Saturday, June 17, 2006

Science education

The Old White Lady his helping out a donation drive: gives us a way to help teachers get the job done. A bunch of us at ScienceBlogs have set up Bloggers Challenges which will let us (and that includes you) contribute to worthy school projects in need of financial assistance...

More details there. Give 'em a hand if you can.

Manzanar Redux?

Following up on my Manzanar post, here's kinda what I was getting at, in today's LATimes:

'WHAT WILL they do to us if there is another attack? Will they intern us like they interned the Japanese?"

That is the single most common question I get when speaking about counter-terrorism policies and civil liberties to Arab and Muslim audiences. Until Wednesday, I assured them that such a response was unthinkable. The Japanese internment during World War II is now so widely recognized as morally, legally and ethically wrong, I told them, that it could not possibly be repeated.

But after a decision by a federal judge in New York, I'm no longer confident that I can be so reassuring. Dismissing a case challenging the detention of Arab and Muslim foreign nationals in the weeks after 9/11, U.S. District Judge John Gleeson ruled that it is constitutionally permissible to round up foreign nationals on immigration charges based solely on their race, religion or country of origin. What's more, he said that they can be detained indefinitely, even after they have agreed to be removed to their home countries.

In essence, he authorized a repeat of the Japanese internment - as long as the internment is limited to foreign nationals charged with visa violations (a group that at last count numbered about 11 million people).

WHEN THE Supreme Court in Korematsu vs. United States upheld the legality of the Japanese internment, Justice Robert Jackson warned in his dissent that the precedent would "lie about like a loaded weapon ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need."

Until Wednesday, I thought history had proved Jackson wrong. Virtually every living Supreme Court justice has condemned Korematsu as wrongly decided - Justice Antonin Scalia has compared it to the Dred Scott decision of 1857, in which the court refused to recognize that slaves were "persons." Congress has formally apologized to the survivors of the internment and paid reparations for their injuries.

Yet the Turkmen decision has taken the loaded weapon out of the closet, dusted it off and handed it to federal authorities, giving them explicit permission to let prejudice and fear run roughshod over the most basic of human rights - the rights to equal treatment and liberty.

11 million Muslims? 12 million illegal Latino immigrants? I wonder how many Liberals?

This administration knows damn well that if they sow enough unfounded fear they can get away with anything. Beware.

Conn. Job

Here's an interesting look at what's going on in the Lieberman v. Lamont race. From MyDD:

This Lieberman-Lamont race is becoming exceptionally important, because it's the most high-profile of a series of clashes between two different ways of doing politics. The bear ad, and the ad man named Carter Eskew who is the consultant behind it, unwittingly reveals a lot about what's going on in both DC and in Connecticut.

Which brings me to Carter Eskew's bear ad (at the link - G). The ad is a judgment failure on Eskew's part. The ad works on one level - it would convince Joe Lieberman to vote for Joe Lieberman, for instance. But for normal non-machine people who don't see Lowell Weicker's 1988 loss through the same earth-shattering lens, it doesn't make any sense.

For Lieberman, however, and Carter Eskew, Weicker is the opponent. Lieberman is a machine politician, and Carter Eskew is a DC machine lobbyist. Their memory is long, sharp, and out of sync. Lieberman's last real Senate race was in 1988, but that's how he won it, so that's how he'll win this one. Now, I'm not from Connecticut, so I can't pretend to know a great deal about lingering feelings about Lowell Weicker and whether the ad stings in some non-obvious Connecticut-specific way. My guess is that it doesn't, because people don't really care that much about someone who hasn't been in office for many years. Political machines, though, have long memories, and are always fighting the last war.

These K-Street Democrats have a lot of power, and they are angry at the Lamont challenge because it's a direct threat to their revenue stream. And in Carter Eskew, you can see how tied together these machine people and lobbyists really are. I know it's hip to say that Lamont is not a single-issue candidate, but it's true in a deeply fundamental way. The Lamont challenge is a direct attack on how DC does business.

Also, I think the Democratic Party doesn't want to give up Holy Joe's 'time in grade', so to speak. On one level this deal is about putting a village elder on an ice floe before he and his henchmen, who depend on him for whale meat and young girls, think it's time to go.

In MyDD's post, there's mention of former California congressman, and a corrupt Dem if there ever was one, Tony Coelho (a good California Portagee name, by the way). Playing the Kevin Bacon game, I can link to him in one move: we both attended Loyola University of Los Angeles at the same time and I met him several times. He was a BMOC senior and I was a freshman with a hazing target orientation beanie, but there you go.

It's a good post and you should go read if you're interested in the CT Senate race, and I know you are.

I don't always agree with him...

But I usually take time on Saturday mornings to read TBT, mostly because Sizemore's posts are so long and I don't have the time during the week. I feel privileged to have him as a regular commenter here and he generally comes at things from an angle I'd never thought of. He also helps keep me on the straight and narrow. As I'm scrolling down his page this morning, I see he takes a swing at some of the big bloggers on our side who seem to be more about the power and money and not about the values that drew us here to begin with.


Why does the richest Republicans and Democrats get to retain their tax cuts while Katrina victims remain homeless? Why does John Aravosis become entitled to shop for orchids while elderly people like my mother (or someone else's mother, father, or grandparent) isn't entitled to shop around for cheap medicine? Why do A-List liberal bloggers continue to use their power to repeat the same loop-de-loop over and over (e.g. Embarrass The Media, Own Republicans, Smack Democrats, Shill Shirts/Books, Cash The Check At End Of Month, Repeat From Top) when the entire edifice of the Republicans' corruption and the Democrats' complacency would crumble within a week -- a month, tops -- if the A-List liberal bloggers decided to instead post, "I can't do this in good conscience anymore so I'm going to surprise everyone by saying NO to power, shutting the blog down for a while, and take my activism to the MSM and the politicians' own front fuckin' porch and I hope you do the same"?!?


He so appeals to that little Socialist in me.


Tony Hendra has the most plausible theory behind the coming (we all know it's coming whether we want to admit it or not) 'October surprise', be it '06 or '08:


The 11th is a crisp fall morning with the sun glinting off the East River from a spotless hard-blue sky and a brisk nor'wester whistling through the concrete canyons, raising everyone's spirits and somehow conveying a sense of promise.

Rather like another crisp fall morning a few years back.

The UN Headquarters, one of New York's best-known national icons, is packed. Ditto the General Assembly, in session to debate a set of ultra-draconian sanctions on Iran, the only way it has left to hold back the dogs of war aka John Bolton.

Bolton and the American delegation however are in DC in 'urgent consultation' with the White House.

At 9.01.24 am, the UN Building, which has received no anti-terror funding whatsoever from city, state or DHS, explodes from four massive bombs set at its base corners - in much the same way conspiracy buffs maintain that the Twin Towers were actually brought low. Severed from its foundations the glass and concrete structure abruptly collapses. Before the 39th floor has hit the ground, the General Assembly next door, explodes also.


