Saturday, February 11, 2006


We Do Not Torture People - IV
Originally uploaded by xylonets.
"In Plato's Timaeus, God does not create the universe, as does the Christian God; He simply finds it one day. It is in a state of total chaos. God sets to work to transform the chaos into order. That idea appeals to me, and I have adapted it to fit my own intellectual needs: What if our universe started out as not quite real, a sort of illusion, as the Hindu religion teaches, and God, out of love and kindness for us, is slowly transmuting it, slowly and secretly, into something real?"

"During the Middle Ages, a curious theory arose, which I will now present to you for what it is worth. It is the theory that the Evil One -- Satan -- is the "Ape of God." That he creates spurious imitations of creation, of God's authentic creation, and then interpolates them for that authentic creation. . . . Are we to believe that we are occluded, that we are deceived, that it is not 1978 but A.D. 50... and Satan has spun a counterfeit reality to wither our faith in the return of Christ?"

-- Philip K. Dick

I think PKD has just provided a Cosmology of The Chimp. Suddenly things make a lot more sense...

Of course this would mean that Satan is just toying with us at this point. Making a Chimp the Maximum Leader? He's rubbing our noses in it. No need for sly tricks, Master of Lies, Fire and Brimstone, making deals for your soul yadda yadda. That is so 18th Century. He apparently doesn't even need our souls anymore, Hell must be full, so he's taken to just farting in our faces and laughing at us.

Although the possibility remains that we are already in Hell and he's trying to make this crystal clear by running the place himself. Six years ago he was thinking, "Fuck Modernity! What the christ do I have to do to get people to listen to me!? Become the goddamn President?"

And God? If You are really transmuting the Universe into something real: I've got about sixty years left here, tops, so anytime between now and then would be perfect, thanks. Don't want to ruin your two thousand year lunch break or anything. Just sayin'. A little Reality might be a nice change of pace. Y'know. Switch up a bit. Just for shits and giggles.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Notes from Hollyweird 

Britney “I think we should all, like, trust President Bush or whatev’” Spears will appear in an episode of “Will & Grace” (yes, it’s still on). The episode [will shoot Wednesday], and will air … well, who cares. Anyway, Brit, as I like to call her, was originally slated to play a christofascist. From ABC: “Jack’s fictional network, Out TV, is bought by a Christian TV network, leading to Spears contributing a cooking segment called ‘Cruci-fixin’s.’” Hilarity would have ensued, I’m sure, except … drama ensued instead!

Yes, friends, NBC execs – as a latte-sipping limousine liberal on set tells me – nixed the Christian angle. The execs had to put their foot down, they said, partly because of the “Book of Daniel” fiasco. Also, the execs stated that “Will & Grace” didn’t make fun of other groups, so it would be inappropriate to single out Christians. This Chardonnay-swillin’, brie-eatin’ member of the elite wonders if these execs have ever seen the show, which is predicated on poking fun at gays and Jews. Anyhoo, the writers, faced with a creative dilemma of epic proportions, invented an elegant solution: they decided to make Brit a hard-core conservative Republican. The insider told me the writers said, “‘Fine, we’ll just make all of the jokes about President Bush, then.’”

Score one for Hollyweird, bra!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

It's a Coprocopia! A Shit Utopia! 

I've debated posting in this fashion since its all stuff that is culled from other blogs and news sites that I expect you already read, no real "scoops" here. Thus I'm not quite sure I see the utility. However some of this stuff just seemed too good to risk escaping your attention.

Where to start?

We've now got good evidence from the Defense Department that the majority of the prisoners at Guantanamo are basically innocent. So it's a good thing that when they're hunger striking we see fit to tie them down and force feed them. Sifu Tweety over at The Poor Man pretty much nails it.

What do you do when everyone in the country thinks your program is full of shit? You slip it into the budget without telling them. Plans for privatizing Social Security were put into the latest budget unannounced.

And what do you do when you want to show the country you're serious about reforming a corrupt system? You put the most corrupt person in charge of the purse strings. Tom Delay has just secured a seat on the House Appropriations Committee.

