Sunday, February 29, 2004
Bush Says "Destroy America"See, for decades, America has been a sponsor of terrorists. Bush says such countries should be destroyed, and that's why I don't want him to be President. The Dictator of Cuba, Fidel Castro, the target of U.S. sponsored terrorism sent five spies to infiltrate the expatriate-Cuban terrorist groups in southern Florida. It apparently worked. They gathered evidence. They built a case, showing that people in Florida are terrorists. So they were arrested and put in solitary confinement. Without access to almost any evidence, they have been convicted of some very hard sentences. And the terrorists? The reason America should be destroyed, according to our President? They were ignored. President Bush and the Justice Department are covering up for terrorists. This is precisely the sort of dangerous, delusional crap that makes U.S. Foreign Policy so freaking dangerous and in need of an overhaul, and yes, I have one. And I owe any knowledge of all of this to others, of course, except those things I've seen with my own eyes, for instance, watching C-SPAN or seeing many of the world's places, but never war.
Thursday, February 26, 2004
The Proper Sphere of the Rich?If anyone has any suggestions, on that, or the definition of an edile, please comment or e-mail.Montesquieu says the only requirement for the office of edile is being rich, but I don't know what job it was . Hopefully it means "guy on the main float at the parade."This is a link to the source of this quote, Gouveneur Morris, "Penman of the Constitution" on someone else's concerns at the Constitutional Convention, July 2, 1787:
He fears the influence of the rich. They will have the same effect here as elsewhere if we do not by such a Gov't keep them within their proper sphere. We should remember that the people never act from reason alone. The rich will take advantage of their passions and make these the instruments for oppressing them. The Result of the Contest will be a violent aristocracy, or a more violent despotism. The schemes of the Rich will be favored by the extent of the Country. The people in such distant parts can not communicate & act in concert. They will be the dupes of those who have more Knowledge & intercourse. The only security agst. encroachments will be a select & sagacious body of men, instituted to watch agst. them on all sides.[Coloring and bold mine, punctuation and capitalization in original]Imagine the gall! Trying to put limits on money! One might be led to believe that the Founders didn't believe in the doctrine that money equalled speech. This, from whom it was said by Madison "the finish given to the style and arrangement of he Constitution fairly belongs to the pen of Mr. Morris." In the above, Morris was, in case you didn't guess, talking about what became the U.S. House of Representatives.
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Nader in the RaceHe's in Texas now.If
- he stays in the southern and the mountain states, and;he sticks with his anti-corporate theme, pointing at the incumbent
- as he claims he did last time (re:clinton/gore), and will do again;
- it might help.
Sunday, February 22, 2004
Hard to be a Democrat thenPresident Andrew Jackson's entire treatment of the "Trail of Tears" from his December of 1831 State of the Union:
The internal peace and security of our confederated States is the next principal object of the General Government. Time and experience have proved that the abode of the native Indian within their limits is dangerous to their peace, and injurious to himself. In accordance with my recommendation at a former session of Congress, an appropriation of half a million of dollars was made to aid the voluntary removal of the various tribes beyond the limits of the States. At the last session, I had the happiness to announce that the Chickasaws and Choctaws had accepted the generous offer of the Government, and agreed to remove beyond the Mississippi river, by which the whole of the State of Mississippi and the western part of Alabama, will be freed from Indian occupancy, and opened to a civilized population. The treaties with these tribes are in a course of execution, and their removal, it is hoped, will be completed in the course of 1832.
Saturday, February 21, 2004
The Laissez-Faire Bottom Ranking ProblemWhat does the libertarian-minded Economist suggest for a country who is efficient at exporting nothing? Imagine, if they were all, also, hungry, at least a little bit. Then, by all rights, it would cost money to even get to zero in such a terribly poor country, therefore, it would be the last place on Earth anyone would invest. Mr. Top Hat, meet Mr. Haiti.(Note: there are poorer countries, Haiti is the local/timely example)
Fleshing Out My ThoughtsHamburger flipping is not manufacturing, reasons:
- The hamburger must be prepared at the same time the customer needs itWhich means the hamburger certainly can't travel far, meaning it must be prepared near the customerAssembling hamburgers requires no special tools or equipment (most of you have frying pans/microwaves)It degrades, even insults, the real manufacturersWhere could it possibly end? Does mixing sugar, water and lemon juice make a few kids with a stand "manufacturers?"
Friday, February 20, 2004
The Fundamental ProblemIn world affairs today, muddling the minds of even some of the most powerful among us, is the confusion between capitalism and democracy. We didn't fight WWII for Capitalism, we didn't found this country for Capitalism, we did it for the principle that people should have a say in their government.
