Saturday, August 20, 2005

President Shit Magnet: I hope Lance Armstrong stayed well clear... 

Or Bush had his training wheels on.

Anyhow, in a well-timed pre-Sabbath Day gasbag move, Bush, in a pathetic attempt to gain a little lustre by associating with real winner—and, no doubt, change the subject from the fact that the Army is planning for keeping troop strength in Iraq at current levels until 2009—broke his vacation schedule to go biking with seven-timeTour de France laureate Lance Armstrong.

[Excuse me a moment. My B.S.S. is spiking again. Where's that damn bucket?]

After all, Bush's history with bicycle riding is, well, about as good as his history with wars of choice. Remember the time Bush was riding too fast in the rain, and took out a cop? Remember the compulsive risk taking? Remember when Bush's flaks
blamed a spill on "wet, loose soil" in Crawford when it hadn't rained in a week?

I'll give 'em wet, loose, soil...

Of course, it would be too much to ask of AP's Judy Miller-Lite, Nedra Pickler, that she point out that President Shit Magnet's bike habit, as we document above, is subject to the usual relentless PR, bungling, and mendacity that we've come to expect from the WhiteWash House.

But before Our Nedra gets out her own kneepads and starts gobbling, can't she at least take a minute to make sure her stories make sense? And where were her editors on this one? Holed up under the same desk as Sulzberger, or what? Get a load of this:

It's not clear whether Lance Armstrong will have to abide by the standard rules for biking with President Bush when the two famously competitive Texans take their first ride together Saturday. The first rule: Don't pass the president.
(via AP)

Jeebus. "Famously competive"?!??!

Armstrong, now, is an actual winner. He stays in front of the pack because he's the best.

But Bush orders his subordinates not to pass him. In what way is that "competive"? Bush—and our Nedra—seem to confuse rigging the game with actually winning it. (Making such a distinction in 2006 might help AP with its election coverage, don't you think?)

In truth, the "No Pass Zone" that Bush has established around His Person is reminiscent of an Imperial court: Any courtier who values his head must never beat the Emperor at anything; the Emperor must always win. In what sense is that "competive"? Seems like one sign of a very weak ego, to me.

"Famously competitive," Nedra? Famously competitive, My Aunt Fanny.

Vote for Cindy Sheehan! 

Here, in her hometown paper.

Iraq clusterfuck: Yeah, you heard me. Clusterfuck 

A tip of the Ol' Corrente Hat to the man in the grey turtleneck for mainstreaming the word "clusterfuck" when applied to Bush's war of choice in Iraq.

Aside from being a fine example of the vivid and concrete language that Corrente, as part of its programme to bring American discourse to the next level of civility, promotes, the noun "clusterfuck" really is the term of art for our Iraqi predicament. The term originated in (where else) VietNam:

Marine slang -- A clusterfuck was any group of Marines big enough to draw enemy fire, or several Marines close enough together to be wounded by the same incoming round. More generically, a clusterfuck was something that was all screwed up, i.e. "That blocking operation was a giant clusterfuck!" Whenever three or more CAP Marines gathered in the open, talking or working on something, somebody was sure to call out "clusterfuck!" and one or more guys would walk away.

Clearly, Bush's war of choice in Iraq is "all screwed up"; that makes it a clusterfuck by definition. However, the term is even more a propos.

Tactically, Bush's war of choice in Iraq is a clusterfuck. The analogy to "Marines close enough together to be wounded by the same incoming round" is clear. In Vietnam, "in the open" meant being exposed in the rice paddies or jungles. In Iraq, "in the open" means (1) urban warfare where (2) troops (and contractors) must be supplied by trucks which (3) are not armored thereby making them vulnerable to (4)the "income rounds" of IEDs placed along the roadside. Nice work, Inerrant Boy. (And the resonance to the words of Matthew 18:19, "wherever two or three are gathered together," is heartbreaking.)

Strategically, Iraq is a clusterfuck, too. Look again at the definition: "close enough together to be wounded by the same incoming round." Well, if the "incoming round" is a loose nuke in a shipping container (back) Bush will have managed to clusterfuck not just 2000 soldiers in Iraq, not just tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, but one or another Blue major ports. (Not that such an object lesson of the unquenchable fire from heaven (back) purging the country of gays, non-Christians, ESLers, and Democrats would make our theocrat rulers anything but joyful.)

Paranoid scenario, you say? Tinfoil hat time? Seriously, does anyone think that a progression from small IEDs, to large IEDs, to missiles fired against ships in Jordan is going to stop there? Bush's war of choice has made Iraq a training ground (back) for these guys, worse than Afghanistan ever was (and OBL—remember him?—was blowback from Afghanistan).

That asshole has put all of us in the crosshairs...

Iraq clusterfuck: Troops at current levels through 2009? 

That General must be nuts. There's no way the Republicans would keep the troops in Iraq over two election cycles. They're goal is to get out, then hang the clusterfuck round the Democrats neck (the ol' "Stab in the back" theory, back that worked so well for the right in Germany in the '30s). Anyhow:

The Army is planning for the possibility of keeping the current number of soldiers in Iraq - well over 100,000 - for four more years, the Army's top general said Saturday.

In an Associated Press interview, Gen. Peter Schoomaker said the Army is prepared for the "worse case" in terms of the required level of troops in Iraq. He said the number could be adjusted lower if called for by slowing the force rotation or by shortening tours for soldiers.

Schoomaker said commanders in Iraq and others who are in the chain of command will decide how many troops will be needed next year and beyond. His responsibility is to provide them, trained and equipped.

About 138,000 U.S. troops, including about 25,000 Marines, are now in Iraq.

Schoomaker's comments come amid indications from Bush administration officials and commanders in Iraq that the size of the U.S. force may be scaled back next year if certain conditions are achieved.
(via AP)

Interesting, if true.

So, how long will it be until there's a "conscience clause" for I.D. pharmacists? 

See, we can't provide you with new, more powerful antibiotics, because that would imply that bacteria have evolved and adapted to the old, less powerful antibiotics.

One of the reasons why Ignorance-Is-Bliss Design makes me so crazy is that science never claims that all mysteries have been solved. There are plenty of things that are too complicated too understand, right now. And somehow the I.D. folks convert this into a proof of a divine hand in creation.

It's like your teenager comes home and says "Hey, this math homework is too complicated for me to understand...."

So, what do you say? "Son, that just proves there is a God!"

Or do you sit down and try to solve the problem?

Department of Vile Rumors 

Here at Corrente, we work tirelessly to bring the next level of civility to American political discourse, so I just have to say that it's highly unlikely that Republican Senator Rick Santorum has had, is having, or is in quest to have, any form of sex with trisexual Republican Senator Sam Brownback (back). We just don't believe the rumors—any more than we believe that Bush fucks goats.

But—just as in the evolution vs. I(diot's) D(elight) controversy—don't all Americans deserve to know what the debate is about"? Heck, it's a "pluralistic society" (except for gays and non-fundamentalist Christians (as if there were any such thing))....

Of course, a simple denial from either Senator would do wonders to defuse the controversy....

Friday, August 19, 2005

Republican election theft: Why? Because they can 


There was at least as much electoral malfeasance in 2004 as there was in 2000, even if it didn't change the outcome. And the next election may be worse.

In his recent book "Steal This Vote" - a very judicious work, despite its title - Andrew Gumbel, a U.S. correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent, provides the best overview I've seen of the 2000 Florida vote. And he documents the simple truth: "Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election."

Two different news media consortiums reviewed Florida's ballots; both found that a full manual recount would have given the election to Mr. Gore. This was true despite a host of efforts by state and local officials to suppress likely Gore votes, most notably Ms. Harris's "felon purge," which disenfranchised large numbers of valid voters.

Meanwhile, the whitewash of what happened in Florida in 2000 showed that election-tampering carries no penalty, and political operatives have acted accordingly. For example, in 2002 the Republican Party in New Hampshire hired a company to jam Democratic and union phone banks on Election Day.

[The DNC and the Conyers] reports show that votes were suppressed by long lines at polling places - lines caused by inadequate numbers of voting machines - and that these lines occurred disproportionately in areas likely to vote Democratic. Both reports also point to problems involving voters who were improperly forced to cast provisional votes, many of which were discarded.

And then there are the election night stories. Warren County locked down its administration building and barred public observers from the vote-counting, citing an F.B.I. warning of a terrorist threat. But the F.B.I. later denied issuing any such warning. Miami County reported that voter turnout was an improbable 98.55 percent of registered voters. And so on.

Our current political leaders would suffer greatly if either house of Congress changed hands in 2006, or if the presidency changed hands in 2008. The lids would come off all the simmering scandals, from the selling of the Iraq war to profiteering by politically connected companies. The Republicans will be strongly tempted to make sure that they win those elections by any means necessary. And everything we've seen suggests that they will give in to that temptation.
(via Times)

Yep. The Republicans are acting like they will never lose power,like they will never be held to account.