The Minutemen were holding a rally on the West Lawn of the Capitol yesterday when recruiters from the US Nazi Party showed up in full uniform, swastika armbands and everything, and urged the Minutemen to cut the crap and just join the Party already. At least someone has the sense to call a spade a spade. (c'mon! That's funny right? right?)

Has anyone felt or noticed in the last couple weeks that the traditional media has been unusually whorish? It looked like we kinda had them on the ropes a bit even a month ago, but they seem to be pushing back harder than ever. The recent Chris Matthews nonsense being emblematic of the phenomenon. Have you ever wondered why this is? And as a side item, have you wondered why the Dems are so spineless? Well, Paul Craig Roberts has a theory:

We have reached a point where the Bush administration is determined to totally eclipse the people. Bewitched by neoconservatives and lustful for power, the Bush administration and the Republican Party are aligning themselves firmly against the American people. Their first victims, of course, were the true conservatives. Having eliminated internal opposition, the Bush administration is now using blackmail obtained through illegal spying on American citizens to silence the media and the opposition party.

Before flinching at my assertion of blackmail, ask yourself why President Bush refuses to obey the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The purpose of the FISA court is to ensure that administrations do not spy for partisan political reasons. The warrant requirement is to ensure that a panel of independent federal judges hears a legitimate reason for the spying, thus protecting a president from the temptation to abuse the powers of government. The only reason for the Bush administration to evade the court is that the Bush administration had no legitimate reasons for its spying. This should be obvious even to a naif.


The years of illegal spying have given the Bush administration power over the media and the opposition. Journalists and Democratic politicians don't want to have their adulterous affairs broadcast over television or to see their favorite online porn sites revealed in headlines in the local press with their names attached. Only people willing to risk such disclosures can stand up for the country.

It certainly would explain a lot.

Lastly, I'd like to reiterate my question from the comment section below. Can anyone tell me why and how the cartoon riots sprang up in the last two weeks? Its my understanding that the 'toons were originally published in September of '05. Why is all this happening now? Who is behind it? Leads? Theories? Explanations?

The Daily Shit-Nexus 

from the LA Times:

The Department of Homeland Security in May 2003 urged 18,000 local and state police departments to treat critics of the war on terror as potential terrorists, according to a confidential DHS memo made public in 2004.


The Transportation Security Administration is also extremely arbitrary in how it designates names for its "no-fly" list. There are an estimated 70,000 names in the registry — many of them stuck there for reasons that even the government cannot explain. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) were placed on the list. Everyone with the common name of "David Nelson" is treated like a would-be bomber — as are 4-year-old children unlucky enough to have a name matching one on the list.


And the Pentagon has its own catchall definitions of suspicious and/or terrorist-related behavior. Its "counterintelligence field activity" program, ostensibly set up to protect domestic military bases and personnel, has been covertly gathering information on Americans who have done nothing more suspicious than protest against the Iraq war, including at last year's antiwar rally at Hollywood and Vine. Names gathered in such fishnets are being added to a Pentagon database involving the "terrorism threat warning process," according to Newsweek.

AmCop poll 

Imagine for the moment that we lived in some futuristic fantasy utopian society in which we could choose or "elect" our rulers. Who would you rather see as the next King of America?

Glenn Greenwald


Russ Feingold

Because I can't decide who I like more.

Your imaginary "vote" will count double if you successfully take on the Greenwald Challenge. Distill his strategic ideas contained in the post linked above to 25 words or less. Your "vote" will count as ten if you can fit your rewrite onto a bumper sticker.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


It seems like everyone in the Western media has decided these wacked-out crazy Islamo-fascist anti-liberal riots about cartoons mean that Muslims are fucked in the head.

"West Beginning to See Wide Islamic Protests as Sign of Deep Gulf," reports today's New York Times.

In that story there is no mention whatsoever of the events reported in another story from the same newspaper, under the headline, "Olmert Says Israel Will Keep 3 Large West Bank Settlement Blocs."

The "Deep Gulf" story also doesn't have a lot to say about the big corpse pile-up over in the country formerly ruled by Saddam Hussein.

Does anyone want to engage in some tentative and wildly speculative conjectures about how all of this might perhaps fit together?

