Saturday, March 20, 2004

Stupid Bush Quote

Those differences [about whether or not to invade Iraq] belong to the past. All of us can now agree that the fall of the Iraqi dictator has removed a source of violence, aggression and instability in the Middle East."



- George Bush




There is another source of violence, aggression, and instability in the Middles East who needs to be removed: George Bush. We can't rest til he's out of office.

What's With the Phony Macho Posing?

A prez who will parade around in a flight suit and loves to taunt terrorists can't stand to have his shoes dirtied. As the ancient saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Read What Riverbend at Baghdad Burning Has to Say on the Anniversary

The War on Terror...



She has some sharp words for what has transpired in Iraq.

Peace Protests Follow the Sun

Marking the anniversary of Bu$hCo's invasion.

One Year Later: We Are All Victims of Bu$hCo's Groupthink

To set the stage, read this editorial, published in Sept. 2002, just months before the ill-fated war began.



Janis listed these as basic groupthink symptoms:



a.. illusions of invulnerability leading to the taking of extreme risks;



b.. collective efforts to rationalize, leading decision-makers to discount warnings that might otherwise force them to reconsider;



c.. stereotyped views of enemy leaders as too evil to warrant genuine attempts to negotiate, and as too weak or stupid to counter an attack against them, leading to miscalculations;



d.. an unquestioned belief in the group's inherent morality, inclining group members to ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions;



e.. advocates of the consensus view, putting pressure on those who express strong arguments against any of the group's commitments, making clear that dissent is contrary to what is expected of all loyal members;



f.. self-appointed mind guards emerging to protect the group from advice, information and views that might shatter the shared complacency about the effectiveness or morality of their decisions;



g.. self-censorship by people with views deviating from the apparent group consensus, creating an illusion of unanimity within the group.




After reading Suskind's book on Paul O'Niell's tenure as Treasury Secretary, The Price of Loyalty, I've become more convinced than ever that these groupthink symptoms characterize the Bu$hCo inner-circle, and very much characterized their approach to Iraq. Like O'Niell, I tend to view the process used in complex decision-making to be integral to the ultimate outcome. While a poor process may not guarantee disaster, it sure makes disaster (or short of that, a less-than-optimal outcome) more likely. One key to making sound decisions is to have as much relevant information as possible, and to include enough people representing a variety of perspectives to hash out that information and that information's implications. While that process may be a bit more time-consuming, and a bit more uncomfortable for all players involved (debate challenging one's pet assumptions can have that tendency), the resulting decision will be one that is empirically-driven as opposed to ideologically-driven. To me that distinction is critical. The former type of decision is likely to be one in which the players on the group have compromised and in which they have charted out a careful, cautious course of action. The latter type of decision, driven by ideology, is likely to be more extreme and more risky. The players are likely to be more confident in their outcome, although their confidence is likely more delusional.



So what happened a year ago? We saw an ideologically-driven decision put into play. The closest thing that Bu$hCo had to a genuine dissident, Colin Powell, probably engaged in a great deal of self-censorship (which has hurt his credibility in the war's aftermath), the group's mind guards (Cheney? Rove? Rumsfield?) have filtered out information contradictory to their pre-ordained conclusions, in which they have framed themselves as the forces of "good" and Hussein as "evil, stupid, and corrupt", in which they were extremely confident in the end result of their plan (the Iraqis would throw flowers to US soldiers; we'd be in and out in 60 days; ad nauseum), and in which dissidents were portrayed as disloyal, and in which the group discounted the warning signs that their plan would not go as planned.



