Saturday, May 31, 2008


Here's some Middle Eastern snark for you. When they get to say, nah nah nah nah naaah naaaaaah! (Video embedded below. If you are reading this post in an email, please click through to my blog to view the video.)

Friday, May 30, 2008

McClellan McSchmellan

Update: This is brilliant, and closes the door, hopefully forever, on poor old Scotty: What Should Have Happened: How Man Times Scotty Coulda Quit Him, But Didn't. (I made that title up. Kinda snappy, i'nt it?)

Read this Scotty, you douche bag.

It's a billion miles and eons beyond ironic that the guy who stood up and dished out and defended BushCo lies, who obstructed and obfuscated to the evil left-wing press, now gets to play the victim and make money from his supposed victimhood.

Here's what David Corn said about McClellan: He’s right these days to remind us that the media screwed up bigtime by not sufficiently scrutinizing White House claims about the purported treat from Iraq and the Iraq war. But as a fellow who made the job of reporters tougher by mangling and obscuring the truth he’s in no position to accuse anyone of failing the nation.

Scott McClellan was involved with George Bush before Bush became president. He watched the useless little n'er-do-well creep destroy the Texas economy and laugh about putting people to death. Oh, and that was after Georgie Junior set up and then bankrupted a couple of oil companies of his own, but not before he cashed in his own stock.

So, Scotty, tell me. How can you possibly be surprised that Bush destroyed the entire country's economy, squandered our nation's resources on an unjustified and unwinnable war, and didn't give a shit about victims of Katrina and gave up golf as his penance for the destruction of Iraq and the death and displacement of millions of Iraqi people?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Jihadists Rising Up Against Al Queda

Here's more news you never hear about in the US press, even though it's an extremely important development. I think there are three reasons for this lack of coverage:

  1. It is the express desire of neocons and warmongers to demonize people of the Middle East, especially followers of Islam. If successful, it is easier for gullible, uninformed Americans to not notice when BushCo slaughters hundreds of thousands of them. Who cares? They aren't people. They're oddities. Even if they are human, they wear dresses and go barefoot and are always running around shooting machine guns in the air and burning effigies and cars and shit like that. They're just animals.
  2. The American press is pretty much a useless bunch of orange pancake made-up blow hards like Russert and Dobbs. Or, they're too busy chasing after Britney or Paris Hilton. Or they are sucking neocon ass. One of those three.
  3. If Al Queda stands down, BushCo can't justify any more bullshit wars or loss of our freedoms.
Anyhoo, it looks like there is a movement afoot, not with Arabs or Islamists in general, but with jihadists in particular. They not be likin' all the killin' been goin' on. And the higher-ups are sending very public messages to Osama bin Ladin to cool his fucking jets.

Excerpts from a New Republic article by Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank called The Unraveling:

This past November, Benotman went public with his own criticism of Al Qaeda in an open letter to Zawahiri, absorbed and well-received, he says, by the jihadist leaders in Tripoli. In the letter, Benotman recalled his Kandahar warnings and called on Al Qaeda to end all operations in Arab countries and in the West. The citizens of Western countries were blameless and should not be the target of terrorist attacks, argued Benotman, his refined English accent, smart suit, trimmed beard, and easygoing demeanor making it hard to imagine that he was once on the front lines in Afghanistan.

Although Benotman's public rebuke of Al Qaeda went unnoticed in the United States, it received wide attention in the Arabic press.


Two months before Benotman's letter to Zawahiri was publicized in the Arab press, Al Qaeda received a blow from one of bin Laden's erstwhile heroes, Sheikh Salman Al Oudah, a Saudi religious scholar. Around the sixth anniversary of September 11, Al Oudah addressed Al Qaeda's leader on MBC, a widely watched Middle East TV network: "My brother Osama, how much blood has been spilt? How many innocent people, children, elderly, and women have been killed ... in the name of Al Qaeda? Will you be happy to meet God Almighty carrying the burden of these hundreds of thousands or millions [of victims] on your back?"

Sunday, May 25, 2008

How Freaking Embarrassing

What do American women who read romance novels fantasize about NOW? (I'm sure you're just dying to know.)

Arab men. Princes...and be exact. And these Prince-Sheikhs (because, you know, they all look the same to me) are all rich, and handsome, and sexy and dangerous.

Fuck me and the muscular and fleshy, undulating and cloven-hoofed, wet with hard-ridden sweat, white Arab stallion I rode in on.

Hat tip to the Angry Arab for sending me off on my incredulous and disgusted Intratubular search to see if there's a list of available titles. I wanted to guffaw at titles like Beauty and the Sheikh and The Sheikh's Revenge.

Instead, I found this interesting 2005 post over at 'Aqoul, where the author did a quickie statistical study on Sheikh-flavored romance titles and came up with this stunning graph:

Well, will you lookee there. Just as the twin towers were crumbling in 2001, white pasty American housewives began to guiltily fantasize about being "taken" by a thrusting, lusting Arab, but definitely NOT the unimportant minions flying those planes. No. These girls wanted the Guys In Charge. They blushingly desired the royalty - the guys living richly upon their own sandy soil - the ones who live in gorgeous silken tents and have very large organs hidden under their caftans. The arms dealers. The oil barons. Those dashing men-about-the-desert who have harems, of which these American women will become the lead dog...or, er, bitch. They imagined themselves to be something like Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Well, maybe not.