Think about it...


Or, Why Joe must go:


Lamont had publicly promised for weeks to accept any invitation to debate, but the Lieberman campaign issued a press release Friday afternoon asking, "Will Ned agree to a debate and answer questions on issues that matter to real voters?"

Swan said the press release was cheap posturing, since Lamont had accepted Channel 30's invitation on Wednesday.


Reflexive lying is part of the Rethugs' playbook. To see Lieberman's people doing it only reinforces the fact he's too close to the GOP.


From Bob Geiger:


Interestingly enough, it doesn't appear that Gohmert is your usual GOP Chickenhawk, having served as an officer in the U.S. Army. But once again, we see that those who have served in combat tend to be against war and those who haven't are almost always the most Rambo-like. [my em]

Indeed, in my experience as well.

As I sit, waiting for the Saturday Cartoons to be posted...

Why don't you pick a fight...

With them?

WASHINGTON Jun 16, 2006 (AP) - North Korea is accelerating preparations for testing a missile that has the potential to strike the United States, a U.S. government official said Friday. A test of the Taepodong-2 long-range missile may be imminent, the official said.


I mean, we know they have nuclear weapons, right? They make no secret of wanting a weapon that can reach the U.S., right? So, how come we didn't affect 'regime change' in North Korea? It could have been done far more easily than Iraq or, potentially, Iran. I know you have a lot more people in NK willing to rise up against their government, if only given the support and opportunity, than you do in Islamic nations.

But ours is a government of cowards. Far be it for them to pick a fight with a probability we might lose. Far be it they might have to stand nose to nose with China in the U.N. Security Council, using credible 'carrot and stick' diplomacy to keep them out of the conflict. (Do you want the U.S. as your biggest trading partner? Do you want us to support Taiwan in a drive for independence? Stay out of this and shut up.) That is how you use 'American capital', not in some grand adventure with vague, dubious motives.

Instead, our imperialistic gambits have left our friends high and dry. In Europe, with its large Islamic immigrant population, we have stirred up unrest, making once-peaeful streets more dangerous. In Asia, we have left our friends exposed to a nuclear threat from an unstable tyrant with a big friend (China). And worst of all, we have left our own people on the west coast similarly exposed. That is not the modus operandi of a powerful, civilized, and enlightened culture. It is the mark of childish incompetence.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Leave us to revisit...

Ethics. This is how it's done.

WASHINGTON - Add political banishment to the list of problems confronting Rep. William Jefferson, ensnared in a bribery scandal that fellow Democrats hope to turn to their election-year advantage.

"Democrats are determined to hold a high ethical standard," the party's leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, said Thursday night after engineering a 99-58 vote of the rank and file that stripped Jefferson of his seat on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.


See. And now the Rethugs can't say, 'oh the Dems do it too'. See how easy that is? The high road, ladies and germs. It might take longer but it's worth it in the end.

Great thanks to Maru for the link.

Bluegrass Alert!

KVMR-FM is broadcasting and streaming live from the 31st Annual Grass Valley Bluegrass Festival all weekend.

Birds of a feather...

Saw this at Cursor:

Documents purportedly discovered in al-Zarqawi's hideout are seen to gain credibility because they outline "the same exact strategy and goal embraced by the Bush administration itself," [...]

Which led me to:
I Wake Up Screaming: Al Qaeda in the White House

This is a joke, right? Normally, I wouldn't believe anything that comes from the U.S. government or U.S. military, or from the Iraqi National Security Adviser (which is about the same thing). The Bush administration started its endless campaign of misrepresentations, distortions and lies on the afternoon of 9/11, and it's never stopped. At this point, no one has grounds to lend credence to a single word they utter on any subject -- and that is especially true in connection with matters of war and national security.

But in this case, I can believe that this branch of the insurgency in Iraq sought to increase tensions between the U.S. and Iran, simply because it's entirely ludicrous to present this as "proof" of some dastardly, evil plan hatched by our enemies. Why do I say it's ludicrous? The answer is very simple: because this is the same exact strategy and goal embraced by the Bush administration itself.

What we have done in Iraq is what bin Laden could not have hoped for in his wildest dreams: We invaded an oil-rich Muslim nation in the heart of the Middle East, the very type of imperial adventure that bin Laden has long predicted was the United States' long-term goal in the region. We deposed the secular socialist Saddam, whom bin Laden has long despised, ignited Sunni and Shia fundamentalist fervor in Iraq, and have now provoked a "defensive" jihad that has galvanized jihad-minded Muslims around the world. It's hard to imagine a set of policies better designed to sabotage the war on terrorism.

The benefits of Iran-hysteria to the Bush administration are obvious. Of greatest importance is the fact that, to the extent the administration can once again create an atmosphere of danger and even panic, it serves to distract attention from the calamitous consequences of their past and present actions. Interestingly, much of the American public doesn't seem to be buying the Iran propaganda -- at least, not yet. And I would find the public's infinitely more sensible and accurate assessment of the danger a cause for hope, except for the fact that the administration doesn't give a damn what the public thinks in that sense. Moreover, our criminally incompetent media have learned next to nothing from their numerous errors during the propaganda onslaught about Iraq, and they still unthinkingly parrot administration talking points. So when the administration decides to ratchet up the Iran propaganda, the media will transmit and amplify the lies just as they did before.

All in all, it is quite a spectacle: we are supposed to be horrified at the depths of evil revealed by the insurgents' plans "to escalate the tension between America and Iran" -- when that is precisely what our own government is and has been doing with absolute consistency. And at this point, and after the record of the last several years and the constantly repeated lies from the administration on every imaginable subject, I trust no one will be heard to say: "Oh, but they would never do that! How can you even think that the administration would launch an attack on Iran, when that might be the start of a global nuclear conflict that would destroy life on a scale never seen before?"

If you had even the glimmer of such a thought, I have but a single response: You cannot be serious.

And I have only these questions: Why aren't more people screaming? Why isn't everyone screaming?

I wish someone else - a lot of someone elses - would start screaming. I don't know about you, but I'm about screamed out.


The Republicans have finally pissed me off. AMERICAblog:

Funny, we simply "must" punish "law-breakers" when they're Mexican immigrants because "it would send a bad message" showing law-breakers any mercy. But when the law-breakers are reputed Al Qaeda terrorists who have murdered American soldiers, suddenly the Republican party becomes all warm and fuzzy. So the message for Mexicans seeking amnesty is what? Go to Iraq and pick up a gun first?

Why did Bush just fight a 3 year war in Iraq again? To let everybody go after they killed 2,500 American soldiers?

Amnesty for al-Quaeda is OK but amnesty for los mojados is bad? That's the dumbest thing I ever heard. Man, I hate the Republicans.

