Saturday, April 30, 2005

A message of hope

from ol' TJ

"A little patience and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to it's true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt ... If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake. Better luck, therefore, to us all; and health happiness, & friendly salutations to yourself. Adieu."

Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Taylor,
Philadelphia, June 4, 1798
(after passage of the Sedition Act)

Friday, April 29, 2005

Anatomy of a Bullshit Press Conference

Anyone watching last night's staged comedy -- the Bush press conference -- realized he was decidedly "not prime time." This was the phrase the White House handlers used for Condi Rice when she imploded during a Senate testimony.

Better words could not describe this press conference as pushed sputtered out sentence fragments and well, lies basically. But here are two of my favorite gems. First, he forgot the name of the new Iraqi Prime Minister. Think about this, we waged an illegal and unconstitutional war under false pretenses and then said that democracy was REALLY the goal, not all that WMD crap. Well, in Bush's first big press conference since the first Iraqi PM since the overthrow of Saddam was appointed, Bush had this to say:

"Bush: Today, I talked to prime minister... the prime minister of Iraq; had a great conversation with him. I told him I was proud of the fact that he's willing to stand up and lead. I told him I appreciate his courage and the courage of those who are willing to serve the Iraqi people in government. I told him, I said, When America makes a commitment, we'll stand by you... He understands the need for a timely write of the constitution...Really happy to talk to him. I invited him to come to America. I hope he comes soon."

For the record, "his" name is Ibrahim al-Jaafari. This echoes a similar incident where Bush failed miserably at naming world leaders, specifically the president of Pakistan Perves Musharraf. But for god's sake, this is George W. Bush we're dealing with.

The next little nuggett out of the press conference was in response to an amazingly pointed question on the CIA's practice of "extraordinary renditions." The ultimate goal of this practice is to kidnap people around the world, hold them hostage in an undisclosed location -- usually a torture-friendly "ally" like Syria or Jordan -- while they are being routinely tortured for worthless information and then dumped back out on the streets with no apology or recompense.

"QUESTION: Mr. President, under the law, how would you justify the practice of renditioning, where U.S. agents who bust terror suspects abroad, taking them to a third country for interrogation? And would you stand for it if foreign agents did that to an American here?

BUSH: That's a hypothetical. We operate within the law, and we send people to countries where they say they're not going to torture the people... And we will do so in honoring our commitment not to torture people. And we expect the countries where we send somebody to not to torture as well."

Really?? Then why are we sending people to Syria and Jordan? We supposedly don't torture people here so why not bring them to America? This was just a patent lie that no one in the media apparently sees fit to call him on. In fact, the little wormy shit of a reporter who asked the very next question (apparently feeling no need for a follow up to this blatant lie) asked:

"QUESTION: I'd just like to ask simply, what's your view of the economy right now?"

And that ladies and gentlemen, is why half the country thinks we found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Because of reporters like Mr. Chickenshit.

The Real Republican Social Security Agenda

We all know FauxNews is completely worthless if you want to get, well, news. But the folks at Columbia Journalism Review Daily have stumbled upon something useful the network's programming provides - a glimpse at the Republican's true agenda.

On April 23, at the end of Fox News Channel's "Bulls & Bears," host Brenda Buttner provided this lead-in to Neil Cavuto's "Cavuto on Business": "Plus, retire rich? Forget Social Security," followed by a voice-over from Cavuto himself declaring, "Retire rich, but not with Social Security. If you pretend it doesn't exist, you will be better off. We'll tell you why."

Meantime, the text of an on-screen blurb promoted an entirely different message. That message: "WE SHOULD ELIMINATE SOCIAL SECURITY!"


It's not just bad journalism, it's not-so-subtle messaging from the Right Wing's favorite news outlet.

Classic Bush move

Promote a politically popular liberal program in a speech, earn points for compassion, then don't fund it. The mention gets network coverage, the lack of funding warrants only a NYT editorial.

