|No Fear of Freedom||
|Anti-right rants from an obnoxious lumpen proletarian. Aiming to Arm the Choir.|
June 30, 2004
Call Now To Stop Genocide In SudanMoveOn has another left wing, socialist cause to which the coalition of the wild-eyed must flock:
Dear MoveOn member,The Rwanda genocide, which I didn't know about until it was too late, was an issue about which Clinton told a significant lie. In essence, he said that the US government, like me, didn't know about it until too late. Let's not leave Bush that excuse about Sudan. And please help spread the word.
Thanks to In Search Of Utopia's Dave Anderson for prodding me to do the right thing here.
posted 9:26 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Like Moore's Worse Than HitchensAdam, at A Violently Executed Blog, links to a piece that tells the real truth about the media. I know something about it because I was a janitor at a newspaper. Oh, sure, a lowly job, but I roamed all over the building and regularly talked to reporters. This shit ain't no lie. And it confirms what I originally said, that Christopher Hitchens is full of shit when it comes to Michael Moore.
But let's not leave people confused out there. The idea that anyone in today's media is either courageous or cowardly on the basis of what they write or broadcast is ridiculous.You want to read more, click the link.
posted 3:35 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Iraq And The Damned "Liberals"Damn it! The left wing GAO refuses to give us the good news on Iraq.
Iraq's basic services worse now than before war, GAO says
In a few key areas — electricity, the judicial system and overall security — the Iraq that America handed back to its residents Monday is worse off than before the war began last year, according to calculations in a new General Accounting Office report released yesterday.Thanks to uber-blogger Atrios.
posted 12:33 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Nick Kristof Is A Blithering IdiotIn Calling Bush a Liar Kristof writes:
In the 1990's, nothing made conservatives look more petty and simple-minded than their demonization of Bill and Hillary Clinton, who were even accused of spending their spare time killing Vince Foster and others. Mr. Clinton, in other words, left the right wing addled. Now Mr. Bush is doing the same to the left. For example, Mr. Moore hints that the real reason Mr. Bush invaded Afghanistan was to give his cronies a chance to profit by building an oil pipeline there.The right wing was addled before Clinton was even elected. Clinton had nothing to do with it. None of the serious crimes the right accused Clinton of has ever been shown to have a basis in fact. Those accusations resulted from a right wing propaganda campaign to hamstring a President with whom they disagreed politically, and the addled wing of the Republican Party eagerly lapped up every unfounded allegation without a shred of hard evidence. If Kristof is unaware of this, I don't know what qualifies him for his job.
Bush, on the other, certainly misled us into an unnecessary war. That is a natural fact. Whether he did so by lying, or through massive incompetence, or actual addlement on his part doesn't make a bit of difference to me, although lying makes the most sense. If he was nuts or incompetent, wouldn't the others in his Administration have spoken up? Why would they repeat to the American public the fantasies of a self-deluded president? Whatever the reason for his behavior, Bush's ascension to the Presidency was an American tragedy. Whether or not Bush lied about the war, he has certainly lied about many other things. The Poor Man lists (with links) quite a few of them.
That Kristof compares the completely justifiable outrage of well-informed people to the addlement of the right wing during Clinton's Presidency forces me to question his sanity - or his honesty. What a piece of shit.
posted 11:12 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Beheadings & Other Human AtrocitiesIslamic Sites Debate Beheading of Muslims
I'm not gonna get into the details, click the link if you're interested. Short version is that some Muslims clearly consider non-Muslims to be less than fully human. Just as some Americans, especially right wingers, consider Muslims less than fully human. Same as some people consider blacks, or brown, or Asians (I'm not sure what people think about Native Americans.) less than fully human. Same as some right wingers consider the poor and the homeless less than fully human. Just as some consider Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgendered people less than fully human.
Humans. 'Bout every other day I wanna wash my hands of the whole lot of ya. Maybe most of you would be happier if I did, but I haven't yet. Why? I suppose because I'm human. My natural, inborn allegiance is to humans, and I think properly so. Only my allegiance is to all humans.
posted 10:46 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Critics Predicted It, Right Wingers Poo-pooed ItOf course, being a right winger means never having to admit you're nearly always wrong. I still remember what they said before the Iraq war, and they've turned out to be wrong almost across the board. Haven't heard many admit to being even partially wrong, though.
Drug Prices Rose After Medicare Law, Group Says
And the "group" is AARP. An' I don't wanna hear that crap about their high reasearch costs. They have the highest profit margins, by far, of any industry. In fact, their R&D costs are dwarfed by what they spend to get people to buy drugs they don't need. The Washington Post reported:
Here are the facts. The pharmaceutical giants spend two or three times as much on marketing and administration as they do on R&D, and their profits are about twice their R&D costs. To cite a typical example, last year GlaxoSmithKline spent 37 percent of its revenues on marketing and administration and only 14 percent on R&D, while making a 28 percent profit. Overall, the pharmaceutical industry is by far the most profitable in the United States.Yet Republicans felt the industry needed a gift of taxpayer money so they passed Bush's prescription drug bill, while Bush lied about its costs, and along the way they even managed to give a little extra screwing to the poorest Social Security recipients, all of them elderly or disabled. Right now, they still qualify for Medicaid and get their prescriptions free. In 2006, many (All? I don't recall right now.) will have to pay for prescriptions. They won't pay a whole lot, I admit, but some of them are going hungry toward the end of the month as it is. Compassionate indeed.
posted 10:03 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
It's only Wednesday, but The Boston Globe's Glen Johnson is already in the hunt for this week's unsupported lead prize. Today Johnson kicks off his story with this: "To detractors and even some supporters, John F. Kerry's decision this week to cancel his speech to the US Conference of Mayors because of a picket line was typical of how he makes many judgments: protracted, messy, and guided by self-interest."All candidates appear to make self-interested decisions. I say appear because a candidate who doesn't get elected can't do much good for others. Kerry may very well make protracted, messy decisions, but his refusal to cross union picket lines strikes me as an idiotic example of that. Refusing to cross union lines is a no-brainer for a Democratic Presidential candidate. What Dem candidate in his right mind would deliberately piss off organized labor four months before the election? Give up those union manned phone banks, give up the union precinct walkers and give up those union votes? None, would be the correct answer. Silly shit in the media.
posted 9:46 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
June 29, 2004
Right Wingers That Make You Go HmmEugene Volokh, my favorite conservative although I do wonder about that Federalist Society crap, points out that there's something funky about the numbers in the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal. (I know. You're all as shocked as I am.) Basically, the article purports to show that Democrats are screwing themselves by supporting abortion because far more future Democrats are aborted than future Republicans.
I'll let Volokh tell you about the numbers he questions. Here's the one I seriously question.
Six out of 10 Americans call themselves conservatives.I have never seen a number that high for Americans calling themselves conservative before. Not even close. So, of course, I Googled and found this at MSNBC:
Picking Sides For the News, by Robert J. Samuel.
The numbers Samuelson uses are attributed to the latest Pew Research Center survey. They show:
By contrast, 36 percent of Americans are conservative, 38 percent moderate and 18 percent liberal.Wowee, zowee. Ain't no margin of error gonna explain that discrepancy. And Pew's numbers are in line with every other poll I've seen in the mainstream media over the last couple of years. Volokh shows more seriously odd numbers. You really have to question all the numbers in the article.
So, honest, though incredibly stupid or sloppy mistake? Or deliberate lies? Impossible to know, but given that I'm constantly catching right wingers in humongous mistakes/lies, I know how to bet it.
posted 9:08 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Nader: Republican Stalking Horse ReduxNadering nabobs, carries a message all Naderites need to read. Probably most of the support for getting Nader on the ballot which, if succesful, can only help Bush, comes from Republicans, and the Nader campaign has actually been soliciting support from Republican partisans. In Arizona, 65% of the signaturies on the petitions to get Nader on the ballot were Republicans.