Then, once again in 2003, as American troops "entered" Iraq to begin its really fast long-term occupation and domination and total destruction of that particular Middle Eastern paradise - those tough soldiers coupled with "embedded" corporate media - there was another "surge" in middle America, a Sheikh-down of sorts, of lathering bored and lonely wimmins rushing off to WalMart to pick up the latest Susan Mallery book written for 3rd-grade intellects and in large print, just in case.

Why OF COURSE these same wimmin voted for George Bush in 2004. They couldn't possibly let those damn libruhls put an end to their exotic, luscious, somewhat dirty in a brown-skinned-kind-of-way (oh, but my Prince is TAN, not COLORED!) fantasy now, could they?

I will join the 'Aqoul post author eerie, in saying to you all: Stop laughing, you cretins.

Whore, Four Years

This is a large ad that I saw here in Paris, in front of a news agent's stall, for a French magazine called Marianne. The three bullet points say (I THINK):

  • Why hasn't he gotten there yet?
  • Already a war of succession
  • Exclusive survey: This isn't going to end well
I wish I knew more about local politics so that I could fill you in. I know that Sarkozy promised to change things for the French people, but the French people aren't thrilled with his lack of progress, and they are protesting at every turn. We just had a three-day rail strike, the teachers have been striking, and so have the fishermen and dock workers.

I like that the French people feel they have the power to change things by hitting the streets in protest. I wish more Americans would feel the same way.

The other day I was talking to a friend who used to be a Republican politician and he said, "Why do they always protest? Why don't they just enact legislation? That's what we do here in the US."

Do we really?

Great Way To Support American Soldiers

Hat tip to a soldier blog I just found, Gruntshit, the Angry American (who is back home now), who posted information about this great organization called Books For Soldiers.

They are in needs of funds. Their biggest nut to crack is about $4200 per month they spend on website hosting fees and IT expenses.

Anybody have a server with some room on it?

Otherwise, you can to donate to Books For Soldiers here.

We Arabs Have Had Our Fill

From the Saudi-US relations website (hat tip to the Angry Arab):

The findings of a just-published American opinion poll of Arab views of the U.S. come as no surprise. The poll indicates a massive 80 percent of Arabs distrust the U.S. If anything, the only surprise about the poll, [...] — is the implicit suggestion that 20 percent of Arabs do trust the U.S. It is hard to find anyone here in the Kingdom at the moment who has anything good to say about the U.S. The anger at President George W. Bush’s blundering, bloody intervention in Iraq, his persistent refusal to rein in the Israelis (especially now with Palestinian suffering greater than ever before) and his administration’s total failure to understand the Middle East and the bizarre notion that American-style democracy can and should be transplanted here have pushed resentment to a peak.

We Arabs have had our fill of being treated by the U.S. administration (and its followers in the U.S. media) as delinquents who have to be re-educated into the ways of polite and responsible society. If the U.S. treated its European allies with the same patronizing contempt and insistence on change, they would turn on it in fury, not just the European public, but governments as well. That Arab governments have not is proof of their reliability and loyalty. But it is hard work trying to remain friendly with a government that is so objectionable, so arrogant — and so wrong in everything it does in the Middle East.

For the Arab in the street at the moment, a distinction is still made (as seen in the poll) between the American people and the American government. The object of dislike is Bush himself and the scale of the dislike is unprecedented. It should be astonishing that the same poll found that he topped the list of world politicians Arabs disliked the most — 63 percent dislike Bush compared to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s 39 percent.
They are referring to the 2008 Zogby/University of Maryland Arab opinion poll (PDF). There are so many interesting statistics that I'm not sure how to tackle posting about it yet. Just take a gander at all the slides in the pdf.

One thing I learned: the Arabs love France, want to move to France, want their kids to be educated in France and think that France is the society with the most personal freedom. So, it looks like I'm a genius, n'est-ce pas?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Tragic Kingdom: The Unhappiest Place On Earth

Note: I am very late in commenting on this "amusement park" in Baghdad, and most commentary I read expresses the same surprise and dismay as I do, just with different words. However, I did a little research on Llewellyn Werner, and found this 1979 Time article entitled, ironically, There Is Nothing, Monsieur, about Werner, a "former anti-war activist," flying aid in to help the Cambodian people who had been ravaged by the Vietnam war. The article paints a very clear picture of the destruction of war. He also was an aide to Governor Jerry Brown. What in the hell happened to him since then?

Second Note: I searched for hours for any articles online that gave an Iraqi (non-government) perspective about this amusement park. I found nothing. Nothing at all. I guess it's typically American to neither ask, nor care, nor, Allah forbid, report about the Iraqi people's opinions!

I was over at this morning, reading River of Resistance - How the American Imperial Dream Foundered in Iraq, by Michael Schwartz. There's too much in that article for me to talk about, but this sentence popped out for me:

"Falluja itself was, of course, destroyed, with 70% of its buildings turned to rubble, and tens of thousands of its residents permanently displaced..."
Of course, most Americans have no idea how horribly America has destroyed the country of Iraq and its people. I also read this morning that while we all are moved and saddened by the recent Myanmar cyclone and Chinese earthquake natural disasters, the American-made disaster in Iraq has killed and displaced more people than Myanmar and China combined.