Footnote [by Blicero]: Robertson: Europe committing "racial suicide"; U.S. must defend shores against "the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre."

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

quote of the day 

Maybe the only time you'll ever find me quoting Henry Kissinger:

"[Members of the established order] find it nearly impossible to take at face value the assertion of the revolutionary power that it means to smash the existing framework. [They] therefore tend to begin by treating the revolutionary power as if its protestations were merely tactical; ...as if it were motivated by specific grievances to be assuaged by limited concessions. Those who warn against the danger in time are considered alarmists; those who counsel adaptation to circumstances are considered balanced and sane... But it is the essence of a revolutionary power... that it is willing, indeed eager, to push its principles to their ultimate conclusion."

Irony? Doom? Nothing? 

I for one find it deeply, deeply unsettling that 59% have confidence in the news media's truthfulness. I mean, it's obviously in spite of their best efforts that the news media's coverage of the unending sequence of Bush crimes and scandals has caused those inverse numbers on the administration's truthfulness. What do you all think the numbers mean (if anything)?

Vilsack = Shit-Sack 

Digby makes the following intelligent remarks about "prospective 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Tom Vilsack," who recently said about the illegal wiretaps, "If the president broke the law, that's unacceptable. But I think it's debateable whether he did....And I think Democrats are falling into a very, very large political trap," he said. "Democrats are not going to win elections until they can reassure people they are going to keep them safe."

There are many things about this statement that are bullshit. I don't have to lay them all out for you. But I would like to expound on one aspect of this statement that drives me crazy: it's a process answer.

A process answer is saying what "we should say" instead of just saying it. Nothing drives me more nuts than a politician who talks process instead of engaging voters directly. In this instance it's a backstab equal to anything one of those run-at-the-mouth strategists says to the NY Times to boost his cool factor among the mediatarts. He's positioning hemself as a "reasonable" centrist on national security, but he clearly has nothing to offer on the subject at hand so he just talks about what "we should be doing" [i.e., what "we Democrats should be saying"]


If they think that we should be tougher on national security, they shouldn't say "we can't win elections until we reassure people that we can keep them safe." They should say, "here's how we'll keep you safe..." If Vilsack really thinks that Democrats will lose if we don't support unconstitutional domestic spying programs then he should just say, "I think the program is probably legal and I support it." A winning message is a winning messsage, right? Why all the navel gazing?

Scroll down for an earlier Digby post which makes the obvious but important point that if the Watergate break-in was about bugging the Dems, and if Karl Rove is on the record as saying--repeatedly--that the only lesson to be learned from Watergate was that would-be Republican criminals should be careful when committing crimes, then one would have to be a really stupid idiot not to know that the Republicans are right now using the "terrorist surveillance program" to listen in on phone calls at the DNC and the Senate Democratic Caucus.

One of the commenters to Digby's post reminds us of the case of Manuel Miranda, the Bill Frist "staffer" who was fired for hacking into the computers of Democratic senators and stealing reams of memoranda.

As if the Republicans even needed to steal that crap, or to "surveil" their Democratic opponents. Even Wolf Blitzer knows in advance what the retarded Dems are going to say before they try to say it.

Fuck all of this.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

new blogs 

After a brief hiatus Arthur Silber is back online. If you haven't checked out his writing, I highly recommend it. He is currently running two blogs, Once Upon a Time... and The Sacred Moment.

There is an awesome post on the so-called Iran crisis up at Once Upon a Time... that is really worth looking into. His quandary:

So the question arises: what makes so many people, to be found in all parts of the political spectrum, so willing to fall for this kind of propaganda? Is there something in our general method and approach that makes us particularly susceptible to this kind of hysterical saber-rattling? Are we predisposed to find enemies -- not just your standard enemy, but "the biggest threat to the Republic" and "the largest threat" to the entire world -- when the actual enemy is significantly different in nature and magnitude from the nightmarish cartoon the propagandists offer us?

