Friday, September 30, 2005

Karen Hughes blows up New York subway: kills 20 

Since the dawn of thought there have been great insoluble philosophic conundra: form/substance, existence/essence, The Holy Trinity, angels on the head of a pin, etc. Since the 2000 election we've been able to add one more to the list: Whether the Bushites are evil or extremely stupid. We may now have some evidence to tilt the balance firmly in one direction and settle this controversy once and for all.

Currently competing for Douglas Feith's title of "fucking stupidest guy on the face of the planet" is Karen Hughes. Karen as you know was Bush's chief election propagandist. She has now been tasked with propagandizing the entire Middle East because the people we've been killing and torturing are too dumb to understand that the people torturing and killing them are really very nice. It's a branding problem you see.

Branding is a very complex concept which many people go to school for years to learn how to do. You really have to have an MBA to understand it all. But perhaps a brief analogy would help the lay reader. Imagine that, say, Pepsi wasn't putting cola into Pepsi cans but was instead filling them with hydrochloric acid. People who bought the cans and drank the acid tended to have their insides disintegrate and die convulsively vomiting blood. Other people who had remained alive would think that Pepsi was maybe a little worse than Coke and probably wouldn't buy it. Pepsi loses popularity. Pepsi has what's known in the biz as a "branding problem". This must be solved by a technique known as "rebranding". In this example the best way to rebrand Pepsi would be to print a new colorful graphic on the can and instead of calling it "Pepsi" call it something else, something more positive, like "Pepsi Good". That way no one will ever imagine that it is the acid that is causing them such excruciating pain. After all it says "good" on the can, how could it be bad?

Mrs. Hughes is doing a similar thing with U.S. foreign policy:

This week, Hughes embarked on her first trip as undersecretary. Her initial statement resembled an elementary school presentation: "You might want to know why the countries. Egypt is, of course, the most populous Arab country... Saudi Arabia is our second stop; it's obviously an important place in Islam and the keeper of its two holiest sites ... Turkey is also a country that encompasses people of many different backgrounds and beliefs, and yet is proud of the saying that 'All are Turks'."


Hughes's simple, sincere and unadorned language reveals the administration's inner mind. Her ideas on terrorism and its solution are straightforward. "Terrorists," she said, "their policies force young people, other people's daughters and sons, to strap on bombs and blow themselves up." That is: somehow, magically, these evil-doers coerce the young to commit suicide. If only they would understand us, the tensions would dissolve.

"Many people around the world do not understand the important role that faith plays in Americans' lives," she said. When an Egyptian opposition leader inquired why Mr Bush mentions God in his speeches, Hughes asked him whether he was aware that "previous American presidents have also cited God, and that our constitution cites 'one nation under God'."

"Well, never mind," he said.

With these well-meaning arguments, Hughes has provided the exact proofs for Bin Laden's claims about American motives. "It is stunning to the extent Hughes is helping bin Laden," says Robert Pape, a University of Chicago political scientist who has conducted extensive research into the motives of suicide terrorists and is the author of Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism. "If you set out to help bin Laden," he says, "you could not have done it better than Hughes."
Pape's research debunks the view that suicide terrorism is the natural byproduct of Islamic fundamentalism or some "Islamo-fascist" ideological strain, independent of certain highly specific circumstances.

"Of the key conditions that lead to suicide terrorism in particular, there first must be the presence of foreign combat forces on the territory that the terrorists prize. The second condition is a religious difference between the combat forces and the local community. The religious difference matters in that it enables terrorist leaders to paint foreign forces as being driven by religious goals.

"If you read Osama's speeches, they begin with descriptions of the US occupation of the Arabian peninsula driven by our religious goals and that it is our religious purpose that must be confronted. That argument is incredibly powerful, not only to religious Muslims but also secular Muslims. Everything Hughes says makes their case."

To return to our analogy this would be as if Pepsi had actually made a can with a drab graphic with the new name "Pepsi Bad". Then people would have no choice but to think that the Pepsi acid was indeed liquefying their bowels and killing them. Obviously Karen doesn't know too much about branding even though she's head of branding in a major federal agency. Clearly Ms. Hughes needs to spend less time in church and more time in the boardroom.

Note, however, that she is not evil. If she was truly evil she would suggest that Pepsi put cola in their cans instead of acid. This idea is so obviously Hitlerian it needn't be discussed here.

