••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, December 30, 2006

interesting piece. note the paragraph about how we personalize our enemies.
looks like we stumbled on a way to further divide sunni from shi'a, and maybe even increase sectarian violence; bush's legions must be rejoicing:

Ethiopian troops prepare to attack Somali Islamists
that's odd. last night i heard it was over. ah, war! so full of surprises. ain't it grand?
from alternet.org

The Top Ten Most Popular AlterNet Articles of the Year

The Top Ten Most Discussed Articles of the Year
somehow, apparently, the most discussed ain't necessarily the most popular....

Top Ten Iraq Myths for 2006
by Juan Cole
never have so many given so much for so little; or, what? no parade?

we go all the way to baghdad and all we get's that lousy gallows?

well, whaddaya want for half a trillion bucks? that's why we went, ain't it? to kill one man? like panama a thousandfold: 41 slew his hundreds and 43 his hundred thousands. vengeance is mine, saith the chief.

western civilization triumphant after all.

Bush: Execution will not halt violence
gosh! i wonder how he figured that out!

Execution gives military families little comfort
maybe you've got to do it with your own hands....

Friday, December 29, 2006

something i forgot to mention in my running conversation with dk about president ford:

suharto began takeover of east timor by sending in troops during or just after ford's 1975 visit to indonesia. estimates range from about 100k to over 200k civilians killed by resulting violence, starvation, and disease.

indonesia had previously announced it wanted annexation but would respect the desires of the timorese people, and the departing colonial power—portugal—offered to conduct a referendum, but a coup attempt and an insurgency triggered the invasion.

i don't know of any evidence of ford's complicity, but the suggestion has been made, and the question remains unanswered.
further evidence of the decline of western civilization

even npr is filling its air with speculation about rumors of saddam's execution:

Saddam's Execution Believed to Be Imminent

Kurds Feel Cheated by Saddam's Execution

Saddam's Death May Come to TV

comparing violent crime for the first half of 2006 to the first half of 2005, which already saw an increase from the year before:

Overall: +3.7 percent
Homicide: +1.4 percent
Forcible Rape: -less than 1/10th of 1 percent
Robbery: +9.7 percent
Aggravated Assault: +1.2 percent

but property crime, like burglary and auto theft, dropped 2.6 percent.

Source: FBI Semiannual Uniform Crime Report
according to npr:

Alfred Blumstein, a criminologist at Carnegie Mellon University who has been tracking crime numbers for 30 years...finds the robbery numbers especially troubling, because they've always served as a warning of what's to come.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

gerald ford

sure, he was a good guy.

but look what he gave us: rumsfeld and cheney.

and if he hadn't pardoned nixon, maybe the dick would've been prosecuted, and maybe that would've deterred the bush from riding roughshod over the constitution.

james brown

it's the syncopation, you know? he took it further than anyone else, almost beyond music, if you get my drift.

always got me movin'.
ape, man

gibbons in thailand

gibbons in nevada

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

keerist! here we go again!

it's a start.

or will be if the senate gops don't block it.

the filibuster is still the elephant in the room. gops might decide their best shot at regaining power is to stonewall dem legislation like they did in 1993-94. then they could campaign on "see! they didn't deliver!"

it fooled voters in '94, but that was btb (before the blog)!

it's up to us to keep the electorate informed.
"What message are they trying to send?"

in re the report that GI deaths in iraq now exceed 9/11 deaths, here's some verse from the year of aggression:


u publicly display religion
but shun path o righteousness

u claim traditional values
yet bend truth n bind justice

u use calm reason
2 justify mayhem

u call urself compassionate
n prepare 2 slaughter children

th@ what ur favorite
philosopher wd do?

congress gave u discretion 4 war
but u speak n act w/o discretion

tell me who's accountable
if 1000s die
but u still find no proof?
or ur crusade
leads 2 armageddon?

ur apologists say
protest foe's atrocities
not ur war

but foe don't lead us
nor claim 2 represent us
nor act in our name

u do



jus tel me
when we'll get
ded even

u kno
how many died

in iraq
AP counted
3200 non-fighters ded

nudda cupla hunerd ours
died killin dem

if d@ ain' nuf
wha is?