What happened? Over 570 dead troops and thousands of injured troops along with the countless Iraqi civilians who've been killed and injured later, there's nothing tangible to show for the war and occupation. The WMDs are not to be found, and what we've read and heard from the intelligence community indicates that the scope of any WMD programs or actual WMDs was actually quite in doubt. Not only that, but any link between Hussein and terrorist groups has proven to be quite spurious (again as I understand it, that's something that the intelligence types were aware of, and which was roundly discounted by BU$hCo). The situation in Iraq is far from stable, contrary to last spring's hype. Certainly there have been some improvements, although much of those improvements have been limited to a small extremely affluent sub-set of Iraqis. Dissidents - both within the US and among the international community - rather than eat crow have instead been vindicated. The fall-out continues. Bu$hCo allies in Germany, Spain, and South Korea have been dealt set-backs and dissenters have seen their political fortunes rise. The US has become increasingly isolated in the international community. We're even seeing cracks in the once unified front at Bu$hCo, as the miserable failure in Iraq has become increasingly obvious, and those left trying to toe the line become self-parodies.



Those who marched on the streets of major cities worldwide, who voiced our dissent with our bodies, words, prayers, and so forth, can take some cold comfort in knowing that we were indeed right to call on Bush and Blair to stop the madness and let the UN weapons inspectors complete their work. I say cold comfort because the loss of life, limb and treasure has been entirely unacceptable.



The Iraq war will go down in history among other groupthink policy disasters: The Bay of Pigs (Kennedy), the escalation of the Vietnam War in the mid-1960s (Johnson), along with failures to read correctly the intelligence data regarding Japan (FDR) and potential Chinese involvement in the Korean war (Truman).



I'll have more to say on how to handle complex decisions, such as the ones comprising foreign policy, later. Suffice it to say, the short answer is this: look at the process used by Bu$hCo, and do the opposite.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Bu$hCo sure is an irrational bunch

See Paul Krugman's column, Taken for a Ride



Clip:



This is the context for last weekend's election upset in Spain, where the Aznar government had taken the country into Iraq against the wishes of 90 percent of the public. Spanish voters weren't intimidated by the terrorist bombings — they turned on a ruling party they didn't trust. When the government rushed to blame the wrong people for the attack, tried to suppress growing evidence to the contrary and used its control over state television and radio both to push its false accusation and to play down antigovernment protests, it reminded people of the broader lies about the war.



By voting for a new government, in other words, the Spaniards were enforcing the accountability that is the essence of democracy.



...So there you have it. A country's ruling party leads the nation into a war fought on false pretenses, fails to protect the nation from terrorists and engages in a cover-up when a terrorist attack does occur.




So here's the scenario: Aznar and his then-ruling PP had done a lot to upset a lot of people, including the afore-mentioned participation in the Iraq debacle (which was opposed by something in the neighborhood of 90% of Spain's citizens) and the very recent effort to cover up relevant information about the 3-11 terrorist attack. Add to that somewhat Franco-esque policies and leadership style and it's not a big surprise that voters would be turned off. So the PP loses its majority, and Aznar's annointed replacement doesn't get to become PM. The voters had their say. Yay democracy, right? The new PM, Zapatero, appears to be very vigilant about dealing with terrorism, which isn't terribly surprising given Spain's history, and also willing to correct one humongous error by his predecessor by getting Spanish troops out of Iraq (unless the UN is charged with the task of cleaning up Bu$hCo's mess). Spanish voters want change, new leader promises change, new leader makes clear his intentions now that he will deliver on those promises. All's well that ends well.



Well, in that fantasy land inhabited by Bu$hCo's minions, this is the alternative bizarro perception:



But in the world according to Mr. Bush's supporters, anyone who demands accountability is on the side of the evildoers. According to Dennis Hastert, the speaker of the House, the Spanish people "had a huge terrorist attack within their country and they chose to change their government and to, in a sense, appease terrorists."



... But its electoral defeat isn't democracy at work; it's a victory for the terrorists.




Oooookay. So for the Spanish voters, voting in their own best interests is a victory for terrorists? They were supposed to instead forego their own best interests in order to conform to Bu$hCo's demands? That simply does not make sense. At least it doesn't make sense in any rational way. However, it might be better to consider the irrational mentality at play with Bu$hCo:



But the bigger point is this: in the Bush vision, it was never legitimate to challenge any piece of the administration's policy on Iraq. Before the war, it was your patriotic duty to trust the president's assertions about the case for war. Once we went in and those assertions proved utterly false, it became your patriotic duty to support the troops — a phrase that, to the administration, always means supporting the president. At no point has it been legitimate to hold Mr. Bush accountable. And that's the way he wants it.



