••can ye pass the acid test?••

ye who enter here be afraid, but do what ye must -- to defeat your fear ye must defy it.

& defeat it ye must, for only then can we begin to realize liberty & justice for all.

time bomb tick tock? nervous tic talk? war on war?

or just a blog crying in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all, terror-fried by hate radio and FOX, the number of whose name is 666??? (coincidence?)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

it will soon be 10 years since the last national minimum wage raise. those who fear another one still think it will hurt small businesses and cause job losses.

they should check out the experiences of places where it happens regularly, including some states and countries like the uk, where raised minimum wage has been accompanied by lower unemployment. britain has seen it annually since 1999.

bushies still spout the obvious truth every chance they get—as if it proves their economic theories right—that more americans have jobs than ever before. they never mention that over a million more americans are unemployed than when bush took office. job growth hasn't kept up with population growth. that's a reversal of what happened under clinton, and—obviously—it wasn't caused by raising the minimum wage.

Friday, October 27, 2006

a little more nutsiness on washington journal this morning:

a caller criticized an earlier caller for saying 9/11 was a crime.

"it wasn't a crime. it was an act of war!"

if the later caller had been pro-terrorist, it might've made sense....
michael yon, on washington journal, said he's independent, but he works for the neocon weekly standard and comes off like a hawk, which sounded contradictory when he talked about how bad things are getting in afghanistan and predicted it will get much worse.

he also said the afghan poppy crop brings in about $3B a year, which he called a "drop in the bucket" compared to the $8B we spend on war every month.

i agree. that's why i say we should outbid drug traffickers and buy up the crop rather than subsidize alternative crops as yon advocates. agriculture will diversify on its own when chaos diminishes.

if we're going to be free-marketers we need to think like free-marketers and do so creatively.

the alternative: keep being merchants of death.
an iron curtain all our own

rather than comparison to israel's fence/wall, i recall the last time we dealt with border barriers we did all we could to entice escape to the free world, where we welcomed folk, settled them all over america, found them homes, jobs, schools, &c, and, in general, made sure they enjoyed all the "blessings of liberty" our constitution promises.

but that was ideological: we were determined to prove our system better.

now the inferior system has (mostly) folded. we've discovered our own job shortages, resource shortages, money shortages, and compassion shortages. ideology no longer checks uncertainty, so we seek comfort in religion (still) yet feel less hospitable—even xenophobic—and, step by step, find our open society shutting down. indeed, we see terrorists and invaders wherever we turn. israelis have no monopoly on siege mentality.

perhaps we'd lure and welcome mexicans—as we did cubans and east europeans—if their country went communist, but that may take a while.
did i imagine it, or did rush limbo actually say michael j fox intentionally skipped his meds?

is that the same rush limburger who said things like "who needs the media when they've got me?"?

and in his "apology" he claims ignorance?

now, there's a source you can rely on!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

looks like he can dish out what he can't—or, rather, won't—take, namely backing off—from iraq, i mean.
with all the gop anxiety over the possibility of a speaker of the house nancy pelosi, plus all the stuff about dennis hastert not knowing about mark foley, i thought it might be nice to look back at a simpler time.

the link for the following excerpt is no longer available, and meet the press's archive seems to go back only to august 2003. how odd. just one month short. what a coincidence.

Sunday, July 20, 2003

MR. RUSSERT: Let me turn to the war and the whole premise for it, because a central piece of the rationale given was the potential nuclear threat that Saddam possessed. This is what the president said in October of 2002:

(Videotape, October 7,2002):
PRES. BUSH: Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun, that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.
(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: And when the House debated the resolution to go to war, this was one of the key elements of that actual resolution that was voted on, “Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States...by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability...”

And Time magazine did this analysis of the vote: “The House of Representatives [passed] a resolution authorizing use of force against Iraq.... More than 180 members of Congress mention the possible Iraqi nuclear threat as a reason for supporting the resolution.”

And you, yourself, Mr. Speaker, your home state paper, Daily Herald, “Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, [Speaker Dennis] Hastert said, already possesses a ‘dirty nuke’ weapon and is on the brink of obtaining a nuclear bomb.”

In hindsight, with all the questionable intelligence, if you will, about uranium from Africa and aluminum tubes, do you believe that the potential nuclear threat of Saddam Hussein was overstated?

REP. HASTERT: You know, we don’t know. First of all, we do know that Saddam Hussein possessed, even today, that it’s there, barrels, as a matter of fact tons, of plutonium, some of it this yellow cake plutonium from Niger, that they had purchased, you know, previously.

