Thursday, March 30, 2006

Giggles from the House of Harley

So you've knocked over a row of a motorcycle gang's motorcycles.

Venezuela: Exporter of Capital

Venezuelan goverment loans Jamaica cash for infrastructure development.


Given my overt sexist notions, there is continuing email fallout from the "Jihadi's" article, racism is a given, of course I think Hud is one of the greatest films ever.

Bush Tries To Charm Press Corp

As Bush's numbers continue to swirl down the toilet the White House is desperate to regain its old ways with the press, they tend to be pack animals you know? Their latest effort is to chat up the press corp with the witty one himself.

1930's Reporting

Here's an article from the Guardian archive:

Nazi thugs cut their teeth in Brunswick

FA Voigt
Wednesday March 30, 1932
The Guardian

There are ugly stories from some of the chief German cities about the way in which the Nazi "forces" are acting . Our special correspondent has paid a visit of investigation.
For half a year, a Nazi, Herr Klagges, has been minister of the interior in the Free State of Brunswick. The coalition government has only two members - the other is the minister of finance, a Nationalist. Whenever the Nazis take office they demand the Ministry of Interior because it gives them control over the police.
Their spell of power in Brunswick is a kind of rehearsal. The Nazi storm troops (called SA men) have living quarters which they use as barracks. They also have lorries on which they race along at great speed, the swastika (their anti-Semitic symbol) fluttering over the bonnet. The sides of the lorries can be clapped down so that the inmates can jump out at a moment's notice.
The storm troops leap down; blows from cudgels, knives, preservers, knuckle dusters are dealt out, heads are cut open, arms raised in self defence are broken or bruised and crouching backs or shoulders are beaten black and blue. Sometimes shots are fired and knives are drawn.

The police find a man lying dead or several lying unconscious with concussion of the brain, or staggering away clasping an abdominal knife wound or holding a broken head .

Never is there any cause for such an assault, only a pretence of "comrades in danger" that will serve as an excuse for the assault. The lorry with its load of hooligans can be seen racing along almost any day. Nothing is done to stop the abominations.

The [anti-Nazi paramilitary] Reichsbanner is growing rapidly, flying columns are being organised. The leaders are having some trouble in restraining their men, for hatred of the Nazis and resentment for the toleration shown them by a partisan government and bitterness for the falsehoods that are allowed to appear in their newspapers, while the anti-Fascist newspapers are continually being censored or suppressed, are boiling up into a burning and general fury. But if the Reichsbanner were to retaliate, storm the Nazi barracks, it would totally suppressed. Thus the anti-Fascist movement that grows in numbers and efficiency remains on the defensive.

Will a whole nation, one of of the greatest and most civilised in the world, be handed over to the brute the blackguard, and the charlatan? No one can tell. But Brunswick is an ominous foreshadowing.

Permanent Bases In Iraq?

*Balad base: $228.7m (2005); requested $17.8m (2006)
*Al-Asad base: 2005 spending unknown; requested $46.3m (2006)
*Tallil base: $10.8m (2005); requested $110.3m (2006)

President Bush himself recently admitted US troops would probably be in Iraq when his successor takes office in early 2009, but the notion of a permanent presence is regularly rebuffed by the US government. In February, Mr Rumsfeld insisted it was "certainly not true".

Then why spend billions on "temporary installations?"

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

AWOL: Integration

During the march against the latest round of nativist legislation coming out of Washington last Thursday a friend of mine was criticizing the march route and a few of the slogans. My refrain throughout the march to him was, join the steering committee, today we need to celebrate all of the great organizing that made this possible and enjoy the event, the critque can come later. For me the biggest problem was not the route or the slogans but the make-up of the crowd. Overwhelmingly the crowd was working class and Mexican. Visibly missing were the white, black, Puerto Rican and just about every other shade in a fairly diverse community. It probably was the least integrated event I have ever been to in Milwaukee.

Here's an article on the AWOL Civil Rights Leadership.

Keep This Date

The next [solar eclipse] is due on August 1, 2008, and will cross North America, Europe and Asia.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Reagan Criminal Gang Trifecta?

This week has seen Lyn Nofziger and Cap "Death Squad" Weinberger go the way of the Gip. Could the cowardly lion be next?

The Last Stand for Social Democracy?

The French for the last two weeks have held massive demonstrations in defense of labor contracts for young people. Never even on the agenda here in the US the French, as seen by massive solidarity strikes today, seem to get it that this is a major salvo in the ongoing attack on Social Democracy in Europe.