Bush is always right even when he's wrong. Bush considers it illegitimate to point out he's wrong when in fact he is wrong. We are supposed to keep telling the would-be-emperor that he's got a great looking flight suit on when in fact he's really butt naked.

Kerry Not AWOL on 9-11 Warning Signs. Guess Who Was AWOL

9/11 Nonsense



To give credit where credit is due, there is one thing that Bu$hCo does remarkably well: passing the buck.

Refusing for Israel

Way cool group of people. I'm sure I'll have more to say on their cause as I continue blogging. This link thanks to the tip of a friend.

???W





One of my own contributions to the Question W site.

Silence is Not Golden

McCain's Revenge

Subject: Kerry. Assertion: Cheney. Rebuttal: McCain



Some clips



First a clip from Yahoo.com News:



Asked on NBC's "Today" if he thought Kerry was weak on defense, McCain said: "No, I do not believe that he is, quote, weak on defense. He's responsible for his voting record, as we are all responsible for our records, and he'll have to explain it. But, no, I do not believe that he is necessarily weak on defense. I don't agree with him on some issues, clearly. But I decry this negativism that's going on on both sides. The American people don't need it."



When asked on "The Early Show" if Kerry's election would compromise national security, McCain responded: "I don't think that -- I think that John Kerry is a good and decent man. I think he has served his country."




Next Clip:



There's no way McCain will be Kerry's running mate; you don't undo his decades of conservative votes and stances on a whole host of issues and end up on the Democratic ticket. Nevertheless, McCain seems to be relishing his role as Republican apostate who refuses to be defender of Bush's realm. McCain's primary motivation is probably his sense of honor; he's not entirely consistent, but he tends to conduct himself with honesty and integrity, and he's earned a reputation as a straight shooter by not going against his openly stated positions. He respects Kerry, sees chickenhawks Bush and Cheney maligning a good man's honor and patriotic service, both in the military and in political life, and he feels compelled to speak out. But it's hard not to conclude that he especially enjoys doing the right thing when it really screws Bush and his minions.



And I can't say that I blame McCain. He surely remembers the Bushies' smear campaign against him during the 2000 GOP primaries and caucuses. That Bu$hCo represents much of what McCain would have found distasteful about at least one prominent subset of the baby boomers of the late 1960s and 1970s -- snorting coke, living lives of conspicuous consumption, during a period when McCain and many others were stuck in 'Nam in POW camps -- would make their downfall all the sweeter to McCain. I doubt I'd agree with McCain on much, but he does earn my respect with his continued desire to stand up and be counted.

Toxic Shock Jock Syndrome?

From Stirling Newberry's Diary at Daily Kos. The article and the ensuing discussion make for an interesting read.

Some March 20th Global Day of Action Links





Code Pink



United for Peace and Justice



Military Families Speak Out



March Crawford. That's right: a demo right on Bu$hCo home turf.



Bring Them Home Now

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Could Stern's anti-Bush rants shock the vote?

Good question.



I'm willing to wager that he could have an influence. I wouldn't consider Howard Stern to be a liberal, but I do view him as someone who generally wants to go about doing his thing without being bugged and he correctly notices that much of the GOP brass - including Bu$hCo - are authoritarian enough to want to bug the whole lot of us. I don't get his radio show out here in the Oklahoma panhandle, though occasionally I'll catch a bit of his show on the E! network. My hunch is that the demographic attracted to his show is one that fails to see Janet Jackson's breast as an issue, and likely to resent a bunch of blue noses efforts to protect their not-so-virgin eyes and ears.



