Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Back on Saturday 

I'm off to Pennsylvania to do some canvassing for James Clymer, Constitution Party candidate for the U.S. Senate.

"Tyrants censor; democracies self-censor."  

Check out this WaPo story before the story is pulled and the Post shut down by storm troopers:
A Wretched New Picture Of America
Photos From Iraq Prison Show We Are Our Own Worst Enemy

Among the corrosive lies a nation at war tells itself is that the glory -- the lofty goals announced beforehand, the victories, the liberation of the oppressed -- belongs to the country as a whole; but the failure -- the accidents, the uncounted civilian dead, the crimes and atrocities -- is always exceptional. Noble goals flow naturally from a noble people; the occasional act of barbarity is always the work of individuals, unaccountable, confusing and indigestible to the national conscience.

Moore Thing 

Disney Forbidding Distribution of Film That Criticizes Bush
I really don't see anything bad coming from this. It makes these people look like the idiots they are, and they just stirred up a wasp's nest of "liberal rage." More controversy, more good, when it comes to Moore.

The best part:
Mr. Moore's agent, Ari Emanuel, said Michael D. Eisner, Disney's chief executive, asked him last spring to pull out of the deal with Miramax. Mr. Emanuel said Mr. Eisner expressed particular concern that it would endanger tax breaks Disney receives for its theme park, hotels and other ventures in Florida, where Mr. Bush's brother, Jeb, is governor.

"Michael Eisner asked me not to sell this movie to Harvey Weinstein; that doesn't mean I listened to him," Mr. Emanuel said. "He definitely indicated there were tax incentives he was getting for the Disney corporation and that's why he didn't want me to sell it to Miramax. He didn't want a Disney company involved."

Disney executives deny that accusation, though they said their displeasure over the deal was made clear to Miramax and Mr. Emanuel.


Gore Launches Cable News Network

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - An investor group headed by former Vice President Al Gore said Tuesday it is buying a cable channel and launching a news network that will offer "irreverent and bold" programming for young adults.

The group is buying the Newsworld International channel from Vivendi Universal Entertainment for an undisclosed sum. The deal with Gore's company, INdTV Holdings, was announced during a cable industry convention in New Orleans.

Newsworld International is a 24-hour channel broadcasting international news produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. It is seen in about 17 million North American households, according to Vivendi.

Gore said the network will be "an independent voice in this industry" with a primary target audience of people between 18 and 34 "who want to learn about the world in a voice they recognize and a view they recognize as their own."

"This is not going to be a liberal network, a Democratic network or a political network," Gore said at a news conference.

The programming will continue to be provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corp., officials said.

"Pat isn't with God'' 

Tillman's youngest brother, Rich, wore a rumpled white T-shirt, no jacket, no tie, no collar, and immediately swore into the microphone. He hadn't written anything, he said, and with the starkest honesty, he asked mourners to hold their spiritual bromides.

"Pat isn't with God,'' he said. "He's f -- ing dead. He wasn't religious. So thank you for your thoughts, but he's f -- ing dead.''

What? This didn't happen for God, as well as country? A professional athlete turned soldier, and we're supposed to believe that he'd have no use for piety? Robbed of a cliche, where does that leave us?

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

"Viva Bush" 

Tuesday's bus tour, about 60 miles through western Ohio, actually includes two airplane flights — one from Detroit to Toledo and another from Toledo to Dayton. His first two stops — Maumee and Dayton — are in counties Al Gore won in 2000. The last two stops — Lebanon and Cincinnati — are in counties that Bush won easily.

Exchanging Air Force One for an eight-wheeler emblazoned with the slogan "Yes, America can," is one way to get his face before the voters. Supporters greeted him with campaign signs and stickers on their lapels that said "Viva Bush," but outside the recreation center, a demonstrator waved a sign that read "End the occupation."

Chilling Krugman 

Battlefield of Dreams

Much has been written about the damage done by foreign policy ideologues who ignored the realities of Iraq, imagining that they could use the country to prove the truth of their military and political doctrines. Less has been said about how dreams of making Iraq a showpiece for free trade, supply-side tax policy and privatization — dreams that were equally oblivious to the country's realities — undermined the chances for a successful transition to democracy.

Full story.

What We're Up Against 

M. Giuseppe Abote passes along:

A real letter from an actual American in this week's installment of "The Ethicist":
My wife and I are the parents of a profoundly retarded 24-year-old son. His cognitive abilities with respect to language are nonexistent. He has no conception of the meaning of ''to vote.'' This past election my wife took him into the voting booth and made his selections for him, without question in his best interest. According to Pennsylvania law, this is legal, but is it ethical?
Blicero adds:

Consider, if you will, the conclusion to "The Ethicist"'s response:
The essential question is this: Is the voter making a decision? In your son's case, the answer is no.
To me, the essentialler question is: Is the Diebold black-box voting mechanism making your retarded son's decision for him? In Ohio and Florida, the answer may be yes.