His state of the union talk about reforming the death penalty and DNA testing? Those of us who saw the grotesque way he carried out executions in Texas knew it was too good to be true. And it was an empty promise.

If only this was a joke...

Cloud Forces Bush Into Bunker
Julian Borger in Washington
The Guardian

President George Bush was bundled into an underground bunker, Dick Cheney was evacuated to an "undisclosed location" and heavily armed secret servicemen took up defensive positions when a fast-moving cloud scudded towards the White House, it was reported yesterday.

The cloud that materialised 30 miles south of Washington on Wednesday morning was so dense it triggered radar monitors on the Domestic Events Network, intended to prevent a repeat of the September 11 attacks.

As an anti-aircraft missile battery on the roof of a nearby building was raised to the fire position, a Black Hawk helicopter was scrambled to take a look, but saw nothing except some clouds, one of which turned out to be the suspected aggressor.

Click here for the whole, hilarious story.

Truth behind those cruel high school insults

An amusing article from Slate - someone needs to buy www.abrahamjackoff.com.

Abramoff was a year behind me at Beverly Hills High School. I don't remember that we ever had a single discussion. But I observed, from a distance, that he was kind of a glad-hander. (I had no idea that he was a conservative, but apparently he already was, as I was already a liberal.) And so, behind his back, I began referring to him as "Abraham Jackoff."

[...]

I've shifted to marveling that I stumbled into the correct assessment of Abramoff fully three decades before his disgrace. Perhaps Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink, is right: Maybe our shallow first impressions and petty prejudices really do get the job done.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

It's my frisbee now

From The Onion.
http://theonion.com/opinion/index.php?issue=4117

Frisbee




By Tom DeLay
House Majority Leader

Damn it! What did I tell you kids?

Yeah, I'm talking to you, you little hippie freaks. Didn't I tell you to stop messing around on the Capitol lawn? Don't act like you didn't hear me when I stuck my head out the window earlier. I saw you look up. I saw you laughing. Punks! I told you to clear out and take your games somewhere else. Then, not 15 minutes later, this thing sails right through the window and interrupts deliberations of the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Oh yeah? Is that so? Well, guess what. It's Tom DeLay's Frisbee now.

No, I'm not going to "toss it back," and don't call me "dude." Very important people are trying to legislate in here. No, you come on. I warned you, but you had to push it. Now you face the consequences.

Don't tell me the Washington Mall is the official property of the people of the United States. I am Washington! That's right... keep talking. You can talk until you're blue in the face for all I care - it's not going to get you this Frisbee back. I'm taking it home with me. Danielle is going to love it.

Against the law? Pfft. I don't need some smart-aleck, Frisbee-tossing kids to tell me about the law. I'm Tom DeLay, the House majority leader. Who are you? I've been wheeling and dealing in this town longer than you bastards have been eating solid food. I was elected to a seat in the Texas State House in 1978. That's right, 1978! I was House majority whip in 1994. And now, in 2005, I have the Frisbee and there's nothing you can do about it.

Okay, you really want this Frisbee? Well, why don't you come over and try taking it out of my hands? I'm standing right here. What's the matter? Come on. Tom DeLay is waiting.

No, I'm not throwing it back and, no, I'm not joking. I told you before. It's mine, and that's that. Take my advice: Get out of here before I call the Department of Homeland Security and have you all deported to an international zone where the Geneva Convention rules don't apply. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll return my attention to the Enhanced Energy Infrastructure and Technology Tax Act of 2005 and thereby protect undeserving snots like you from natural-gas price fluctuations. Good day.

Ouch! Damn it! Okay, which one of you brats bounced the Hacky Sack off the back of my head? Yeah, that's right, laugh it up. But look who got himself a new Hacky Sack. That's right, I'm keeping the Hacky Sack, too. Who's laughing now, you little smartasses?

