Saturday, August 27, 2005

Sayeth Eugenicists: Men are Smarter than Women

That was the word from a recent BBC article:
A study to be published later this year in the British Journal of Psychology says that men are on average five points ahead on IQ tests.

Paul Irwing and Professor Richard Lynn claim the difference grows when the highest IQ levels are considered.

Their research was based on IQ tests given to 80,000 people and a further study of 20,000 students.

So who are these researchers, and what is their background? That turns out to be a question with an interesting answer, thanks to Media Girl who cites a summary from the organization, FAIR:
One of the researchers, Richard Lynn, was a source cited for the racist book "The Bell Curve".

[...]

Murray and Herrnstein describe Lynn as "a leading scholar of racial and ethnic differences." Here's a sample of Lynn's thinking on such differences: "What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the population of incompetent cultures. But we do need to think realistically in terms of the 'phasing out' of such peoples.... Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent. To think otherwise is mere sentimentality." (cited in Newsday, 11/9/94)

Elsewhere Lynn makes clear which "incompetent cultures" need "phasing out": "Who can doubt that the Caucasoids and the Mongoloids are the only two races that have made any significant contributions to civilization?" (cited in New Republic, 10/31/94)


FAIR goes on in its description of where Lynn gets his funding - from an organization called the Pioneer Fund. Here's their take on the Pioneer Fund:

Nearly all the research that Murray and Herrnstein relied on for their central claims about race and IQ was funded by the Pioneer Fund, described by the London Sunday Telegraph (3/12/89) as a "neo-Nazi organization closely integrated with the far right in American politics." The fund's mission is to promote eugenics, a philosophy that maintains that "genetically unfit" individuals or races are a threat to society.

The Pioneer Fund was set up in 1937 by Wickliffe Draper, a millionaire who advocated sending blacks back to Africa. The foundation's charter set forth the group's missions as "racial betterment" and aid for people "deemed to be descended primarily from white persons who settled in the original 13 states prior to the adoption of the Constitution of the United States." (In 1985, after Pioneer Fund grant recipients began receiving political heat, the charter was slightly amended to play down the race angle--GQ, 11/94.)

The fund's first president, Harry Laughlin, was an influential advocate of sterilization for those he considered genetically unfit. In successfully advocating laws that would restrict immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, Laughlin testified before Congress that 83 percent of Jewish immigrants were innately feeble-minded (Rolling Stone, 10/20/94). Another founder, Frederick Osborn, described Nazi Germany's sterilization law as "a most exciting experiment" (Discovery Journal, 7/9/94).

The fund's current president, Harry Weyher, denounces the Supreme Court decision that desegregated schools, saying, "All Brown did was wreck the school system" (GQ, 11/94). The fund's treasurer, John Trevor, formerly served as treasurer for the crypto-fascist Coalition of Patriotic Societies, when it called in 1962 for the release of Nazi war criminals and praised South Africa's "well-reasoned racial policies" (Rolling Stone, 10/20/94).

One of the Pioneer Fund's largest current grantees is Roger Pearson, an activist and publisher who has been associated with international fascist currents. Pearson has written: "If a nation with a more advanced, more specialized or in any way superior set of genes mingles with, instead of exterminating, an inferior tribe, then it commits racial suicide" (Russ Bellant, Old Nazis, the New Right and the Republican Party).


[...]

These are the people that financed nearly all The Bell Curve's "data" on the connection between race and intelligence. (Murray and Herrnstein themselves have not been funded, although Weyher says of Herrnstein, "We'd have funded him at the drop of a hat, but he never asked"--GQ, 11/94.)

Take the infamous Chapter 13, which Murray has often claimed is the only chapter that deals with race (far from it--there are at least four chapters focused entirely on race, and the whole book is organized around the concept).

Murray and Herrnstein's claims about the higher IQs of Asians--widely cited in the media as fact--are almost entirely cited to Richard Lynn, a professor of psychology at the University of Ulster.

In the book's acknowledgements, Murray and Herrnstein declare they "benefitted especially from the advice" of Lynn and five other people.