MR. RUSSERT: Where is it?

REP. HASTERT: Well, it’s there; it’s contained. I mean, it’s of record that it is there, and it’s stored, it’s in barrels and it’s marked. And, you know, that is there. There’s no question about it. But, you know, this was purchased years ago. So they do have capability, and, you know, the intelligence that some folks had in 1998 to make decisions in 1998 and 1999, the 16 resolutions that the UN passed in 12 years, said there were weapons of mass destruction. In that included the potential of creating a nuclear weapon. And I think he had the potential for a dirty bomb and a nuclear device takes a little bit longer and more technology, but I think he was clearly striving to get that.

MR. RUSSERT: But could our intelligence have been wrong? Now, this is what you said when campaigning in Michigan for one of your colleagues, right here. “US House Speaker Dennis Hastert said he saw classified information on Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction that convinced him of the need to go to war.”

Could the intelligence have been wrong? Or hyped? Or manipulated? Where someone in Congress, like you, drew the wrong conclusion, or you were intentionally spun to encourage you to vote?

REP. HASTERT: Look, you know, I’m not the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, but I do get briefed on a weekly basis. It’s part of my job to know what’s going on. And we get intelligence sources, obviously, through the CIA. We use British intelligence sources. We use Australian, British intelligence sources. We use intelligence sources from any of our friends or allies or other sources that we can get. The Brits use some different intelligence sources than we do. As a matter of fact, they have closer ties to the French, and, you know, some of this intelligence is corroborated by them. I think the intelligence that was on the table, the intelligence that we got to make a decision, we had to make the best decision we had with the information that we had. And I think we made that decision.

so the guy 2 heartbeats from the presidency doesn't know the difference between uranium and plutonium. how reassuring.

and the gops are scared of pelosi?!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

never underestimate the opponent!

The GOP Leans on A Proven Strategy
scare tactics, of course.

Corker plays race card
"Harold, call me" says blonde in gop ad. lower than willie horton, say critics.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

david kuo, the latest superstar among right to left defectors, is all over the media hawking his public confession, tempting faith: an inside story of political seduction.

well, good, i guess. good for a man to clear his conscience. good to get the truth out at last. good to let his coreligionists know how he helped systematically hoodwink them to build the power of organized political gangsters.

i'm sure he's sincere.

but the damage was done, boy! and it ain't over. we ALL have to live with it: the millions below the poverty line, the millions with no health coverage, the billions yet to suffer from a hotter planet and thinner ozone and mercury and lead and arsenic and genocide and all the other problems washington could've solved if we'd had some real leaders instead of so many true believers.

the only ones who won't have to live with it are the HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of dead! dead because of him, boy. dead because you helped him.

one question: what took you so long, dave?

you were on the inside all that time. you joined up because he told you he wanted social justice.


should've smelled a rat right then, boy. social justice comes from the LEFT, boy! it HAD to be a CON, boy.

but, ok, you were naïve. you fell for his pitch. he's a great salesman, after all. you bought it.

but that was what—EIGHT years ago? he was still governor then—still signing death warrants. didn't you notice all those executions?

and later, when you worked for him, didn't you hear all his bellicose threats against people who were no threat? the scare tactic crap still getting spread round the country by his prophets?

did that sound CHRISTIAN?

but you were wrapped up in your little world of getting government money for churches.

didn't you ever read the constitution?

no, what's WRONG with you christians? don't you read the BIBLE?

you want us to forgive you because you didn't know what you were doing? well, you should've.

here, let me give it to you from your own gospel:

a good tree doesn't grow bad fruit

look, i send you out like sheep among wolves, so be shrewd as snakes, harmless as doves.
credit card debt: latest (& easiest) way to stay out of battle

yes, if you are in the service and have too much credit card debt you will be considered vulnerable to bribery and therefore a security risk, which will make you ineligible for combat duty.

sweet, huh?
the faithful will be relieved to know alberto fernandez—the state dept employe who interviewed on al jazeera and described our iraq policy with words translated from arabic as "arrogance" and "stupidity" (originally denied by the govt)—has recanted.

indeed, an apologist said he meant it "figuratively, not literally."

i gotta admit i'm stumped. how do you make arrogance and stupidity figurative?

besides, even if i were to concede—hypothetically—that the iraq policy wasn't literally arrogant, you've got to admit it was stupid.

