Saturday, December 24, 2005

The real war on Christmas

It's Christmas Eve Day. A good time to reflect on the latest nonsense perpertrated by the ever-diminishing Bush base. I'm talking about the so-called "war on Christmas," packaged, sealed and delivered by the pundits that hope that you will forget about the real war in Iraq, the abandonment of New Orleans, and the general malfeasance of a corrupt one-party republic under the titular non-leadership of the Bushwacker. So, in the spirit of the season, I invite you to ruminate on the words of Jesus Christ himself as reported by Luke and Matthew. After reading these, consider then who are the true wagers of the war on Christmas.

"Blessed be ye poor; for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now; for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now; for ye shall laugh."

"But woe unto you that are rich! For ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! For ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep."

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; but I say unto you: Resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away."

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you. Thus you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even publicans the same? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more than others? Do not even publicans so?"

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

"No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you: Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not life more than meat, and the body more than raiment?"

"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."

"Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets."

And to all a good night.

I am indebted to Chris Floyd's Empire Burlesque for sources.

Democrats and Jack Abramoff

The media has been quick to tie Democrats as well as Republicans to the festering, sleazy scandal(s) of Jack Abramoff's purchase of Congressional influence. Well, guess what? According to the Center for Responsive Politics (here and here), only Republicans received contributions directly from Abramoff.

Full story here at Media Matters for America.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The big chill

A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book." Two history professors at UMass Dartmouth, Brian Glyn Williams and Robert Pontbriand, said the student told them he requested the book through the UMass Dartmouth library's interlibrary loan program.
-- Aaron Nicodemus, Standard-Times

Full article here.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Imperious Rex

The detachment, the sangfroid, the sheer seeming indifference with which the Rogue President discussed Iraqi casualties last week revealed a man seriously devoid of a moral base. Listen to his stammering "interview" with that sycophant Brit Hume - it chills one to the bone.

And now, we find that Tiberius Bush has broken the law of the United States, authorizing the unlawful invasion of citizens' right to privacy. He thinks that's his "constitutional authority." Constitutional authority to ignore the ... uh, Constitution.

This man's political party impeached Bill Clinton for an act of illicit - albeit consensual - sex. Apparently, an assault on the republic's democratic traditions is a far less worrisome affront. At least a few Republicans seem to be concerned about the apparent disregard of this administration for the law of the land.

Now, I can't vouch for this next item, but according to Doug Thompson of Capital Hill Blue (he claims that this has been confirmed by three eyewitnesses), the following transpired at a recent White House meeting between Bush and Republican Congressional leaders about renewing the Patriot Act:

"GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

“'I don’t give a goddamn,' Bush retorted. 'I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.'”

“'Mr. President,' one aide in the meeting said. 'There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.'

'Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. 'It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!'”

"Just a goddamned piece of paper!"

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Oh, and isn't it a sin to take the Lord's name in vain?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

To hell with "Republican lite"

"Too many Democrats are tiptoeing around the major issues facing our nation, afraid to venture out of the mainstream. This is a big mistake at a time when the nation is begging for true leadership."

In her essay, veteran White House Press Corpswoman Helen Thomas plaintively calls for the minority party to start showing some cohones.

Hillary, are you listening? Stop trying to be Joe Lieberman in drag.

Last night I had the sweetest dream...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Letter from a soldier in Iraq

"Weapons of mass destruction? I’m still looking for them, and if you find any give me a call so we can justify our presence in Iraq. We started the war based on a lie, and we’ll finish it based on a lie. I say this because I am currently serving with a logistics headquarters in the Anbar province, between the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. I am not fooled by the constant fabrication of “democracy” and “freedom” touted by our leadership at home and overseas.

"This deception is furthered by our armed forces’ belief that we can just enter ancient Mesopotamia and tell the locals about the benefits of a legislative assembly. While our European ancestors were hanging from trees, these ancient people were writing algebra and solving quadratic equations. Now we feel compelled to strong-arm them into accepting the spoils of capitalism and “laissez-faire” society. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching Britney Spears on MTV and driving to McDonald’s, but do you honestly believe that Sunnis, Shias and Kurds want our Western ideas of entertainment and freedom imposed on them? Think again.

