Obama elected in landslide

John Cusak has a brilliant piece on what it means for the lying right.

I hope he is correct!

PS: This should be the last post on my blog... After 5 years of blogging I'm weary and busy in RL and we finally have our country back, or are on our way to get it. I think we all deserve a break :)

Thanks to all readers


What does the sea change mean? How can we help people understand what is happening and help them contextualize it?

First the past: Senator McCain, Governor Palin and assorted surrogates are delusional and breathtakingly corrupt. They disgrace themselves and their country as they lie, smear, slur and write it off as political manner.

Yet the creeping truth must frighten them late at night: there is no currency left to buy the big lies.

There is no more money left to loan or borrow the big lies or to sell them. No more money left to pay off the debt, the wreckage in the wake. The orgy of excess has drained every bottle, smashed the furniture and left the cupboards bare. All that's left is derivative debts -- bets between liars and lies. Trillions of dollars. Turned capitalism into a Ponzi scheme for trading worthless paper. No real value anywhere. No matter how much money Ben Bernanke prints.

We are asked to stand over the abyss and experience our own destruction as another political game show -- just another surreal horse race. We watch millionaires and paid Republican hacks appear on television yelling "Socialist!" at Obama as if the Bolsheviks are coming to rape our daughters. These are the same people who oversaw the greatest upward redistribution of wealth in the history of this country. The same people who, through general lawlessness and a privatization frenzy, succeeded in shredding the Constitution, turning war, illegal domestic spying, security, border patrol, interrogation, and even torture into profitable industries gorging on the state.

John Cusack: No Currency Left to Buy the Big Lies



Deflecting the Blame for Reich Wing Mistakes part Deux,

Mahablog expands his “Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra” post on Right wing and their metaphor / myths coded speach to show us how Bush's Vietnam reference is preparing the ground to blame liberals for "losing Iraq" -- law

Once we have entered the realm of myth, taboos replace rational discourse...

When Bush trotted out his highly imaginative version of Vietnam history last week, I realized that the facts of Vietnam were not the point of the speech. He was speaking of what Vietnam represents to the Right, emotionally and mythically... [ A stab in the back]

As Kevin Baker noted in an in-depth analysis in Harper’s, the “stab in the back” thesis is the ur-right-wing credo. It brings together two keystone beliefs: the idea that America is omnipotent and incapable of defeat, and that any war the U.S. engages in must be noble and heroic. Therefore, if America is defeated, traitorous elites — craven politicians, un-American punks, degenerates, longhairs, pinkos and agitators, and the cowardly elite media — must be to blame. Nixon and Agnew’s demonizing of “nattering nabobs of negativism” and Reagan’s claims that war protesters were giving “comfort and aid” to the enemy sprang from this belief.

The basic point is that the Vietnam myth and the McGovern myth are really just add-ons to the Yalta myth. And when you’re discussing Iraq with someone whose understanding of American defense policy is entirely steeped in the Yalta-Vietnam-McGovern mythos, you might as well be talking to a tree stump. And a nasty little bugger of a tree stump at that; one who thinks the only reason anyone would want to end the war is to stab America in the back...

However, Bush’s “Vietnam” speech may serve other purposes.

In some part of his brain, Bush knows this — which explains his other motivation for invoking Vietnam and attacking war critics as defeatists. As a partisan Republican, still dreaming of Karl Rove’s permanent Republican majority, he wants to ensure that the Democrats take the blame in the coming argument over “who lost Iraq?” By defiantly insisting, contrary to all evidence, that victory is within grasp, he is planting the seeds of a resentful revisionism, a stab in the back II, which he hopes will come to fruition in the future.

The Mahablog » America, Its Back Stabbed

"Stabbed in the back! The past and future of a right-wing myth" by Kevin Baker (Harper's Magazine)

"The stab in the back first gained currency in Germany, as a means of explaining the nation's stunning defeat in World War I. It was Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg himself, the leading German hero of the war, who told the National Assembly, “As an English general has very truly said, the German army was ‘stabbed in the back.’” Like everything else associated with the stab-in-the-back myth, this claim was disingenuous. The “English general” in question was one Maj. Gen. Neill Malcolm, head of the British Military Mission in Berlin after the war, who put forward this suggestion merely to politely summarize how Field Marshal Erich von Ludendorff—the force behind Hindenburg—was characterizing the German army's alleged lack of support from its civilian government. “Ludendorff's eyes lit up, and he leapt upon the phrase like a dog on a bone,” wrote Hindenburg biographer John Wheeler-Bennett. “‘Stabbed in the back?’ he repeated. ‘Yes, that's it exactly. We were stabbed in the back.’”"

"Stabbed in the back! The past and future of a right-wing myth" by Kevin Baker (Harper's Magazine):

The Mahablog » The Power of (Right Wing) Myth

Mahablog cracks the code for neocon speech: words and names are stories, facts are not invited... -- law

The key to understanding right-wing rhetoric can be found in an episode of the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In “Darmok” (originally aired 1991) the crew of the Enterprise encounters the Tamarians, a people with an incomprehensible language. “We come in peace,” say the Enterprise crew. “Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra,” reply the Tamarians. “Temba, his arms wide.” The Next Generationers are baffled.

But then Captain Picard and Dathon the Tamarian have an adventure together battling an invisible beast, and during this adventure Picard has a “Helen Keller at the water pump” moment and realizes that Tamarians speak in metaphors taken from stories. For example, “Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra” refers to two enemies, Darmok and Jalad, who became allies at Tenagra. As a phrase, it means “Let’s put aside our differences and be friends.” So after much suspense and drama and the death of the unfortunate Dathon, by the end of the episode Picard knows enough Tamarian to say, “Bye. It’s been real.”

... The point I want to make here is that when righties talk about history, they are not talking about what actually happened in the past. Instead, they are evoking historical persons and events as archetype and allegory.

Thus, when they speak of Winston Churchill, they are not speaking of the real Winston Churchill. They are speaking of what Winston Churchill represents in their minds, which is the stubborn refusal to back down from a fight. In fact, the real Winston Churchill wrote a letter to Prime Minister David Lloyd George in 1922 advising him that British troops should abandon Iraq.

But instead of actually studying the life and words of Churchill for understanding, righties simply evoke the man as an archetype of bulldog, never-give-up tenacity... By the same token, Neville Chamberlain is the archetype of cowardly appeasement. Righties may know little else about the man except that he “appeased” Hitler — not an uncommon practice among right wingers of the 1930s, who considered Hitler and Mussolini to be swell guys who hated communism as much as they did.

In fact, former White House correspondent Lynne Olson argued awhile back that Bush was a lot more like the real Chamberlain than the real Churchill... In the rightie mind, any attempt to avoid war is “appeasement.” In his new book A Tragic Legacy, Glenn Greenwald writes (p. 177) that when Ronald Reagan signed the INF treaty with the Soviet Union in 1988, rightie editorialists everywhere evoked Neville Chamberlain and accused Reagan of “appeasement.” Earlier, in 1984, Newt Gingrich scorned Reagan’s rapprochement with Gorbachev as “the most dangerous summit for the West since Adolph Hitler met with Chamberlain in 1938 at Munich.”

Got that? All “enemies” are Hitler (whatever you think of Gorbachev, he’s hardly Hitler). So much as meeting with “enemies” is Chamberlain and Hitler at Munich...

I call today’s righties the “Reagan generation” because so many of them are Gen-X’ers whose first memories of politics and national events involved Carter and Reagan. They weren’t so much taught politics as imprinted with the Reagan mythos. For them, all Democrats are Jimmy Carter, an archetype of wimpy passivity. Reagan represents confidence, action, sunniness. The two of them together represent opposing forces that tell the entire story of American politics. Nothing more needs to be understood or thought through. Democrats bad, Republicans good, end of argument.

