Thursday, December 29, 2005

More From the Conquest of Cool

One of the largest corporations in the world pays taggers to leave their spray in poor neighborhoods in the US. Rad man!

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Law of Unintended Consequences

When the US and Brits overthrew the democratically elected goverment of Iran in 1953 I am sure they did not envision the Iranian "we hate the great satan" Islamic revolution of 1979. Also as the Carter and Reagan administrations pumped billions into Afghanistan in support for the cut throat jihadis in the 1980's to fight the Evil Empire they didn't glimpse the tumbling bodies or dust clouds of lower Manhattan in September of 2001.

Like horrors are surely to emerge from the ashes of shock and awe as the democracy now created in Iraq has divided the country along ethnic and religious lines.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

So What's New?

Bush and company are hopping mad because they have been caught spying on people in the US without a warrant. They are so mad that they have lashed out at the people who leaked the illegal activity and the press (the NY Times) that suppressed the story for a year. They claim they have every right to do so under Article II of the Constitution (Condi Rice on Hardball 12/19/05-no transcript yet available), War Powers-Article II and the September 14, 2001 resolution that gave the president the ability to use "all necessary and appropriate force" (Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez) and "the Constitution" (Bush-he's the guy who keeps it simple). To state that Article II is their basis for domestic surveillance shows the level to which our democracy has been debased. If that was actually the defense of the administration they would be laughed out of court. Article II gives the civilian executive control over the armed forces to stop a authoritarian military type from doing things like rounding up citizens, shutting down newspapers or spying on people in the United States. It does not give the President the right to override the Bill of Rights, the Legislative or the Judicial branches. This is such an obvious point it is embarrassing even to repeat it but given the talk around the water cooler at my work these "finer" points of the constitution don't seem to trouble the local public school teacher.

Here's what they have admitted to and what the Times says they are doing:

"While many details about the program remain secret, officials familiar with it say the N.S.A. eavesdrops without warrants on up to 500 people in the United States at any given time. The list changes as some names are added and others dropped, so the number monitored in this country may have reached into the thousands since the program began, several officials said. Overseas, about 5,000 to 7,000 people suspected of terrorist ties are monitored at one time, according to those officials."

Here's the problem: This is an impeachable and criminal offense. Beyond the fourth amendment the US Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978 to try to reign in the executive branch (not just the Nixon administration) because of its massive surveillance on such radical organizations as the National Hockey League and the known anarchist Dr Suess. They also were busted for a program that sought out to disrupt and infiltrate anti-war, civil rights, socialist, communist and other organizations deemed undesirable called COINTELPRO. FISA, it seems, is not good enough for the administration even though this secret court is no friend of the civil liberties of the citizenry allowing thousands of warrantless searches over the years.

So let's see, it OK to kidnap and drug people in any part of the world, take them to a secret prison and torture them where these types of things are embraced more freely by the populace and spy on groups that protest the war.

Quite a democracy. I think we should invade other countries so they can have democracy and freedom also.

Is the FBI spying on you?

I recommend reading, at least, the introduction to the Church Report which is an extensive congressional examination of domestic spying from 1951-71.

Orwellian Pizza Order

Chilling pizza order.

Old Time Religion

The Venezuelan government demands a joint venture from Exxon or they will have to leave.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Mao More Than Ever?

UMASS student questioned by Feds for requesting the "little red book" from the library.

Strong Leftist Victory In Bolivia

Socialists win in Bolivia. What direction? Brazil or Venezuela.

All is Lost?

Speaking of the strength of support for teaching evolution, A FACT, in US schools Robert Jensen notes:

"Polls in the United States suggest that most people disagree. In one survey last year, 65 percent of people favored teaching creationism (not just intelligent design, but good, old-fashioned Christian creationism) together with evolution in science classrooms, and 37 percent thought creationism should be taught instead of evolution."

Robert Jensen on reason vs. Mysticism today.

Time Delayed Journalism

The NY Times sat on the domestic spying story for over a year. Why come out with the story now? Even though they did the President still took them on. I guess he thinks that he should be able to spy on anyone, without a warrant, which is illegal by the way, and the media should sit on it. A strange view of constitutional democracy and freedom of speech/press.

Spying on "domestic enemies" re Quakers, is nothing new by the way.

The Pace of Change?