Note: "Republicans" without a "the" in front of it simply refers to an awful lot of misguided and stupid, gullible Americans. With a "the" it refers to the criminal class currently in power.

Quotable Quotes

Buzzflash has a ton of 'em. They're good to know. Sometimes it only takes a few words to say an awful lot. See? I just almost used one:

"It does not require many words to speak the truth." -- Chief Joseph, native American leader (1840-1904)

Here's more:

"One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence." -- Charles A. Beard, historian (1874-1948)

"People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them." -- Dave Barry, author and columnist (1947-)
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." -- Thomas Paine, philosopher and writer (1737-1809)

"The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause. A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business." -- Eric Hoffer, philosopher and author (1902-1983)

"True religion is the life we lead, not the creed we profess." -- Louis Nizer, lawyer (1902-1994)

"The most tyrannical of governments are those which make crimes of opinions, for everyone has an inalienable right to his thoughts." -- Baruch Spinoza, philosopher (1632-1677)

"There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience." -- French proverb

"As I stood before the gates I realized that I never want to be as certain about anything as were the people who built this place." - Rabbi Sheila Peltz, on her visit to Auschwitz

"Nature can provide for the needs of people; [she] can't provide for the greed of people." - Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)

"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)

"It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell." - William Tecumseh Sherman, Union General in the American Civil War (1820-1891)

"A great war leaves the country with three armies - an army of cripples, an army of mourners, and an army of thieves." - German proverb

"Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservative." - John Stuart Mill, 1806-1873, British philosopher

That's plenty - probably too many. I barely scratched the surface. Many, many more. Go see.

Why we can't win

Jeff Huber and the latest installment of the Next World Order series:


Let's set one thing straight about counterinsurgency operations. There are better and worse ways to conduct them, but there is no good way to conduct them. And you can't design a military that specializes in counterinsurgency because then it wouldn't be good at doing what it's supposed to do, which is fight and defeat other military forces.


Friday Cattle Dog Blogging

Princess Shayna thinks the 'tried and failed' should shut up and let her go back to sleep.

How convenient...

A blueprint for trying to start a war between the United States and Iran was among a "huge treasure" of documents found in the hideout of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Iraqi officials said Thursday.

The document, purporting to reflect al-Qaida policy and its cooperation with groups loyal to ousted President Saddam Hussein, also appear to show that the insurgency in Iraq was weakening.


May I see that huge treasure of documents please? I just wanted to make sure they weren't written in crayon ... on the back of White House letterhead.

Tip o' the Brain to C&L.


Or whore; whatever you call it. Principle is principle and explaining that you needed the money doesn't make it right. If I didn't have the money to run this blog, there would be no blog. I could make big money by getting a job at Blackwater tomorrow. I'd rather live out a box.


cut to just a few minutes ago. we were accepting a new slate of ads, when we noticed one about "the future of the internet." this time we watched the whole ad. yep. it was against net neutrality. so we rejected it.

we bring it up, because some other bloggers who will remain nameless have gone ahead and accepted the ad, with explanations to their readers that go something along the lines of, well, you readers are smart enough to know b.s. when you see it, and their money is as good as anyone's.

sorry, that rationalization doesn't hold water, at least not for skippy international. it's one thing to allow for all sides of a debate to be heard on your blog, it's another to enable destructive behavior.


Links to the nameless at Skippy's.


the blogs we speak of are some of our favorites, and daily visits for us. we don't plan on boycotting them. and we are a little afraid they'll be pissed at us for taking this stand.


I feel the same way, though I don't care if they're pissed at me or not. If you spend your time raging against the machine, don't become part of it. Principle and ethics are the bywords here at the Brain and yes, we hold our fellow bloggers to a higher standard than we do the Beltway crowd. You can't take the high road if you're willing to take money from those who are paving the low road.


If you'll notice, ad space here is free, has been for the last 2 years. The only requirement I have for placing an ad here is that its message conform to our principles. See how easy that is, and I sleep at night.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


As we cross the 2500 U.S. dead milestone (some milestone) in Iraq, do you want a Bush apologist on our side? Do you want an apologist for this illegal war on our side?

Apparently not.

Thanks: Atrios

Dog and pony Show? War Crime? Both?


Nearly four years after it authorized the use of force in Iraq, the House today will embark on its first extended debate on the war, with Republican leaders daring Democrats to vote against a nonbinding resolution to hold firm on Iraq and the war on terrorism.

As a result of our efforts during this debate, Americans will recognize that on the issue of national security, they have a clear choice between a Republican Party aware of the stakes and dedicated to victory, versus a Democratic Party without a coherent national security policy that sheepishly dismisses the challenges America faces in a post-9/11 world," Boehner wrote.

"This is nothing more or less than really a charade," said Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr. (R-N.C.), who made headlines in the run-up to the Iraq invasion by changing french fries to "freedom fries" in the House dining room but has since turned strongly against the war.

Just another Rove-ian con job.

William Rivers Pitt thinks it's much more serious than that:

There is going to be a debate today on the floor of the House of Representatives regarding Iraq. Is it within the realm of possibility to categorize a debate on the floor of the House as a war crime? Is that too much of a stretch? Leveling a war crime accusation is deadly serious business after all, and not to be bandied about like some meager political football. Given what is expected to take place today in Washington, unfortunately, such a categorization is worth considering.

What is a war crime anyway? Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention defines war crimes as, "Willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile power, or willfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly."

How many of these definitions have been met by the United States during our ill-fated adventure in Iraq and during this so-called "War on Terror" as a whole?

List follows.

But all this happened during the invasion and occupation, and many of these despicable activities have been papered over by dubious legal findings generated by Attorney General Gonzales. How does a debate on the floor of the House of Representatives rise to the level of a war crime?

Simple. Awareness that war crimes are being committed, combined with a lack of action to stop those war crimes by an individual or entity holding a position of leadership, is as bad as the crime itself.

It is possible that the House debate today will break new ground, that sober minds will be able to elbow the snarling partisans into the periphery, that hard facts and real solutions will be presented, that a crack of dawn sunlight may be found in this long, terrible night, and that a step towards ending all the death and destruction and sorrow and woe may actually be taken.

Don't count on it, though. Thanks to the Republican majority and its leader, this debate will be yet another dog-and-pony show designed to do little more than frighten and divide the populace. In the process, this debate will ensure that the war goes on, and will further ensure that George W. Bush and his people are insulated from accountability, culpability and the basic need to chart a new course.

The Republicans in the House know what is happening, and know how bad things are. By framing this important debate in such simplistic, venal terms, they are absolutely guaranteeing more of the same. And that, friends, is a war crime, and you can watch it happen today on television.

Pitt's view might be a stretch, but as any mechanic will tell you, when something is bent and you have to straighten it, sometimes you have to bend it too far to get it to come back to the center. Good luck with this administration: they've bent shit up into a Gordian knot, and we know what it took to untie that!

