Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It's a Jungle Out There

At the end of last year Upton Sinclair is smeared as a liar along with the Black Panthers, the academy (because they all support Mumia and Tookie you know) George Clooney and who else, of course? Hilary Clinton in the La Times and the National Review Online. The problem is the smearer didn't do his homework. Man, if we had the time to do this for the local liars on AM radio. Would it really matter to the ditto heads?

Ruben Dario

Ruben Dario's international impact.

Unintended Consequences Revisited

The outcome in Iraq is in no uncertain terms decided but at this point the Jihadis certainly do seem to have the upper hand, both Sunni and particularly Shia. I don't think that this is the prefered outcome of US policy but they seem to be less worried about them then they ever were about the communist or even left nationalist regimes. US policy in the Arab/Muslim world has had the effect of putting Jihadis in power or at least significantly strengthening their hand because the left nationalists and other secularists have been exterminated or are rotting in some dungeon somewhere. In Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and now Iraq it looks like US policy has gotten out of control and the result has been a boon for the suicide cult.

Here's a short essay by Patrick Cockburn on the current moves by Iran in Iraq and how US policy may have strengthened the most reactionary elements in Iran.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Normon Soloman On Lying and the Press


More than two years after he started the NSA's domestic spying without warrants, Bush was unequivocal. During a speech in Buffalo on April 20, 2004, he said: "Any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so."

Bull Justice

Bull takes on crowd at bull "fight."

The State of the Democracy

NPR has been running a series of stories on post Katrina New Orleans. This report was one of the most striking and telling about the state of the democracy. On two separate occasions in this report articulate dedicated health care workers bemoan the overcrowding and long waits at the hospitals in the region and subsequent deaths as a result causally comment that there is nothing anyone can do. Nothing anyone can do?! The United States economy is the largest in the world. The federal government alone takes in trillions in tax money annually. Must I go on?

In a similar vein a majority in the national government and their supporters seem to think that it is perfectly fine to spy on US citizens and others without a warrant. This is so clearly a violation of the 4th Amendment that no one even argues that it isn't just that we need to because we are up against such a diabolical foe.

Two issue come to the fore, 1) is it not the case that the so-called conservative movement see themselves as unapproachable when it comes to the issue of the rule of law? I think this exposes that they actually do not really care about the rule of law unless it serves their interests. 2) Do we really believe that this small cabal of Jihadis is a threat to our society in any fundamental way? This group can't even take over such non-states as Iraq or horribly corrupt regimes like Egypt's or Algeria's do you really think that they are a threat here? They may be able to kill a few hundred here or there but they certainly don't justify the full resources and attention of the entire US state?

Couldn't those energies be more positively used on fixing hospitals on the Gulf or dealing with a true scourge of death; car accidents (a far greater killer than sexually repressed Islamic dudes).

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Fuck Muhammad

Number one Arab ally in mideast has a problem with a political cartoon in small country in Europe.

?Por Que Hamas?

Why islamists in Palestine?

International Press Freedom

Press freedom around the world. A ranking.

Reason 456 Why Bono is an Ass

"Philanthropy is like hippy music, holding hands. Red is more like punk rock, hip hop, this should feel like hard commerce," Bono said.

Bono on how his new product will save people from AIDS.

I wonder if Paul O'Neil is a co-owner?

Another radical capitalist for equality and justice.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Why Alito Should Be Filibustered

Alito bad!

The Strange World of Kanye West

I can attest to the latter (read artlicle)! By the way, Gold Digger is probably one of the weaker tracks on the record. But I guess the Grammy folk, Kanye West and I don't agree on much. Greatest fascist dictator category: and the award goes to................ Adolf Hitler (old Woody Allen joke).

The War on Terror Redux

Chomsky on the recycling of themes in the Reagan and Bush administrations.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Google Censors Self For Chinese Bureaucrats

Google makes "hard" decision to censor certain historical information so that they can sell product to 1 billion. Like Rupert Murdoch's deal with the Chinese "Communist" Party this decision points to the big lie that capital is a democratizing force. Capital is interested in accumulation and market share not transperancy and liberation. I don't agree with all in this article but Reich has the right idea here.

Robert Fisk

"She is America, righteous of voice but tone-deaf to history"

A review of Robrt Fisk's new book on US foreign policy.


Warning: never, ever watch the movie Love Actually. I can't really describe the depths of awfulness in this "romantic comedy" but here are a few signs that you have recently sold your soul to the landlord of Hades:

You use Altmanesque technique but run out of time so you jam all the characters into an airport at the end so that it seemed like there was interconnectedness within the film and characters.

You hire Hugh Grant.

Anorexic actresses and fat jokes litter the film but you insinuate that Hugh Grant, the Prime Minister of Britain, overlooks the chubber factor even though his target of affection actually is as thin as a rail.

You chicken out on the gay relationship even though the two men say they love each other and spend all of their time together.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin is presented as the center of loose supermodels with southern accents?!