On a related note, I caught South Park last night, and dug their take on the Janet Jackson non-issue (the show also lampoons those awful Japanese martial arts cartoons that can be found late afternoon on Cartoon Network). The defining scene is where Cartman believes that he has the power of invisibility, and that he can sneak past the whole group of adults wearing absolutely nothing. Well, the adults see him, and completely flip out. Never mind that their kids had just purchased that day highly dangerous martial arts weapons, and had put out an eye of one of their friends while playing with those weapons. The town meeting scene following that incident is hilarious and pretty much sums up Americans: nudity is something to freak out about, but violence is perfectly okay. I'm sure many people would not think twice of me taking my son to a snuff film masquerading as a religious film (The Passion), but would be horrified that I am comfortable with him seeing bare female breasts. To those individuals, I'd suggest they get a life. And yes, I do vote, and it won't be for any GOPers this year.

An Observation

I get the feeling that US foreign policy is still pretty much based on a Cold War model. We simply traded "enemies" (twenty years ago it was "Communists"; today it's "terrorists"). The approach to handling this new "enemy" has been to wage conventional mid-to-late 20th century-style wars against alleged "terrorist nations" when the terrorist cells themselves don't identify with any specific nation. I can't help but suspect that the end result will be disastrous (surely Iraq, and arguably Afghanistan qualify; for an historical analog, think of how WWI ended up when 19th century strategies and tactics were used with 20th century weapons). It's pretty obvious that the Bushies don't get it. I wonder if Kerry will get it. Failure to adapt to and understand terrorist tactics will undoubtedly lead to some changes in the world's political geography, though probably not in the way that the apocalyptic idealists among the PNAC anticipate.



Just thinking aloud, absorbing some discussions with one of my colleagues as well as the news that I've been reading.

The Apparat: George W. Bush's back-door political machine

Today's must-read



The comparison of the American right-wing apparat and the old Soviet apparat is especially fascinating. Of course the old Soviet Communists were effectively a right-wing crowd - at the very least in the psychological sense (I've had some things to say about right-wing authoritarians and why the so-called far right and far left seem so darned similar), as well as plenty of other ideas on authoritarianism here, here, here, and here).

Say Hello To

Brad Carson for Senate



He's running for an open US Senate seat in Oklahoma.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

WARationale, Anniversary Edition

To view, click here



Caught On Video

The Newest Moveon.org Ad



See Rumsfield busted on national television. It really is time for the deception to stop.

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: Blast From the Past Edition

George Bush's Address to the Nation, One Year Ago Today. Courtesy Josh Marshall.



And Atrios, who highlights some key lies in the W. address

Thus Spoke Newly Elected PM Zapatero

"The occupation is a fiasco."



He's standing firm on his pledge to remove Spanish troops from Iraq. Is it a fiasco?



Well, here's a round-up:



Roadside bombings in Iraq increase with deadly results



3 U.S. civilians dead, 2 seriously hurt in Iraq ambush



More civilians killed in Iraq, signaling shift toward `soft targets'



Bomb Destroys Baghdad Hotel, Kills Dozens



I'd say fiasco is an apt description.

George Carlin on the Current Indecency Hoo-Haw

"What are we, surprised?"



Clip:



"The whole problem with this idea of obscenity and indecency, and all of these things -- bad language and whatever -- it's all caused by one basic thing, and that is: religious superstition. ... There's an idea that the human body is somehow evil and bad and there are parts of it that are especially evil and bad, and we should be ashamed. Fear, guilt and shame are built into the attitude toward sex and the body. ... It's reflected in these prohibitions and these taboos that we have."



One of the basic assumptions of much (but certainly not all) of the Christian world is that the human body - aka the flesh - is somehow evil. That assumption certainly did not originate with Christianity. To a certain degree with see that assumption in Judaism, as well as strands of that mindset in various philosophies and religions going back to ancient Babylon. In Zoroastrianism (a religion centered in ancient Persia), the main assumption was that the universe was locked in a battle between good and evil, with the human as the battle ground between those two forces. Looking at the ancient Greek thinkers, it becomes clear that a number of them tended to view sensory data as suspect at best: the senses do not lead to the truth according to the Pythagoreans and later the Platonists. During the Roman era (or as some historians refer to it, the Hellenistic period) we see those threads combined in the Neo-Platonic writings of Plotinus and in the teachings of Mani (the founder of Manicheanism). Not only will the senses not lead us to new knowledge, but they are the root of evil. Hence the idealization of the ascetic life: one in which one ideally would meditate on the abstract minutia of one's philosophy or theology, and in the process denying one's self of physical pleasures in order to eventually escape this perceived earthy prison. When I ask myself about the various hang-ups that we seem to have today in America, I have to remind myself that this is one of the undercurrents involved.