Lynn has received at least $325,000 from the Pioneer Fund (Rolling Stone, 10/20/94). He frequently publishes in eugenicist journals like Mankind Quarterly--published by Roger Pearson and co-edited by Lynn himself--and Personality and Individual Differences, edited by Pioneer grantee Hans Eysenck. Among Lynn's writings cited in The Bell Curve are "The Intelligence of the Mongoloids" and "Positive Correlations Between Head Size and IQ."


The description of some of the other researchers who receive grants from the Pioneer fund is eye-opening, to say the least. So do these folks remind you of anyone? Steve Gilliard notes that the last prominent group of people to advocate eugenics were the Nazis, whose efforts at eugenics-based genocide were justly rewarded following WWII at Nuremburg. However, the Nazis certainly weren't the first to advocate or apply eugenics. We can trace the eugenics movement's history to Anglo-American biology and psychology.

The term "eugenics" was first used by Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin. Eugenics was defined as "the study of the agencies under social control that may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations either physically or mentally" (cited in Guthrie's Even the Rat Was White, 2004). The intellectual roots of Galton's eugenics goes back arguably to Plato's Republic. Galton eventually went on to establish the Eugenics Society of Great Britain in the early 1900s and shortly thereafter began publishing a journal called the Eugenics Review. Around the same time the American Eugenics Society was founded. A number of these eugenics advocates gravitated toward the early IQ tests - which were used and abused to support their thesis that those of Western European stock were superior to those of other races. By arguing that individuals of African descent (as well as those of American Indian and Mexican-American descent) were intellectually inferior, they could advocate various restrictive laws regarding marriage between races, as well as the legalization of involuntary sterilization of those deemed "unfit."

The eugenics movement was largely discredited over time, namely due to the shoddiness of much of the research purported to support its thesis, as well as legitimate questions regarding the definition and measurement of intelligence. On the former, it became quite apparent that individuals who didn't share the same educational and socioeconomic advantages and experiences of a predominantly white upper class and upper middle class would be at a disadvantage from the get-go. Also, it turns out, as Guthrie (2004) points out, that cultural factors could influence test results - for example kids from the Dakota tribe considered it impolite to answer questions in front of others who might not know the answer. The question of what actually composes intelligence is also rather thorny - Howard Gardner has perhaps come as close as anyone to developing a comprehensive theory of multiple intelligences; and his theory goes to underscore the limitations of standard IQ tests (which typically measure spacial and verbal ability and little else).

In any case, eugenicists continue to rear their ugly heads from time to time, and find plenty of willing recipients for their message among America's and England's right-wingers. A good primer of eugenics can be found here.

In any event, I find myself highly skeptical about the results reported by Irwing and Lynn on both empirical and theoretical grounds. Theoretically, I am convinced that intelligence is considerably more complex than what is presumably measured on IQ tests. Empirically, I see a number of plausible alternative explanations to the findings presented by the authors - among them variations in academic and social experiences between boys and girls that could influence performance on spacial and verbal tasks.

Fire Music v. 2.01

The playlist from the August 26, 2005 show:

  1. "Necrophilia", Opus Krampus, Griot Galaxy (1986, Sound Aspects)
  2. "Pathways to Unknown Worlds", Pathways to Unknown Worlds/Friendly Love, Sun Ra (2000, Evidence - recorded 1973)
  3. "Hambone", Fire Music, Archie Shepp (1965, Impulse!)
  4. "Shebar", More, Giuseppi Logan (1965, ESP-Disk)
  5. "Alto 2", Solo 1972, 1.21, Kaoru Abe (1994, PSF - recorded 1972)
  6. "With (Exit)", Conquistador, Cecil Taylor (1966, Blue Note)
  7. "Saturn", Interstellar Space, John Coltrane (1974, Impulse! - recorded 1967)
  8. "Neo-Con Luv", Yet We Remain, Iron Sheik (2004, ironsheik.biz)