Meanwhile, without a backward glance, some free-marketeers (with Mickey hats) see nothing but opportunity and potential profits in Iraq. That's why a California company is building a huge amusement park in Baghdad. (read Jim Hightower's post Goofy In Baghdad.)

Let's see, the Iraqi people have a couple of hours of electricity a day, if they're lucky. Clean water is scarce. But who cares, as long as they can sit outside the amusement park gates and watch somebody else's blinking neon lights and electric "thrill rides" (as if war wasn't enough of a thrill for them) whiz by. The Iraqi people will be delighted to know that at least somebody is having a good time.

According to Llewellyn Werner, chairman of C3, a Los Angeles-based holding company for private equity firms and investor/developer of this project, “The people need this kind of positive influence. It’s going to have a huge psychological impact.” (UK Times article)

The people, my ass. Llewellyn and his partners, the real "people" he gives a shit about, are in it for the money. Oh, and I'm sure that the "huge psychological impact" will be such a positive one!

Notice that he mentions profit first, doing a "good thing" next, and then profit last: “I wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t making money,” he said. “I also have this wonderful sense that we’re doing the right thing – we’re going to employ thousands of Iraqis. But mostly everything here is for profit.”

And here's a doozie Werner quote I found over at NetNewsPublisher:
Trying to sell the idea to Baghdad’s skeptical deputy mayor, Werner explained the significance of waterpark lagoons: they’re “very important to the sex appeal, the sizzle. Anybody ever been to Disneyland?”

Notice that it's being built alongside the Green Zone, and in the former Baghdad zoo:
"...which was looted, left without power and abandoned after the American-led invasion in 2003. Only 35 of 700 animals survived – some starved, some were stolen and some were killed by Iraqis fearing food shortages."

Lovely! Lots of great memories there for the Iraqis to cherish.

I'm sure that C3 won't use the same contractors to build their park as the Pentagon has been using to build their monstrous embassy and all those permanent military bases. (Notice how they don't, like, rebuild people's fucking HOMES?) After all, Werner likes to make money, not pour it down the toilet and have no receipts to show for it.

More niceties from the Times article:
General David Petraeus, head of US forces, is said to be a “big supporter” of the project, according to Mr Brinkley [Deputy Under Secretary of Defence for Business Transformation].

“There are all sorts of investment opportunities all over Iraq. But it’s not just hydrocarbons. Half the Iraqi population is under the age of 15. These kids really need something to do,” Mr Brinkley said.

Yes, by God, they certainly do. Like look for their lives, crushed somewhere and beyond repair, under the rubble. That is, when "these kids" aren't some of the lucky children held by the US in prisons.

Because we care, about the children. We really, really do.

If I Were A Terrorist

Many thanks to my friend Rich over at Foothills Opinion Post for posting this video. James Pence of The Hillbilly Report is a riot. Go to his YouTube page and make sure you also view his video about George Bush giving up golf. (if you are viewing this post from an email, please click through to view the video):

Friday, May 23, 2008

What Kenevan Did With His Stimulus Check

You can give your check to the ACLU too, so they can continue to guard our constitution and defend those who have been denied their rights. It could be YOU some day. Don't think that is an exaggerated notion.

It's Been A Long Time Since I Felt Fine

Back around April of 2006 when I quit my insane corporate job (the company just closed its doors big surprise, but sad for my buddies who had hung in there through more and more insanity), I had to buy a computer to replace my company laptop. I was still too corporatized to be smart enough to buy a Mac, so I ordered a Dell. In addition to a free backpack, I also received the Dell imitation of an iPod, I think it was called the DJ. I never opened it or plugged it in or anything.

I'm kind of a lover of silence.

Then my boyfriend, who is not a lover of silence, got back from taking a band on tour through Europe. He picked the DJ up and asked me what it was and when I told him, he said he wanted to know what was on it.

That's when we had a big laugh because some hidden hipster in cubicle number 5,678 somewhere in the bowels of Dell had had some subversive fun by loading up a song on my DJ, maybe on every DJ that went out the door before Dell had to admit that they couldn't compete with the iPod if they had a trillion dollars and 40 years to do it, and the DJ died a quiet, not even close to gasping, death.

Here's the amazing song by Guy Forsyth (go to the coolest website ever - make sure you leave the site up and then ignore it so that his little video self can harass you to come back and pay attention - it's hilarious) called It's Been A Long Long Time. It's not just the lyrics that will get you, it's quite a snappy tune. (You can listen to it here.) Many thanks to the secret Commie Kid at Dell:

It's been a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, time.
It's been a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, time.

When I was a kid, I used to draw airplanes, with stars and bars shooting down airplanes, adorned with hammers and sickles.
I bought a hundred water guns so I could save the world, saving my lunch money and stealing my father's quarters, dimes, and nickels.
I discovered religion watching Luke Skywalker rescue Princess Leia and destroying the Death Star by letting go and closing his eyes.
And I devoured comic books, Greek colored mythology books taught me right and wrong, and if you believe, you can fly.

It's been a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long time.
It's been a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long time.