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
The Completeness HumbugI like Montesquieu, but until now, I never knew about these notes of his. The political discussion beforehand might be interesting, but skip about 50% of the way down, to a red bar, to find the actual translation. There is a chance the notes are forgeries of someone pretending to be Montesquieu.
Haiti's New GovernmentRemember when people tried to warn you how bad the warlords in Afghanistan were? Remember when they said that Iraq wouldn't just run out and become a Democracy overnight? Well, this is the gang of "humans" that the US is backing in Haiti...
Pasteur Luc Mesadieu, a Protestant fundamentalist, Gerard Pierre Charles, ex-communist turned chief bourgeois ideologue, Serge Gilles, long-time representative for French political interests in Haiti, Evans Paul, former mayor of Port-au-Prince whose party the FNCD Aristide cut out of his cabinet in 1991, Victor Benoit, an ex radio personality and perennial political lightweight with no clear positions, but who "shows up" at every new "initiative," Hubert de Roncerey, Baby Doc's Minister of Social Affairs who in that capacity acted as slave-trader for the Dominican cane plantations, and fellow Duvalierist, Reynold George, a man widely believed here to have been involved in drug trafficking.From Stan Goff, thanks to CounterPunch.
MANY APOLOGIESFor a long time in this blog, for reason of being ignorant, I have said things about Bush and his economic policies which I now know not to be true, and that, in fact, I had it backwards. Bush, if left to his own devices, would probably not will crappy tax cuts on America. The only possible explanation, therefore, is that someone he is listening to is a fascist, or an idiot. His tax cuts have been fascist inspired, even if somehow cleverly hedged with numerically pleasing sounding trimmings. All the mathematically precise hedging only further entrenched in my mind that the fascists knew they were fascists, and were trying to hide it, the best they could. I apologize to the President for not understanding, and I think he should understand how I got it wrong. Then get a new Cabinet :p How do I know now? Thanks to Ron Suskind, Paul O'Neill and J. Brad Delong. Suskind and O'Neill have written a book, The Price of Loyalty, that I should buy and read.
Monday, February 16, 2004
Haiti BookRepublicans will like it because there are reasons to hate Clinton. Left Democrats will like it because the author, Stan Goff, is a soldier who used all the loopholes (and then some?) to make things good. Hideous Dream: A Soldier's Memoir of the US Invasion of Haiti (the 1994 one), from Soft Skull Press.
Friday, February 13, 2004
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Morality and TV, Europe and NielsenAccording to what I just heard, Europe doesn't have a Nielsen-like ratings sytem. If you sell news in Europe, you have to guess that people are interested. The American news gets second by second updates of viewerships, allowing a science of human trigger-response to grow.
Monday, February 09, 2004
SpeakingDid I ever mention I found Mayor Bloomberg a refreshing speaker when the topic was the budget of NYC? Well, I must recommend to Senator Kerry, should he become President, ensure to retain the services of Social Security Administration Commissioner JA Barnhart. I'm not saying the ideas were revolutionary, but her efficacy seemed self-evident, and her aims, admittedly ministerial, seem true. I'm not saying she shouldn't operate with new instructions, but that if her services can be retained, as much as possible efforts should be made to do so.
Red Hands Stain RobesPeople have stretched their dutiful personaes to include glancing at the other earthling's documents. Recent Republican staffers, on the Judiciary Committee, managed to save a copy of 1000s of Democrat memos that Democrat staffers were tardy in securing. Allegations by, seemingly naive, staffer Miranda, include that the Democrat memos show quid pro quos with certain interest groups and Democratic Senators. To think that the amount of Republican money traded this way isn't far larger is, of course, a laughable notion. But only one side has anyone crowing about proof (note: the web page rendered badly on my machine, look to the right for the article). Considering the source, the National Review of the Leaked Feith Memo shame, it is likely this is a baseless political move. But we may have an honest zealot who is trying to point out a fire in the Democrat camp while the nuclear conflagaration in his own backyard goes unnoticed by him. Don't believe your own hype!
Saturday, February 07, 2004
Daniel Pipes Needs to Be Marched Out of the Public SphereDr. Daniel Pipes believes that if you give Palestinians anything, they will always want more, and, in fact, will always want all of Israel (he listed Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa, the main cities and capital of Israel). Dr. Daniel Pipes said, if asked, he would say that the Palestinians have been ruined, as far as any possibilty of peace, before 2030 or 2035, 25-30 years from now. The average age in Palestine is around sixteen. Perhaps ninety percent of the population is under thirty. Considering that the U.S. President must be thirty-five, we can only assume that Dr. Pipes assumes that every Palestinian over the age of 9 is a one hundred percent lost cause for any possible nation founding role. Every Palestinian over the age of nine. Every Palestinian over the age of nine, in the eyes of Dr. Pipes, is irreconcilable with the existence of Israel.