This was the first set of the new academic year for me, and let's just say that it felt good to get back behind the mic and drop some tunes. Started out with a 25 minute jam from Griot Galaxy - one of many great combos that was overlooked during its existence. As a tribute to the late Bob Moog, I played a Sun Ra tune in which Sun Ra played on a mini-moog. Pathways to Unknown Worlds was the title track to an album that Impulse! released in the mid-1970s right before its demise. I'd been meaning to play something from Archie Shepp's Fire Music for some time (his album's title inspired the name for my show). Giuseppi Logan's Shebar is another one I'd wanted to play on the air, largely because it features some soloing by drummer/percussionist Milford Graves. Kaoru Abe is a cat I've mentioned before - he has this Albert Ayler-inspired style that truly must be heard to be believed. The track I played was from a solo album - just Abe on the sax. If Ayler made the sax scream, Abe makes the sax vomit and choke on it. The music is intense! I mellowed it out ever-so-slightly by putting on some mid-1960s Cecil Taylor - a man known for his fierce piano playing, and equally fierce combos. Then we turned up the heat with a John Coltrane-Rashied Ali duet from the Interstellar Space album, recorded near the end of Trane's life. Finally, I dropped a rap tune by Iron Sheik - a Bay Area cat who's been active in the underground hip-hop scene. Neo-Con Luv was the first tune of his that I had ever heard, but I have to plug the whole album. Well worth checking out. We'll be putting a few more logs on the fire next week.

Fire music - for the body, mind, and soul.

Peace.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Where will you be when your laxative kicks in?

Good news in Iraq

Guess who's running the show in Haditha:
A three-day visit by a reporter working for the Guardian last week established what neither the Iraqi government nor the US military has admitted: Haditha, a farming town of 90,000 people by the Euphrates river, is an insurgent citadel.

That Islamist guerrillas were active in the area was no secret but only now has the extent of their control been revealed. They are the sole authority, running the town’s security, administration and communications.

A three-hour drive north from Baghdad, under the nose of an American base, it is a miniature Taliban-like state. Insurgents decide who lives and dies, which salaries get paid, what people wear, what they watch and listen to.

[...]

Last year the US trumpeted its rehabilitation of a nearby power plant: “The incredible progress at Haditha is just one example of the huge strides made by the US army corps of engineers.”

Now insurgents earn praise from residents for allegedly pressuring managers to supply electricity almost 24 hours a day, a luxury denied the rest of Iraq.

The court caters solely for divorces and marriages. Alleged criminals are punished in the market. The Guardian witnessed a headmaster accused of adultery whipped 190 times with cables. Children laughed as he sobbed and his robe turned crimson.

Two men who robbed a foreign exchange shop were splayed on the ground. Masked men stood on their hands while others broke their arms with rocks. The shopkeeper offered the insurgents a reward but they declined.

DVDs of beheadings on the bridge are distributed free in the souk. Children prefer them to cartoons. “They should not watch such things,” said one grandfather, but parents appeared not to object.

One DVD features a young, blond muscular man who had been disembowelled. He was said to have been a member of a six-strong US sniper team ambushed and killed on August 1. Residents said he had been paraded in town before being executed.

The US military denied that, saying six bodies were recovered and that all appeared to have died in combat. Shortly after the ambush three landmines killed 14 marines in a convoy which ventured from their base outside the town.

Twice in recent months marines backed by aircraft and armour swept into Haditha to flush out the rebels. In a pattern repeated across Anbar there were skirmishes, a few suspects killed or detained, and success was declared.

In reality, said residents, the insurgents withdrew for a few days and returned when the Americans left. They have learned from last November’s battle in Falluja, when hundreds died fighting the marines and still lost the city.

Now their strategy appears to be to wait out the Americans, calculating they will leave within a few years, and then escalate what some consider the real war against a government led by Shias, a rival sect which Sunni extremists consider apostasy.

Hey, at least the Iraq consitition promises to give women's rights the purple finger! And of course that insurgency is in its last throes. Oops...I guess not.

American Legion: Another Hypocritical GOP Tool

Thanks to Billmon for this little gem:
Dear Mr. President:

The American Legion, a wartime veterans organization of nearly three-million members, urges the immediate withdrawal of American troops participating in "Operation Allied Force.''

The National Executive Committee of The American Legion, meeting in Indianapolis today, adopted Resolution 44, titled "The American Legion's Statement on Yugoslavia.'' This resolution was debated and adopted unanimously.

Mr. President, the United States Armed Forces should never be committed to wartime operations unless the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • That there be a clear statement by the President of why it is in our vital national interests to be engaged in hostilities;
  • Guidelines be established for the mission, including a clear exit strategy;
  • That there be support of the mission by the U.S. Congress and the American people; and
  • That it be made clear that U.S. Forces will be commanded only by U.S. officers whom we acknowledge are superior military leaders.