Is the EU part of the race to the bottom?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Hoosier Judge Says Teachers Have No 1st Amendment Rights

A Bloomington, IN judge, in a ruling on whether or not to a teacher's contract (sounds like a stong union state there) says teachers have no first amendment rights. Here's her quote:

“teachers, including Ms. Mayer, do not have a right under the First Amendment to express their opinions with their students during the instructional period.” She went on to say “school officials are free to adopt regulations prohibiting classroom discussion of the war,” and that “the fact that Ms. Mayer’s January 10, 2003, comments were made prior to any prohibitions by school officials does not establish that she had a First Amendment right to make those comments in the first place.” The judge also implied that Mayer, by making her comments, was attempting to “arrogate control of the curricula.”


How to Spot a Pedophile

Take the test.

Let's hear Gary's theme once again. Le Show March 5, 2006, "Rock n Roll Part 3."

Saturday, March 25, 2006

You've Never Read Laclau and Moffett?

Russell Jacoby is hilarious! I have not read Lott or know his politics but I remember the type.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Milwaukee's First Day With Latinos?

A City with Latinos?
March 23, 2006 was a historic day for Milwaukee. It was a day with Latinos in a city that still thinks of itself stereotypically as either a German/Polish Old World European enclave or a post-industrial, predominantly African-American ghetto, plagued with violence and urban blight. It was a day that thousands of Latino workers and their families took their children across the 6th Street Bridge from the once mostly Polish Southside to downtown’s Ziedler Park (named after German-American Socialist Mayor Frank Ziedler), where Milwaukee’s predominantly white political and economic elite work, to demand that they not be treated as criminals in a land settled and built by immigrants. They demanded that the state and federal governments not pass laws, like H.R. 4437, sponsored by Wisconsin’s own James Sensenbrenner, which would criminalize them for wanting to make a better life for themselves and their families. Symbolically, this march was historic because just by their presence Milwaukee’s Latino community showed, in a dignified way, that they are part of this community and are not willing to be taken for granted anymore.
During the 1960’s and 1970’s Milwaukee’s civil rights movement, led by Italian-American Father James Groppi, marched across the 16th Street Bridge to demand equal housing and dignity for all of Milwaukee’s citizens. An old racist joke named Milwaukee’s 16th Street Viaduct the longest bridge in the world because it linked Poland to Africa. But after March 23, 2006 the newly-renovated, David Kahler-designed 6th Street Bridge should become a symbol for a new Milwaukee that is being revitalized by the Southside’s increasingly confident Latino community, one that is emerging as a center for cultural and entrepreneurial activity.
Although many Milwaukeeans in the last 20 years have had more and more interaction with Latinos at work, in churches, at entertainment venues and in schools, the community’s 12% Latinos have been virtually invisible in the dominant media, which spends more and more of its time pandering to the suburbs. Except for a constant xenophobic drumbeat about the hordes of foreigners coming across the border by late-night AM radio shows and regular racial slurs by our local wannabee Rush Limbaughs- Mark Belling and Charlie Sykes- Milwaukee’s coverage of what is actually an American story of immigrant struggle and success – an urban-American story – has been appalling.
As Milwaukee’s Latino population has almost doubled in the last ten years Latino radio, newspapers, entertainment and businesses of all types have mushroomed with barely a peep from a press that has historically been a cheerleader for the Anglo-Saxon business class. The success of Milwaukee’s Latino workers and entrepreneurs in light of an almost total collapse of the industrial base in the 1970’s and 1980’s, which traditionally was an entry into a living wage for Milwaukee’s immigrants, has been astonishing. This is not to say that we have reached a utopian Atzlan on the banks of the Menomonee River given the educational achievement gap, lower incomes, unemployment and poverty that exist in Milwaukee’s minority communities. However, we should recognize that the Southside has certainly had a resurgence, based on the energy of our now second-largest minority population.
What the march suggests for Milwaukee and the United States is that we have a choice between two worlds. In one, the world that Representative Sensenbrenner’s bill would create, children and workers are denied emergency health care, kept from having driver licenses, indefinitely detained by border agents and lumped together with criminal terrorists and generally treated as outcasts. Or we have a choice to travel the bridge from the south to the north like Milwaukee’s Latino’s to create the promise of an America as a place that welcomes people who want to live in a country that has as its foundational principles a society of tolerance, a sense of justice and equal opportunity.

Published in Counterpunch but you saw it here first. Don't you feel lucky?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Si Se Puede!