Friday, February 06, 2004
Elaine Chao, Department of Slave LaborShe actually said, I shit you not, "The ultimate arbiter [of economic performance] is the stock market." This is who Bush puts in charge of the Department of Labor, someone only interested in publicly held corporate wealth. Think about that, ladies and gentlemen, your homeowners prices don't matter, your jobs don't matter, the quality of life doesn't matter (what goods get produced, who cares if 10% of federal receipts, in supplementals, just went to bombs), nothing matters, except the wealth of the publicly-traded corporate owners.
Thursday, February 05, 2004
Kudos to Senator DorganThanks for injecting the truth about the aluminum tubes into the record. America has people who enrich uranium. Our experts, at Oak Ridge Nat'l Laboratories, say it is impossible for those tubes to be used for enrichment. Even if the Iraqis had tried, they would have failed with those tubes. Yet, Tenet and Powell asserted that "most scientists" agree with they were for an atom bomb program. Scientist Houston Wood of Oak Ridge National Laboratories, in fact, asserts that he doesn't know a single scientist alive, or anyone in academia, who agrees with Tenet and Powell. Senator Kyl instantly begins arguing from authority, a logical fallacy. Senator Kyl tries to dissemble. "Intelligence is complex." Senator Kyl begins trying to push the argument that we went to war for a U.N. resolution, when his party, himself, and especially the President, have done everything in their power to insult, deride and generally abuse the United Nations. Shameless, shameless, shameless. Senator Kyl is an ultra-conservative, who has never voted for the United Nations, and certainly would never thank them for disarming Saddam Hussein. Even though well over 50% of Senator Dorgan's argument was about specific claims by Tenet and Powell concerning aluminum tubes, Senator Kyl doesn't mention that at all. Senator Kyl is just a monster, accusing our side of ignoring the totality of evidence. The totality of evidence, the mountains of totally shoddy material that was the basis of the Iraq War is exactly what had to be examined for the truth to be seen. Perhaps Senator Kyl is just not smart enough to understand these things.
Tenet, after all, is CIATenet quotes someone else to lie to us. Mr. Tenet explains that he had a report that said that, at a meeting of high ranking officials, they said they believed they could continue their nuclear program while the U.N. inspectors were in country. This is a lie Tenet knows is a lie, and that is why he reads it from a report that crossed his desk, in the fall of 2002. Uranium enrichment is a requirement, unless they buy enriched uranium. Enrichment is 100% detectable during UN inspections, and Tenet would have known this. Mr. Tenet claims, at the time, that the report was attributed to a reliable CIA source, but that this attribution is wrong. Who misidentified it? Was the report ever correctly attributed in time? If this report had been widely disseminated, it would have quickly been identified as flawed. He cites another report after this one, but I was typing this. As Senator Warner has said "Thank g-d they weren't there to hurt our troops." Please pardon my rare respect for other people's religions.
More Libya Spin from TenetIs it in the interests of the United States to mischaracterize Qaddafi's development as leader of Libya as the result of the war on Iraq? The Republicans are saying it was the war on Iraq. Director Tenet says it was because we could prove we knew about Libya's programs.
Tenet Calls Republicans WrongLots of political posturing by Republicans lately has suggested that the CIA was hampered by the Church Commission. Back then, you'll recall, the FBI was involved in intimidation, harassment, and illegal activities against Americans for political views. These Republicans still regret that they can't use the intelligence agencies to hurt their political opponents. So they knee-jerk say that the CIA was hurt by this in the fight against terrorism (a new, convenient point in the argument they've been making all along) while George Tenet, CIA Director, says they are 100% wrong.
Lately I've been coming back to thinking like one of my first postsWhen Jack Straw told the press what was on the minds of the members of the United Kingdom's House of Commons (lower House) when they voted for the war. Jack Straw had the gall to suggest that the claim that Saddam could launch WMD in 45 minutes was not on their minds when they voted for this war. Jack Straw, tell me, why don't I believe you?