Krugman has called his shot. And 2006 isn't so very far away, is it?

Rick Santorum. Caught on video! In Kansas. Having sex with Sam Brownback? 

I never said that!

Via Bark Bark Woof Woof - Fat-assed dope smuggler Rush Limbaugh lies about previous lies about Cindy Sheehan: "I've Never Said This"

By the way: Did I say Rick Santorum was caught on video having sex with a Brownback? Of course, I've never said this. People are actually saying I said this. People are saying that I am accusing Senator Rick Santorum of engaging in backchannel relations with a representative of the sunflower state. What I said was: "Rick Santorum." And then I said "Caught on video!" And then I said "In Kansas." And then I said "Having sex with Sam Brownback?" Obviously none of these statements have anything to do with one another. Not that I'm aware of. Now, I ask you... is that the same thing as saying that Senator Brownback was captured on film fondling a Catholic mans nuts? I don't think so. And anyone who says otherwise is a moonbat.

Also at Bark Bark Woof Woof: Friday Blogaround/various links

And go read archy: The three faces of Cindy


Averting Our Eyes, Holding Our Noses 

9 While America shops, Iraq continues to crumble into a chaotic purgatory of murder, kidnapping, crime, torture, and sectarian violence. Just this morning on NPR's All Things Considered, Phillip Reeves interviewed the relative of a Sunni recently murdered by Shiites who guiltily noted that when he hears of Shias narrowly escaping assassination attacks, he wishes they had "got him". He admits he would have joined in anti-Shiite attacks himself except that he is married and waiting on the birth of his son. Then, later, there is the description of the smell of the city morgue, stifling in the high heat of the Iraqi summer with a record number of bodies, many of them bearing the mutilations of torture.

In an August 17 story, Robert Fisk of The Independent, stated that last July was the bloodiest month on record for Baghdad Iraqis since the start of the war: 1,100 Iraqi bodies were brought into the city morgue during that month. (The NPR report has raised that to 1,700.) As Fisk states, it's impossible to assign reasons for all of the deaths; some were simply criminal acts, some were misogynistic honor killings, some involved no foul play at all. But as both his report and the NPR story point up, the deaths by violence, and by sectarian violence in particular, are skyrocketing, and we would know more, if only our own government, in collusion with our media, was not so intent on hiding the truth from us. Nothing brings this home more clearly than this paragraph, reproduced here from the Fisk article thanks to Kevin at PA For Democracy:
"Doctors have been told that bodies brought to the mortuary by US forces should not be given post-mortem examinations (on the odd ground that the Americans will have already performed this function)."
This means that verifications of causes of death are often ommitted. Not that the fools responsible for this abbatoir care enough to keep track.

We are witnessing a deliberate and concerted effort to hide the costs of this illegal war by a criminal element that has wholly overtaken the government of our nation and is ensuring the same criminality will thrive in the puppet government of the new Iraq.

Go to D.C. on September 24 and make your voice heard over their lies.

Update your Dictionaries Now 

We don't link to via The Poorman nearly as often as we should...
Language is not static, it changes with time and the times. I have noticed, while reading right-leaning blogs, that certain words I had thought I had understood appear to now mean quite different things... And so, in the interest of world peace:

rac·ism n.
Disagreeing with or disliking Michelle Malkin

sex·ism n.
Disagreeing with or disliking Michelle Malkin

ho·mo·pho·bi·a n.
1. Making fun of Jeff Gannon
2. Making fun of The Claremont Institute’s John Hindraker’s gay-porny nom de keyboard
3. Disagreeing with Andrew Sullivan when Andrew Sullivan is agreeing with Bush

The Left n.
1. You.
2. Jane Fonda and Noam Chomsky.
3. Everybody less conservative than me and all Democrats except Zell Miller.
4. Everybody less conservative than me and all Democrats except Zell Miller and present company.
5. Nobody, really.
6. Everybody I hate.
7. A quantum superposition of the above definitions.

ter·ror·ists n.
1. Those that engage in acts or an act of terrorism.
2. The Left

I hope this helps.
There's a few more I clipped in the interest of brevity, so go read. The original is always better than the copy, plus he has some rude links attached to various terms, people and body parts.

Morning Inspirations 

Why not start the day with a quote from El Che:

The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.

Not “by any means necessary”—it’s not pitchfork and torches time—but we damn sure have to shake the tree. Too many apples still hanging and waiting to fall.

And let’s not forget:

"One has to have a great dose of humanity, a great dose of the feeling of justice and of truth not to fall into extreme dogmatism, into a cold scholasticism, into isolation from the masses. Every day one has to struggle that this love to a living humanity transform itself into concrete acts, in acts that serve as examples, as motivation."

Food for thought on a Friday morning. Or, if you prefer, a little Emma on patriotism:

What, then, is patriotism? "Patriotism, sir, is the last resort of scoundrels," said Dr. Johnson. Leo Tolstoy, the greatest anti-patriot of our times, defines patriotism as the principle that will justify the training of wholesale murderers; a trade that requires better equipment for the exercise of man-killing than the making of such necessities of life as shoes, clothing, and houses; a trade that guarantees better returns and greater glory than that of the average workingman.

Gustave Hervé, another great anti-patriot, justly calls patriotism a superstition--one far more injurious, brutal, and inhumane than religion. The superstition of religion originated in man's inability to explain natural phenomena. That is, when primitive man heard thunder or saw the lightning, he could not account for either, and therefore concluded that back of them must be a force greater than himself. Similarly he saw a supernatural force in the rain, and in the various other changes in nature.

Patriotism, on the other hand, is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.

Indeed, conceit, arrogance, and egotism are the essentials of patriotism. Let me illustrate. Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others.

Now, off into another day. ¡En a la victoria!

Halliburton's little chop-shop of nuclear components 

By Jason Leopold:
Deal involved tools that could be used for weapons

Scandal-plagued Halliburton -- the oil services company once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney -- sold an Iranian oil development company key components for a nuclear reactor, say Halliburton sources with intimate knowledge into both companies' business dealings.

Halliburton was secretly working at the time with one of Iran's top nuclear program officials on natural gas-related projects and sold the components in April to the official's oil development company, the sources said.

In early August, a National Security Council report said Iran was a decade away from acquiring a nuclear bomb. That time frame arguably could have been significantly longer if Halliburton, the Pentagon contractor whose military unit just reported a 284% increase in its second-quarter profits due to its Iraq reconstruction contracts, were not providing Iranians with the means to build a nuclear weapon.

With Iran's new hardline government now firmly in place, Iranian officials have rounded up relatives and close business associates of Iran's former president and defeated presidential candidate Hashemi Rafsanjani, alleging the men were involved in widespread corruption of Iran's oil industry, specifically tied to the country's business dealings with Halliburton.


Now comes word that Halliburton, which has a long history of flouting US law by conducting business with countries the Bush administration said has ties to terrorism, was working with Cyrus Nasseri, vice chairman of the board of Oriental Oil Kish, one of Iran's largest private oil companies, on oil and natural gas development projects in Tehran. Nasseri is also a key member of Iran's nuclear development team and has been negotiating Iran's nuclear development issues with the European Union and at the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"Nasseri, a senior Iranian diplomat negotiating with Europe over Iran's controversial nuclear program is at the heart of deals with US energy companies to develop the country's oil industry," Financial Times reported.


Nasseri was interrogated by Iranian authorities in late July for allegedly providing Halliburton with Iran's nuclear secrets and accepting as much as $1 million in bribes from Halliburton, Iranian officials said. During the first round of interrogations in the judiciary, a huge network of oil mafia has been exposed, according to IPN.

It's unclear whether Halliburton was privy to information regarding Iran's nuclear activities. Halliburton sources said the company sold centrifuges and detonators to be used for a nuclear reactor and oil and natural gas drilling parts for well projects to Oriental Oil Kish.

A company spokesperson did not return numerous calls for comment. A White House spokesperson also did not return calls for comment.


Halliburton received a subpoena last year from a federal grand jury in Texas in connection with a Justice Department investigation into allegations that the firm violated US sanctions law prohibiting American companies from directly doing business in Iran. That case is ongoing.

Halliburton first started doing business in Iran as early as 1995, while Cheney was chief executive of the company, in possible violation of U.S. sanctions.

According to a February 2001 report in the Wall Street Journal, "Halliburton Products & Services Ltd. works behind an unmarked door on the ninth floor of a new north Tehran tower block. A brochure declares that the company was registered in 1975 in the Cayman Islands, is based in the Persian Gulf sheikdom of Dubai and is non-American. But, like the sign over the receptionist's head, the brochure bears the company's name and red emblem, and offers services from Halliburton units around the world." ~ continue reading here

Gather 'round while I sing you of Wernher von Braun,
A man whose allegiance
Is ruled by expedience.
Call him a Nazi, he won't even frown,
"Ha, Nazi, Schmazi," says Wernher von Braun.