It is the opinion of The American Legion, which I am sure is shared by the majority of Americans, that three of the above listed conditions have not been met in the current joint operation with NATO ("Operation Allied Force'').

In no case should America commit its Armed Forces in the absence of clearly defined objectives agreed upon by the U.S. Congress in accordance with Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution of the United States.

Sincerely,
Harold L. "Butch'' Miller,
National Commander

American Legion
Letter to President Clinton
May 5, 1999


And yeah, these are the same folks who just issued this statement:
"The American Legion will stand against anyone and any group that would demoralize our troops, or worse, endanger their lives by encouraging terrorists to continue their cowardly attacks against freedom-loving peoples," Thomas Cadmus, national commander, told delegates at the group's national convention in Honolulu" . . . "We had hoped that the lessons learned from the Vietnam War would be clear to our fellow citizens. Public protests against the war here at home while our young men and women are in harm's way on the other side of the globe only provide aid and comfort to our enemies."

Editor & Publisher
American Legion Declares War on Protestors
August 24, 2005


So, let's get this straight: criticizing Bu$hCo's war in Iraq is "providing aid and comfort to our enemies," but criticizing Clinton's war in the Balkans isn't. These idiots who can't seem to keep a consistent position due to their apparent political blindspots really should just have a nice cup of shut the f*** up - if for no other reason than to save themselves further embarassment. Let's just hope that there are enough rank and file members in the American Legion who have the decency to distance themselves from their leadership's obvious lack of character.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

More musings on Pat Robertson's fatwa

For those of you keeping score at home, here's the 411. First Pat Robertson, issues a fatwa, targeting Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Then Robertson gives a non-apology "apology" for the fatwa. He calls it a "clarification" which is one of those weasel words folks use when they've been caught with a foot firmly entrenched in their mouths but wish to remain in denial. Apparently, he was "misinterpreted" which in this case means that although he clearly said that the US should assassinate Chavez, that's not really what he said. Naturally, Chavez was offended, and offended oil suppliers have this tendency to strike back - in the wake of Robertson's fatwa, Chavez for instance has offered to supply cheap gasoline to America's poor, a move that while probably more symbolic than practical is the sort of thing that would certainly make some of Bu$hCo's energy exec cronies a little nervous. That's the story so far.

So, where is the outrage among the right-wingers? The White House is silent. For that matter, with the exception of a couple Southern Baptist leaders, the silence has been deafening. I suppose that's what we can expect from the so-called "culture of life" crowd, eh?

"Containing the Anti-War Movement" or Why I Distrust the Democrat Party

Stan Goff had a very spirited column in Counterpunch that expresses some of the frustration I share with regard to the Democratic party and much of what passes for its leadership. Apparently, it has dawned on the party hacks, such as Tom Hayden, that there is a rekindled anti-war movement - and rightly so, given the circumstances in Iraq that were created by the White House with little more than a whimper from the Dems. Sheehan's Camp Casey has ignited something at the grass-roots level that got lost sometime in 2003, hence the need of the party elites to douse those flames before they spread uncontrollably. Some excerpts:

For the Democrats, of course, of whom exactly one elected offical (Maxine Waters) has deigned to visit "Camp Casey," this presented quite another problem -- the same problem that the whole movement against the war presented prior to the last electoral farce in 2004. The masses were moving to their left and threatening to expose this moribund Weimar formation as the waste of both money and oxygen that it has repeatedly demonstrated itself to be. But Joshua Frank did an excellent job recently on this site of describing the Democratic Party.

I want to talk about something more specific, and that is one of the tactics being employed by the partisans of this rotting political edifice to try and contain the newfound energy that exploded onto the scene at Crawford and threatens to fill the DC Mall with malcontents on September 24th.

And that is the "exit strategy" proposal drafted by Tom Hayden and being vigorously pimped by by policy-encrusted liberals all through cyberspace, the print media, and soon enough on television. This is the oral fomulaic appeal to "reasonableness and realism" of weak-kneed liberals every time a mass movement threatens to gain any momentum -- we have to present a "reasonable" alternative (always a POLICY alternative, of course), and we have to face the fact that we can't "move" "our" agenda without accepting a "realistic" (read: watered down) approach. You kiddies have acted up enough now; go on and play; leave the rest of this to Daddy and Mommy in Congress.

