Thursday, August 26, 2004

Image from Memefest part two





The artist's description:



Following the events of September 11th, my attention has been more tuned in to world affairs than ever before. The transparent lies of George W. Bush have shocked me into disbelief, and have driven me to seek the truth beyond the main-stream propaganda. I've since then followed alternative news sources such as Guerrilla news network and Democracy Now.Since then I've also discovered important writers such as Noam Chomsky and George Orwell. I've been searching for some time to find a way to help inform and wake people up. As an Arts student specialiesd in comic book artwork, I've found the best way to reach people is to revive Orwell's work in comic book format for a new generation to discover.




Frederic Guimont's Nineteen Eighty-Four website has some more, including previews of his new comic book (a work in progress) based on the George Orwell classic. Check it out.

It was only a matter of time before McCain spoke out

McCain: Stand Down On Vietnam



"I'm sick and tired of re-fighting the Vietnam War. And most importantly, I'm sick and tired of opening the wounds of the Vietnam War, which I've spent the last 30 years trying to heal," McCain told USA Today. "It's offensive to me, and it's angering to me that we're doing this. It's time to move on."



Separately, McCain told the New York Times that he intended to personally "express my displeasure" to President Bush about TV ads that question Kerry's valor in Vietnam.




There's more to the article, of course. One thing that caught my attention was the last paragraphs regarding the political advantage gained (or the lack thereof) due to the attack ads. One of the experts quoted, Bill Benoit, was the outside member of my dissertation committee - and from what I recall the man knows his stuff:



William Benoit, professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, said McCain, who was a prisoner of war during Vietnam, erased any early advantage that Mr. Bush might have had.



McCain has called the anti-Kerry advertisement "dishonest" and "dishonorable."



"When Senator McCain comes out and says he's
[Kerry's] a hero ... how many Republicans are going to reject it?" Benoit said. "I just think Senator McCain has neutralized that issue in large part."




Text slightly edited for clarity. Hopefully Benoit's correct. I do doubt that McCain's words will register among the wingnut crowd, but maybe will at least reach those who have some semblance of sanity.

Image from Memefest part one

Amelia Peltz of Counterpunch asks

Can I Have 9.8 Seconds of Your Time?.



It has been ten days since It began. And I am not talking about the Olympics. I am referring to the Other News--the news that gets relegated to the back page of the newspaper, if at all. The news that is squeezed into the "human interest" slot at then end of a radio broadcast. I am referring to the news that Palestinian political prisoners have now been on a hunger strike for 10 days, demanding that Israel live up to it responsibility of upholding the basic human rights of political prisoners.




Read the rest.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

And speaking of character

Here's a tidbit from praktike's Daily Kos diary: Bush DUI: Start your engines. My clip something quoted from the diary:



But the darkest cloud looming over Bush's head -- one which may long post-date the campaign -- is whether Bush lied about his criminal record in any sworn documents, such as insurance forms or business license applications, to name two of many possibilities. No doubt, as the press exhausts its interviews with the source for the DUI story, they will descend on this angle next. I can already envision the first special prosecution of a Bush Administration.




Given Bu$hCo's rather nasty tactics, what can I say? Payback's a bitch.

And if we're going to be stuck having to relive the 1970s for a while longer:

Get the skinny on the scum! Here's a quick news and editorial roundup (mainly props to Earthside.com and Buzzflash.com):



The moral cowardice of George W. Bush: a post from Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo



Tests of a Smear Campaign: by WaPo's E. J. Dionne, Jr.



These charges are false: an LA Times editorial. Also check out the companion editorial, ... and These Are Silly.



Kerry Team Lines Up Vietnam Witnesses: Bush Again Declines To Condemn Attack Ad, an article appearing in the WaPo.



President Urges Outside Groups to Halt All Ads, which includes some more info to the connections between the Bu$hCo campaign and the swiftboat smearers.



Kerry critic listed as fund-raiser's co-host: NYC event guest list includes president's father, Rove



And while all that is going on, the questions about W's own military record still linger:



Questions about Bush's Guard service unanswered



Bush Overstated His Military Record: by David Corn



Real Vet vs. Fake Vet. Can you tell the difference? drives the point home a bit more humorously.

This week's top 10 conservative idiots is quite handy:

The first idiot(s) on the list is Team Bush, for their swiftboat veterans smear tactics including some pretty pictures and tons of evidence demonstrating the level of collusion between the Bu$hCo campaign and the SBV organization. Always good to keep in mind who the scumbags are behind the smear.

"Kerry: So The World Will Stop Booing"

Slogan courtesy of Bob Harris in this post: Aristophanes, Beach Volleyball, and a brief evening of Kiwiness

The practical and the positive...

coexist peacefully. Dave Pollard's blog has all sorts of gems in it. Most recently Pollard offers some thoughts and advice for getting people who are disengaged in the political process to become more active: MAKING POLITICS POLITICALLY CORRECT. I especially like these suggestions for approaching the more apathetic among us:





    • Ask them what's important to them (open-ended questions with no preconception of the answers) and listen to their answers,
    • Tell them stories about how the political process has brought about important and positive change,
    • Teach them how the system works, in the context of how it could work to deal with the issues they said were important to them, and
    • Encourage them, starting with something small, to make the system work for them.