Don't say that he's hypocritical,
Say rather that he's apolitical.
"Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department," says Wernher von Braun.

~ Tom Lehrer, "Wernher von Braun" full text of lyrics


Something's Coming 

Could be!
Who knows?
There's something due any day;
Will we know right away,
Soon as it shows.

Who knows?
It's only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Under a Texas tree...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Et tu, Murray? 

I'm literally astonished at Murray Waas's post in which he contends that we should have some sympathy for Judith Miller because she's protecting a source. I'm even more astonished that no one in the lefty blogosphere has commented on this post that I can tell. Where are you guys?

Okay, so here are some questions that Waas's post raises: Am I the only one who thinks that your loyalty to a source ends when that source has committed a crime? Am I the only one who believes that protecting a source is something you do when that source is likely to receive absolutely undeserved consequences?

Okay, so how could you make such a claim in this case? Furthermore, if you haven't committed a crime, why would you continue to protect the source? Waas gets offended that lefty bloggers are "jumping to conclusions" in arguing that Miller must be covering up her own role in a crime.

What other conclusion -- that Judith Miller is keeping silent in order to hide her own criminality -- could one draw in this case, honestly?

I'm just not a "thou must always protect a source" Kool-Aid drinker I guess.

Waas is willfully missing the forest for the trees here. You protect a source that deserves to be protected. Otherwise, you burn the source -- especially if they've committed a crime in giving you the information.

Thanks, Cindy 

And notice the "grief" spin in the lead:

The grieving woman who started an anti-war demonstration near President Bush's ranch nearly two weeks ago left the camp Thursday after learning her mother had had a stroke, but she told supporters the protest would go on.

Cindy Sheehan told reporters she had just received the phone call and was leaving immediately to be with her 74-year-old mother at a Los Angeles hospital.

''I'll be back as soon as possible if it's possible,'' she said. After hugging some of her supporters, Sheehan and her sister, Deedee Miller, got in a van and left for the Waco airport about 20 miles away.

Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son Casey died in Iraq, said the makeshift campsite off the road leading to Bush's ranch would continue.

The camp has grown to more than 100 people, including many relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq. After Sheehan left, dozens of the demonstrators gathered under a canopy to pray for her mother.
(via Times)

I love the spin in the headline, too: "Protestor Leaves Crawford to Tend to Ill Mother."

Protestor? How about... Citizen!

NOTE Why is the Times pulling stories off the AP wire if Jodie Will-Whore-Em's on the scene? But then, she's probably inside the Bush compound anyhow. On her knees. Praying, of course.

Theocracy Rising? Or fallen, and it can't get up? 

From America's finest new source, The Onion:

Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity with new "Intelligent Falling" Theory
cientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling.

"Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down," said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University.

The ECFR, in conjunction with the Christian Coalition and other Christian conservative action groups, is calling for public-school curriculums to give equal time to the Intelligent Falling theory. They insist they are not asking that the theory of gravity be banned from schools, but only that students be offered both sides of the issue "so they can make an informed decision."

"We just want the best possible education for Kansas' kids," Burdett said.

How wrong I was to think that I(diot's) D(elight) was beyond parody!

Fun with anagrams! 

I put "noble cause" into the anagram server and came up with these:


Personally, my favorite is the last. "Usable once" as in "Won't get fooled again!"

Ah! The "noble cause" is the flypaper theory! 

Nicole Devenish, some "White House Communications Director" or other:

And I think anyone that is trying to make a point, and she obviously, in addition to being grieving the loss of her son, is making a point. She can rest assured that we've heard that side of the argument. And in the consideration about the best way to protect America and keep people safe here at home, we believe that engaging the enemy in places like Iraq and Afghanistan is the best way to do so.
(CNN via the Amazin' Froomkin)

Um, did anyone think to ask the Iraqis how they feel about being a "place like" the kind of place we fight our enemies? How noble!

And that flypaper theory sure worked real well for the UK, didn't it?

And wasn't the war supposed to be for freedom, or something? Maybe democracy, I forget. I mean, after that WMD thing didn't pan out.

Morans. Complete morans.

So what was the "noble cause" that Casey Sheehan died for? 

I'm not hearing any answers out of Crawford.

For some reason.

Posse Potentatus: The Crawford Caliph rides shotgun 

Muskogee Phoenix (Oklahoma) columnist Mary deJuliis describes visit to Camp Casey:

It was a very diverse crowd that gathered to support Cindy and protest the Iraq War in Camp Casey. The group changed as people had to return to their jobs and new people arrived. There were groups and organizations there that represent military families, several who had also lost loved ones in Iraq, some with family members currently serving in Iraq or shipping out soon.


There is no way I can express my feelings to the families of all 1,841 KIAs (the count when I left for Crawford,) so I paid my respects to Cindy and the other grieving moms and wives who I found at Camp Casey. I was very moved by the more than 1,841 white crosses that lined the side of the country road from the campsite back towards Crawford. Each one represented a fallen soldier. They were placed along the side of the road, three or four back, and went for about a mile. Each cross or star of David had a soldier's name. They were hard to look at going as far as the eye could see to a bend in the road without thinking of your own children. And there are so many soldiers who have come home injured. War isn't a video game. It isn't a movie. They don't get back up when it's over.

The president had to pass the crosses and protestors when he attended a GOP fundraiser Friday afternoon (Aug. 12) at a nearby ranch. We protestors were backed farther away from the road, roped off with police tape for about four hours with Secret Service, state and county law enforcement officers. A helicopter flew overhead lower than others that we were accustomed to. The helicopter had an agent riding outside with a weapon trained on us, but once the motorcade passed he moved on as well. The motorcade went by us twice very fast, and a few of the vehicles had rifles pointed out open windows. I was thankful no one made any sudden moves.

Oh, now I get it; dove hunting. het, het, het - group smirk!

Read entire column here: Muskogee Phoenix

And this, via Dan Froomkin (WaPo), an excerpt of an exchange between CNN White House reporter Dana Bash and anchor Paula Zahn:
"BASH: In a word, no, there is nothing new and at this point there are no plans for the president to meet with her [Sheehan]. And, in talking to White House officials, they say it's about setting precedent.

"They say that this is where the president is going to live forever and this is his home and that ironically or I should say actually surprisingly no one has ever done this before. He's been here for four-plus years and no one's ever tried this and they don't want to set a precedent.

"They don't want to say, yes, he will meet with somebody because they're protesting outside his ranch because they say that that could encourage other people to do it.

Source: Froomkin/WaPo/"Hurricane Cindy", (page 3).

See, it's like this: Dear WarLord & Co. is apparently under the impression that you know who is going to carry on as you know what (Supreme Precedent), uh, forever. Like totally! Forever and ever.... Yoiks. (As if anyone is going to give a hot-shit-goddammed where the stupid son-of-bitch flitters off to once he departs -forever - his current oily foremost perch.)


More on Cockroaches and Vermin 

There’s been a lot of talk about my mention of “cockroach people” and how to reach them.

Principles of cockroach people:

1. Avoid the Man. If the light shines on you, scatter.
2. Survive. Some of you will be stomped and gassed. Make sure the rest survive.
3. Don’t believe what you hear or read. Promises are just words.
4. There are more of you than there are of them who would destroy you.
5. Very few people like cockroaches. Beware of those who claim they do.
6. Gather what you need to survive.
7. The cockroaches have survived every attempt to eradicate them; they will prevail.
8. When the chance comes, move in a mass to secure food and territory.

The analogy is Oscar Zeta Acosta’s (of blessed memory, unless he’s hiding somewhere in a dark corner awaiting the right moment). I'd quote from it, but gave my copy away to a Navajo guy who did actually read it, pass it on, and is now calling himself Che, organizing on the rez. It isn’t a perfect analogy, but consider:

Blogs, newspapers and rallies can at best motivate the more visible vermin (as in the eyes of the Partei) to bring the others into the light. In a sense, we are all cockroach people, pests, vermin, the sworn enemies of the bugman and his exterminators. And proud, too. But it is up to those of us who are coming into the light to meet with the others at every chance. In the cities there are bars, jails, fairs, churches. It takes time. Just remember:

We are all outlaws, vermin in the eyes of the Partei. When outlaws organize, peacefully and en masse, and declare the legitimacy of their existence and their views, one person, one block, one neighborhood, one county at a time, the bugman and his crew quickly discover they can’t spray us all.

I recall a somewhat cheesy but provocative book called The Hephaestus Plague, where the cockroaches actually do take over.

Look, everybody can visit a jail, a peace and justice church, and neighborhood association, yard sale etc. One person at a time.

And if you don’t like the term cockroach people, try another. Whatever works for you. But there is a vast underground waiting to be tapped. Tap it however you can. '06 approaches.

