counts of civil rights and constitutional violations related to the waterboarding.

Medicare For All: "Everybody In, Nobody Out!"

I listened to a stomach-turningly dishonest colloquy with Senator Max Baucus last night on NPR. Baucus declared he wouldn't "waste (his) time" fighting for universal care which had no political support. Of course, he's a lying sack of shit (Duh!). There is plenty of political (popular/populist) support. But the resistance from the entrenched, powerful, wealthy, corrupt, venal, parasitic health insurance industry is effectively unopposable, given the influence of FIRE on the re-election coffers of Congresscritters.

The feculent, reeking POS Baucus is taken care of, now and forever: neither he nor his family will never suffer the lack of health care--or much else, given that NOBODY has ever departed Congress broke. The bastard is just another gutless, feckless, reeking, useless, worthless piece of shit political coward. There are over 500 of them in Congress...

DOTOF™: Avedon's Sideshow, and Lambert/CorrenteWire, who says:
"So, we could be pragmatic and go with what works, or we could experiment with some cobbled-together Rube Goldberg public-private partnership thing, like the Village consultants and the lobbyists want, so the insurance companies can keep collecting fees for denying us care. Gee, let me take a minute to think..."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Now Showing In Iowa: FOR Marriage Equality

It's a pretty good ad.
I doubt it will persuade any of the Wackloon/Xian/Fucktard/Flying Monkeys.
Rational Iowans could take courage from it, however...

Panty-Sniffing, Opus Dei SCOTUS Joneses For Pubescent Girls' Underpants

This case and the SCROTUS responses to it are sooooo fucking sick and twisted. When I was in high-school, the chemistry teacher, a Christian Brother, used to hang around the restrooms, claiming he could detect illicit drug/alcohol use in the scent of the boys' urine. Apparently the charms of underwear sniffing are not lost on a significant and probably determinative number of members of the Court (you'd figger Clarence "Pubes" Thomas would be all over it, right?). Gary Farber, at Amygdala, reports:
This is entirely disgusting and outrageous.

The sainted Dahlia Lithwick reports:
[...] After today's argument, it's plain the court will overturn a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion finding a school's decision to strip-search a 13-year-old girl unconstitutional. That the school in question was looking for a prescription pill with the mind-altering force of a pair of Advil—and couldn't be bothered to call the child's mother first—hardly matters. [...]

And even if you were never a 13-year-old girl yourself, if you have a daughter or niece, you might see the humiliation in pulling a middle-school honor student with no history of disciplinary problems out of class, based on an uncorroborated tip that she was handing out prescription ibuprofen. You might think it traumatic that she was forced to strip down to her underclothes and pull her bra and underwear out and shake them in front of two female school employees. No drugs were found. [...]

Yet in recent years, the high court has slowly chipped away at the privacy rights of students—frequently based on the rationale that there were drugs!!! Somewhere in America!!! Drugs!!! Creating danger!!! (This led an annoyed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to dissent in a recent case that the court was peddling "nightmarish images of out-of-control flatware, livestock run amok, and colliding tubas" to justify drug tests for any student with a pulse. )
This is entirely in accord with the purposes of schooling (inculcating the spirit of unquestioning obedience, the reflex of unthinking compliance, and a dull ennui at the prospect of learning). In the "Tinker" case, in the '60s, Justice Abe Fortas remarked in his opinion that "freedom does not end at the school-house door." This noble sentiment has undergone significant reductions in the intervening 40 or so years, as the Courts have eroded students' rights, and amplified the totalitarian spirit of "Schooling" as it marched in lock-step with the "it's-ALL-"Abuse" crowd of censorious pricks prosecuting the War on Drugs for fun and profit. Blogger Farber gets it:
There are few things that have ever damaged America more than The War On Some Drugs.

Alcohol prohibition brought us the Mafia, gang wars, widespread disregard for the law, poison distributed as alcohol, and, oh, look, the War On Some Drugs has hurt us even more, warping our foreign policy, damaging our relations with the peoples of numerous countries around the world, empowering criminality of a scale and power the world has never seen, pointlessly criminalizing imprisoning, and ruining the lives of a huge proportion of of our population, including a wildly disproportionate percentage of the darker-skinned portion of the citizenry.

But thank goodness we're strip-searching children to keep them from dangerous over-the-counter analgesics.

Lithwick's apt concluding point:
[...] On the courthouse steps after argument today, Redding is asked what she'd have wanted the school to do differently. "Call my mom first," she says. You see, we now have school districts all around the country finding naked photos of teens and immediately calling in the police for possession of kiddie porn. Yet schools see nothing wrong with stripping these same kids naked to search for drugs. Evidently teenage nakedness is only a problem when the children choose to be naked. And the parents? They are always the last to know.

Keeping always in mind that schooling is not 'education,' strictu sensu, but an institution devoted to warehousing potential job competitors and for training them in the arts of corpoRat sycophancy--that is, knowing their place.

Would Religious Leaders Lie?

Does Ratzi, the Nazi ack-ack gunner, wear Prada? Are the polar bears drowning?

You betcher sweet ass!

As the House Judiciary Committee began the mark-up of HR 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, a measure to extend coverage to certain crimes committed because of a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, and also to increase assistance to state and local governments in fighting hate crimes, the usual array of bigots, haters, and hypocritical 'religious' asswipes are telling lies about the potential consequences, claiming the law would impede pastors' "ability" to condemn and denounce "faggots" from the pulpit...

No. Really! Via TheReligionClause, today:
The Advocate reports that Republican Congressmen opposed to passage of the bill offered a large number of amendments, all of which were defeated. One amendment proposed adding "unborn child" to the definition of those against whom Hate Crimes might be perpetrated. Another amendment proposed adding "pregnant women." Rep. Steve King of Iowa suggested changing the bill's name to the "Local Law Enforcement Thought Crimes Prevention Act of 2009."