Results of these hearings? Not bloody likely. The Repubs just want to put the Dems in a bad light so they can hold power in the coming elections. They realize that folks are starting to see through their bullshit, so they're shoveling more on. Yeesh.

Once again though, it's entirely possible that the Dems can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Time will tell.

It means "BOOM!"

Not that there's any explosives freaks around here, but I learned a new term: "Violent Decomposition". Ha!

Don't Bow To God's Bullies

We talk a lot here about the christo-fascist whackjobs and how they're fucking everything up. Here's a good article on the subject by the Rev Rigby.

Whereas American theology was born out of a hope for democracy, much of it is wedded to a picture of Christ as a benevolent dictator. Should we be surprised that a hierarchical cosmology would produce hierarchical churches and nations? Should we be surprised that religious nations that picture Christ as a loving dictator have produced conquistadors, inquisitors and crusaders?

Neither Calvin nor Luther spoke English, but they helped the Popes lay the groundwork for the view of God as a cosmic dictator. From Popes, Luther and Calvin we have some of the ugliest slurs ever recorded against women, intellectuals and those who refused the church's message. How did Christians hold slaves, oppress women and slaughter nonbelievers? Perhaps they could not see Christ in non-male, non-European, and non-Christian people because they were limited by their theology. Their "Christ" was merely a glorification of the most powerful member of their own culture.

To picture God in terms of power is also one of the great bait-and-switch gimmicks of all time. People within the power hierarchy proclaim that God is the ultimate authority, and then appoint themselves as God's interpreters and enforcers. They are God's humble bullies. It has been one of the most successful con games of all time.

Today's church lifts its arms to praise Christ wearing liturgical garments woven in sweatshops. So called "Christian America" is still a nation built on the work of slaves. We do not see them because they toil invisibly in other countries. Today's church doles out bits of charity from booty stolen from God's powerless people the world over. Anyone who claims to believe in a just God, or even in justice itself, has to know at some level that the prayers for liberation coming from third world countries will be heard and answered. At some level, people of faith have to know that unless America repents of the sin of empire we are a doomed nation.

Whether or not we can change America in time to avoid a political and ecological apocalypse, it is never too late to do the right thing. All of us can begin to plant seeds of a better future for our children's children. For Christians today, that means suffering the consequences of refusing to bow to the dictator Christ of this culture.


"Arab, Persian - oy, it's a gulf!"

From the Jerusalem Post:

Iran has banned The Economist magazine for describing the Persian Gulf as merely "the Gulf" in a map published in the latest edition, state television reported late Wednesday.

Tehran believes in aggressively defending the historical term "Persian Gulf" against "Arabian Gulf," which it regards as a name dreamed up by Arab nationalists. While Iran dominates the eastern side of the waterway, the western shores are held by Arab countries.

The Iranians are a bit touchy, it seems. I guess painting a line down the center of the gulf isn't practical. It's probably not the real reason for banning that particular magazine anyway.

The JP site is worth going to see just for the "Sea Front Homes In Israel" and "Jewish Software" ads. Things I never knew of or even thought about before.

The South Central Farm(yes,THAT South Central)

The City of Los Angeles is home to the largest urban farm in the United States.The Farm is in Serious Danger.(for writing purposes,I'm just calling this place The Farm in this article/essay. I think the officical name is The South Central Farm.)

It's 14 acres of reclaimed in a run down poverty ridden/industrial park area, land that grows nut trees,fruits,a wide variety of vegetables and herbs,flowers,and who knows what other delights lie within?The Farm provides jobs for alot of poor families,who also grow enough to feed themselves.Everything is organic,and lots of time and attention have made this successful project what it is today.It's a lovely place,and a wonderful model that many cities could adapt to fit their needs,to the benefit of everyone.

I'm no legal expert,so I don't quite understand the legalities over the ownership of this land,but it's now in dispute.Actress Daryl Hannah was arrested a few days ago for being part of a protest to stop the eviction of The Farm's community from the land.The powers that be have also torn up some of the garden,just to be assholes about it.No one was armed or violent,they just stood their ground,there was no need for any destruction to have occured.

A wealthy think tankish foundation has offered to give the developer what he wants for the land that The Farm sits on(and taking the legal measures needed to let The Farm continue.There is also other land in that area containing warehouse space that this developer could buy,so it's not like he's even being driven out of the area),but negotiations seem to be hostile,so this could go either way.There seem to be lots of people willing to fight for The Farm,some with bucks,so they stand a chance of winning.When the little guy is doing the right thing,over ownership/bidness reasons,I cheer for their team.I like a good underdog.The Farm is Living Democracy in Action.And it's not just about the food either.You put poor people to work,you see lower crime rates,you see a pride in ownership and being part of something for the common good is good for you.Not just on paper,but a willingness comes to pay attention and be a good neighbor.You give people something to fight for and they will make sure the place stays safe and healthy.Projects like The Farm promote teamwork,co-operation,a support system,a sense that you belong.When you have that,you see less drug addiction,less family violence,more kids staying in school and staying away from gangs and drugs,people looking out for one another.I mean come on,this isn't rocket science.It works,in little places in almost every country on this Earth. Sure,shit happens and humans bring their own flaws to any venture,but for the most part,these models produce excellent results and are very cost effective if run by practical common sense.Call it a community enhancement,because those are the results.

A place like The Farm also gives a community a physical place,a heart.From that many other wonderful things can begin.Many places in our world today are "public",stores,sports arenas,malls,office buildings,and so on.But these places are often too big,you are small and undistinguishable in venues that large.Smalller community based public venues such as The Farm give us a much softer place to form our roots,which for many humans,is what helps them to feel strong and safe.When you feel strong and safe,grounded as it were,you make better choices that are less apt to be based on fear.From there you can spread your wings and fly.

You can read Larry King's interview from last night with Darryl Hannah here.

Perfume those turds...

In case you missed it, take 7:36 and go see Jon Stewart interview Ken Mehlman at Crooks and Liars.

Stewart: You're the guy--I have sympathy for you because you're the guy who has to spray perfume on these turds. You know what I mean? You're the guy that has to go out and like no matter what (garbled) It's not an easy job. I mean what happened to these guys...

Did Ken say that Afghanistan was a failed state? When an interviewer (fake of course) asks pointed questions to the Mehlman's out there; they just cave. I keep posting these clips and keep shaking my head at how these talking point junkies are so easily debunked. Stewart has that ability. Mehlman actually looked very nervous.

Mehlman also said that "greed and cynicism" are the reason Republicans are the way they are, words to that effect.

I think Stewart should take over Meet the Press or Hardball. Won't happen as long as "Republican operative" is a job prerequisite.

You think so?


[NY Senator Chuck] Schumer said that the DSCC "fully supports" Sen. Joe Lieberman in his primary bid, and he refused to rule out continuing that support if Lieberman were to run as an independent.

