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.

Start Students According To Ability Not Age?

Swedish school officials are considering starting students according to ability not age. I have no idea if this is a good idea or bad. The only thing I thought of was the socialization issue. I remember being the youngest in my class and I felt an equal to my class not to my age group. This had advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side I was fearless in sport and interpersonally on the minus I was fearless interpersonally.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Massive Strike in France

Hundreds of thousands of workers strike against privatization and labor "reform." If only we had a third of the class consciousness.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Study Correlates Religiosity and Social Disfunction

Study finds a link bewteen social problems and democratic countries with populations that have high church attendance, belief in god, religiosity in general. Here's the actual study.

Who Care's About Her Politics!

I want to know who does her eye make up?!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I Wonder If Marches Matter?

Condi warns world about quitting Iraq. If the anti-war movement was not having an impact they would ignore us. The ruling elite is divided on this venture. We must exploit these divisions to stop the daily murder of Iraqis. This is why they attack Cindy Sheehan so vehemently. Because she makes sense, has credibilty and is resonating with millions.