I guess if you think that America and the dream of democracy can stand another four years of George W. Bush, then you should vote for Nader. All you're really saying if you do that is, "I'm to prissy pure to vote for a flawed candidate so I'm going to help a truly awful candidate get elected." I'm sure you'll be very proud of yourselves.
posted 9:43 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
June 28, 2004
What Happens To Real ReportersHear No Lichtblau, See No Lichtblau
When New York Times reporter Eric Lichtblau wrote a story last fall that the FBI didn't like, the bureau responded by trying to freeze him out.Thanks to PR Watch's Spin of the Day.
posted 7:20 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Media & Kerry - It Couldn't Be DishonestyCJR's Campaign Desk, notes a wee change of opinions among the "liberal" media from four years ago.
Once upon a time, not so very long ago, there was a senator named John who found himself on Al Gore's short list of potential running mates.That was John Kerry. I don't know who this guy running now is.
No longer handsome, Kerry has been compared this election season to "The Addams Family"'s heavy-browed Lurch (by both former New York Times executive editor Howell Raines and by CNBC's talk show host/comic Dennis Miller). The Weekly Standard's Matt Labash sees in Kerry's mug a "long-faced Easter Island mask," while The New Yorker's Philip Gourevitch observes "a long, angular face [that] has something of the abstraction of a tribal mask." Kerry reminds Knight Ridder's Dick Polman of "those long-faced walking trees in 'Lord of the Rings,'" while the Chicago Tribune sees a "droopy, hound-dog look." Kerry, it seems, was repeatedly whacked by an Ugly Stick sometime between 2000 and 2004. (Not exactly a ringing endorsement for Botox, if you -- like the Tribune and other news outlets -- entertain that sort of scuttlebutt).There's a good deal more. Whatever could have caused this utter reversal?
posted 6:12 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
'Occupation Over' - LMAOBut getting ready to cry. I love the way the "liberal" media just pass the lies along to us, no matter how outrageous.
Surprise ending: Occupation over, says the Christian Science Monitor, once thought to be a damn good newspaper. Yeah, occupation over, except for the minor matter of about 160,000 foreign troops still occupying the country. It just seems tired to even mention Orwell anymore. Apparently, Americans will believe any Goddamn thing these days. But I am wondering, is this the "good news" from Iraq that the "liberal" media have been keeping from us?
"To be blunt, we failed,'' says a CPA adviser, preparing to return home to the US. "I don't think you can blame Bremer. We just weren't prepared for what we were getting ourselves into."Maybe not.
posted 5:45 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Strain At A Gnat And Swallow A CamelCorporate HR fads by John at From the Trenches, links to an op-ed in the Japanese paper Asahi Shimbun (English edition) which says:
'There is no clear evidence that downsizing actually does any good, at least not in the United States.'The piece mentions scholarly works to support the argument. Plenty of harm to workers, of course, yet no real help to corporations. So why do they keep doing it? Anybody's guess I suppose, but here's mine.
Most Americans have been trained since birth to believe, not to think. Somebody's always saying we need to teach critical thinking skills in the schools. Let's all hold our collective breath, shall we. If most, or even many, people really learned to think critically it would undermine advertising, it would undermine religion, and it would undermine our pseudo-democratic political system.
Where would GWB be right now if most people thought critically? Nobody in power wants critical thinking taught on a broad basis. It's OK for the Alpha's, the elites, up to a point, but only because it can't be avoided if society's to function at all. You can't be trained all your life to accept on faith alone the existence and caring of a God for whom there is no empirical evidence, then easily switch in the mundane world to questioning and analyzing things.
My wife's got a cousin who thinks God guides her car. When she gets lost, it's her fault, but when she manages to again find the right path, it's because of God's guidance. People like her, and it's surprising how many there are, never seem to notice that their God is incredibly capricious. She's not stupid. She just got a masters degree from USC and barely missed what I think they called the Dean's List, which required a 3.85 GPA. She's a lot better educated than me, yet she's eager to believe patently silly things.
That's why I attack the more nonsensical religious ideas from time to time. I don't mind a sophisticated, nuanced belief in a religion although, as I said, there's no empirical evidence to support it. But Biblical literalism, believing God drives your car, believing God talks to people, these are all a result of training, not thinking. And most people's religion is a matter of dumb luck. If they were born and raised somewhere else they'd be Hindus or Buddhists or Muslims, and they'd believe just as fervently.
Very superstitious, that's all it is. I'm not sure humans can afford such foolishness anymore.
posted 8:01 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Einstein Coulda Saved Me A Lot Of Thinking
An oligarchy of private capital cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society because under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information.Damn. Took me most of 40 years to figure that out on my own. And that's why America is a democracy in claim only.
UPDATE: From GEORGE & ME, by DAVID DENBY
The ideological framework of “Fahrenheit 9/11” goes roughly like this: America is not a democracy; America is an oligarchy in which the wealthy pull the strings behind a façade of manufactured democratic consent. The Bush clan rigged the national election in 2000; still, the new Administration was failing until 9/11, an event that the President exploited to create an atmosphere of endless fear and a practice of endless warfare.Which is not terribly different from what Einstein said, and I happen to agree with both. Remember, if you think something's true that the majority desperately wants to believe is false, that proves you're paranoid.
posted 1:04 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
The US Record Of Promoting Freedom & DemocracyNet Politik, newly added to the blogroll, opens a little window into South Korean life and politics. The government is now censoring every blog on Blogspot and many more over certain blogs linking to the beheading.
The US has been fostering "freedom" in South Korea for 50 years now. Not there yet. Just tell the Iraqi people to be patient. Two, three, four, five generations from now, maybe they'll have a free democracy. Or be the 51st state.
posted 12:21 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
June 27, 2004
You Elitist Bastards! Yes, I'm Talking Left And Right.I was reading the comments about Michael Moore at Whiskey Bar when I figured it out. You elitist fucks! Left and right. This comment specifically.
ok bill hasn't seen the film. moores not a sharpie like bill in any sense of the word. there is a prejudice out there for people who have huge opinions and inarticulate forms of communication. moore is radical but he speaks from where he comes from which is very base. but he has a story to tell that even a dimwit can comprehend.". . . speaks from where he comes from which is very base." Yeah, and so do I. In many ways Michael Moore is just what I am. Working class. Not a snappy dresser, or as the elitists like to call him, a slob. He ain't thin, he ain't pretty, he ain't well educated. All he is is smart. But all the pretty assholes, all the ones who can act and dress "classy," the left and the right cut them slack. Coulter looks like "us." Limbaugh, well, he's fat, but he wears expensive suits, he smokes fabulously expensive cigars, drinks fabulously expensive wines. Alterman, he's one of the elite. Corn, Hitchens, all those assholes can fit in with the elite, or are part of the elite. All the national media hobnob with the elite.
Moore doesn't even try to look like anything but what he is, and everybody looks down their nose at him. I get it. We all get it. Fuck the little people, they're so base. Yeah, well even a dimwit can tell when you're lookin' down on him, too.
Eat the fuckin' elite. Before they eat us.
posted 6:52 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Bush Bashing #1 Sport In America!Or so some say.
'Fahrenheit 9/11' Sets Documentary Record
The movie has been embraced by left-wing groups, which mobilized members to see it during the opening weekend. Conservative groups sought to discourage theaters from showing it and asked the Federal Election Commission to examine its ads for potential violations of campaign-finance law regulating when commercials may feature a presidential candidate.First documentary ever to debut as the top weekend film! If this blockbuster debut is a result of left wing groups mobilizing their members to see it, then the left in this country is a lot bigger than Americans have been led to believe. Notice the subtle bias in the article, though. "Left-wing groups" vs. "conservative groups." If they're really conservatives, and not right wing authoritarians, why did they try to keep people from seeing the movie? Your time is running out, right wing motherfuckers. You're gonna have to crawl back to your holes soon and let decent people govern America again.
posted 3:03 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
There Goes The "Liberal" WaPo AgainEconomy Provides No Boost for Bush
"Americans are a show-me people," said Karlyn Bowman, a public opinion expert at the American Enterprise Institute. "They need to be shown that things have actually been changed, and I think in an economic recovery, this means seeing the guy down the street getting his job back rather than good jobs numbers."GODDAMNIT, this shit pisses me off! First, a WaPo reporter has no business quoting this person at all. Second, this person should not be labeled a "public opinon expert," they should be labeled what they are, a professional liar. And third, no reporter should ever type the words "American Enterprise Institute," without labeling it a right wing think tank. On this last score, I feel the same way about left wing think tanks.
posted 1:53 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Hope Blooms Behind The Orange CurtainOrange County, California seems like it's been changing a bit, but traditionally it's general political atmosphere be best described a question a woman once asked me there. "Don't you just love Pat Buchanan?" Locally, Orange County is often described as being "behind the Orange Curtain."