Candlelight Stories 

Reports on folks' vigil experiences have been coming in. Lambert opened it up last night, and early this morning farmer reprinted and posted some items from fellow bloggers.

Based on the number of events that were filled or almost filled to capacity last night in my local area, the candlelight vigils seemed a success. The one we went to was aiming for 100, but registration and participation exceeded that.


The one I attended was full of folks from all walks of life, but one contingent was noticeably lacking: the youngest adults, the very people whose lives are most at risk thanks to this cannon fodder-happy administration.

Cindy_vigil 012

We had an opportunity to get the word out about the upcoming D.C. anti-war mobilization the weekend of September 24, and meet some folks who have been participating in activist events since the Vietnam era. Here was the sign I wore, an old Vietnam era anti-war poster:


We had only a few hecklers, one being a car flying past whose driver yelled "Go to hell"! (Hah! You're already there, buddy.) It was heartening that many other people who drove by honked in solidarity, including a city ambulance and a SEPTA bus driver who banged away merrily at his horn all the way through the intersection.


The upshot was that we will continue to meet each Wednesday and maybe pull more local folks into it. I want to especially thank the Borders store that graciously allowed us to take up their sidewalk space and utilize their much-needed restroom facilities.

More stories to come.

Camp Casey observations: photos and a letter 

Early returns: Two posts on local Sheehan vigils (including photos). Submitted below. Thanks to Nur-al-Cubicle and Susie for their links.

1- Nur-al-Cubicle: Brighton, NY

Also this T-shirt: (enlarged photo from Nur-al-Cublcle's Brighton photos post linked to above): Homeland Security Since 1492

2- Susie, from Philly, at Suburban Guerrilla


3- From eRobin, Trenton NJ, via fact-esque

4- From Pamela (Studio City, CA) via the Democratic Daily. Includes additional coverage here

a letter:

A Message to the Crawford Memorial Vandal

Mr. Northern:

I am a Veteran of the Iraq war, having served with the 4th Infantry Division on the initial invasion with Force Package One.

While I was in Iraq,a very good friend of mine, Christopher Cutchall,was killed in an unarmored HMMWV outside of Baghdad. He was a cavalry scout serving with the 3d ID. Once he had declined the award of a medal because Soldiers assigned to him did not receive similar awards that he had recommended. He left two sons and awonderful wife. On Monday night, August 16, you ran down the memorial cross erected for him by Arlington West.

One of my Soldiers in Iraq was Roger Turner. We gave him a hard time because he always wore all of his protective equipment, including three pairs of glasses or goggles. He did this because he wanted to make sure that he returned home to his family. He rode a bicycle to work every day to make sure that he was able to save enough money on his Army salary to send his son to college. At Camp Anaconda, where the squadron briefly stayed, a rocket landed inside a tent, sending a piece of debris or fragment into him and killed him. On Monday night, August 16, you ran down the memorial cross erected for him by Arlington West.


Mr. Northern - I know little about Cindy Sheehan except that she is a grieving mother, a gentle soul, and wants to bring harm to no one. I know little about you except that you found your way to Crawford on Monday night in August with chains and a pipe attached to your truck for the sole purpose of dishonoring a memorial erected for my friends and lost Soldiers and hundreds of others that served this nation when they were called. I find it disheartening that good men like these have died so that people like you can threaten a mother who lost a child with your actions. I hope that you are ashamed of yourself.

Perry Jefferies, First Sergeant, USA (retired)

read entire letter here: Operation Truth


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Better to light one candle than curse the Republicans 

I hope people who have attended a candlelight vigil will share their experiences.

NOTE Or is it, "Better to light one Republican than curse the candles"? I keep forgetting. Anyhow, it's late, and I need to retire to my tiny room under the stairs in The Mighty Corrente Building...

Times helps the Republican Noise Machine attack Cindy Sheehan 

The first impulse of a Republican faced with opposition—and by "opposition" we mean anything other than bending... bending the knee in fealty—is to slime and defend, and so with Cindy Sheehan. We saw the usual frothing and stamping and sWifting from the freepers and Rush "But How Could I Serve? I Had A Boil On My Ass!" Limbaugh. But that didn't work out so well. Maybe people are getting tired of the act; and then again, a mother who lost her son to Bush's war isn't all that easy to attack, even in these times. Not even for nudnik.

Clearly more sophisticated Noisemakers were needed. Enter Raygun's biographer, Edmund Morris, with a more effective rhetorical strategy. We'll pass over Morris's shameless attempt to pass off some incoherent jottings from "Dutch" as empathetic, and get to the meat of the argument.

You see, it's not about policy, and it's certainly not about the facts. It's about emotion:

Cindy Sheehan's attempt to have President Bush tell her - again - how sorry he is about the death of her son in Iraq is escalating into a protest more political than personal. As such, it is a legitimate expression of antiwar sentiment. [Fine word, "legitimate"!] But the individual [never collective!] cry for attention at the heart of it - "Mr. President, feel my pain!" [mad props to Morris for the subliminal reference to The Clenis!] - is misguided. Ms. Sheehan cannot expect a commander in chief to emote on demand. [Lo! The straw man springeth!]

Maybe one day some such document will reveal what President Bush really feels about his own "honored dead." For the meantime, he is our elected [cough] president, with the business of a nation to run. Ms. Sheehan has gotten more time with him than most grieving mothers, and if she felt, during those unsatisfactory minutes, that there was a glass wall around him, it unfortunately comes with the job. A president has to protect himself from emotional predators, or he'd be sucked dry within a week of taking office.
(via Times)

Amazing. Pray, Mr. Morris, who is the predator here? Cindy Sheehan, or the President who lied his way into a war, using appeals to fear, playing on people's faith, and branding opponents as traitors, and now wants to "get on with his life"? Who is the emotional predator?

Morris, accomplished Republican shill that he is, is, of course, lying. The very first sentence is a lie. Cindy Sheehan does not want Bush to tell her "how sorry he is." And the last sentences are lies. Sheehan is not asking about Bush's "real feelings." Sheehan is not asking for "time" with Bush.

What Cindy Sheehan wants is accountability. That's how democracy works, right? She wants answers to questions:

"I want to ask the president, why did he kill my son?" Sheehan told reporters. "He said my son died in a noble cause, and I want to ask him what that noble cause is."

What is the "noble cause" for which Casey Sheehan died?

What is the "noble cause" for which Casey Sheehan died?

What is the "noble cause" for which Casey Sheehan died?

Morris doesn't answer Cindy Sheehan's question. So he lies about what Cindy Sheehan wants.

I wonder why?

Bush hasn't answered Cindy Sheehan's question.

I wonder why?

Science for Republicans: The spread of pig-borne disease 

I hasten to add that I'm talking real pigs here, not metaphorical ones:

The spread of a pig-borne disease in southwest China and the high death toll have thrown the spotlight on the widespread and indiscriminate use of antibiotics in Asia, giving the bacterium added resistance.

Streptococcus suis, which has rarely spread to humans in the past and should have been relatively easy to control if treated early with antibiotics, has infected 214 people in Sichuan province in recent weeks, killing 39 -- a mortality rate of nearly 20 percent.

"Streptococcus suis is not a very resistant bacterium -- we can normally kill it by penicillin. But the government has suggested using much stronger antibiotics... Maybe the bacterium has mutated to a more resistant strain," microbiology professor Li Mingyuan, of Sichuan University, told the South China Morning Post recently.

Scientists blame bacterial resistance in Hong Kong to improper and overprescription by doctors, many of whom readily dispense antibiotics to patients who may just have colds or the flu -- for which antibiotics are totally useless as they can't fight viruses.

"Bacteria are just living things, they want to live. If you put a lot of pressure using particular antibiotics, they will become resistant and continue to live. They will mutate, use all means to get around it," said microbiology professor Margaret Ip at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong.
(via AP)

Interesting, eh? Just as, over 100 years ago, Darwin was inspired to consider natural selection by observing and collating how animals like horses and dogs were bred by us for desired characteristics, so today we can see evolutionary pressures in action, as bacteria evolve to survive our antibiotics. Bacteria just want to live...

Unless, of course, you're an I(diot's) D(elight) true believer. In that case, bacterial resistance is just coincidence or too complicated to understand, like a watch in the field. So, ID fans, be sure to use weak antibiotics next time you're in the hospital! After all, iatrogenic disease is all part of God's plan....

Republican limbo: Defining deviancy down 

How low can the Republicans go? You remember the party line the Republican Noise Machine took with Karl Rover— it's OK to out a CIA operative, since no laws were actually broken! (We'll see about that.) So, now that Republican Governor Bob Taft of Ohio has been charged with 4 misdeameanors, how long do you think it will be before the Republicans are saying misdemeanors are OK? Heck, anyone can be charged with a misdemeanor, so, really, only felonies matter!