The editing is so choppy that in some scenes it seems that in mid sentence we have moved on.

Colin Firth meets his beautiful Ugly Duckling/Cinderella Portuguese maid at his Italian villa the day after he moves there the week after he caught is wife cheating with his brother and flies to her IN PORTUGAL at the last minute on Christmas Eve without a reservation after showing up at his relatives house and then proposes to her at her job with the entire town behind him in cutesy broken Portuguese with insipid swelling music as a back drop!

One of the characters, a mute it seems because he never speaks a word in the film, is in love with his best friend's anorexic wife and shows up at their door on Christmas Eve and professes his love for her, on oak tag and marker!, while insipid music plays in the background that was brought along by the mute via a boom box. And she thinks this is cute and kisses him!

Young malnourished boy who's mother just died, I am not making this up, learns to play the drums in one week, storms through security at Heathrow within a year of 9/11 and is allowed by security, because they are cute, to talk to the young American pop star that just happened to go to his school along with every other child in the film (even though they are from wildly different class backgrounds) so that we could have a culminating scene where the entire cast, sans Colin Firth who is now in Portugal!, can see the Prime Minister exposed kissing his not so chubby working class girl friend on stage.

American accented Laura Linney stops having sex with three accented supermodel workmate because her physically abusive retarted brother, who happens to be housed in a British psych hospital?, calls all the time while she is working, eating, not having sex which she is more than willing to indulge becuase she is so......

I can't go on,


Sunday, January 22, 2006

0 or 6?

Just finished Inner Circle from one of my favorite writers; TC Boyle. In this historical novel Boyle explores fictional University of Indiana senior, John Milk's, entrance into and experiences with the secretive and cult-like formation that surrounded Sexologist Alfred Kinsey from the late 30's until Kinsey's death in 1954. Milk, milktose?, for Boyle, is the epitome of the mid 20th century American academic male. Traditional in outlook but open to the positivist notions that still dominated many before the retrenchment, particularly social, of the 1950's. Milk is the first to be initiated shall we say (Kinsey liked boys, not that there is anything....), into the world of the Kinsey Institute and the small group of researchers that interviewed thousands of middle class types, although they did interview some prisoners, prostitutes and people of color, about their sexual histories to catalogue the sexual practices of the human animal. Using the tools of modern taxonomy Kinsey tried to educate the world about the actual practices of people when it came to sex which came as a surprise to many given the high level of misinformation being doled out by sexists, celibate priests and other deviants at the time.

A true crusader, Kinsey almost single handily gave open minded people everywhere ammunition against the moralists and hypocrites who have persecuted gays, enforced patriarchy and tried to control our personal freedom from time immemorial. At the time, only some 50 years ago, almost every state in the US and in many countries around the world anti-sodomy laws reigned which allowed many to be executed or thrown in jail for taking part in oral sex with their partner, married or not, male or female, while at the same time the head of the FBI, Gay Edgar Hoover, was dressing in prom gowns and diddling his boyfriend.

Boyle's book is a look at the Kinsey Institute world from the inside. How did Kinsey treat his colleagues? Like serfs in ways. He was autocratic and a sexual predator who seemed oblivious to others attempts to separate sex and emotion. In the name of sexual freedom Kinsey chose underlings that he knew would tow, and participate in, the line. Was Kinsey a hypocrite? No. He expected everyone to divide sex and emotion as he did. He also expected people around him to work as hard as he did which eventually led him to an early grave at 62. Was Kinsey's research unassailable? No, particularly in the sample that he was able to interview although as mentioned above he was aware of these limitations.

Boyle's book like the recent biopic, Kinsey, give us a keen look into one of the greats of the 20th century. We now seem to think that rationality and reason reign but all one has to do is watch a couple hours of daytime TV or listen to a Osama bin Laden tirade to know that all kinds of superstition and meta-physical nonsense have the up on the round earthers.

In other words, read:

The Inner Circle,



and read:

The Kinsey Report (the two volumes Sexual Behavior and the Human Male and Sexual Behavior and the Human Female).

Current frequently asked questions about sex.

Monsters and Illusion

I was recently loaned a set of Werner Herzog films. Having just started into them a friend recommended Incident at Loch Ness a "documentary" about the making of a Werner Herzog film about the Loch Ness monster. This film is a hoot. Let's just say I haven't seen such snappy jump suits since Bottle Rocket and an American flag string bikini......

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Reasonable Question

Hey mainstream media why do presidential blow jobs get more attention than deliberately violating the Constitution?

For Cynical Cosmopolitanism

And I mean it. Read on and you'll see. Liberalism and moral relativism. An argument for a universalist creed that is not ahistorical.

No Child Left Unharrassed

Matt Cale on military recruiters in the high schools. I hate to be a coward here but some, SOME, of the comments in this post I don't agree with. The general idea that our state wants the youth as cannon fodder, that No Child Left Behind is a horrible piece of shit, that conservatives are hypocritical swine, that the war is wrong and we reap what we sow I endorse. Other ideas contained here not so much.