I just saw a news story that said the patrons at a showing of "Fahrenheit 9/11" at the Orange Multiplex in the heart of the country were chanting, "Throw Bush out! Throw Bush out!"
posted 12:20 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Edmund Burke Da Man!Wow! Never expected to say that.
Look to 1777 and Learn, Mr. Bush
This is really worth reading. The parallels between the US war on Iraq and the British war on the American colonies are striking
."Let them but once get us into a war, and then their power is safe, and an act of oblivion passed for all their misconduct."
posted 12:13 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
A Rare Right Wing CommenterSomeone left this comment today about the Bush/Cheney/Hitler ad. If you haven't seen it since it first went up, the ad has changed quite a bit to clarify what they were trying to say. One of the changes includes a flat out lie. What a surprise.
What I think? It is a clumsy political ad (but what do you expect from repubs who aren't the career pol like the Dems), that has been blown out of proportion. They are not comparing various lefties to Hitler, they are lining up what the rabid lefties have said interspersed with a MOVEON.org ad that compared Bush to Hitler (as it says at the bottom "from move-on.org ad") I don't think they should show it, but it makes a valid point; how paranoid, bigoted, fearful, hateful and potentially violent the left has become in this country. Remember, it was Al Gore that fomented Civil War against his countrymen by saying they were "digital brownshirts". Personally I fear for my safety living in the same country as leftwing-nuts like Gore-baby and Teddy "drunken-killer" Kennedy.Just a few points:
It is a clumsy political ad (but what do you expect from repubs who aren't the career pol like the Dems),
If I ever stop laughing, I may comment on this. Probably not. It's fairly self-evident.
that has been blown out of proportion.
I don't know that it has been blown out of proportion yet, but thank God Repukes never blow anything out of proportion. Like that ad slipping through MoveOn's screening process, then quickly being pulled from the site with apologies from MoveOn.
interspersed with a MOVEON.org ad
There's the flat out lie. How was this a MoveOn ad? Did they pay someone to make it? Did they pay anyone to broadcast it? It was an ad entered in a MoveOn contest that MoveOn pulled from the contest as inappropriate. Bush/Cheney, of course, has no compunction about lying, but this yahoo believing it's a true MoveOn ad, is that caused by bigotry? Ignorance? Stupidity? All three's a jackpot.
They are not comparing various lefties to Hitler, they are lining up what the rabid lefties have said interspersed with a MOVEON.org ad that compared Bush to Hitler (as it says at the bottom "from move-on.org ad")
They're not comparing Democrats to Hitler, they're just showing them in seemingly angry, perhaps only dramatic, moments interspersed with Hitler rallies. Nobody would ever think they were comparing them to Hitler. At least none of the right wing idiots would. Yeah, you more than resemble that remark. And if the Dems had done exactly the same thing to Bushco, I'm sure you would think it was perfectly legitimate. Which brings us to:
how paranoid, bigoted, fearful, hateful and potentially violent the left has become . . .
I'd say a little something about projection here, but I doubt you're bright enough to understand it. If you think the Dems shown in that Bush/Cheney commercial are "rabid lefties," then you can only be a rabid rightie. Sometimes I think the right has succeeded in poisoning every weak mind in the country.
Personally I fear for my safety living in the same country as leftwing-nuts like Gore-baby and Teddy "drunken-killer" Kennedy.
I don't know about your safety just yet, but you ought to fear for your disgusting, evil politics, because, one way or another, we're comin' to kick your lying and/or stupid asses. I hope we can do it peacefully through the political process, but if Bushco steals another election, I don't like the prospects.
UPDATE: Adam from A Violently Executed Blog weighs in with good points.
Let's not forget our homegrown Talibunnies Pat "Let's nuke the State Department" Robertson and Jerry "Gays and feminists caused 9/11" Falwell, Phaedrus.Yeah, come to think of it I don't recall any serious left wing violence in this country since the 70's, 30 years ago. This ditto-brain talks about the left as "potentially" violent. Fuckin' right, but who ain't? Was it the left that slaughtered innocents in Oklahoma City? The left that bombed abortion clinics and murdered doctors? The left that had an arsenal of automatic weapons, suitcase bombs, and a fuckin' cyanide bomb down in Texas? Was it the left that pounded on doors and threatened vote counters in Florida in 2000? I keep hearing about the dangerous, wild-eyed left. What violence has the left actually been responsible for? Hey, maybe it was leftists that dragged that poor black man death in Texas. Ya think?
The right always tries to present itself as a bunch of big, tough, macho men. Tell me, what is it you half-wit pukes have ever done but pee in your knickers over your horrible fears of non-existent left wing violence.
posted 10:24 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Resisting Occupation = Extremism3 Turks Taken Hostage in Iraq
Most Turks in Iraq are engaged in private trade, primarily trucking in gasoline as extremists continue to sabotage Iraqi pipelines and refineries.Saboteurs resisting a foreign occupier are labeled extemists in the LA Times? They can't bring themselves to label the Bushies extremists, or even liars, but they can label oil pipeline saboteurs extremists.
Grandpap used to always tell me, "Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes." In their shoes, I'd be sabotaging that pipeline too, and so would you. Unless you was too busy hiding behind yer mama's dress.
posted 6:04 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Abuse, Degradation, Inhumanity - American ValuesCIA Reportedly Halts Use of Harsh Interrogation Ploys
The CIA has stopped using interrogation techniques such as "stress positions," sleep deprivation and denial of pain medication while the Bush administration reviews their legality, The Washington Post said Sunday.Thank goodness Orwell was born. Curse goodness that he's not in his prime today.
"What you see is what you get.
What the hell did you expect?
Richy red roses?
Wet puppy noses?
Men with ruberr hoses
Is more like it!"
- Oingo Boingo
Is it not obvious that none of these techniques would be ruled legal if used on accused criminals facing US courts? Of course, the right thinks that's wrong. Is it not obvious that the right hates the Bill of Rights?
posted 5:42 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
June 26, 2004
The "Experts" and Fahrenheit 9/11Fahrenheit 9/11 is going to be a blockbuster. It will break all records for documentaries. The "experts," however, say that it will have little impact on the election. All I want to know is, are these the same "experts" who just now figured out that it might be too late to stop the insurgency in Iraq?
posted 2:39 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
"Conservatives" Never FailIn The Me Me Me Meme, Ratboy's Anvil takes a different look at the success of right wing propaganda lies. This bit's excerpted from Alternet:
Search on Lexis-Nexis for the phrase "failed conservative policies," and you'll turn up a grand total of three articles: two in British newspapers and one magazine article, all referring to the conservative Tories in England.Isn't that interesting. I'm convinced that the Repukelican leadership, including the "devout" walking snakes like Tom Delay, don't believe in God and don't believe in hell. Those are just politically convenient lies.
I'm convinced they don't believe because if they did believe they wouldn't behave the way they do. The way they behave, if there's a hell, they'll all be crispy critters one day.
posted 7:24 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Emperor Bush Speaks
"History will judge what I'm about," the [President Bush] said. "But I'm the kind of person -- I don't really try to chase popularity polls."Or, in plainer English, screw the people, I know what's best.
Gee, what do we need democracy for if the people's opinions don't matter?
posted 7:17 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Nader's Another Whore For the RightLooks like Nader's taking all the right wing help he can get, and Adam, at A Violently Executed Blog has got the goods.