And you know what the misdemeanors were for? Undisclosed campaign contributions in the form of golf outings. Jeebus.

Golf—the Republican version of Thug Life.

Bob Taft: Keepin' it real!

Body Where Mouth Is 

Piggybacking on Riggsveda below:

Tonight, I'm a-vigilling as well.

Although, I linked to this already, as happens on group blogs, the post, (which contained other wonderful links and can be found here) rolled away too soon, so, for inspiration, please do not miss what the Heretik hath wrought to honor Cindy Sheehan.

The Heretik, intrepid communitarian that he is, has provided a fine enlargement, with instructions for downloading; just click here, and imagine how, with the right printer and a little ingenuity, you might find a way to use this image if you, too, are a-vigilling tonight.

A link I failed to make in my original post, is to a fine piece, "Radical Grief," on Mrs. Sheehan and the meaning of politics in a democratic republic by Michael at Reading A1; in it, all kinds of deserving fools get their comeuppence, don't miss it. This followup "Political Theatre," is pretty damned good, too.

Finally, at the risk of pushing something too hard, just because I liked it a whole lot, if you missed Farmer's "The Crawford Diaries," here's a second chance.

Putting Your Body Where Your Mouth Is 

email_vigils Cindy Sheehan has asked that those who support her cause start candlelight vigils in their own communities across the country. Tonight is your chance to stand up and be counted. Helping coordinate this event (as if you couldn't tell from the graphic) are MoveOn.org, Democracy For America, and True Majority. As MoveOn's site says:
"Our vigils will be simple and dignified. Together, we'll acknowledge the sacrifices made by Cindy Sheehan, her son, Casey and the more than 1,800 brave American men and women who have given their lives in Iraq—and their moms and families."
Simply click this link, enter your zip code and the distance you're willing to travel, and a page of events will appear. (It's already set to show Philly events, but you can personalize it for your area by just entering your own zip.) To sign up, just click on the event you want to take part in.

I'm going.

UPDATE: Problems with the site link for the event list. Try this instead. If you keep having problems, keep trying. It seems become accessible and then not by alternate seconds.

SECOND UPDATE: For those in the Philly area, a vigil at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown will be attended by Celeste Zappala, who also lost her son in Iraq last year. Celeste is from Philadelphia, and spoke at a MoveOn.org event here last October along with Al Franken and Jessica Lange. She was a moving and powerful speaker, and had us all in tears. She has joined in support with Cindy Sheehan. If I hadn't already registered with a different vigil, I would definitely be there.
To get there, follow this link.

Riding While Non-White 

So as reported this morning on BBC, and by ITV, who came into possession of the leaked documents via the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and later in CNN, we see that the boy shot by London police for a terrorist was actually a commuter with the bad luck to be non-Anglo. And not only was he not wearing a big heavy coat, he was not running, didn't jump over anything, took a slow escalator to the subway, and was sitting down when they repeatedly shot him to death. The description of the video paints a picture nothing like the "ticking bomb" that supposedly led to an unfortunate, frantic split-second decision to kill him. In fact, it looks as thought there had been plenty of time to verify his identity, or at least apprehend him without gunplay:
"ITV News, citing documents and photographs, reported that de Menezes was not carrying any bags when he entered the Stockwell Tube station and was wearing a denim jacket, rather than a bulky coat as police had previously said.
De Menezes walked at a normal pace, did not vault any barriers and even stopped to pick up a newspaper, ITV News reported.
He descended to the train slowly on an escalator, then ran toward the open subway car and took a seat, according to ITV, which based its account on a document outlining what was captured on surveillance footage.
At about the same time, armed officers were provided with positive identification that de Menezes was either Hamdi Issac, also known as Osman Hussain, one of the suspected bombers from the day before, or another suspect, at which point he was shot, ITV News reported."
And when did this fatal misidentification occur?
"According to the network, the crucial mistake that led to de Menezes' death may have occurred that morning as he left his apartment, when surveillance officers spotted him and he was misidentified as a possible terrorist.
London police were authorized to shoot and kill suspects they believed might try to set off more subway bombs. Shortly after de Menezes' death, police justified their actions by saying he was acting suspiciously and tried to run from officers, forcing detectives to make a split-second decision to shoot him."
So they had a considerable amount of time to verify their identification, but didn't, then covered their fuck-up over with a thin layer of fine bobbie manure. Well done, lads. Worthy of L.A. and New York's finest. And to the defense that was raised earlier, that the cops risked the possibility that he could have been carrying a bomb and would have had time to blow up himself and those around him if they had confronted him, I'd say, if he was carrying a bomb, how likely would it have been that shooting at him could have set off that bomb? I mean. Please.

Cult of the 'W' Schutszstaffel to the rescue 

cult of the w

Lone Star nutter launches Operation Cross Stomper... mows down memorial to fallen.
Some 800 white wooden crosses, bearing the names of soldiers killed in Iraq like her son, have lined the road near the area where Sheehan has pitched a tent. Witnesses said they saw a truck dragging a pipe and chains drive over some of the crosses on Monday night.


Charles Anderson, a 28-year-old Iraq war veteran from Virginia Beach, Virginia, called the vandalism of the crosses a "sacrilege."

"These crosses represent five of my comrades in my battalion who are no longer with us," he said at a news conference with Sheehan. ~ Reuters/alertnet.org

Larry Northern: winner of the "Jackboot Jollies" criminal mischief achievement badge for distempered loco-motion in a shiny moving object:
Larry Northern, 59, of McLennan County, was charged Tuesday with Criminal Mischief Over $1,500 and under $20,000 after a pickup truck tore through a row of white crosses erected by anti-war protesters gathered near the President’s ranch in Crawford.

Bail was set at $3,000. Northern later posted bond and was released.

The crosses bear the names of U.S. military personnel who have died in the war in Iraq.

Witnesses said the driver swerved the truck in and out of the makeshift memorial Monday night. ~ KWTX/tv

Let's all congratulate cross stomper Larry for his brave show of manly force in the face of a defenseless makeshift memorial standing beside a ditch. The Taliban didn't care much for crosses either. Or women who dare to question the motives and decisions of the Dear Mullah. They were plenty fond of pick-up trucks though. As I recall they had all kinds of boing-eyed god-fearin' fun raising holy rolling hell in pick-up trucks.

And speaking of congratulations, and so forth, John archy McKay is offering fabulous prizes (which could be just about anything fabulous as you might imagine) to anyone who can report on a variety of such congratulatory tidings and or rationalizations offered in the form of three arguments (from the usual clangor horns) in defense of Larry's wild hair up his ass ride:
We know that in a very short while Malkin, O'Rielly, Coulter, and the freepers will have beatified Northern, so I'm offering fabulous prizes to the first readers who can find examples of each three of these arguments in use, to [the] first to find all three, and to anyone who can find all three being used by the same person. Special honorable mentions go to anyone who finds any other particularly outrageous defenses of Northern's action.

UPDATEThe winning entries are rolling in.... find out what the Freepies are saying...hurry: Fabulous contest update.

freeperkorps dove-n-cross

Likewise, according to high placed senior sources close to the source, I've come to understand that the flyblow from Waco will be awarded a specially designed Freeperkorps "Dove-n-Cross Smiter"* drive-by desecration badge in honor of loony Larry's hit and run heroics. A snappy fully extended arm-length salute is in order.

Larry can show off his new gee-gaw to his pals at the: LT Dillon Gun Club: (click "hall of fame" link and scroll down).

And that concludes the Cult of the 'W' man-child tantrum award presentation for August 17, 2005. Congratulations to Larry Northern...a real credit to his flag.

Also related: Fred Mattlage has invited Camp Casey onto his property.
Bush neighbor allows war protesters to camp on his land

That should confuse the Freepers - (see "Fabulous contest update" link above) - at least for a few days. (Larry Mattlage was the guy with the excitable talking shotgun.)

Disclaimer: Just to be on the safe side... beware high placed senior sources close to the source. Sometimes they make things up. Like badges. If ya know what I mean. het, het, het ~ farmtoons/editor


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Moral clarity in Crawford 

Supersize those fries with your Diet Coke? 

Tell me it's not a great country:

The Bush administration is expected to abandon a proposal to extend fuel economy regulations to include Hummer H2's and other huge sport utility vehicles, auto industry and other officials say.

Automakers have had powerful incentives to produce such vehicles because they are exempt from fuel regulations, have had rich profit margins, and many consumers can claim tax breaks for them.
(via NY Times)

Talk about a hedonic treadmill... Half the country's mainlining oil, and the rest of us are enabling them.

In Crawford fields, the blowhards go.. 

... between the crosses, row on row:

On Monday night, the police arrested a local resident who had used a truck to mow down about half of the 500 small wooden crosses hammered into the roadside dirt. The crosses were put back in place by Ms. Sheehan's supporters on Tuesday morning.
(via Times)


NOTE And speaking of assholes, you know who Bill "Helen" Keller sent to Crawford? Why, none other than Lizzie Bumiller, Girl Reporter! Gag me with a spoon...