I remember listening to songs about trains and feeling the rush of wonder at the possibility that the world was infinite and accessible all at the same time. And then it was songs about highways and born to be wild and little red corvette and the road went on forever in my mind.
But now it's clogged bumper to bumper with stinking SUVs and two-story pickup trucks that can drive over anything except the two-story pickup truck right in front of it.
Not even the highways look the same, Starbucks and 711s and Walmarts jam the feeder roads. We don't live around this mess, we live under it.

It's been a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long time.
It's been a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long time.
Since I felt fine.

Now all the songs are about gangsters and guns and the TV speeds by at 100 deaths an hour and everyone wants to pull off the crime of the century.
Steal two hundred gazillion dollars, enough to buy myself an island and build a real honest-to-God train on it for noone but me.
And get away with it. Get away with it. We Americans are freedom-loving people and nothing says freedom like getting away with it.
We went from Billy the Kid to Richard Nixon, Enron, X-on, O.J. Simpson...
We used to dream about heroes, but now it's just how to beat the system.
So where to we go to dream now? Up on the roof of the projects, straining through the city lights to see if they've built golden arches on the moon yet?
Self-medicated, pacifated, trying our best to stay distracted, living life according to the TV set.
Corporations owning nations, telling us "don't change the station, it's the only safe way to win the human race."
I wonder how the world sees us.
Rich beyond compare, powerful without equal, a spoiled, drunk, 15-year-old waving a gun in their face.

It's been a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long time.
It's been a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long time.
It's been a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long time.
It's been a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long time.

Since I felt fine.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Collapse Of Dollar: We Meant To Do That?

This article in HuffPo by Danny Schechter says that BushCo wanted the dollar to devalue.

Whitney saw then what our media has still yet to report or understand.

"The financial crisis that we now face was created by design. It is intended to destroy the labor movement, crush the middle class, quash Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, reduce our foreign debt by 50 or 60%, force a restructuring of America's debt, privatize all public assets and resources, and create a new regime of austerity measures which will divert more wealth to the banking and corporate establishment."

Interesting thought, as I lose $500 every time I buy 1000 Euros.

But, I'm not bitter.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jane Novak: Living Room Crusader

I just read this article in the New York Times about Jane Novak. I love the fact that she, like me, reacted to 9/11 with a need for more knowledge about why and how it happened to us. She did all of her learning online, from her home in New Jersey. She started her own blog, Armies of Liberation. Now, she's trying to save the life of Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani, one of Yemen's most prominent democracy advocates.

By the way, I was a little worried when I saw all the right-wing blogs affiliated with Jane Novak, but two things made me feel a little better - one is that I support freedom of speech and an unhindered press. Secondly, the paper that al-Khaiwani worked for was socialist. :-)

Al-Khaiwani MAY BE SENTENCED TO DEATH ON WEDNESDAY (tomorrow). So please take action now - sign the petition here.

Bush Tells Israel He'll Attack Iran Before He Leaves Office

Here's the article in the Jerusalem Post. (Thanks Dave Winer: blog. twitter.)

I toldja sew.

Can we stop him and Cheney? Can you communicate this everywhere? Can we stop the insanity? America can't support this war financially, nor without instituting the draft. That might move some right wingers to vote for Obama....the thought of their own children being shredded to bits over in Iran. Coming home with PTSD, or no face, or no legs, or in a box.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Video From Inside China

I watch many movies online. I doubt they are legal versions (come on over and handcuff me now), and many of them are hosted on a Chinese website called Tudou. This evening, I was trying to see if I could find a Japanese movie recommended by Mathew Yglesias called Hana-bi in Japanese, or Fireworks in English. When I got to Tudou, the search box seemed to be disabled, and all the videos on the front page were about the earthquake. You HAVE to go look. It's an inside view that I doubt any outside news agencies can get:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Know Bush By The Friend That Keeps Him

UPDATE: Read more about Sheldon Adelson in this National Journal article. (Thanks to this Jim Lobe post.) This quote popped out at me:

Given Adelson's vast wealth and wide-ranging interests, it's not surprising that he's a rising star in Republican circles in Washington, evidenced by the attention lavished on him at the White House Hanukkah party last year. "People were falling all over themselves to meet Sheldon," says one person who attended. "There were two receiving lines--one for Sheldon and the other for the president."

Over at War & Piece, Laura Rozen posted an article entitled, If I Were Sheldon. It references "One of Israel's top journalists and commentators Nahum Barnea" and his column at Yediot Aharonot. It's about the guy from Las Vegas that traveled with Bush to Israel, Sheldon Adelson.

I hadn't heard of this guy before. But, evidently, he's a billionaire neo-con. I am going to repost all the text of the article below, because it's an eye-opener. This information has been reported nowhere else (other than at Mother Jones, but that article is also written by Laura Rozen) that I can find. I have not been able to find the original article, because Laura did not link to it. From the comments on her page, I am assuming that she had someone translate it from the original Hebrew. I'm not sure why it didn't show up on the English version of Yediot Aharonot online. (Link to all of Barnea's columns in English)

Anyway, with all those caveats, here's the article text:

When Sheldon Adelson gave his speech on the podium of the International Convention Center two days ago, I looked at Shimon Peres.