Something's rotten about Saint Nader
Well, what the hell, the right's where the money is, right Ralphie? All the left can offer is a sense of decency and self-respect. Try buyin' a new Mercedes with that.
posted 7:04 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Wolf Acting Like A ManWolfowitz apologises for calling journalists in Baghdad cowards
Now I'm supposed get all gushy and forgiving and say, "Well, he made a mistake, but at least he's man enough to admit." You know, the civility thing. Bullshit. He made an ass of himself and he had little, if any, choice about apologizing. No one in this administration, and none of their fervent supporters, have any right to an expectation of civility.
"Frankly, part of our problem is a lot of the press are afraid to travel very much, so they sit in Baghdad and they publish rumours," [Paul Wolfowitz] told the committee, "and rumours are plentiful."But:
Iraq has proved one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists to work. According to the International News Safety Institute, a journalists' support group, 30 Iraqi and foreign journalists and their staff have been killed in Iraq in the first six months of this year.Which was just a variation on the old riff, "They're not giving you the good news from Iraq." There is no good news from Iraq. I've been saying that for over a year and events have proved me right.
People love to say that political opponents aren't evil, they're just mistaken. Well, sad news folks, sometimes your political opponents aren't just mistaken, they're genuinely evil. Somoza was evil. Pinochet was evil. Hitler and Stalin were evil. And Bush and all his minions are evil.
posted 6:39 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Protect Pets, Fuck PeoplePet Lovers Howl, So Governor Rolls Over
The hectoring barks of animal lovers convinced Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to reverse himself Friday and keep California's law protecting stray dogs and cats at shelters.We'll protect stray pets, but stray people can fuck off and die. Which they will. Slowly, painfully.
There are times, and they're frequent, when animal lovers drive me to outrage. I'm all for protecting animals. After we start doing a decent job of protecting people. People come first.
posted 5:12 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
If They Aren't Dick-tators, Why These Lies?The Bushies claimed they would listen to science. Hah.
White House Tries to Rein In Scientists
The Bush administration has ordered that government scientists must be approved by a senior political appointee before they can participate in meetings convened by the World Health Organization, the leading international health and science agency.But, wait. You have to read down to the seventh paragraph before they allow someone to tell you
:"I do not feel this is an appropriate or constructive thing to do," said Dr. D.A. Henderson, an epidemiologist who ran the Bush administration's Office of Public Health Preparedness and now acts as an official advisor to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. "In the scientific world, we have a generally open process. We deal with science as science. I am unaware of such clearance ever having been required before."Umm, that would be because it never has been required before, not in the US
."No one knows better than HHS who the experts are and who can provide the most up-to-date and expert advice," Jewell said. "The World Health Organization does not know the best people to talk to, but HHS knows. If anyone thinks politics will interfere with Secretary Thompson's commitment to improve health in every corner of the world, they are sadly mistaken."No, you idiot. They would be happily mistaken. If they were mistaken. Shit for brains.
I don't have to see a monster propaganda machine to know that it's there. I have seen it, but that wasn't necessary. When majorities of the American people continue to believe silly things (Other than superstitions.) over a long period of time, you know they've been deliberately misinformed. You know massive propaganda is at work.
I don't care if you want to call them Nazis, fascists, Stalinists, Maoists, or Trotsyites. This is the most evil government in the US not only in my lifetime, but probably since at least Coolidge, maybe the Robber Baron era, maybe ever.
posted 4:35 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Right Needs 2x4 Treatment on IraqDear old grandad always tol' me, if you want a jackass to do something, first you have to get his attention.
Iraq Insurgency Showing Signs of Momentum
Signs of momentum? This sucker's been rolling down the highway at 100 mph+ for months now. The US just wouldn't admit it. Want to know how Iraq is like Vietnam? Easy. The government and the military are lying to us about the situation. For ten long years, we were always just about to turn the corner in Vietnam. Then, belatedly, we gave up because we could not win. How far do we want to go in this war that we can't win? How many more dead and injured, and to what purpose?
As this week's coordinated violence demonstrates, Iraq (news - web sites)'s insurgent movement is increasingly potent, riding a wave of anti-U.S. nationalism and religious extremism. Just days before an Iraqi government takes control of the country, experts and some commanders fear it may be too late to turn back the militant tide.It was too late a long time ago. Insurgencies like this don't get better with time, they get worse. The longer we stay, the worse it gets. We can't "win," whatever you think that means. I've been predicting this for over a year. I hoped I was wrong, I really did, but I was pretty sure I wasn't.
The insurgents' decentralized command structure, Hoffman said in an interview, echoes the atomized nature of the Al Qaeda terrorist network. Thus, the arrest of deposed President Saddam Hussein in December was not nearly the intelligence windfall that U.S. authorities had predicted. Nor did his capture dry up funding for the insurgents.Oh, but Howard Dean was an idiot for saying Hussein's capture would make little difference. How often do people have to be wildly wrong, not just the Administration but the entire right wing machine, and their opponents right before they lose credibility? I think we're finding out right now.
What Bremer and other officials failed to appreciate fully was postwar Iraq's combustible character: a nation brimming with arms, munitions and disenfranchised young men with military training, all primed to be stoked by ruthless and well-funded Baath Party operatives embittered in defeat.Oh yeah, that was hard to figure out. For anyone who was blind, deaf, and stupid. Leave it to the right.
Some hope that the Iraqi security officers, once properly trained and outfitted, will be able to confront the foe more effectively because of their cultural familiarity.Never mind that their ranks will be heavily sprinkled with insurgents, and there's no way to screen them out. Could the Bushies be any more brain dead without visibly drooling on themselves?
posted 4:05 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
June 25, 2004
Bush/Cheney Is AmazingI want people to look at this Bush/Cheney ad. I don't even want to tell you what I think. I'd love it if you'd tell me what you think, though. Coalition of the Wild-eyed.
Thanks to Ratboy's Anvil.
posted 8:22 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Must See: Fahrenheit 9/11I have seen the movie and you must see it. Like most Moore films it is absolutely hilarious at times. However, I spent much of the movie with tears rolling down my cheeks. Honey Punkin', who's as tough as raw brisket, said she turned her head to wipe her cheek because she was crying, and she saw that the guy next to her was wiping his cheeks as well.
I didn't spot any factual errors, and I'm pretty well informed. Well enough informed that shortly after we found out the name of Lila Lipscomb's son, Sgt. Pedersen, the instant that they said a Black Hawk was down, I knew Pedersen was dead. I recognized his name from a casualty list.
I felt so sorry for Lila Lipscomb. She went to D.C. to aim her anger and hatred at the White House. Another woman told her to blame Al Qaeda. She walked away, and said to Moore something like, "People are so ignorant. They don't know. I didn't know." And she dissolves into tears. In that moment I felt sorry even for the right wingers. People don't know what they don't know.
Particularly powerful was watching the many black representatives coming forward to object to George Bush's ascension to the presidency on the grounds of black disenfranchisement (Which has been documented since.) in Florida, but for their objections to matter, one Senator had to sign. One fucking Senator. Kerry, no doubt, was thinking of his run for the Presidency. Others, who knows? But where was fucking Kennedy? The guy in the least danger should he step forward to help stop a fucking coup can't see his way clear to do it. Fucking amazing.
I think the Democrats in the Senate capitulated in Bush's right wing coup. Ya know, it is still a millionaires club.
If the expensive, high-powered manipulation of the media and public perception continues, the people will never know what they don't know. They will always make the wrong decisions, always vote for the wrong candidate. The elites will say, "See, the will of the people can't successfully run a country." It will not be true. It will be because they were lied to, deliberately and very professionally, and because they therefore won't know what they don't know.
