Saturday, December 13, 2003

Pulled the Man Down

A Dubya song parody (to the tune of "Blow the Man Down"), complete with nifty picture of protesters pulling down a statue of Dubya, mocking the staged Saddam statue pull-down from this past spring.



More parodies can be found here at the Boot Newt Singalong Blogspot. Fun for the whole family!

Friday, December 12, 2003

Three Years Ago

The Supreme Court by a thin margin annointed George W. Bush as our first selected president. Never forget.

"Thou Shalt Not Kill"

Anti-war painting by Johannes Koelz, German artist who had to flee Germany during the Nazi reign of terror. The imagery is every bit as powerful today as when it was originally produced (probably near completion when it was dismembered in 1937).



Another powerful painting from this era: Pablo Picasso's "Guernica" which captures the suffering experienced during the Spanish Civil War.

Unelectable

unelectable

Proof that Bush Sucks

As I understand it, this is one of the entries for Bush in 30 Seconds, a contest sponsored by moveon.org.

Steve Gilliard Hits the Nail on the Head

Bu$hCo has it all wrong about Howard Dean. Far from being their easiest target, he potentially represents their worst nightmare. What Dr. Dean has accomplished is to energize people at the grass-roots level, which is something the other Democrat candidates have largely failed to accomplish. Gilliard hits it squarely on the head when he refers to the Dean phenomenon as a movement. In some respects I see parallels to what Perot had going during the early days of his campaign. Dean of course has several things going for him that Perot didn't: a national political party organization (Perot had to start a party from scratch), mental stability (Perot seemed flakier than an apple pie crust), a keen understanding of how to best exploit contemporary technology, good competent people in his inner circle. Pair him up with Clark and they'll give Dubya a run for his money and then some. The truth is that the wannabe boy emperor wears no clothes (the miserable failures in domestic and foreign policy are pretty danged obvious at this point); Dean is unlikely to play along with the charade, and he does have a positive vision for how to move the US ahead after we (hopefully) reunite the village of Crawford TX with its resident idiot.



Bush is a lot weaker than he looks on the surface -- heck, surface veneer is all he really has going for him. The right Democrat to exploit those weaknesses is within reach. Let's keep our eyes on the prize these next few months.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Proposed Roads to Freedom

by Bertrand Russell



Provides a nice overview of socialism, anarchism, and syndicalism, in the process outlining how each approach differs from the others.



Project Gutenberg has tons of ebooks available. Well worth perusing and supporting.

Deconstructing GOP Advertising

Some humor I just stumbled upon. Enjoy!

The Guardian's Special Climate Change Section

The Guardian, a UK paper, has been running an on-going series of articles on climate change. Makes for some rather fascinating reading, with regards to the implications for the drastic climate changes that we are facing over the coming decades.

Boiling Frogs

This is how it starts. Are we in the US frogs who are being slowly boiled, not to notice til it is too late?

Noam Chomsky Interview on GNN

Check it out.

Tuesday, December 9, 2003

More on the impending oil extraction peak

This article reviews two books that predict that the amount of oil extracted around is about reach its zenith sometime within the next handful of years, and then will rapidly diminish within 50 years. The article also highlights some of the hurdles we will face converting from an oil-based to alternative-energy-based economy, and puts the current military adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq in some context.

White House Flips the Bird at Pagans

According to H. James Towey (director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, pagans such as Wiccans and Druids simply do not care about helping to poor, hence they don't deserve the same consideration as Christian religious organizations when it comes to funding their applications for grants. Seems really ludicrous, as pagans seem to be able to point to any of a number of charitable events that they sponsor or participate in. I've also noticed over the course of my lifetime that the pagans whom I have met generally tend to be heavily involved in the grunt work involved in helping out at homeless shelters and so forth. Towley might also do well to remind himself of the pagan origins of Christianity.

Racist Hate Mail Sent to NFL Players

Props to the Democratic Underground's Top Ten Conservative Idiots list for this link. We'll add this one to the list of right-wing eliminationist rhetoric.

From the 'Truth is Stranger than Fiction' Department: This Quote from Dubya

"The vast majority of Iraqis want to live in a peaceful, free world. And we will find these people and we will bring them to justice."



- Washington, D.C., Oct. 27, 2003




Keep at it George. One of these days you might just think your way out of that paper bag.

Rockers Unite to Oust Bush

From Rolling Stone.

Warnography

Courtesy the crew of Take Back the Media. Check it out.