The actual persons Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan are/were far more complicated than the Carter and Reagan archetypes, of course, and they both have/had their virtues and flaws. [But tho righties] What’s important to them is not what Reagan actually did as President, but what he represents emotionally and mythically...

So yesterday, after years of denying historical comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam, President Bush delivered a speech comparing Iraq to Vietnam. To which much of America responded, WTF? Today America’s newspapers are peppered with complaints from historians that Bush’s speech distorted the facts of the Vietnam War. But of course; what actually happened during and after the war was not the point. He was speaking to those still inclined to support the war, and to them, Vietnam represents national disgrace. It also represents allowing the forces of darkness to scamper unhindered over the land. When Bush spoke of “killing fields,” for example, rightie listeners could relate. There was a movie about that, after all, never mind that the killing fields of Cambodia didn’t happen because America withdrew from Vietnam, but because we were bleeping there...

We lefties sometimes persist in trying to reason with righties. I’ve given up, mind you, but there are those who still try. But I say this is futile. As with the encounter between the Enterprise and the Tamarians, we don’t understand each others words. “We want what’s best for America,” we say. “Chamberlain and Hitler at Munich!” they cry. “Sam Waterson and John Malkovich in Phnom Penh! FDR at Yalta!

The Mahablog » The Power of (Right Wing) Myth: "

Magical History Tour

John Stewart shows how Bush flip flops on the Iraq war. Hillarious! -- law

Magical History Tour


Katrina is The Titanic of Our Era

Did the builders of the Titanic design it in such a way that they aimed to kill the occupants of steerage? Not at all. They did, however, design it so that if anyone was going to die, it would be those in steerage. Their deaths were acceptable for the builders of the Titanic. After all, those in steerage were considered a less-relevant population than the rich on the upper decks.

The capitalism of the contemporary era shares many of the same values informing the builders of the Titanic; the poor are not the responsibility of society at large. The construction of the Titanic was not simply a technological matter. There was a decision that the poor could be sacrificed in order that the rich survive. That is the essence of capitalism in general, but particularly neo-liberal capitalism - the capitalism of this era. There need not have been an intent to wipe out thousands of poor and black people in the Gulf. The assumptions about how money would be spent, what was necessary, etc., meant that in the face of disaster, the poor and the black would be sacrificed, and the rich would have their SUVs [read: life boats]

For decades, this nation's economic policies have created a widening gap in personal wealth, making it impossible for many Americans to achieve economic security no matter how hard they work. The (largely unionized) jobs that provided opportunities for workers to climb out of poverty have been disappearing. In their place are low-wage service jobs, part-time employment or nothing at all. This is what makes comments such as those offered recently by conservative critic Linda Chavez so outrageous and insulting. Instead of finding the sources of Gulf Coast poverty in an economic system that casts off hundreds of thousands of people, Chavez and her allies place the blame on so-called family values. Chavez never grapples with the question of how to keep families together when their worlds collide with the shockwaves of the modern economy.

Through directing tax cuts to serve the rich and powerful; through the allocation of billions of dollars to pursue an illegal war and occupation of Iraq; through urban relocation programs that destroy entire communities, the steerage compartments of the good ship 'Gulf Coast' were created. All that was needed to create total devastation was a collision with an iceberg.

The infrastructure of New Orleans had been collapsing for years. Various scenarios within the last five years indicated the catastrophe that could unfold if a Category 5 storm hit New Orleans. There was recognition, now openly being admitted, that tens of thousands of the poor of that city might be left stranded in the face of a major hurricane while the rich could climb into their SUVs and escape.

There simply were not enough lifeboats, because those in steerage where just not that relevant.

After years of attacking the public sector and the rationale for essential government programs and taxes, the conservative right has reaped the results. They calculated that they could get by without investing the necessary resources into repairing the growing inequality in America. They calculated that they could ignore the plight of the Gulf Coast's poor. Each hurricane that missed the Gulf Coast was another source of relief and a confirmation that it was better to put resources into wars and tax cuts than into saving the lives of those at the bottom.

So, it did not have to be a conspiracy, because, in fact, the game of U.S. capitalism has been rigged from the beginning. We just happened to see the results in bloated bodies, crying and ill children, the devastation of a beautiful coastline, and the possibly permanent displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.

t r u t h o u t - Bill Fletcher Jr. | The Titanic of Our Era


Neocons preparing to shift the blame for another disaster

"Why is George Bush suddenly making parallels between Iraq and Vietnam? Because he's preparing to shift the blame for another disaster."

For months now, many conservatives have been fundamentally positioning themselves for the post-war era, readying the arguments that will blame the failure of the venture in Iraq on its opponents rather than its architects. That Bush himself has chosen to join them is, perhaps, on some level the clearest reflection of the reality that the president knows perfectly well that the war is unwinnable, and blame-shifting now the best hope for saving his historical legacy.

Comment is free: Don't know much about history:


if we're going to talk about the legacy of Vietnam, we need to remember what happens when a nation fails to take care of its veterans

"As President Bush said today, 'History does remind us that there are lessons applicable to our time. And we can learn something from history.' Let us learn that the men and women who have fought in Iraq, Afghanistan, (and all wars) deserve to be provided for. Not just used as a backdrop for another presidential photo op."

Paul Rieckhoff: President Bush to Our Veterans: Iraq is Like Vietnam - Politics on The Huffington Post

Marty Kaplan: Vietnam. Watergate. What's Next -- Disco? - Politics on The Huffington Post

ROFL! Precisely. -- law

"There's no longer any doubt about the master narrative of the Bush Administration. Their purpose is to re-litigate the 1970s. Nixon's downfall, let alone all that followed, clearly has stuck in Cheney's craw. All his New American Centurions were so scarred by the fall of Saigon and the Church Committee reforms that even Morning in the Gipper's America didn't do enough to restore the imperial executive and the American imperium."

Marty Kaplan: Vietnam. Watergate. What's Next -- Disco? - Politics on The Huffington Post:


Boing Boing: Play Jane McGonigal's World Without Oil

World Without Oil, the latest alternate reality game from Jane McGonigal, my colleague at Institute for the Future, is now in high gear. The idea behind the game is simple: "Play it before you live it." Jane will talk with us about this game and her insatiable appetite for play in an upcoming Boing Boing Boing podcast. Jane says:

Wwojane World Without Oil is a month-long collaborative alternate reality project funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and ITVS. It’s the first alternate reality game to tackle a real-world problem: oil dependency.

Boing Boing: Play Jane McGonigal's World Without Oil


Drowning the Government

Left 'Toon Lane: Drowning the Government


Daily Kos: A bridge too close

My Rant at Dkos

A bridge too close
by lawnorder
Fri Aug 03, 2007 at 05:31:26 PM CDT

I come from a 3rd World country. A country where countless corrupt politicians have been skimping government funds for infrastructure for nearly a century. Where dictators told us what to think and that we couldn't vote during my lifetime. And where now spending money on popular projects trumps any logic or necessity. Where Karl Rove would have been considered old fashioned and naive.

So it was a big shock to me to see a bridge falling due to those myopic, corrupt views, not on my country of origin, poor and beleaguered by a succession of corrupt nepotist governments, but here, in my adopted country. The leader of the free world, the beacon of freedom. Where everyone was supposed to be equal under the law.

Except that we aren't are we ? What are the odds of Cheney or Bush's family and friends be subject to what those working stiffs in Minnesota were ? Drowning after an honest day's work. What are the odds that any of them and their enablers, the Washington pundits, would be found within 2 miles from the dome in New Orleans during Katrina.

I ask the red state voters who still support those madmen. Who do you think they are drowning in a bathtub ? Who are the millions of dollars stolen in Iraq being stolen from ? Open your eyes before you find yourself under several feet of water.