Also, there is an excellent new blog called Against the War on Terror that has a refreshing "thank god someone is saying it" take on the current insanity. From their "manifesto":

The war on terror is more than just another public policy. It is an attempt to make security the highest goal of American life. Our leaders have reduced politics to questions of mere survival, in which even the smallest risks are viewed as overriding threats to national existence. We at Against the War on Terror aim to challenge this view and the apparent need to eliminate fear itself. The preservation of bare life cannot and should not guide our political activity and dominate our public culture. We reject the very premise of the war on terror.

Since we are challenging the premise of the war on terror, and seek to develop a truly independent, alternative position, we will not accept the terms of debate as they exist, but rather intend to change them. Instead of beginning from the existing partisan divisions between the Bush administration and its left-liberal critics, we aim to situate the war on terror in relation to broader political trends in our society. Doing so will show that the real political dividing lines are not necessarily between ‘left’ and ‘right’, or ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’. The substance of the argument matters more than the formal label. We believe both the Bush administration and its left-liberal critics are guilty of using fear and pragmatism over principle. In fact, we are as concerned with the lack of principled argument amongst the opposition, as we are with the way the Bush administration uses its power. The most urgent political imperative, in our eyes, is to develop a coherent critique of the politics of fear and a consistent argument in favor of liberty.

The authors are holding a "teach-in" (why must they call it that?) on Saturday the 25th with guests Christian Parenti and Corey Robin. I'm planning on going and if anyone else is interested, let me know.

in Senate Committee Hearings no one can hear you scream 

In which John Negroponte, terrorist butcher scum, projects his internal psychoses onto his enemy so forcefully that his medulla oblongata erupts from his forehead, gives a spine-tingling shriek, and frantically slithers into the shadows:

"In Venezuela, President Chavez, if he wins reelection later this year, appears ready to use his control of the legislature and other institutions to continue to stifle the opposition, reduce press freedom, and entrench himself through measures that are technically legal, but which nonetheless constrict democracy. We expect Chavez to deepen his relationship with Castro (Venezuela provides roughly two-thirds of that island's oil needs on preferential credit terms). He also is seeking closer economic, military, and diplomatic ties with Iran and North Korea. Chavez has scaled back counter-narcotics cooperation with the US. Increased oil revenues have allowed Chavez to embark on an activist foreign policy in Latin America that includes providing oil at favorable repayment rates to gain allies, using newly created media outlets to generate support for his Bolivarian goals, and meddling in the internal affairs of his neighbors by backing particular candidates for elective office."

Moments later Negroponte's brainless cadaver collided with the Hearing Room floor with a moist thud, still mouthing the word "Chavez", as a salival bubble pink with blood encircled its lips, inflated ever imperceptibly with what remained of the fetid gas in its lungs.

Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kans.) promptly moved to adjourn. Committee members were last seen involved in heated debate over whether Chavez's qualifications were more deserving of appointment to the position of Speaker of the House or Secretary of State. An aide claims that Saxby "Saxby Chambliss" Chambliss (R- Ga.) abstained from the debate, calling its premise an insult and doggedly insisting that high office was not enough for the Venezuelan President and that only a Medal of Freedom would be sufficient to honor the man's peerless statecraft.

Preliminary forensic evidence suggests that it was during this extended recess that Negroponte's brain picked off each committee member one at a time, apparently through a devious strategy of luring them away from the group with small trails of pocket change from Energy lobbyists.

A large orange housecat and the body of Diane Feinstein (D-CA) are still missing. Capitol Police have indicated that they may have escaped danger by taking refuge in a Senate escape pod, one of which, logs show, was jettisoned shortly after the incident. The Senator's body should remain safe in hypersleep until nuclear Armageddon, at which point it will regain consciousness, plaintively lament, "if only I'd been human!", defecate on itself, and discorporate upon loss of cabin pressure.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has hinted that he may appoint a life-size marble statue of Major Alan 'Dutch' Schaeffer, his character in 1987's Predator film, to the vacant Senate seat until the next election. Observers hope that this may have a deterrent effect on vicious life-forms created by the dimension bending hypocrisy of future Select Committee witnessess.

Negroponte's brain remains at large and its whereabouts unknown. A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on rumors of wet, hissing and sucking sounds coming from inside the Iran Map Room which has been encased in an impenetrable layer of bilious goo since yesterday.


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