Saturday, June 28, 2008
On some days...and yesterday was one of them....they go that extra mile and do something really stupid. Grover Norquist, anti tax dude and one of the chief architects of neo conservatism (his Wednesday meetings are essential to the movement), dropped by the Time's Washington bureau for an interview on the election. He was giving his views on who McCain should pick for VP when he was asked what he thought about Senator Obama. He said:
"He's basically John Kerry with a tan."
Hee Hee. This is going to be more fun than I thought.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
This will be here until election day!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism
From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights
The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.
3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.
4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism
Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.
5. Rampant sexism
Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.
6. A controlled mass media
Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.
7. Obsession with national security
Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.
8. Religion and ruling elite tied together
Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.
9. Power of corporations protected
Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.
10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated
Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts
Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.
12. Obsession with crime and punishment
Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. “Normal” and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption
Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.
14. Fraudulent elections
Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.
Monday, June 23, 2008
As you read this quote, I would like you to chime in, in comments, as to who you think these words more accurately describe...liberals or conservatives, as defined by the current state of affairs in the United States.
Extreme patriotism and nationalism, however, can lead to the oppression of dissident minorities and hatred and distrust of other nations. These forces can create barriers to greater understanding across cultures and reduce the opportunities for people to to work together to achieve common goals. They can also create an exaggerated sense of superiority, as occurred in Nazi Germany. Additionally, in an era where an increasing number of nations possess nuclear weapons and unstable political leadership, excessive patriotism and nationalism can threaten the very existence of the world.
Now who does that sound like.....hmmm?
Sunday, June 22, 2008
So, I thought that on this beautiful Monday morning, I would share with you a poem that one of my colleagues recently gave to me in the hopes that an answer will come to mind as to why they are doing it.
My mother sat rocking in the shade of our apple tree
And reminisced about her youth,
Of her terrible days in the camps.
I sat motionless, in disbelief,
How could another people be so cruel?
I asked my mother
Why they took her to the camps? She was but fourteen.
She rocked thoughtfully for awhile....
Well, my child, she began,
When they took over our land,
They came looking for the politicians and their families,
They came looking for the soldiers and their families,
They came looking for the policemen and their families,
They came looking for the teachers and their families.
My blood pumped hard echoing in disbelief,
The teachers......the teachers..........the teachers.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up, as stunned as I.
I asked my mother
Why the teachers? They are people of peace.
She rocked thoughtfully for awhile.....
Well my child, she began,
When they take over any land,
They come looking for the teachers because teachers are dangerous people.
Teachers cause children to think, to dream, to hope.
Teachers reveal history and new ideas.
Teachers bring a society to reading and writing.
Teachers cause children to question and teachers inspire action.
Teachers are dangerous people.
I asked my mother
What I should do? I am a teacher.
She rocked thoughtfully for awhile....
Well my child she began,
I know this is difficult to understand,
For in Canada, teachers do not understand their power,
For in Canada, teachers are always embattled,
Made to see themselves as less than important.
But, because this is Canada, you must continue to be a teacher.
You, the teacher, are freedom's greatest hope......be dangerous.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Someone is campaign is shitting pick Twinkies....
Thursday, June 19, 2008
The first article tells the story of one Charles M Smith, the senior civilian overseeing the multibillion-dollar contract with KBR during the first two years of the war. He was fired because he refused to sign off on a billion dollars of "questionable" money that KBR charged to the US government. After he was fired, the money was gladly handed over. Gosh, what a shock.
The second article details the other half of why we went to War in Iraq...oil. ExxonMobil, Total, Shell, and BP are all set to take their no bid contracts on June 30th and begin to service the oil wells in Iraq. And there are still people out there that deride those like myself who think oil had anything to do with it?
I'm curious as to what the earth looks like with so many heads buried so deeply in it. Well, I'm sure they'll convince themselves that none of it could be true because it came from the "Traitor" Times. Maybe they should keep on thinking that and, in the meantime, I will be gently preparing their beds in the new asylum of cognitive dissonance they are going to enter in about seven months.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
When I first saw this, I laughed for...oh...about an hour. Then I thought, well, this is an exaggeration. They aren't really like this. Then I watched it again and thought....fucking a right they are! It's time to start admitting the obvious:
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I know several of you that fall into the first category that are steadfastly Republican. So...you want to pay more in taxes then?