I was happy for him. The impressive, sparkling conference that he convened will warm his heart on the cold evenings when he is stuck alone, he and his security guards, in the desolate cage on Jabotinsky Street in Jerusalem. Many important, highly-respected people. An excellent organization. Well done.

As a citizen of the country, I was less happy. I saw a gambling tycoon from Las Vegas who bought my country's birthday with three million dollars. I thought with sorrow: Is the country worth so very little? Were the champagne and the wine and the sushi that were given out for free in the lobby, unlike what is conventional for such events, worth the humiliation?

Adelson is a Jew who loves Israel. Like some other Jews who live at a safe distance from here, his love is great, passionate, smothering. It is important to him that he influence the policies, decisions and compositions of Israeli governments. He is not alone in this, either: even back in the days of Baron Rothschild, wealthy Jews from the Diaspora felt that this country lay in their pocket, alongside their wallet. Regrettably, in the latest generation, we are being led by politicians who look at these millionaires with calf's eyes.

This kowtowing to other people's wallets-that is the common denominator of Rabin and Peres, Netanyahu, Barak and Olmert. Where are the good old days of Pinhas Sapir, who used to shout from the top of his lungs about these millionaires, who would let them wait for hours near the door of his office, who would pour soda into the glass of Chateau Rothschild that he was served and, afterwards, would make them sign the check? Sapir did not abase himself to anyone because, unlike them, he never expected to receive anything for himself.

Adelson is like the others, and yet different. He has the gift of authority and the bluntness of someone who made a lot of money quickly. He does not ask. He commands.

"He talks to me as though I were his property," the director of an important Jewish-American organization, one of the guests at the conference, told me. I heard similar complaints from others, Israelis and Americans, who got scandals from Adelson. Not long ago, the mayor of a large city received word that he had to meet Adelson immediately. He acceded, of course: the man is a big donor. When they met, Adelson ordered him to tell the municipal inspectors to leave the employees of his business, who were violating municipal law, alone.

There is a story about an anti-Arab propaganda film that Adelson heard about. He telephoned the director-general of a Jewish organization, asking him to buy and distribute the film. But the film is distorted, said the man. No one will believe it. So edit it, Adelson commanded. The film is not editable, said the man. All right, Adelson said. I will buy the film at my expense, but you will distribute it.

"He would like all the Arabs to disappear," another activist for a Jewish organization told me. "It seems that he thinks that the Arabs are gambling chips."

Several months ago, Adelson contacted another Jewish-American millionaire and asked him to donate a large sum of money for a campaign that he was organizing against the current Israeli government. The man politely refused. You know what, Adelson told him, do not donate. Just sign. The man refused again. Adelson accused him of funding anti-Israel research. I do not know what you mean, the man answered. When my man in charge of these things is in Las Vegas, he will come to you. Look into the matter.

The meeting at Adelson's office, in the Venetian hotel-casino, was a stormy one. Adelson took out a written list of accusations, many of them childish. You hosted (PA prime minister) Salam Fayyad, he said. He is a terrorist with blood on his hands. He is one of the founders of Fatah. Salam Fayyad was never involved in terrorism, his interlocutor said. He is not a member of Fatah. Where did you get these accusations from?

From Steve Emerson, said the billionaire. Emerson is an American Jew who often analyzes terror matters. You work with Olmert's government, accused Adelson. This is an illegitimate government. It must be thrown out.

I thought that Olmert is your friend, said the man.

And, indeed, they were friends. Such good friends that Olmert wrote him a letter and asked him to buy mini-bars for his hotels from a company that Talansky represented.

("This is not something new," one of the Americans who came to the conference told me. "One day I get a call from an Israeli, a former senior government official. I have a request, he said. Talk to Adelson about buying safes for the rooms in his hotels from a company that I work with. If the deal goes through, your organization will get a donation of USD 1 million." The man absolutely rejected the request.)

Adelman is convinced that Netanyahu, not Olmert, must be prime minister of Israel. In order to advance this idea, he established a newspaper, which devotes it pages to the fight against Olmert and praises Netanyahu. Allegedly, this investment is the largest election gift given to Israel ever. I do not claim this. Firstly, it is a legal gift, legitimate. Secondly, when Netanyahu is elected prime minister, he will have to act within the constraints of the State of Israel, not take dictates from a patron in Las Vegas.

Adelson, surrounded by guards, was king of the conference. He sat in the first row, with Shimon Peres between him and Olmert. He put his hand out to Olmert. Olmert shook it with a sour face. They did not exchange a single word.

In doing some background research, I found this article about Adelson, and John Bolton, on TPMCafe.

FBI Agents Make Their Mothers Proud

The world might be a better place if everyone, before taking action, asked themselves, "Would my mother approve of this?" Or, if your mother was an insufferable hag, you can replace "mother" with "Aunt Bee." The world would definitely be a better place if we all channeled Aunt Bee.

Based on a soon-to-be-released Justice Department report about the FBI's involvement in Guantanamo Bay interrogations, it looks like Aunt Bee would be very proud of all the FBI agents. She might even bake them all a nice pie. An American pie. It seems they all refused to participate in the torture tactics perpetrated by the CIA. How, er, American of them.

"The policy of the bureau ... is not to use coercion," said FBI Director Robert Mueller.

