Friday, March 26, 2004

Junior Caligula Tries To Make A Funny

But fails miserably. David Corn has more to say about AWOL's AWOL sense of "humor". John Kerry is also not amused.



Clip:



John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who will fight Mr Bush for the White House said the joke displayed a "stunningly cavalier" attitude.



"If George Bush thinks his deceptive rationale for going to war is a laughing matter, then he's even more out of touch than we thought. Unfortunately for the president, this is not a joke."



He added: "585 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq in the last year, 3,354 have been wounded and there's no end in sight. George Bush sold us on going to war with Iraq based on the threat of weapons of mass destruction. But we still haven't found them, and now he thinks that's funny?"



The statement from Mr Kerry also included a comment from an Iraqi war veteran, Brad Owens.



"War is the single most serious event that a president or government can carry its people into," he said. "This cheapens the sacrifice that American soldiers and their families are dealing with every single day."

Gathering Economic Storm Clouds This Summer?

Maybe. Read this.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Junior Caligula AWOL From Truth About Iraqi Civilian War Casualties

From The forgotten victims of the war in Iraq by Derrick Z. Jackson



Clip:



In his three speeches, Bush made no mention of the Iraqis who were permanently defaced.



Bush cannot mention them because the invasion had no grounds. Neither weapons of mass destruction nor proof of an imminent threat was found. Bush cannot mention them because he knows a needless invasion was not worth up to 10,000 Iraqi civilians killed by US and British forces.

Brought to you by Irregular Times, its...

The Real GOP

Howard Stern Strikes Again

Bad American President



1m 14sec, 2.3 mb, mp3, funny as hell, you'll laugh your ass off

Say Hello to

Turning the Tide. Yes, Noam Chomsky is no longer AWOL to blogtopia.

Junior Caligula, Your Reality Check Bounced!

For Bu$hCo, truth is a four-letter word

From the Truth in Advertising Department: Campaign Ad We'd Like to See

A Little Cosmic Humor

via Left I on the News:



Just out driving, and passed an SUV being towed on a flat-bed truck. The SUV was from the "Inner Pimp Clothing Company (www.innerpimp.com)." The tow truck was from "1-888-DUMPERS" and bore a bumper sticker reading "Bush-Cheney 2004." It all seemed to fit.

Baghdad is Lovely This Time of Year

A Look at U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq. The Gist: 582 US military fatalities and 2920 US military injuries since Junior Caligula's war began.



Nine Iraqi police killed, and Ambushes in Iraq Kill 11 As Snipers Target Police



Rocket Hits Baghdad's Sheraton Hotel, No Injuries



Two Finnish Businessmen Shot Dead in Iraqi Capital



British soldiers injured in Basra



Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Bushies Dissin the Vietnam Vets

The Old Bloody Shirt builds on this missive from Bush/Cheney campaign spokeman Terry Holt:



"John Kerry's campaign seems to be summed up this way: I went to Vietnam, yadda, yadda, yadda, I want to be president."




Ouch. Essentially the GOP brass are saying something like this to the very Nam vets whom they courted for many years: "We played you, chumps. Get lost."

Fun With Junior Caligula

Krugman on White House Whistle-Blowers

Lifting the Shroud



A funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Junior Caligula's former insiders began to spill the beans.



Shorter Kennedy to Bu$hCo on Naming Names

Ladies first.

Transcript of the Richard Clarke Clarke 60 Minutes Interview

Courtesy of Sadly No.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Doonesbury Not AWOL on AWOL'S being AWOL

Moonie Loonies

Cultist Rev. Moon on Same-Sex Marriages



Dark Forces tried to kick me out of America. but I overcame. Now a great transition is on. The Jewish and Christian people have been at odds but now the solution has come. Now the homosexuality is coming out. It is worse than an animal lifestyle. However we will solve it.




File under Tinfoil Hat Alert. Unfortunately Moon has plenty of money to burn on tinfoil and has plenty of powerful tinfoil hat wearing friends.

You Da Man, Jimmy Carter!

Carter savages Blair and Bush: 'Their war was based on lies'



I liked him as a kid, and to this day find former President Carter to be an admirable public figure. Probably the closest thing we'll have to a straight-shooter in the political world.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

The Passion's Subtext

The Fashion of the Priced



I thought this was a pretty interesting entry by Pessimist over at The Left Coaster. I was certainly reminded of why I left Christianity for a fair portion of my adult life and why my return to the faith has been not only long in coming but clearly puts me at odds with "conventional" Christianity. Thing is, I think Pessimist has nailed a fundamental truth: the religion named after Christ did not really evolve from The Old Testament but rather has embraced The Old Testament mindset with a vengeance. Like Pessimist, the New Testament with which I am familiar, and to the extent that I have any knowledge of its so-called "Lost" Books, Christ's message seems quite benign. As Pessimist so aptly expresses it:



Jesus promoted a message of peace and acceptance, neither of which seems in vogue with too many Christians today. Take for instance Ann Coulter's oft quoted diatribe about how we need to take over the Muslim countries, kill their leaders, and force the people to convert to Christianity. I can see the Israelite leaders of the Old Testament espousing such an action for there are many examples, but somehow the Man Who Accepted The Outcasts As Equals doesn't strike me as someone who would. Can you see Jesus preaching for the passage of the Marriage Amendment like so many of the conservative televangelists are? Can you really? The man who touched the lepers and dined with prostitutes?