This is not democracy. If things continue in this vein it will lead to violent revolution. I think most of us know it's better to avoid that. But if it continues, they will leave the people no choice.
posted 7:28 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Unfairenheit 9/11 - The Lies of Chrissy HitchensI have seen the movie. And Hitchens lied. Christopher "I've been a whore for the right wing ever since I figured out that it paid so much better" Hitchens said:
Moore asserts that Iraq under Saddam had never attacked or killed or even threatened (his words) any American.And I said:
OK, if that turns out to be true, then Hitchens is probably more or less right about this one. So he's doing better than our miliary did in their attacks on high value targets in Iraq. They went 0 for 50.Thank God for caveats. I said if that's true. It's not. It's a flat out lie, unless "comrade" Hitchens is so drunk all the time these days that he's simply unable to relate the facts. Moore said, and this may not be verbatim but it's close, that the nation of Iraq had never attacked America, the nation of Iraq had never threatened America (He absolutely did not say any American, as sleazy whore Bitchens claims, in these first two.), and the nation of Iraq never murdered any American.
Sure, it's almost the same thing Moore said. All it does is turn a statement that's true, as far as I know, into one that's patently false (Since everyone knows that Americans were killed in Gulf War I.).
Hitchens libeled Michael Moore, and the fact that he will get away with it does not imply innocence at all. To defend himself against libel, as a public figure, Moore has to prove, not merely that he was libeled, but that incurred actual damages. That will be almost impossible to prove.
UPDATE: There is, also, actual malice, but to prove that you have to prove that Hitchens wrote what he wrote knowing it to be false, or with reckless disregard for whether it was true. I'm pretty sure all Hitchens has to say is, "Oops, I misquoted him. It was an accident." But I'm no expert.
On another issue, Hitchens claims that what he thinks is Moore's point:
5) The Afghan government, in supporting the coalition in Iraq, was purely risible in that its non-army was purely American.But wait, Moore's profoundly dishonest because:
If we turn to the facts that are deliberately left out, we discover that there is an emerging Afghan army . . ."Now. An Afghan army is emerging now. Maybe. Moore is referring to the beginning of the Iraq war over a year ago. How useful was their army then? In fact, what did Afghanistan contribute to the coalition other than its name? How many troops? How much money? Any? How about Iceland or Palau? The the "coalition of the willing" was, in fact laughable. (I get so tired of elitists, and Molly Ivins is guilty on this too, using risible when laughable would convey the same message, and to so many more people.)
posted 6:37 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Right Wing Illogical Consistency - Terrorism Dept.Brad DeLong posts Why Oh Why Are We Ruled by These Idiots?, about the "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report. Here's all I want to point out:
The latest report, released in April, claimed to document a sharp fall in terrorism. "You will find in these pages clear evidence that we are prevailing in the fight," Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage declared.And:
In fact, in 2003 the number of significant terrorist attacks reached a 20-year peak.Where's the sentence quoting Armitage saying, "You will find in these pages clear evidence that we are losing the fight?"
I know the world isn't rational, but shouldn't the Administration be? I suppose not. Anyway, character's much more important than reason, aint' that right, Slappy Maxie Boot?
posted 10:51 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Hitchens vs Fahrenheit 9/11And I haven't even seen the damn movie yet. I made a comment on In Search of Utopia that I could tear apart Christoper Hitchens article, Unfairenheit 9/11, The lies of Michael Moore, without even resorting to reasearch, but I added that it wasn't worth it. I've changed my mind. I can divine (deduce, actually) that in Chrissy Hitchens' mind that makes me a big, fat liar. Probably short, ugly and ignorant looking as well.
Chris Hitchens is a leftist. Just ask him. It's just a coincidence that the right wing cheers every time he opens his mouth or torments a keyboard. Just to make it easy, that's my opinion.
I don't usually label my opinions, but in dissecting Hitchens piece about Fahrenheit 9/11, the most tiring and mind-numbing part so far is separating Hitchens over-the-top, turgidly expressed opinions from any actual facts or logic. Hitchens refers to MoveOn's "turgid routines," but in the case of his piece, turgid is a terrible understatement. For example, he compares Moore to Leni Riefenstahl. Unfavorably. Oh, but it's wrong to call your opponents fascists, unless you do it with a thin veneer of subtlety.
To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery.Yeah, but other than that, how'd you like it? Again, his opinion. I doubt many viewers will agree with him, but so what? He's right, everyone else is wrong. He, along with David Horowitz, the neocons, and so many others, has become one the leading Stalinist intellectuals of the right. See, more opinion. Ain't this fun.
Fahrenheit 9/11 makes the following points about Bin Laden and about Afghanistan, and makes them in this order:He states number 6 as though it were a fact, then admits that he "divines" the information. How'd he do dat? Did he use a Y-shaped stick, or muck about in the entrails of goats or chickens? Actually, I'm pretty sure he means he guessed. Wouldn't it have been much more honest to just say "I guess?"
OK, hate to do this to you, but . . .
It must be evident to anyone, despite the rapid-fire way in which Moore's direction eases the audience hastily past the contradictions, that these discrepant scatter shots do not cohere at any point.That Moore, he's quite the slicky director, despite the fact that he looks more ignorant than a pig-fucking prole. The first three points, of only six, that Hitchens lists Moore making are all documented facts. I don't see where he refutes them.
Either the Saudis run U.S. policy (through family ties or overwhelming economic interest), or they do not.That's it see, there's no middle ground. It's totally black and white. It's impossible that the Saudi's might not run US policy but still have a lot of influence. At any rate, that's not one of the points on Hitchens list. He chose the battleground, then ducked across town to fight a phantom opponent.
As allies and patrons of the Taliban regime, they either opposed Bush's removal of it, or they did not. (They opposed the removal, all right: They wouldn't even let Tony Blair land his own plane on their soil at the time of the operation.)Again, not one of Hitchens numbered points. I haven't seen the movie, I have no idea what he's talking and he doesn't bother to tell me.
Either we sent too many troops, or were wrong to send any at all - the latter was Moore's view as late as 2002 - or we sent too few.There it is, that famous right wing dualism. Or is it Stalinist dualism in this case? It's completely impossible that both could be true. Never mind that both probably best reflects reality, as in, we shouldn't have sent any troops but, since we did, we should have sent more. Yeah, that was real fuckin' hard to figure out. In magic they call it misdirection. Hitchens masquerades as an intelligent man. I could even be persuaded of the intelligent part.
If we were going to make sure no Taliban or al-Qaida forces survived or escaped, we would have had to be more ruthless than I suspect that Mr. Moore is really recommending.Hitchens suspects.
And these are simply observations on what is "in" the film. If we turn to the facts that are deliberately left out, we discover that there is an emerging Afghan army . . ."But Hitchens listed point on this, the only one, reads:
5) The Afghan government, in supporting the coalition in Iraq, was purely risible in that its non-army was purely American.Wow! See how amazingly dishonest Moore is? He says that Afghanistan had no army after the invasion, but in fact (According to Hitchens. I'll believe it when I see it.) there is an emerging army now. Not even an actual army yet, more than two and a half years after the invasion. An army that may or may not become visible. You're supposed to glide right over the emerging part and just see army, and if you're a true believer, you will. Misdirection. This must be why right winger's are always so damn sure they're right. They don't know that they aren't smart enough to pick up on this shit. I asked a friend recently about something that's always puzzled. "Why do most stupid people think they're smart?" She gave me the best answer I've ever heard and I think it explains a lot. "They don't know what they don't know."
There's nothing in the rest of the paragraph that addresses any of Hitchens' points, so I'll spare you.
Hitchens next paragraph argues that Moore's point about the Saudi flights has not been supported by events that occurred after the film was made and shown in Cannes. In fact, Richard Clarke claimed full responsibility for authorizing the flights, just as Hitchens says. On June 24, according to The Hill. One day before the film had it's limited debut in NYC, two days before it was sheduled to debut nationwide. Maybe Moore needs to get himself one a them funny-lookin' Y-shaped sticks, or at least a bucket of goat entrails.
I never quite know whether Moore is as ignorant as he looks, or even if that would be humanly possible.That, like much of what Hitchen's writes here, is breathtaking ad hominem, with the added bonus of being subtly elitist. "How dare this fat, ugly lumpen proletarian challenge the great and wonderful elites who look like me?"
Moore asserts that Iraq under Saddam had never attacked or killed or even threatened (his words) any American. I never quite know whether Moore is as ignorant as he looks, or even if that would be humanly possible.OK, if that turns out to be true, then Hitchens is probably more or less right about this one. So he's doing better than our miliary did in their attacks on high value targets in Iraq. They went 0 for 50.