There's more, all well worth reading and pondering. Next up is this rather upbeat post: TEN REASONS TO BE OPTIMISTIC, which is a pleasant reminder of the good things that are happening around us right now as we speak. As Pollard notes, "there is great reason to be hopeful. But not complacent."

Humor Interlude

Three statisticians go out hunting together. After a while they spot a solitary rabbit. The first statistician takes aim and overshoots. The second aims and undershoots. The third shouts out "We got him!"

"George W. Bush is lower than a slug" (Part Dieux)

Looks like Dave Chandler added some thoughts to his rant on Bu$hCo which I pointed out earlier. All I can say is, go Chandler!



ADDENDUM TO COMMENTARY:

With the most recent developments in this controversy, Earthside believes that this could become a defining moment in this year's presidential election campaign. These points are now evident:



1. The inconsistencies and, well, lies, from the sour Swift boat smearers is clear. There are too many accounts supporting the Navy's determinations of thirty plus years ago about John Kerry. And, indeed, if anyone looks like they are a bit 'loopy' it is Larry. Thurlow, who on Hardball kept talking about a "master plan" Kerry was following way back then.



2. The notion that the Bush campaign is innocent and unaware of the strategies and tactics of the so-called "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" (sic), is just so ridiculous on its face that investigations turning up the links between Bush and the group are really just frosting on the cake.



3. We all know this is the pattern of how Bush-Rove try to discredit their military veteran opponents ... just ask John McCain and Max Cleland.



3. The latest television ad from these bitter Swift boat smearers (misquoting Kerry's 1970 Congressional testimony) reveals their real agenda - it is about the politics of the Vietnam War - over now for thirty years. They cannot stand the truth that they were pawns in a filthy, unjust conflict. John Kerry figured that out then and had the courage to speak out and urge America to disengaging from that bloody swamp. It is NOT about the 'truth' of Kerry's actions ... it is politics, it is politics, it is politics.



So, this is what Kerry and his campaign are called upon to do by Americans who want truth and civility in our politics:



1. Defend the honor of America's military. The Swift boat liars and the Bush campaign are really impugning the legitimacy of every soldier, sailor, and marine that has ever been awarded a medal. Are we now to question all those decisions and judgments made by military authorities during times of war and conflict because some malcontent raises doubts? John O'Neill and his negative band of naysayers are setting a precedent that must be quashed now. The Bush campaign cannot be allowed to get away with the subterfuge of just calling for end of all independent political organizations - they must answer this issue - does Bush condemn these liars or not?



There is also clearly something deeper on this point that needs to be voiced by Kerry. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are chickenhawks ... that's just simply a fact. They love to talk tough while using uniformed Americans as political props. These two politicians have the attitude that they are somehow superior to the service women and men that they command. The condescension in Cheney's speeches in particular are filled with this patronizing language. Even at the risk of prolonging this dispute, it is time to squarely put it to Bush and Cheney and expose this hypocritical arrogance: Where were you, George W. Bush, on Christmas Eve 1968? Why didn't you, George W. Bush, take your required Texas Air National Guard physical examination? What were you doing, George W. Bush, during all those years when you were "young and irresponsible"? Over 900 American troops, killed because of your orders, now want the full measure of your character - 960 Americans that will never get the chance to be "young and irresponsible".



2. Defend our Constitution and our American political process. A representative democracy cannot survive if deceit from our leaders is not punished by the citizenry. Lack of due diligence, deception, misinformation, misleading ... are all characteristics descriptive of how Bush has conducted himself in the White House. On the most important decision leaders ever make - on war - Bush failed in his duty to ascertain the truth about weapons of mass destruction and links between al Qaida and Iraq. Now, Bush, by his refusal thus far to condemn the deceit of the Swift boat smearers and by obfuscating on links between his campaign and the liars organization continues the pattern of irresponsibility. It is vital to the furtherance of this republic that John Kerry take this slimy campaign tactic directly to George W. Bush. Will Bush accept responsibility this time for the behavior of his administration and campaign? Kerry must challenge Bush articulately and forcefully ... we, as voters, must know finally what kind of 'man' George W. Bush really is.



Finally, this controversy, however, is not really about John Kerry and his war record. It is actually about defending the values of our American system of politics and government. It is really about forcefully articulating the truth about George W. Bush and his gang once and for all. Four years ago the corporate news media shirked its duty to ask the tough questions or demand the complete answers from Bush. The news media continued their irresponsibility in the wake of September 11, 2001. Now, there is the opportunity for them and the nation to redress the error of allowing Bush's selection to office. And it is through the vehicle of the Kerry presidential campaign that Bush must be held accountable.