Daily Kos: A bridge too close

A trillion spent in Iraq, while bridges crumble

One fallen bridge due to cheap skating federal resources is one bridge too many - law

For half a dozen years, the motto of state government and particularly that of Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been No New Taxes. It's been popular with a lot of voters and it has mostly prevailed. So much so that Pawlenty vetoed a 5-cent gas tax increase - the first in 20 years - last spring and millions were lost that might have gone to road repair. And yes, it would have fallen even if the gas tax had gone through, because we are years behind a dangerous curve when it comes to the replacement of infrastructure that everyone but wingnuts in coonskin caps agree is one of the basic duties of government.

I'm not just pointing fingers at Pawlenty. The outrage here is not partisan. It is general.

Both political parties have tried to govern on the cheap, and both have dithered and dallied and spent public wealth on stadiums while scrimping on the basics.

How ironic is it that tonight's scheduled groundbreaking for a new Twins ballpark has been postponed? Even the stadium barkers realize it is in poor taste to celebrate the spending of half a billion on ballparks when your bridges are falling down. Perhaps this is a sign of shame. If so, it is welcome. Shame is overdue.

At the federal level, the parsimony is worse, and so is the negligence. A trillion spent in Iraq, while schools crumble, there aren't enough cops on the street and bridges decay while our leaders cross their fingers and ignore the rising chances of disaster.

And now, one has fallen, to our great sorrow, and people died losing a gamble they didn't even know they had taken. They believed someone was guarding the bridge.

We need a new slogan and we needed it yesterday:

"No More Collapses."

Daily Kos: Minneapolis Newspaper Speaks for Us UPDATE


Al Capone with an Air Force

Hunter from Dkos on Libby's pardon : (Bush took)the exact same actions a crime boss would take, if a crime boss were in a position to take them. With each passing day, Bush becomes a little less presidential, and a little more like Al Capone with an Air Force. -- law

"This case is, and has been, a touchstone. Scooter Libby was indicted and convicted for obstruction of justice in a criminal investigation that reached into the office of the Vice President himself, and that obstruction of justice is still ongoing. It has not gone away. It has not been resolved. The only change is that, now, the President of the United States has interrupted the trial process, the appeal process, the prospects for plea and negotiation, and the ongoing White House investigation itself in order to preemptively inoculate the most key witness in the case from further investigation, testimony, or punishment.

There is no rationale that justifies such an act, and merely being used to such levels of corruption on the part of the Bush administration and the rest of the conservative movement in service of the quest for unitary power does not excuse that corruption. Bush may have never been willing to discuss an 'ongoing case' inside his White House, but he was more than willing to use his Constitutional powers to shut it down at the precise moment judgment suddenly became a material, tactile thing.

When seeking clemency for a criminal obstruction of justice, it is always considered a stroke of luck to have committed the obstruction on behalf of individuals with the power to grant such clemency. And when predicting actions on the part of George W. Bush, it's always best to presume he would take the exact same actions a crime boss would take, if a crime boss were in a position to take them. With each passing day, Bush becomes a little less presidential, and a little more like Al Capone with an Air Force.

Daily Kos: A Pardon on the Installment Plan; An Investigation Sabotaged:


Why GOP victimhood didn't work in 2006

A very good article in Harper's shows how the GOP perpetual claims of being oppressed by traitors didn't stick this time: What has really robbed the conspiracy theories of their effectiveness is how the war in Iraq has been conducted. Bush's refusal to mobilize the nation for the war in Iraq has severed that immediate identification with our army's fortunes. Bush has finally uncoupled the state from its heroic status.

The conspiracy had expanded yet again. Not just Nancy Pelosi or Dick Durbin but all Democrats and all liberals were now firmly established as traitors, and it was not possible that they had made some honest gaffes; instead, their very motives were sinister.

When Rove's thunderous media offensive had finally subsided, however, a strange silence ensued. The popularity of his master, George W. Bush, continued to plunge in the opinion polls. Support for the war continued to plummet as well

... What went wrong? How could such an infallible Republican strategy, conducted with all of the right wing's vast media resources at his command, have failed so utterly? How was it that the story of the stab in the back had lost its power to hold us spellbound?

What has really robbed the conspiracy theories of their effectiveness is how the war in Iraq has been conducted. Bush and his advisers have sought to use the war not only to punish their enemies but also to reward their supporters, a bit of political juggling that led them to demand nothing from the American public as a whole. Those of us who are not actively fighting in Iraq, or who do not have close friends and family members who are doing so, have not been asked to sacrifice in any way. The richest among us have even been showered with tax cuts.

Yet in demanding so little, Bush has finally uncoupled the state from its heroic status. It is not a coincidence that modern nationalism dates from the advent of mass democracy—and mass citizen armies—that the American and French revolutions ushered in at the end of the eighteenth century. Bush's refusal to mobilize the nation for the war in Iraq has severed that immediate identification with our army's fortunes. Nor did it begin with the Bush Administration. The wartime tax cuts and the all-volunteer, wartime army are simply the latest manifestations of a trend that is now decades old and that has been promulgated through peace as well as war, by Democrats as well as Republicans. It cannot truly be a surprise that a society that has steadily dismantled or diminished the most basic access to health care, relief for the poor and the aged, and decent education; a society that has allowed the gap between its richest and poorest citizens to grow to unprecedented size; a society that has paid obeisance to the ideology of globalization to the point of giving away both its jobs and its debt to foreign nations, and which has just allowed one of its poorer cities to quietly drown, should choose to largely opt out of its own defense.

Anyone who doubts that this is exactly what we have done need only look at how little the war really engages most of us. It rarely draws more than a few seconds of coverage on the local television news, if that, and then only well into the broadcast, after a story on a murder, or a fire, or the latest weather predictions. Even the largest and angriest demonstrations against our occupation of Iraq have not approached the mobilizations against the war in Vietnam, but a close observer will notice that we also have yet to see any of the massive counterdemonstrations that were held in support of that war—or “in support of the troops.” Such engagement on either side seems almost quaint now.

Who could possibly believe in a plot to lose this war? No one cares that much about it. We have, instead, reached a crossroads where the overwhelming right-wing desire to dissolve much of the old social compact that held together the modern nation-state is irreconcilably at odds with any attempt to conduct such a grand, heroic experiment as implanting democracy in the Middle East. Without mass participation, Iraq cannot be passed off as an heroic endeavor, no matter how much Mr. Bush's rhetoric tries to make it one, and without a hero there can be no great betrayer, no skulking villain....

More at the source

"Stabbed in the back! The past and future of a right-wing myth" by Kevin Baker (Harper's Magazine)


Drunk as a skunk - Illness sidelines Bush at G-8 summit - Yahoo! News

Bush, a recovering alcoholic is shown drinking a glass of beer right before he professes to be "too sick to attend the G8 meeting of world leaders". Can anyone tell me what an ex AA is doing with a glass of alcohol in his mouth ? The man fell off the wagon! And has our country's destiny in his shaking hands -- law

Fri Jun 8, 6:34 AM ET

HEILIGENDAMM, Germany - Stricken with a stomach ailment that confined him to his hotel room,
President Bush still met Friday with France's new president and prepared for talks in Poland on a new missile defense system.

The president was already dressed when he began feeling ill in the morning, White House counselor Dan Bartlett said. He said doctors are keeping an eye on him but that Bush's illness — whether a stomach virus, a light touch of food poisoning or something else — is "not serious."

He stayed in bed to try to rest and recuperate, missing the morning session of the summit being held here of eight industrialized democracies.

But Bush taped his weekly radio address, and — for now — was not expected to alter his travel plans for later in the day, Bartlett said. After attending the summit's final day, Bush was scheduled to fly to Poland to meet with Polish President Lech Kaczynski and then on to Rome where he was to stay the night.

His sit-down with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the sidelines of the larger summit meetings went ahead as planned, only in Bush's private chambers instead of a meeting room, Bartlett said.