Some Christian groups are again this year raising the spectre that the bill, if enacted, would infringe the right of Christian ministers to oppose homosexuality. For example, Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern, called the bill "a backdoor tool from the far left and radical homosexuals to shut down legitimate free speech from Christians and others who oppose their lifestyle." ICC argued that the federal aiding and abetting statute (18 USC 2) could allow prosecution of those "who teach that homosexual behavior is sinful and that Islam is a false religion." A release issued by Americans United this week counters the argument, saying:
The bill penalizes assault and physical violence, not speech. In fact, the legislation makes it clear that free speech is protected. Section 10 states, "Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution."
So these Religious leaders are are actually lying sacks of shit? What a surprise...

Anyone who would use the power of their pedagogical presence in the class room to "teach" "that homosexual behavior is sinful and that Islam is a false religion," probably should be banned from ANY classroom not operated by that fucktard/wackloon Fred Phelps, and expelled from any such position that such a person might now occupy...

Fuck God!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Make Him Do It": Some In Congress "Up" For Bipartisan Pressure For Drug Reform

I offer this as a coda to yesterday's sentiments, via OpenLeft:
by: David Sirota
Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 07:00
Speaking of drug policy reform, the Hill newspaper has this dispatch about the gradually growing pressure from Congress on the White House to get serious about drug policy reform:
A (small, but apparently) growing chorus of lawmakers is openly calling for the legalization of marijuana as a measure to stop the escalating violence along U.S.-Mexico border. The legislators who have (publicly) endorsed legalization are Reps. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), and Ron Paul (R-Texas)...

"There are a lot of people who understand that [the current war on drugs has been a failure], but they are afraid to politically say so," Rohrabacher said. "If it was a vote - a blind vote where nobody knew who was voting - you would have overwhelming support for legalizing marijuana out there, but they will never vote for it because they are afraid of taking on a controversial issue."
Between rising border violence and budget-busting prisons overcrowded with non-violent drug offenders, events (seem to be) creating circumstances to change the debate on marijuana policy, even if President Obama recently laughed off a question about marijuana legalization. Clearly, the persistent (and silly) "tough on crime" frame that HBO's David Simon ("The Wire") outlined continues (to) confine Democrats - but if there's enough bipartisan pressure from Congress and in state legislatures, the White House could be made to take steps it doesn't yet feel comfortable taking.
There are times when holding one's breath is appropriate ("...'ere!"), but this probably isn't one of them. The Prison/Industrial complex has tentacles everywhere, and they are powerful. Last year, the Prison Guards' union in California prevented the State Lege from scrapping the notorious "3-strikes" laws, for example. And with the metastasis of 'private' prisons across the country, there begins to be a Defense-Department-like dispersal of power throughout several/many state Congressional districts with countervailing economic interests.

That said, it can't happen a moment too soon (and may I say, I DETEST cops?):
GVSU Shooting Victim Charged With Felony
(April 21, 2009 9:30 AM, by Ed Brayton)

Derek Copp, the GVSU student who was accidentally shot in the chest by an Ottawa County sheriff's deputy, will be arraigned Wednesday on charges of selling a few marijuana joints to an undercover police officer. The Grand Rapids Press reports:
Information about the buys, including one from Copp on the day of the raid, is contained in an arrest warrant affidavit obtained today by The Press.

The affidavit shows an undercover officer assigned to the West Michigan Enforcement Team bought 3.3 grams of marijuana for $60 from Copp on March 11, the day of the shooting.
So the sheriff's department sent five armed officers to arrest a college student with no hint of violent tendencies. And even after a bullet ripped through his liver, broke a rib, punctured his lung and put him in the ICU, they still don't think he's suffered enough and want to make sure he faces up to four years in prison on a felony count of drug trafficking. For selling a few joints.

By the way, the officer who showed clear negligence in shooting him?
He only faces a misdemeanor. And given how reluctant juries are to convict any police officer of any crime, he likely will receive little or no punishment at all. I think we have our priorities just a bit screwed up.
No SHIT! I really detest cops.

Monday, April 20, 2009

On The Occasion Of His 63rd Natal Anniversary...

...Doctor "J," the "Tokin Librul" invites both (of) his readers and any passers-by to "Toke-Up, Mang"!!! Pass that kutchie...
Join me in celebrating the odd accident of the date (4/20) and the time (4:20 am, CST) of my delivery, with the etymological derivation of my family name, a cognate in its original form with the local word for cannabis (i.e., "hemp,") all of which circumstances have concatenated to result in the man you would now behold, were you beholding me now...Over there, on the left...(Photo: Forest Taber)

Happy Monkey, one and all!

(Note: You cannot FIND this recording for less than $50. Go Figger!)
Here's an idea!
Pass the Kutchie by The Mighty Diamonds

Ozomatli's on it!

Coda: If there is to be any hope of actually pacifying the Border, we GOTTA

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Textual Criticism: "We" Have ALWAYS "Tortured" Our Foes.

(Foto, courtesy of The New Yorker.)

It goes as far back as the Colonies. We, ourselves, perfected the Water Torture against the Filipinos on the so-called "spanish-American War."

But Princeton prof, Bernard Chazelle--as he so often does--at Jon Schwarz' indispensable, always readable, always literate blog, A Tiny Revolution, puts things in their proper perspective, calling attention to one of the Murkin Heroes of the cold war period, one Dan Mitrione who, upon his (timely) demise at the hands of insurgents in Paraguay, was praised and lionized by his bosses in the FBI, and who still stands as a paradigm and a paragon for Murka's positions on torture (he taught 'em).

After gently excoriating Obama for his transparent expedience in dismissing the possibility of bringing any CIA torturers to justice, Chazelle concludes:
"The US government has always tortured. Usually it's better at blaming someone else. Here's what a more honest, if less eloquent, president might have said:
“My fellow Americans, the last 50 years have been an uninterrupted sequence of dark, painful chapters. We institutionalized torture right after World War II and we exported it everywhere we could, from Vietnam to Greece to Iran to Latin America. We remember the Phoenix program; we remember the multibillion-dollar CIA torture project in the 50s; we remember El Mozote; we remember the CIA torture manual, KUBARK, and its wise recommendation, "The electric current should be known in advance"; we remember our training of SAVAK; we remember the School of the Americas; we remember our Salvadoran trainees who raped and killed nuns. The one thing we don't remember is if there were ever a time when we didn't teach and practice torture.