What exactly explains the move to gay marriages and other progressive changes in profoundly conservative Catholic countries like Ireland and Spain while in the US the populations are succesfully stopping these developments? I would put forward one idea: the sexual revolution occurred later than the US and northern Europe in both of these countries. Because of this the backlash has yet to happen? I'm not sure.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

No More Junk Mail

The is a no mail list. You also can get off the credit card junk mail juggernaut by calling 1-888-5OP-TOUT.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Nationalism and Ideology

Hwang Woo-suk has become a celebrity in South Korea for his recent revolutionary work on human genetics which he now admits the majority of was fabricated. Hwang's fall from grace has been traumatic for Koreans leading many to defend the scientist by volunteering to donate eggs and pulling advertisements from media outlets that even dared to announce his mea culpa.
The event reminds me of the crash of an Egyptian airliner in 2001 that most Egyptians denied the culpability of the pilot which the evidence clearly pointed to as at fault.
I don't want to point just to feereneers here given that the people in the US act in the same way on a regular basis but the disaese of nationalism and other forms of faith are surely a disease that can lead to all types of conspiracy theories and irrationality. How many people believe in angels in the US?

An aside here: when I was "researching" this post I found this oddball site on pictures of plane crashes. Why exactly would one create such a site?

Wanted: Propagandists

Extravagant pay, free travel, lots of praise from our leaders and unlimted budgets. Please read the following pamphlet and see if you want to join our team. Here's an excerpt:

"The Reichspropagandaleiter then turned to the attitude of the rest of the world to the new Germany, and the resulting propaganda tasks. If the world is against Germany and shows no understanding for the nature and needs of the German people, propaganda must seize the world's ear and combat boycotts and encirclements."

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Raymond Carver

Raymond Carver explained.


Bush takes on war critics claiming intelligence was faulty but the war was just anyway. Among the many lies of this presidency this is probably the biggest.

Bush claims:
"Many intelligence agencies judged that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and it's true that much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong," said Mr Bush in the speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.

Many? You mean Britain and Israel? The countries that thought eliminating Saddam Hussein was a good idea? The best intelligence at the time was the UNSCOM regime which was littered with US spies or people who were on the US payroll. UNSCOM said that Iraq had claimed to have destroyed most of its WMD but they needed more time to snoop around in Iraq's affairs. It turns out that Iraq was actually exagerating the weapons it had TO DETER THE US! This is known to be the case because after the invasion the US was unable to find any WMD's.

The fact of the matter is the Bush administration used intelligence to hype WMD's and tried to link Iraq to 9/11 to scare the feeble American public into war.

Bush claims:
"Saddam was a threat, and the American people and the world are safer because he is no longer in power,"

The fact of the matter is Saddam was certainly not a threat to the US! At the time of the invasion he wasn't even a threat to the Kurds in his own country because the US and Brits were fyling over the country and bombing people at will. How exactly was Iraq a threat to the US? Was the Iraqi Air Force, Army or Navy going to invade the US? No, at the time all had been destroyed. The opposite is actually true of the latter part of the statement, we are all, including Iraqis, more unsafe because Iraq, like Afghanistan in the 1980's, is a breeding ground for all types of Jihadis.

Here's a summary of the road to war.

You Know Your In Trouble When....

you pander to the right with holocaust denial!

I have some trepidation even doing this but obviously it is necessary if a head of state is spouting such nonsense, what was the final solution?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Hilarious debate about another "war."

Outlaw State?

CIA abductions are occuring on a regular basis. Imagine if say Cuba were to kidnap known enemies of the regime living in Miami or any other place for that matter and took them to say North Korea where they were tortured or held? I wonder what the response in the NY Times would be?

Media Given Permission to Talk About War Dead

In a speech yesterday baby Bush claimed 30,000 Iraqis had been killed in Iraq in this round of war with Iraq. A flood of media coverage has followed. Why exactly does this only become a story when a civilian presses the President on the question? The Lancet, a respected British medical journal, has estimated the dead at 100,000 by the way. The British government, run by the pious Tony Blair, estimates 10,000.

Listen above to the story from the US apologist from the Brookings Institute. He notes that the increase in a thousand deaths a month due to murder since the invasion are not included in the death count.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Journalists on the Payroll

The Pentagon has been on a spending binge for the last 50 years. The intellegence agencies also. Journalists have always been in on the payola. In Iraq it seems the Pentagon could not find enough positive stories so they paid millions for stories more to their liking. Here's a bit on some of the "journalists" that have thought it their patriotic duty to get paid by the CIA and such.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Catcher in the Rye

25 years ago today I was 15 and up at 4 AM heading to hockey practice in Bergen County NJ around 10 miles from Central Park when I heard that John Lennon had been killed. I was physically shaken. I was currently in a post Beatles Plastic Ono Band stage and rock and roll was at the center of who I was at the time. I still think about that moment on a regular basis. For me John was the Joe Strummer of my youth even though Joe Strummer was actually the Joe Strummer of my youth, I didn't realize this till I was in my 20's. I still can't handle listening to Double Fantasy without thinking about my late teens.