I will say this: I'd much rather spend a few moments explaining to my kids Janet Jackson's exposed breast at halftime than trying to explain a snuff film masquerading as a religious event.

The Pinocchio presidency

Joe Wilson says it's time to blow the whistle on the Bush administration's blatant lies.



Some clips:



In these perilous times the president should be held accountable for his stewardship. He should run on his record. But what do we see from him and his campaign? First, a political ad that desecrates the memories of our dead at the World Trade Center, using flag-draped bodies as political props. Now we see an ad that racially profiles olive-skinned men as terrorists while mendaciously suggesting that the Democratic candidate and war hero John Kerry is soft on terrorism. Some have rightly made the connection between that ad and the infamous Willie Horton ad of the Bush/Dukakis campaign of 1988, an ad that exploited racial fear, but a better comparison might be with the negative ad run against triple amputee and Vietnam veteran, Max Cleland. In that one Cleland was made to appear as part of a trio whose other members were Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. When not running nasty ads, Bush's attack dogs are busy launching vicious attacks on the characters of those who would dare to point out where this administration has failed the American people. Who will soon forget Ann Coulter's two articles defaming Max Cleland? It's worth noting that not a single supporter of Bush had the decency to defend Cleland and criticize that smear. Instead Coulter's libel was widely circulated by conservatives. And just the other day, Max Boot, a neoconservative publicist who coined the "jodhpur and pith helmet" term to promote his imperialistic view of America's future, decided to smear former Air Force officer Karen Kwiatkowski, as well as retired CIA officer Ray McGovern and myself. These smears must be understood as part of the Bush campaign strategy of "slime and defend."



...Those who parade like schoolyard bullies operate in the tradition of the founder of the breed: Donald Segretti, the political trickster of the Nixon administration, who called his cadres "ratfuckers." The current "ratfuckers," like those in Watergate before them, have loyalty to ideology before country and believe in the politics of personal destruction instead of democratic debate. But like schoolyard bullies everywhere, they must be confronted.



...We Americans need a sound debate on the actions of our government over that past three and a half years, on our national security posture and on the future direction of our country. The president has said repeatedly that he welcomes the opportunity to defend his record. He should tell his minions to run just such an aggressive defense of his record and his vision of the future, but not a series of vicious attacks characterized by lies and disinformation as he is doing now. But his campaign of lies is consistent with his administration. Should he continue to march down that low road, he should know that this time the band of brothers and sisters will be the first responders.



A call to arms from someone who is generally a political moderate. He's hit something important here: whenever Bu$hCo and their enablers (and that's precisely what those who keep making excuses for this White House administration are: enablers) tell lies, hit them right back with the truth: calmly or passionately but above all persistently.

Henry Waxman is an excellent watchdog

Iraq on the Record



Catalogs the various misleading statements by Bu$hCo in the run-up and aftermath of the Iraq invasion and occupation. The actual report is a pdf document, and will require Adobe Acrobat reader to view.

Excellent Quote That Says It All

via Nathan Newman



Al Qaeda won the minute Bush decided to match violence with violence. Since then, global support for the terrorists has risen and support for the US has plummeted.



So in cleaning up after Bush's dance to Bin Laden's tune, we need some hard-headed decisions that ignore opportunistic responses to terrorism but address the fundamentals.

Appeal to the Anti-War Movement from the Blue Triangle Network





Worth passing along.