"The only difference this time is that top government lawyers were dumb enough to authorize this crap in writing. I promise to return to the good old days when torture was conducted in an environment of plausible deniability. And so I'm ordering a transfer of Gitmo prisoners to Bagram, an Afghan hellhole no one can locate on a map. I am banning all torture memos. Memos are bad. I solemnly swear that CIA personnel will be granted full immunity regarding all past, present, and future crimes. Let's close this dark, painful chapter, so we can open a brand-new dark, painful chapter -- so dark none of you will see it."

US Won't Attend UN Anti-Racism Conference

Via: ReligionClause blog:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

US Will Boycott Durban Review Conference

The State Department, in a press release issued yesterday, announced that it would boycott the United Nations Durban Review Conference being held in Geneva this week. This follows earlier withdrawal of the U.S. from pre-conference meetings and a statement that it would re-engage only if dramatic changes were made in the conference draft resolution. (See prior posting.) The Hudson Institute's Eye on the UN last week published a scathing report on the final draft of the review conference outcome document that continues to reflect the agenda of Islamic countries. CNN reports that the Congressional Black Caucus was dismayed at President Obama's decision and would have liked the U.S. to send a diverse delegation to the anti-racism conference.

I queried at the site whether it was only "Islamic" nations which characterized on-going, pervasive, violent Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing as 'racism.' The mod there filters the posts, so I don't know if it will eventually appear or not. Still, it seems to me to be a legitimate question.

As for the Black Caucus, I don't know what they're STILL worried about. Obama's president, and racism's over, finished, a dead issue, a whine by losers...


Saturday, April 18, 2009

We're ALL Serbians Now

Lawyer Jonathan Turley, on Rachel Maddow's show last Thursday--the day "thePrez" revealed the contents of the Bushevik OLC memos on torture--discusses the fine points of the apparently irreconcilable socio-criminal dissonances embedded in Obama's reluctance/refusal to pursue legal remedies against the war-crimes (mainly, but there are many other malfeasances) committed by the Busheviks.
TURLEY: Somehow, he's equating the enforcement of federal laws - that he took an oath to enforce, to uhold the constitution, and our laws - and he's equating that with an act of retribution in some sort of hissy fit or blame game. You know, it's not retribution to enforce criminal laws. But it is, is obstruction to revent that enforcement, and that's exactly what he's done thus far. He is trying to lay the groundwork to look principled when he's doing an utterly unprincipled thing. There's very few things worse for a president to do than to protect accused war criminals, and that's what we're talking about here.

President Obama himself has said that waterboarding is torture, and torture violates at least four treaties, it is considered a war crime. So the refusal to let it be investigated is to try to obstruct a war crime investigation. That puts us in the same category as Serbia and other countries that have refused to allow investigations to occur.

MADDOW: Can't a president actually decide who gets prosecuted for breaking a law and who doesn't?

TURLEY: Well, he's not supposed to....
I, of course, was and still remain one of those who warned stridently from the outset, and who ever since believes that the prospects of the Obamananistas bringing ANY kind of action against the Busheviks are about as remote as a team of grammar-school kickballers taking the Yankees in four game in the World Series next October: Nagahapun!

This is one instance in which the regime's vaunted pragmatism is on its brightest display. Because it would be the height of unpragmatic imprudence to pursue, much less to bring, charges of anythingat all--unless excessive zeal in pursuit of "freedom"-- against the departed regime. For this there are two, blindingly simple, utterly compelling reasons: 1) there is no precedent for it (though of course the alleged crimes of the Busheviks are wildly unprecedented, too), and 2) to do so would invite the GOPukes to begin now assembling the dossier with which they would delightedly pursue, persecute, and prosecute "thePrez" at the end of his own incumbency, in 4 (the more likely) or 8 (far less likely) years. There's a third reason it won't happen, too: the Dims, especially in intelligence/leadership, granted/dispensed either tacit or explicit approval to the practices and are therefore implicated in such crimes as would be uncovered. And that is an exquisitely pragmatic problem, too, as you can see.

If you needed a lesson in the power of what Foucault called "discursive practices," this would be an apt instance to study.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Dead Grateful To Obama

LOS ANGELES – He's still got a little work to do on the economy, but already President Barack Obama has accomplished at least one task that had appeared all but impossible just a year ago: He's put The Dead back on the road.

Okay, that's one.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Matter of Principle: How Real Political Courage Looks

Lifted, part and parcel from Jon Schwarz' blog, A Tiny Revolution

What A President With Genuine Courage Looks Like

By: John Caruso

Evo Morales just finished a 5-day hunger strike in support of a package of electoral reforms:
Bolivian President Evo Morales ended a five-day hunger strike today after the Bolivian Congress approved a new electoral law that will boost the voting power of his core constituency.

Morales had canceled a diplomatic visit to Cuba to maintain a vigil inside the presidential palace, where for almost a week he consumed only water and coca leaves, the raw ingredient in cocaine and a folk remedy used in Bolivia to suppress hunger. He slept on a bare mattress on the palace floor, surrounded by fasting union leaders who form part of his coalition party.

"The Bolivian people will never forget this revolutionary process," Morales, 49, said today in the presidential palace, moments after concluding the strike. In remarks on state television, Morales said he hoped the fast would strengthen Bolivians’ support for "profound economic, social and cultural changes."
(This was nothing new for Morales, who once fasted for 18 days when he was a union leader to protest coca eradication.)

The superficial similarities between Morales and Obama only serve to highlight the critical differences: Bolivia's president is a former union leader who draws directly on his experience to fight for his principles, whereas our erstwhile community-organizer president trades on his past to gain votes while actively betraying the principles he formerly espoused. To put it another way, Morales uses his power to further the goals of the popular movement that made him president, while Obama co-opts the power of the popular movement that made him president to undercut its goals.

Just for a moment, imagine what it would be like to have a president who actually possessed (positive) core, non-negotiable convictions, and for whom going on a hunger strike was well within the range of sacrifices they were willing to make to fight for those convictions. While you're at it, imagine what it would be like to have a populace that demanded this level of conviction in exchange for their support—and refused to settle for less. And finally, imagine how far short of those goals we could fall and still be light years beyond where we are today.