The summit session Bush missed was a meeting with African leaders. Stepped-up Africa aid was one of Bush's priorities coming into Germany.

Illness sidelines Bush at G-8 summit - Yahoo! News


Iraq AKA TerrorU

Complete with hands-on training for would be American killers. Great job Bushies! -- law

Think of what has happened in only the last week in the Middle East. In northern Lebanon, in the long-established Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp, out of the blue arose a new al Qaeda-related insurgent group, Fatah al-Islam. Within days and even hours, the recurring hell of the Middle East was loosed, and refugees poured out of the camp in terror.

There had been none of this kind of terror networking in these northern camps. Indeed, since this camp was established in 1949 to accommodate refugees from northern Palestine after the creation of Israel, it has housed one of the more formal and conservative of peoples.

But it was soon established that these new "insurgents" or "terrorists" – or whatever they really are – had arrived at the camp only recently, that they marched in one day with brand-new weapons, ready to fight.

Two points grip you:

•The first is found in the words of French scholar Bernard Rougier, author of Everyday Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam Among Palestinians in Lebanon. "The main point is that these camps are no longer part of Palestinian society," he told The Washington Post . "They are only spaces – now open to all of the influences running through the Muslim world."

•The second is that Iraq, where we were supposed to be "containing terrorism," is now clearly exporting insurgents to other regions – to Lebanon, to Syria, to Gaza, to Bangladesh, to Kurdistan.

And so, on the one hand, you have weakened societies vulnerable to the "new answers" of "new insurgencies," and on the other hand, you have Iraq set up as a school for terrorists with American troops and policy providing the constant inspiration for their fight.

This, of course, is not the way the Bush administration sees it.

The White House sees terrorists as born, not created by history, bearing the mark of Cain, not the mark of circumstance. There is a scarlet "T" written on their foreheads at birth and the only answer is to destroy them. This kind of thinking, of course, relieves the thinker of any responsibility for the presence of the insurgent-terrorist-whatever in our innocent midst.

Georgie Anne Geyer: A spreading terror | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Opinion: Viewpoints

TomDispatch - Tomgram: Mark Danner, The Age of Rhetoric

More from the speech -- law

One of the most painful principles of our age is that scandals are doomed to be revealed -- and to remain stinking there before us, unexcised, unpunished, unfinished.

If this Age of Rhetoric has a tragic symbol, then surely this is it: the frozen scandal, doomed to be revealed, and revealed, and revealed, in a never-ending torture familiar to the rock-bound Prometheus and his poor half-eaten liver. A full three years ago, the photographs from Abu Ghraib were broadcast by CBS on Sixty Minutes II and published by Seymour Hersh ... -- in the First President of Rhetoric's phrase -- "an alternative set of procedures" on prisoners in the War on Terror....

if torture today remains a "scandal," a "crisis," it is a crisis in that same peculiar way that crime or AIDS or global warming are crises: that is, they are all things we have learned to live with.

Perhaps the commencement address to the Department of Rhetoric at the University of California at Berkeley is not the worst of places to call for a halt to this spinning merry-go-round. I know it will brand me forever a member of the reality-based community if I suggest that the one invaluable service the new Democratic Congress can provide all Americans is a clear accounting of how we came to find ourselves in this present time of war: an authorized version, as it were, which is, I know, the most pathetically retrograde of ideas.

TomDispatch - Tomgram: Mark Danner, The Age of Rhetoric: "

Rove: US Power has made reality its bitch. Reality: O Rlly ?

It sucks that they made so much mess with US. But it is oh so good that they failed so spectacularly! Mark Danner reminds us of their hubris and failures below -- law

Here is my favorite quotation about the Bush administration, a description of a conversation with the proverbial "unnamed administration official" by the fine journalist Ron Suskind in October 2004:

"The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.' "

I must admit to you that I love that quotation. The unnamed official, widely believed to be Karl Rove, sketches out with breathtaking frankness a radical view in which power frankly determines reality, and in which rhetoric — the science of flounces and folderols — follows meekly and subserviently in its train. Those in the "reality-based community" are figures a mite pathetic, for we have failed to realize the singular new principle of the new age: Power has made reality its bitch.

Given such sweeping claims for power, it is hard to expect much respect for truth; or perhaps it should be "truth" — in quotation marks — for, when you can alter reality at will, why pay much attention to the idea of fidelity in describing it?

But this is all old hat to you, graduates of the Rhetoric Department of 2007, the line of thinking you imbibe with your daily study, for it is present in striking fashion in Foucault and many other intellectual titans of these last decades — though even they might have been nonplussed to find it so crisply expressed by a finely tailored man sitting in the White House. Though we in the "reality-based community" may just now be discovering it, you have known for years the presiding truth of our age, which is that the object has become subject, and we have a fanatical follower of Foucault in the Oval Office. Graduates, let me say it plainly and incontrovertibly: George W. Bush is the first rhetoric-major president.


IN JANUARY 2001, the rhetoric-major president came to power after a savage and unprecedented electoral battle that was decided not by the ballots of American voters — for of these he had 540,000 fewer than his Democrat rival — but by the votes of Supreme Court justices, where Republicans prevailed 5 to 4. In this singular condition, and with a Senate precisely divided between parties, President Bush proceeded to behave as if he had won an overwhelming electoral victory, demanding tax cuts greater and more regressive than those he had outlined in the campaign. And despite what would seem to have been debilitating political weakness, the president shortly achieved this first success in "creating his own reality." To act as if he had overwhelming political power would mean he had overwhelming political power.

Then came the huge, clanging, echoing cacophony of 9/11. We are so embedded in its age that it is easy to forget the stark, overwhelming shock of it: Nineteen young men with box cutters seized enormous transcontinental airliners and brought those towers down. In an age in which we have become accustomed to two, three, four, five suicide attacks in a single day in Iraq, it is easy to forget the blunt, scathing shock of it. The real weapon that day was not box cutters, or even airliners, but the television set, which reproduced and conveyed that astonishing picture, creating both a recruiting poster for jihad and an image of humiliation to "dirty the face of imperial power."

Our nation's leaders — men and women worshipful of the idea of power and its ability to remake reality itself — needed to restore the nation's prestige, to wipe clean our dirtied face. Henry Kissinger, a confidant of the president, when asked by Bush's speechwriter why he had supported the Iraq war, responded: "Because Afghanistan was not enough." The radical Islamists, he said, want to humiliate us. "And we need to humiliate them."

In other words, the presiding image of the war on terror — the burning towers collapsing on the television screen — had to be supplanted by another, the image of American tanks rumbling proudly through a vanquished Arab capital.

In the end, of course, the enemy preferred not to fight with tanks, though they were perfectly happy to have us do so, the better to destroy these multimillion-dollar anachronisms with so-called IEDs, improvised explosive devices, worth a few hundred bucks apiece. This is called asymmetrical warfare — the strategy of provocation — and one should note here with some astonishment how successful it has been these last half a dozen years.

In the post-Cold War world, after all, as one neoconservative theorist explained shortly after 9/11, the United States was enjoying a rare "unipolar moment." It deployed the greatest military and economic power the world has ever seen. It was the assumption of this so-called preponderance that lay behind the philosophy of power enunciated by Rove and that led to an attitude toward international law and alliances that is, in my view, quite unprecedented in American history. That radical attitude is brilliantly encapsulated in a single sentence drawn from the National Security Strategy of the United States of 2003: "Our strength as a nation-state will continue to be challenged by those who employ a strategy of the weak using international fora, judicial processes and terrorism." In such a world, courts — indeed, law itself — must not be allowed to limit the power of the most powerful state. The most powerful state, after all, makes reality.