More on the Blue Triangle Network

Mark Your Calendars: March 20, International Day of Action

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

A vindicated Hans Blix returns to the US

So, who has credibility issues now? As Blix is saying in his speaking tour to promote his new book, it's the leaders who pushed for this war. If only the Bu$hCo/Blair/Aznar axis had the integrity to eat crow in light of the data demonstrating that their claims of WMDs were false.

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: Brian Sullivan Edition

Says one thing about Kerry in Sept. 2001, and something completely different in 2004. In one word: Busted!

Some March 20th Global Day of Action Activity in New Mexico





Taos Residents to Topple Statue of Donald Rumsfeld

Remembering Rachel Corrie

One year ago.

While We're At It: Some More Grand Ol' Hypocrisy

Lynn Cheney's lesbian romance novel, "Sisters", was performed as a play in NY. That's right - that Lynn Cheney - Mrs. Veep herself published her novel in the early 1980s. Judging from the prose excerpted in the article (see below), I can see why her career as a novelist went nowhere.



Some choice clips from the article:



Yesterday, Flanders told Lowdown that Cheney's novel "is a breathy, gothic romance, horribly written. It's celebrating lesbian love and promotes the value of preventative devices, condoms, to women who want to remain free. It features a woman who has unmarried sex with the widow of her sister - all this by Lynne Cheney, the culture warrior of the right."



Choice scenes adapted from "Sisters" included one in which two female characters write to each other: "Let us go away together, away from the anger and the imperatives of men. We shall find ourselves a secluded bower where they dare not venture. There will be only the two of us, and we shall linger through long afternoons of sweet retirement."



One of Cheney's characters swoons to a Sapphic love letter: "How well her words describe our love - or the way it would be if we could remove all impediments, leave this place, and join together ... Then our union would be complete. Our lives would flow together, twin streams merging into a single river."




"Here's a whole book where she gloried in lesbian love affairs," Flanders said. "The hypocrisy is rank."



Well, this made my evening.

Why Our Healthcare System Needs an Overhaul

'If Ashcroft were uninsured...'. Imagine if Ashcroft were just like one us...and, say, he had no health insurance. The story of Ashcroft's alter-ego is potentially eye-opening for those who are unaware of what's happened to the state of medical service in the US. Makes me more convinced than ever that we need to very seriously look into the Canadian healthcare system. What we have now is broken beyond repair.

Humor Time

Mistaking Failure for Success.



How else to explain Dubya's misperception that he's actually done this country any good.

Monday, March 15, 2004

The Political Changes in Spain Spell a Defeat for Al Qaida

Was reading Joe over at American Leftist, and dug what he had to say about Spain's political change and its implication for Al Qaida's standing on the world stage. His basic gist is that if the terrorist attacks in Madrid had any effect on the electoral outcomes in Spain, it was an effect that was unfavorable to Al Qaida. I realize that given the conventional wisdom from various pundits that this seems a bit counter-intuitive, but bear with me. As I have mentioned before, extremists like Osama bin Ladin are not hoping to avoid violent conflict with Western states (and especially those most closely alligned with the US), but rather wish to embrace the opportunity for more violent conflicts. There's a sort of apocalyptic dance of death envisioned by such extremists, but one that requires at least two partners - else the dance ceases or never even begins. I've noted previously that Osama and company have found a willing dance partner in the US White House - albeit a strangely conflicted dance partner. Why conflicted? The major policy players buy into one of two distinct apocalyptic world views. The neo-conservatives (the Perle and Cheney crowd) are bound to cleanse and purify the world, remolding into their image of a utopian world order: a world order in which a handful of military and corporate elites have a virtual monopoly on power and in which the rest of us merely follow orders. In this Machiavellian and Hobbesian world order, there is no room for indigenous cultures to assert their identities or for political reformers and agitators of various stripes. The other apocalyptic world view seems more the domain of the Prez himself: namely, a more fundamentalist Christian take that we are now living in the end times with the destruction of the world (i.e., The Tribulation) prior to Christ's thousand year reign on earth imminent. Hence, their enthusiasm for crusading against the forces of Satan (or more appropriately their perception of said forces) by any means necessary. This is pretty much the Tim LaHay and Pat Robertson crowd; the crowd comprising the target audience for Jesus Chainsaw Massacre The Passion. Each of these factions has its own peculiar Manichean vision, but has been united by a common "enemy".



