Monday, October 25, 2004

Headlines and Articles

Today's Featured Article

Mother Jones - Invitation to a Degraded World:
We're less far than we might imagine from a world where an Orwellian formula like "illusion is reality" could pass muster.
by Jonathan Schell, Introduction by Tom Engelhardt

"The injection of fantasy into the real offends the aesthetic sense, but the true price is paid in blood -- in the torture of prisoners, in the launch of wars. If a grasp of reality and the constitutional machinery to act upon it remain intact, then every other ill can be addressed. But if these are lost, the capacity to recover is lost with it, and the game is over."

photo credit:

Media Out of Control in America
Democracy and elite by Mordecai Roshwald
"We may well follow the pattern of decline of ancient Athens in our own peculiar modern way...."

In These Times- Running a Media Deficit: The joint rise of the conservative media and creeping authoritarianism is no coincidence
"In the 2000 election, Bush’s simple, easygoing style, which conceals a fierce competitiveness, made Bush a sellable commodity to the American people (especially to white men), a darling of the conservative news media and a favorite of many mainstream journalists. Add the fear and the sense of victimization from the 9/11 attacks and a new political model suddenly lay open as a possibility for the United States. It would be a post-modern authoritarian system that would rely less on traditional repression of political opponents than on a sophisticated media operation to intimidate and marginalize dissidents."

Election 2004

Here's a ballot the Republicans must love. Is it equal opportunity confusion? Karma? Is Theresa LePore lurking in Cuyahoga County, Ohio?

Nashville Weekly - Kerry For President
"Over time, John Kerry has grown on us. To a Southerner, his pedantic delivery and royal elocution can be a bit much, but in the debates we've slowly come around. We are confident John Kerry will at least engage with the complexity in today's world. It's not just that Bush won't do that. It's that he can't." - "Hijacking Catastrophe": Another documentary exposes the President as a right-wing imperialist
"Hijacking Catastrophe"does something that even Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 doesn't do. It compares Bush to a Nazi." - Cheated at the Ballot Box: Voter Suppression and the 2004 Election by Paul Rosenberg - Down to the Wire: Voter Suppression Is Alive In the Heartland by Paul Rosenberg

Consortium News - Bush: Beyond Reason by Robert Parry
"..while it may be troubling that Bush runs the world’s sole superpower on “gut” instinct that he may think is divinely inspired, it is perhaps even more troubling that large numbers of Americans are ready – even determined – to endorse this approach in granting Bush a second term. What appears to have happened is that a significant swath of the U.S. population has embraced a political mysticism which accepts Bush as a kind of cult leader. For these Bush supporters, it doesn’t matter that he has big gaps in his knowledge of the world or that he sometimes invents his own reality. They have come to see Bush as a messenger from God, an impression that Bush’s handlers – and Bush himself – have cultivated."

Kerry and Clinton in Philly Today

Kerry and Clinton in Philly Today

credit: AP photo

21 Reasons and None Very Good, As It Turns Out

21 Reasons and None Very Good, As It Turns Out

The Foreign Policy magazine website has a colorful diagram showing the many rationales given ( mostly ) by individuals within the Bush administration for going to Iraq.

100 Facts and One Opinion

100 Facts and One Opinion-
The Non-Arguable Case Against the Bush Administration
LINK-The Nation

Bush Is In 'Deep QaQaa' Over Disappearing Explosives

Bush Is In 'Deep QaQaa' Over Disappearing Explosives


Several hundred tons of conventional explosives are missing from a former Iraqi military facility, al Qaqaa, that once played a key role in Saddam Hussein’s efforts to build a nuclear bomb.

This is possibly the worst mistake of all. IAEA inspectors once had a handle on these dangerous explosives. Until Bush lied his way into making a stubborn attack on the country. The Bush administration knew where this stockpile was, but took no action to secure the site. The inspectors had to pull out of Iraq just before the 2003 invasion and have not yet been able to return.

The Bush administration was 'urgently and specifically informed' that terrorists could be helping themselves to the most dangerous explosives bonanza in history, but nothing was done to prevent it from happening.

This should not be reported as a campaign issue. It's an issue that is deadly serious and needs to be thoroughly investigated.

This, dear readers, was a major, major Bush f**k-up. We may suffer for it in the future. Safer, my ass*terisk!. I am very upset to know this has happened while we've gotten nothing but rhetorical lip service from this rotten, destructively partisan, inept, unaccountable administration.

I just saw this headline and wanted to throw up all over it:
Bush: I'm Best Candidate to Protect US
Bull-friggen crap, you are.