There were degrees of independence, Schumer said. "You can run as an independent, you can run as an independent Democrat who pledges to vote for Harry Reid as Majority Leader."



Chuck, my man. Leave me to explain something. If Holy Joe jumps ship and you continue to support him, I'm going to make sure you have a primary fight just like your butt buddy up north. You're somebody I can do something about. I can vote against you. I can do my best to get my friends here in Left Blogtopia (y!sctp!) to vote against you. I can also get them to give money to your opponent. And judging from the response I got from my Blogger Party post, your opponent just might be me. Wake up, smell the coffee, or helping Holy Joe might be the least of your problems.

P.S. If you see Hillary, pass along the message to her too.

For more on the Schumer/Lieberman story and the ramifications for the Party, go read this piece by Digby, where I stole the link. It seems Ned Lamont supporters are 'Democratic terrorists'.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Germany - 1
Poland - 0

In penalty time, the 91st minute, Germany scores! The German onslaught was ... German, relentless, merciless, methodical, and were it not for the spectacular performance by the Polish goalkeeper, the score would have been higher ... much. An excellent game.


Recap here.

Dear Mr O'Reilly...

Shut the FUCK up already.In the name of all that is holy(and many things that aren't),re-god damned-tire.You sound like a mentally ill person off their meds.See a doctor,play some golf,and shut up.Call an escort service too,or something,regularly.But PLEASE,I don't want to hear about it or see you,anymore.I'm pissed I even know who you are.

You add NOTHING to the meaning of life,all you do is take.There's not one redeeming quality you have left Bill,you're a phony,an arrogant liar and a shill,and you and I both know it.And we're not the only ones.

Everytime I hear your voice and see your face I think of this guy I knew in high school. His name was Don,and Don had issues with women,minorites and pretty much anyone else who didn't agree with him,which as it turned out,was practically everybody who had morals and sanity.And poor Don,he asked girl after girl out on dates,to the prom,or wherever and none of us would accept because he was A MAJOR LEAGUE ASSHOLE,BIG TIME.And so,Don decided we were all feminsts,lesbians,or lesbian feminists.Who still wanted his manlyness,we just"couldn't handle it".Oh eww.Just fucking EWWWW.He also couldn't take no for an answer,unless another guy told him to knock it off.A bully bordering on molester,eww.The way this dude looked at any girl was creepy enough,eww,and you give off that vibe buddy.Did I mention...EWWW?

I sort of followed Don's life,for awhile,from a distance(we knew some of the same people) til I moved out of that particular part of the country,and I swear Bill,you guys had to have been separated at birth. Don,like you,actually ended up with a pretty solid gig,with all the perks.His longest marriage(out of 4 tries,last I heard)lasted 18 months,the wifey getting wind of hooker usage was a factor in at least 2 of those marriages ending rather quickly.He had every big boy toy one could think of,cars,custom mototcycles,a nice ass boat,a really lovely home,and still,he was a miserable,evil,nasty,smarmy little worm.It never once occured to him that he was lonely because he was willfully stupid,rude,and obnoxious.No,it was everyone else who was fucked up,he was just misunderstood and always right,that's all.And god was this loser bloodthirsty,but he'd run from a fight,unless the person was smaller and weaker.I suppose Michelle Malkin likes that sort of thing,or certainly Ann Coulter,but real women who love men aren't attracted to that kind of guy.You're old man in a trench coat creepy Bill,it's past time to pack it in.Take your toys and go the hell home.

I figure you never got over being rejected in high school,so someone's gotta pay.Anyone who says there's a War on Christianity knowing full well he's the author of a poorly written soft core porn novel containing a scene of a crack dealer having sex with teenage girls is deserving of derision and public shaming.What you did to Andrea Mackris should have put you in your place the second that info loofahed and falafeled it's way into the public record,but nooooo,you're still here running your mouth and taking America down the shitter with you and your ilk.Well,the rest of us don't wanna go where you're headed.Because we aren't stupid.And we won't let you win,just so ya know.You need medical attention,surely Fox or Westwood One Radio has health insurance,avail yourself,dear god,please,do it for the children.

Nothing,and I mean nothing,is stopping you from taking your money,and finding a lovely place on a beach someplace to write bad detective novels or something.Develop a main character and shoot for a series,maybe even a made for TV movie.Or find a house on a nice golf course,whatever works for you.Think of it as a community service,duty to your country for the first time.Or maybe you can't retire,because of some dirty secret habit,and those are never cheap.Still,I would think you have something tucked away for the future,right wingers are hoarders by nature,you can't be THAT broke.

Because Bill,you might be successful, but people still laugh at you,think you're losing your mind,and it's only a matter of time before you completely jump the shark in such a spectacular flame out that no one will be able to ignore it,and then your livelihood will be gone.And you'll be nothing but persona non grata,kinda like OJ,without the charm.Your prom days are over,get the fuck over it. Buy a tux and go dancing,get it out of your system and leave the rest of the nation in peace,from you at least.Throw your own retirement bash,go out with your head held a little high. I suggest gardening as a possible hobby too,it's quite calming,even if it is work.Stop and smell the roses,literally.

Now I know this has been a bit harsh,but in my family,when people reach a certain age,we watch out for signs they can't handle the things they used to.Like when we had to take Grandma's car away from her.We didn't want to,but it had to happen,for her safety as well as the community's.We let her do it with her dignity in tact,and it was tough,I won't deny it.For her and all of us.You dignity Bill is of course decreasing at an exponential rate,but you have a chance to take one for the team and bow out gracefully before it's too late.You're looking a little tired anyway,you're needing more and more makeup on TV these days,it's getting kinda like Tammy Faye without the mascara.

I think,had you not Forrest Gumped your way into a career,you'd be a bitter old guy who throws beer cans at kids who walk across his yard.That's kinda what Don's doing these days,or was last I heard.His gravy train job got outsourced,he had to sell off alot of those toys,and he lives(alone) off his little savings and pension,drinks too much and revs up his Harley at 2 am til a neighbor tells him to shut up or they're calling the cops.It's not pretty Bill,and that will be you,pretty soon.Think about it.

Going out of my way to never have to see or hear you again,

It's Flag Day...

And Lurch is home.

The dictionary definition...

Of chicken shit.

They look like they're going to puke. Imagine if they were really taking ground fire. Didn't they tell these guys to sit on their helmets when they're going low and slow?

Pic from Maru with our thanks.

Warm up the virgins...

In this short clip David Letterman is baffled by a recent 'New York Post' cover featuring the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

In answer to the question he poses: "Candy's dandy, but liquor's quicker".

That New York Post is sure a classy paper, huh?