Now, here's an astonishing fact: Fewer than half a dozen years into this "unipolar moment," the greatest military power in the history of the world stands on the brink of defeat in Iraq. Its vastly expensive and all-powerful military has been humbled by a congeries of secret organizations fighting mainly by means of suicide vests, car bombs and improvised explosive devices — all of them cheap, simple and effective, and all designed to use the power of the most powerful against it. Indeed, so effective that these techniques now comprise a kind of ready-made insurgency kit freely available on the Internet and spreading in popularity around the world, most obviously to Afghanistan, that land of few targets.


AS I STAND here, one of our two major political parties advocates the withdrawal — gradual, or otherwise — of American combat forces from Iraq, and many in the other party are feeling the increasing urge to go along. As for the Bush administration's broader war on terror, as the State Department detailed recently in its annual report on the subject, the number of terrorist attacks worldwide has never been higher, nor more effective.

How could such a thing have happened? In their choice of enemy, one might say that the terrorists of Al Qaeda had a great deal of dumb luck, for they attacked a country run by an administration that had a radical conception of the potency of power.

Critical to this was the administration's peculiar ideas about the relationship of power to reality — and beneath that a familiar imperial attitude, if put forward in a strikingly crude and harsh form: "We're an empire now and when we act we create our own reality." Power, untrammeled by law or custom; power, unlimited by the so-called weapons of the weak, be they international institutions, courts or terrorism — power can remake reality.

If the last half a dozen years have done anything, they have put such grand ideas to a stern empirical test. The experiment unfolds daily in the bloody streets of Baghdad. How can I convey to you the reality of that place at this time? Perhaps by this account from a young Iraqi woman of her trip to recover the body of her nephew, who had been killed in a downtown explosion:

"When we got there, we were given his remains. And remains they were. From the waist down was all they could give us.

"We identified him by the cellphone in his pants' pocket. 'If you want the rest, you will just have to look for yourselves. We don't know what he looks like.' …

"We were led away, and before long a foul stench clogged my nose and I retched. With no more warning we came to a clearing that was probably an inside garden at one time…. But now it had become a slaughterhouse, only instead of cattle, all around were human bodies….

"We were asked what we were looking for; 'upper half' replied my companion, for I was rendered speechless. 'Over there.' We looked for our boy's broken body between tens of other boys' remains; with our bare hands sifting them and turning them.

"Millennia later, we found him, took both parts home, and began the mourning ceremony."

These words come from those who find themselves as far as they can possibly be from the idea that, when they act, they "create their own reality." The voice comes not from "history's actors" but its objects — and we must ponder who exactly its subjects are.

Graduates, you have chosen a path that will let you look beyond the rhetoric that you have studied and into the heart of reality. Of all people, you have chosen to learn how to see the gaps and the loose stitches and the remnant threads. Ours is a grim age, this Age of Rhetoric, still infused with the remnant perfume of imperial dreams. You have made your study in a propitious time, and that bold choice may bring you pain, for you have devoted yourselves to seeing what it is that stands before you. If clear sight were not so painful, many more would elect to have it

LA Times OP/ED by Mark Danner


Somehow, the command of the US. Army decided Iraqis were dangerous...

4 Years Ago I arrived in Iraq... There was no Al Qaeda.. No foreign fighters.. The Military.. never allowed any unaccompanied Iraqis on their bases. (Yet) They have allowed thousands of third country nationals to come into the bases.. employed by KBR and other lesser contracting companies. [law - thousands of foreigners but no Iraqis ? And people wonder why they hate US!]

* Marshall Adame's diary :: ::

Four Years Ago I arrived in Iraq. I left Three Years Later, Different

Today, March 19, 2007, marks the 4th anniversary of the U.S. Invasion of Iraq.

Two months from now four years ago I was driving across the Southern border of Iraq on my way to assume the position as the CPA Airport Director of Basrah International Airport. It was an electric time. From my perspective, America and several other countries had just liberated a people form a tyrannical dictator who had spent the past three decades repressing and killing them.

In Basrah, Iraq the people welcomed the presence of the Coalition soldiers and came into the streets waving and cheering the newly arrived liberation army. That willingness to embrace their liberators did not last long.

Within a few months of our arrival the population of Iraq began to be disillusioned by our occupation and openly began to resist our efforts to direct their future. Within a year, that disillusionment would become an insurgency.

There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq at that time. No foreign fighters or training agents from Iran were active in Iraq then. Those who began the resistance in Iraq were Iraqi citizens who did not want to lose their country again to an occupying force, nomatter who they were , or why they came. A force who had already started exercising some pretty heavy handed practices throughout Iraq against those who they had come to rescue.
Somehow, the command elements of the U.S. and British Armies had decided the population at large represented a danger to Coalition forces.

When we entered the second year of our presence in Iraq I was in Baghdad. Iraqi citizens had, by then with few exceptions, been purged from any coalition Iraq rebuilding groups or planning committees that had, earlier, operated out of any American / Coalition base or green zone area.

The Green zone, where the seat of the New Provisional Iraq Government was and where the U.S. Embassy had set up in Saddams palace was the real exception. The U.S. State Department, over military objections, allowed hundreds of Iraqis to work in the embassy compound in administrative and civil action positions.

The Military compounds throughout Iraq have never allowed any unaccompanied Iraqis on their bases. They have allowed thousands of third country nationals to come into the bases to serve the facility requirements, employed by KBR and other lesser contracting companies.

By early 2005 the entire Iraqi population, with few exceptions, were excluded from any American civil or rebuilding efforts. Iraqi engineers were not utilized in the rebuilding planning effort even though they had the most historical and technical knowledge of the Iraqi cities and infrastructure throughout Iraq. Iraqi medical doctors and professors were hardly utilized in any way in the formulation of rebuilding efforts intended to establish Rule Of Law and Medical Facilities throughout the country.

Americans were doing the planning. All guess work. Very, very expensive guess work. There was one group of Iraqis that the Military planners could not throw enough money at. The Iraq Police Forces under the control of the infamous Iraqi Interior Ministry Bayan Jabr.

Minister jabr is generally credited with creating the Shia death squads with the Iraqi Police. I was an advisor to this Minister. He was as anti-American as any could be. He hated Sunnis and had a friendly relationship with Muqtada Al Sader. While I was there he played the American Military commanders from the MNST-I and CPATT elements like a fiddle. Today he is the Iraqi Minister of Finance.

They, under the direction of then Maj. Gen. D. Petraeus, turned over weapons and vehicles to the minister like there was no tomorrow. Although I am on record as protesting the blind behavior of the US Generals working with the Ministry of Interior, I was not able to effect change.

The MNST-I command element under Army Maj. General Fil was able to downgrade the Department of State Advisors from their oversight positions to administrative positions. I was able to get moved to a more senior position within the Provincial Reconstruction Teams at the Embassy.

The irony of it all would be comical if the situation was not so serious and deadly. Paul Bremer laid the ground work for the failed leadership in Iraq. everybody else followed. It all seemed so insane to me by 2006.
On July 2nd, 2006 my son was wouned in a battle in Baqubah, just South of Baghdad...

More at the source!

Daily Kos: Four Years Ago I arrived in Iraq. I left Three Years Later, Different


Petition Calling for the Dismantling of the No Child Left Behind Act

To: U.S. Congress

We, the educators, parents, and concerned citizens whose names appear below, reject the misnamed No Child Left Behind Act and call for legislators to vote against its reauthorization. We do so not because we resist accountability, but because the law's simplistic approach to education reform wastes student potential, undermines public education, and threatens the future of our democracy.

Below, briefly stated, are some of the reasons we consider the law too destructive to salvage. In its place we call for formal, state-level dialogues led by working educators rather than by politicians, ideology-bound "think tank" members, or leaders of business and industry who have little or no direct experience in the field of education.