A story that didn't make national headlines: white supremacist terrorists

possessed WMDs



Here's just a friendly reminder that the face of terrorism in the US is not Arab, Persian, or Central Asian, but rather is predominantly white and exceedingly right-wing.



Update: The Memory Hole has a more detailed run-down on the story.

Monday, December 8, 2003

Remind Us: Why in the Hell Did Our Government Invade and Occupy Iraq?

Is Anyone Feeling A Draft?

Noteworthy because this editorial comes from a notably conservative newspaper in one of the most conservative counties in California, if not the U.S.

Of Double Standards

At least I am not the only one who is calling American political discourse for what it's devolved into: a mudpit of nasty personal attacks and double-standards.



Why is it okay for someone on the right-wing of our spectrum to label anti-war protesters as traitors who should be hanged? Obviously the Amarillo Globe News saw it as fit to print. Why is someone's rantings advocating the assassination of the human beings who are running for the Democrat presidential nomination excused as merely justifiable anger? But...if I make a statement to the effect of "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more," and then go on to mention the failed track record of Bush's first three years in office, I'm a "Bush hater"? Something's way wrong with that picture.



In all of my years of existence, I have never seen the level of bile spewed by the far right-wing escalate to the extent that it has in the early days of the new century. It's been eye-opening, to say the least. I have yet to see liberals or moderates even come close to matching the right's vitriol. The public record speaks for itself: the Ann Coulters, Jerry Falwells, Pat Robertsons, and countless others have made it crystal clear that they would prefer to see their real and perceived political enemies dead. Is this the kind of America you want? It sure isn't the one I want. We can do better. Much better.

Sunday, December 7, 2003

Inside the Mind of the Right Wing Authoritarian Part 3: Authoritarian Aggression

One of the things that Orcinus points out in his recent post Projecting Violence is that the general trend of political hate speech is truly the domain of the right wing's politicians, pundits, and rank and file. Research on authoritarian aggression is especially pertinent, as it appears that individuals who are high RWA tend to be prone to act in aggressive or violent ways if those actions appear sanctioned by those they consider as authority figures (see, e.g., Altemeyer, 1981, 1988, 1996).



What is troubling from my standpoint is that much of the writings and speech advocating violence against liberals and other political enemies is coming precisely from those authority figures. Television and radio talk show hosts are for better or worse viewed as authorities by those who make up their core fan base. Same with those who hold political offices or who are considered religious leaders. If these authority figures appear to sanction violent acts against other groups, there is an increased risk that someone among their followers will ultimately act violently. The danger isn't so much from what is said by these authority figures (most of it comes across as sophomoric at best) but rather the danger is from the interpretation of the meaning of those hate-filled words based on the rather black-and-white mentality held by their followers.

The Baghdad Bush Animated GIF

US has forfeited its

"moral leadership"



Howard Dean hits the nail on the head.

This Kucinich ad says it all with regard to Bush's miserable failure in foreign policy

Bush Will Beat Bush?

While that remains to be seen, I do think there are plenty of excellent reasons to elect someone other than Bush next year.

Bush's Fake Smile





A genuine smile includes the rising of the corners of the mouth and the pulling back of corners of the eyes (producing crows' feet). Bush's smiles lack the eyes. They are fake. Cover the lower half of the face and each eye and see for your self. Each eye is dead-- no smile, no heart.



To learn a little more about Paul Ekman, a psychologist who has studied facial expressions and emotion, go here

Projecting Violence

An interesting post over at Orcinus. The main idea is that those among the right-wing are projecting their own violent fantasies onto their political enemies (in particular liberals, or anyone who happens to identify with the Democrat party).



What is projection? Freud viewed projection as an ego defense mechanism used to ward off anxiety. What the individual does is to attribute their undesirable traits onto someone else, thus enabling them to hate said others instead of themselves for possessing those undersirable traits. For example, a husband who has been carrying on an extramarital affair may project this undesirable quality onto his wife by showing suspicion towards her potential to be unfaithful. Let's face it, that various famous and obscuroid right-wingers have advocated violence against various liberal and/or Democrat targets is well-documented and need not be repeated here. To the extent that these people want to portray themselves as "reasonable" or "fair and balanced," such pronouncements by themselves or likeminded individuals has to be inducing some cognitive dissonance. What better way to handle a guilty conscience or to reduce the dissonance than to latch onto any angry rhetoric from one's political enemies and use it as "evidence" that those enemies are a bunch of hate-filled violent thugs.

Is the President a Pathological Liar?

My take: probably not. A propagandist who knows his core audience? More likely.