Lyrical Corner: "Dead Horse" 

That sensitive singer-writer, alert reader MJS, throws the following lyrics over the transom of The Mighty Corrente Building:

(sung to the tune "Old Paint")

I ride a dead horse, I’m bleedin’ in the sand
I’m goin’off to Crawford, and Cindy Sheehan
She stands in the wilds, the wind beneath her hair
Her face is all sunburn, and wrinkled with care

Stand your ground, Mistress Cindy, stand your ground to let us know
For they’re hidin’ and runnin’ from the son you let go

Old George Bush had two daughters and a wife
One went bar hoppin’, the other suffered strife
His gal, she cried in that moment, she was weak
For to now she is crying alone by the creek

Stand your ground, Mistress Cindy, stand your ground to let us know
For they’re hidin’ and runnin’ from the son you let go

When I sing, all the soldiers come to life
Riding dead horses in the deepest part of night
Send my heart off to Cindy, send my soul to her dear son
And we’ll ride to Texas, to see the shadows run

Stand your ground, Mistress Cindy, stand your ground to let us know
For they’re hidin’ and runnin’ from the son you let go

Stand your ground, Mistress Cindy.... I like that. Catchy.

One thing I just don't understand about prayer in the schools 

People can pray wherever, whenever, however they like. It's a spiritual thing.

So "prayer in the schools" is, quite literally, always possible. Right there in the public square.

So what's the big deal here? I just don't get it....

Snark, Snark, Snark 

Famous Correntian troll nudnik, in response to the issue of election fraud in Ohio that was brought up below, commented thusly:
"Dead horse. Find a new one."
True. Having the right to representation in government is so yesterday, I don't know why we all haven't gotten on with our lives sooner. Yet there remain the stubborn holdouts, like famous Correntian not-a-troll, Tinfoil Hat Boy, whose response was so quotable I just decided to reproduce it in its entirety here:
"A new horse? Or a new dead horse? Because I've been riding around on a few dead horses lately - several are hobby horses - because I'm a liberal America-hater living in the tired old problems of the past, totally incapable of solving the problems of the present.

THB's top ten list of dead horses: (All old news and not worthy of any further discussion. These horses have been beaten so many times it's not even fun beating them anymore. They are so yesterday, they're practically the day before yesterday.)

2004 Presidential Election "irregularities."
Downing Street Memo.
Rove Co. Plame Leak.
Illegal diversion of $700 million from Afghanistan to Iraq.
$8 Billion missing in Iraq.
Jack Abramoff + Tom DeLay.
Cheney's super double secret energy task force.
RNC bankrolling the defense of Tobin, NH dirty trickster.
Bush AWOL during Vietnam.
Torture, torture, torture.

And when the fuck is media-whore and liberal whack-job Cindy Sheehan going to get over it? Casey is dead. Like a dead horse. Move on."

No More Mr. Nice Guy? 

To paraphrase Jon Stewart, getting Canada mad at you is like pissing off Mr. Rogers. You have to work at it. So give Bush credit where credit is due:

Ottawa has pulled out of softwood lumber talks scheduled to take place next week, signalling its displeasure with the U.S. government's refusal to comply with a NAFTA ruling that would have put an end to punitive duties on Canadian timber....

Last week, a NAFTA appeals panel ruled against Washington's claim that Canadian softwood lumber poses a material threat of injury to U.S. producers. It is the third time that NAFTA has ruled against the U.S.

Under the 11-year-old North American free-trade agreement, the trade dispute should have come to an end, with Washington obliged to cancel the duties on Canadian lumber. Despite the NAFTA finding, the United States said it has no intention of scrapping duties on Canadian softwood — which exceed 20 per cent for some companies — and have no plans to refund the $5-billion in levies collected since 2002.
(via Globe and Mail)

Here's the fun part:
Canadian government officials were livid, accusing the U.S. of ignoring its responsibilities under the free-trade agreement and threatening to retaliate with billions of dollars of sanctions on American goods.

As a commenter pointed out in my earlier post, Canada exports more oil to the US than Hugo Chavez or the House of Saud. Canadians already pay $4/gal for gas; wouldn't it be amusing to see Bush voters pay rebates to Soviet Canuckistan for the same privilege?

Not long ago Bill O'Lielly urged Americans to boycott Canadian products over Iraq, much to the amusement of the Globe and Mail journalist, Heather Mallick, who was his guest. Be careful what you wish for, Bill; you just might get it.

You Knew Damn Well I Was a Snake... 

Such a sad, sad story in the Nashville Tennessean today. It's a book review, of a new contribution to great literature (AND Deep Political Perceptive Thought) by one of the greats in both fields:

Sen. Trent Lott accuses Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of betraying him during a GOP revolt in a new, tell-all biography that expresses little remorse for the racially tinged remarks that led to Lott's loss of power and Frist's ascension.

Frist, a Tennessee Republican who replaced Lott as the GOP leader, comes off as traitorous. The book generally divides other Republicans into either heroes or villains, depending on whether Lott saw them as allies or enemies during his downfall.
So sad, so very sad. Heroism and tragedy are the themes of all great literature, are they not? As illustrated by the wonderful old song about the woman who saw a snake freezing on the ground, and picked it up and warmed it in her bosom, until it recovered enough strength to bite the crap out of her:
"I saved you," cried the woman
"And you've bitten me, but why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I'm going to die"
"Oh shut up, silly woman," said the reptile with a grin
"You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in."

Heeeere's Mark! 

miller Mark Crispin Miller is the author of The Bush Dyslexicon, a searing look at the Dauphin's malaprops and what they reveal about his real feelings, and more recently, Cruel and Unusual, about the innate anti-Americanism that underpins Bushco's motivations and actions. He also wrote and performed the one-man show "A Patriot Act", an 80 minute tour de force that blew me away when I first saw it.

In this August's Harper's cover story "None Dare Call It Stolen", he takes on the monkey business of Ohio's presidential election shenanigans, and just when everyone thought all those wacky conspiracy theorists the left likes to pretend don't really belong to us had gone to ground for good, here comes Mark with the damning truth. If you haven't read it, get it.

But whether you have or not, if you're within listening distance of NPR station WHYY (90.9) you have a chance to listen to him talk about this and other things dear to our hearts on Marty Moss-Coane's great show Radio Times this morning at 10:00 a.m. If you can't get it where you live, don't despair. Check in on the website later today and hear it via internet in the archives, or if you're more techhie than me, listen in via your iPod. It's all at the website.

bust on bust: bush bustum pectorale 

bush bust on bustWhat will the tour guide tell the children?!

[make up your own thought bubbles]


I like that paintin'. Drawrin'. Whatever the hell it is. I like it a lot. Reminds me of a fund-raiser I was at one time. Yeah. Shur'nuff... puts the "fun" back in d "raiser" don't it... het, het, het

Blame it on THB.


Monday, August 15, 2005

President Shit Magnet 

Oh goodness. Am I sounding shrill? I'm so sorry. Can you ever forgive me?

Still, "shit magnet" is a reasonable translation of Froomkin's headline today: "Troubles Follow Bush." Eh?

NOTE Just as Krugman is the reason to keep reading the poor old Times, so Froomkin is the reason to keep reading WaPo. Well, Froomkin and Walter Pincus. Sad, sad.

They say that money can't buy happiness.... 

... but it can sure take the sting out of being unhappy.

Maybe one way to open up a discussion of—gasp—class in American is to quote the following:

Money can buy happiness, according to new academic research in the United States.

But the old saw that financial gain doesn't a happy life make seems partly true, as wellbeing appears in proportion to a person's relative wealth compared to their peers.

The study, by academics from Pennsylvania State and Harvard University, finds that richer people tend to be happier than poorer people.

But the data revealed that the green-eyed monster jealousy influences how people gauge how happy they are.

"The higher the income of others in one's age group, the lower one's happiness," said Glenn Firebaugh a sociological researcher at Pennsylvania State University, one of the report's co-authors.

The reseach contains a worrying message for society, as the close observance of others' income, a "keeping up with the Joneses" trend, forces people to continually increase their income, the report said.

"Rather than promoting overall happiness, continued income growth could promote an ongoing consumption race where individuals consume more and more just to maintain a constant level of happiness," said Firebaugh.

The research, contained in the report "Relative Income and Happiness : Are Americans on a Hedonic Treadmill?" is being presented at the American Sociological Association Centennial Annual Meeting this week in Philadelphia.

Firebaugh and Harvard researcher Laura Tach based their findings on 20 to 64 year olds, adding controls for race, marital status, educational level, ageing and health.
(via AP)

A "hedonic treadmill" driven by envy. Well, I guess that would explain the McMansions and the SUVs, wouldn't it? I guess the oil for all that would be the "noble cause"...