[...]

The Democrats are already grooming a few 2008 candidates, including the execrable Hillary Rodham Clinton who has stated her desire to beef up the war against Southwest Asia. Let's not forget that her husband presided over an Iraqi holocaust that George W. Bush is still trying to match. The Republicans are secure for now with their white nationalist popular base. An active and increasingly militant left is a more immediate threat to the Democrats ­ who have prospered from Repubilican reaction for decades now by capturing social bases that feel they have nowhere else to go. That dilemma is real, but it is also predicated on the notion that to "go there" we need to contain ourselves in electoralism and pluralist policy fights that are engineered by corporations and NGOs.

That's why Sheehan and others who propose the radical option of simply leaving Iraq are now being surrounded by the friendly faces of "progressives" who will try and redirect this newfound mobilization along the acceptable policy-debate paths.

[...]

Let me just say something about how to withdraw. This is my plan. Hey, if Tom Hayden is qualified to write up exit strategies, why not an old grunt like me, eh?

The Plan: The National Command Authority orders all US forces redeployed out of Iraq within one month and out of the theater in two months. Any commander that fails to meet the deadline will be summarily relieved, and replaced with a commander that will thereby be placed on a shorter timeline. I can promise anyone who has no experience of the military that this is perfectly feasible, and that with that kind of command emphasis, the mission can and will be accomplished.

Here, of course, is where we discern the liberal pre-occupation (pun intended) with "overseeing" disengagement and other such poppycock. Oh Gasp! they will delcare. What then will become of these simple-minded brown people who want nothing more than to drink each other's blood? At the end of the day, a liberal can be every bit as much the white nationalist as any rock-ribbed Republican Confederate. They really believe that the United States is the beacon of civilization because we have sitcoms and theme parks, and that the brutality of the US military occupation is an aberration -- the antithesis of our true nature. Under all this verbiage is plain, Anglo-American Kiplingesque white supremacy. Remember the "white man's burden to civilize the dark races?"

Tom, here is a delivery from the cluetrain. Iraqis were doing algebra and astronomy when some of our European anscestors still believed that a bath would leave you vulnerable to evil spirits -- number one clue. Having smart bombs doesn't make you smarter. It just makes you meaner. Get over your chauvinist self. Number two clue -- the primary catalyst for the intensifying violence in Iraq right now is...the US military presence. Tom, you say this yourself later on in your proposal, which only makes this protracted and abstracted "disengagement" thing all the more remarkable.

[...]

So let me get this straight. The US authorities should be replaced... by a different US authority, renamed, of course, an "envoy." And the the envoy would be the countryman of... the occupying military. This bait-and-switch is... a "political settlement." Wow, I'm really getting the hang of this now. I'm beginning to feel like I might be able to CLEP out of Weasel Wording 101.

Tom reminds us that "[n]either the Bush administration nor the news media have shown interest in these voices [of the antiwar movement], perhaps because they undercut the argument that we are fighting to save Iraqis from each other."

Huh? You yourself are proposing a plan with this assumption at its very core.

But even more astonishing is the attempt to lay the blame for this war at the doorstep of Republicans (and of course the news media). There is an entire party allegedly in opposition to the Republicans -- your party, Tom -- that hasn't shown any interest in the voices raised against the war, until of course two things happened: (1)The polls shifted against the war, and (2)large numbers of non-Republican people became disenchanted with the utter and gutless capitualationism of the Democratic Party and started listening to actual leftists.

Some of us were saying all the way back when that Arkansas horseshit-huckster was in the Oval Office that Iraqis were being killed off by the hundreds of thousands in a war (and its sanctions) that started -- by the way -- in 1990 and has not ceased for one moment since. That war went on all the way through both terms of that sexually exploitative (It DOES matter!) prevaricator, who bombed Yugoslavian bridges and aspirin factories with the same enthusiasm that Bush the Younger has displayed in bombing Afghani weddings and Iraqi hospitals. Where were the Democrats listening to "these voices" then?

Here's another voice the DP can listen to. "You're over." More and more of us are learning that we can never let you take us for granted again. And we can fight Republicans on our own terms... by any means necessary.