i b 2 hi 4 u 2 c
bt as u fight ur intr nay seen wars
n as ur kris chan i den titty cry sis
brings ur blo ted byu ra crazy
grindng 2 a halt
n as ur brie lent lawmakrs
db8 ethcs n ledge sl8 rligin
n giv aid n cum4t 2 d dev L
n as ur nay shuns n nash nalties n ethni cities
n corp.ray shuns n gum mints n clrgy
n ar mees n arms.makrs n dema gogs
n CEOs n PR age ncies n chemcl mfrs
n ad age ncies n morl abso lutists n specul 8ors
n scapegoatrs n hippo.crits n imp eria.lsts
n cult ural imp eria.lsts n cultur warriors n drug warriors
n prop gandsts n disn4mrs n co.vrt op.r8rs
Mutually Assure Destruction
—sure as flood n landslide follo clearcut—
—sure as quantm mchancs—
—sure as deth—
i b cmin
tru d O zone
2 get u


Thursday, October 19, 2006

we often hear pro-administration speakers talk of finding a "balance" between security and liberty, but the constitution makes it clear: government's mandate is to guard both our safety and our freedom.
it's nice to see king georgie in part admit ted kennedy may have been right to call iraq "bush's vietnam," but differences remain.

bush was speaking only of the current level of attacks on our troops and the high casualties when he said the situation resembles the tet offensive of 1968 because it is before an election, but,

1) tet was 9 months before the election, not one month, and

2) in january '68 gallup poll showed a 56%-28% hawk-dove ratio in the US, which shifted to an even split in march '68 after the offensive, while current public opinion has already shifted over the past year.
what reagan forgot to tell us:

a rising tide swamps some boats.
ed howard, alliance for health reform

he was referring, of course, to the incredible growth in the number of uninsured last year (and the previous 4 years).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

the banality of dubya

we know george w bush isn't stupid. he even has occasional flashes of brilliance.

but he's thoughtless.

when we learned of the recent national intelligence estimate, statements of colin powell and other present and former military officers, and bob woodward's new book, it became apparent this president never considered the consequences of some of his most significant actions, such as how going to war and reinterpreting treaty obligations might affect the fight against terrorists, the willingness of other nations to support us in that fight, and the morale of both our troops and our civilian population.

today mr bush signed a law, which, in spite of a much-heralded compromise, still contains egregious provisions such as suspension of habeas corpus and power to use hearsay and coerced testimony (as long as it was obtained before a certain arbitrarily chosen date) .

in front of tv cameras he sometimes looks pained when his missteps get questioned, as if he's becoming aware of his failures at last. today's signature of the military commissions act shows he's more likely thinking something like "why don't they get it?"

but i think we can see just who it is that still doesn't get it.

why do we still not ask the obvious?

in 2002 and 2003, when the white house beat war drums and conjured up mushroom cloud imagery and the national security adviser ran an op-ed titled why we know iraq is lying, the question was obvious:

given that we threaten invasion and the main value of nuclear and other mass weapons is deterrence, why would saddam hussein deny it if he has WMD?
yet i know of no politician or mainstream journalist that asked it.

today we are giving an iraqi army the finest training and equipment in the world, and everybody wonders if US withdrawal will lead to an escalating civil war, yet nobody asks why iraq won't attack israel.

indeed, would it really astound anyone if shi'a and sunni resolved their differences by uniting around a belligerent anti-israel policy?

given the history of the region, it shouldn't.

Friday, October 13, 2006

big stick & bigger mouth

damnit! i'm really tired of politicians who think they have to prove how tough they are by talking tough.

our political discourse has become dominated by bigmouths and bullies.

it seems either nobody recalls the teddy roosevelt line "speak softly and carry a big stick" anymore or they don't know what it means.

i just watched part of kdka's casey-santorum debate, and if it wasn't for the party difference i'm not sure i'd be able to choose between them even tho i thought casey came off better in their meet the press debate.

casey apparently buys into bush's axis of evil pitch and only objects to the fact that we attacked the weakest member of the axis first.


i still want to get rid of santorum and the gop leadership, but i'm not so sure i want to keep casey in the senate more than one term.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

this is a couple days old, but better late....

i notice the article rebuts mccain a bit.
south park imported the hardy boys and their dad to solve the 9/11 conspiracy along with a more mundane local mystery last night.

you decide for yourself if my interpretation of the satire flies: what i got is the w house promotes the conspiracy theory to associate their critics with nuts who believe it.

it's sort of like the reichstag fire: whether or not nazis started it, they fully exploited it to expand their power, so some folk inevitably see 9/11 parallels.

since it's widely believed nazis did start the fire, it's not entirely illogical to think 9/11 might be an inside job too.

the actual bush connection is a bit less sinister but far from innocuous: reagan and bush's daddy armed and otherwise supported mujahidin against russia in afghanistan in the 1980s. al qaeda grew out of that and turned anti-US in the '90s.