On the one hand, the envy reminds me of the old Russian joke about the genie that appeared to the Russian peasant and granted him exactly one wish; whereupon the peasant wished that his neighbor's cow would die....

However, it also seems true to me that class distinctions have become vastly greater since the VRWC started running the country. For most people, incomes have been flat since the '70s. But for the very rich, incomes have multiplied. (It's another power curve.)

Meaning that, to the 1000 or so oligarchs who are running the country, we are all cockroaches. It should be possible to work through issues that are the reverse of wedge issues. Pursuit of happiness issues, centering on universal experiences... Food, music... Money... Sex... Love... All of which, in similar ways, are being corrupted and diminished by our corporate overlords.

Democrats are about the pursuit of happiness. I rather like that. In additioan to life and liberty, of course.

If bronze could weep... 

One's a President, and one's a bust. But which one?

Iraq clusterfuck: So, is the "noble cause" permanent bases in Iraq? 

Finally, a mainstream newspaper (though not Pravda on the Potomac or Izvestia on the Hudson) does a little reporting on this crucial issue:

President Bush and his top advisors have never said the United States wants to establish permanent military bases in Iraq. But they have never ruled out the possibility either.

"Intense opposition to U.S. plans to establish long-term military bases in Iraq is one of the most passionate motivations behind the insurgency," [Larry Diamond, a former consultant to the U.S. occupation authority in Iraq] wrote last week on the liberal website TPMCafe.com. "Neutralizing this anti-imperial passion — by clearly stating that we do not intend to remain in Iraq indefinitely — is essential to winding down the insurgency."

Leaks from the Pentagon have deepened the uncertainty. In May, the Washington Post reported that military planning did not envision permanent bases in Iraq but rather stationing troops in nearby Kuwait. But the report noted that the Pentagon was also planning to consolidate U.S. troops in Iraq into four large fortified bases.

On the theory that concrete speaks louder than words, critics see such work as a sign the administration is planning to stay longer than it has acknowledged.

John E. Pike, a defense analyst at GlobalSecurity.org, points to another indication. Although the United States is systematically training Iraqis to fight the insurgents, he notes, the Pentagon has not taken key steps — like making plans for acquiring tanks or aircraft — to build an Iraqi military capable of defending the country against its neighbors.

To Pike that means that although the United States might reduce its troop level in Iraq, the fledgling nation, like Germany or South Korea, will require the sustained presence of a large American contingent, perhaps 50,000 soldiers. "We are building the base structure to facilitate exactly [that]," he says.
(via AP)

Lovely. Of course, with these guys, when they say "no decision has been made," everybody in the world (except maybe 500 pundits in DC) knows they're lying. Just like in how these guys went to war in the first place. Two days after 9/11, they want to use it as an excuse to invade Iraq, which is what they'd wanted to do all along. And now they have the nerve to tell us that "no decision has been made"? Puh-leeze.

So, when is Bush going to send Leadfoot out to meet Cindy Sheehan? 

That's the Heretiks' prediction, anyhow...

NOTE And no remarks about W hiding behind the skirts of his women. For one thing, Condi, typically, wears jodphurs...

Iraq clusterfuck: More proof that we're winning! 


Not really.

Iraq's parliament, pushed to the brink of a midnight deadline, gave negotiators an extra week on Monday to complete a draft constitution after weeks of intensive talks failed to bridge sectarian and ethnic rifts.

In the end on Monday, refusal by leaders of the Sunni minority to grant wide autonomy -- and control of oil income -- to the southern Shi'ite majority appeared to break any accord.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari, a Shi'ite Islamist, said the sticking points had been federalism and sharing out revenues.
(via AP)

As Bob and Ray once said: "There in stately splendor, far above the squalid village below, they fight their petty battles over power and money."

Except the splendor isn't so stately:

Delayed again by a typical Baghdad power blackout, and with nerves frayed after what had sounded like mortar blasts nearby earlier in the evening, the National Assembly voted unanimously for a motion from the speaker to grant just a week, to August 22.

Meanwhile, Bush dismounted Condi his exercise bike to emit a handler-crafted statement:

Bush Downplays Constitution Delay
"Their efforts are a tribute to democracy and an example that difficult problems can be solved peacefully through debate, negotiation, and compromise," Bush said in a statement.
(via AP

Yeah, like Inerrant Boy knows what "debate, negotiation, and compromise" even mean. Gimme a break.

Translation: He couldn't muscle what He wanted from the Iraqis.

So tell me again what the "noble cause" is? I keep forgetting.

UPDATE Meanwhile, our Ambassador in Iraq thought he could speak all on his own without checking in with Dear Leader in Hellmouth,TX. And what's his alibi? The weather. The AFP headline is priceless:

Iraq misses constitution deadline, US ambassador blames weather
"We recognize that the three days lost because of the recent sandstorm set back the schedule of deliberations," [US ambassador Zalmay] Khalilzad said in a statement,
(via AFP)

But don't worry, there's no, um, crisis:

Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari downplayed a possible political crisis after the failure to meet the deadline.

"This is not a political crisis, but just a problem and can be overcome," he told reporters after the parliament session which was also attended by Khalilzad.

He said the main issues that were unresolved were federalism and distribution of national wealth.

Uh, right. Everything's resolved except who gets the money and who has the power. Damn, I've forgotten what that noble cause was, again. Funny.

And I grant that the sandstorm was awful. Still, when the Framers were writing the Constitution in Philly, in Independence Hall, they nailed the windows shut. And in Philly, in the summer, that's no picnic. Something tells me that if there was an agreement to be had, a sandstorm wouldn't have gotten in the way....

There And Back Again, Again 

Run, do not walk, run, I tell you, to view what the Heretik hath wrought. I will say no more; never has a post spoken more eloquently on behalf of its subject.

May we also point you to a Corrente exclusive, "The Crawford Diaries," brought to us through the good auspices of the farmer, in what we hope might become the first of a series.

Turning to the issue of NARAL's misbegotten ad on the potential Supreme Court Justiceship of John Roberts, Mark Kleiman, who had offered a brave and brilliant defense of the ad's content, offers an equally interesting parry in response to the original post by, Jim Lingren, one of the conpirators at the Volokh site, who asks why, since Justices Breyer and Ginsburg had come down on the side of Operation Rescue in a different decision, would it not be fair to say about them what NARAL tried to say about Judge Roberts? Professor Kleiman explains why not here.

Atrios already linked to this "Crooked Timber" post once, but the comments thread has lengthened, and Ted Barlow's original post, which provoked a response from Eugene Volokh, to which "Henry" response, spun off this not to be missed thread are equally as worthy.

Check out this delicious morsel, a memo from "Lucianne" to "Hugh" re Cindy-you-know-who, which Ted claims a little bird spirited into his mail box; he reports, you decide. You'll be glad you did.

And finally, the "Bad Magician" has made an appearance under a certain tree in Texas and sometime commentator, and now full-blown blogger, MJS was there to catch the action; if you missed the result in our comments section last week, or the link provided at Jesus' General, here's your second chance; don't pass it up, and while you're there , look around at all the other interested stuff MJS has going on there.

In Case You Thought He Forgot 

Xan posts, below, on Paul Krugman's Times article calling out our wartime-on-old-people president for his lies and deceptions regarding Social Security.

Yesterday, as we celebrated the most successful and important public program ever created in the US, many other folks no longer interested in the issue thought Bush's campaign against it was dead in the water and was pretty much over. But in Reuters' report this morning there's this:
"Social Security, the New Deal-era program credited with keeping millions of elderly people out of poverty, turned 70 on Sunday with Americans rallying around it and President George W. Bush as determined as ever to give it a makeover."
Deep in the bowels of Crawford, the Dauphin dozes, while waiting for his henchman to reconstruct the attack:
"Republican lawmakers have put off any action on Social Security until the fall.
Bush has scaled back the number of his Social Security speeches as he tried to give room to House of Representatives Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas to work on a broad proposal to include such ideas as retirement savings incentives.
Charlie Black, a Republican political strategist, said Bush's lower profile should not be mistaken for waning interest.
"I don't think he's lost any of his zeal for Social Security reform," Black said. "The action has sort of shifted to the Hill now and the Ways and Means Committee so we'll have to kind of see what they can come up with."
Be forewarned. This is a battle we can't afford to lose, because once changes are made, it will never be restored.

Krugman Drops the L-Bomb 

And 'bout damn time, some might say.

(via NYT) (aw, go ahead and register already--otherwise how are you going to protest when they go to Pay-for-Pontificating in September?)

Many pundits and editorial boards still give Mr. Bush credit for trying to "reform" Social Security. In fact, Mr. Bush came to bury Social Security, not to save it. Over time, the Bush plan would have transformed Social Security from a social insurance program into a mutual fund, with nothing except a name in common with the system F.D.R. created.

