Posted December 22, 2005
Reflections on The Power Of Nightmares
An interesting section of The Power Of Nightmares, the 3-hour BBC documentary series, concerns the story of how the neocons set out to 'get' Henry Kissinger. H the K was a foreign policy pragmatist who wanted to negotiate with the Soviets to create global stability, whereas the neocon raison d'etre was using The Soviet Threat to generate fear, in order to acquire and maintain power. Watergate conveniently reduced Kissinger's influence by felling Nixon and elevating Jerry Ford, who reshuffled the Cabinet and removed Kissinger from the NSC.
The Power Of Nightmares documents how many of the neocons in power Then are the same neocons in power Now. Suddenly, I saw in a new light the actions of a key player in the exposure of Watergate, who is now an apologist for Bush II. Early in All The President's Men, Bob Woodward's autobiographical sketch described his political affiliation as Republican. Back then it seemed to show that Woodward had no political axe to grind. Knowing what we know today (such as his protection of Mark Felt, who authorized FBI agents to doquelle coincidencewarrantless surveillance), Woodward's actions during Watergate start to look like a dirty tricks operation.
Blarchive: Two sides of the same coin
'So we went ahead and did what we wanted to do':
"...we consulted with leaders in the congress about the feasibility of legislation to allow this type of surveillance. We were advised that it would be virtually impossible to obtain legislation of this type without compromising the program." Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
...at The University Bookstore
...on Capitol Hill
...at Madison Market
EXCLUSIVE * EXCLUSIVE * MUST CREDIT DREDGE RIPOSTE
WAR ON CHRISTMAS:
Jewish private schools refuse to worship our Jesus, not taking
this week off! O'Reilly Factor investigating Virginia synagogue. Developing...
PEACE ON EARTH, GOODWILL TO MEN in Iraq possible,
if we don't cut and run. Women get "We Held An Election & All I Got Was A Shii
Theocracy & This Lousy Burqa" burqas.
U.S. PLANS TROOP REDUCTIONS: Some forces in Iraq may
come home in 2006, will be reported to FEC as in-kind contribution to
Republican congressional campaign committee.
GWEN STEFANI SHOPS AT TARGET, pharmacist refuses to
serve expectant songstress, "because you never know."
REVEALED: BILL GATES POSSESSES TIME MACHINE TECHNOLOGY.
Upside: Seattle Mariners re-signed Randy Johnson; Big Unit led team to 120 wins in 2001,
three World Series titles. Downside: Windows "Vista" accidentally introduced in 1998.
WORST JOB NEXT YEAR:
Seattle Public Utilities "Garbage Judge," decides if your trash is
illegal (more than 10% recyclables).
WAR ON CHRISTMAS: Jewish private schools refuse to worship our Jesus, not taking this week off! O'Reilly Factor investigating Virginia synagogue. Developing...
PEACE ON EARTH, GOODWILL TO MEN in Iraq possible, if we don't cut and run. Women get "We Held An Election & All I Got Was A Shii Theocracy & This Lousy Burqa" burqas.
U.S. PLANS TROOP REDUCTIONS: Some forces in Iraq may come home in 2006, will be reported to FEC as in-kind contribution to Republican congressional campaign committee.
GWEN STEFANI SHOPS AT TARGET, pharmacist refuses to serve expectant songstress, "because you never know."
REVEALED: BILL GATES POSSESSES TIME MACHINE TECHNOLOGY. Upside: Seattle Mariners re-signed Randy Johnson; Big Unit led team to 120 wins in 2001, three World Series titles. Downside: Windows "Vista" accidentally introduced in 1998.
WORST JOB NEXT YEAR: Seattle Public Utilities "Garbage Judge," decides if your trash is illegal (more than 10% recyclables).
That's all for this year, see you in 2006!
Posted December 21, 2005
Discovery Institute is off the island
"Intelligent Design is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism and not a scientific theory" Hon. John E. Jones III
I've been tolerant of Discovery Institute in the past, taking their conservative activities as a grain of salt in what I considered otherwise-welcome involvement in local community issues.
But no more. No longer is Discovery quietly pursuing Creationism as mere 'scholarship.' Now they are out in front politically, issuing press releases hammering US District Court Judge John E. Jones III (Bush II no less), who yesterday ruled against their warmed-over Because God Did It philosophy. And, revealing the intellectual level of their arguments, the criticisms issued by Discovery 'senior fellow' John West attack Jones, not the elements of Jones's decision.
Discovery is now being described online as a "Christian think tank".
So I issue this challenge to all local agencies, and centrist, progressive, or even apolitical NGOs working with Discovery, to reconsider those ties and sever them. Kick Discovery off your teams. I'm afraid this includes groups taking part in the Cascadia Project, Discovery's urban planning/economics entity. If Discovery is going to mess with the public school curricula by promoting religion as science, they can do it without the rest of us.
