October 04, 2004

Pro Choice

Sorry. Couldn't resist. I ripped this off from http://scrutinyhooligans.blogspot.com Haw!

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Be at peace

Taking a deep breath

Interesting week, last week. Got invited to join the Progressive Blog Alliance, which may not be so progressive after all. Lotta true progressives refuse to join.

Also got invited to join the folks at Net Politik . Now that, frankly, is an undeserved honor, since some of the best progressive political writing on the web happens there. I'm just a duffer, struggling for readership while trying to maintain integrity, grateful for every hit and revisit I get.

Anyway, by mid-week I was overwhelmed again . . . the debate, the awful news out of Iraq, new issues of Harpers and The Nation to read, just a whole deluge of information.

So I thought if I dug into a foxhole for a few days, I could clear my head, get refreshed. Didn't happen. Took a deep breath and got lungs fulla dust and toluene and bullshit and blood and lies and tears. Worse today than last week.

My reflection on the debate is pretty simple: they're both absolutely full of shit, but I have to admit that Kerry seems like less of an asshole than Doubleduh. Doubleduh is really fucking creepy, ain't he? The twit has only two facial expressions, neither of which are human.

I've gotta go with my gut on thisee here . . . I think somethin' very nasty is likely to happen between 11/2 and whatever the hell day it is in January that the prez gets sworn in. BTW, all you fellow travelers who're thinkin' 'bout runnin' for a border if Doubleduh's still around, fergit it. Read the current issue of The Nation . . . nowhere to go.

I'm getting more pessimistic by the minute. Not because of what the neocons are doing, but how little the Left is doing. The major advantage The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang has is that we're bewildered by the incredible mass of chaos and when you come right down to it, I don't think we've (1) learned a damned thing during the past four years or (2) even begun to suffer the consequences of our own half-assed "movement". Why the hell are y'all so shocked?? Where the hell y'all been?? Righteous indignation ain't gettin' us nowhere. Blamin' Bush ain't the point. I still don't hear very many of us calling for the fundamental changes we need. One basic principle I've been taught is that you can't criticize effectively if your don't have an alternative. I've also been taught that if somethin's screwed up and I was involved in it gettin' that way, I gotta clean up my own crap first. We Americans are really a buncha lazy wimps when it comes to politics. Yeah, we wanna vote, maybe organize, maybe have a fund-raisin' party, but we don't want to think and even the Left is convinced that we're "still the best country on Earth."

We're cowards. We're selfish. We are a nation of anti-social brats. We say we want a good, caring society, but we don't want to pay for it. Most of us, given a choice between a new toy and contributing money/time/energy to saving a life, guess what . . .

See what you get for pissin' me off?

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Be at peace

September 30, 2004

Cool interview

Morgaine has a great interview - http://the-goddess.org/whatshesaid/2004/09/wss-featured-blogger-julia-of-sisyphus.html at What She Said!  with Julia of em>Sisyphus Shrugged - http://www.livejournal.com/users/jmhm  :

Morgaine: What's the one point you'd like a reader to take away from your blog- the one thing for them to really "get"?

Julia: I'd like them to know that you don't have to wait for someone to tell you you're qualified to make your own decisions about politics and that you don't have to wait for someone to tell you that your opinions matter. Most of the world's gatekeepers are self-appointed. Once you make it your business to know what's going on, appoint yourself.

Also I would like to point out that I have a seriously cool kid.
And a seriously cool blog, too, I might ad.

American Leftist - http://amleft.blogspot.com/archives/2004_09_01_amleft_archive.html#109649095497572488  puts some legs on the Al Lorentz story. Mr. Lorentz, who's in the military and is also extremely conservative recently wrote an excellent piece, Why We Cannot Win - http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/lorentz1.html posted on a very conservative website. The military has gone ballistic and is trying to crush the guy. Echos of, "You can't HANDLE the truth!"

Left is Right - http://mstabile.blogspot.com/archives/2004_09_01_mstabile_archive.html#109658229609179181  picks up on a great piece by Common Ground 's Guy Dauncey, "Where are we going?":
Think big; and I mean BIG. Think the biggest question of all, beyond “Is there life in the Canucks?” and “Is there life elsewhere in the universe?” Think, “Where are we going?”

We’re clearly going somewhere, yet it rarely comes up at dinner parties. When you consider the progress of the universe since the Big Bang, 13 billion years ago, it does seem there is a kind of direction. Once there was nothing, and then that nothing went “Bam!” and turned into a gazillion neutrinos. Then “gazoom!” they created hydrogen and all the atoms. Then “whoomf!” and they created galaxies, stars and supernovas. Then great scatterings of dust and meteorites created planetesimals, congealing into planets.

Then slowly, at the bottom of the sea, life began. And life grew from single-celled to multi-celled organisms, and then to a bazillion bacteria; then it grew legs and crawled onto the land. All the time, it grew more complex. We, its latest strain, have a hundred billion neuron cells per brain. We scratched our neurons, and started using tools. Another few scratches, and we’re using computers and telescopes, peering out at the origins of it all. Unless you prefer Noah to Darwin, it does seem there’s a kind of direction.