John Roberts: Black Baby Abortionist 

I think Karl Rove instructed Bill Bennett to make those remarks. It distracts attention from the knowledge that every time Bush speaks he forcibly aborts black babies. What's the point of everyone claiming to be all offended, unless someone, perhaps Harry Reid, is willing to take an actual shit on the floor of the Senate as a response?

Roberts probably a criminal in addition to being an asshole and a closeted gay 

It is known that Roberts was appointed Chief Justice of the United States as payment for the services he provided the Bush campaign during the 2000 Florida recount. What exactly did he do for Bush (apart from the obvious--swallowing Bush's shit, submitting to rape, etc.)?

See this article for photographs strongly suggesting that John Roberts was among the mob that intimidated the Miami-Dade board of elections into cancelling their recount in 2000, thereby cancelling the future of the United States.

Would seeing these photos have changed the minds of the Democrats who voted for Roberts?

Remember when Bush got on national television after the Florida Supreme Court had ordered the state-wide recount, and declared that "it is the duty of the legislative branch to write the law, and it is the duty of the executive branch to interpret it"?

Funny. I wonder how John Roberts felt when he heard Bush say that. Did he feel like his judicial vocation was being dishonored? Oh, right, I forgot--at that time Roberts was just another two-bit political hack who probably had no thought of being Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Unless he knew, as I guess he probably must have, that there's no difference these days between judge, lobbyist, hack propagandist, marketer, advance-man, and hit-man.

Bush probably still doesn't know that "execute" can mean anything other than violently disposing of the retarded blacks and the other losers, like Karla Faye Tucker, who have infested the cells of Texas correctional facilities.

Republicans: objectively pro-gonorrhoea 

Study shows theocracies are miserable places to live:

RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.

According to the study, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems....

It compares the social peformance of relatively secular countries, such as Britain, with the US, where the majority believes in a creator rather than the theory of evolution....

The paper, published in the Journal of Religion and Society, a US academic journal, reports: “Many Americans agree that their churchgoing nation is an exceptional, God-blessed, shining city on the hill that stands as an impressive example for an increasingly sceptical world.

“In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies.

Of course if you don't believe in science this isn't likely to dull the shine on the city on the hill. Thus the controversy continues...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Blood-Painted Clowns 

Hunter at DailyKos has an absolutely first-rate rant in response to the recent fecal threats of fascist blogger Mark Noonan. In part:

Your party has set aflame the entire political landscape, and now, once burned, you warn sternly from the branches of a burnt-out tree about "playing with fire". You used the ashes of one of the great liberal cities of America, New York City, as war paint for your own sick, racist dreams. You shudder at a burning flag, yet are willing to snip-and-cut basic tenets of the Constitution as needed or convenient.

And now, you're outraged, not by any of the rest of it, not by anything that has come before, but because a few prominent Republican faces have -- shock of shocks -- been indicted in probes that have spanned years of investigation, and interrogation, and deposition. That, you say, represents the underpinnings of a civil war.

You poor, hollow, blood-painted clowns. Cheering the trials and failures of your country with the same pennants and giant foam hands that you wave at your favorite sports teams. Willing to accept the most outrageous of lies, if they are spoken from your favorite talking heads, and soothe your own notions of America for you, and only for you.

And as for the audacity of Democrats speaking up during this process... the redfaced, flatulent fury with which you declare Republicans off-limits to that which you so gleefully hurl yourself...

Welcome to the world of the politics of personal destruction, you tubthumping, chin-jutting, Bush humping gits. Welcome to the nasty and partisan world that Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Hugh Hewitt, Grover Norquist, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, and a legion of insignificant lowest-rung toadies like yourselves nurtured into fruition daily with eager, grubby hands, and now look upon with dull-faced faux horror.

I know you hate me, and anyone else to dares disturb the thin strands of alternate reality in which George W. Bush is an intellectual giant, Saddam really was responsible for 9/11, the economy is getting better by the minute, and we capture the most very important members of al Qaeda on a weekly basis.

But here's some advice. You'd better start hating me more. This is the world you forged and, unfortunately for you, I'm beginning to take a fancy for it. Welcome to the politics of your own party, finally sprouting from the ground on which you planted the seeds and shat upon them.