It's no surprise that we're constantly told the most we have a right to expect is tiny incremental steps toward positive change, but what's tragic is that so many people have not only accepted that but have internalized it as though it's some sort of immutable law of nature. They never seem to notice that those same restrictions don't apply to negative changes—like (say) massive restructuring of the entire system of world trade, radical financial deregulation, or the repurposing of a "defensive" military organization as a weapon of U.S. foreign policy, to name just a few. They end up excusing and rationalizing the most craven compromises (and even outright betrayals) with carefully-inculcated arguments about pragmatism and political feasibility and the need to lower their expectations.

As a great philosopher once said: you get what you settle for.
.To repeat, for the benefit of the cognitively disabled:
To put it another way, Morales uses his power to further the goals of the popular movement that made him president, while Obama co-opts the power of the popular movement that made him president to undercut its goals.
Couldn't have said it better myself...

ANOTHER "Great Idea Of The (Your Duration May Vary)"

Uniforms for Congresscritters bearing the Logos of their corpoRat sponsors? I got no problems with that: you get the primping, pompous pricks and pussies out of their $10,000 suits, and into uniforms. These would have the advantage of locating them both commercially and socially, as the servants of the interests whose images they bear.
March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Some people wear their hearts on their sleeve. Members of Congress should wear their sponsors on their chest.

This isn’t an original idea. About a month ago, a friend forwarded me a post that was making its way around the blogosphere at the speed of light:

“Members of Congress should be compelled to wear uniforms like Nascar drivers, so we could identify their corporate sponsors.”

Great idea. Just imagine what that would look like.

Senator Chris Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and ethically challenged head honcho at the Senate Banking Committee, files into a congressional hearing room, wields his gavel and calls the committee to order. The dress code is business casual: collared shirts, no jacket required.

Dodd is sporting a pink Lacoste shirt, with his “endorsements” emblazoned across his chest in large, black letters (the corporate logos go on the back):

Citigroup Inc. $428,294
United Technologies $380,550
Bear Stearns $347,350
American International Group $281,038
Deloitte & Touche $270,220

And that’s just a list of Dodd’s Top 5 lifetime contributors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The list goes on: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers.

You get the idea. Aside from United Technologies, based in Dodd’s home state, his major contributors all have business before the Banking Committee.

This is publicly available information, courtesy of CRP’s Web site. Aside from a handful of journalists, political junkies and those with an ax to grind, most people don’t spend their days combing through details of who gave how much to whom.

Which is why lawmakers should publicize their donors.
There follows a pretty much partisan screed against Dodd (who is no more or less corrupt, or co-opted, than any of the rest of the 534 Critters), and which would seem to have come, oh, about three years too late to have captured the equally egregious Puke offenders--Billy Tauzin comes to mind.

But the point is a fair one: The citizens (oh, I know, it's an anachronism--we're ALL "consumers" now) deserve to know to whom THEIR "representatives" are beholden, and I think it should be required when they enter the Chamber of the Congress that each and every one of them wear a (Puke Red/Dim Blue?) uniform bearing the corpoRat logos/badges of their owners. The author, one Carol Baum, a Bloomberg staffer, concludes quite sensibly, it seems to me:
Right to Know

The public has a right to know what sort of hanky-panky its elected representatives are up to. In order to fulfill our electoral responsibility, we have to make informed decisions about whether our congressman is doing the people’s business or catering to his corporate constituency. Without a handy list of sponsors, we can’t determine the extent to which money buys access, not to mention perks and tax benefits.

At a time when Congress is channeling public outrage at AIG for awarding $165 million of bonuses to its financial products group, lawmakers should appreciate how quickly mob outrage can ricochet back to them.

So why not do the right thing now and return AIG’s campaign contributions to the people? As it turns out, that idea is already resonating with the public.

A new poll by the O’Leary Report and Zogby International found that 73 percent of Americans think any members of Congress who received campaign contributions from AIG over the last two years should return the money.

Return on Investment

Why stop there? Lawmakers should fork over all campaign contributions received from TARP-taking banks. These institutions doled out $114 million in the past year for lobbying and campaign contributions, according to CRP. Add that to the $50 million in AIG bonuses already returned by recipients, and we could put this whole bonus kerfuffle to rest.

It turns out the $114 million was money well spent. It bought the banks $295.2 billion in TARP money, a return of more than 258,000 percent.

Who needs off-balance-sheet vehicles when the government can provide that kind of return on investment?
Seriously, folks: A lobbyist 'investing' $1 in the right Congresscritter at the right time can show returns up to as much as 258 THOUSAND%? What the FUCK?.

We, the Peeps, of course have no such clout. Let's level the playing field this much at least. So, c'mon, folks! Let's get with the program...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Good Idea of the Week: Local Laws Preventing Military Recruitment Of Minors

The military are of course challenging them, but it makes a world of sense, really. Amy Goodman's Democracy Now reported the story on Monday:
California Towns Fight Back Against Justice Department Suit to Overturn Youth Protection Act that Bars Military from Recruiting Minors
Last November, residents of Eureka and Arcata passed a ballot initiative known as the Youth Protection Act that bars the US government from trying to enlist youths under the age of eighteen in any branch of the US armed forces. But just days after the laws went into effect, the Justice Department filed a suit seeking to overturn them. The Justice Department’s civil action says the initiatives are invalid because they conflict with federal law. Both towns are refusing to cave. They’ve hired lawyers and filed counter-claims challenging the federal government’s action.


David Meserve, Member of the Stop Recruiting Kids coalition, which spearheaded the successful ballot measure banning military recruitment of minors in the towns of Arcata and Eureka. He is a former member of Arcata’s city council.

Sharon Adams, San Francisco-based attorney with the Stop Recruiting Kids coalition. She is a board member at large of the National Lawyers Guild Bay Area Chapter.
There's a rush transcript there, and links to listen to the interview. For what it's worth, I don't think I was emotionally mature enough when I enlisted at 18, in 1964, to accomodate or assimilate all the implications of what I was doing, though I did it and my parents weren't all that unhappy that I'd done it--I had been a bit of problem child...

And it freed up a car and a bedroom.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Palin Backs Away From KKK A.G. Nominee?