What? You're gonna call the House Ethics Committee on me? You think the House Ethics Committee scares Tom DeLay? Go ahead and call them. I'll dial the phone number for you. I've got it on speed dial. That committee's come after me plenty of times before, and you know what happened? Nothing! While you're at it, call the Washington Post. Maybe they'll do a human-interest piece about the poor kids who lost a Frisbee and a Hacky Sack all in one day.

Call for an independent investigation! Demand my resignation! See what good it does you. I've faced a hell of a lot worse opposition than you, and I'm still standing. You hear me? Tom DeLay is still here! I am Tom DeLay!

Yeah, you'd better run. Punks.

No Highway for the Highwayman

So, we can't name a highway in Texas after one of the most legendary figures in country music, much less Texas, because a couple of anal Republican blowhards didn't like his liberal politics.

In today's Austin American-Statesman, we find out that a bill renaming a portion of a highway in Central Texas after one Willie Nelson, has been killed by Sens. Steve "Just Say No" Ogden and Jeff "I'm scared shitless of John Shields" Wentworth -- because they don't approve of Nelson's lifestyle (or his "liberal" politics).

Well, I bet all those farmers Willie helped while Ogden and Wentworth weren't doing shit don't mind his politics and would be honored to drive their trucks on a HIGHWAY bearing the HIGHWAYMAN's name. Furthermore, Wentworth and Ogden criticize Willie's tax difficulties. Well, I'll be... that's the first time I've heard two Republicans complain that someone isn't paying their fair share of taxes to the IRS. What a crock.

But when you're some untalented, nationalistic cartoon character of a country "singer,"you're the toast of the fucking Republican party!

Un-American

Contrasting Bush's pledge from 2000 to "change the tone" in Washington with the behavior and rhetoric of his adminstration has been done to death, I know.

But add another example to the list. From a NYT piece today, 'Soccer Mom' Education Chief Plays Hardball.

Facing a challenge to the law from Connecticut, she accused educators there of being "un-American." Seeking to beat back a Utah bill that protests the federal law, Ms. Spellings cold-shouldered the Utah superintendent of schools for months and threatened to slash federal money for Utah.

Eminent Domain and the UT Tyrants

Unbelieveable,a freakin' parking garage for their as-yet-to-be-built-with-tuition-hikes "conference center" is for the "public good" and that it necessiates destroying a minority-owned business of a quarter century.

UT sucks.

Player's Refuses to Sell

...

Click here for the rest of the sad, sad Daily Texan story. Raze a campus tradition for a goddamn parking lot, talk about your Joni Mitchell cliche.

Remember, UT always swears it's offering a "fair" price for whatever property it steals through eminent domain. This from a university that offered to pay the residents of El Paso $1,600 for the Sun Bowl. Yes, that's right... $1,600 for the entire stadium.

From the White House public schedule

*NEW: RUMSFELD in Washington, DC at 1:00 PM: Rumsfeld participates in a photo op with Captain America and Spiderman. [Department of Defense, 4/28/05]

It begins...

Then They Came For The Children.

By Ted Rall

04/27/05
- - They've vanished into the netherworld of a Homeland Security gulag and their story has already disappeared from the headlines, but the shocking case of two 16-year-old girls from New York City arrested a month ago ought to inspire outrage among every American worthy of the name. Since the government's reasons for the girls' imprisonment could apply to virtually any teenager, it should also spark fear.

Go to sleep America.

The only thing that can help this guy is...

A podcast! I thought having Jesus on the campaign team was the only way to save this campaign but apparently hiring Trippi as a consultant and putting up a podcast is roughly equivalent.

To unpredictability

Texas Democrats are screwed when it comes to statewide office but I'm stupid enough to hold out a little hope that maybe there's a slight chance in hell. Articles like this only fuel that idiocy and eventually lead to an even more painful hangover the day after an election.