On CNN, a senior Bush administration official downplayed the importance of the missing explosives, describing them as dangerous material but "stuff you can buy anywhere." Blogger Josh Marshall said, tongue-in-cheek, "So, given what a powder keg Iraq is, what's another few hundred tons of plastic explosives. It's not even "necessarily" a proliferation risk. I'm feeling better already."

I saw what less than a pound of HMX or RDX could do when Pan Am 103 was blown up over Lockerbie Scotland. It killed 35 students of a university right here in my city ( Syracuse University ). If you haven't seen the heartbreak of hundreds of families caused by less than a pound of that shit, then you'd better get back to your fantasy world and vote for the maniac who failed to secure 380 tons of it.

"This material was monitored and controlled by UN inspectors before the invasion of Iraq. Thanks to the stunning incompetence of the Bush administration, we now have no idea where it is,” Joe Lockhart has said. He demanded the White House explain “why they failed to safeguard these explosives and keep them out of the hands of our enemies.”

Josh Marshall wants to know where the hell Jerry (Paul) Bremer is.

I hope the press doesn't let this slide now that the dreadful information has been unearthed.

Joe Lockhart asks, at official Kerry-Edwards campaign site: "..why was this information unearthed by reporters -- and was it covered up by our national security officials?"

See John Kerry's comments on the situation.

"In the Air" - And a Prayer

"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air"
-1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

"In The Air"-
and a prayer

"Whether or not we can be ever fully safe is up -- you know, is up- in the air."

-G.W. Bush, Oct 24, 2004

Bush has wasted too much time leaving
our destiny to some idea that will fall
from the sky. Our domestic and foreign
policy belong down to earth.
My prayer is that we will soon
have a leader who
understands that.

Coming from a society that has always prided itself on being based in decency and Christian-based values, I don't think breaking the Golden Rule and making carelessly offensive pre-emptive attacks upon our global neighbors ( largely based upon lies ) is going to cause us to deserve respect; nor will it ever make us safer.

That's what this election is all about.

We need a new direction.

Bush's visions of the Rapture seem too real to him for any of it to be acceptable to me. Each time he reverts to faith when pressed with a difficult question, I lose faith in his ability to lead a real and wanting nation. His latest statement about our safety being up "in the air", combined with his born-again attitude and non-reality-based thinking are disturbing to me. My faithful vision for those who are living on this earth are strikingly different than those of Mr. Bush, and it's one of the main reasons why he will never have my vote.

If you are a secularist, please pardon my foray into the fields of personal faith for the sake of forwarding political ideals.

I want nothing more than for my nation and its people to follow the rule of law, which, in its most simplistic state, parallels the rule of God. The rule begins from the within and, in the spirit of love, helps us to create a vision of freedom in the light of true respect and fairness.
'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment."
-Matthew 22:37-38
"The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
-Mark 12:30-31

Bush talks a mean God, and judging from his actions while in office, I can only come to the conclusion that his God is mean.

Maureen Dowd wrote a refreshingly astute column about how Bush planned for national safety predicated upon a miracle with incurious ignorance of fact and willful blindness; to the extent that we (along with our foreign policy) have become a 'casualty of faith'.

When casualties of blind faith become - or cause others to become - casualties of unnecessary war, we can clearly see that the spirit of God's law has been violated.
"A word was secretly brought to me,
my ears caught a whisper of it.
Amid disquieting dreams in the night,
when deep sleep falls on men,
fear and trembling seized me
and made all my bones shake.
A spirit glided past my face,
and the hair on my body stood on end.
It stopped,
but I could not tell what it was.
A form stood before my eyes,
and I heard a hushed voice:
'Can a mortal be more righteous than God?
Can a man be more pure than his Maker?"

-Job, 4:17-21

Bush seems to be trying to act as a Moses when he is merely an elected public servant. I am reminded of the book of Exodus 18:15-24. Bush's job is not to be God's messenger. He has President confused with Prophet.

I am deeply concerned.
"As for the deeds of men-
by the word of your lips
I have kept myself
from the ways of the violent."

-Psalm 17, A prayer of David

We need new direction.

"He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God
-Micah 6:8

We need a humble leader whose faith is incorporated in his soulful deeds, not wading in the shallows of his chirping throat and warbling lips.
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?
-James 2:14

This is the closest you'll see me get
to praying that our hope is met-
That John F. Kerry wins next week
to work on the vision that we seek.

Don't be afraid to join me in this prayer.

Desperation from the right

Desperation from the right-
Start learning to say 'President Kerry'

The 'Mowbraying'-
A last-ditch effort to impugn.