I guess it must be the very limited talent pool up there in Alaska, where everybody's running away from what they did or said somewhere or sometime else? according to Max Blumenthal
: The governor is reeling after nominating for attorney general a man who allegedly defended the right of men to rape their wives. Now, Max Blumenthal reports, she may dump him to save herself.

While priming her political machine for a likely 2012 presidential primary run, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has fomented a scandal that threatens to further erode her reputation in the Last Frontier. In March, Palin nominated Wayne Anthony Ross for attorney general. Ross, a colorful far-right lawyer and longtime Palin ally who sports his initials, W.A.R., on his Hummer’s vanity plates, was once considered a shoo-in for confirmation. However, his nomination was thrown into grave peril when his opponents presented evidence that he called homosexuals “degenerates,” leveled invective against an African-American student offended by a statue of a Klansman, vowed to undermine the sovereignty of Native American tribes, and allegedly defended men who rape their wives. According to two sources close to the confirmation hearings, Palin may ask Ross to withdraw before his appointment comes to a vote.
I gotta say, he sounds like a man's man, and an Alaska role model not far removed from John Wayne. I don't see how any of that can hurt him up there where men are men and the sheep flinch.
According to Burton, who detailed the allegations for me, Ross allegedly declared during a speech before a 1991 gathering of the “father’s rights” group Dads Against Discrimination, “If a guy can’t rape his wife, who’s he gonna rape?”
The logic is inescapable, as apparently is Ross's house, if you want to leave unmolested...
Palin’s hopes for a swift confirmation process were dashed April 10 when Leah Burton, a veteran lobbyist on children’s issues and domestic violence, submitted a letter to the Alaska State Judiciary Committee claiming that Ross publicly defended spousal rape. According to Burton, who detailed the allegations for me, Ross allegedly declared during a speech before a 1991 gathering of the “father’s rights” group Dads Against Discrimination, “If a guy can’t rape his wife, who’s he gonna rape?” (In a subsequent letter, Ross denied the remark and claimed, “I don’t talk like that!”)
Yeah, we know Wayne, and anyway, if you did say it after all, you were quoted out of context.

My favorite Alaska joke:
A newby comes in country, and goes to his local bar the first night. Chats up the locals, trying to get into the communtiy, but the folks mainly ignore him. Eventually he asks: "Hey, what's a guy gotta do to be accepted here?"

The bar-tender replies: "First, you gotta finish a quart of bug-juice in less than 10 minutes. Then you gotta wrestle a polar bear, and then screw an Eskimo."

The guy says: "No sweat," grabs a quart of bug-juice, chugs it and staggers out into the night. Nobody thinks much about it til about 6 hours later the dude staggers back into the bar, and he's a mess: one eye is hanging by a thread, he's cut and scratched, and chewed, and bleeding from a hundred cuts. But he's game. "Now, goddam it, where's that Eskimo you want me to wrestle?"

What Do You Do With Such Things? You Kill Civilians, Of Course

How can you not? It's what we do and, sadly, we do it very well: the numbers speak for themselves.
"Bombing Civilians: An American Tradition"
posted by lenin

Marilyn B Young, who has written well on imperialism and the global 'colour line', has co-edited a new book on the history of American bombing. This is an excerpt from the book:
Airpower embodies American technology at its most dashing. At regular intervals, the air force and allied technocrats claim that innovations in air technology herald an entirely new age of warfare. Korea and Vietnam were, so to speak, living laboratories for the development of new weapons: the 1,200-pound radio-guided Tarzon bomb (featured in Korean-era Movietone newsreels); white-phosphorous-enhanced napalm; cluster bombs (CBUs) carrying up to 700 bomblets, each bomblet containing 200 to 300 tiny steel balls or fiberglass fl├ęchettes; delayed-fuse cluster bombs; airburst cluster bombs; toxic defoliants; varieties of nerve gas; sets of six B 52s, operating at altitudes too high to be heard on the ground, capable of delivering up to thirty tons of explosives each. A usual mission consisted of six planes in formation, which together could devastate an area one half mile wide by three miles long. Older technologies were retrofitted: slow cargo planes (“Puff the Magic Dragon”) equipped with rapid-fire machine guns capable of firing 6,000 rounds a minute; World War I– era Skyraiders, carrying bomb loads of 7,500 pounds and fitted with four 20-millimeter cannon that together fired over 2,000 rounds per minute.

The statistics stun; they also provide distance. They are impossible to take in, as abstract as the planning responsible for producing them. In Korea over a three-year period, U.S./UN forces flew 1,040,708 sorties and dropped 386,037 tons of bombs and 32,357 tons of napalm. If one counts all types of airborne ordnance, including rockets and machine-gun ammunition, the total tonnage comes to 698,000. Throughout World War II, in all sectors, the United States dropped 2 million tons of bombs; for Indochina the total figure is 8 million tons, with an explosive power equivalent to 640 Hiroshima-size bombs. Three million tons were dropped on Laos, exceeding the total for Germany and Japan by both the U.S. and Great Britain. For nine years, an average of one planeload of bombs fell on Laos every eight minutes. In addition, 150,000 acres of forest were destroyed through the chemical warfare known as defoliation. For South Vietnam, the figure is 19 million gallons of defoliant dropped on an area comprising 20 percent of South Vietnam—some 6 million acres. In an even briefer period, between 1969 and 1973, 539,129 tons of bombs were dropped in Cambodia, largely by B-52s, of which 257,465 tons fell in the last six months of the war (as compared to 160,771 tons on Japan from 1942–1945). The estimated toll of the dead, the majority civilian, is equally difficult to absorb: 2 to 3 million in Korea; 2 to 4 million in Vietnam.
We could, one supposes, deny it; like we deny evolution and the global anthropogenic climate derangement, for all of which there seems to be incontrovertible evidence...Yeah, that's the ticket. She's one of them "blame Murka Fursters." Yeah...

Monday, April 13, 2009

"Today there is much focus on our rights ... I think there is a proliferation of rights.”

Guess who is the author of those deathless sentiments, expressed recently to a gathering ofs school-children?

Wanna clue? (Okay, the illustration's a give-away)

He's a high Government Official in the USer system.

He's in an appointed position.

He's a 'judge.'

And he's got a thing for pubic hair.