Sunday, June 15, 2008
From Sgt. Brent Sammann (left), an active-duty soldier in the US Army:
I'm a first-hand witness to the exploitation by KBR and other companies lending their services to the war effort -- services us soldiers are fully capable of doing ourselves.... The military is being overcharged by these companies on a regular basis. Also, the poor service and treatment we get from some of their employees who make three times as much as those of us serving our country that are not in it for the money but are trying to make the world a better place for everyone.
From SPC (P) Johnny Rhodes in 3/2 SCR Infantry based in Diyala, Iraq:
After being awake for 3 days I may be a little bit out of it, so excuse any rambling or incoherence on my part. Off the top of my head, I can easily say that KBR in particular is of no help here in my area of Iraq. They do, jobs soldiers could do, get paid way better for it, but the work is almost always substandard.... at any given time there are hordes of these guys tying up the phones and internet, cramming the chow hall, etc. Which makes the soldiers have to wait. And wait. And wait. They also paid way more than me, for a job, I could do with my eyes closed.
From Brenda Clampitt, of Baton Rouge, LA, the wife of a soldier stationed at Camp Adder in Tallil, Iraq:
[My husband] drives the trucks and Humvees and escorts the KBR around where they need to go. He doesn't understand why they get paid way more then he does when [he and his fellow soldiers] are the ones doing the protecting, and are the ones getting shot at and blown up. He has seen soldiers die in front of him; he has seen lives destroyed and the country torn apart. My husband would serve his country whether he got paid or not, that is just how he is. He loves his country and wants to protect it but he sees first hand what is going on over there and he doesn't like it.... I myself am sick and tired of this war. It is dragging on and on and it is all about the money. I am not anti war. But I am FOR everything your movie is about.
The article also references a column in today's New York Times regarding the outsourcing of interrogation to private contractors (??!!?). I have a column coming soon on interrogation. I need to let it simmer a little while longer.
So, based on these quotes, would anyone of you "I just hate Bush" folks want to tell me, now that soldiers are starting to come forward, that there ISN'T any profiteering going on? Or maybe you could tell me what else you need-evidence wise?
Friday, June 13, 2008
This case would have never happened if our current leaders in the executive branch decided we could hold people without trial and torture the shit out of them. I find it hilarious that the "less government" crowd supports this. Kevin and company have been screeching in fear that a President Obama would create a fascist government with totalitarian control over its people.
Um....dumb assess.....it's already here and you are the biggest cheerleaders of it!!! And they accuse me of having a blind belief system? Good Lord....
Almost as funny is the arrogance that they FEEL that they know more about the Constitution than 5 Supreme Court justices and can't see the political bias of the Bush appointees, Roberts and Alito.
But the real kicker is the quote that Kevin has on the top of his page.....in the banner which defines his site!!!
The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
Well, I guess if the shoe fits....
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Obama could remind the voter that only 11% of sexually active women don't use contraception and from this 11% comes 50 percent of the nation's abortions. Ninety-three percent of the American public strongly favors contraception because of this very reason. Very few voters are aware, however, that not one pro-life organization in the United States supports contraception. Or that instead, pro-life groups have been spearheading campaigns to prevent Americans from accessing birth control. No less than 80% of self-described pro life voters strongly support contraception . Few know that McCain has a long legislative resume devoted to voting against access to contraception and prevention.
So, how does John McCain plan on reducing the number of abortions in the US?
Monday, June 09, 2008
With the rest of the country fully nauseated with conservatives in general and aching to give them the heave-ho, one would think that his path to the Senate would be a cake walk, especially in the only state that voted for Mondale in 1984!
And when he is running against Norm "go with the flow" Coleman. A cinch, right?
We must pause here to note two key facts:
- He is running in the No Fun Capital of the World (See this article)
- His path to the Senate has been made much more difficult by the teaming (thanks to very astute conservative pundits) of the high fallutin' right wing, morals crowd with the PC "all porn is degrading to women" dorks who have ten foot poles up their asses.
But the second problem....ah the second problem...that is an issue we can do something about. Personally, I was under the impression that the faux "porn is degrading to women" argument was left behind permanently in the 1980s. Sadly, I was wrong. After several of Franken's old sketches from Saturday Night Live were revisited, as well as a piece he wrote for Playboy in 2000, every self righteous woman with a giant pole up her ass has been screaming at the top of their lungs for his head on a pike.