Over 10,000 march in Milwaukee against draconian immigration laws. Quite a day in our city where the local paper and radio ignore the most vibrant ethnic community since the Polish. Not an integrated happening however, maybe 50 white folks and 20 African-Americans. Take a look at pictures of the largest demonstration in Milwaukee since the open housing marches of the 1970's.

The BBC picks up the story.

Unintended Consequences Redux

Pollution helps slow global warming! Lots of smoggy coal clouds in China and airplane contrails actually absorb and deflect heat from the sun. So when China cleans up its energy system, because its killing people, because of bad air, global warming will accelerate. Why do we know that contrails help deflect heat? Because after 9/11 when air travel was radically curtailed tempatures in North America actually went up.

Listen to this guy on Fresh Air about climate change and its potential impact.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

On Being a Liberator

Basra and the Royal Marines.

More Penance From Kevin Philips

From the guy who brought us Nixon and the Southern Strategy comes another dire warning on the power of religion in the Republican Party. Kevin Philips on American Theocracy.

Intended and Unintended Consequences

One predictable reaction from 9/11, which the Jihadis have clearly savored, has been the upstep in US global aggressiveness and a crackdown at home on civil liberties. Its part of the old Maoist approach; "exacerbate the contradictions." In other words, make things worse for everyone so we can pick up the pieces out of the rubble.

One of the oddest consequences of the aftermath of 9/11 and the Iraq war has been the impact on Spain. Like Tony Blair, Jose Maria Aznar and his Right Wing Populist Party hitched their wagon to the Bush adventurism both in Afghanistan and Iraq. Because of this the Madrid bombings occurred, the Right punished, and the Socialists have taken power.

One of the critical moments in this drama came immediately after the Madrid bombings. The Populists knew that if Jihadis were blamed for the mass murder many Spaniards would blame them so the Populists did what comes naturally to many in government, they lied and blamed the bombings on the Basque separatist movement ETA. Even though the movement had recently been seriously de-cajoned and none of the methods matched ETA's track record Aznar continued blaming ETA until it was too late. Because of this obvious lie and the events themselves the Populists were thrown out of power.

Today ETA announced a permanent cease-fire. Beyond recent military and political defeats the events surrounding the Madrid bombings have had a serious negative impact on ETA's support. Their murderous tactics may have seemed tolerable in the post-Franco era but in a post-Madrid bombing world these tactics are deemed unacceptable even by nationalists who have traditionally supported them.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Surreality Revisted

Even the punditocracy can't take them seriously. The question then is, where are the Democrats?!

Veterans are getting involved in the anti-war movement. At the Milwaukee gig a guy from Oshkosh spoke who talked of the rules of engagement. The nugget he shared with us was how you need to run over little kids in your truck because, you never know.

Looking For A Summer Holiday?

How about doing something useful? Freedom summer in Palestine?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Three Years

So after big lies 1) WMD's, 2) 9/11 is related to Iraq, and 3) Iraq is a threat to the US (see 1 and 2), number 4 is now being repeated to the 20% of the Angel believing flat earthers-the war is actually going well and we need to stop listening to the nay sayers! A point by point is in no way needed here but chutzpah is certainly the word for this criminal gang. US Out Now!

Even NPR couldn't help stating the obvious.

Reality check.

Friday, March 17, 2006


Every note the Akron/Family play is for a reason. This band transfixed around 40 Milwaukee souls for a couple hours last night at a show surely most will never forget. Psychedelic folky marbles in the mouth (literally) tunes that shift from distortion driven dirges to the tightest four part harmonies this side of the Alps. The contrasts may seem severe at times but always with a purpose. Tightness can sound sterile but not for these low-fi stoners, this shit smokes.

Make an effort to see these cats at a gin mill near you!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Brazil's Landless

After the staggering defeats of the 1970's the Latin American Left has changed tactics and emphasis. The foco strategy and the "mass" Stalinoid CP's have failed and now multi-party coalitions and indigenous movements have filled the void. The grand daddy of all of these new formations is Brazil's Landless Workers Movement.

Rogue State

At least* since Teddy Roosevelt swaggered on to the world stage as big mouth and chief the US has not flinched when it comes to grand announcement of international law while simultaneously practicing the crassist form of unilateralism. The Philipino occupation, the numerous invasions of Mexico, Nicaragua, The Dominican Republic, Haiti, etc..., the mass murder in Korea, Vietnam, Central America, and Iraq have all come with the rhetoric of civiliztion and rule of law. Bush's latest pronouncement, that the US has the right to intervene anywhere in the world at anytime for any reason, needs to be seen in this context.