But where? We may have evolutionary space siblings who understand it all but we’re still in the dark. (If you’re reading this, and your crop circles are intended to tell us, could you make the message a little more clear?) It’s getting critical, since we’re running on ecological empty. A few more decades like this, and we won’t have time to ask the question any more. Our planet is accelerating into the future with no-one at the helm. It’s a very scary thought. We’ve got national and corporate leaders, all busily pursuing their own agendas, but very few who we can truly call planetary leaders . . .
Well, I know where I'm going . . . home, where I will try to figure out what to do for the four hours or so that JFK Lite and Doubleduh plan to pollute my TV.

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Be at peace

September 29, 2004

Ain't no party!

One week ago, retiring congressman Porter Goss was confirmed by the Senate as George Tenet's replacement as DCI. The Senate voted 70 - 17 to confirm. Three Democrats (Kerry, John Edwards, and Hawaii's Akaka) did not vote. Here is a list of the 17 Democrats who voted against confirmation:

Bingaman (D-NM)
Byrd (D-WV)
Clinton (D-NY)
Conrad (D-ND)
Corzine (D-NJ)
Dodd (D-CT)
Durbin (D-IL)
Harkin (D-IA)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Wyden (D-OR)

That leaves 26 Democrats who voted to confirm this guy. When I think about that, my forehead starts to twitch. Lookee here . . . Goss was gonna be confirmed even if every Senate Democrat voted against him. Goss has the potential for being the nastiest DCI since Bill Casey. Go ahead . . . Google - http://www.google.com/search?q=Porter+Goss&num=20&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&safe=off&start=20&sa=N the guy. Read what Ray McGovern and others have to say. Y'know, there are a bunch of elected folks in Congress who call themselves Democrats and make speeches which "oppose" The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang, but where the rubber meets the road, they're duplicitous cowards. Shame!

Today's the final day for this month's ddjangoWIrE Poll - http://ddjangowire.blogspot.com/#poll . I'm disappointed with the partcipation level.

Italian, Iraqi and Egyptian Hostages Freed in Iraq - http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=CB06714A-2C00-4002-8CD7E12FFBAEBE40&title=Militants%20in%20Iraq%20Release%202%20Italian%20Female%20Aid%20Workers&catOID=45C9C78C-88AD-11D4-A57200A0CC5EE46C&categoryname=Europe

VOA News
28 Sep 2004, 16:17 UTC

Italian aid workers Simona Pari, left, and Simona Torretta

Two female Italian aid workers kidnapped nearly three weeks ago in Baghdad have been released, along with two Iraqis who were abducted with them. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says that Simona Pari and Simona Torretta are headed home to Italy this Tuesday evening. He called their release "a moment of joy."

The "two Simonas," as they have been dubbed by the Italian media, were seized by gunmen from the Baghdad office of their charity, "Bridges to Baghdad," on September seventh.
Has it occurred to anyone that the Iraq situation is exactly  what The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang wanted? Bush himself is indeed dumber than a red clay brick, but the rest of these guys are pretty smart. They love chaos. It's their chief MO. With the emergence of the pre-war intelligence estimate that an insurgency of massive proportions was a likely outcome of a US invasion, it's become impossible for me to believe that they really  thought they'd be greeted with open arms and waving flags.

Eternal war and continuing terrorism is a foundation stone in the neocon power structure. They trashed Afghanistan, then all but withdrew when they had created chaos there. When was the last time any of The Gang mentioned Osama bin Laden?

So the notion that these folks "screwed up" and "didn't anticipate" the insurgency and have "mismanaged" the war is ill-founded. They're doing just what they set out to do. Realize the fact that one function of the war machine is to cover their tracks as they relentlessly push all the other pieces of their plan.

Maybe humans need always to have an Evil Empire to contend with. One apparently went belly up in the '80s. It appears to have been replaced.

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Be at peace

Smart conservatives?

From the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), via U.S. Newswire  (and a hat-tip to Cursor/PRWatch  ), National Security Think Tanks Call for Ending Dependence on Oil - http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=36804

On Monday September 27, 2004, representatives of prominent Washington think tanks and public policy organizations will release an Open Letter to Americans and an accompanying Blueprint for energy security called "Set America Free." The document spells out practical steps which can be undertaken over the next four years and beyond to dramatically improve America's energy security. Members of the group call upon America's leaders to pledge to adopt the plan, with a view to rapidly expanding fuel choice in the U.S. transportation sector beyond petroleum while exploiting currently available technologies and infrastructures. If the plan is carried out in full, U.S. oil imports would drop by as much as 50 percent.

Representatives of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), the Center for Security Policy, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, The Committee on the Present Danger, National Defense Council Foundation and others who have endorsed the plan agree that, with appropriate vision and leadership, the next President can make major strides to greatly diminish the U.S. transportation sector's consumption of oil.
Note (1) that several of these organizations are just teeming with neocons and (2) it says (emphasis mine), ". . . the next President can make major strides . . ." There's always something sinister going on with these things, but the timing is very, very interesting.

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Be at peace