So, it appears that the individual agents had the cajones to refuse to torture, and they actually complained to their superiors about the CIA torture they witnessed, but their superiors were slow to take action or give their agents guidance, according to the report.

Perhaps in this situation, positive change can come from the bottom up.

UPDATE & DISCLOSURE...OR EXCUSE...OR WHATEVER: My mother wouldn't approve of my politics on this blog, but she would approve of my bad language. Aunt Bee wouldn't approve of my language, but she'd probably approve of my politics.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Myth: Illegals Dominating Emergency Rooms

From time to time I have heard this myth touted by the xenophobic right, that myth about all those illegal immigrants crowding our emergency rooms, forcing us "real" Amerikuns to wait for our rhatful medical attention, and that myth about illegals getting free health care on our precious tax dollars - you know, the same tax dollars we don't mind pouring down the endless cesspool of KBR, Halliburton, Blackwater, and all the other BushCo corporate pals that are profiting from Iraq's destruction.

Well, finally, somebody has provided a tiny little whiff of the reality of the emergency room situation, and now I know why BushCo has to perpetuate the illegals-takin'-ahr-stuff myth. Our emergency rooms are crowded because THERE ARE SO MANY UNINSURED AMERICANS.

Take a gander at this excerpt from this Truthdig article by Bill Boyarsky, Campaign ’08: Giving U.S. Health Care a Checkup:

At the urgent-care center, which treats the walk-in sick, more than 50 men and women were waiting to see a doctor. They mirrored the population—white, Latino, Asian and African-American. They did not fit the bigoted stereotype of the uninsured illegal immigrants from somewhere south of the border.

Dr. Gail Anderson, the hospital medical director, said the composition of the urgent-care patients was a sign of the growing number of uninsured. “Generally, we’re having people who would normally be covered,” he said, “working-class, mixed-ethnic, not just abject indigent types. Day in and day out, it is a cross section of working groups in the community.”

The uninsured have also strained the hospital’s emergency room, a situation exacerbated by the closing of another major county hospital about 10 miles away.

Dr. Roger Lewis of Harbor-UCLA’s Department of Emergency Medicine recently told a congressional committee of a day in March when “there were 78 patients undergoing treatment in the ED [emergency department]. Because we don’t have room for that number of patients, 33 were being treated in chairs or hallways not originally intended for patient care, 37 patients were still in the waiting room waiting to be seen by a physician, and 20 patients we had previously admitted to the hospital were being ‘boarded’ in the ED because there was no room in the inpatient hospital wards. Some of our admitted patients had been waiting one or two full days for a bed upstairs. Not surprisingly ... we had no space for incoming ambulance patients.”

Harbor illustrates a national problem. The National Coalition on Health Care, composed of unions, health organizations, General Electric and others, reported that the uninsured are increasing, with most of them coming from working families. Most are native or naturalized citizens. The number of workers with employer-based health insurance dropped from 70 percent in 1987 to 59 percent in 2006. Nearly 40 percent of the uninsured live in households earning $50,000 or more a year.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Let's All Make Fun Of Kentucky & West Virginia

Maybe it will shame them into being less ignorant:

The LAT talked to a farmer, who voted for Bush but regrets it, but who appears more than a little reluctant to vote for the presumptive Democratic nominee. “Obama,” the farmer said, “just doesn’t sound right for an American president.” The president of the West Virginia Coon Hunters Assn. told the Times he rejects Obama “because of, you know, who he is.”


After [a John McCain speech in Inez, Kentucky], I left the county courthouse and crossed the main street to talk to a small group of demonstrators holding signs next to McCain’s campaign bus. J. K. Patrick, a retired state employee from a neighboring county, wore a button on his shirt that said “Hillary: Smart Choice.”

“East of Lexington she’ll carry seventy per cent of the primary vote,” he said. Kentucky votes on May 20. “She could win the general election in Kentucky.” I asked about Obama. “Obama couldn’t win.”

Why not? “Race,” Patrick said matter-of-factly. “I’ve talked to people — a woman who was chair of county elections last year, she said she wouldn’t vote for a black man.” Patrick said he wouldn’t vote for Obama either.

Why not? “Race. I really don’t want an African-American as President. Race.”

What about race? “I thought about it. I think he would put too many minorities in positions over the white race. That’s my opinion. After 1964, you saw what the South did.” He meant that it went Republican. “Now what caused that? Race. There’s a lot of white people that just wouldn’t vote for a colored person. Especially older people. They know what happened in the sixties.”
What? What exactly did happen in the 60's?

Burma/Myanmar Help

By way of coffeesister (blog, twitter) I found this Pistachio Consulting blog post that gives detailed links of bloggers inside Burma, so that you can get first-hand information. There are also links for non-traditional and traditional aid. There are some individuals who are traveling into Burma, to whom you can send money or you can buy their art. I've been feeling helpless about this situation, with even UN aid being blocked, impounded or delayed by the junta government. However, this post gives many, many resources for aid and information. Please check it out.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Obama Panders To Israeli Lobby

So, Obama shit-cans one of his peripheral Middle East advisers, because, sin of all mortal sins, the guy works for a conflict resolution organization (International Crisis Group) who has been involved in talks with Hamas. Oh my fucking God, let's all just jump up and down and scream at the outrage of it all.