Quickie update: Grrr, I typoed and had to make a quick change to the title. Been one of those days.

Monday, August 23, 2004

More Liner Notes Wisdom

This time from the Mystik Journeymen album The Black Sands Ov Eternia:



Remember Fear becomes Pain and Pain becomes Hate..and when Hate becomes Ignorance...Ignorance shall cast no mercy upon Reality. Fight to control your own destiny.




The cd by the way is quite good, with some spot on social commentary (including topics such as consumerism, war, etc.). There's a lot of good underground rap to be found, and I feel blessed to have stumbled upon these cats.

This is interesting:

Inside the mind of a terrorist, a feature on a new film by Ronan Bennett and Alice Perman (Antonia Bird, director) that explores the question of how someone could become a terrorist. Worth reading and pondering.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

More debunking of the swiftboat smear

Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth" v. The Truth.



Looks like the most comprehensive source for debunking the SBV liars - certainly a better job at culling the information than I would be able to do given my own time constraints. Props to skippy the bush kangaroo for the tip.

"How many times has George W. Bush been arrested?"

Props to goldstone's Daily Kos diary.



And from a couple of the commenters here's a little compare/contrast between Kerry and Bush during those all-important character building years:







Kerry:

  • Volunteered for Vietnam
  • 3 Purple Hearts
  • Bronze Star
  • Silver Star

Bush:

  • Avoided Vietnam
  • Failed to fulfill commitment to Air National Guard
  • At least 3 arrests (theft, disorderly conduct, and drunk driving)







If you're going to argue character, Bush apologists haven't a leg to stand on.

Najaf

There's plenty of confusion surrounding the standoff in Najaf, but what I've been reading does not look good. Here's a round-up of stories from Reuters:



Najaf Shrine Wall Hit by U.S. Fire-Shi'ite Cleric



Since it's a short article, here's the text:



NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - A senior commander of Shi'ite militants holed up inside a Najaf shrine said the wall of the mosque was hit by U.S. fire on Sunday night.

Sheikh Ahmed al-Sheibani, who is also a top adviser to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, said it was hit during fighting.



It was not immediately possible to confirm the accusation independently. Serious damage to the shrine would enrage millions of Shi'ites around the world and give Sadr political ammunition in his rebellion against U.S. troops.




Blasts Shake Najaf as U.S. Planes Attack Rebels



U.S. Planes Hit Militias as Tanks Near Najaf Shrine



The latter two articles make it clear that the scene there is extremely volatile. For the occupiers (the US and its so-called "coalition) and their puppet regime, the situation is pretty much lose-lose. Storming the shrine and causing serious damage or destruction to it risks inflaming much of the Islamic world, and if al-Sadr is killed he becomes a martyr. Any sign of giving in to al-Sadr's demands, on the other hand, pretty much destroys what little street cred the puppet government has in Iraq.

Fragments from some liner notes

DJ culture - urban youth culture - is all about recombinant potential. It has as a central feature a eugenics of imagination. Each and every source sample is fragmented and bereft of prior meaning - kind of like a future without a past. The samples are given meaning only when re-presented in the assemblage of the mix. In this way the DJ acts as the cybernetic inheritor of the improvisational tradition of jazz, where various motifs would be used and recycled by various musicians of the genre, in this case however, the records become the notes. Also there is the repetitive nature of the music that allows for the unfolding in time of a recursive spatial arrangement of the tones whose parallel can be found in the world of architecture where structural integrity requires the modular deployment of building materials to create a building's framework.



[...]



All I can say is that in this era of hypermodernity, the current message has been deleted. Any sound can be you. It is through the mix and all that it entails - the re-configuration of ethnic, national, and sexual identity - that humanity will, hopefully, move into another era of social evolution. I can only hope that the world can shift into this new matrix without too much disruption. The other options: genocide, intercine ethnic strife and warfare, the complete destruction of the environment, and the creation of a permanent underclass that doesn't have access to technology, are what the future holds if humanity can't come to grips with these new and explosive forces technology has released in us all.




by Paul D. Miller (DJ Spooky) from the album, Songs of a Dead Dreamer (released 1996 on the Asphodel label) .

Debunking the lies of thugs

Here's a quick run-down:



Anti-Kerry Vets Not There that Day



Not So Swift Boat Veterans



One veteran's outrage at John O'Neill's campaign to smear Kerry



New Evidence Undermines Swift Vets' Attack on Kerry



Friendly Fire-The Birth of an Anti-Kerry Ad



While the Bu$hCo smear machine is on overdrive and on the verge of overheating, let us not forget that while people like Kerry and McCain were there in Nam, Junior was more interested in dodging the draft by any means possible, and going AWOL so that he could go on lounging, snorting coke and chugging everclear, and fantasizing about getting some pussy (which the coke & booze make seriously unlikely, btw). Check the facts: The AWOl Project. This cat Paul Lukasiak has done yeoman's work researching this info. Check it out and keep an open mind.