level medium-size city?
or will 5 to one do?



as a kid
i hrd on tv:
"b sure u'r right
then go ahed"
n crockett died
followin d@ rule
o course
might don' make right
n takin texas
fro mexico
not such gr8 idea
after all



f u hav a shotgun
n a bully threatens
2 break down ur door
f u don' giv 'im d gun
wha u gon' do?
deny u hav it?
bury it in yard?
ask neighbor 2 hide it?

course not

u tell 'im
f 'e comes in
'e gets both barrels
in 'is face

some say too few dots...
some say too many...

led nowhere either way...

but some folk look at clouds
see elephants...giraffes...

why not see

wd saddam keep

a secret
no deterrent

u may ask
how i knew
no proof
o gas or germ or nuke...

answer simple...

they kept sayin
connect dots...

so i did...



u kno
when u tell
big lie
u take risk
somebdy might look
bhind curtain



we call it earth

we can share it
kill each other off

your choice

speaking of movies, national geographic did a story on diamonds almost 5 years ago that hollywood is finally making a stab at catching up with.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

heard somebody say quetzalcoatl was mayan, so just want to clear that up.

wow! talk about hating xmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

the case is fox television v FCC, and it's worth watching the oral argument (saturday, 7pm ET, C-SPAN), if only to hear lawyers and judges repeatedly—if not gratuitously—say fuck and shit on live tv or to hear fox666's attorney defending that kind of language.

but it would be worth watching anyway.

Monday, December 18, 2006

congratulate me!

i made the cover of time magazine as person of the year!

and so did YOU!


of course somebody has to spoil it all. george will pointed out that hitler was 1938's man of the year because of his influence on history. will said that standard implies the president of iran merits this year's title.

what? not stephen colbert?

speaking of things of the year, last week on fresh air linguist jeff (geoff?) nunberg mentioned a few publishers that chose words of the year. one picked roadside bomb. another thought it should be truthiness, which colbert popularized and was somebody else's choice last year. nunberg said not even stephen deserves to win 2 years in a row for the same performance.

nunberg spent most of his monolog talking about nigger—or the n-word, for those of you who can't stand to see it spelled out. he actually used the term "n-word" most of the time but said "nigger" when he quoted strom thurmond and more or less when he mentioned NWA and gave the group's full name, niggas with attitude.

i don't think he came right out and said it should be word of the year, but he sure seemed to be making a case for it.
know-it-all newt gingrich says pulling out of iraq would create a perception of american weakness like what existed before the 1979 US embassy takeover in iran, only more so. he says "if we are defeated in Iraq, there are not enough Marine elements in the world to evacuate the embassies that’ll come under siege."

that from a man who a few short years ago predicted we could win in iraq with 50k troops.

newt is supremely confident of the infallibility of his intellect, so naturally he has a rational explanation of why he wasn't really wrong about that, but i must admit i didn't understand it well enough to repeat it.

let me just say this: everybody can already see how weak we are. it's obvious we're bogged down in a bushdoggle. the longer we stay, the weaker we get.

but it's also obvious that, even if we're too weak to occupy a country, we're still strong enough to destroy one.

u break it, u own it, revisited

judging from callers to tv and radio shows, quite a few folk still think we own iraq.

of course, taking colin powell's formula as literally true justifies conquest anytime, anywhere, by anybody.

as i've said before, it really means: you break it, you pay for it.

the only question we need to ask is how we'll pay: by cash, check, credit, or blood.

imagine all the tax revenue the govt loses because it's illegal.