Step back from the edge? You poor boy, asleep in the back of the car the whole trip, finally waking up and wondering where you're at.

Swift boats. Aluminum tubes. Niger uranium. "Mushroom clouds". Whitewater.

Vince Fucking Foster.

You can't even see the edge from here. You left it behind a hundred miles back.

So don't give me chest-thumping crap about civil wars, if your politicians are indicted. Don't give me visions of a lake of fire, if all those who find you loathsome refuse to suck at your teats of scientific ignorance in the name of religion, racism in the name of freedom, and corruption in the name of the New World Order.

Get used to the world you have created, and the stench your worshipped heroes have unleashed.

Great. Now, amid all the crowing on our side--crowing deserved and due a thousand times over--I still have a strange premonition that the following will happen:

The outcome of the 2006 midterm elections--preceded by months of talk about a tidal wave of 'throw the bums out' electoral revolt, the Dems' own 1994--will show either a deadlock or perhaps modest Democratic gains of a few seats. Rethugs will claim stunning victory. The media will explain that the "traditional definition of marriage" and terrorism concerns were the major factors on the voters' minds.

Can anyone speculate on why this might happen?

Guckert, Mehlman, Dreier, (Santorum, Roberts), et al 

Is this really the year fucking 2005? And the media can't/won't acknowledge what is happening here?

However, if the Republican-Majority-Leader-to-be was preempted because he was gay, that is real news. I haven't heard the commentary yet, but several people have reported to me that CNN's Wolf Blitzer stated that Dreier was blocked at the last moment because he was pro-choice, from Southern California, and had "other issues" -- the last part stated in a low and halting voice.

If true, what is that about, Wolf? If Dreier -- who is one of the most powerful and, frankly, capable members of House Republican leadership -- Chairman of the powerful Rules Committee -- was stopped from stepping into the indicted Tom DeLay's seat because he was gay -- can we finally get beyond the blogs and onto the pages of the New York Times and Washington Post about this real news?

Dreier was blocked because he has a long-term, loving relationship with someone of the same sex. This has been documented on many fronts and is widely known by members of Dreier's own caucus. If the reality of this blocked Dreier's ascension, then the news has a duty not to keep this matter hidden.

I'm pleased by Tom DeLay's fall from grace. But I'm irritated by the main stream media's complicity in hiding the bigotry that runs unchecked through a significant quarter of the Republican party.

"International Freedom Center" not to exist 

Not for the right reasons, maybe, but at least the fucker's gone.

The Freedom Center, picked for the memorial site by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, was envisioned as a living memorial in which the story of Sept. 11, 2001, would be told in the context of the worldwide struggle for freedom through the ages.

"In the context"...right. Oh well.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Davis: New Orleans murdered; Bush out for blood; supreme horror on the verge of revelatory eruption; life as we know it ending; get ready to die 

Mike Davis, the great urban historian and MacArthur fellow, on the murder of New Orleans.

And see Davis on the inconceivable and apparently inevitable horror that Bush and company (Archer-Daniels Midland, World Bank, Glaxo-Smith-Cline, etc.) have in store for us.


I assume you know about the new series of "problems" that has emerged in relation to American treatment of Iraqi prisoners and corpses. There is the Human Rights Watch report detailing systematic abuse of prisoners. And there is the online porn site that features sexual pornography and images (with enthusiastic commentary) of mutilated Iraqi corpses submitted to the site by American soldiers in Iraq. If you don't know about this, just visit AMERICAblog and feast your eyes. The Pentagon has declined to investigate the dissemination of these images. Anyway, Digby makes an important point about the relation between prisoner abuse and pornography:

'I am not a psychologist but I think it would be very surprising if combining these arousing sexual and violent images did not result in twisting some people's psyches. It cannot be healthy to get your thrills through deadly, bloody violence and sexual images in the same place, at the same time in the same way. The porn site is a "girlfriend and wife" site --- it's not professional porn stars. Those images of the naked girls next door are being given away for free to men who are posting pictures of mangled bodies of people they purport to hate with every fiber of their being. It is worlds colliding in a very dangerous way.

Sexual sado-masochism has been out there for millenia but it is highly ritualized fantasy. This is all too real. I have to think that it is problematic that people are getting so negatively and positively aroused by real death and gore at the same time.