The No Child Left Behind Act:

1. Misdiagnoses the causes of poor educational development, blaming teachers and students for problems over which they have no control. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]

2. Assumes that competition is the primary motivator of human behavior and that market forces can cure all educational ills. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

3. Mandates data driven instruction based on gamesmanship to undermine public confidence in our schools. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]

4. Uses pseudo science and media manipulation to justify pro-corporate policies and programs, including diverting taxes away from communities and into corporate coffers. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]

5. Ignores the proven inadequacies, inefficiencies, and problems associated with centralized, "top-down" control. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]

6. Places control of what is taught in corporate hands many times removed from students, teachers, parents, local school boards, and communities. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

7. Requires the use of materials and procedures more likely to produce a passive, compliant workforce than creative, resilient, inquiring, critical, compassionate, engaged members of our democracy. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]

8. Reflects and perpetuates massive distrust of the skill and professionalism of educators. [1, 2, 3, 4]

9. Allows life-changing, institution-shaping decisions to hinge on single measures of performance. [1, 2, 3, 4]

10. Emphasizes minimum content standards rather than maximum development of human potential. [1, 2, 3]

11. Neglects the teaching of higher order thinking skills which cannot be evaluated by machines. [1, 2]

12. Applies standards to discrete subjects rather than to larger goals such as insightful children, vibrant communities, and a healthy democracy. [1, 2, 3]

13. Forces schools to adhere to a testing regime, with no provision for innovating, adapting to social change, encouraging creativity, or respecting student and community individuality, nuance, and difference. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]

14. Drives art, music, foreign language, career and technical education, physical education, geography, history, civics and other non-tested subjects out of the curriculum, especially in low-income neighborhoods. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

15. Produces multiple, unintended consequences for students, teachers, and communities, including undermining neighborhood schools and blurring the line between church and state. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]

16. Rates and ranks public schools using procedures that will gradually label them all "failures," so when they fail to make Adequate Yearly Progress, as all schools eventually will, they can be “saved” by vouchers, charters, or privatization. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]

help the Educator Roundtable and sign the petition



The deadly 1918 flu virus : Nature

The 1918 'Spanish flu' influenza pandemic was unusually severe, causing about 50 million deaths. Why was it so destructive? The lack of antibiotics to fight secondary infections, and socioeconomic factors may be relevant. But experimental infection of nonhuman primates with reconstructed 1918 virus suggests that the lethal nature of the virus itself was a big factor. It is in fact the only influenza virus lethal to experimentally infected nonhuman primates, and the 1918 virus, unlike other strains, suppresses innate immune responses. The H5N1 viruses now circulating cause a severe lung infection similar to that caused by the 1918 virus and also suppress innate immunity, so therapies that protect this type of host immunity might reduce the severity of infection due to these influenza viruses.

The deadly 1918 flu virus : Nature


Time Magazine cover of the year

The world tells Condi: F U!!!


Cheap drug to treat cancer needs funding: University of Alberta

An old drug, not patentable. Hence not interesting to greedy drug companies... -- law

Investigators at the University of Alberta have recently reported that a drug previously used in humans for the treatment of rare disorders of metabolism is also able to cause tumor regression in a number of human cancers growing in animals. This drug, dichloroacetate (DCA), appears to suppress the growth of cancer cells without affecting normal cells, suggesting that it might not have the dramatic side effects of standard chemotherapies.

At this point, the University of Alberta, the Alberta Cancer Board and Capital Health do not condone or advise the use of dichloroacetate (DCA) in human beings for the treatment of cancer since no human beings have gone through clinical trials using DCA to treat cancer. However, the University of Alberta and the Alberta Cancer Board are committed to performing clinical trials in the immediate future in consultation with regulatory agencies such as Health Canada. We believe that because DCA has been used on human beings in Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials of metabolic diseases, the cancer clinical trials timeline for our research will be much shorter than usual.

DCA Research Information / Department of Medicine / University of Alberta


Democrats FRAME, Republicans CON

By Frameshop's Jeffrey Feldman

Many people ask me the difference between what we do here on Frameshop and what Frank Luntz does--the difference between framing and grifting.

Point #1: Honesty (framing) vs. The Shell Game (grifting)
Point #2: Bottom Up (framing) vs. Top Down (grifting)
Point #3: History (framing) vs. Marketing (grifting)

The grift. When it works, it convinces senior citizens to cash their social security checks and hand the money to a complete stranger.

The grift. When it works, it convinces children that fast food and cigarettes are good for them.

The grift. When it works, it convinces working families to help the rise of the Ameican royalty.

The grift. When it works, it puts American heritage lands into the off-shore accounts of oil companies.

The grift. When it works, it convinces idealistic young people to enlist and die for a war based on lies.

The grift.

It ain't gonna work much longer."

FRAMESHOP by Jeffrey Feldman:


Canadian unearths 70,000-year-old religious snake icon

A Canadian archeologist has discovered what's being hailed as the world's oldest known religious artifact: a six-metre-long, serpentine rock carving made 70,000 years ago by a prehistoric, python-worshipping people in what is now the African nation of Botswana.

The find -- sure to startle Christians steeped in satanic images of snakes -- is described as revolutionary for understanding the origins of human ritual, pushing the roots of religion back 30,000 years and moving its apparent birthplace from Stone Age Europe to ancient southern Africa.

Called a "startling archeological discovery" that "changes our understanding of human history," the snake carving was found in a cave in northwestern Botswana's Tsodilo region, a petroglyph-rich oasis of rock hills in the middle of the Kalahari desert.

"You see these hills jutting out of the sand and you know that this place just had to get your attention as a hunter-gatherer 70,000 years ago," Sheila Coulson, a Vancouver-born archeologist with the University of Oslo, said yesterday.

"You definitely get a feeling about those hills. It's just like walking into a church."

Ms. Coulson, 56, who began her archeology training at Simon Fraser University, revealed the find this week after leading a two-year probe of the site, known to the local San culture as "the Mountain of the Gods."

Canadian unearths 70,000-year-old religious snake icon


Google Code Search

I like it!!!

Google Code Search


When religion loses its credibility - Yahoo! News

why are so many church leaders (not to mention Orthodox Jewish and Muslim leaders) persisting in their view that homosexuality is wrong despite a growing stream of scientific evidence that is likely to become a torrent in the coming years? The answer is found in Leviticus 18. "You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination."

As a former "the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it" kind of guy, I am sympathetic with any Christian who accepts the Bible at face value. But here's the catch. Leviticus is filled with laws imposing the death penalty for everything from eating catfish to sassing your parents. If you accept one as the absolute, unequivocal word of God, you must accept them all.

For many of gay America's loudest critics, the results are unthinkable. First, no more football. At least not without gloves. Handling a pig skin is an abomination. Second, no more Saturday games even if you can get a new ball. Violating the Sabbath is a capital offense according to Leviticus. For the over-40 crowd, approaching the altar of God with a defect in your sight is taboo, but you'll have plenty of company because those menstruating or with disabilities are also barred.

The truth is that mainstream religion has moved beyond animal sacrifice, slavery and the host of primitive rituals described in Leviticus centuries ago. Selectively hanging onto these ancient proscriptions for gays and lesbians exclusively is unfair according to anybody's standard of ethics. We lawyers call it "selective enforcement," and in civil affairs it's illegal.

A better reading of Scripture starts with the book of Genesis and the grand pronouncement about the world God created and all those who dwelled in it. "And, the Lord saw that it was good." If God created us and if everything he created is good, how can a gay person be guilty of being anything more than what God created him or her to be?

Turning to the New Testament, the writings of the Apostle Paul at first lend credence to the notion that homosexuality is a sin, until you consider that Paul most likely is referring to the Roman practice of pederasty, a form of pedophilia common in the ancient world. Successful older men often took boys into their homes as concubines, lovers or sexual slaves. Today, such sexual exploitation of minors is no longer tolerated. The point is that the sort of long-term, committed, same-sex relationships that are being debated today are not addressed in the New Testament. It distorts the biblical witness to apply verses written in one historical context (i.e. sexual exploitation of children) to contemporary situations between two monogamous partners of the same sex. Sexual promiscuity is condemned by the Bible whether it's between gays or straights. Sexual fidelity is not.