Good question indeed.



Further:



The Passion covers the twelve hours during which the political and religious conservatives of that period chose to deal once and for all with what they perceived to be a serious threat to their sense of order. Certainly, they felt that their power and control of the population were being threatened by a man who counseled love over hate, peace over war, acceptance over prejudice.




So did the reactionaries win?



Simple. Look at how Christianity is practised today, largely defined by fundamentalism and its "Eye for an eye" Diety. Look at how many sects have a large central control structure that requires a large amount of capital to operate.




That would seem to be the case. Certainly by the time of the Council of Nicea (325 CE), what we now call The Bible was more or less set in stone, and lo and behold, what won out? Christ is deified (something apparently not believed by early Christians), and the Church does its best to eliminate women from powerful positions (apparently in the early Church, women often were in leadership positions, including, arguably Christ's own companion Mary Magdalene).



So what we're left with is a church that seems to advocate wars, slavery, discrimination, violations of religious and secular law whenever convenient, engage in forced conversions, and so on. Western civilization has certainly had its own sad history in the years after the Council of Nicea (think witch trials and burnings, executions of alleged heretics, and so forth), as well as non-Western peoples who have been unfortunate enough to encounter the full fury of Christian orthodoxy. I can't help but think that Christ would have been very uncomfortable indeed with what has become of his Church, and with what has been done in his name.



The New Testament for these denominations is just the pretty cover, the interesting come-on, the persuasive sales job. It serves as the excuse when the excesses of the Old cause complaint. It is held up as the hope when the Old becomes oppressive. But never does it supplant the Old.



The Old presents dominance as a right, killing the Other as an obligation, ignoring the law (see especially King David) when convenient acceptible, as long as the end is justified. I'm sure these precepts appeal to the fundamentalism of George Warmonger Bush, for these three examples sure cover a lot of his actions over the last three years.




...Maybe our repetition of killing in the name of our god will continue until Christians begin practicing the New Testament instead of the Old..




I really believe that the over-emphasis on the Old has left a profound imbalance in our culture, and we are reaping the consequences of that imbalance. The Chinese would have viewed us as being overly dominated by Yang (the masculine) at the expense of Yin (the feminine). What's happened? We're very adept at raping the earth, causing death and destruction, but not so good at creating anything sustainable. What will save us as a species is a swing of the pendulum back to the New, back to an appreciation of the feminine, back to the cast-out Magdalene.



Postscript: A friend of mine asked me a couple weeks ago if I was planning to see The Passion. I told her that I wasn't in the mood to take the high concentration of violence that the film purportedly had (from all that I've read and heard since, that would appear to be the case -- an extremely violent film). The last film that I had seen that would have even approached that film's level of violence would have been Man Bites Dog, which I recall seeing some ten or more years ago. I remember well my reaction to this latter film, and pretty much decided to swear off movies with a "snuff film" quality afterwards -- regardless of whether the film in question is billed merely as "entertainment," "satire," or "religious." Life's really too short as it is to be wallowing in death.



Peace.

More On the Question of Peak Oil

Peering into oil's future: Experts try to predict when the world will start running low on the natural resource that keeps all the engines running.



An interesting article, especially for those of us laypeople who are trying to get a handle on the extent and imminence of a potential crisis. Clearly some of the estimates are pretty scary, suggesting that oil production has already peaked or will sometime within the decade. Other estimates, as pointed out by the article, are considerably more sanguine, with oil production peaking in about a decade and a half to a century later. My own perspective is that as a collective, we should err on the side of caution. By that I mean that we should be doing what we can to conserve oil (i.e., limit our consumption) and be more vigilant in our efforts to develop alternative sources of energy. I'd much rather be prepared for an energy crisis that doesn't materialize or turns out to be less drastic than originally billed than find myself faced with a crisis far worse than imagined or planned for, with little time or resources available to address the crisis.

In Pictures: Iraq War Protests





"One picture is worth ten thousand words," said Confucius. Multiply that by a factor of 12.

The Anti-War Movement

The Antiwar Movement Is Not Progressive -- And That's a Good Thing.



The thrust of the editorial: it's a pretty broad spectrum of people represented by the anti-war banner. In a sense it reminds me of Billmon's notion of a "popular front."



Clip:



What separates us from the rulers is what binds us together as people: a sense of human values, a sense of decency, a sense of what is right and fitting that led us to cry out against the war and to call on our government to stay its hand.



We should look to our common rejection of the war as the basis for a redemptive movement in America, a movement in which we overcome divisions among people of varying backgrounds and beliefs to focus on the most important division: between the war-makers and the people. Our mass rejection of the war demonstrated conclusively that most Americans at some fundamental level share common values. We should discover in these shared values a new democratic vision, more powerful and more real than the democratic vision on which the nation was founded. In it lies the redemptive vision for a second American revolution.




I'd say this cat is on to something.

Fun With John Gray

Here's a gem I found on Kevin Drum's new blog. I'll try to comment more on this shortly. Suffice it to say, I've tended to hold a low opinion of Gray and many other self-help gurus. In Gray's case, his questionable credentials are nothing particularly new to me.