There is something very disturbing about the images of sexual torture we've seen and heard about in this war, generally. The forced masturbation, the pyramids, the female interrogators and the fake menstrual blood, the constant nudity, all of it. Violence against prisoners in the new Human Rights Watch report is expressed as "fucking" instead of beating. Not "fucking up" or "fucking with" --- just plain "fucking" as in "I walking in and saw him fucking the prisoner." '

Caption Contest 

Go for it.

Children Celebrate 

It is an unusual charity brochure: a 13-page document, complete with pictures of fireworks and a golf course, that invites potential donors to give as much as $500,000 to spend time with Tom DeLay during the Republican convention in New York City next summer — and to have part of the money go to help abused and neglected children.

Mr. DeLay's charity, Celebrations for Children Inc., was set up in September and has no track record of work. Mr. DeLay is not a formal official of the charity, but its managers are Mr. DeLay's daughter, Dani DeLay Ferro; Craig Richardson, a longtime adviser; and Rob Jennings, a Republican fund-raiser. Mr. Richardson said the managers would be paid by the new charity.

"Biden noose" for sale 

The Washington Post reports:

'As fiscal hawks surrendered, would-be government contractors were meeting in the Hart Senate Office Building to figure out how to get a share of the money. A "Katrina Reconstruction Summit," hosted by Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) and sponsored by Halliburton, among others, brought some 200 lobbyists, corporate representatives and government staffers to a room overlooking the Capitol for a five-hour conference that included time for a "networking break" and advice on "opportunities for private sector involvement.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) sent his budget director, Bill Hoagland, who cautioned that federal Katrina spending might not exceed $100 billion. But John Clerici, from a law firm that helped sponsor the event, told the group that spending would "probably be larger" than $200 billion. "It's going to be spent in a fast and furious way," Clerici said.'

But in other news, it is now possible to get your own "Democrat wristband."


Any ideas as to why the Democrats aren't saying anything about the Federal looting in Iraq and New Orleans?

Any idea why I'm even wasting my time asking that question?

500+ drowned prisoners? 

From today's Democracy Now:

"A month after Hurricane Katrina, serious questions remain about the fate of hundreds of prisoners in New Orleans. Human Rights Watch says there are 517 unaccounted for, while prisoners and their lawyers say many were abandoned in the flooding jails. We'll speak with Human Rights Watch's researcher, as well as a man who was in the Orleans Parish Prison during the storm, and two lawyers fighting to discover what exactly happened inside the jails."

Follow the link for more.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Government Can't Help You...But Reality TV Can!! 

Laura Bush part of ‘Makeover’

BILOXI — Since the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina, the plight of South Mississippi has become a cause celebre, drawing a number of famous actors, politicians, sports figures and other high-profile personalities. And here's one more to add to the list.

First lady Laura Bush will participate in the filming of ABC’s popular television program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” today as part of a two-stop trip to Biloxi.

The program, which aired its season premiere Sunday, usually features “one very run-down house, a deserving family, (and) several opinionated designers” who pour seven days of their time into the project, according to an ABC Web site.
And while the material goods are important, it's also about importing hope, he said.

“This is also about making sure people know that we haven't forgotten them, that this country will not forget them. And that we're going to stick around, continue helping people get back on their feet. (Laura Bush) seems like a good person to help spread that message,” said Forman.

Insert joke 

Purported al Qaeda Newscast Debuts on Internet
Masked Anchorman Lauds Gaza Pullout, Iraq Attacks, Hurricane Katrina

ROME, Sept. 26 -- An Internet video newscast called the Voice of the Caliphate was broadcast for the first time on Monday, purporting to be a production of al Qaeda and featuring an anchorman who wore a black ski mask and an ammunition belt.

The anchorman, who said the report would appear once a week, presented news about the Gaza Strip and Iraq and expressed happiness about recent hurricanes in the United States. A copy of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, was placed by his right hand and a rifle affixed to a tripod was pointed at the camera.
The final segment was about Hurricane Katrina. "The whole Muslim world was filled with joy" at the disaster, the anchorman said. He went on to say that President Bush was "completely humiliated by his obvious incapacity to face the wrath of God, who battered New Orleans, city of homosexuals." Hurricane Ophelia's brush with North Carolina was also mentioned.


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