In addition to misrepresenting his goals, Mr. Bush repeatedly lied about the current system. Oh, I'm sorry - was that a rude thing to say? Still, the fact is that Mr. Bush repeatedly said things that were demonstrably false and that his staff must have known were false. The falsehoods ranged from his claim..."
After which he deliniates a number of prevarications, on a wide range of subjects, pretty well defined as "every time Dear Leader flaps his lips" which is no more than the plain truth, innit now?

The Crawford Diaries 

bush diariesI like it here. It's quiet.

I kin do some reflectin' and some cogitation-izin'.

Dear Diary,
I thought it important to write you at this pertnint time.


Dearest Diary,
How are you this evening?

Nooo. Try agin'...

Dear Diary,
It's me, George. George Bush. George W. Bush.

No, no, no that don't sound right neither. To formal. Too inty-LECTUAL. Need to be more plain speakin-like. This diary writin' thing ain't as easy as I thought it would be. Havin' a hard time gettin' started here. 'Specially with all that fugue music piano playing upstairs. And all that marching back and forth is makin' the floorboards rattle. Makes me jumpy. I don't like feeling jumpy. I like it when Condi plays that rag-time. I like that. I like that song she plays from that movie... "The Sting". Yeah, I like that movie song. I like that a lot. Kinda jaunty. A jaunty theme song. Yep. I like feelin' jaunty. I like theme songs too. Don't like feelin' jumpy. Jess jaunty. Good 'en jaunty. ... jaunty be good!... het, het, het, het, het.... git down... You like that too Barney!, het, het ...yeah... Ok ok, where was I... diary, writing to the diary... here we go...

Dear Diary,
Today is August. Sunday. Sunday night in August. The 14th Sunday in August. In the year of our Lord 2005.

I decided to write to you about my struggle. The hard work I do here. Hard work and relaxation. I like to do hard work and relax. Get it all down on paper. Yep. My Struggle. That's a good name for a book. Run that idea'r by Karen. See if she likes it too.

I like writing to you diary. This is fun. Barney likes it too. I like dogs. I like to come down here when it gets too noisy in the house. Come down here. Me and Barney in the bunker. Get away from it all. Like a vacation house inside a vacation house. Do some thinkin' 'bout stuff. Do some writin'. Get my proorities in order. Gotta have proorities. Gotta have proorites in a orderly fashion. Keep it simple. Keep it orderly. Be on time.

Still got that scary mother camped out there on the road somewhere. I got my people keepin' an eye on her though. Keepin' a vigil. Remain vigilant. Operation Wide-Awake Vigilant. That's what we call it here. I like to remind people to remain vigilant. Resolute. Steely resolute! Yep, I'm a steely resolute person. Noisy upstairs. Hard to write with all that racket. Saudis is clog dancing and hootin it up with the twins again. I can hear em' all up there now. They sure as hell is wide-awake.

Barney hear em too? Don't be gittin' skittish Barney, eat yer brownie there, Laura made it fer ya special. Maybe I should go up there and tell em to settle down. Nah, maybe not, that wouldn't be good... can't do that, wouldn't be the right thing to do, wouldn't be diplomatic. Wouldn't be neighborly. Gotta love yer neighbor like ya love yerself. 'Specially if yer neighbor has sevr'al billion dollars worth a oil squirtin' up outta their back yard sand box. het, het. What the hell, they like to watch the twins do that high-kickin' cowgirl can-can dancin' anyway, het, het, that is pretty entertainin'. Reminds me of the time I was.... uh, ah, nevermind... wheres my magic marker... I like my magic markers... Barney, git over here!... git now... don't be peein' on my mom's bench press!... I told you before about that....

Dear Diary. Resumin' my entry here: Night time, August 14. Took Barney for a walk. Outside. I like to go outside too. Both Barney and I like to go outside. Starry night. The stars shine bright. Deep in the heart of Texas. I like poems. I like jaunty poems. I lke bluebonnets and poems. And starry nights. I like walkin' in the bluebonnets. I don't tell a lot of people that but I feel comfortable tellin' you Diary.

Walked hand in hand through the bluebonnets with my good friend the Crown Prince Abdullah. A jaunty walk. I like jaunty walks. About a week or two ago. I like to call him "Dooley". King "Dooley" Abdullah the Saudi sandman. LOL. The monarch, the future. Praise be unto Allah. We had a nice time.

I like the way he squeezed my hand once when I almost tripped in a stump hole. Caught my balance, assured me everything would be ok. Gave me a good feelin' in my heart. Made me feel secure. Sprinkle a little of that magic Saudi sand in my eye at night and I drift off like a lazy slug-a-bed. LOL! Did i mention Prince Turki gave Laura a solid gold bowling ball the other afternoon. He sure did. Big shiny one too. A real beauty. I can hear it rolling around in the hallway upstairs right now. Cheney likes to watch the twins get tight 'en chase it around in their underwear. I'm surprised that ain't gave the old fool another blowout! LOL! Just kiddin'. I kid Uncle Dick.

I should probbly erase that last pary-graph. 'Specially that part about Preznit, I mean Vice Preznit Cheney, and the twins and the bowlin ball...that sounds a little weerd...het, het... that part about the sandman is probbly a little comp-ro-mizin' too.... damn... can't erase magic marker... I shouldn't a done that... oh, George... maybe I kin erase it with some lighter fluid.... smear it around... smear it around...uh boy... I don't need this.... and that sceery mother is still out there in the dark. I kin sense the lights of the 'campment, the biv-oo-ak, as Rummy likes to call it. I kin sense it out there. She's gonna be lookin' fer me tomorrow too. Huntin' me like a dirty animal! Tryin' to question my steely re-solve. Who does she think she is anyway!!

Maybe I should close the road. Close the road like they done in Gaza! Send in a helicopter gunship to blast her peace-creep ass outta there. Git that neighbor fella up the road to plant some rattle-snakes in their porta potties...heh heh... holy shit... that'd take some explainin' - heh heh - heh heh -- ok, feelin' woozie here... what would The Monarch do? I needa' settle down... settle, settle... Barney!, I asked ya not to do that sort of thing to my moms leather medicine ball... it looks obscene...

Moms. Sceery moms. Some people out there even comparin' the one up the road to Jesus. I seen it on the internets this afternoon. Some people sayin' maybe even Jesus sent her. Holy son-of-a-bitch. I can't be lobbin' mortars at Jesus fer Christ's sake!

Git a hold of yerself bucko. It's jess one mom. Jess a reg'lar sceery mom. Ain't no messenger of the peace God or nuthin freeky like that. Some kinda pilgrim maybe, at the most, but not some kind of emmy-sary of the Lord. I needa' git a hold a that weasle stomping despot Ratzinger in the morning. See if he's got any line on this. Strangle this outrage in it's crib. Git those two bootleg pulpit hicks in Virginia off their fat asses too. This is bullshit.

Screechin mother of Jeziss where the hell is that screwfly Rove when I need him. Time to put an end to this angel of peace bullshit. Next thing ya know some nut will recognize the bitch on a slice of toast or a grilled ham steak and the whole business will be all over... all over the Larry King Show and... oh shit....!

BARNEY! Didn't I ask ya nice before not ta do that sort a thing on my moms favor-ite blood stained rubber wrasslin' mat! It was a gift from the Harris County Department of Corrections. Now we're gonna have to go outside agin' and get all shwetty and overheated....

Dear Diary,
How's it going. Look, I gotta go. Gotta go now. Things are gettin' ugly here and Barney's digestive system is actin' funny. The crazy noise upstairs has gone silent ----- yup, silent... and i'm not even sure what time it is. I think it's Monday. I gotta get a bead on things here before the sun comes up or I'm gonna be screwed. Screwwwwd! Do some brush clearin' if ya know what I mean. I really like you diary. Yer a good friend. Had a good time talkin' with ya. I'll be back diary.. I'll be back... you can count on me.... operation steely resolve.... yeah, thats it... I'll have to talk with Karen about that one too... this is my struggle diary.... my struggle. Yours truly, GW.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Theocracy Rising: What they mean by "activist judges" on "Just Us" Sunday 

I'd always wondered what an "activist judge" was, aside from a winger hate figure, but fortunately now I know:

At the rally Sunday, Mike Miller, 54, of Gallatin echoed many of the speakers comments on judicial power, saying he believes Supreme Court justices try to create laws with their rulings instead of interpreting the Constitution.

''Activist justices -- we're trying to find out what we can do to stop that activity,'' he said. ''Our laws are based on the Ten Commandments.''
(via Times)

So, any judge who believes (as the Framers most assuredly did) in the separation of church and state is an activist judge.

And there you have it. These guys really want a theocracy, and won't stop until they get one. Yech.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
~ current ~

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]


copyright 2003-2010

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?