Did He Have Anything Left To Sell?

William Shatner sells kidney stone.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Kissinger's Apologist Koppel To Work For NPR

A baby in Tu Du Hospital suffering from the consequences of
Agent Orange being dropped on Vietnam 30 years ago.

Chemical warfare in Southeast Asia


East Timor

Normon Solomon on Ted and his buddy Henry.

States' Rights?

Roberts sides with minority in Oregon euthanasia decision.

Big Business

Airbus sells more planes than Boeing for the fifth year running. But Boeing sells more high end product and makes more.

Of All People

Al Gore makes an important speach remembering the illegal wiretappings of MLK and draws attention to GW's current disregard for the law.

Parrot Rats Out "Owner"

Cheater exposed by pet parrot.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Little Dieter Needs To Fly

Like Touching the Void this is one of those stories that would seem preposterous as fiction. Politics aside Dieter's ordeal will humble anyone who hears of it or sees this Werner Herzog documentary.

Harry Shearer

Hilarious bit from HS. Check out "Cheney Confidential" December 4, 2005. One of my favorite lines from this bit from Rummy "I don't know and I don't know what I don't know."

NBA dress code conversation. October 23, 2005.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Besides Matt Cale my favorite writer on all things Hollywood is Jackie Harvey. With this in mind it is with heavy heart that I announce the defeat of the writers of Harveywood and Ruthless Reviews. They have lost. Exhibit A-Z.


QT has always made me gag. His incessant pop culture references which are supposed to make you feel "in"/hip, out right theft of ideas and styles and most importantly glib, no endorsement of, the idea that psychotic violence is funny. His impact has been so pervasive that now when a midget kills a rival in a recent showing of the Chronicles or Narnia (no Lord of the Rings by the way) the audience hoots with laughter and joy.
Now Matt Cale is a true misanthrope and misogynist but he really has QT's number here in this review of Kill Bill Vol. I.

U.S. and Them

For lots of Europeans the idea of being complicit in the dirty deeds of the US/CIA is horrifying. Post-war European liberals have tried to think of themselves, with limited actual success, as multi-lateralist first resort pacifists who deal with international issues through dialogue and cooperation with other nations. With the end of the Cold War Tony Blair types have made the choice clear for much of European Social Democracy, do you now side with the imperialist camp or not? This latest incident will act as a sorting out of sorts. The "WAR ON TERRORISM" is creating real dilemmas for the liberals. Which side are you on?

Friday, January 13, 2006

New Method For Making Orange Juice

I am not sure why someone would spend the time and resources to make this clip but it is funny.

Jeff Buckley

Can't stop listening to this record and song. Last Goodbye from Grace or Live From Sine. You can listen on the website to the studio version.

Iraq, Iran and Asia

Will the Iraq invasion have the exact opposite effect than expected?, creating a Shia alliance in Iran, Iraq and Saudia Arabia which will lean towards the East in the long term? Chomsky explores the idea in the most clear essay I have ever read of his.

Iran and Nukes

Most Iranians support the current drive for nukes. Even those whose are secular think that this is an issue of technological advancement and national security given the US propensity to invade any country it feels like including Iran's next door neighbor. They also are concerned that the Israel has nukes and has advocated the overthrow of the Iranian regime in Washington. I think the only reasonable position is to oppose all nuclear weapons programs in the US, Russia, China, Britain, India, Pakistan, Israel and Iran. Then the UN can be taken seriously when talking about nuclear weapons otherwise they are just acting as the cats paw of the "nuclear club."

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Reserve Army of the Poor

An amazing film on the refugee trade from south asia to Europe.

Looking into the director of this film, Michael Winterbottom (could there be a more British name?), and low and behold he is the director of one of my favorite Brillers (British Thriller), Cracker which is much like Prime Suspect, one of Helen Mirem's finest.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Larry David Loves Gay Cowboys

Not that there is anything wrong with that.


White House attacks Robertson about his comments on Yahweh's retribution on Sharon for withdrawing from Gaza. What about all of his other idiotic comments on divine retribution?

This reminded me of a comment I heard this weekend about god's hatred of basketball and love for soccer. Because of all the scoring.

Viewing Others

How our analysis of others says lots about ourselves. Bruce Cummings on how the West views Asia and North Korea.

Abortion and the Americas

A NY Times editorial on abortion prohibition. I guess I am from the neccesary evil school. All involved in the decision have long term impacts, particularly the fetus.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Should The Bankers Be Nervous?

What does it mean to be left? Does it just mean paying the bankers bills and lots of rhetoric about El Che? Is Petras just trying to be lefter than thou?

I think Petras is part right here but in the current climate is this the most we can expect?

Take a look at this hatchet job on Morales by the BBC.

Read Harry Magdoff!

Magdoff dead!

Murtha says:

I wouldn't join military now. Heady stuff. The Democrats should embrace this guy as Cockburn argues. He has the credibility and the balls.