Nothing new here and imperial powers do what are in their interests but don't wrap it in the robe of lady liberty when truly about avarice and plunder.

*Of course our particular imperial project begins with Jamestown and such but the reach internationally takes on a new form at the turn of the century.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Basta Ya!

Across Latin America people have had it with austerity, particularly indigenous folk. Ecuadoreans oust their interior minister.

Voces de la Frontera

On March 23, 2006 there is a important regional march for immigrant rights in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Federal legislation (HR4437) will be voted on by the US Senate at the end of March which threatens to turn immigrant families into felons. The legislation would specifically:

Take away drivers licenses from undocumented immigrants,

Deny emergency medical care to undocumented immigrants,

Turn all undocumented persons, including children, into aggravated felons; the equivalent of a homicide,

Criminalize any person or organization that assists the undocumented including: churches, attorneys, teachers, social workers, community agencies, union organizers, workers’ centers, even family and friends.

Turn out to show your outrage over this attack on human rights.

For detailed information on the rally go to this site

Monday, March 13, 2006

Looking For A Clock?

Sorry for the product placement but I thought this was kind of a cool idea.

Fight Club

Bollywood has remade Fight Club as only Bollywood could.

How Things Have Changed

Alex Cockburn gives a short history of the sea change in US oil companies and their relation to the Democratic Party over the last 30 years or so.

Gary Glitter Revisited

Harry Shearer has updated one of our favorite sport time soundtracks in light of Gary Glitter's latest troubles. Go to "Rock n Roll Part 3" in the March 5, 2006 episode of "Le Show."

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Weekend America ran a story today about a play by Mike Leigh about class and the clash of taste within a marriage. The story is quite smarmy but in the story they claim that the above picture is the best selling image of all time! I had never seen it.

Friday, March 10, 2006


Last night the Wisconsin State Senate voted down an alternative energy bill. The bill would have required gasoline in Wisconsin to contain at least 10% ethanol.

This issue, along with light rail, is a favorite target of scorn for right wingers throughout the state. They link both issues with their third favorite whipping boy, environmentalists. Their first is black people, the second, unionized public school teachers.

To me this vote reperesents the power of ideological reaction. Remember Wisconsin is a state where the agricultural economy still contributes significantly to overall production at a time when dairy farming is in decline as a result of competition from corporate farms and changing tastes when it comes to dairy (see Fat Kills below). And not only is the agricultural economy important we also have a budding ethanol indutry in the state.

From an environmental perspective I don't think that ethanol is the answer. Corn production as currently practiced is massively invested in the current oil/indutrial/herbicide/pesticide nexus. This being said you would think that mainstreet/Chamber of Commerce Republicans would at least be whoring for a local important industry. Not so in Wisconsin.

It looks like Kansas is just around the corner for us!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Have the Neo-Cons Gone Soft?

Cracks amongst the neo-con ranks.

Best Logo Ever?

I have never heard this band but Graves at Sea does seem to have the best logo/album cover ever.

Not Funny

Almost 20% of the world has no access to drinkable water.


Fritolaysia Cuts Off Chiplomatic Relations With Snakistan.

Why is the Anti-War Movement so Weak?

Much of our weakness is due to the liberal position; Iraq is a distraction to the real war, the "war on terror." This patriotic argument legitamizes the idea that the US should have over a hundred bases around the world, have a strategy of fighting two large scale wars at once, spend almost a half a trillion dollars a year on military hardware and maintenance and allows a "long war" footing that helps maintain a modern day Sparta.

Here's a decent discussion about how the anti-war movement needs to challenge the liberal/left wing warriors.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The R and the B Outed Again!

Outed as a Right Winger again because of the Jihadi article in (and this one hurts, I really mean that) Monthly Review on line.

There's a pretty good discussion of the issue in the comments section though.

The US-India Agreement

Vijay Prashad on the latest agreement between the US and India. It's more than mangoes.

Strange bedfellows and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Fat Kills

Ferry sinking blamed on tubby passengers. Ferry regulations based on 1940's weight averages from a slimmer time!

This reminds me of a time that I was on a plane out of Milwaukee and the pilot got on the intercom to request that a few of the cheese eaters on board get off, in exchange for a voucher (at Kopp's?-a custard and butter burger stand), because we had exceeded the weight requirements for the plane.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Al McCoy

Al McCoy has been doing interesting work on Southeast Asia for years. His latest work on the record of torture and the US is well researched and chilling.