9/11 is what's called blowback, not an inside job nor a US govt conspiracy, but still traceable to unintended consequences of US actions.

unlike south park, it ain't funny.
there's many ways to go wild. they don't all include having implants and waxing your nether region.
ariel levy, author of female chauvinist pigs: is raunch culture the new women's liberation?, on the colbert report, 10/10/06
stephen colbert's meteoric rise [if you'll pardon the oxymoron] reached new heights this week and showed he's attained the cachet to get some real heavy hitters to risk their public images by playing along with his travesty of right-wing overcompensation for inferiority fears.

tuesday, ostensibly to head off a threatened sexual harassment lawsuit by his staff, he saluted the "american lady" by baking apple pie with jane fonda and gloria steinem.

last night climaxed a non-contest between viewers who made videos using an online clip of colbert pantomiming a lightsaber duel. the guest was none other than the star wars creator himself, identified only as "George L," who was one of two finalists and wound up placing 2nd.

i fell head over heels for levy, whose interview rounded out tuesday's show. here's a couple more quotes:

"raunch culture" is this term i made up to describe the spread of the aesthetics and values of a red-light district into mainstream culture...like having cardiostriptease classes at princeton.
reminds me of things my ex used to say about young women's clothing styles. and

i think that having sex is, like, a little bit more personal than playing baseball.
definitely two of steve's best shows so far. catch them online if you can.
just heard andrew sullivan call abe lincoln a "great conservative."

what an idiot!

anybody with half a brain knows he was a lib.
stay the curse

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

the first 3 are

1. It's Clinton's fault.

2. Madeleine Albright and Sandy Berger, too.

3. Be afraid.

There ought to be limits to freedom!
—GWB, 1999

He's a threat we must deal with as quickly as possible.
—GWB, Sep 13, 2002

Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof—the smoking gun—that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.
—GWB, Oct 7, 2002

...the danger is already significant and it only grows worse with time. If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today—and we do—does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger and develops even more dangerous weapons?
—GWB, Oct 2002

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words and all recriminations would come too late.
—GWB, State of the Union, January 2003

Knowing what I knew then and knowing what I know today, America did the right thing in Iraq.
—GWB, Feb 5, 2004

It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so.
—"Artemus Ward" (Charles Farrar Browne)

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
—John Adams

If you must take innocent lives to satisfy your cause, your cause is nothing more than a treacherous crime.
Age of Warriors #69, KBS

Be sure you are right, then go ahead.
—David Crockett, motto during War of 1812

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
—Wm Butler Yeats, The Second Coming

Monday, October 09, 2006

somebody on talk of the nation said the nk nuke appears to have been only ½ kiloton—almost a dud as nukes go—unless, of course, the blast was muffled by rock formations.

correct me if i'm wrong, but doesn't ½ kiloton have the power of 1,000,000 pounds of TNT?

some dud.
axis turns, world whirls, fox spins, evil wins

this morning, as we awaited the seismographers' nk nuke test verdict, fox666news paired up a gop spokesman with a token dem to spin the axis of evil speech into proof of king georgie's foresight. (don't confuse such relatively mild pro-bushism with extreme gopbot delusional blaming of the nukes on clinton and albright for "coddling" kim.)

the dem stooge was too far behind the curve to realize that—rather than showing prescience—bush's infamous phobic fantasy so rattled kim jong il that he started thinking about building bombs, thus making the speech a self-fulfilling prophecy.

i switched to cnn and was startled to see the same public execution footage they showed a year ago. you know: the one whose voiceover says the firing squad's shooting somebody for "making contact with the outside world" tho onscreen a graphic says the accused "trafficked women across the border into china"?

don't get me wrong: i'm against capital punishment across the board, but i'm a relativist—i never condone it, but i can't really condemn folk who support it.

let's at least get the charges straight so we don't have to wonder if they shoot folk for real crimes or imaginary ones.
i should've reposted this item right away when in the wake of bill clinton's chris wallace interview her apologianess dr rice claimed during their first 8 months the bush admin was very focused on al qaeda:

The State Department officially released its annual terrorism report just a little more than an hour ago, but unlike last year, there's no extensive mention of alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. A senior State Department official tells CNN the US government made a mistake in focusing so much energy on bin Laden and 'personalizing terrorism'.
—CNN, 4/30/2001
poker, roulette, or craps?

this interests me mainly because baker was on fresh air a few days ago and said bush told him to let him know whenever he was coming to dc and bush would try to see him. he added that he's managed to meet with bush on 80% of the trips or more. then he said he wouldn't repeat anything that happened in those meetings because whatever happens in the oval office stays in the oval office.