Robert Malley is a guy that this country needs. I mean, just click on that link and read about his background! But no, it's important that Obama fires him as an adviser so he can pander to the right-wing and the Jewish war lobby, so he can get elected, and in the process, it's important that we Americans remain stupid. Why the hell should we employ or listen to Middle East experts? Why is it that we have little to no Arab-speaking people in our state department or foreign service? (There were 10 Arab speakers with 3/3 proficiency at the embassy in Baghdad in June 2007. Ten. Ten!) Because we don't need to know anything about those barefoot Islamic rag heads. Don't need to learn their ancient stupid language. We just need to bomb the shit out of 'em. Yeah! Obliterate 'em, right Hillary? Fuck talking to them. That's a waste of time.

By the way, General Wesley Clark is on the board of the International Crisis Group. Does that mean that Hillary should shit-can him? Oh, I forgot, she's not in the race anymore. But somebody needs to tell her supporters over there on the Times Online article (linked above), the ones using multiple identities but the same number of extra exclamation marks in all their asinine comments.

In Sun Tzu's The Art of War, he says, "Know your enemy." Knowing your enemy includes, if you can, talking and listening to them. Even if they are insane, you learn about them as they babble, and you can hone your strategy. You might also find out, God forbid, that they have one or two legitimate gripes. Maybe you could possibly address those one or two gripes and stop the war. Ignoring and shunning people pisses them off. It makes them want to act out even more so they can get the attention they believe they deserve. They think, "If they won't talk to us, then we'll have to find another way to get their attention." I know, this idea of talking to our enemies is just so Pollyanna of me. So Jimmy Carter.

No, instead, we Americans want to act like stupid, insulated, uninformed children. Why waste time being smart and luring our enemies into friendship so that they might tell us what we want to know. Nah. Takes too much time. We just torture people to get the information we want. That's faster, and so much more reliable. And why sit down across a negotiation table and discuss differences and solutions to those differences? Another fucking waste of time. Especially when the "other" has some stupid religion that isn't Krishtian, and the men wear dresses, for God's sake. Nah. We can just bomb their countries to get control of their resources.

We just want to play imperialists. It's fun! And look at all the boo-tay you get in the process.

This country, and our political process, disgusts me.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

So, You See, We're Still Fucked

Sometimes I just want a vacation from it all.

This morning I read a passionate post over at The Reclusive Leftist, where the author, Dr. Violet Socks (deceased but still kickin' butt) says she won't vote for Barack Obama if Hillary steps out of the race. Dr. Socks believes that the exit of Hillary will be the end of women's rights:

If Barack Obama and his supporters become the new Democratic party, then the Democratic party will no longer be the party of women’s rights. There will still be women in the party, naturally, but basic respect for women as citizens will be a dead letter. It will be the party of John Roberts and anti-choicers and the most virulent outbreak of public misogyny I’ve ever seen. All the sexism of this campaign will be rewarded instead of repudiated.
Although the virulent outbreak of public misogyny seems like a stretch to me (and why exactly would that be a stretch, Lisa?), Dr. Socks backs up her premise by discussing the anti-Hillary, anti-woman smears that have occurred throughout this campaign, and she paints a what-if scenario, describing in detail how it would be if the same level of cheap shots, except this time racial slurs versus sexist slurs, were perpetrated against Obama. Dr. Socks did a very good job of painting that picture. And it wasn't pretty. But, then again, it never is.

I have quite a bit of sadness about Hillary Clinton. As a woman, I've suffered from abuse and prejudice since I was very young, and it continued throughout my career in corporate America. I know I'm not alone. It's the norm rather than the anomaly. I would like to agree with baldy what's-his-face that Hillary Clinton has balls, but that implies that in order for her (and the rest of us girls) to be successful at anything, we have to grow a one (because, whatever we do, it's never enough, you know). No. Instead, I will say that she is extremely brave to have stepped into this cheap-ass sensationalist wrestling ring, knowing, in deep and dirty detail, all of the misogynistic slurs that she would have to wipe off on an hourly basis. She would have to wipe it all off while keeping her eye on the target.

At this point, I could say that she had selfish reasons for taking this crap on: power, money, fame. Who knows. Perhaps she actually cares about our country, about women, about the poor, about the average American. Again, who knows. Maybe it's a combination of both. Her clumsy attempts at being one of the regular people didn't make me sick. They just made me sad. The stories she told of flinging her book bag against the wall, or when she went a huntin', didn't make me angry, just sad. It all seemed so contrived. I wonder if she has bad advisers, or, if like me and the rest of us girls, she has been trying to flex and remold herself her entire life in order to somehow fit in to the good ol' boys club. Never actually quite getting there, of course. In the process, we kind of lose our humanness. We kind of lose our authenticity. We kind of lose ourselves.

Whatever Hillary's true goals, whether she is even conscious of them or not, I think I can say, without any doubt, that at some level, Hillary Clinton ran for president for all women. She did it for us. She took all this shit for us. She slogged through the disgusting slime and toxic taunts for us. Perhaps the kind of shit we women have faced for eons, will come out of the corporate woodwork and be exposed to the light of day. Perhaps right-thinking people will see it and hear it and become sickened by it. Perhaps things can then change. (I'm not holding my breath.)