Chomsky on changes in Latin America

"Furthermore, they are beginning to throw out the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In the past, the US could prevent unwelcome developments such as independence in Latin America, by violence; supporting military coups, subversion, invasion and so on. That doesn't work so well any more. The last time they tried in 2002 in Venezuela, the US had to back down because of enormous protests from Latin America, and of course the coup was overthrown from within. That's very new."

The first half of the interview.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Bush Asshole?

A nice song about our President.

On National Security

Alex Cockburn makes some very good points about National Security and the Dubai port ownership flap. Where's the hysteria about the loss of 100,000 jobs in the auto industry? If this doesn't threaten the long term security of this country then what will? Also, when the US government leaned towards anti-communist and mobbed-up unions in the 40's and 50's whose security was furthered? The nation as a whole or the owners?

All Hail Consolidation of the Telephone Companies!

Consumer Union and other consumer "rights" outfits are gnashing their teeth over the latest re-consolidation of the telephone companies. The Red and the Black says hooray for monopoly in this industry! The problem isn't concentration of this industry per se, it's that the companies are controlled by a tiny elite of plutocrats and that there is very little control over how they run and charge you for this service. At least the Progressives and the Naderite activists of the 1960's and 70's advocated some control over industry, in Wisconsin with the Citizens Utility Board and later with the Public Intervenor, that allowed citizens to have at least a small say in rates and investment decisions. Today's crop of populist consumer rights activists actually want more capitalism that gives more opportunity for inequality, the myth of upward mobility through the market, massive opportunities for scam and hucksterism of all stripes, price gouging, overlapping services, and lots of other inefficiencies that cost us all more.

Onward to consolidation of Ma Bell and more! We want more democracy and equality not more brands of toothpaste and cellphones!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Poedophile Glitter Gets 3 Years

Rocker Gary Glitter gets three years for lewd acts with minors in Vietnam. Here's the odd part of this article however. In the BBC report it states, quoting a Vietnamese women, "Before this trial, people here were not aware that tourism can have a bad side." Wah? People don't know that there is a seamy side to tourism in Vietnam or anywhere else for that matter?

I've been to lots of places in the world and I don't think there has ever been a place that I've been where 13 Frat boys from Long Island where welcomed as good will ambassadors.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bolivarian Revolution?

Latin American leaders agree on gas pipeline spanning South America.

Bush and Emerson

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."

I think Bush and the US foreign policy movers and shakers have been reading up on their Emerson because they seem to be taking to heart his bit about consistency. It's hard to keep up sometimes but let's try to follow. Dropping bombs on civilian populations is ok if we do it but if anyone else tries they will be nuked by the US. The countries that have nukes already, particularly if they are on the Security Council, can have nukes, but nobody else. Unless you are South Africa, Brazil, Israel, Pakistan and Israel. Because as we know these are places where conflict is not very likely.

Iraq, North Korea and Iran = bad = no nukes. Simple.

India and the US reach nuclear deal.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Random Blogs

So I am just looking around in Blogger and they go from the banal to the sublime to the criminaly idiotic and back again and I find designsponge . Now I am sure the designers need a place to kibbitz but 22 comments about a table?

And then there is Jessie Davis!

I an a former Marine Corporal who was placed in Iraq in 2004 where I was captured by none other then Arik Salaki who was then working as a Soviet spy in the Iraqi government. I was taken to the USSR and held under the guise of a prisoner. President Kennedy of the United States began his crusade against communism and I was forced to ally myself with the communist nations of the world. I became a Soviet operative and assassinated Kennedy. After the fall of the United States in 2006 I moved back to Portland where four years later I was called upon by my former captor, Arik Salaki who was now the President of the RUN. I now lead the Yucatan Omega project in Mexico as general of the RUN Military Alliance

No Spitting Or Else!

Once again China is trying to discourage spitting in public.

Solar System

Check out this picture of the solar system. More amazing pictures like this from the National Archive.

It's got to be a collage, right?

Hall of Shame

Unfortunately the once proud progressive state of Wisconsin has joined the ranks of the bigoted and intolerant. Last night the Assembly passed, for a second time, a bill that will now allow the people of Wisconsin to vote on a measure to punish people because of their bedroom practices and identity. Our state is fairly well organized to fight this referenda but we must all get active in this fight for human rights if we are not to join the ranks of Alabama and Utah.

On Thursday night Fair Wisconsin will hold an event to recruit new people and energize fellow travelers to vote no on this despicable piece of legislation. The event will be at Plymouth Church which is located at 2717 E Hampshire in Milwaukee at 6 PM. Here are some other things you can do.

Sign this pledge to vote no.