Posted December 20, 2005 | 0545 GMT
Two sides of the same coin
If you haven't seen The Power of Nightmares, the BBC's 3-part documentary from last January, you need to. It's all about how today's West vs. Mid East battle came to be, starting with two ideological extremists in Middle America of the 1950s. One was a Chicago professor who indoctrinated a generation of students into the use of religion and fear of the USSR to take power in the USthe neoconservative movement (Iraqi WMD was not the first time facts were fixed around a policy, not by a long shot). The other was an Egyptian visitor to Colorado who came to see American materialism as an infection that would spread throughout the Arab world (his ideas spawned radical Islam and Islamic Jihad, and inspired Ayman al Zawahiri). Two opposing forces (one largely illusory) but with much in common, including disregard for those who do not adhere to their extremist agendas.
Posted 1145 PST
The suspicious kittens were Persian
FBI Targeting Environmental, Animal Rights Groups as Domestic Terrorism
Posted December 19, 2005
Time for the Trust Game
President Bush said yesterday that he secretly ordered the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans... and targets only those people with "a clear link to these terrorist networks." Source
Oh I get it now. Bush has been going around the country speaking only to military academies, pre-screened partisans, and Beltway insiders. The problem is that he hasn't gotten out among the rest of us, the great unscreened unwashed. He doesn't know us, therefore he can't trust us.
Bush trusted Vladimir Putin to pursue democracy and free markets. He believed Rafael Palmeiro, when the former Ranger said he didn't use steroids. And I know why: because he has met them. He hasn't met the rest of us. No chance to shake each of our hands, to Look Into each of our Hearts.
Fourth Amendment!? That's so September 10th. There's so much we could be hiding. I sure haven't signed a loyalty oathhave you? For god sake, we've left the poor man with no choice. How's he supposed to know who has a link to terrorists unless he spies on us first??? Duh?!!!
Someone has to make the first move, so the first baby step may as well be mine. Mister Prez'dint, it starts with me: it's the Holidays, call it Christmas if you want, feel free to drop by and say Hi. Come to dinner; you can look into my heart over roast beef and a glass of sparkling water (or something strongerI can keep a secret).
The supermarket 2 blocks away has a big parking lot you can use as a helipad. You're welcome any time, no warrant necessary.
James Bamford on the Bush-NSA scandal:
"I didn't hear him specify any legal right, except his right as President, which in a democracy doesn't make much sense", Mr Bamford said yesterday in reaction to Mr Bush's comments. "Today, what Bush said is he went around the law, which is a violation of the law - which is illegal." Source
Bamford & Garbus on "DNow" this morning:
I suppose this means they weren't particularly good WMD scientists:
US sets Saddam's scientists free
Of course they'll all be looking for work now. Sure, there's academia, but the big money for biologists and chemists is in Big Pharma. Can't wait to see the new list of contraindicators for the newest antidepressants, weight-loss aids and ED pills:
Use of this product may cause skin to have flat red lesions, usually on the face, arms, or legs which may become pustular & crusted after seven days. May experience loss of consciousness, convulsions, paralysis, respiratory failure and shock...
Also today: Good riddance. Say bubbeye to MSIE for Mac
Posted December 16, 2005
Now I feel safe (Friday roundup)
Here's who they've hired at the Department of Homeland Security:
Bellevue (WA) settles deadly force case
I think we found the head of the Skymarshal program.
What is the single most popular morning-drive radio format in the country? I have no idea either. But a really popular one is "Wisecracking Co-hosts+Scripted Comedy Pieces." So what does Air America do? They dump the show that is a quintessential example of the format.
I have to say that in the past year AA's "Morning Sedition" has really grown on me. Marc Maron: awkward and self-loathing. Mark Riley: the Tony Roberts to Maron's Woody Allen. Throw in a few sidekicks (notably Jim Earl) doing a range of characters. But Morning Sedition rose above the usual, hackneyed "morning zoo" shows because its humorCardinal Milfington, Planet Bush, the Dream Diaries, the Wi-Fi Headline Translator, Pendejo The Revolutionarywas clearly based on the writing, not sound effects.
Catch up on Morning Sedition's comedy at The Snot Green Sea archive.
Also today: Bush secretly ordered warrantless domestic spying
Posted December 15, 2005
What's all the excitement about? Bush didn't take responsibility for the war yesterday: he acted his role in the current Cover Story. Whatever that is at the moment. Give the wheel a spin click- click- click- click- click- click- click- click- click- click- "Spread Democracy/Oil For Food."
The "intelligence turned out to be wrong"? I got two words for that: Joe Wilson. Why'd your boys try to neutralize him, hmmm Mr. Hard Work?
Sit, Tamestream Media®, sit! Good Tamestream Media®!
Posted December 13, 2005
Todayat roughly 12:15 amis the day that Governor Ah-nold Schwarzenpfefferincorporated had been hoping for. Finallyno longer to be treated like a buffoon, a hater of nurses, a provoker of first responders, with not enough coattails to pass even one ballot referendum.