Yes! You got it! Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence ("Unca") Thomas, who
...turned up in a Washington ballroom the other night to respond to questions from the winners of a high school essay contest. His answers and the remarks that preceded them provided a revealing (how about "terrifying," or "ghastly," or "reprehensible," considering the person expressing them is a member of the US Supreme Court? W) look at Justice Thomas’s worldview these days.

He talked about his own school days, reminiscing fondly about seeing “a flag and a crucifix in each classroom.” He talked about his burdens and his dark moods and about seeking inspiration in speeches and movies. And though the dinner was sponsored by the Bill of Rights Institute, he admitted to an uneasy relationship with the whole idea of rights.
Yeah, the nun's whacking him on the head and hands seem to have had their desired effect: He's a firm member of the SCOPUS Dei wing of the Court. His remarks in the following exchange only highlight how utterly and completely unqualified he STILL is for the position he holds:
The questions from students were read to Justice Thomas, and the first one seemed to throw him off. “Since the Civil War, what has changed the way Americans view the Constitution the most and why?” an unidentified student asked.

Justice Thomas gave a rambling response, touching on the Fourteenth Amendment, the rights of freed slaves, the application of parts of the Bill of Rights to the states and Justice John Marshall Harlan’s dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson, the 1896 Supreme Court decision that endorsed the doctrine of “separate but equal.”

“I’m sure there are other things that have happened,” he said, wrapping up his answer. “So I would have to say just off the top of my head the Fourteenth Amendment. And I bet you someone’s going to hear that and say, well, no, it’s the dormant commerce clause or something.”

That was a curious aside. Few Americans could name the the dormant commerce clause, and it has no obvious connection to how popular views of the Constitution changed after the Civil War. “This job is easy for people who’ve never done it,” Justice Thomas said later. “What I have found in this job is they know more about it than I do, especially if they have the title, law professor.”
You'll have noted Unca Thomas didn't say there was "too much" attention paid to rights; the "too" was tacit, though, and clearly audible in the context of the remarks.

What the United States needs now is a bunch of sexually repressed women smacking us about the head and hands to re-invigorate virtue: Domine, domine, domine, yer ALL Catholics now! Jaysus, what a fucking loser...

P.S.: I'd agree that the 14th Amendment was crucial to the post-Civil War era development of the civil state. But I'd also bet that Unca Thomas would decide AGAINST gay marriage as a 14th Amendment ("Equal Protection" clause) as a "right" protected by the Constitution.

. Anybody wanna bet?

Why Is The Chamber Of Commerce Getting Bail-Out Money?

I mean, it's nothing more than a large and well-funded lobbying group for the minions, satraps, and lickspittles of the elites...

OpenLeft (where I am now regarded, in some quarters, as dismissably "smug') has a piece today connecting the dots that link Chambers of Commerce using 'stimulus' money to their fighting against EFCA.Herewith:
Is the Chamber of Commerce Using Bailout Money to Attack Workers?
by: AdamGreen
Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 00:20

2 + 2 = 4. So, what do these two excepts add up to?

Monday's Wall Street Journal reports
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching a $1 million television advertising campaign that takes a new line of attack against the Employee Free Choice Act...The new Chamber ads will hit the airwaves in Nebraska, Virginia, Louisiana, North Dakota and Colorado -- states whose senators could be swing votes on the issue.
In January, The Huffington Post's Sam Stein broke this news:
Three days after receiving $25 billion in federal bailout funds, Bank of America Corp. hosted a conference call with conservative activists and business officials to organize opposition to the U.S. labor community's top legislative priority.

Participants on the October 17 call -- including at least one representative from another bailout recipient, AIG -- were urged to persuade their clients to send "large contributions" to groups working against the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), as well as to vulnerable Senate Republicans, who could help block passage of the bill.
There's a natural question for taxpayers to ask: Is the Chamber of Commerce using bailout money to attack workers?

There are two things you can do right now to take action:

1) Join the Facebook group: "Petition: Chamber of Commerce Shouldn't Use Bailout Money to Attack Workers." (If not on Facebook, sign the petition here.)

2) Email top Chamber execs. Ask them if the Chamber is rejecting money from bailout recipients so that taxpayer funds aren't used on these ads.
Chamber President Tom Donohue:

Executive Vice President David C. Chavern:

Executive Vice President Bruce Josten:

Share what your email said on the Facebook group wall.
In fact there is at LEAST one other question that could be asked: What the FUCK Is the Chamber of Commerce doing getting economic stimulus funds? Why aren't there controls on how they spend such tax-payer relief?

And where are the fucking pitchforks and torches?

Friday, April 10, 2009

*N-CHEAT"! Holder DoJ Won't Seek To Overturn Siegelman Conviction

Via OldAmerican Century:
Holder Not Reviewing Siegelman Prosecution
By Keith Perine | April 9, 2009 4:03 PM

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is moving to revamp Justice Department procedures in the wake of the prosecutorial debacle in the Ted Stevens case. But Holder said today that he is not reviewing the Justice Department's prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Donald Siegelman on corruption charges, nor other corruption cases involving Alaskan officials.

The House Judiciary Committee has been probing allegations that the Siegelman case was politically motivated by the Bush administration. Siegelman, a Democrat, was convicted in 2006.

"I don't have any reviews under way at this point, but I always want to ensure that the Justice Department acts in a way that is consistent with the long tradition of this great department," Holder said.

Holder, who has been sounding out attorneys throughout the department's Criminal Division, is preparing to announce some changes in the department's procedures for such prosecutions, however.
Dare one speculate that the reason that Siegelman's prosecution is unassailable is that it convicted a Democrat, and Holder--the corpoRat tool of the Obamanistas--is too gutless to take on the Pukes over a matter that might be "divisive?"

Meanwhile, the fucker's pursuing prosecutions against California medical marijuana dispensers, even though "thePrez" forswore such actions during the Campaign, iirc. He's not doing it without permission/encouragement from the TOP top...

N-CHEAT: Nobody Could Have Ever Anticipated This...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Fifth Horseman? Peak Oil

Appearing under the rubric "Clusterfuck Nation," James Kunstler has unburdened himself of some dire premonitions. This is (more) sobering speculation on the terrifying possibilities that the incipient (or impending) collapse of cooperative world civilization under the burden of the sudden removal of cheap energy from petroleum from the economic equation.