Reagan and DeanWhat a bunch of right-wing hypocrites the news media are. When Reagan was a clueless boob about foreign policy, and was considered mentally imbalanced by some, the right wing said that it was a good thing. That we wanted to have a President that was unpredictable, that might scare the Soviets. Now we have Howard Dean, who doesn't listen to the malarkey, and has plenty of relevant foreign policy expereience, as a Governor after 9/11 he was responsible for implementing the USA ORWELL Act in his border State. The number one reason Dean can win is his ability to speak Spanish. It really is that simple. Kerry can't.
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
Roscoe Bartlett, R-MDHey might have made some good points, but he outright lied by calling the Founders "devoutly Christian" They were, in fact, convenient Christians, attending Churches because they were social halls of the day. President George Washington, for example, wouldn't bother to kneel, even when instructed, long before he was the great man we know him as today, back when he was just a failing military officer with wit. They were deists.
Chet Edwards, D-TexasBravo! Fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. The Republicans are trying to allow religious tests for federally funded jobs, specifcially in the Community Services Block Grant Program, HR 3030. He brings up Sam Irvin's comments on Title VII of the CIvil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended in 1965). Nice! A Democrat who prepared! I was confused about the fact that this is currently law. That religious organizations that accept federal funds under the CSBGP, and a half dozen other federal programs (3-6?) already allow this. Rep. Edwards said that most of the people who agreed to the law in the first place where unaware of the language. It was passed in 1998. Kudos to Rep. McCollum, for her potent voice. A reluctant kudos to Rep. Bobby Scott, for his poignant reminder that in fact, if not by necessity, religious discrimination is tantamount to racial discrimination in much of the country. Technically, all the credit goes to Rep. Lynn Woolsey(sp?) D-California, whose substitute, a tiny, tactical amendment, is being debated.
Mark Foley, R-Florida, Misinformation and LiesHe actually said Charles Taylor was forced from Office. Charles Taylor was trying to leave. His only demand was the U.S. put some boots on the ground, so the situation wouldn't be anarchy. The President tried, again and again, to prevent this. I would suggest that 10s of thousands of dead Iraqis don't feel very free now.
CNN, Lamest?Watching from around 8AM to 8:25AM this morning. Mostly covering Janet Jackson, the slime had the nerve to call it "Janet-gate". Lots of coverage of Marth Stewart (the only Democrat I know in the entire list of corporate crooks of the last few years). A bunch of quotes from retards, like a racist NASCAR driver, a stupid Virginia Legislator, and other things that, out of context, don't add anything to your sense of what is happening in the world. That and lots of coverage of a kidnapping of an 11 year old girl. They like to do it for white kids. Later, they covered Kobe! I switched over to Fox, and I saw Iraq, I saw foreign policy, heavy stuff.
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
Rod Paige LiesHe says that if money was the key determinant, Washington D.C. would have the best public schools. D.C. does spend a lot more than many other urban areas. But by no means can you forget to qualify that by saying "really large urban." In fact, many, many rich suburbs spend 2-3 times as much per student as in Washington. D.C. Of course, what can you expect from the Superintendent of a School District that was throwing kids out of school so they wouldn't show up in the figures. Fascists hate education.
Monday, February 02, 2004
Absurdities Re: ReaganWe all know that JFK lied about a missile gap and got elected, in part, by implying Eisenhower was soft on the Soviets. Fast forward. Reagan, when faced with a Soviet Union on the verge of collapse, whose economy was in a shambles, and tried to fool us into thinking that massive defense spending to his former cronies in GE, and other military-industrial complex types, was necessary to destroy them. If the Soviets were a bit behind us in 1960, in 1980, it wasn't even close. Reagan was far worse a liar than JFK, but, because he didn't know much about foreign policy at all, I doubt he even cared. Face facts, he didn't even know what detente was, and that had been the foreign policy posture towards th Soviets since the Cold War got in full swing, six months before he was elected. Moron city. It really freaks me out how the really stupid are easily manipulated by the rich and greedy.
Kent Conrad, Comments on the Budget"this President is taking us on a reckless course" "it's worse than we anticipated" "there is no talk about fiscal security of this nation, and this president is putting it all at risk, in the most dramatic and fundamental way" "the most fiscally irresponsible president in the history of the country"
Correctly Assessing a RepublicIt's not enough to support America because America is a Republic, a Democracy. You must correctly understand the parts of the Republic, so that changes don't violate their spirit. He also said the party was not calling on the electorate to stay away from the polling booths, as this was "their sovereign choice.", from Channel News Asia.