Unfortunately for him, though, the new patina* of seriousness is not gravitas, or even legitimacy. No, what Ah-nold is now wearing is the black hood of the executioner. For this morning he allowed the execution of Stanley Williams to go forward.
It's odd. The Resmuglicans demand the death penalty as the ultimate payment for one's crimes, as well as society's ultimate form of vengeance. And Williams has now paid his debt to society. But that seems too, well, easy.
Williams put his time on death row to the best use, writing and speaking against the violence that led him to the crimes for which he was convicted. He was nominated for Nobel Peace Prizes. But he chose to do those things. He didn't have to. He could have just sat there watching TV, or exercising, or running the Crips by remote control.
Williams proved that people can change.
If Williams was repaying a debt to society all those years, he really repaid plus interest. But with capital punishment there's what a financial planner would call a defined contributionall you have to do is die. The punishment stops. But if Ah-nold had commuted his sentence, Williams would continue to pay for his crime, plus "interest," for the rest of his life. And really, isn't that a more appropriate punishment for homicide?
I have a feeling Ah-nold is the one who will be punished, after a fashion. Formerly the actor who shouted "it's NOT a tu-mah!" to huge laughs, can you really see him being cast in anymore comedies? Who could laugh at his antics now? Now that he really is the terminator. With saggy manboobs.
* hold oncan you have a new patina?
Posted December 9, 2005
by Kim Jong Il
Blarchives: Dear Leader
Posted December 8, 2005
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmannukawanza
Where's the Right's holiday spirit? It's the season for wishing others peace and joy, but for the Right it only applies to those on your side of the aisle. And to everyone else out there, it's sleaze-as-usual. And worse.
There's 69-year-old John McCain, stopping just short of calling John Murtha senile. There's "War Cabinet" prospect Joe Liebublican, calling for Democrats to get with the blind obedience to The Leader already (Lowell Weicker, are you there? Do you need help covering the filing fee? Call me). And there's the Cro Magnon wing (I suppose God had to have made them too) of the Intelligent Design movement, conducting a survival-of-the-fittest experiment on the head, shoulders and back (presumably with primitive tools made of bone and stone) of Prof. Paul Mirecki.
Guys. Relax. Drink hot cocoa. Go play in the snow if you've got some. Go watch Bing and Bowie sing Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy (MTV still plays music videos, right?).
I mean, look to The Leader as an example: he just took time out from his busy warmongering schedule to honor the year's Kennedy Center winners, and enjoy a performance of the sugarplumb fairy portion of The Nutcracker (who knew they let Jeff Gannon back into the White House? *rimshot*)
Is my neighbor turning up the volume on FOX News, or does the They Hate Our Christmas bleating seem louder this year? Certainly Bill O'Reilly is making the most of it again. I suppose it's the liberal media's fault, as usual.
But Bill should drink the cocoa too. Because if there were really a liberal media conspiracy, what would be on TV starting the day after Thanksgiving would be movies like The Rainmaker, Apocalypse Now, Parallax View, Seven Days in May and Three Days of the Condor. Manchurian Candidate (either version). And Inherit The Wind; if there was a liberal media you wouldn't be able to turn on the Teevee without seeing Clarence Darrow kicking William Jennings Bryan's ass all over Tennessee. No, they aren't holiday-themed (although Condor ends at Christmas time)but the liberal media wouldn't care.
And instead of just showing It's a Wonderful Life once, there would be an entire channel dedicated to it. And there would be a second channel showing only the parts where Potter squeezes the Building & Loan, forcing a run on the deposits; and the very end when everybody makes George Bailey the richest man in town.
One more thing: Joel Dyer of the Dyerama blog has moved to Seattle! Give him a click.
Posted December 5, 2005
Cleanup on Aisle John 3:16
Over in my Links section I've been featuring two URLs regarding the decision by Target Stores to allow their pharmacists to refuse to dispense any medicines that conflict with their personal "moral" beliefs.
Since the controversy broke I have been featuring these URLs with the straightforward message Boycott Target, and now I am pleased to offer three more contributions to the effort.
(1) From now on, when I mention Target it will be spelled with a cross in place of the Capital T, as in "arget". Once again, Mr_Blog is on the forefront of blog innovation.
(2) Striking a blow against doublespeak, I am going to start calling a spade a fundamentalist: in future when writing about arget pharmacists' "moral" beliefs, I will instead use the more accurate fundamentalist religious beliefs.
(3) The arget boycott needs a beneficiary. I urge progressives to start shopping at Walgreen:
Walgreen Co., the nation's largest drugstore chain by revenue, said it has put four Illinois pharmacists in the St. Louis area on unpaid leave for refusing to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception in violation of a state rule.
Do you buy a lot of nail clippers, passport photos, beachballs, or $5 t-shirts? Next time, it's Walgreen!
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