"I’m not being negative, I’m being realistic. The reality in Iraq is that the United States created a nightmare situation where one didn’t exist. Yes, Saddam Hussein was an evil man who lied, cheated and pillaged his own nation. But how was he different from dictators in Africa who commit massive crimes again humanity with little repercussion and sometimes support from the West? The bottom line up front (BLUF to use a military acronym) is that Saddam was different because we used him as an excuse to go to war to make Americans “feel good” about the “War on Terrorism.” The BLUF is that our ultimate goal in 2003 was the security of Israel and the lucrative oil fields in northern and southern Iraq.

"Weapons of mass destruction? Call me when you find them. In the meantime, 'bring ’em on' so we can get our 'mission accomplished' and get out of this mess."

-- Capt. Jeff Pirozzi, Camp Taqaddum, Iraq in a letter to "Star and Stripes"

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Who are they kidding?

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

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

Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

The public has a right to know about Hillary Clinton's cattle trades, but George Bush's cocaine conviction is none of our business.

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness, and you need our prayers for your recovery.

You support states' rights, which means Attorney General Gonzalez can tell states what local voter initiatives they have the right to adopt.

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Another view of the "war on terror"

I am not a conspiracy theory aficionado (though my wife thinks I'm a first-class paranoid). However, I do believe that we Americans have incredibly naive concepts of how global politics function. We just don't like to think too much.

Watch the video hyperlinked below, and perhaps you, like me, will find it invading your quiet moments unbidden, tugging at the small, impertinent cynic inside your head that knows, just KNOWS, that the official version of any story is just another canvas for someone's pointed brush. Hopefully, it will shake your tree at least just a little.

In it, two prominent European politicians, Michael Meacher and Andreas von Bulow, express their serious doubts about the official version of the 9/11 story. But before you reject it right out of hand, read the gospel of the reigning neocons, "Project for the New American Century," and their white paper entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century." On page 63 of the latter is the following: "Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor."

Watch it online. Real video is required, and can be downloaded here.

Two by Toles

Courtesy of the The Santa Cruz Comic News

Monday, December 05, 2005

Victory over the American people?

"There could be no doubt about the theme of President Bush's Iraq war strategy speech on Wednesday at the Naval Academy. He used the word victory 15 times in the address; 'Plan for Victory' signs crowded the podium he spoke on; and the word heavily peppered the accompanying 35-page National Security Council document titled, 'Our National Strategy for Victory in Iraq.'

"Although White House officials said many federal departments had contributed to the document, its relentless focus on the theme of victory strongly reflected a new voice in the administration: Peter D. Feaver, a Duke University political scientist who joined the N.S.C. staff as a special adviser in June and has closely studied public opinion on the war.

Despite the president's oft-stated aversion to polls, Dr. Feaver was recruited after he and Duke colleagues presented the administration with an analysis of polls about the Iraq war in 2003 and 2004. They concluded that Americans would support a war with mounting casualties on one condition: that they believed it would ultimately succeed.

That finding, which is questioned by other political scientists, was clearly behind the victory theme in the speech and the plan, in which the word appears six times in the table of contents alone, including sections titled 'Victory in Iraq is a Vital U.S. Interest' and 'Our Strategy for Victory is Clear.'"
--Scott Shane, NY Times 12-5-2005

Victory victory victory victory victory victory victory

Naval cadets at Annapolis show their enthusiastic anticipation of the President's victory speech at the Academy last week.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Top Ten New President Bush Strategies for Victory in Iraq

10. "Make an even larger 'Mission Accomplished' sign"
9. "Encourage Iraqis to settle their feud like Dave and Oprah"
8. "Put that go-getter Michael Brown in charge"
7. "Launch slogan, 'It's not Iraq, it's Weraq'"
6. "Just do whatever he did when he captured Osama"
5. "A little more vacation time at the ranch to clear his head"
4. "Pack on a quick 30 pounds and trade places with Jeb"
3. "Wait, you mean it ain't going well?"
2. "Boost morale by doing his hilarious 'Locked Door' gag"
1. "Place Saddam back in power and tell him, 'It's your problem now, dude'"

---Late Show with David Letterman

Presidential Speak

“I’m a war president.  I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind.”
-- George W. Bush, February 8, 2004

“It’s not a dictatorship in Washington, but I tried to make it one in that instance.”
-- George W. Bush, January 15, 2004, regarding the executive order making federal funds available to faith-based organizations

“It’s hard to be successful if you don’t make something somebody doesn’t want to buy.”
-- George W. Bush, March 9, 2004