Where does Spain fit in? The now former PM Aznar was willing to commit Spanish blood and treasure to at least a facet of Bu$hCo's "war on terror" in the form of troops to occupy Iraq. With support for Spain's role in Iraq never particularly high to begin with among Spain's own citizens and with Aznar's neo-Franco party facing some erosion on its hold on power, a terrorist strike should have driven Spain rightward thus leading to a conservative electoral landslide victory and a renewed vow to stay the course - maybe even an escalation in involvement. In other words, the possible Al Qaida strategy was one of ensuring Spain would continue its part in the apocalyptic death dance and perhaps be a better dance partner. Instead, the Spanish voters have chosen to walk off the dance floor. Does that mean that Spanish voters and their new government lack resolve in dealing with terrorism? Hardly. Rather it may well be a recognition on their part that a tit-for-tat strategy does not work with groups of fanatical true believers, serving only to escalate rather than de-escalate violence. My hope is that what happened in Spain's elections is a harbinger of things to come: that cooler heads are going to prevail. Goodness knows that collectively we are facing plenty of pressing challenges as a species over the next several decades (energy, water, possible climate disruptions) that will require cool heads in order to find adequate solutions. Otherwise, we may very well see global conditions that more closely mirror the ones perceived by the fanatics.

March 20 Is Coming Up





Let's make our voices heard by whatever nonviolent means necessary.

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: Michael Barone Edition

Some Bush blog silliness courtesy of Roger Ailes. Interesting to note Ailes' commentary, which suggests that any economic "boom" in Iraq is limited strictly to the very small proportion of its population that is well-to-do. For the average Iraqis, their lot in life has seen no tangible improvement. The rich may be grooving on that bling culture vibe, but for everyone else, it's pretty much a hand-to-mouth existence.

Bu$hCo Pays People to Pose as Journalists for Propaganda

There's nothing even remotely genuine about these clowns.



Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: Rush Limbaugh Edition

A Not-So-Mighty Wind: Limbaugh Blows It Once Again. Maybe a more apt title: Limbaugh Breaks Wind Yet Again. This time, it's a lie regarding the alleged Heinz-Kerry bankrolling of Peaceful Tomorrows, a group that consists of families of 9-11 victims who also happen to be anti-Bush. Truth is, there is no connection.

"You see a black face, you see Willie Horton with a knife..."

You see a brown face, you see an Arab with a bomb. Without anything positive to run on, Bu$hCo has decided to play the race card this election year, just like Poppy did in 1988. I'd say Josh Marshall had an apt description for this sorry lot: they're acting like a wounded, cornered animal.

Human Rights, American Style

The Tipton Three Detail Their Ordeal at Guantanamo Bay.

Feeling a Draft?

'Special Skills Draft' on Drawing Board.



This is something that I think should have us all climbing the f***ing walls. The Federal Government is serious about enslaving drafting folks to feed the ever-increasing war machine. My hope is that our younger citizens wake up and start making some noise, as it's their lives that are on the line.

Congrats to the Spanish Socialist Workers Party

I'm sure many others have their own evaluations of why the conservatives lost their majority. My short take is that to an extent it ended up being a referendum on Aznar's participation in the farcical Bush/Blair "War on Terrorism." Last week's terrorist attacks in Madrid, apparently perpetrated by Al Qaida members, was apparently the tipping point, showing the world that Aznar's loyalty to Dubya had not made Spain safer. On the contrary, Spain became a more likely target as a result -- one that I'm sure a populace that was against the Iraq war in the first place found apalling.



Update: One outcome in the very near future - the new Spanish government will apparently be withdrawing its troops from Iraq. Looks like the so-called "coalition of the willing" is starting to unravel.



Updated Update: Maxspeak reads drivel so you don't have to. Some spot-on commentary on what passes for the warblog faction these days.