Republican Oratory: the Good Kind 

Actor Sam Waterston To Perform Famous Abraham Lincoln Speech
Wednesday, May 5, 2004, 6:30 p.m.
The Great Hall, 7 East 7th Street at 3rd Avenue
Free and open to the public

To celebrate the official publication of Harold Holzer's Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech that Made Abraham Lincoln President, award winning actor Sam Waterston will recreate the monumental speech that made Abraham Lincoln president in The Great Hall, where the address was originally delivered in 1860. The oration was an extraordinary historical and legal argument to halt the spread of slavery, transforming the backwoods orator overnight into a dignified statesman and legitimate presidential contender.


Monday, May 03, 2004


speakingcorpse writes:

An important scoop at Billmon's Whiskey Bar, made by one of his readers. Important because the prison torture scandal will soon be buried under a huge pile of glossy media excrement, which will suggest that the whole issue is an aberration, and was taken care of as soon as it was brought to light.

AmCop readers should note and remember the following: an internal army memorandum was written in February, detailing the nature of the alleged crimes, and recommending that one of our heroic democratic mercenaries, who had overseen and instigated the torture, be immediately removed, at the very least, from the democratized Abu Ghraib democracy facility. However, as of a few days ago, this mercenary (who heroically chose to sell his military prowess to the army of democracy) was still at the Abu Ghraib democracy facility, where he was overseeing democratic torture techniques and, in his spare time, hitting golf balls from the roof of the facility and over its walls, into the street of democratic Iraq. So he wasn't disciplined, or even reprimanded, for his work.

Read the whole post at Whiskey Bar, where there will be updates from the recently discovered diary of Joe Ryan, a torturer/democracy facilitator at the Abu Ghraib democracy facility.

Iraq Despair 

speakingcorpse writes:

It's all over in Iraq. We are powerless. We tried to occupy them without enough soldiers. We failed to provide security, and because we knew we were failing, we resorted to excessive violence. We turned the entire Saddam army loose onto the streets; we have now re-hired that army to rule Fallujah by proxy. We sold the Iraqi infrastructure in private auctions to corrupt American companies. We imposed an "interim" constitution that no major Iraqi political constituency could ever have supported. We ignored reasoned pleas for immediate elections. We installed a governing council filled with the unscrupulous money grubbing cronies of Richard Perle et al. We excluded the entire Iraqi professional class from rebuilding. We allowed a corrupt wastrel (Ahmed Chalabi) to supervise this process (de-Baathification). Members of his family are in positions of power across Iraq. His nephew, the employee of a right-wing settler of the West Bank, is running the trial of Saddam Hussein. We stigmatized as "terrorists" the many thousands of people of who were understandably disgusted with the racist ignorace of our occupation. Our soldiers, believing that the disgusted local population are nothing more than "terrorists," abuse their prisoners with impunity. It's too late to fire the American soldier heading Abu Ghraib prison (though we have had to do this). We let this abuse go on for months, and now it's too late. It's all too late. In fact, it was too late the moment the zombies running the Bush administration started bombing. Anything we eventually "achieve" in Iraq will be far worse than what we "fail" to achieve by ending the occupation now and offering the services of our soldiers to a UN peace-keeping force.

This won't happen for a while, and Kerry certainly can't advocate that it happen. But something like this will happen. In the meantime, there will be more dead bodies produced for David Brooks' necrophilic masturbatory fantasies.





"People whose skin color may not be the same as ours" 

Dawkins writes:

Good post by Josh Marshall on this thing the president said the other day:
There's a lot of people in the world who don't believe that people whose skin color may not be the same as ours can be free and self-govern. I reject that. I reject that strongly. I believe that people who practice the Muslim faith can self-govern. I believe that people whose skins aren't necessarily -- are a different color than white can self-govern.
Marshall says:
There is so much that is wrong-headed and dishonorable in this repeated invocation -- an implicit, churlish claim that the only reason to oppose him is racism -- that it is hard to know where to start.

This constant refrain does suggest a certain hyper-awareness and focus on skin color and perhaps limpieza de sangre. And what's the deal with 'our' skin color being white? I'm white. The president is white. But 'our' skin color is not white.
Or think of it this way: the President is essentially saying that if you oppose the war in Iraq, you are saying that those with dark skin (who are equivalent in his mind to "those who practice the Muslim faith") are unfit to govern, and that therefore you are a racist.