Ironically, and just as loudly, conservatives like Katherine Kersten and other members of the morality police have also been complaining about Franken and are licking their chops at running against him in the coming months. And why wouldn't they? They have a fairly loud group of uptight dingbats on the left who they can exploit and use to help them win the election. The race between Franken and Coleman is close enough that if the anti-porn lefties don't turn out to vote or vote for a third party candidate, then Coleman will be serving a second term.
I wish I could get both groups in one room and spend an hour with them detailing why the 95 percent of the rest of us wish they would shut the fuck up. Both groups need to realized that....PEOPLE LIKE TO FUCK!! In fact, people need to fuck. It is on the very lowest level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. People also like to talk about fucking, how hot chicks' asses are, and how, on some occasions, it's OK to treat your lover like a plastic fuck doll. Sometimes they even like to write about it or make a joke about it.
And that's just what Al has done. To say that he is a misogynist, and focus on that ad naseaum, is so fucking ludicrous when you compare his Playboy column to....say....Coleman's support of the Iraq War. Why don't we go back and take a look the pictures of the dead children in Iraq? How important does Franken's joke about Leslie Stahl seem now?
It's satire, people. Please lighten the fuck up, remove the pole from your ass, try watching a porn film (I recommend Belladonna's Cock Pigs or Belladonna's Butthole Whores Volume #2-both were made by women) and let's focus on the real issues of the day like Iraq, health care, education, and the economy.
Friday, June 06, 2008
How can any of you can even listen to what markadelphia says after his embarrassing post regarding McCain's position on the Webb GI bill?
I have to say that this comment is correct. I really didn't do my homework. In fact, I left out several key points and I thank God that someone else out there is more on top of this story than I am. Why doesn't everyone go take a peek at Edward Hume's recent piece on McCain and where he stands on GI Bills and realize how pedestrian my post was?
Some key points:
Over the Memorial Day weekend, Sen. Barack Obama expressed some well-timed astonishment at McCain's opposition, and the two have been feuding about it ever since. The media and pundits seem perplexed, collectively suggesting: That's not the John McCain we know. Which is true: It is the John McCain they don't know. If the media weren't so mesmerized by the McCain image they have long promoted and instead got to know the McCain record, they would realize that there is nothing surprising or inconsistent about his position on the GI Bill.
For years he has opposed legislation that veterans and their advocates deem vital. In doing so, he is simply being true to the contemporary conservative wing of the GOP and its leader, George W. Bush, in opposing social programs and benefits for individuals, even if those individuals happen to be veterans. The only surprise is that anyone finds this surprising.
So let's take McCain up on his invitation. Here is how he has stood on recent legislation supported by major veterans organizations:
* On Webb's GI Bill, he expressed opposition, and he was AWOL when it was time to vote on May 22.
* Last September, he voted against another Webb bill that would have mandated adequate rest for troops between combat deployments.
* On a badly needed $1.5-billion increase for veterans medical services for fiscal year 2007 -- to be funded through closing corporate tax loopholes -- he voted no. He also voted against establishing a trust fund to bolster under-budgeted veterans hospitals.
* In May 2006, he voted against a $20-billion allotment for expanding swamped veterans medical facilities.
* In April 2006, he was one of 13 Senate Republicans who voted against an amendment to provide $430 million for veterans outpatient care.
* In March 2004, he voted against and helped defeat on a party-line vote a $1.8-billion reserve for veterans medical care, also funded by closing tax loopholes.
I stand corrected. My post was embarrassing as it left it these key facts. I humbly apologize and fully admit that my writings were lacking in depth. You know what...I....ah....I'll just let Hume finish...
Webb pointed out that there really was no compromise in McCain's proposal because it would have excluded most veterans by offering full education benefits only to those with multiple enlistments, even though 70% to 75% of enlistees leave after one tour.
Compare McCain's stingy standards with the original GI Bill: Any veteran who served 90 days during World War II, in combat or not, earned full benefits. It is Webb's bill that represents the reasonable compromise between the gold standard set for the "greatest generation's" original GI benefits and what is doable in today's economy: a GI Bill that will truly pay for a college education after three years of service, without the onerous payroll deduction.
So here is where the McCain image and reality part company. It is certainly true that his affectionate and respectful rhetoric for America's servicemen and women takes a back seat to no one. But when it comes to improving the health and education of our veterans, McCain's record leaves them stranded by the side of the road.
Oh...no...that's going to leave a mark.
Seriously, though, if you want to bring it to me, as Junior Soprano once said, you're going to have to come heavy, that is, do your fucking research and leave your confirmation bias at the door.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
As the general election campaign gets under way, make sure to stop by Electoral-Vote.com for all the latest polls and updates on all the other races that are underway. Right now, Obama is up on McCain 287 to 227.