The most likely scenario, of course, is that the 2006 gubernatorial election will end with the Republican nominee winning by a comfortable majority—say, close to 60 percent. One thing that could change that forecast is the Kinky factor. The former Texas Monthly columnist has destabilized the field by declaring his independent candidacy for the job with a logical query: How hard could it be? Before you dismiss him as a joke, remember that there were few Minnesotans who ever thought they would elect a governor with his own action figure in toy stores. But in 1998 Jesse Ventura, running as a Reform party candidate, beat the “real” politicians at their own game with a paltry 37 percent of the vote. Is it possible that Texas has enough iconoclasts—the sort of voters who, when in high school, elected the school mascot homecoming queen—to win the election? Not really. Minnesota allows instant voter registration, and Ventura was aided by long lines of eighteen- and nineteen-year-old wrestling fans who were first-time voters. But could Kinky siphon enough votes from Perry that an underdog Democrat could squeak in with less than 40 percent of the vote?

I need one of those foil hats

Can we borrow this thing for Bush's next press conference?

It is possible to read someone’s mind by remotely measuring their brain activity, researchers have shown. The technique can even extract information from subjects that they are not aware of themselves.

So far, it has only been used to identify visual patterns a subject can see or has chosen to focus on. But the researchers speculate the approach might be extended to probe a person’s awareness, focus of attention, memory and movement intention.

No comment needed

Woman jailed for raping man

Associated Press in Oslo
Thursday April 28, 2005
The Guardian


A 23-year-old Norwegian woman was sentenced to nine months in prison yesterday after she was convicted of raping a man.

The Bergen district court also ordered her to pay 40,000 kroner (£3,340) in compensation, in what the local news media said was the first case of its kind in Norway.

According to court testimony, the January 2004 sexual assault took place when the 31-year-old man, whose name was withheld, fell asleep on a couch in the apartment the woman shared with her boyfriend.

Click here for the rest.

Best spare change line from a homeless guy ever

"Donate to save the filibuster."
- from the homeless guy who always sits on the M street bridge in Georgetown, as he was shaking his change cup at passerby

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Mission Accomplished

I think Carlyle, Lockheed, Northrup Grumman, and Co. (and their investors) are very happy because they realize that never-ending arms sales require never-ending threats of terrorism. Well done.

U.S. Figures Show Sharp Global Rise In Terrorism

State Dept. Will Not Put Data in Report

By Susan B. Glasser
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 27, 2005; Page A01

The number of serious international terrorist incidents more than tripled last year, according to U.S. government figures, a sharp upswing in deadly attacks that the State Department has decided not to make public in its annual report on terrorism due to Congress this week.

Click here for the rest of the story.

Questions the press should ask

Nieman Watchdog, a great site by the way, posts a list of questions the press should ask, adapted from The American Street blog.

A couple choice ones:

Q. For three years, we were regularly warned of potential terror attacks, at political conventions and sporting events, up to and including Election Day. It seemed like every time Bush was advancing an aggressive foreign policy move, or when he needed a distraction from a blunder (like Abu Ghraib), or his polling numbers were falling behind his political opponents for his election campaign, an alert would emanate. But there have been no terror alerts since November 14th’s downgrade - nearly 5 months. Were the alerts politically motivated, generating fear, knowing that the US electorate historically rallies behind a President when they’re fearful?

Q. Ever since the "culture of life" concept has been promoted by this administration, we’ve been treated to repetitive stories and photos of dying and dead people. The federal government intruded on a family matter with the Schiavos and Schindlers. Much hoopla was raised about the death of John Paul II, with numerous extensions of protocol violated (flags ordered to half-staff, the president attending his funeral, etc). If the "culture of life" requires that we confront the reality of death in such bold and dramatic ways, why does the ban remain on photographs of coffins of dead soldiers returning from Iraq?


See the original post.

You know you're a dick when...