What would Jesus do?

For those who have lingering doubts, dust off your Bibles and take a few hours to reacquaint yourself with the teachings of Jesus. You won't find a single reference to homosexuality. There are teachings on money, lust, revenge, divorce, fasting and a thousand other subjects, but there is nothing on homosexuality. Strange, don't you think, if being gay were such a moral threat?

On the other hand, Jesus spent a lot of time talking about how we should treat others. First, he made clear it is not our role to judge. It is God's. ("Judge not lest you be judged." Matthew 7:1) And, second, he commanded us to love other people as we love ourselves.

So, I ask you. Would you want to be discriminated against? Would you want to lose your job, housing or benefits because of something over which you had no control? Better yet, would you like it if society told you that you couldn't visit your lifelong partner in the hospital or file a claim on his behalf if he were murdered?

The suffering that gay and lesbian people have endured at the hands of religion is incalculable, but they can look expectantly to the future for vindication. Scientific facts, after all, are a stubborn thing. Even our religious beliefs must finally yield to them as the church in its battle with Galileo ultimately realized. But for religion, the future might be ominous. Watching the growing conflict between medical science and religion over homosexuality is like watching a train wreck from a distance. You can see it coming for miles and sense the inevitable conclusion, but you're powerless to stop it. The more church leaders dig in their heels, the worse it's likely to be.

When religion loses its credibility - Yahoo! News


A Partial Account of Tortures Used in China against Falun Gong

This is the 3rd most powerful world block ? We're screwed -- law

Tying the Ropes

The perpetrators tie the practitioner's hands behind his back with a nylon rope (usually the torturers first kick the practitioner's leg joints to force the victim to kneel down on the ground). They put a rope around his neck and connect it with the rope that ties his hands. They make a slipknot. Other perpetrators twist the practitioner's elbows, press down on his shoulders and lift his wrists up, and at the same time, reduce the distance between the practitioner's neck and hands by tightening the two ropes that are connected to each other, which causes excruciating pain in the practitioner's elbows, shoulders and wrists. They also insert bricks, beer bottles and police batons into the space between the practitioner's back and arms to increase the pain. As this torture is being applied, the perpetrators simultaneously shock the practitioner with electric batons or hit him with police batons. After they untie the rope, the perpetrators often pin the practitioner to the ground and hit his buttocks with police batons. They even increase the intensity of the beating 30 minutes later, just to increase the pain.

Google Image Result for http://minghui.tv/pics/0005/Sep/12/hebei10.jpg


Daily Kos: Here comes the sun - video tribute to veterans and voters in 2006

Daily Kos: Here comes the sun - video tribute to veterans and voters in 2006


Traitor Carville calls for Dean to be Replaced by Ford



Ladies and gentlemen, we need to flood the media with our appreciation of Dr Dean and the 50 state strategy that won back all those state houses and house seats because this shit that's flying out of that DLC minded DC Elite will cost us if we're not careful.

Some big name Democrats want to oust DNC Chairman Howard Dean, arguing that his stubborn commitment to the 50-state strategy and his stinginess with funds for House races cost the Democrats several pickup opportunities.

Update: Mydd Issues a Threat

Update 2: Tell James how wrong he is: james@carville.info but be civil. You may remind him of how he was a Traitor in 2004 or how Biden recognizes Dean's Contribution, Write Letters and above all, contribute!

Daily Kos: DEAN RESPONDS!: Carville calls for Dean to be Replaced by Ford

Hunter @ Daily Kos: Quick Notes From Planet Earth

1) The notion among "analyst" pundits that this sweeping Democratic victory was the result of the Democrats appealing to the middle. Well, no freakin' kidding. That used to be common knowledge, and lesson-one-page-one of political game theory -- you win elections by appealing to more folks than the other guy. Well, there you go, I'm glad after ten or fifteen years of "screw everyone but the base", you all flipped open your textbooks and figured that one out again. But here's a thought, coming off the fiasco of this campaign season -- maybe next year, you could "analyze" what the positions of the candidates are in advance of the elections, so Americans wouldn't have to decipher those positions via the Internet, political mailings, and voodoo. Just, you know, as a change of pace from the last half-dozen or so election seasons.

2) The notion among supposedly moderate pundits that the Democratic victory was a great victory for moderate pundits, because moderate pundits are so moderate. You know what? I'm willing to buy that the Democrats were the "moderate" ones -- we've been saying that for a long while, now. But I do have a question -- if "not being indicted", "not screwing up every single strategic aspect of an unpopular war", "not creating deficits that could block out the sun", "not botching basic functions of government", "not being linked to yet another indicted guy" -- if those are the winning, moderate positions, what, exactly, does that make you, who have been shilling vigorously for the past few years on the supposed moderation of these other folks who just got their asses kicked roundly over all those issues?

3) The notion among DLC Democrats that this sweeping Democratic victory was a great victory for the DLC Democrats, because they really showed those uncivilized Democratic voters and their own Democratic grassroots what-for. Never mind that they had to be dragged kicking and screaming into even a semblence of support for the 50-state strategy. Never mind that against candidates like the execrable Richard Pombo, the grassroots had to fight tooth and nail to get their now-victorious candidates the slightest specks of support from parts of the Democratic infrastructure that initially wanted nothing to do with them, and mocked their very candidacies.

4) The notion among hardcore, far-right conservatives that this sweeping Democratic victory was a great victory for hardcore, far-right conservatives because the Democrats who won are really conservatives too. Not that there's the slightest bit of evidence of conservatism, for all but a handful of these people -- no, it's just that "conservative" means whatever the hell hardcore far-right conservatives consider popular, at the moment. There's no actual tenets involved, mind you, which is a lucky thing, because the same conservatives just spent months declaring that these same Democrats were hopelessly, unimaginably liberal, and were going to make you marry your dog or something.

5) The completely contradictory notion among other hardcore, far-right conservatives that this sweeping Democratic victory was a great victory for hardcore, far-right conservatives, because all the folks in power right now aren't real conservatives, real conservatives would have made it all work. And just you wait, America, we'll be back with real conservatism next time, and you'll see, it'll really work! Yeah, that's it!

Yes, that's right. You're all winners, in my book!

Seriously, guys? Stop it. Just stop it. There's punditry, there's wankery, there's bullshitting, and then there's whatever the hell you call that. Take a few days off and get some tattered shreds of your own dignity back -- right now, you're all so transparent that we can see what you had for lunch today.

Daily Kos: Quick Notes From Planet Earth

Daily Kos: Memo to the media, pundits

Memo to the media, pundits Hotlist
by kos
Thu Nov 09, 2006 at 04:40:04 PM CST

Dear know-nothings,

I know most of you are stupid, and proud to remain that way.

But the Netroots backed more than just Ned Lamont.

For example, Jim Webb and Jon Tester in the Senate, and dozens more in the House.

Jim Webb, for example, said this about the netroots:

The netroots have been a tremendous help to my campaign and a huge inspiration to me personally.

I am where I am in large part because of their support.

So Lieberman won. Lots of our candidates lost. Lots of them won. It's called elections.

Hugs and kisses.


Daily Kos: Memo to the media, pundits

Daily Kos: We're All Conservatives Now

restoring the checks and balances of the Constitution, outlawing torture, re-legalizing habeas corpus.

These are "conservative" ideas? Cool. I'm hinky with it. Call them what you like, just implement them.

So go ahead, Blowhard Boys and Girls, keep saying it: "Conservative Democrats won on Tuesday, which proves that America is really conservative."

And please, don't catch on that every time you insist that "conservative Democrats" won, every time you couple the words, "conservative" and "Democrat," not only does an angel get its wings, some voter in Mississippi is getting the message that there is a natural home for conservatives in the Democratic Party. Make it crystal clear, repeatedly, from now until 2008, that citizens in the Mountain West and the Midwest who cast their votes next to a "D" for perhaps the first time in their lives were NOT betraying "traditional values," but were, in fact, reinforcing them.