The pundits on the right are coming up with all they can think of to go after Obama. I have to say that so far what they are bringing to the table is laughable. They are so fucking tone deaf and have completely lost touch with the American people. Maybe they never knew to begin with? The central theme on most minds of Americans is the economy. Everything flows from there...Iraq....price of oil...health care etc.
If I were a Republican strategist, I would focus on why Obama's plans won't work in these areas, specifically the economy. Of course, they run the risk of having to explain why conservative ideology has utterly failed in the last 28 years but at least the American people will listen. If they continue to talk about Obama's church, Bill Ayers etc., the votes will continue to pile up for Obama, even in traditionally red states.
The American people are tuning out the right wing douche bag who has a TV show, radio show or blog. After all, how have any of what these fuckers have said helped in any way? Thank God we are finally starting to wake up.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Monday, June 02, 2008
Karl Rove was in Rochester, Minnesota yesterday at the state Republican Convention.
As I read the report of his speech and criticisms of Obama (more on that in a moment), I was perplexed to discover that there was nary a mention of WHY THIS FUCKING CRIMINAL ASSHOLE ISN'T IN FUCKING JAIL YET!!!!!
Oh, wait. That's right. I forgot the two main rules of America in the last eight years.
Rule #1: Any and all assertions that Rove, Bush, Cheney etc are criminals are to be immediately dismissed as partisan hatred.
Rule #2: When Democrats break the law, they should be punished. When Republicans break the law, it may look they are breaking the law but they really aren't. Don't let your eyes deceive you. Any accusations made towards Republicans are ALL lies made by godless whores who are trying to destroy America with communism.
Silly me. One would think that when someone...
...Breaks a federal law, punishable by death, and reveals the name of am undercover CIA agent, oddly one who was in charge of tracking loose nukes-something I thought was important
...Fires US Attorneys solely on the basis of their unwillingness to fabricate evidence against Democrats in the various states in which they worked
...Exchanges documents using RNC email servers or personal, third party emails in violation of the Presidential Records Act.
...Exercises improper political influence over government decision making such as using the Department of Justice to manipulate the court involved in the prosecution of former Democratic Governor of Alabama Don Siegleman.
....Refuses to respond to a Congressional subpoena regarding #4 and has stated that he will also ignore another subpoena in regards to #2....
that they would be Vito's bitch in San Quentin right now. But not ol' Karl. Oh no. Karl gets a free pass from the same people who laughingly claim to be "tough on crime." These same people, and you know who you are, use the same line of defense that is often employed by high priced defense attorneys, painting the criminal as a victim of some great injustice or bias.
A line of defense that these same people, in what has to be the finest example of pure hypocrisy of I have ever seen, scream about being against all the live long day! Victim culture, my neatly shaved ass!
But by all means, please...continue to defend a piece of shit like Karl Rove and prove to the entire world that your words, regarding toughness on crime, are empty, hollow, and command an immediate loss of respect.
So, as I read Rove's criticisms on Obama as he delivered them to the "tough on crime" crowd, I had to laugh. In fact, I even guffawed! Let's take a look at a couple of them, with commentary of course...
Barack Obama is far out of the mainstream and someone who doesn’t necessarily have the same view of America that you and I do.
Well, this is true...if the mainstream is criminal scumbags and the view of America that he has is one that has him and a few, select others, as above the law.
Naivete and inexperience-a lethal combination.
Ah, the fear card...an oldie but a goodie.
Seriously, though, who is he kidding? Does he think the entire country are a bunch of fucking idiots? The above quote does not accurately describe Senator Obama...it describes President Bush! Take a look at the results of the last eight years...the loss of human life in Iraq...the incompetence of the response to Hurricane Katrina..the horse shit state of the economy and all the problems that go along with that...the complete ignorance of the people who actually attacked us on 9-11....and tell me again...please tell me with a straight face who is naive and inexperienced?
His speech was all the more surreal as it was met with "whoops, cheers, and ovations." Can someone please tell me what all these people are happy about? They're Republicans, right? And that means they deplore government overspending, correct? The Bush Administration has spend so much money that we are in debt up to our eyeballs to China. Our country may never recover its economic status in the world.
His whole speech made me really wonder, though...is this all the Republicans have for the general election? Boy, are they going to be in for rude awakening.
I can't wait.