The Note has some early excerpts from this Sunday's upcoming NY Times Magazine article on Abramoff:

''I just don't think members of Congress for the most part sell their votes or their ideology,'' [Abramaoff] told me. For the most part? ''Ahem!'' Lowell interjected. ''Hold on, hold on.'' Lowell stood and summoned his client from the table. The two men walked to a corner of the room and huddled with their arms around each other. After a minute or two Abramoff returned and sat down. ''I would say the same thing,'' he told me. ''I would say, generally speaking, that's the case.'' Generally speaking, that is."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Librarian Terrorists Must be Jailed Indefinitely!

OK,

So we know that this entire country is slipping slowly into the warm, velvety cocoon of fascism. What I did not realize is how far we have come (even 4 years after September 11th) to hate our own civil rights.

Here is a truly spooky op-ed by NRO blowhard Deroy Murdock, entitled "Why librarians SHOULD be the target of the PATRIOT Act." Actually he doesn't correctly list the PATRIOT Act as an acronym (as most media have stopped doing). In it, he says:
"These dangerously naïve or clandestinely seditious librarians are
beyond foolish. They potentially jeopardize the lives of American
citizens..."
Click here for the entire, freakish anti-American op-ed (if you can stomach it). Now, stupid me thought TERRORISTS were the reason we (I mean our newly unaccountable representatives in Congress) have the PATRIOT Act. Now, we see the slipperly slope in all its beauty as Education Secretary Rod Paige refers to teachers' organizations as "terrorist groups" and now we have the NRO advocating targeting our local librarians.

Don't be fooled, these counterterrorism measures are not meant to keep bad people out. They are meant to keep the good people in.

There's a DEA museum?

Tired of all the museums on the mall? Consider visiting the Drug Enforcement Agency Museum and Visitor Center in Pentagon City.
You can check out an exhibit called Target America:

Starting with the horrific events of September 11, 2001 and moving back in time to the ancient Silk Road, this exhibit, entitled Target America: Drug Traffickers, Terrorists and You allows visitors to explore a global and historical overview of this deadly connection.

Hmmm. Narco-terrorists in ancient China taregeted Americans? Who knew?

Maybe stop by the gift shop to pick up one of these items:

A plush DEA eagle, soaring proudly no doubt.

Or maybe a $540 14K gold DEA special agent ring.

My favorite part, however, is that there is actually a Museum Foundation. I wonder if the foundation donors even recognize the absurdity of raising money to celebrate a country's failed war against its own people?

Monday, April 25, 2005

Internet creates opening for 3rd party

Surprise, surprise, Joe Trippi thinks the internet has fundamentally changed politics. Ronald Brownstein takes the storyline and runs to a possible John McCain-Bob Kerrey ticket. Can a MoveOn type group really propel a candidate? Kinky, are you listening?

Internet, Polarized Politics Create an Opening for a Third Party

Trippi believes an independent presidential candidate who struck a chord could organize support through the Internet just as inexpensively. "Somebody could come along and raise $200 million and have 600,000 people on the streets working for them without any party structure in the blink of an eye," he says....

In such an environment, imagine the options available to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) if he doesn't win the 2008 Republican nomination, and former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, now that he's dropped his flirtation with running for mayor of New York. If the two Vietnam veterans joined for an all-maverick independent ticket, they might inspire a gold rush of online support — and make the two national parties the latest example of the Internet's ability to threaten seemingly impregnable institutions.

Best Buds



"Seriously broheim, don't leave me hanging like that."


The Liberal Agenda

I, Liberal

To: Liberal America

From: Leader

Re: Our Continued Dominance

I am writing this memo to reassure my brethren/comrades of our continued dominance of all aspects of American society. Yes, despite the nay saying you may be hearing on the television about how conservatives dominate all three branches of the government, rest assured that it is in fact the liberals who continue to run America -- as we have done since our deist Founding Fathers instructed us to do so in the Great Text.