Pretty angry stuff that hits on something critical. Where were the Democrats in 2002 when Bu$hCo had the jones real bad for an Iraq invasion? With very few exceptions, nowhere to be found. For that matter, where were the Democrats when Bu$hCo was hellbent on ramming that piece of crap neofascist legislation called the "Patriot Act" through Congress? Or try this one out: where were the Democrats when something fishy was happening with the vote count in Florida in 2000? Or how about the equally fishy vote count in Ohio last year? How about that bankruptcy bill that a bunch of Dems gladly went along with the Rethugs in passing? Get the picture?

If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. And that, as I see it is the real problem with the Dems. The "base" that the party takes for granted has no clue as to what the Dem party actually stands for. Folks periodically ask me what the Dems believe, and I have to say in all honesty that God only knows, and I'm sure even He is a bit puzzled. What we do know is that the Dem party leadership falls hook, line, and sinker for whatever b.s. the White House demands for fear of being labeled "obstructionist," "unpatriotic," and possibly "losing next year's election." That isn't exactly an inspiring approach to representative governing.

Cindy Sheehan has done something that the Dems have largely failed to do with regard to Iraq: she asked the question "why are we there?" If the Dems want to capitalize on the increasing dissatisfaction with the war, they would be well advised to ride the wave of dissent rather than try to contain it. Adding more troops (impractical) and looking for ways to exit with "dignity" (a term that in this context smells of American machismo) aren't going to cut it. Besides, to take an a line or two from an old David Bowie tune, "dignity is valuable, but our lives are valuable too." Tell it straight up: it was the wrong war, at the wrong time, fought for the wrong reasons; and it's high time to get the hell out and stop making even more of a mess of things in the region. There are no good reasons for Americans or Iraqis to keep dying. The party might generate some cross words from the Rush Limbaughs and Ann Coulters of the world as a result, but that would have happened any way. In the process, the Dems might even gain a bit of the respect and trust that they've lost over the last couple decades. Otherwise, folks like me (just one of the "base") will keep on eying the third party scene for a better deal.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Are we there yet?

That's the question Stew Albert asks regarding fascism in America. Certainly there are plenty of areas of concern - including on-going issues about the integrity of the last couple Presidential elections, dwindling civil rights and civil liberties (including police brutality), racism, the lack of a meaningful opposition to the current regime, etc. Michael Hawkins of Spontaneous Arising thinks that the current bunch of would-be fascists have already shot their wad, and that they are about to self-destruct (they desperately need another "terrorist attack" in order to district the public from the plethora of scandals that currently threaten the White House and Congressional leadership). If nothing else, I suspect along with Hawkins that the SOBs occupying the White House won't go down alone - they'll make sure there are plenty of corpses left in their wake.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

RIP Bob Moog

Growing up in the 1970s, Moog was a household name in the world of popular music, with his synthesizers used by recording artists of numerous genres and sub-genres. I have always had a fondness for the sounds from those synths. Well, the man responsible for the Moog synths has passed away.
Bob died this afternoon at his home in Asheville, N.C. He was 71. Bob was diagnosed with brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme or gbm) in late April 2005. He had received both radiation treatment and chemotherapy to help combat the disease. He is survived by his wife, Ileana, his five children, Laura Moog Lanier, Matthew Moog, Michelle Moog-Koussa, Renee Moog, and Miranda Richmond; and the mother of his children, Shirleigh Moog.

[...]

At the height of his synthesizer's popularity, when progressive rock bands like Yes, Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer built their sounds around the assertive, bouncy, exotically wheezy and occasionally explosive timbres of Mr. Moog's instruments, his name (which rhymes with vogue) became so closely associated with electronic sound that it was often used generically, if incorrectly, to describe synthesizers of all kinds.

Mr. Moog's earliest instruments were collections of modules better suited to studio work than live performance, and as rock bands adopted them, Mr. Moog expanded his line to include the minimoog and the micromoog, instruments that could be used more easily on stage. He also expanded on his original monophonic models, which could play only a single musical line at a time, to polyphonic instruments that allowed for harmony and counterpoint.

Thanks to Skippy for the lowdown. To learn more about the man and his work, go to Moog Music or the entry on Moog at Wikipedia. Want some Moog music to listen to? How about, Charm (Over "Burundi Cloud") by Jon Hassell & Brian Eno (from the album Fourth World: Possible Musics Vol. 1), and the Sun Ra albums Pathways to Unknown Worlds and Friendly Love.