Here's an interview with my hero of the time. (Besides Jimmy Carter)

Friday, December 02, 2005

Do you have an Aztec problem?

What every homeowner should know.

Here's Why the Debate on "Flawed Intelligence" Leading to the Invasion of Iraq is Hooey

Actual BBC headline "US Vietnam Intelligence Flawed." This is the infamous Vietnamese "attack" on the United States in the Gulf of Tonkin which led to a blank check for the war. An incident every high schooler knows was cooked to sell the war. On the whole now many more people see through the bull. This is a good thing.

Whose Says Stereotypes Don't Hold True?

Einstein Speaks

Hear Albert Einstein explain his famous equation.

John Murtha Smokes Crack

What else can explain his bizzare statements about the war in Iraq? Listen to this interview where Vietnam, first Gulf, Bosnia, second Gulf war supporter makes the bizzare statement that the US will withdraw US troops by November of 2006. Now I hope for the sake of Iraqis and US troops that the anti-war movement swells and forces the US government to withdraw. But realistically speaking, if this happens I will eat all of my shoes.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Obama waxes DLC on the war in Iraq.

Time Travel

Inevitably each year the topic of time travel comes up in class. This year I found a graphic that explains it well.

Art Speigelman

Saw Art Spiegelman speak last night at UW-Milwaukeeon the history of comics and his latest work on 9/11. Witty, rapid fire historical analysis and a non didactic style explaining the developments in comics since the beginning. Mad Magazine is his main inspiration! Best line of the night, I paraphrase, describing 9/11 and the Iraq war, Al-Queda and co. started a fire in NYC and George Bush poured oil on it to put it out.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The War at Home

The war party are on an offensive here at home. They are worried. They know that their lies have been found out, their policies are failing and most importantly there is waning support now for the war even within military families and within the military itself.

You will now hear a lot about "a plan for victory." They know, unlike the Left and the anti-war movement, that in politics one needs to be for something and setting the agenda. They like talking points so listen to the roar everywhere now for 1) we are for a free society/democracy, 2) we are on the offensive economically and militarily to win and 3) Iraqis will eventually take over militarily. All this requires patience and lots of time. In other words, we will win deomcracy in Iraq and we are withdrawing. This is a lie.

Democracy in Iraq would mean a withdrawal of US troops, control of oil production and Shia control. The US does not want this. Withdrawal will occur on US terms if they are able to meet their objectives, control of Iraqi oil, a weak Iraq and thus strength for US strategic interests.

If you are for self-determination in the world your position should be US OUT NOW! If not you side with imperialism, soft or hard your still an imperialist. Meaning you want the US to control what happens in Iraq not Iraqis.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Of All People

Larry King gets it right, speakng of Bob Woodward and others:

"Noting that Woodward was able to avail himself of lengthy interviews with President Bush for a recent book, King said: "He's given you three hours. He'll help you with the next book. Doesn't that give him an edge with you?" And, King pointed out, the benefits of such arrangements run in both directions, for author and president alike: "He's not going to come out looking terrible because you want him for your next book and you'd like to have that in."

Normon Solomon on the Woodward scandal.

Random Chance

I was looking for a picture of a 1930's big band and I came across this site. That anyone can listen to the Washingtonians or whomever whenever they want blows the mind. Check this out!

NY Commie Midwestern Humor

Pee in your pants funny.

Andy Rooneyish

I know this may sound like an Andy Rooney rant but (did you ever notice (:) why is the weather a lead story? I know we have all said this and we know why but when it snows in Minnesota is this a fucking idea that has any freshness or value?

Another nonstory story: people went shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Holy shit, really? That's amazing. I think NPR should get a Pulitzer for that one.

OK, I feel better.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

New Sound

Check out the new feature on the right, Audio. Lots of links to creative radio around the world.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Monday, November 21, 2005

Athiest Gillete

"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond Atheism. Atheism is not believing in God. Not believing in God is easy -- you can't prove a negative, so there's no work to do. You can't prove that there isn't an elephant inside the trunk of my car. You sure? How about now? Maybe he was just hiding before. Check again. Did I mention that my personal heartfelt definition of the word "elephant" includes mystery, order, goodness, love and a spare tire?"
The entire essay.

You Know Your In Trouble When Mass Murderer Ariel Sharon is Organizing a "Centrist" Party

Sharon quits Likud to form new bloc.

Here's just one instance of his nastiness.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Most Americans Support Torture

Well at least the mob is a humane keeper of empire. Ghastly!