I am sad that Hillary probably won't be president. I have been sad that I couldn't vote for her in the primaries, as she became, or perhaps always was, such a hawk. I can't abide by this war. And she is grabbin' her man-owned force-meat balls and saying she'll obliterate Iran. I can't abide by that.

I'm not a fool. Both Hillary and Obama are pandering to, and taking money from, the corporate world that, in cahoots with our current right-wing, religiously fanatical administration, has turned America, and soon, if we don't stop them, the rest of the world, into a fascist state. As I wishfully, and naively cried when I listened to the inclusiveness, the, dare I say, hopefulness, of Obama's North Carolina acceptance speech the other day, I also heard him give a very clear message to corporate America that he won't abandon them:

The woman I met in Indiana who just lost her job, and her pension, and her insurance when the plant where she worked at her entire life closed down – she can’t afford four more years of tax breaks for corporations like the one that shipped her job overseas. She needs us to give tax breaks to companies that create good jobs here in America.

Yeah - the corporations heard you Obama. Even though you just slipped that one in. It was still loud and clear. You just told them you'd continue the government-paid, corporate welfare program, while you were telling the sad story of one of its victims.

Remember when the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce freaked out and vowed to "punish" anti-business candidates? That's when Edwards was still in the race and he had the bravery to loudly challenge the corporate behemoth. He ain't in the race anymore. And...surprise, surprise, he says he won't endorse either Hillary or Obama. So that frees them both to pander to the only people who truly can get them elected, and who will demand payback after the election: corporate America.

And now that Edwards is nicely out of the picture, the Chamber of Commerce? They not freakin' out no mo.

So, you see, we're still fucked.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bush-McCain Challenge: I Failed Miserably

I just took The Bush-McCain Challenge -- an online quiz to see if you can tell the difference between George W. Bush and John McCain.

Check it out, and see if you can do any better than I did!

Obama Article In La Revue Magazine

I was walking home from the grocery store, when I spied this newsstand ad for La Revue magazine.

Here's a link to La Revue issue 14 - the main online page.

The cover headline translates to: Obama, The Divine Surprised One. It can also mean The Divine Surprise.

The article headline says: And if it were him?

The opening text of the article says (click here to open pdf):

He is from a black father (of Kenya) and a white mother. He first attracted (future) white voters and now, the blacks. His magnetism reminds Americans of John Kennedy and if the democrats designate him as their candidate, they will open with him the doors of the White House...

I thought the other interesting headline on the cover is: Iran: When the United States made the law. I wouldn't mind reading that story.

The other interesting article is entitled: Sarkozy, The Anti Chirac? (view pdf here.) Sarkozy is not a popular guy here in France right now. The French people, who usually don't care about the nitty gritty details of people's personal lives because, well, those details are personal, got mighty sick of Sarkozy's tawdry personal life: his divorce from his wife, then his big distracting romance with, and quickie marriage to Carla Bruni. The French people want Sarkozy to do what he promised - reform the country's economic situation and lower the cost of living in France. Well, he hasn't even come close. The French don't care about "morality" like the silly up-tight Americans do, but they do care about their lifestyle and economic security, and they want results.

Monday, May 5, 2008

American Corporate Gulags

Here's what American corporate prisons do.

Here's what our joke of a government says about it, which is just a bunch of blah blah bullshit corporate speak.

So, lets talk about this corporation that deals in human incarceration. In one of their press releases, they describe themselves thusly:

Corrections Corporation of America is the nation's largest owner and operator of privatized correctional and detention facilities and one of the largest prison operators in the United States, behind only the federal government and three states.
Gee, will Corrections Corporation of America's (tag line: Prison Privatization at its Best) stock go up, or down, on this inmate death news that's never reported in the US? Just askin'.

Especially since last month, CCA's CEO sold 18,000 shares of his stock. Does he see writing on the wall for the upcoming Democratic administration? Of course, there's no former senators on CCA's board. Unless you count that guy, what was his name, DeConcini, the guy who was a member of The Keating Five. But that's OK, because he just works as a lobbyist now.

Oh, and after DeConcini was slapped by the Senate Ethics Committee for taking orders from Charles Keating in a savings and loan swindle, Bill Clinton appointed DeConcini to the freakin' Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation in 1995. Niiiice.

Oh, and last June, George Bush tried to appoint a former executive from CCA to be a federal Nashville...the corporate seat of CCA!! (I don't usually like extra exclamation points but I just couldn't help myself.) But don't worry, a former inmate is trying to stop the appointment. During the CCA exec's confirmation hearing, he says he'll recuse himself from any CCA lawsuits. I don't know about you, but that makes me feel so much better!

By the way, who is DeConcini backing for president in 2008? Obama. I wonder if that pissed off the Clintons? Oh please oh please oh please don't tell me that this makes Obama beholden to the prison industry. So far, I can't see that DeConcini, as an individual or through his lobbying firm, has contributed to Obama's campaign, but he did contribute to Larry Craig and Arlen Specter and Bill Richardson.

Whose campaign has CCA contributed to so far in 2008? Richardson and Thompson. Here's another donations list that shows CCA employee contributions.

Thanks for joining me on that little research ride. I'm not sure what any of it means. It's just interesting stuff to tuck into the back of my brain for future reference.