Solution for Iraq War? Start new political war

Palm Beach Post, in toto, without comment, no quotes to save space:

So, President Bush's Camp David summit on Iraq wasn't a policy-and-planning event. It was a ruse, so the president could make Tuesday's surprise visit to Baghdad. That follows the pattern. Deal with the political problem, not the real problem.

With rotten poll numbers because of Iraq, and midterm elections five months away, Karl Rove pounced on the death of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to declare that an administration run by "cut-and-run" Democrats never could have gotten him. This fresh attack comes from the political brain of the administration that turned Zarqawi into a terrorist star. If President Bush had not chosen the wrong war and invaded without a plan, Zarqawi probably would have remained the bit terrorism player, unaffiliated with Al-Qaeda, that he was before Mr. Bush's mistake turned Iraq into a recruiting outpost for terrorists and a source of terrorism.

Although the administration claims that Mr. Bush's trip was planned before Zarqawi's death, the president's sudden appearance is about as subtle as posing with the corpse. The president supposedly went to Baghdad to show his support for new Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki now that the Iraqi leader finally has completed his Cabinet appointments. Mr. Maliki, who thought he was to participate in a teleconference from Camp David, found out that President Bush was in Baghdad five minutes before their first face-to-face meeting.

Two things are interesting about that. How in-charge is Mr. Maliki if a foreign leader can show up in Iraq without his knowledge or permission? Second, how in-charge is anybody when Mr. Bush, like other U.S. dignitaries who have visited Baghdad recently, has to come to the country in secret and confine his activities to the Green Zone and U.S. bases? Many in the president's entourage, The Associated Press reported, wore 25-pound flak jackets during the six-minute helicopter flight from the airstrip where they landed to the Green Zone.

President Bush told Prime Minister Maliki that he had "come to tell you that when America gives its word, it keeps its word," on turning Iraq into a peaceful democracy and stabilizing influence in the Middle East. Problem is, this administration does not know how to keep its word. Even as he seemed to be promising to stay the course, President Bush shifted the burden onto Iraq.

"I have expressed our country's desire to work with you, but I appreciate you recognize the fact that the future of the country is in your hands," he told Mr. Maliki. "The decisions you and your Cabinet make will determine as to whether or not your country succeeds." That lays the groundwork for something that, were Democrats to do it, Mr. Rove would label "cut-and-run."

The U.S. has been fighting the Iraq War almost as long as we fought World War II, yet Mr. Bush still can't define victory, let alone explain to Americans how he will achieve it. So he has chosen to take on an old enemy he knows how to defeat: the Democratic Party.

"Back, you people! Back, I say!"

Robert Donner, a character actor who specialized in playing eccentrics, including the crazed prophet Exidor on the popular sitcom "Mork & Mindy," has died. He was 75.

I always took the name 'Exidor' to be a clever take on 'Exit Door', which in England is called the 'Way Out'. He certainly was.

So long, pal. You made me laugh and gave me a role model.

Bistec con queso


PHILADELPHIA - The sign contains just eight words and is hardly big enough to wrap around a cheesesteak. But here in South Philadelphia, home of the cheesesteak, the sign that Joey Vento posted at Geno's Steaks speaks volumes.

It reads: "This Is America. When Ordering Please Speak English."

For the uninitiated, a cheesesteak is a cholesterol-delivery device consisting of grilled strips of beef, melted cheese, onions and peppers on an Italian roll.


It is sometimes difficult for outsiders to order at Geno's or other local cheesesteak emporiums because of an unspoken code that requires ordering "wid" or "widout," meaning with or without onions. (One newcomer once asked "Wid what?" and was told, "Wid cheese, stoopid!") One must also specify the cheese - Cheez Wiz or provolone, as in "Cheez Wiz wid."

Given those customs, ordering a "bistec con queso" is not likely to elicit cooperation.

Given those customs, and the Philly butchering of the language, I probably wouldn't be allowed to order one either in my un-accented West Coast English.

I guess I'd just have to spend my money someplace else.

"Morale, my ass"

Such language from Molly Ivins! I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you! She's right again. Subject is Iraq, Zarqawi, the Gitmo suicides.

Now it seems to me one might have any number of reactions to news of suicides at Guantanamo, but righteous indignation is not one of them. Most of these prisoners have been held for four years now without possibility of charge, trial or parole. I should think they would be suicidal.

I'm sorry we failed to prevent it, but I'm not sure that's possible. "They hid their plans to die?" Gee, the sneaks.

If I wanted to win a global war on terror, I'd sure be concerned about what they think. I would hope the right would at least be concerned over the damage being done to the American military by this war.

Morale, my ass. Excuse me, but our government doesn't even seem to be able to pay these people on time. Not to mention stretching them past the breaking point in Iraq, leaving them without adequate mental care when they come home, endlessly extending their tours, bribing them to re-up, and so forth and so on. Then, of course, something like Haditha happens, and they all get a black eye out of it.

I think it's time the antiwar side in this country started using a few threats of its own -- specifically, about who's going to take the blame for this when it's over.

Forget the liberal tradition of forgiveness. I say, hold this grudge. (my em)

I have said this many times to many people in many situations. I'll say it again: "Fuckin' A, lady!"

You can't quote the truth if the wrong guy said it...

WIS10 (Columbia SC)

A New York high school is apologizing for Adolf Hitler quotations appearing in its yearbook.

Two students at Northport High chose quotes from Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" to appear under their senior pictures. One says "Strength lies not in defense, but in attack." The other reads "The great masses of people...will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one."

The principal says the school "failed miserably" in not catching the quotes.

Easy one to miss. Could have been attributed to the Republican playbook.

"Squeal like a pig, boy!"

From Raw Story:

A spokesman for Senator John Kerry (D-MA) has launched an unusually personal attack on presidential adviser Karl Rove, RAW STORY has learned.

The move comes one day after Rove called plans to exit Iraq proposed by Senator Kerry and Representative John Murtha (D-PA) "profoundly wrong" "cut and run" strategies. "They may be with you for the first few bullets," Rove said, "but they won't be there for the last tough battles."

And just what the fuck does he know about it? For a guy who got several 2S student deferments during Vietnam, including one after he quit school, using war metaphors is worse than arrogant. I guess that's what we've come to expect from that asshole.

"The closest Karl Rove ever came to combat," said Kerry spokesman David Wade, "was these last months spent worrying his cellmates might rough him up in prison. This porcine political operative can't cut and run from the truth any longer."

Porcine political operative! I like it! He looks like a pig, too - he's got more chins than a Chinese phone book.

Right now, Rove thinks he's king of the hill and his shit don't stink. I think his sense of smell is gone from wallowing in it too long.

We own him...

I've been saying this for a while. People in other countries gave us a pass with Bush when he won (you know what I mean) in 2000. When we reelected him in '04, the rest of the world stopped making the distinction between the 'people' and the 'government'. Now we're all assholes.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Broad Band

Clever name for a group of girl singers with a particular purpose, eh? Go hear "God Save the Internet".