The Democrats Are 98.7% For the War

403 to 3. Pathetic. Even Murtha voted yea. This party is not part of the anti-war movement. Build the movement in your neighborhood because the only way there will be a withdrawal of troops from Iraq is if there are millions in the street. I'm glad the Republicans called their bluff. Their right the Democrats are playing politics with the war and cynically trying to be on all sides. The Democrats are for this occupation plain and simple.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Left/Libertarian/Isolationist Alliance for the Anti-war Movement?

US OUT NOW! should welcome all parts of the anti-war movement, including right libertarians and isolationists.

All I Want For My Birthday Is A Crack In The Empire

John Murtha calls for an end to the occupation of Iraq.

Life Expectancy Calculator

Your life expectancy is 87.8 years.

Your life expectancy.

Dining With the Devil

Some local comedy. For the out of towners, this guy is SATAN!

Matt got me this for my birthday.

Why Small Radical Left Rags Like Counterpunch Matter

Two stories that show why Cockburn and St. Claire's, Counterpunch, count. One of their hobby horses has been how Bob Woodward has gone from investigative reporter to mouthpiece of reaction. They also have taken on the Guardian for the hatchet job they did on Chomsky. Massive criticism will now rain on Woodward and the Guardian has apologized.

Counterpunch on Woodward.

Send in your 50 bucks!

Cheney Lashes Out

"Half a heart" Dick Cheney attacks war critics. As usual he gets the best material. My favorite, honestly, is his line about the Senators who voted for the war and now claim ingnorance on intelligence, like John "I have 8 positions on the war" Kerry. All this means that the anti-war movement is driving the agenda and they are on the defensive and once again the Democrats are the weak link. Prediction: it will be Republicans that force a withdrawal from Iraq with the Dems in tail particularly if there is a Democratic president.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

How Anti-evolutionists Have Peddled Their Snake Oil

With less and less god.

Woodward, Another Lackey of the Adminstration

Woodward's role in the Plame case.

Frank Deford's Racist Rant

"Every year, countless racehorses are sent to slaughterhouses and to foreign markets where horsemeat is cuisine. Commentator Frank Deford finds the practice inhumane."

Listen here to national chauvinism mixed with a little cute little animal pablum.

Internationalize the Internet?

The US prevails in effort to maintain control of the internet.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Race or class? Or both? A multicultural success?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Bush's Veterans Day Speach

Dissent = disloyalty.

Another Round of Pardons in the Offing?

A. Cockburn on the trail of lies and the pardons that followed in the Reagan/Bush years.

Jordan's King Warned Of This In 2002

In 2002 King Abdullah warned the US and Britain that the war would unleash anger and violence throughout the Arab world and beyond. Unfortunately his prediction has come through.

"The US newspaper publisher Knight Ridder...reports that one of the suicide bombers involved in the attacks, Safaa Mohammed Ali, seems to have been captured a year ago by US marines in Falluja.
He was then released because he seemed to pose no threat to security.
Ali was captured in the same mosque in Falluja where a cameraman filmed a US marine shooting dead a wounded prisoner.
That, according to Knight Ridder's investigation, increased his hatred of the US."

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Bush Takes On Critics of the War

Fuck You Bush! You lied about the war and all you know how to do is go on the offense. Good for you tactically but as in poker your bluffs will be called. We all know that Iraq was never a threat, WMD was ca-ca and 9/11 had nothing to do with Iraq. Except now Iraqi couples are blissfully blowing up themselves in fucking Jordan because of your adventure. You have so much blood on your hands that you should awake with night terrors like I do and jump out the White House fucking window!
OK, I feel better. Tommorow I will go door to door to end this fucking slaughter. US OUT NOW!
A summary of the Bush speach.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Jarhead as Homoeroticism

A remake of Priscilla Queen of the Desert?

Don't Blame Imperialism That's Soooo 19/20th Century

I remember getting in a very heated debate in graduate school over this topic, why imperialism is bad. It seemed kind of obvious to me but I guess people from Wawautosa, a suburb of Milwaukee, find these arguments very inconvenient.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Lula watches pirated movie!!! A first world headline if there ever was one. Does this mean every time I humm Brown Sugar I have to send Mick and Keith 10 cents? Yes it's their labor and intellectual workers should get paid but once you make your movie, painting, song, etc... sell it and then it's all of ours to do with it what we will. Should I have to give an auto worker a check everytime I drive my car?

As an intellectual worker I would be pissed if my lecture was videoed and then sold but if someone wanted to give it away I think they should be able to.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

IRS Goes After Anti-War Church

Just imagen if a Democrat was in office and the IRS went after one of the many right wing churches that are pimping for the Bushes?