Though Mr. Kunstler is not by any means the first to tread this path, his rhetorical boots echo ominously on the trail ahead. (DOTOF™:Station Charon/EdEncho)...The money quotes:
The banking fiasco has introduced so much noise into the system that world leadership can't think straight.

What they're missing is real simple: peak oil means no more ability to service debt at all levels, personal, corporate, and government. End of story. All the other exertions being performed in opposition to this basic fact-of-life amount to a spastic soft-shoe performed before a smokescreen concealing a world of hurt. If the "quantitative easing" (money creation) and fiscal legerdemain (TARPs, TARFs, et cetera) happen to jack up the "velocity" of the new funny-money, and the world resumes its previous level of oil use, the price of oil would rise again -- this time astronomically because the previous crash of oil prices crushed the development of new oil projects to offset depletion -- and the global economy will crash again.

Only the next phase of the disease is liable to move beyond the financial and into the social and political realms. Disorder of various kinds will rule -- toppled governments, civil unrest, international tension and conflict.
By this and many other analyses, we've likely have passed a critical horizon. "When the first brick goes through the first window, all bets are off."
President Obama will have to starkly change his current game plan if this outcome is to be avoided. I think he's capable of turning off the mob -- of preventing the grasshoppers from turning into ravening locusts -- but it may take an extraordinary exercise in authority to do it, such as the true (not pretend) nationalization of the big banks, engineering the exit of Ben Bernanke from the Federal Reserve, sucking up the ignominy of having to replace failed regulator Tim Geithner in the Treasury Department, and calling out the dogs on the swindlers who had the gall to play their country for a sucker.

The standard of living in America has got to come way down. We mortgaged our future and the future has now begun. Tough noogies for us. But the broad public won't accept the reality of this as long as the grandees of finance and their myrmidons appear to still enjoy the high life. They've got to be brought down hard, perhaps even disgraced and humiliated in the courts, and certainly parted from some of their fortunes -- if only in lawyer's fees. (Maybe) Mr. Obama pretty much served notice to this effect last week, telling a delegation of bankers in the White House that he was the only thing standing between them and "the pitchforks." It's possible he understands the situation.
It is also possible that, though he understands the situation, he's willing to turn the wrath of the STATE against its citizens in the interests of its OWNERS.

Me? I wouldn't bet a paper dollar against that...

A "No Nguyen" Situation: Fukayomama!

The Tubez today are humming with news that yet another Texas official has revealed depths of stupidity, insensitivity, and racism normally thought well beyond the scope of normal USer stupidity, insensitivity, and racism, with reports that one Ms. Betty Brown, of Terrel TX, trailer-trash Browns, and a Republican (!) member of the State Lege, recommended in testimony yesterday that immigrants--especially Asians--should change their names when the immigrate so as not to cause any undue difficulty or linguistic/pronunciation embarrassment to mono-lingual USers with whom they would share citizenship.

No, really. Via C&L and the Houston Chronicle (but it was everywhere; since the Chimperor, understandably, nobody can turn down a "dumb-ass-Texan story anymore:
A North Texas legislator during House testimony on voter identification legislation said Asian-descent voters should adopt names that are “easier for Americans to deal with.”

The comments caused the Texas Democratic Party on Wednesday to demand an apology from state Rep. Betty Brown, R-Terrell. But a spokesman for Brown said her comments were only an attempt to overcome problems with identifying Asian names for voting purposes.

The exchange occurred late Tuesday as the House Elections Committee heard testimony from Ramey Ko, a representative of the Organization of Chinese Americans.
"Ko"? Yeah, that's a hard one. Roh's really tough, cuz in Korea it's said "Noh." But I doubt the gringo lady from suburban Houston would know or even care about that. "They have it so much better here," as one of her neighbors once remarked, imperiously, on the plights of those fleeing Hurricane Katrina.

And who noticed the difference, rhetorically, between "Asians" with funny/difficult names, and (presumably "good") "Americans" (presumably those with 'normal names')? Oh, GOOD on ya!

It's all very innocent, of course. Ms. Brown was merely harkening back to the good old days, when arriving immigrants at Ellis Island (probably Galveston, too) were shriven of their ethnic names arbitrarily, if the Immigration officials were puzzled as to how some concatenation of Eastern or Southern European syllables should be spelled or pronounced. The inspectors were, you might sat, the first practical exponents of 'Hukt awn fonix" as a tool of control.

And Texas? Well, perhaps the less said the better...Here in New Mexico, we bewail our fate: "Poor New Mexico! So far from Heaven! So close to Texas..."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Say "NO!" To Abstinence

It ain't often a person gets to write a headline like that...

without an excess of irony, yet so gratifyingly...

Especially in a good cause.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

...When He's Bad, He's Horrid...

It's not only I who's noticed, either.

I made a list:
  • Obama's wrong on the banksters...And put particularly rapacious foxes in charge of the regimes financial henhouses.

  • And he's wrong on unions...Extorting more concessions as the price of their jobs, and backing off EFCA.

  • And he's wrong on health care...Feeding the parasites in the health insurance industry at the expense of people's health...

  • And he's wrong on Af/Pak...Predator drones are not the right kinds of emissaries if your seeking peace...

  • And he's wrong on Iraq...Rebranding doesn't mean 'withdrawing'...

  • And he's wrong on Iran...Where the US seems to be acting as Israel's client state...

  • And he's wrong on Israel...Ignoring the Israeli State's territorial ambitions...

  • And he's wrong on missile defenses in Europe...The Russians rightly regard the moves as provocative, even if the missiles aren't operational yet...

  • And he's wrong on domestic spying...His vote on the Telecom Liability bill last Congress is all you need to know

  • And he's wrong on 'state secrets'...Bush was wrong to invoke this to cover up malfeasance, and it's till wrong...

  • And he's wrong on the 'stimuli'...Too small, stunted, and delayed; Needed more MONEY, sooner...

  • And he's wrong on the Bushevik holdovers...There was a "Monica Goodling" in every branch, department, agency, and commission in the whole government...