Friday, December 15, 2006

whut we got hea is a failya ta kumyoonikate

an unknown number of iraqis have died at checkpoints. US marines act under standing orders to open fire when drivers fail to halt their vehicles at a "trigger line"—and they shoot to kill, of course.

the marine corps says it keeps no record of civilian deaths—which seems strange in itself—but, whatever the number, the rate's likely to drop from now on: turns out the arabic sign—which the USMC thought said STOP—actually said PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

kucinich: dream the impossible dream

joint chiefs: double down

dennis kucinich threw his hat into the presidential ring yesterday, declaring that he, like don quixote, is "willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause," even at the risk of opposing his own party's leaders by demanding an immediate pullout from iraq.

kucinich began speaking out against the war in 2002. by the time of the force authorization vote in october of that year, 125 house dems had joined him.

yesterday he named 3 goals as the foundation of his campaign: unity, security, and peace.

meanwhile, the joint chiefs of staff said they want to increase our force in iraq.

soldiers always want to win. the top-brass groupthink says victory is worth gambling more lives. then if they lose they can say "we took our best shot."

where we differ is on what's the best shot in a flawed cause: more killing or less?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

let me expand on a comment i posted on dk's blog the other day.

the ISG report's description of the mess (o'potamia) is something i can agree on, but the recommendations are based on assumptions that may not be true. (i'm not agreeing with the right-wing noise machine. rush limbo's a blowhard smearjock, and the ny post should be renamed ny lampoon.)

one such assumption is that a too early US withdrawal will cause worse violence. nobody knows that to be the case. it might get worse, it might not. it might get better or stay the same. nobody knows. what is obvious is the current violence wouldn't've happened if we hadn't invaded. if we stay longer, we again don't know if it'll worsen, level off, or improve. all we have is uncertainty about the effects of our actions.

that brings me to the (almost certainly false) next assumption: that we are capable of resolving the crisis. we keep thinking we know what we're talking about and what to do, but we don't, so how can we choose the right course of action? we can't. we have a lot of foes determined to make us fail, every time we kill or wound an innocent civilian we make more foes, and anything we do is at least as likely to make things worse as it is to make anything better.

another assumption is that we have a right to decide what to do. but our criminality in iraq may even exceed saddam's. we committed aggression, failed to secure the place, mistreated prisoners, and, in general, caused the destruction of a country. we have no legitimate right to decide iraq's fate or to keep troops there.

that's why i say turn the problem over to the UN, promise up front to abide by the security council's recommendations, and don't try to influence their decision.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Saturday, December 09, 2006

the poetry of comedy

satire, like magic, doesn't always work, even when it is most profound. witness the nearly laugh-free conclusion of wednesday's "the word" segment of the colbert report, a monolog on—of all things—words:

...this is not a "civil war." it's a civil liberation. no, a civil celebration. no! a civil WHOO! and, nation, if we want to win this WHOO, we need to do more than support our troops. we have to support our tropes.

a brilliant comment on the bush info war, in my opinion. but, judging from the weak reaction, maybe 90% of the studio audience didn't know what trope means.

too bad.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

of course i didn't read it yet, but i can say this:

if the STUDY doesn't say invading iraq VIOLATED the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, then the STUDY group better STUDY the CONSTITUTION.

what may have seemed unclear till now has become plain: clinton's impeachment was a win for the gops and a loss for the country, because any attempt to impeach bush can get spun as payback rather than justice, but if he gets away with his crimes no future quasi-tyrant will fear to break law.

empire of ignorance

rests on

who preach faith
without reason
sow wind
feed ignorance

hurricanes they reap
blow fear across lands
and drown worlds
in surges

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Orwellian arguments that voluntary integration efforts constitute racial discrimination in violation of the...(Constitution), if validated by this court, would be an unwarranted and tragic reversal of historic proportions.
Theodore Shaw, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

you can't consider race to achieve racial equality?!

like it wasn't race-based in little rock and birmingham?

what the fuck you talkin bout?

this ain't orwell, it's lewis goddamn carroll!

Lawyers Claim Photos of Jose Padilla Show He Was Tortured

more fun and games.

yeah. well, when you have so much trouble getting along with so many colleagues and subordinates, maybe it's time to consider a career change.

apparently he's good at kissing ass, tho.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Whose default is it?

home foreclosure rate up.
giuliani's legacy

shimon peres was on charlie rose last night. he said—more or less in so many words—that terrorists are not a country or soldiers but murderers. you don't make war on them. you bring them to justice.