Friday, September 3, 2004

Today's thought piece:

Tentacles of Rage: The Republican propaganda mill, a brief history by Lewis H. Lapham. I've been trying for some time now to figure out how we got from where we were in the mid-1960s (around the time I was born) to the present. Lapham helps to find some pieces to the puzzle.

And Down the Memory Hole We Go

Bush Audience Boos W's Best Wishes To Clinton; AP Deletes Reference To Booing

Here's the screen shot of the original article:

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Worth passing on

Bush Speech with Inaccuracies Noted and Documented - Pass It Along, a Daily Kos diary by utlaw guy. Helps to put old Junior's "speech" into perspective.

Very quick roundup

Imperial President: Opposing Bush becomes unpatriotic.

A clip:

In a democracy, the commander in chief works for you. You hire him when you elect him. You watch him do the job. If he makes good decisions and serves your interests, you rehire him. If he doesn't, you fire him by voting for his opponent in the next election. Not every country works this way. In some countries, the commander in chief builds a propaganda apparatus that equates him with the military and the nation. If you object that he's making bad decisions and disserving the national interest, you're accused of weakening the nation, undermining its security, sabotaging the commander in chief, and serving a foreign power-the very charges Miller leveled tonight against Bush's critics. Are you prepared to become one of those countries?

The true face of the GOP:

The Bush Mob Orders Up a Hit, by David Corn

Miller's Crossing

A clip:

... the truth is, no political organization should want to keep company with Zell Miller. His conscience--which, he writes, is "on steroids, has a Black Belt and long fingernails, and stomps around inside of me, sometimes in hobnailed boots"--evidently tells him to do a lot of things these days. But where was his conscience when he was a pro-Jim Crow Democrat campaigning against civil rights? What about when he worked for a notorious segregationist governor he called "a father"? In fact, Miller's conscience has never been anything more than a barometer for populist appeals. The Republicans shouldn't be proud of him as their standard bearer. And they shouldn't attribute his embrace of conservatism to anything other than political expediency.


And here's David Chandler's comments on Miller's speech from Earthside:

Earthside has now seen video clips of Zell Miller's speech and read the text. The part that struck us as particularly un-American was this:"For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag."

This is a strikingly fascist, almost Nazi-like paean to the concept of the military state. Close your eyes and listen to this part of what Miller said and you can easily envision Hitler or Mussolini articulating upon the very same concept. Every ideological totalitarian government writes down wonderful and glorious rights for its people on paper, but in practice those freedoms are always mitigated away in favor of the alleged necessity of the central government to "protect" those very same citizens and their freedoms. It is just plain wrong-headed to maintain that a reporter exercising her freedom of the press is not fulfilling, defending, protecting that right. It is twisted to say that a poet writing and speaking truth to power is not a 'warrior' for freedom. Indeed, Miller by fulminating that it is the soldier "who has given us" these rights and liberties, denies the Declaration of Independence itself that posits these freedoms are inherent in the essential nature of human beings.

Perhaps the radical Republicans, Karl Rove, and George W. Bush thought it was very clever to find a bitter, angry Democrat to launch a blustering tirade against John Kerry. But what they have really done is expose themselves for the 'win at all costs' Machiavellians that they really are. Tonight, we are told, George W. Bush will ascend from beneath the convention floor to a height above the audience on a rising dais to tell us why he should be president for four more years. It sounds like a dramatic spectacle designed to leave the impression of an almost other-worldly leader. But coupled with Miller's remarks last night, it actually makes this convocation of white, economically comfortable, militaristic and nationalistic radical Republicans look like a throw back to Fitz Kuhn's infamous February 1939 German-American Bund rally, also, ironically, held in the Madison Square Garden.

As Slate's William Slateran in the article linked to above implies, it can now be argued that it has become our genuine American duty to fire George W. Bush at the polls on November 2, 2004, simply to demonstrate that we still have that power as citizens of the republic ... Who would have ever believed that it would actually come to that in the United States of America?

What I've seen of the GOP convention coverage was pretty ugly. The above summarized my own observations quite aptly based on the portions I saw on tv. Quite honestly, I really didn't want my children watching that dreck, so we kept our own viewing to a minimum. A prolonged hate orgy or Spongebob? The choice turned out to be rather easy to make.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

RNC Delegates mock wounded soldiers

Upon hearing of multiple news reports that GOP delegates are belittling the injuries soldiers sustained during service by wearing Band-Aids with purple hearts, DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe issued the following statement:

"It is inexcusable for a Republican delegate to mock anyone who has ever put on a soldier's uniform. It is inexcusable to mock service and sacrifice. Our service men and women put their lives on the line every day. If they are wounded in the line of duty it is because they are fighting on the frontlines for freedom. Anything but complete respect for their service is unacceptable.

"Mindful of the fact that over 3,700 purple hearts have been issued during the Iraq war so far and none of us know how high that number will climb, I call on John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, before they speak, to tell their delegates to disavow these tactics. I call on these two men to use the power of their positions to tell their delegates that service matters, sacrifice matters, and that no Republican delegate should ever mock the service of our soldiers."

Reported on MSNBC earlier today:

MSNBC Correspondent Chip Reed: What is that on your chin?

Pat Peel-Delegate from Texas: I have a purple heart, I hurt myself this morning… uhh… swimming a river I think it was.

Real class.

Then and Now


"We have a clear vision on how to win the war on terror and bring peace to the world."

George W. Bush

Springfield, MO - July 30, 2004


"Can we win?" the war on terror, Bush said, "I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the - those who use terror as a tool are - less acceptable in parts of the world."

George W. Bush, Today Show - August 30, 2004

Huh. And Junior took only one month for that flipflop. Maybe he needs a vacation. Wait...wasn't he just on vacation recently?

Sunday, August 29, 2004

The first version of the Arthur Doyle discography is ready

You can check it out here. Many thanks to Alan Cummings for an email that proved very helpful - his discography really helped flesh out the the Arthur Doyle cannon, and pointed me in some fruitful directions for seeking out additional documentation of recording sessions. Ultimately any omissions or errors are probably my fault, so feel free to email any updates or corrections. I'm definitely a fan of Doyle's work, considering his best work to carry on the spirit of the late great Albert Ayler, and his worst to be good sloppy lo-fi fun. Doyle's work is particularly hard to track down as much of it is released on small indie labels who maybe press a hundred or so copies of vinyl LPs (you read that right - in the 21st Century this cat's releases are mainly on vinyl), and once they're gone, they're gone.

To read a bit more of what I have written about Doyle, go here and here. Since that writing I've added a few things to the cd and cdr collection.