There is a new article at the Washington Times by someone I consider to be a total weasel named Joel Mowbray. Mowbray's the rabid critic who disgraced himself by smearing General Anthony Zinni ( former chief of Centcom ) for partisan politics' sake. He's the same Joel Mowbray who inspired the gentle-but-loony Pat Robertson to say, in terrorist fashion, that he wanted to "nuke Foggy Bottom". He's so bad that writer Justin Raimondo created a new term in his sad honor, which is mowbraying, meaning: telling a lie so brazen as to make every decent person within earshot cringe with embarrassment. I apologize if this sounds like an
ad hominem attack, but I think, in this new day of partisan political "bluntness", that we really need to call them as we seem them. The stakes are too high to be polite.

Righties have been allowing themselves to become tittilated about the partisan Washington Times puff piece, posing it as the anticipated 'October surprise'.

The gist of the story? The Washington Times reveals that John Kerry did, indeed, talk for an unspecified period of time to at least a few members of the U.N. Security Council before the Iraq 2002 Resolution was passed - but, in 'mowbrayistic' terms - he really didn't. It's not much of a story. Bottom line, the meetings John Kerry would have had with any of these council members would not have been a public hearing and we cannot expect any security council ambassadors or Kerry to whip out transcripts on what was said in private.

They're only making one last feeble attempt to hurt John Kerry by attacking his honesty. When it comes to the heart of the honesty issue, an examination of the gravity of the Kerry-meetings-situation dissipates like alcohol-on-skin - POOF - when you remember the president's failure to tell the truth to the American people in taking us to an unnecessary war, ruthlessly risking (and taking) untold numbers of lives.

The "big October story" falls flat and predictable and I now realize that John Kerry is, indeed, poised and ready to take his rightful place as President Kerry.

The members of Bush's base are deathly afraid of American voters

Right-blogs such as Powerline are afraid that every voter who desires to vote for John Kerry will actually be able to do so. The Powerline blogger says that Democrats are "gaming the system" simply because they've registered people to vote. The same blogger has taken pleasure in seeing the reverse decision on the Ohio provisonal ballots, which I believed was a decision running in bad faith toward the people's rights and interests. The election-related "fraud" those on the right seem to be anticipating surrounds the dreaded possibility that everyone who intends to vote will be enabled to do so. If every vote counts, why is counting every vote such a fear? I think it may be because they know Bush's ability to win has diminished. They see that decent Republicans have been jumping ship.

False Reliance upon Unreliable Polls vs. The Electoral Process

I notice that righties in the blogosphere are also taking poll statistics to heart, forwarding the notion that, if the vote is a landslide for Kerry, there will have to have been corruption involved because it wouldn't have "jibed" with poll numbers. We seem to be easily confusing polls with the real and meaningful participatory action of voting. Example at Powerline:
"The bottom line is that if this election is close enough, it will be stolen. If it is too close to steal but still close, the result will be months or years of litigation, designed either to give John Kerry the Presidency, or to deny President Bush legitimacy in his second term. Under current law, there is no solution to the problem of voter fraud other than a one-sided election. And this year, that doesn't look likely."
A one-sided election doesn't "look" likely because unreliable polls have systematically conditioned the righties to believe they've got an edge. What if the election were to be close and John Kerry won, prompting an action by the people to contest the election? Would John Kerry's "legitimacy" not also be affected?

*see Scrutiny Hooligans for more proof of poll voodoo

The People - Our rights and privileges are paramount

I saw a right blogger complaining today. He said:"
This has been the mantra of the Democrats since September; if we can't beat you, we'll make your election illegitimate in the eyes of the world."
I made sure to remind him that his statement was pure self-contradiction in light of our free democratic society, which our Founding Fathers helped to form. In a race that is allegedly this close, it is a natural "given" that Bush (or Kerry) can (and one will) be beaten. Any legal election-related challenges raised by either side may effect someone's perception of a winner's "legitimacy", but what's truly important is the American PEOPLE getting a fair treatment in the electoral process. I can't imagine why we would worry more about the perception of Executive power and less about the PEOPLE. We're the ones who are supposed to hold true power in this nation. Regardless of who holds the presidency, it's paramount that we, the people, keep our freedoms and privileges intact.

One thing we DO know about Bin Laden...

In other news from the right, the Washington Times has a column by Jack Kelly playing with the possibility that Osama Bin Laden might be dead, for all we know. One thing we do know is that we let him slip away at Tora Bora and lost him in the haze of lies told to us about Iraq.