Thanks again to Crooks and Liars.

Let's roll!


Thousands of pounds of armor added to military Humvees, intended to protect U.S. troops, have made the vehicles more likely to roll over, killing and injuring soldiers in Iraq, a newspaper reported.

"I believe the up-armoring has caused more deaths than it has saved," said Scott Badenoch, a former Delphi Corp. vehicle dynamics expert told the Dayton Daily News for Sunday editions.

An analysis of the Army's ground accident database, which includes records from March 2003 through November 2005, found that 60 of the 85 soldiers who died in Humvee accidents in Iraq -- or 70 percent -- were killed when the vehicle rolled, the newspaper reported. Of the 337 injuries, 149 occurred in rollovers.

Ad hoc engineering AKA 'field expedients' or, more coarsely, 'Mexineering' can only go so far. According to the Law of Equivalent Exchange:

"Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy's First Law of Equivalent Exchange. In those days, we really believed that to be the world's one, and only, truth." - Alphonse Elric, from Fullmetal Alchemist.

I learned about that in Alchemy 101 way back in school. Change one thing, change everything. The soldiers are still dying, but it's way more palatable for the Pentagon to say they died in a traffic accident than to say they got blown to bits.

Humvees were supposed to be transportation, scout cars, etc., not armored cars. Who'daever thunk an enemy would use explosives against the largest mechanized army in history? Obviously not the rocket scientists at the Department of Defense.

See also: TANSTAAFL.

It ain't over 'til it's over

From the Libby Defense Fund:

Statement of Christopher Wolf, Proskauer Rose LLP, Counsel for Ambassador Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame Wilson:

We have become aware of the communication between Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. Luskin concerning Karl. Rove's status in the criminal investigation. We have no first-hand knowledge of the reason for the communication or what further developments in the criminal investigation it may signal. While it appears that Mr. Rove will not be called to answer in criminal court for his participation in the wrongful disclosure of Valerie Wilson's classified employment status at the CIA in retaliation against Joe Wilson for questioning the rationale for war in Iraq, that obviously does not end the matter. The day still may come when Mr. Rove and others are called to account in a court of law for their attacks on the Wilsons.

End of Statement

I hope they sue the livin' crap out of him. All that would be left is a grease spot, and Barney could lick that up.

Smells like somethin' crept in, crapt, and crept out...

As we all know, Bush skulked snuck made a short unannounced trip to Iraq.

For once, I don't blame him! Who knows what some four-tour U.S. Army AAA gunner, demolitions engineer, or grunt who has lost everything at home due to constant deployment might do?

Whaddya wanta bet Rummy's next trip to Iraq is announced weeks ahead of time for the same reasons?

My ox is not to be gored. That's what yours is for...

Go see

Common oversights by close minded people living in fear

over at i speak dog.

4. Personal Responsibility: A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

5. Religious Hypocrites: Jesus loves you, and he shares your mindless pointless hatred of homosexuals (which in reality is actually self loathing).

6. Support Our Troops: The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay, and by putting stickers on your car while never actually thinking about them, and by wearing yellow ribbons that mean nothing while denying the truth and not paying benefits to over 7,000 families of US troops.

7. Sex Education: If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex. (Ignore the problem and it will go away)

Many more, including some in 'Comments'. Go.

Tooting my own horn-just a little,you know,because I rock,and stuff.

Awhile back I wrote a post here called Living Democracy.Kind of a book summary of Frances Moore Lappe's book Democracy's Edge with my own riff.Remember that one?

A couple days ago Fixer forwarded me an email from Jess at the Small Planet Institute wanting to use my post for their Democracy's Edge website. I just got off the phone with Jess,she's way cool,btw.My post is now in it's entirety on their site with a link back to the Brain,if you wanna go peek. Scroll down the page a bit to find their link back to the Brain to the original.

I know,I also promised a series out of this whole thing,but life keeps messing with me.Still dealing with a certain 12 yr old boy's broken teeth(3.5 ish hours at the dentist AGAIN yesterday,with one more appt to go for a total of FIVE mega sessions).For some reason yet to be determined I've broken out in hives(itch,scratch,ouch,itch,scratch,ouch) on my legs and the inside of my elbows.Then I find out this morning my daughter is pregnant with baby #3(which while I love babies and love her,I'm pissed,she was supposed to go to college this fall.I was trying to help her find grant money to go to tech school because that's the only option in that area to get her off welfare and into a paying job.She's known she was pregnant for a few weeks now and decided to fess up this morning.I should have just kept my nose out of her business or she should have just told me to.CRAP!),which is a blessing-it's a baby after all,but the timing sucks.She's not even 24,by the time she is 24 she will have 3 kids ages 4,18 months and brand new.School ain't gonna happen,neither is a job.It's probably a good thing she's in Ohio and I'm in Georgia so I don't go to her place and smack her upside the melonhead.I'll come around,these are my grandbabies and my own big baby after all,but I'm annoyed,to put it mildly.She's young though,she'll probably be like me and get her clue later in life.(((sigh)))And I'm only 46,should I have this many grandkids yet?So now I'm mad because she's making me old before my time too.(ok,not really,I'm being snarky).

An observation

Mrs. F was watching the news this morning and Guvnah Jeb was on, making a speech about Florida's preparedness for Hurricane Alberto (Good luck, folks, serously) and there was the lady translating into sign language standing next to him.

Mrs. F: "I wonder if she's really signing 'this guy's an asshole'."

Ass fucking

Or, dissin' thems that brung ya. The lovely Jane on Wonkette*:


Her previous career may have been launched by a wilingness to coarsen political discourse by talking about the things she inserted into her rectum, but at Time she seems to have changed positions. TBogg alerts us this morning that her new stint seems to be on her knees:


*Gitcher minds out the gutter...

Monday, June 12, 2006


Avedon Carol has an excellent piece on Dem 'centrists'.


Hm, sounds like "the center" is actually a creature called "corporate interests". I think most people in America would be awfully surprised to hear it.

Then again:



Just got back from having an abcessed gum lanced. I do not recommend having it done without novocaine but it was an emergency. The infection started Saturday and I figured rinsing my mouth alternating Listerine and salt water would fix it. I woke up this morning and my eye was swollen shut. Shoulda had the root canal done before vacation in Paris last year but noooo...didn't have time. Getting it done tomorrow night whether I have the time or not. I'm usually not one to neglect dental care and it came back to bite me in the ass. Let that be a lesson to ya.

And just a note, it didn't make me feel much better watching our soccer team getting their asses handed to them. I've seen high school varsity teams play better.

Now they've done it...

The Islamists have gone too far this time! From YahooNews:

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Islamist militiamen shot in the air to disperse hundreds of Somalis protesting early on Saturday against moves by sharia courts to stop them watching the World Cup in the capital Mogadishu, residents said.