Major Victory For Civil Liberties In Britain

Parlimentarians choose civil liberties over fear as Tony Blur's 90 days without charge "terror laws" go down to defeat. Hip-Hip!

Cool Idea

The Forbes (I'm a coporate whore) people are making an email time capsule. Check it out. They will send you an email in twenty years.

No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No

Not as good as Headless Body Found In Topless Bar or Vanessa The Undressa but catchy. The LA Times skinny on Aaarnold's defeat.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Liberty, Equality anf Fraternity for all?

If I Were Voting in California Today

In the end Arnold is a right wing populist but I do think he is honest. Here's a critique of his ballot measures.

If I were voting today:

-- Proposition 74 would increase from 2 to 5 years the time it takes for public school teachers to get tenure and job security. This measure would devastate public schools by dramatically increasing teacher turnover and severely weakening the power of the teachers' union to protect its members. As a major attack on a union whose leadership showers Democratic legislators with contributions (for very little in return), Schwarzenegger calculated that he could intimidate other unions to boot.

YES-I'm a proud union member and a public school teacher and I support tenure. I support due process for all workers. But what is needed in many school systems is a process to attract and retain GOOD teachers. It starts with small class size and decent pay and benefits. But one of the major problems I see is that there are very few decent administrators. This means that a significant minority of teachers do what they want, which is very little. I am not calling for a boss driven system but one that holds both administration and teachers accountable for teaching students SOMETHING. Maybe a longer time for gaining tenure will discourage the dead weight.

-- Proposition 75 targets all public-sector unions, requiring them to get written approval from each member to use dues money for political purposes. Like the attack on teachers, this measure aims to cripple the union movement's capacity for political campaigning. No similar restriction would be imposed on corporate donors.

NO-unions and other organzations should have the right to do what they want with their dues. I think there are some first amendment issues here. But would any worker in any corporation be able to get some of thier money back from a corporation or government institution that did something that they disagreed with? Of course not. That is why this is just an anti-union tactic plain and simple.

-- Proposition 76 would simultaneously grant the governor executive powers to cut the budget by declaring a "fiscal emergency" and reduce the constitutionally guaranteed percentage of the state budget dedicated to public education.

NO-Executives in goverment have WAY to much power already. This is a power grab plain and simple.

-- Proposition 77 would give three retired judges the power to redraw legislative districts in California. Arnold wants to follow the Texas example and eliminate as many safe Democratic Party seats as possible, tipping state government in favor of suburban Republican voters.

YES-Gerrymandering by partisans has made this country a two party dictatorship. This is a half measure that has the potential, if the right people were appointed, to eliminate the non competetive nature of our political system.

Colin Powell Tries To Rehabilitate Himself

Colin Powell'a angst filled political life.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Why der zwiebel is America's Finest

Dems Force Closed Senate

Chuck Erskine,
"I for one am shocked that the Democrats would attempt to have an effect on national politics."

American Voices

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Capturing the Friedmans

Have you seen Capturing the Friedmans? Freaky. I grew up in Jersey at the time and remember the witch hunt. Or was it?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

How the Right Emerged From Its Slumber

An old debate that I have had with friends over the years is how the Right has come so thoroughly to power in the last 30 years. One strain argues that think tanks and big money allied and propagandized the elites and took over the Republican Party and now THEY RULE THE WORLD. My position is a more bottom up explanation that argues evangelicals and anti-abortion folk in particular have organized the white working class in reaction to globalization and other cosmopolitan (race and gender) forces that have caused a backlash against liberal elites. Here's a discussion of the issue in the Nation.

The First Amendment and Its Uses

Robert Scheer on Judith Miller and her First Amendment defense,

"This case was never about protecting government sources who risk their careers by telling the truth, but rather about punishing those like Wilson who do. That Miller cared far more about protecting someone who abused his power as the Vice President's chief of staff than about protecting the right of Wilson to speak truth to power says volumes about her priorities.
That the New York Times again editorialized last week in defense of its knee-jerk support of Miller, even after knowing she deceived her editors, is a startling indication that even some of our most respected media leaders still are missing the point.
The First Amendment protection is not a license for mischief on the part of journalists eager to do the government's bidding. To the contrary, it was conceived by the founders to prevent government from subverting the free press in an effort to misinform the public. Unfortunately, that is precisely what occurred here."

The entire article.

The War on Drugs

Here's (video lower right) the real purpose of the war on drugs, propaganda and military spending. Will this capture have any effect on cocaine use? No.

What Exactly Is Scooter Covering Up?