Dominance: Take comfort knowing we run the universities, the media, Hollywood, and any piece of land adjoining a coastline. We are slowly packing conservatives into the landlocked prairie suburban wastelands of “Midwest America” where they will further dwindle into obscurity. We continue to control trade (via our dominance of the ports and coastal areas); we control the airwaves (via our dominance of Hollywood and the New York City media machines); and we control the minds of America’s children (via our brainwashing of conservatives’ naïve offspring at the nation’s colleges and universities) –guaranteeing our grip on power for the next generation.

Despite the conservatives’ majorities in the House and Senate, their man in the White House, and the most well-funded Republican smear machine in the history of America – we will, by virtue of our greatness and insipidness, run this country with an iron fist.

Homosexual Agenda: We will continue to force unwilling homosexuals to marry each other on national television, so that we can poison the supple young psyches of future conservatives and turn them onto a life of gay approval. Once flipped, we will educate them in our colleges and on television about the homosexual agenda (yikes, we got fingered on that one) and ensure they become fervent supporters – and hopefully gay themselves. If you or anyone you know has lost their copy of The Homosexual Agenda, please contact Leader’s office to receive your copy written with invisible ink on rice paper (to eat in the event of capture or exposure).

Textbooks: We will demand that our textbooks only mention evolution when discussing the origins of life -- when we all really know the world is only 6,000 years old and Dr. William Dembski debunked evolution 7 years ago. Submitting to the obvious Truth of intelligent design would pull the cover off our entire youth indoctrination operation so we must stick to our “evolution story.” This will be easy, however, as all of the teachers in America have received our talking points on this matter and have unanimously agreed to continue with the evolution bit (Note: People are getting “wise” to our scam so we get some A-level scientists to come up with some new theory quickly before we’re exposed on this.)

Culture of Death: We will continue – with our friends on the judiciary – to set up conservatives by pulling feeding tubes out of any suffering patient we can locate simply to crush the faith of conservatives in their government. Then, when they make heated comments to vent their frustrations, we will accuse them of being anti-government and a step away from Timothy McVeigh. On birth control, we can’t stress enough that we must promote abortions as much as possible. Despite the fact that abortions are actually more frequent under George W. Bush than they were under Bill Clinton – we must not become complacent. Yes, having condoms distributed in schools and easy access to “morning after” pills is annoying the conservatives – but nothing helps crush their morale more than lots and lots of abortions. Make it happen.

God: Who?

Remember though, our success in all of this depends on our ability to coordinate massive amounts of people and information without being detected. While Morse code and Navajo code talking worked for us up until World War I, we had to switch to a cell system of communication with hand-written notes with invisible ink (thanks a lot NSA). Some of you have been tempted to send emails in order to save time. EMAILS ARE NOT ALLOWED. If you must contact your superiors, wait until your cell is activated and then contact your handler (via rice paper) with any questions.

This communiqué is over. Please eat this message.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Lining Up Lebanon

Here's an interesting coupling of stories:

Cheney Meets With Saudi Prince in Texas
Sunday April 24, 2005 8:16 PM

DALLAS (AP) - Vice President Dick Cheney met on Sunday with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah ahead of the Saudi's talks Monday at President Bush's ranch, where oil prices, terrorism and democratic reforms in the Middle East will top the agenda...

Cheney also met with the son of a former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated on Feb. 14. Hariri's killing led to massive anti-Syrian protests and international pressure that forced Syria to begin withdrawing its army from Lebanon.



So.... big deal right? Well, that little encounter makes a little more sense when you read that:

Hariri's son to run in Lebanon elections
By Zeina Karam, AP Writer, in Beirut

24 April 2005

The son of Rafik Hariri, Lebanon's assassinated former prime minister, said yesterday he will run in general elections scheduled to take place by the end of May.

In an interview with CNN, Saadeddine Hariri also said he had "full confidence" in the UN investigation into the assassination of his father on 14 February.

Click here for full story.

Friday, April 22, 2005

A Little Too Excited?

From last year's Earth Day (what's with the axe and the cackling??)