Thus, in spite of the film's loaded bias against the work of the mind,Funny, that phrase accurately reflects Hitchens own work.
[Of Moore.]Does he favor a draft - the most statist and oppressive solution?By statist and oppressive, does Hitchens mean fairest and most democratic? This feels wierd, I admit, but I strongly favor a draft, a no exceptions, no exemptions draft, and I'll tell you why. I don't feel a bit comfortable about the future of democracy knowing that the US has a large, professional, standing military that strongly, and almost exclusively, supports the more authoritarian of the two parties. I think we'd be a lot better off with a military rich in differing political positions. Besides, according to, ya know, actual dictionaries, there's nothing inherently statist about a draft. Hitchens knows the language. He's counting on his readers not knowing.
In a recent interview, he yelled that if the hijacked civilians of 9/11 had been black, they would have fought back, unlike the stupid and presumably cowardly white men and women (and children).Yeah, be sure to get that last, oh-so-fair lick in. Moore called white children stupid and cowardly. I heard him. Actually, he didn't call anyone stupid or cowardly. (Note Hitchens attempt to misdirect without obviously lying by qualifying his statement with "presumably.") Here's how a writer in the Observer paraphrased the same comment.
Last year, during a residency at the Roundhouse in London, he suggested that if the passengers on 11 September had been black, they would have fought back against the hijackers, and that spoilt whites were too used to having other people look after them.Before the right wing motormouth pots start gettin' their motors reved up to call. the kettle black, that's not an overtly racist statement. You can read that into it if you want to, but Moore didn't say one race was inferior to the other. He really wasn't talking about race at all, he was talking about the conditioning we all get through life experience. I wouldn't have made that statement. I'd rather Moore hadn't made it, but let's not read too much into it.
However, I think we can agree that the film is so flat-out phony that "fact-checking" is beside the point.Hey, Chrissy, try to make a stupider statement. I dare ya. How is "fact-checking" beside the point? Would you prefer opinion checking, you florid bit of dried elephant dung? (That last, by-de-by, is not ad hominem. You could look it up.)
posted 6:40 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
June 24, 2004
Minimum Wage Dope Catches It From A ConservativeThe Volokh Conspiracy links to a Hayek fanatic's post about the minimum wage called Ignorant Superstition. This kewpie doll thinks he's extremely clever when compared to dumbasses like John Kerry. Only this time he gets called down on his silly ass argument by one of his own. Glen Whitman posts MINIMUM WAGE HERESY. I don't agree with Whitman's arguments against the minimum wage either, but they appear to be reasonable and I have to admit it's possible that I'll be proved wrong and he'll be proved right.
If the rest of the right ever gets half as sane as Eugene Volokh and most of his crew, I'll have to start treating them with respect again. A small price to pay for rational government.
posted 11:13 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Clueless BootA Clever Fellow, to Be Sure, but Clueless About Character
Max Boot sets us straight about Clinton.
Asked by Dan Rather why so many people hate him, clueless Clinton replied: "I've always tried to change things. And people who try to be change agents are going to make people mad against the changes you're trying to make."Boot condemns Clinton as clueless because he said he tried to change things, but Boot doesn't think he did change much. But Boot doesn't quote Clinton as saying he did change things, only that he tried. He certainly did try, and in ways that seriously pissed off the right wing. Boot is comparing apples to oranges. My, what a clever fellow he is. Of course, his readers aren't supposed to see the quick switch. It's a con man thing.
Boot accuses Clinton of being clueless about why the right hated him so. It's obviouslessly meant as a nasty criticism. Then he writes, "I'm not sure I can explain it either . . ." So is he admitting that Slappy Maxie Boot is a clueless idiot as well?
Finally he makes the telling point that liberals prefer cleverness in a President, while conservatives prefer character. Which of the last three Republican Presidents has demonstrated great character? Would that be Raygun whose "heart" told him he did not trade arms for hostages even though he did? Bush I who was "out of the loop" on Iran-Contra? Nope. He must mean Bush II is a man of true character. Let's say that's true. Let's say Bush wasn't lying about the many, many thing that it appears he's lied about. He was just mistaken. About almost everything. Wouldn't that make him a man of great character who's simply the most incompetent President in the history of the nation? Conservatives care about character that much?
Umm, I suppose that's a good quality in their minds but, guys, don't you think that might be a tad impractical? Besides, we know for certain Cheney has no character whatsoever. And the Whitehouse and Justice Department legal counsels, etc., lack all character. Bush is surrounded by people with weak to no character, but none of that reflects badly on his character? Even though he's directly responsible for what those people do?
I'll tell ya, tearin' apart these "conservative" columns is easier than shootin' fish in a cookin' pot. With a light machine gun.
Max Boot expects people to swallow these buckets of rotting, maggoty tripe, as do most "conservatives" columnists. The sad thing is, I suspect that's because a surprising number of people do.
posted 10:13 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
O'Leilly Was Right. What Ingrates.A Night With the Powerless
For as many as 16 hours a day, there is no power. The house relies on an electric pump to deliver water, so no electricity means no running water. Toilets don't flush. Taking baths, washing dishes and laundering clothes are infrequent privileges.
posted 9:49 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Gore And What Should Have BeenIt strikes me more and more that Bush's usurpation of Al Gore was a true tragedy for America. Looking at the speeches he's given since the election and remembering his book Earth in The Balance, I'm coming to believe that Gore was and is a progressive at heart. His move toward the middle when running for election was merely a nod to the ugly political realities of our day. You can't do any good if you don't get elected. What could have been.
Gore: Bush Threatens Foundation of Democracy
posted 9:40 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Seig Fuckin' Heil, Fat TonyDave Neiwert at Orcinus, and I should mention that Orcinus and Whiskey Bar are the two best political blogs I know of, and that takes in a lot of very good blogs, anyway, Neiwert highlights two fairly recent Supreme Court decisions in which the Court, and it's theocratic fascist ring leader Fat Tony "The Diseased Pig" Scalia, took completely opposite positions on protecting the President from lawsuits. (Like that sentence?) Coudn't possibly have been that one case involved Clinton/Gore, and the very more recent case involved Bush/Cheney. Couldn't have been political bias. Anybody remember how Bush became President? I mean after the, effectively, racist vote-rigging turned out not to be enough.
posted 4:24 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God!!!Damn it, damn it, damn it, damn it. Tears rolling down my face for the second time today. Add 105 dead, 321 wounded to the Iraq war toll. The numbers will probably change tomorrow, but this is awful, horrible. To cut a man's head off is terrible, grisly act, but all these people are just as dead. I can't tell you how much I would like to believe they've all gone to a better world, but who knows? Who knows?
Insurgents Kill Scores of Iraqis in Attacks
There could be more coming:
One Iraqi official said intelligence reports indicate that terrorists have prepared as many as 60 car bombs for the coming days. U.S. forces recently intercepted three such vehicles in Baghdad, a military official said.
posted 3:16 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Somebody's Gonna Foot The BillI bet it won't be rich folks.
Over 14,900 human beings dead. A cost per US household of at least $3,415. Pony up. The suicide rate among US troops in Iraq is starting to look pretty significant now, up from an 8 year average of 11.9 to 15.6 per 100,000. And that doesn't begin to describe the staggering costs of the Iraq war.
But, hey, look what we got for it. Nearly the entire Muslim world hates our guts. What seems like (though I hope isn't) half the right wing is so eager to return the sentiment that they sound like Randy Newman junkies. "Let's drop the big one, there'll be no one left to blame us." Al Qaeda membership is up to 18,000, and, ". . . there were 98 suicide attacks around the world in 2003, more than any year in contemporary history."
We're winning the war on terrorism! Yeah!
The Institute for Policy Studies has more.