Friday, October 06, 2006

the second paragraph of the orlando sentinel story says

In an interview published by a Christian news service, Harris said incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson "claims to be a Christian" but supports policies "completely contrary to what we say we believe."
"what we say we believe," kathy?

interesting way of putting it.
why does bob woodward always say "raport" and "raporter" instead of pronouncing "re-" the usual way?

i don't know why i care, but it really bugs me.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

gregg jackson, author of Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies: Issue by Issue Responses to the Most Common Claims of the Left from A to Z, posted this on punditreview.com almost a year ago, but i just found it.

i tried to post a comment, but i'm not sure it went up, so here it is:

the proper argument is not about when life begins but about the meaning of the word "person."

the rights in the 14th amendment's due process and equal protection clauses, which you call "unambiguously clear," belong only to a person, which is defined in law as an entity having legal responsibility.

if it were "unambiguously clear" that an embryo or fetus is a person under the law, we wouldn't be discussing this.

there is no "constitutionally inalienable right to life." maybe you're thinking of the declaration of independence, which indeed may be the best source for a clear definition of "person" if we take "men" to mean "persons."

the definition i would propose: that which is endowed with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

since an embryo or fetus, tho alive, has no liberty and doesn't pursue anything, the conclusion is obvious.

but this isn't really about that, is it? it's about taking away women's liberty, making them obey their male lords and masters, and going back to that old-time patriarchal religion.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Jane Smiley: Bizarro President

creatiff tariffs

instead of aiming protective tariffs at countries of origin, why not try this?:

tax goods shipped back here by corporations that move american jobs out of the US.

punish—and deter—companies, not countries.
i gotta hand it to whoever came up with the idea of stopping banks and credit cards from paying internet casinos.

i don't care which party thought of it. it's brilliant.

i've got nothing against folk who want to play, but i look forward to an inbox free of gambling spam.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

rewrite stuff

neil armstrong vindicated!

an ozzie programmer proved the moon man actually said "one small step for a man..." as armstrong claimed all along.

the "a"—inaudible to listeners—can be seen on a voiceprint.

a-ok, guys! but remember: enunciate clearly from here on.

speaking of a's, ever notice how the condescender-in-chief usually says it "ay" when he reads a speech but mostly says "uh" when fielding questions?

maybe not only astronauts could use speech lessons.
rumdum reconsidered

i just heard—i'm pretty sure it was on all things considered—that before invading iraq the secdef gave mr compassion a list of 29 things that might go wrong.

#13 was "we don't find WMD."

maybe rummy ain't such a dummy after all.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

vhat, me vorry?

fear's icy grip takes firm hold on america

karl rove will need no october surprise this year. panic has taken over the body politic.

everywhere we turn, we see dreaded jihadists. they hide among invading alien hordes stealing our jobs, our healthcare, our free education. they secrete themselves within the ranks of gays ending marriage between men and women. they conceal themselves beneath activist judges' robes, under stacks of trial lawyers' briefs, behind library shelves and scientists' blackboards. they hug trees, burn bras, pledge allegiance to flags not under god, force us to give fair trials to foreigners and get background checks to buy guns. they cut and run all over the world!

what will we do? where will we turn?

o! i almost forgot! bbbb [beloved big brother bush] will save us! all we have to do is vote for kathy harris, rick santorum, tom kean jr, george allen, and all the other gops (except lincoln chafee)!

and if you swallow that, they'll feed you another one.
rummy's record(s)

• youngest secdef in US history, 1975
• oldest secdef in US history, 2001-present
• sexiest old man in america, '02-'03
• most legalistic secdef, '03-present (major achievement: proved no guerillas in iraq)
• all-time most inept secdef, '03-present

so let's give him a really nice medal when we send him off, or even a long chain of medals, preferably pinned to the ass's ass.
foley cath arses

denny has tert's cove rup unc over ed aft er de lay but page expo sure

foley's folly shows congressmen and priests have much in common, and the speaker acts like a bishop.

chess, anyone? no kings or queens tho. republican pawns scramble for table scraps.

job perks? pork'n'pages, natch!
i dunno. this all looks like hype for a tv show, no?