Gaia has a sense of humor

President Bush canceled an Earth Day visit today to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park because of threatened hail and thunderstorms, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said.

A Houston Boy Makes Good (for once)

Anyone who has attended the University of Texas has run across a building or landmark bearing the name "Jamail." They are a very wealthy Houston family that has given millions to the University of Texas.

There is the Jamail Swim Center and Joe Jamail Field at Royal-Memorial Stadium. What is not so well know, however, is that one of the Jamails, Dahr Jamail, has become a go-to source for unbiased information about the situation in Iraq.

In fact, Dahr Jamail was so disgusted by the media's coverage of Iraq, he went there to report for himself (and us). Curiously, his only recognition thus far has been in the news section of Berkeley's public affairs department. Lord knows when the Houston Chronicle or Daily Texan will get around to reporting about this man.

Here is his blog.

Saddam and the Bushes: A Love Story

In another strong piece by the Moscow Times' Chris Floyd -- who I believe to be one of the best columnists on America today -- the intimate relationship between Saddam and the Bush Family is set against the backdrop of the current oil-for-food scandal, and previous links between Texas oil and Middle East shenanigans.

Floyd also reminds us that there has been a Bush involved in America's three darkest chapters in our modern history -- Iran Contra, Iraq-gate, and the BCCI scandal.

Of David Chalmers, the Texas oilman who is the first to be indicted in the Republican led "oil for food scandal", Floyd says:

"The Texas baron must be aghast to find himself in hot water for an activity that was once blessed at the highest levels. Perhaps he neglected to cross the requisite Bushist palms with sufficient silver -- or else, as with many a Bush minion, he's just been tossed overboard as chum for the sharks when he's no longer of any use."

Click here for the whole piece.

Antibalas in Washington DC

For those of you who don't know, Antibalas is a Brooklyn-based Afrobeat band in the spirit of famed Nigerian folk-hero Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

Last year at the Austin City Limits festival in Austin, they blew everyone away with their firebreathing lyrics, in-your-face revolutionary politics, and infectious rhythms. Think of it as Rage meets James Brown.

Well, they're playing at the 9:30 Club in DC tonight... I suggest you earn some karma points and make it a point to attend.

Click here for a great NPR story on them and a link to one of their live performances.

They say that violence is the last refuge of a desperate nation.

And violence under the guise of secrecy and outright lie such as BushCo has foisted upon the nation is the last refuge of a nation of thugs. Yes, I'm looking at you, Rummy. I'm looking at you, Cheney. I'm not looking at you, Karl Rove, because looking at you makes my colon clench and looking at you makes birds die and looking at you makes small children feel hopeless and lost, like the world is full of black venomous hate and bilious condescension that is aimed squarely at their heads, like a gun.

from the latest Mark Morford column. Great line, but a subpar column overall. I really wish liberals wouldn't always go back the "war for oil" plotline, as he does for most of the piece. There's a lot more going on -- not necessarily better reasons but other reasons like moronic neo-con ideology for instance -- and the war for oil bit immediately loses us all credibility with anyone not on our side.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Sigh, even more spookery

Warning on spread of state surveillance
Richard Norton-Taylor
Thursday April 21, 2005
The Guardian


Governments are building a "global registration and surveillance infrastructure" in the US-led "war on terror", civil liberty groups warned yesterday.

The aim is to monitor the movements and activities of entire populations in what campaigners call "an unprecedented project of social control".

The warning came from the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, including the American Civil Liberties Union, and Statewatch, a UK-based bulletin which tracks developments in the EU.

Click here for the whole, depressing story.

The FBI Loves the Constitution

Well, at least they care about people's personal privacy, even if it is Osama's.

Genesis

OK, this is the blog format since you bitches were too lazy to set something up.

I'm going to start with a wonderful article about the uber-spooky NSA setting up shop in Texas (or New America as the rest of you lesser 49-ers will soon know it):

Sleep tight....