Tip O'The Tam to Seeing The Forest.
posted 12:51 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Why I Seldom Argue With Right WingersLimbaughing liars
Limbaugh stating the opposite of the truth, and all his little shit-lappers will lap it right up and repeat it as gospel. It's like arguing with talking sawdust.
posted 12:22 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Unreasoning PartisanshipIf you're one of those who think partisanship is one of the biggest problems facing the nation, you really ought to take a look at this. Pelosi's 'Bill of Rights', by Mick at Omnium, is dead on about which party's members have acted like particularly nasty pigs at the trough.
posted 11:58 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Tax Cut Lies, Among So Many OthersAs I'm sure I've said before, the right lies about almost everything simply because they have no other choice. If they tell the truth then, despite all their corporate financial support, they would lose at the polls. Brad DeLong links to this report on the Bush "tax cuts" which, as he says, are not tax cuts at all but tax shifts.
Distributional Effects of the 2001 and 2003 Tax Cuts and Their Financing
A leetle excerpt:
Once the financing is included, the 2001 and 2003 "tax cuts" are best seen as net tax cuts for about 20-25 percent of households, financed by net tax increases or benefit reductions for the remaining 75-80 percent of the population. Not surprisingly, equal-dollar financing is significantly more regressive than proportional financing.My only question to the right wing is, regardless of whether or not tax cuts for the rich are objectively a good or bad idea, could they and Fearless Leader have sold those tax cuts to the American people honestly? Could they have talked them into going against their own self-interest? Can pigs fly? Okay, that's three questions, but what the hell.
posted 11:13 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
This Is Pretty FunnyOn Eagles Wings-The Fight for Christian America
This book will explain to the reader how radical liberalism and run away political correctness has turned America into one of the most anti-God nations of the modern era.Don't know as I'd trust this book much. Apparently, the author has never heard of Western Europe, and is unaware that the US is the most God-fearing, Bible-believing nation in the Western, industrialized world.
If the founding fathers intended this to be a Christian nation, why did they forbid the establisment of a religion?
posted 9:17 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Hired Guns For FascismA new commenter left URLs providing a good deal more information about Move America Forward, the astroturf front website for Russo Marsh and Rogers, a largely, if not entirely, Republican group of PR liars that has tried to prevent Americans from seeing Fahrenheit 9/11.
You know, if Moore's film is so atrociously dishonest, as right wing sell-out Christopher Hitchens, among others, insists that it is, at great length and in a quite dishonest fashion himself, would it be better for the right wing cause for it to be shown? If Moore's movie is so obviously awful, won't it only damage the anti-Iraq war crowd? What's the right so afraid of?
Disinfopedia reports that the campaign has been an apparent failure.
. . . after the grass-roots political group MoveOn launched a counteroffensive, letters of support for the film's release began outpacing negative letters (according to an unscientific survey of five theater owners) at roughly 3-to-1.That's encouraging, as MoveOn is a genuine grass-roots organization, not an astroturf front group created by mercenary hirelings of the rich. I'm not so sure the campaign's been a complete failure, though.
In my city of nearly half a million people, none of the major chains will be showing Moore's film when it opens tomorrow. The only local theater showing it is old, grungy, always on the verge of going under, and specializes in art and foreign films and midnight Rocky Horror showings. Seems rather odd for a film that may become a blockbuster.
What Really Happened has more on Move America Over The Cliff.
One of the right's favorite positions is that money equals speech, and therefore, Constitutionally, you can't restrict money's influence on politics.
Gramps used to tell me, "You're right to swing your fist around ends where my nose begins." What that means is, all rights must be limited to the extent that they can't interfere with the rights of others. You can't legitimately use free speech as a club to batter the majority. If money equals free speech, then the rich have a 10 million watt public address system, and the rest of us are whispering in a sealed closet.
The rich may have a Constituional right to buy the government. The Constitution is long overdue for an update. The US was the first country to have a government similar to democracy. That doesn't mean that government was anything close to the best possible democracy. It was, in fact, an ugly, ungainly excuse for a very limited form of democracy and yet, for the most part, it is the same government we have today. But the rich have absolutely no moral right to buy the government.
Eat the rich, baby. Eat the rich. And if anyone accuses me of fomenting class warfare, I will answer them with a question. Does that mean that you're admitting this is a class-based society?
posted 7:35 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Did Bill Gates Earn His MoneyBetcha know my answer. I hate even calling "his" money. Adam, from A Violently Executed Blog, posted this comment on one of my prior diatribes:
Eat the rich, baby. Eat the rich.Metaphorically speaking, I agree whole heartedly. If we don't, they'll eat us.
First, what strikes me as the simple logic of the Gates situation, which is only one of the most extreme. I could easily make the same argument about every CEO in the country, in fact, about any of the top one percenters.
The average worker makes roughly $15 an hour (and dropping). That's $600 a week, maybe more with overtime. About $30,000 a year, throw in a little extra for benefits. Gates was born in 1955, so, give or take, the average worker over his working lifetime has made something near $1 million dollars, which he's frittered away on inessentials like food and rent.
Bill Gates net worth in 2003 was $40.7 billion. Obviously he's spent and given away a fair amount of money, but I'll just go with his net worth. Over the same 30 years as the average worker, Gates has "earned" 40,700 times as much as the average worker, and over 100,000 times as much as a minimum wage worker.
How can one human being earn 100,000 times as much as another human being? Not to mention that Gates has "earned" two million times as much as about one or two billion humans in third world countries. He's "earned" as much as the combined income of at least two million human beings in the third world. In my less than humble opinion, that's ridiculous on its face, and it's flatly impossible.
Right wingers will tell us that this is a meritocracy (another ridiculous claim on its face), and that it's immoral, that it's theft, for the citizens of a democracy (I know, I know, this is not a democracy, but I keep hoping.) to make a collective choice to take some of Gates money, regarding which his only claim to ownership rests on the "I stole it fair and square," principle, and give it to those less fortunate. Gates has been extremely fortunate, and in more ways than that link desribes.
Somebody, a commenter somewhere, compared Gates to Tommy Edison as an inventor. What, exactly, did Bill Gates invent personally? I'll betcha the total won't bear favorable comparison to Edison's work. Where's Tommy's $40 billion?
Some right winger will claim that my argument is purely ideological, which is interesting because my only ideology, if you can call it that, is that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. That would be informed consent. If we could have a government whose actions would reflect the informed will of all the (adult) people, then I'd be perfectly willing to live with the results. Can most right wingers say the same and mean it? I don't think so. Most of the right only wants to abide by the will of the people when the people agree with them. Which is why I call them fascists. It's just a metaphor for authoritarian, anti-democratic fucks.
Eat the rich, baby. Eat the rich.
posted 6:10 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
June 23, 2004
The Rich Are Getting Smarter And Harder WorkingAnd everbody else is getting dumber and lazier. That includes you.
Brad DeLong provides some startling numbers:
Over the winter and spring, the stagnant real income argument did not resonate as well with the press corps as did the employment gap argument. But it was never any secret that the prolonged weak labor market period has put an astonishingly and terrifyingly tight lid on the incomes of those Americans who aren't coupon-clippers. As John Irons writes:The chart's great fun too. Since 2001, roughly when the last recession began, labor compensation as a share of Gross Domestic Product or, in other words, the share of the pie that goes to people who have to work for a living, has gone steadily downward and hasn't turned back up yet. Well, it was a recession, what the hell'd you expect? Personally, I wouldn't have expected this: during the same time period, corporate profits, basically rich people's share of the pie, have gone steadily up. During a recession. Isn't that interesting?As a share of the economy labor compensation has not been this low in almost 40 years (since 1966), and after-tax corporate profits are at the highest levels ever recorded by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Since its peak in 2001, as a share of gross domestic product (GDP), labor compensation has decreased by about 4 percent (from 67 to 63 percent) and corporate profits have increased by about 4 percent (from 8 to 12 percent) — see chart below. After taxes, corporate profits reached 9.6 percent of GDP — the highest level recorded dating back to 1947.
By-de-by, if you think labor compensation doesn't affect you, but you have to work for a living, you're wrong.
If rich people earn and deserve all their money, and if their piece of the pie keeps getting bigger, that can only mean that most Americans, all the rest of us, we're gettin' dumber and lazier. Now, you can choose to believe that or you can choose to believe that most of the right wing is full of shit. I insult, you decide.
posted 11:56 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Thank George!My most recent political ditty on mp3 is up at Fat Poppa's mp3 page.