If the right-wing devotes thousands of hours to this "conservatives really won by electing a Democratic majority" in the next two years, they'll have softened the South up enough for us to canvass in 2008 with the simple statement, "Hey, I'm a Democrat and I want your value vote," and it will make perfect sense.

So thanks, Rush, Sean, O'Reilly and the whole gang at National Review: You're saving Democrats a boatload of cash two years from now that would have been spent on re-representing our party as the natural home for those with true American values. We couldn't get this message out without you.

Daily Kos: We're All Conservatives Now

This war's masterminds outdone Jane Fonda

The Iraq war advocates squelched or deflected dissent so effectively that.. This time, they'll have no one to blame but themselves when the Americans and half the Malaki government are helicoptered out of the Green Zone... This time, no antiwar movement will have "forced us to fight with one hand tied behind our backs," as Vietnam war apologists charged. This time, no Jane Fonda will have gone to Saddam’s Baghdad to lend aid and comfort and or demoralize our troops in the field. This war's masterminds and their pundit-cheerleaders have done all that themselves. Have they ever.

That's precisely why during the Lamont-Lieberman race Brooks and others gazed so intently into the rear-view mirrors of their historical imaginations and saw nothing in Lamont but Vietnam-era lunacy. That helped them not to notice that they’re bloodied up to their elbows in a lunacy of their own, a web of assumptions, rationalizations, lies, and alarums that’s unraveling like their commentary.

David Brooks and The Ghost of Left-Liberalism Past | TPMCafe

My Left Wing :: This GOP is DOOMED. Three Deadly Numbers Prove It

the GOP in its current form has NO reason to exist, outside of authoritarianism, corporate welfare and religious fascism. The so-called Reagan Revolution is officially DEAD.

This GOP is DOOMED. Three Deadly Numbers Prove It (+)
by: thereisnospoon
Thu Nov 09, 2006 at 20:16:01 PM CST

They're done. Stick a fork in them. It's over.

There is a shocking poll that should be a wake-up call to conservatives and Republicans nationwide. If I were a Republican strategist today, my heart would be in my throat.

From The Corner at the conservative National Review Online:

A survey of 1200 likely voters taken in 12 swing districts this past Sunday and Monday might explain why Republicans might have a long night ahead of them. The veteran GOP pollster says he has "never seen anything like it." Asked who is more likely to cut taxes for the middle class - 42 percent said Democrats, 29 picked Republicans. Who is more likely to reduce the deficit? 47 - Democrats, 22 - Repubicans. And, who is more likely to control spending? Democrats - 38, Republicans - 21. In the past, even if Repubicans didn't win some race or another, they were more trusted on taxes and spending issues.

What this means is that the GOP in its current form has NO reason to exist, outside of authoritarianism, corporate welfare and religious fascism. The so-called Reagan Revolution is officially DEAD.

My Left Wing :: This GOP is DOOMED. Three Deadly Numbers Prove It


GW's "parents " called in the only thing that could reign in their son: The Democrats

This week, the American people finally reached their breaking point. They finally had had enough. They finally realized that their household was out of control, and that they needed to bring in someone who could do something about it.

So they called Nanny 911. You know the show: the one where the "before" picture shows a house full of screaming, out-of-control kids, no discipline, constant terror, and a feeling of hopelessness on the part of the parents as they watch their home falling apart at the hands of children who Will. Not. Behave.

Then, just when it seems the parents have reached the end of their rope, they make one final, pleading call to Nanny 911. They're looking for someone who will come in and lay down The Law, who will set boundaries, who will strike fear into the hearts of their willful, out-of-control kids, and get them to understand the meaning of the word, "NO".

Daily Kos: "NO."


The Democrats didn't win because of the press. They won in spite of it

The Miraculous Appearance Of An Agenda
by georgia10
Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 11:46:20 AM CST

Notice anything about the media's post-election coverage?

The Republican battle cry echoed by the press prior to the election was that Democrats have no plan. That Democrats are short on ideas. That Democrats were basically passive mutes. That Democratic candidates were basically blank-eyed dolts that dutifully kept their mouths shut as the GOP imploded.

In reporting on GOP talking points that "Democrats will raise your taxes," the press did not temper their parroting of these talking points with fact check (hey voters, remember, the President has the last word on taxes via his veto power). In reporting on outrageous ads, they failed to mention the lies contained therein, choosing instead to salivate on the shallow and gush over graphics.

The Democrats' 100-hour-plan was barely a blip on the radar screen. Hours of so-called "analysis" was focused on what those subpoena-hungry liberals would do to "embarrass" the president. Republican talking point after Republican talking point was fed into the noise machine and irresponsible members of the Xerox media spat the distortions out without analysis. They did not balance lies with truth as a responsible press should have done; rather, they chose to air the Republican hysteria without rebuttal.

Only now, after most races have been called and it's clear that the Democrats will take power, only now do they report on that which they had suppressed throughout the campaign. Now we get articles detailing the Democrat's tax plan. Now we get articles on the minimum wage and the effect of a Democratic house on industry. Now we get articles about how Democrats stand for a balanced budget. Now the talking heads report breathlessly on the 100 hour agenda, on how Democrats will affect the middle class, and how Democrats will try to fix healthcare.

Now the press chooses to report on the Democrats' agenda. Now they're laying out the difference for voters, only after they've cast their ballots. Only now have members of the press suddenly seen the Democratic plan materialize before them like some Lady of Lourdes in all her glory. Only after the votes are counted do they report that Democrat control means that D.C. will be bathed in the light of change.

But, as we know, throughout the campaign, the plan was always there. The ideas were always apparent. The difference between the parties was always crystal clear.

The Democrats didn't win because of the press. They won in spite of it, in spite of a press that gave wall-to-wall coverage of Kerry's blunder and call-me ads, in spite of a press that chose feigned scandal over true substance. In the face of such a hostile media environment, the Democrats still won. And that, my friends, is a true miracle

Daily Kos: The Miraculous Appearance Of An Agenda

Daily Kos: Cheers and Jeers: Champagne and Lobster WEDNESDAY!

We've paid our dues
Time after time
We've done our sentence
But now it's our time
And bad mistakes
We've made a few
We've had our share of sand kicked in our face
But we've come through

And still we blog and blog and blog and blog and...

We are the champions my friends
And we'll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
They're not the champions
Limbaugh's a loser
'cause we are the champions...of the world

They thought we were licked
A minority for life
But you brought passion and persistence
and everything that goes with it---I thank you all
But it's been no bed of roses
Here on the "Tubes!"
We considered it a challenge before the whole human race
To make the Republicans lose

That's why we blogged and blogged and blogged and blogged and...

Rove ain't a champion my friends
`cause we kept on fighting till the end
We are the champions
Macaca ain't a champion
Hannity's cryin'
'cause we are the champions...of the world


We are the champions my friends
And we'll bang the gavels to the end
Dean is a champion
WE are the champions
Mehlman's a loser
'cause we are the champions...

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Note: For those of you who missed me riding my `victory donkey' naked through the streets of Portland at dawn, the DVD is now available for pre-order---only $25,000. Cash.

Daily Kos: Cheers and Jeers: Champagne and Lobster WEDNESDAY!

Rove's Robo-Call backfires

Cheap SOB should have used live people - law

This year's heavy volume of automated political phone calls has infuriated countless voters and triggered sharp complaints from Democrats, who say the Republican Party has crossed the line in bombarding households with recorded attacks on candidates in tight House races nationwide.

Some voters, sick of interrupted dinners and evenings, say they will punish the offending parties by opposing them in today's elections.

It's a Candidate Calling. Again. - washingtonpost.com