Similar moves by Islamist militia to close cinemas and video stores in Mogadishu last November triggered heavy fighting that killed at least 12 people and wounded more than 20.

Leaders of the capital's influential Islamic courts oppose Western and Indian films which they say promote immorality in the mainly Muslim nation of 10 million people.

However, the World Cup ban stirred resentment among locals, already weary of the fighting in Mogadishu that has killed 350 people in three months.

"The residents of this area are very sorry about the way the Islamic militia is behaving toward the people at a time when our society needs peace and stability," said Moallim Hussein Abdi, a teacher.

One teenager was defiant.

"We do not accept the Islamic militia stopping us from watching the World Cup," Ahmed Yusuf, 19, said. "We'll continue demonstrating until they relent."

Or until they shoot him. TV bad, shooting for Allah OK, I guess.

Can you imagine what would happen here if nutzoid religionists tried to stop folks from watching the Super Bowl? There'd be blood in the streets that would make Mogadishu look like a day at the beach!

MoDo on YearlyKos

Maureen Dowd at Donkey O.D.

If I had to be relegated to the Dustbin of History, I'm glad it was in Vegas.

I, Old Media, came here to attend a New Media convention of progressive political bloggers aiming for a technological revolution that would dispatch mainstream media to the tumbrels. It was the journalistic equivalent of mingling with your own pod replicant in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

Old media and new circled each other "like kids at a seventh-grade dance," said Jennifer Palmieri, a Democratic operative.

Technology has enabled the not-meek to inherit the earth, and Democrats and others who refuse to drink the cyber-Kool-Aid will, Mr. Moulitsas said, go into the old "dustbin of history."

The fast-talking former Army artillery scout with the boyish demeanor and dark brown buggy eyes is no one to take lightly. Some may think the Internet messiah who put Mr. Dean on the map in 2003 is "a fame hound, a loudmouth nerd at the back of the room," as The Washington Monthly wrote. But others, including adoring conventioneers who called the scene at the debut YearlyKos gathering "magic" and "a rock concert," see him the way Ana Marie Cox, nee Wonkette, described him this week in "He's the left's own Kurt Cobain and Che Guevara rolled into one."

If I were Kos I'd watch my back. Those guys are deader than a coupla carps!

Mr. Moulitsas assured me he didn't see himself as a journalist, only a Democratic activist. "I don't plan on doing any original reporting - screw that. I need people like you," he said, agreeing that since he still often had to pivot off the reporting of the inadequate mainstream media to form his inflammatory opinions, our relationship was, by necessity, "symbiotic."

Were the revolutionaries simply eager to be co-opted? Mr. Moulitsas grinned. "Traditionally it was hard to get your job," he said. "Now regular people can score your job."

Fine. I'll be at the Cleopatra slot machine pondering a career in blogging, which will set me up to get back into mainstream media someday.

I don't think blogs and bloggers need to 'replace' the old media. If we could wheedle, cajole, or shame them into doing what they're supposed to do, I'd be happier than a pig in shit. At least the blogosphere is finally on their radar as a force that needs to be recognized instead of pooh-poohed. That the MSM sent a lot of people to cover this convention shows that.

I did, however, detect a very slight odor of disdain and maybe a little sour grapes coming from my favorite b-t Irish redhead. Never fear, darlin', we still need ya.

Maybe when the Blogger Party takes the helm, she'd like to intern for the Secretary of the Interior...

The crux of the biscuit

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

What the fuck has happened...

To my Air Force?

It's hard...

For me to feel sympathy for a mercenary, though his arguments are all dead on.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Want ads

Bob Higgins:

If you are an American citizen with skills and expertise in any field relevant to the operation of the legislative, judicial or executive branches of the American government Uncle Sam wants you.

The People are currently seeking men and women with talent and competence in any area who are willing to work forty eight weeks a year at the People's business, keep their hands out of the cookie jar and themselves out of the beds of those who would corrupt the government to serve their own interests.


Great ad.

The Zarqawi Invitation

Today's recommended "must read". Greg Palast:

They got him -- the big, bad, beheading berserker in Iraq. But, something's gone unreported in all the glee over getting Zarqawi...who invited him into Iraq in the first place?

If you prefer your fairy tales unsoiled by facts, read no further. If you want the uncomfortable truth, begin with this: A phone call to Baghdad to Saddam's Palace on the night of April 21, 2003. It was Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on a secure line from Washington to General Jay Garner.

The General had arrives in Baghdad just hours before to take charge of the newly occupied nation. The message from Rumsfeld was not a heartwarming welcome. Rummy told Garner, Don't unpack, Jack -- you're fired.

What had Garner done? The many-starred general had been sent by the President himself to take charge of a deeply dangerous mission. Iraq was tense but relatively peaceful. Garner's job was to keep the peace and bring democracy.

Unfortunately for the general, he took the President at his word. But the general was wrong. "Peace" and "Democracy" were the slogans.

"My preference," Garner told me in his understated manner, "was to put the Iraqis in charge as soon as we can and do it in some form of elections."

But elections were not in The Plan.

The Plan was a 101-page document to guide the long-term future of the land we'd just conquered. There was nothing in it about democracy or elections or safety. There was, rather, a detailed schedule for selling off "all [Iraq's] state assets" -- and Iraq, that's just about everything -- "especially," said The Plan, "the oil and supporting industries." Especially the oil.

General Garner, watching the insurgency unfold from the occupation authority's provocations, told me, in his understated manner, "I'm a believer that you don't want to end the day with more enemies than you started with."

But you can't have a war president without a war. And you can't have a war without enemies. "Bring 'em on," our Commander-in-Chief said. And Zarqawi answered the call.

Those quotes are the beginning and end of the article. Like a sandwich, the good stuff's in the middle. Please read.

Thanks, Old White Lady.

When Santorum hates ya...

You know you've sunk pretty low.

Yeah, what about it?

Atrios has a good idea. Think it'll happen before Election Day?

If I were a potential presidential candidate looking for a way to jump start my campaign, get a bit of news, and get a bit of blogger support what I would do is be the first big name to endorse Ned Lamont.


Yeah, me neither. It would take character.

Interview with Ned over at My Left Nutmeg.

It's us...

If you were wondering if we're making a difference here in Blogtopia (y!sctp!) and not just shouting into the wilderness, this should give you some peace of mind:

A surge in small, individual contributions is lifting Democratic campaigns this year and is helping close a Republican fundraising advantage that has existed for years in national politics, according to Federal Election Commission data.

Democratic House and Senate candidates and their two major campaign committees are enjoying stronger grass-roots support than at any time since the GOP took over both chambers of Congress in the 1994 elections, according to strategists from both parties who have reviewed the most recent FEC data released this spring.


What you're seeing are our cumulative voices being heard by the Average Joe or Jane who've been coming to us to get some truth, what they can't get from the 'MSM'.