So, wait, the thousands and millions of Iraqis who oppose the war in Iraq, are they saying that they themselves are unfit to govern themselves, and that they feel that way because of their own dark skin, and that they are racists?

Whew, they're a lot more screwed up than anyone ever imagined.

speakingcorpse adds:

Another angle on this: aren't many anti-occupation people well aware that there are ALREADY many functioning democracies governing millions of dark-skinned peoples? Has Bush heard, say, of Brazil? Or the rest of South and Latin America? Or the Middle-Eastern countries that keep up at least a pretense of democracy, like Lebanon? Or Iran? (Not Middle-Eastern, but filled with brown-skinned adherents to the Muslim faith). What about India, the world's largest democracy, teeming with brown-skinned people?

I think that Bush is saying that until a country filled with brown-skinned people has been bombed and invaded, it cannot be a democracy, regardless of how the said brown-skinned people think they are being governed.

Also: I thought that there were a lot of brown-skinned people living in this country (a democracy?). Well it's good to know that Bush still hopes that Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell can be "democratized." He hasn't given up hope on them yet.

Sexy Brooks 

Licentious blacks and gays vote Democrat, whereas moral Latinos make good Repugs!

Dawkins writes:

From Brooks' column, which looks at the interesting findings on urban "sexual marketplaces" from a recent University of Chicago research study titled "The Sexual Organization of the City":

In a "struggling African-American community" called "Southtown," "there are more women than men" and "the men take advantage of their market power to become polygamous. At any moment, almost 40 percent of the men are maintaining long-term relationships with at least two sexual partners…. If men can have multiple partners, they have little incentive to limit themselves; marriage rates drop."

In the "largely Hispanic neighborhood the academics call Westside," on the other hand, "mores here are traditional."
Half of the men and three-quarters of the women believe it is wrong to have sex without love. People here are much more likely to meet future sexual partners in a family member's home, and much less likely to talk openly about sexually transmitted diseases.
Then in "Shoreland," "an affluent white neighborhood" with "a large gay and lesbian population," "sex is more likely to be impersonal."
About 43 percent of the gay men in Shoreland have had more than 60 partners…. A local softball league has become a place where lesbians can go to meet possible partners.
Interestingly, Brooks neglects to include findings from a related study conducted by the George Washington University on the "sexual marketplaces" found in some of the immediate suburbs of Washington, DC.

The authors of this study discovered, interestingly, that in a small suburban enclave they called "Brookstown," where the population draws heavily from the ranks of professional columnists, journalists, and other "elites," residents engage in a variety of quite-out-of-the-mainstream sexual practices.

For example, one representative male resident displayed striking necrophiliac-pedophiliac-masturbatory-coprophagiac sexual proclivities, shunning the romantic overtures of his wife in favor of a highly idiosyncratic fetishistic routine.

"David Brooks," as the authors named this particular subject, would collect large quantities of his own excrement, sculpt this waste into a life-size model likeness of himself as a child at age 5, then sodomize the sculpture through the anus, mouth and eye sockets, before decapitating it and devouring the sculpture's genitals.

Needless to say, "the churches and other moral authorities" in "Brookstown" have quite a hard time "keeping up" with this kind of behavior, and the acts practiced there bode quite poorly for the strength of the institution of marriage.

While the respondent "David Brooks" reported that his sexual ritual "correlates highly" with his own pleasure, the authors found that his wife, children, and readers of his regular column find this behavior to be "very worrying."

Hungry, Napalm-Drunk Caterpillar 

Unlike Bush, many soldiers evidently like to read books. This site helps you send them your old books.

A funny from McSweeney's 



"A cheap, content-free stunt" 

speakingcorpse writes:

Worried that the fascist Sinclair Group owns a lot of American television stations and has declared Nightline's memorial broadcast to be "politically motivated" and not worth airing? Well, don't worry. Fascists don't just own local television stations, they also own the Washington Post! Who else but fascists would hire the zombie corpse eater who wrote this column?

Blicero adds:

WaPo's Lisa de Moraes (who writes "The TV Column") calls the Nightline episode "a cheap, content-free stunt designed to tug at our heartstrings and bag a big number on the second night of the May ratings race."

Remember the Shock and Awe? One presumes that was an expensive, content-full stunt. (The content was the explosions, not the people killed. People are not "content.")

American Football 

Scats passes along this:
It works.
We blew the shit out of them.

We blew the shit right back up their own ass
And out their fucking ears.

It works.
We blew the shit out of them.
They suffocated in their own shit!

Praise the Lord for all good things.

We blew them into fucking shit.
They are eating it.

Praise the Lord for all good things.

We blew their balls into shards of dust,
Into shards of fucking dust.

We did it.

Now I want you to come over here and kiss me on the mouth.

-- Harold Pinter, ca. 1991


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