If you like it enough, and you have a blog, I'd really appreciate a plug. I'm hoping this song only has about a four month lifespan. I've been having problems with getting the Winamp Demo the first time I click play, but when I click it again I usually get the song. I don't know if the problem's at my end or at the site. At any rate, all both of my mp3s are available by clicking on Fat Poppa's Political Ditties in the sidebar. Here are the lyrics (only the FCC clean version is on the site):
There's liars in the White House calling torture self defense,
posted 8:40 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Nobody--NOBODY--has been speaking for us.More on Class Warfare in America, by Bill Moyers, with brilliant commentary based on experience from mighty Mick at From the Trenches.
posted 7:26 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
More On Media WhoresEugene Volokh (The kind of conservative with whom I can respectfully disagree. So rare these days.) and Brad DeLong and Spinsanity have been taking on Slates Bushisms and Kerryisms features. That's a pretty smart bunch of people, but Slate's William Saletan says they're all wrong. Yeah, yeah, yeah, everybody's wrong but me. Actually, that's typically a right wing position, isn't it? With both isms features Slate is making a mockery of the political process and misinforming readers about the candidates.
I'm guessin' y'all can figger out I ain't no fan GWB, but the magazine quotes him as saying:
Bushism of the DayThe good Lord knows I hate Bush, but there is nothing stupid or weird about this statement if you're aware of the context. Bush had just shaken the prosthetic hand of a man who'd lost the original at the hands of Hussein. Somebody, anybody, tell me what's wrong with what Bush said here. Most of the "Bushisms" are probably more accurate than this one. They result mostly from Bush's well known, some would say adorable (or possibly calculated), penchant for mangling the language.
"Kerryisms" are even worse. In Kerry's case, Slate claims it's removing caveats and curlicues, but they strongly imply that caveats are pointless embellishments, indicating that Slate editors and William Saletan have an even weaker grasp of the English language than Bush.
Caveats are often, even typically, pretty damn important and smart people are more likely to use them than dumb people. The world is not a simple place and will not become so no matter how hard the media try to turn the voters into simpletons. Saletan's alleged simplifying of Kerry's statements very often changes their meaning, frequently making them false.
You can go here and check out almost any "Kerryism" at random and see for yourself.
Saletan defended himself and his "Kerryisms" Tuesday in Are Kerryisms Dishonest?It's a damn good thing Saletan didn't become a trial lawyer, because it's a lousy, stupid and probably even dishonest defense. He says Spinsanity doesn't get the joke. The point is to show that Kerry is a master of CYA (Cover yer ass.). First, Saletan fails at that. Second, what would be the point if he succeeded? Show me a politician that ain't a CYA master.
Call me paranoid if you want to. A lot of people do. Ya know, until a couple a years later, when they say, "Damn, your were right." What looks like paranoia to some may just be me having more information on the subject than most. I think it's to the advantage of big corporations like Microsoft to degrade political discourse. It's so much easier to get what they want if they can just get a few more of those pesky voters out of the way.
I detest that stupid phrase, "Don't vote, it only encourages them." It's not as though I think voting is directly effective in most cases. For instance, it doesn't matter a damn bit whether I vote in the Presidential contest in November. Nothing will come out different regardless of how I vote. But the truth of things is just the opposite of that halfwit phrase. "Vote. It discourages the enemies of democracy."
posted 5:49 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
June 22, 2004
Seems Like Mighty Damn Convenient "Incompetence"Terrorism report more than just an 'oops'
In April, the State Department released its annual "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report, based on data from the CIA, the FBI and other agencies, which claimed that terrorist attacks in 2003 had declined to the lowest level since 1969. Senior Bush administration officials touted this as evidence that we're winning the war on terrorism.
U.S. Amends Report to Show Rise in Terror
Significant acts of terror worldwide reached a 21-year high in 2003, the State Department announced Tuesday as it corrected a mistaken report that had been cited to boost President Bush (news - web sites)'s war on terror.So we go from a 34 year low to a 21 year high in one easy correction. Way to win the war on Terra. That's quite a mistake. Somehow, nobody ever gets fired over these mistakes. Unless you count Tenet.
Max Boot (1st link) doesn't think this was a deliberate lie but a rather a genuine mistake. He might be right on this one because if it was a lie, it was a massively stupid and easily spotted lie. How some ever, the Bushies have made a long string of "mistakes," all of which I can recall, if they hadn't been exposed, would have favored the Administration. If the whole Administration is hopelessly incompetent, as Boot seems to think, how come they don't make many mistakes that make them look bad?
I can conceive of two possibilities Boot doesn't mention. Colin Powell deliberately sandbagged the President by releasing an obviously false report. He has to know the country can't stand much more of the Goober King. Or maybe they're incompetent liars, just don't know how to put together a plausible lie with legs. But it doesn't matter. In practice, incompetence is as bad as lying. People still suffer, people still die.
posted 8:55 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
See, It's Not Just Me That Hates BrooksSpin Buster
David Brooks, Master of the Amazing Unsupported Assumption
CJR's Campaign Desk offers another take on Brooks most recent lying and/or idotic column.
posted 8:24 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Honor And Integrity!Pants on Fire
Ashcroft forgot the first rule of a cover up: Don't flatly deny something under oath if there are witnesses who you can't control:Via Whiskey Bar, I find that there's a very, very strong appearance that Asscroft lied under oath before the 9/11 commission. Via one of the commenters, I found this at BC Voice:
"I expect you to meet the highest ethical standards, avoiding not only violations of law, but even the appearance of impropriety.This shit'd be pretty Goddamn comical if it wasn't so dreadfully tragic.
posted 7:18 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Still The (Much) Lesser Of Two EvilsSeeing The Forest posts a list, supplied by delusional Naderites, of 20 examples that Clinton sucked as President. I won't quibble with any of them. I've never made any secret of my distaste for modern Democrats. If Nader had a chance in hell of winning there'd be a pretty good chance I'd vote for him. But he doesn't, so we only have two real choices, as always. They are: 1) Vote for a rat bastard Democrat, or 2) Vote for four more years of Satanic rat bastard fascists running the country. I will enthusiastically vote for Kerry.
posted 6:52 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Deregulation Lies, Not MythsThe politics of power, at Orcinus (One of the truly great blogs.) explains why deregulation of electricity was always a fantastically stupid idea, and one which hasn't worked to the advantage of the average consumer anywhere, not even in Pennsylvania.
I've never understood why people weren't extremely suspicious of the whole deregulation lie (And not just for electricity.) from the gate. I never bought it for a second, and I based that on very simple logic. Who were the biggest fans of deregulation? Right, corporations, private industry of all kinds. Now, think about it. The greedheads are battling mightily with the politicians (That they mostly own lock, stock and big old barrel.) to bring you, the consumer, lower prices. Why? Selling stuff for less is going to increase their profits? No? Maybe they're just altruistic that way. Uh-huh.
If people ever learn to think, the Republicans are gonna be treading water in the cesspool. As Neiwert's post at Orcinus concludes:
I just wonder how much longer conservatives can keep successfully selling their ideology as somehow helpful to average, working-class Americans.
posted 6:25 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
The Grand Hypocrisy Party, Part 9,382billmon posts Republican Family Values, about Illinois Senate Candidate Jack Ryan. Ann Coulter has claimed that Democrats only manage to avoid charges of hypocrisy because they have no morals to begin with. Does that mean that if Democrats, like Republicans, would trumpet their moral values while making no attempt to live up to them, then they would become the arbiters of "family values?"
posted 5:01 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Much Like The ABC/WaPo PollReally Bad News for Bush
Thanks to Mick at Omnium, I'm startin' to feel better about Evangelicals.
The National Assn. of Evangelicals is circulating a draft of a groundbreaking framework for political action that strongly endorses social and economic justice and warns against close alignment with any political party.Shoot, if we can pry them loose from the far right, we might all be able to live in a sane country again.