As Colin, I'm ready to be president because I'm a moderate even though I killed thousands in Vietnam and acted as a cover for the lies of the Iraq war," Powell has recently stated, the neocons used 9/11 to further thier cause of expanding US power by invading Iraq and lied about WMD to this end. The cover-up is about this cabal of liars and imperialists and the Plame case is just one example of how these guys are a bunch of big fat lying liars. Here's a good discussion of Scooter and the real issues at stake.

Why the Right is Winning

A good story by Nina Totenberg on why the Right is effective. They attack the president over thier issues and support him when he is their toady. Imagen a labor leader attacking ANY Democrat. The liberal social movement activists; labor, color, gender, environmental, have basically become water carriers for a party that actually defends Wall Street more than thier concerns. Because of this lcge has spent most of its time on electoral politics and raising money for losing candidates on all levels but particularly at the presidential level. Remember Sister Souljah v. Clinton? What did the civil rights community do in reaction to this? Call him the greatest president ever. Remember NAFTA and GATT? What did the labor and environmental community do in reaction to this? Give Clinton/Gore/Kerry more money and grass roots activism then ever. If these movements don't put more energy into organizing their won't be anything left to defend, particularly for the labor movement.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Bushism Uncovered

Very funny.

I can't sign because....

My latest favorite of why they could not sign the petition just to get the anti-war statement, I paraprase; "get the fuck out of Iraq," on the ballot: "I can't because it doesn't say how many Wisconsin National Guard and reserves are in Iraq."

See Darwin's Nightmare

The face of capitalism. Matt Cale reviews the latest indictment on the invisible hand. Just screened at Milwaukee's third international film festival.

Is Scooter Dumb?

The common concensus on the Rove/Cheney White House is that they are political giants that have made very few mistakes. Cockburn and St. Claire dissent. I don't think their dumb I think they assume the press is so compliant and the masses so easily flummoxed and distracted to that they think they can get out of any jam by straight out lying.

AR on Meet the Press

Arianna Huffington writes well on the problem with Tim Russert and the Washington press club.

Alito's Way

Bush is gambling here and I think he is going to win. By nominating a reactionary Bush gets his troops marching again. They need something to rally around because of his perceived weakness as a result of Katrina, Miers, the Plame outing/Libby indictment and the war. The question will be the weight of Democratic senatorial cajones and the "moderate" Republican. This is the weakness in the gambit. Alito is a Scalia reactionary. He is into nutty ideas like natural law, original intent and other 18th century pablum. Things like rights of privacy don't exist for him because the quill pen of providence did not mark the parchment of Philadelphia in 1787. For instance he dissented in the Casey case which depended on Justice O'Connor, who "Scalito" would replace, which required spousal concent for an abortion. This appointment will change the court. Right wingers know this and want to have the debate and more importantly, the power, when they win.

The pro-abortion crowd has been crying wolf on the issue for awhile when it comes to the generic right but now they will be correct when they say Roe v. Wade is in trouble. They have lots of clout and money (or should I say money and clout?) so look for Mrs Clinton to be out front on this one even though she likes to straddle (not Bill though from what I here) most of the time. Feingold will be key. They need his vote but he's on record as allowing the President leeway on judicial nominations unless they are incompetent. I bet he also follows the NARAL/NOW money given his presidential ambition.

For the vote to fail all the pwogwessives need is 1 more than a third of the Senate to uphold a filibuster. Are the Democrats up to the task? I doubt it.

Judge Alito's views on the Family Leave Act.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Media and War

Iraq is not Vietnam but the US is the US. Norman Soloman on war and the US media.

Supply and Demand

"Flood of earnings are to continue during the coming week with the earnings of oil companies to come under sharp focus. Market for the year is expecting oil companies to top annual industry profit of $63 billion. For the third quarter profits at Exxon Mobil is expected to jump 45%, Chevron 50%, Conoco Phillips 79%, Amerada Hess 91%, Marathon Oil 100%, Apache Corp 76% and Anadarko Petroleum 15% from a year ago."

So actually there is a reason for prices for your natural and refined gas to go down. But it seems that they demand more profit and we supply the surplus.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Who Is Scooter Libby?



Misanthrope Matt Cale on relationships and Carnal Knowledge.

Cockburn on Dowd v. Miller and the Dersch Defends His Toture Calls

Two classics from Cockburn.