  • And he's wrong on 'bi-partisanship'...You cannot 'negotiate' with anyone who's functional premises do not include 'good faith'...

  • And he's wrong on medicinal marijuana...A campaign pledge he's visibly reneged on, via his corporate lackey Holder...

  • And he's wrong on militarizing the border...Calling for more suppression, more surveillance, more boots on the ground...

  • And he's wrong on GMO/Frankenfoods...Though Michelle's organic garden is a nice gesture...,

  • And he's wrong on 'clean coal'...Which he supported duting the primaries and the campaign...

  • And he's wrong about NOT pursuing legal remedies against the Busheviks...Though his hesitance is, if anything, the MOST "pragmatic" decision he's made so far...

  • ...And I am certain there are a few more, maybe many more, I've overlooked, since the foregoing list is just off the top of my head...And it's worrisome, because if he can be so wrong about so many things so soon after taking office, well, it bodes ill for the future. It's not 90 days yet, and I can safely say that, from my perspective (read the blogs if you're in any doubt about it), he's way off-base on a LOT of serious issues. And it means he's been wrong about 'em all along, too...

    But, so I've gotta ask: Was the change we for which we were hoping just that Obama might be wrong about a whole new set of problems?

    Blog Against Theocracy, This Weekend!

    Nobody cares, really, to what insanities, illusions, delusions, craziness, or batshit nuttiness any one individual subscribes.

    That really is between the person and the (imaginary being under the bed of space) thing they worship.

    The issue, really, is that whatsoever millennialist/apocalyptic codswallop floats your personal theological boat, it is yours and yours alone, and that in no way implicates any right or privilege for you to spread your idiocies through the machineries of the State.

    The blogswarm gathers:
    Tengrain of Mock, Paper, Scissors, wrote the best concise description of this blogswarm last year:

    The theme [of the blogswarm], like always, is the Separation of Church and State — we are for it. But the variations on the theme are many...This is not a bashing of religion - peeps can believe what they choose, however they choose — but it is a reminder that the Government should keep out of religion, and Religion should keep out of the government.

    We have lots of logos this year or you are free to make your own. If you want me to include your logo on this site, email me; my addy is on the sidebar to the right.

    Here is how to participate in the blogswarm.

    1. Write a post in support of our United States Constitution, specifically regarding the separation of Church and State. You can write your post anytime, but the blogswarm takes place Easter Weekend, April 10-12. Your post will be linked at the Blog Against Theocracy website during and just after that weekend.

    If you have any writer's block on this, here are some great websites to get you started:

    First Freedom First

    Americans United for the Separation of Church and State

    The ACLU's religion page

    And I also love the blog Talk2Action.

    2. Send the URL of your post via this online form, and add any comments you would like to appear with your link. Make sure you provide the permalink to your post and not just your blog. I will receive your link and over Easter Weekend (and just after I'm sure) I will post these to the BAT website.

    3. Sit back and enjoy the hits, and know that Thomas Jefferson, Buddha, Mohammed, and Jesus his own self would be proud of you. (Yes, personally? I really believe that.)

    Thank you!


    Blue Gal

    Monday, April 6, 2009

    Frankenfood Up-Date: HR 875 Is World-Wide GMO Authorization Masquerading As "Food Safety" Bill

    And it spells disaster for bio-diversity. As I have mentioned before.

    It seems that the "new" regime is poised to take the biggest gamble of its and our life-times, opening the door for the "regulation" of plant-stocks by seed producers. This means GMO crops and prohibitions against storing seed, and criminal as well as civil penalties agains farmers, world-wide, who do not pacifically acquiesce to this monstrously stupid, incredibly greedy, monumentally destructive, obscenely short-sighted idea--which, amazingly, is being sold (spun? propagandized?) by the CorpoRats as noble, humane "altruism": feeding the hungry around the world. And ALL for the benefit of Obama's corpoRat masters at ADM, Cargill, and Monsanto.

    The following was in my in-box last week, and I almost missed it:
    HR 875 Is Not About Food Safety, It's About Genocide of Agricultural Biodiversity
    One of the most potentially dangerous bills we've ever heard of is trying to sneak its way through Congress right now, in the sheep's clothing of so-called "modernization" of food safety. HR 875 (text of bill) is a bill put up by Monsanto and other monolithic corporations trying to seize totalitarian control over all agriculture.

    It was introduced by Rosa DeLauro, whose husband WORKS for Monsanto, and is ultimately about one thing, defining ONLY their own GMO products as "safe". What makes the bill so dangerous is that it is heavy on penalties including prison time, while at the same time being incredibly vague about what would actually trigger those sanctions. HR 875 is nothing but a Trojan horse, with an invading army to be designated later, in the form of an bureaucratic administrator (most likely a corporate lobbyist shill) with draconian LAW MAKING POWER to make up their own definitions so that all competitors are either driven into bankruptcy or locked up.

    There are problems with food safety we can talk about, but HR 875 is not going to make us safer, any more than invading Iraq made us safer. It MUST be stopped.

    So in the midst of this attempted Panzer action by Monsanto, are we hearing about any of this in our propaganda based mainstream media? No, they distract our attention talking about Michelle Obama's adorable organic garden at the White House, as if she is making agricultural policy.

    But will that little White House garden end up as something like a diorama, a quaint reenactment of what farming used too be like when it was healthy, they way they would reenact Betsy Ross sewing the first American flag? Will they lull us into complacency while down the street Congress at the same time paves the way for breaking the back of every small farmer in the country, turning our entire agricultural system into a chemically overtreated, Genetically Mutated Organism (GMO) nightmare?
    Michelle Obama's "organic" WhiteHouse garden has already been criticized by the ag Chemical/pest killer industry for NOT using poisons, as if she were somehow to be blamed for wanting her children's produce not to be fouled with noxious toxins.

    ...conventional farming advocates were unconcerned about First Lady Laura Bush's insistence that White House chefs cook with organic food. Former executive chef Walter Scheib wrote that Mrs. Bush was "adamant that in ALL CASES if an organic product was available it was to be used in place of a non-organic product." It's fine for the Bushes to be closet organic eaters, but very different for the Obamas to promote growing food without pesticides or herbicides. I think Americans will be surprised by how much one organic garden can produce.