Peace.

Jesus' General Has Fun

at Reuel Marc Gerecht's expense:
Dear Mr. Gerecht,

Your defense on Meet the Press of the limited democracy Iraq is entering into was outstanding. Like you, I believe that the kind of freedom Americans possessed in 1900 is enough freedom for anyone. Indeed, it is a freedom preferable to that held by any citizen before and after that time. God willing, we'll return to those days once good men like John Roberts take seats on the Supreme Court and undo the damage done by FDR and his philosophical descendents.

In 1900, women may not have had the absolute right to own property, the ability to work in a profession of their choice, sovereignty over their bodies, or the right to vote, but by God, their husbands did. That was good enough for us. I think it's more than good enough for the Iraqis.

106 black men were lynched in the U.S. in 1900, and Jim Crow ruled with an iron fist in the North as well as the South. In Iraq, I expect the same kind of freedom will be given to the Turkmen and Chaldeans. Some might think that's a problem. I prefer to think of it as our gift to them. I hope they're thankful for it.

Nothing like a little satire to drive the point home.

Picture this:

Old Bush the Lesser got hit hard in one of the "reddest" of the so-called "red" states - Utah! The Salt Lake City Tribune had some unflattering headlines.

The poll numbers that came out on the same day were equally unflattering.

Bu$hCo is especially polling dismally among independents.

Does the word "quagmire" ring a bell? It does for quite a few folks as it turns out.

Check this out. There were some 2000 protesters today in Salt Lake City.

The protest was led by the city's mayor, Rocky Anderson.

By the way, a fair number of those protesting were veterans and people from military families.

Images nicked from here.

Priceless

Shorter WaPo: Expect continued insurgency by disenfranchised Sunnis; no rights for women, Christians, or other religious minorities; and a close alliance between the Islamic Republics of Iran and Iraq. Wasn't that worth ~2000 American lives, untold Iraqis, and a projected cost of a trillion dollars, not counting our lost credibility. Thank you W!

Link

Pat Robertson publicly advocates rejection of The Ten Commandments.

Or at least the Sixth Commandment ("Thou Shalt not kill." - Exodus 20:13):
ROBERTSON: There was a popular coup that overthrew him [Chavez]. And what did the United States State Department do about it? Virtually nothing. And as a result, within about 48 hours that coup was broken; Chavez was back in power, but we had a chance to move in. He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he's going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent.

You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United ... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.
Media Matters

Relying on that goon for moral guidance is a lot like relying on the local crack dealer to treat an addiction problem. Thanks, but no thanks.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Fear of a Bu$hCo planet? Yeah, right!

Shadowthief reminds us that the days when Bu$hCo seemed daunting are long gone. Cindy Sheehan may deserve a bit of credit for that, although the handwriting has been on the wall for some time. Let's see, the Iraq war has been a fiasco, both morally and practically. The rationale for the war was based on little more than a pack of lies. No WMD. No al Qaida. No easy transition to "democracy." No cheap oil. What we have seen is a continuing flow of casualties - our men and women in uniform have been coming back in bodybags or dealing with lingering physical and psychological wounds. That's not even to mention the countless thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties. As of this writing, if (and it may be a big if) an Iraq constitution is actually settled on, it will likely be along the lines of a Shia Islamic theocracy. Given the sheer hatred that most on the right-wing side of the political spectrum express toward Muslims, I'm sure that outcome will go over like a lead balloon. We've reached a point where even some Republicans (such as Chuck Hagel) are comparing the situation in Iraq with that of Vietnam, and finally we see the beginnings (tepid though they may be) of Democrats calling for a withdrawal of troops. What happens next remains to be seen. I do know this much: a war that shouldn't have been waged in the first place needs to end asap!

Takin' a trip down memory lane

Via Mimus Pauly at Skippy:
Donald Rumsfeld on February 7, 2003:
"...[i]t is not knowable if force will be used, but if it is to be used, it is not knowable how long that conflict would last. It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months..."

And Yahoo News on August 20, 2005:
The army is planning for the possibility of keeping the current number of soldiers in iraq -- well over 100,000 -- for four more years, the army's top general said saturday...

Funny how the time frame for the invasion and occupation keeps changing.