Torture In Iraq

Implications for the "support our troops" crowd. I met lots of them this weekend. At least the rightists have a consistant position. The liberals have hundreds of reasons why the US shouldn't withdraw, number one being "we" can't just leave now that we have broken things (so Bush wants to "fix" things?). What do they mean by fix things? Create a democracy? They only want this if it suits their interests. Re-distribute oil wealth? Privatization is the top demand of the US, it's now in the constitution. Stop the violence? The US is the CAUSE of the violence. Oh, and let's not forget my favorite reason for not wanting to even vote on the issue here in Milwaukee, it's not a local issue!!!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Late Capitalism

A sure sign that people have too much time on thier hands and too much surplus. Are you going to buy the new chestnutter?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

"Conservatives," Strict Constructionists and the Supreme Court

Growing up in the latter part of the 20th century the Supreme Court was always seen by most as if not a progressive institution at least a liberal one that advanced racial and gender equality. Beyond a vocal and well fundeed group of right wing cranks and out right Confederates, most people saw the court as a positive force that made the country a better place. The court however has historically been a festering nest of reactionaries and lackeys of the plutocracy. Since the 1990's the court has been tacking right and the right wants it to swing farther. I think Bushes nominees will maintain the current direction rather than move it righter.

Here's a good article on the historic role that the court has played.

Pimping for the Brew City

Today begins the Milwaukee International Film Festival. Last year Wong Kar Wai got a showing. The film about mass games in North Korea is first on my list.

Mass games and "State of Mind."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Please read the Forrest Gump review on this top ten worst films of all time. The Boxing Helena review is spot on also. What would you add?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Pimping for the Man

Two of my favorites have made films of late, Wong Kar Wai and Noah Baumbach. Wong Kar Wai makes incredible films that visually no one comes close to. My favorite so far of his is Happy Together, a love story about two Asian wonderers in Argentina! His latest is 2046, a futurist thriller, I guess. Noah Baumbach is an amazing writer that writes the snappiest dialogue around. I hate him. He was born in 1969 and he's married to Jennifer Jason Leigh and he hangs out with Wes Anderson. He wrote the screenplay for The Life Aquatic (not my favorite WA film-too much wimsy). His Kicking and Screaming is in my top 10 and amazingly is not on DVD (at least a year ago it wasn't). NB's newest is The Squid and the Whale with Jeff Daniels and one of the most underated actresses ever Laura Linney.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Soft Imperialism In Nicaragua

The US doesn't like the growing legislative power of the opposition Sadinistas in Nicaragua. So they threaten cutting off aid if the parties don't come to some agreement more to the liking of the US. You don't have to invade to be an

Monday, October 10, 2005

French Enviros Deflate Dangerous Yuppie "Cars"

A masked group of French environmentalist activist are deflating the tires of SUVS in Paris. Vive le France!

Troops Out of Iraq! But First the US Needs to Fix Things?

This past week I have been circulating a petition to get an anti-war statement on the April 4 ballot here in Milwaukee. Most people are very receptive but the number one reason I have been given for not signing is that "I don't think the US shuold withdraw immediately." The argument usual follows that now that the US is in Iraq "we" need to fix things because imagine how had things will be if "we" leave. My initial retort is a question, do you think that the US is doing anything good in Iraq? The nice liberal imperialists usually say no but if "we" leave things will be worse. At this point then they are arguing that this is bad, and I am against the war, but it needs to continue because the US will eventually do good.

Most of these folks are Democrats. They are the half solution/imperialist crowd. The world is a bad place and the US miltary is a tool that needs to be used every once in awhile to fix things. I fear them more than the pro-war crowd. At least with them they say I am racist and we should kill "them" all or Saddam was bad and the President lied but this is a good war because US power is a force for good, at least for me. These are arguments that are easily refuted and the majority in the end will reject. But the liberal imperialists will constantly shift arguments because in the end they don't trust the masses and they want "thier" expensive car, phony co-op, crunchy ass lifestyle to be defended by force.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Is Georgie a Racist?

Robert Jensen answers the question.

Bush Logic

Bush gave a speech today in which he defended the invasion of Iraq once again claiming it is a part of the so-called war on terror. One of his main points is that Iraq is now at the center of the war because "the militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia," Bush said. Well, besides the fact that Saudi Arabia is not moderate and is an Islamic republic and US support for the Shah was paramount in the creation of an Islamic republic in Iran, the reason why there is even a question about Islam on the rise in Iraq is because of the invasion! This is so elementary that it is barely worth noting but the Yahoo news service and the rest of the mainstream outlets don't seem to be interested in such obvious points.

Another obsurdity of Bush's speach is his counter to the claim "that the U.S. military presence in Iraq is fueling radicalism, Bush noted that American troops were not there on Sept. 11, 2001. He said Russia did not support the military action in Iraq, yet a terrorist attack in Beslan, Russia, left more than 300 schoolchildren dead in 2004." 1) the 9/11 lunatics said they did it because of the US presence in Saudi Arabia and the propping up of said corrupt regime by the United States and 2) the bombings in Russia were done in retaliation for the invasion of Chechnya.