Misinformation From Josh Bolten, White House OMB DirectorLet's face it, making political payoffs look like sound budget policy is the same as dressing up shit with roses. Let's take a look at those roses. The OMB Director was asked about roads & bridges funding. Recent studies have shown that America's bridges are really in terrible shape. Well, I don't hear about them falling down, but they need a lot of repairs (and I'd wager we'd save money by repairing them before it gets too late, in many cases). Mr. Bolten replies that the next six years should have an average increase of 21% over the last six year average. Let's ignore Bolten talking about budgets over which he shall have no control, i.e. the 2006 and beyond budgets, and just look at transportation funding over as many previous years as we can find. I'm still waiting for whitehouse.gov to cough up the budget, since right now the office White House web site gives me a swoa-e5.eop.gov not found.
Lord Hutton on Short ListThis is fucking surreal. President Bush gets us into a bogus war, and when confronted, gets to personally appoint the people investigation. Bush-fawners, CNN, repeat David Kay's claim that "we were all wrong." That's a lie. Many inside the intelligence community were speaking the truth. Doug Feith, and the DoD (congressionally funded?) secret Office of Special Plans, were pushing the lies. Scott Ritter was in no way wrong. But loser, partisan, slimy David Kay, or at least CNN's cut of Kay's comments, makes us all out to be wrong. Folks, I left my $180K/year job the day this monstrosity broke the fuck out. I wasn't wrong, David Kay and CNN. The Presidents case ignored numerous facts on record. The dutiful press ignored the same facts.
Liberal Media Revealed!As anyone who watches any media knows, the whole thing is run by a bunch of liberals, which in case you didn't know, means they are 100% beholden to the Demcratic Party. As proof of this claim, which the President believes, we need just look at the role of Senate Minority Leader, Tom Daschle of South Dakota. No Democrat in Washington has nearly the power of a Senator Daschle, his fellow traveller House Democrats can exercise no power with their minority status, but in the Senate, Tom Daschle can use his 48 Democrats and 1 Independent to stop the god-fearing plans of our Holy and Just, True Defender, George "Washington" Bush. We all know that every time we turn on the news we see Tom Daschle. The media regularly spends hours in a row parroting the agenda of Senator Daschle. Haven't we had enough already? Call your local news outlet. Demand that they stop their sycophantic attitude towards the Senate Minority Leader. Demand that they pull their heads out of their butts, and realize that the only True Hero of the United States(R)(tm) is George Walker Bush.
Sunday, February 01, 2004
Dean and the NetWhy did Dean attract an Internet following? The answer is far clearer than one might think, and uniquely tied to the war. No matter which news agency you watched, you were likely to hear an almost uniform beating of the war drums before the Iraq War. Many people wonder about the lies, when it is obvious they emerged from Ahmed Chalabi and Doug Feith at the Office of Special Plans, but that is not the point. The point is that "left" or "right," the media was not willing to seriously address the idea that the UN was completely succesful in disarming Iraq, that the sanctions, under the auspices of the UN were misapplied. That the US/UK bombing during the sanctions period was ill-advised, uniting Middle Eastern anger against us. Much the same with the recent war. The internet allowed the voice of the non-mainstream to be heard. The relative truth of the idea that Saddam was not a threat to the United States is now established, and this probably means the Dean campaign for truth is over. Watching Haley Barbour, a very smoothe man, makes me think Dean should be learning from him.
Spinefull posturingIf you say the right things, and stand up for liberty and freedom, but then sit back down, you still get some credit.. Of course, the U.S. paper doesn't quite follow Khameini's power, calling it ultimate, when it really amounts to a veto and the right to vet candidates. These powers are central to governnance, but it falls far, far short of "ultimate" power. Majjls=Iranian Parliament. Khameini=Lifetime Clerical Leader
They turned our Islam into the Islam of the Taliban," resigning lawmaker Rajab Ali Mazrouie charged during the unprecedented and insulting rebuke of the hard-line Guardian Council. "Elections whose results are predetermined violate the rights and ideals of the nation." "Destroying people's rights is the greatest sin in Islam," Majlis speaker Mehdi Karroubi said after piling the resignation letters the members handed him one-by-one into a foot-high stack. He called on Khamenei to "intervene to solve this problem," adding that he is still optimistic the acrimonious dispute can be resolved. When the frustrated reformers asked Karroubi to grant them leave from the parliamentary chamber, he refused. So they remained, embarking on further diatribes against the Guardian Council. The live broadcast that was carried uninterrupted on Majlis Radio, which routinely broadcasts parliamentary sessions, was a rare glimpse for ordinary Iranians into the brewing political crisis that the broadcast media has so far censored. The three-week sit-in by members each day was never shown on television, nor were key reformers interviewed.