Am I going bonkers or are these the worst non-sequitor arguments we have ever heard? Or is this all he has to to and the AM radio crowd will ditto on

Most Senators Vote To Nix Torture

For the last one hundred years or so US policy has been to either look the other way as allies tortured thousands or trained people in the actual techniques, particularly in Latin America. After 9/11 the Pentagon as an agent of the White House said the US military needed to bring back torture (as if they had ever stopped) because the new enemy was brutal and lives were at stake particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq. Abu Ghraib brought the issue to the public but in the end the President and his allies said that people like Lyndie England should take the fall not the people who were actually in charge and gave the orders like Bush, Rumsfeld and the military high command.

A fairly extra-ordinary debate occured yesterday on whether the US government should condone the use of torture. The Bush administration is for it and is threatening a veto. Alan Dershowitz thinks it's a good idea, Ted Stevens said, I paraphrase, their doing it so so should we, they're bad. I think this was a decent vote, I don't think it will stop the US from torturing people because war and empire require it but it sends a decent message.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Do You Want the US to Lose in Iraq?

This weekend a close friend and I had what I think of as one of the most difficult discussions for us living in the belly of the beast. The question was if you are against the war does this mean you want US troops to die so that the US leaves Iraq?

During the Vietnam War the Vietnamese were fighting for the independence and re-unification of their country which had been divided by the French, US and other imperial powers with the acquiescence of the Vietnamese government in the North in return for a promise of an election in both the north and south that would lead to re-unification. The election was never held by the French and thus the war escalated leading to defeat of the French and finally in 1973 a withdrawal of the US leading to a re-unification in 1975 of north and south.

In the anti-war movement there were many different positions. Buddhists and Quakers said killing is wrong and both sides should put down their arms. In the US liberal Democrats and Republicans late in the game said the US should negotiate a peace with the North. More radical elements called for a victory of the North and re-unification. My favorite slogan however was from the Sparticist League which demanded ALL INDO-CHINA MUST GO COMMUNIST!

The Socialist Workers Party and other Trotskyist and radical anti-war activists argued that the best way to end the war was to remove the US support for the south and to remove its troops. The best way for that to occur, they argued, was to create a broad based movement in the US and around the world that would use many different tactics; petitions, civil disobedience, phone calls, marches, strikes, etc... to pressure the US government and its allies to Bring the Troops Home Now! Their slogan was US Out Now! This meant that even if you were someone who wanted Ho Chi Minh to rule Vietnam and beyond or if you wanted Jehovah to reign here on earth you worked together to bring the troops home.

On the ground in Vietnam mostly authoritarian Stalinist and Maoist groups like the National Liberation Front, the North Vietnamese Army, the Pathet Lao and the Khmer Rouge were trying to kill my cousin and any other Yankee, Aussie or Korean that was fighting to keep their countries free of European domination. They thought, the faster we kill lots of them the quicker they leave. They were right. And there tactics worked, at a huge cost to thier people and environment.

We need to create a movement that leads to the US leaving Iraq. The main reason they will leave is if they are militarily defeated. Does this mean that I want the Jihadis, Saddam thugs, Ansar al-Islam, the Mehdi Army and other assorted nationalists to be the rulers of Iraq?, no. But that is who is organized and is fighting for control of the government. When the US leaves, which it will eventually have to, one of these groups or a similar formation of these groups will come to power. Is this my fault because I oppose the slaughter of Iraqis,? no. It is the fault of the thugs that started the war in the first place. The US will leave because of a combination of death in Iraq, to their side, and hopefully a massive anti-war movement that demands US Out Now! So am I for US troops dying? I would rather they didn't but the quicker they start refusing to be deployed and disobeying orders in taking part in this immoral war the fewer of them will die.

Most in US Now Oppose the War. So Where are the Democrats?

Alex Cockburn on the sink into the ooze.And Normon Soloman on the media and the anti-war movement.

When Exactly Does Ramadan End, Begin?

The sighting of the new moon is the answer. The question however is when exactly does the new moon appear. Lots of cash is at stake given the booming Ramadan industry.

Milwaukeeans To Vote On Withdrawal Of Troops In Iraq!

Wisconsin Peace Action is calling for a vote on withdrawing troops from Iraq. Go to the website and download a petition so that our voice can be heard.

Blur Learns Well From Past Imperialists

Blair government has figured out why people are killing Brits in Iraq. It's IRAN'S FAULT!

Baseball Humor

Here's a very funny comic about baseball and a poor little sick boy and his request. Thanks to Scott W. for telling me about this site. It's also to your right: Perry Bible Fellowship. I have yet to figure out how to shrink things like the comic to fit in the blog.