Sunday, August 31, 2008

Patriarchal Palin

The trouble with women like McBush's VP pick Sarah Palin, who vigorously support the patriarchal game, is that they think they are an equal member of the good ol' boy team. But in fact, they're just getting played.

McRove couldn't possibly pick a female Vice Presidential candidate who is powerful and incredibly experienced. They just needed a female mouthpiece to pander to the religious right. Someone who looks like a Maverick, but really isn't. Someone they can smile at and pat on the popo and after she's finished doing their bidding, they tell her to go sit in a corner and shut the fuck up.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Iraq Explained By An Iraqi

Here's an Iraqi who actually knows what's going on in his own country. Go figure.

My favorite quotes:

"...of course the U.S. wouldn't let the Iraqi-elected parliament create an anti-occupation executive branch. That doesn't really follow their plan, right? Because usually the US supported democratic experiences are conditional. So, If Palestinians voted for Hamas, now that's bad democracy. If Lebanese voted for Hezbollah, that sucks...If Iraqis voted for an anti-occupation parliament, that's a problem that can be dealt with, but not through the Iraqi constitution or the Iraqi laws, but through playing dirty games."

"...where we stand now, just to show you how the US involvement in Iraq and how the dirty games were played...the twelve political parties that are controlling the majority of the parliament...are excluded from the executive representation. The five parties that came on the US tanks, and are supported by the US, are exclusively running the executive branch. Some people ask me how can you end up having the five parties that lost the [parliamentary] elections rule the executive branch exclusively, and I say when you have 150k foreign troops, 150k foreign mercenaries in a country, wonders can happen like that one. That's a US made wonder that parties that represent a minority of a parliamentarian system end up running the executive branch exclusively. There is no other precedent..."

Watch the informative little cartoon first, and then listen to Raed speak (if you are viewing this post via email, please click through to my blog to view the video):

Saturday, August 23, 2008

U.S. 48th In Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2007

So much for freedom of speech and press. Look who our neighbors are:

47 Nicaragua 14,25

48 United States of America 14,50

49 Togo 15,17

Tax Plan Graphic: McCain vs. Obama

Over on digby's blog (via All Spin Zone) there was an illustration of the differences between McCain's and Obama's tax plans. I think that there are a lot of sweeping statements being made by McRove that are aimed at convincing middle America that Obama is a tax and spend Democrat and that Obama will "raise our taxes." This chart shows that while McBush will lower taxes across the board, the people who benefit most from his tax cuts have an income starting at $111,646.

If you make $25,000 a year, according to this chart, your McCain tax break will be $19. In one year. Whoop-de-doo. Obama's tax cut will save you $892. That could be one house or rent payment. That's a big deal.

But the wealthiest (people who make more than $2.87 million), will save $269K under McCain and be taxed $701K under Obama.

All my life I've heard the litany from my wealthy family, "Why tax the rich more than the poor? Are we being punished for being successful?" Well, no. You're being asked to pony up and help out. You know, give something. Help those with fewer advantages. Help the underdog. Be nice. Share your toys.

Besides, what's $701K to you, other than an extra house?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Take Action Before More Privacy Invasions Occur

We only have until this coming Monday, August 25th, to register comments on this new expansion of BushCo's invasion into the privacy of U.S. citizens.

The Department of Homeland Security is taking public comments on the August 25th implementation of their Border Crossing Information System, disclosed last month by the Department of Homeland Security in a Federal Register notice. The system will store personal data about U.S. citizens when they cross U.S. borders, without any probable cause, and will store that data for 15 years. The data will be made available to CIVIL and criminal cases, as well as foreign governments.

Your travel and personal information will be shared with foreign governments. Why? How do we control how those governments protect that data? (Answer: we can't.)
Your travel and personal information will be available to opposing attorneys in a civil case like divorce. Why?

BushCo is yet again using the terrorist fear premise to convince the American public that we need to give away more of our rights. When in reality, all they want to do is expand their ability to spy on innocent U.S. citizens. BushCo is turning into Big Brother.

Please read this Washington Post article for more details.
Please read the Federal Register notice.
Read comments that have already been submitted here.
Then, go to the main notice, click on the yellow thought bubble icon to the right of "Add Comments" and please leave a comment.

You don't have to write much. Just one sentence that you oppose this further invasion of the privacy of U.S. citizens and the uncontrolled use of your personal information for no good reason.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mukasey: Not Every Violation Of The Law Is A Crime

Well now. The next time I violate a law, I will use the defense given to me by the United States Attorney General.


Mukasey used his sharpest words yet to criticize the senior leaders who took part in or failed to stop illegal hiring practices during the tenure of his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales. But, he told delegates to the American Bar Association annual meeting, "not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime. In this instance, the two joint reports found only violations of the civil service laws."

I guess I can cheat on my taxes now. And when the IRS arrests me, I can say, "But, but, Mukasey said that not every violation of a law is a crime. I don't think this was a crime. I bet he wouldn't either. It was just like, well, an inconvenience to follow the law. I had important things to do, power and money I wanted to maintain, just like BushCo and his cronies wanted control over the courts, and well, the laws of the land. Just like them, I used an eentsy beentsy work-around of the law. It wasn't like I was unaware or ignorant of the law. No. It was a flagrant ignoring, complete disrespect and arrogant not-give-a-fuckness for the law. But a crime? nah."

Oh, and I also liked the part of the quote, "...only found violations of the civil service laws." Yeah, those silly little laws. They're stupid anyway. Who made them into laws in the first place? Those lefty commies that insist that people need some sort of protection from discrimination in the workplace. Those people suck. So do all those losers that whine about being discriminated against. All those kinds of laws - completely ignorable.

Oh, and by the way, he said this in a speech to a room full of lawyers. At the American Bar Association annual meeting. Talk about setting the tone.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunni Shi'a Strife: An Invention Of US Occupation

Please read Sumbul Ali-Karamali's op-ed, Of Documentaries and Dehumanization, at Juan Cole's website Informed Comment. In just a few paragraphs, you can get a quick picture of the roots of Islam, to hopefully destroy the false impressions created by the US government and their lapdogs in the US traditional media.

Ali-Karamali's intent in the op-ed is to reveal the gross, and dangerous, inaccuracies and misinformation in National Geographic's documentary entitled, Inside The Koran. Read Riazatt Butt's Guardian UK article for even more cutting analysis.

I have been ranting and raving about the dehumanization of Iraqis and Muslims for a long time, especially since from where I sit in Paris, where I can watch European and Arab news and compare them to the laughable US news outlets, I can see how easily BushCo controls the more ignorant of the American populace with fear of "the other," and gets away with actual murder, because Americans don't see Muslims or Iraqis (and soon Iranis) as human beings. This dehumanization has been horribly acted out in real life, when American soldiers believed they had the right to treat foreign detainees in Abu Ghraib like dogs.

I did a little intertubular search, curious about how the US media was covering this documentary, and was not surprised to find, on the top of the search page, this sensationalistic review by the Miami Herald's "television critic," who is almost salivating as he starts the article with, of course, a strap-on suicidal bomb scenario, keeps things exciting with women being beaten and the cries of an African child as she is circumcised, and ends with a Palestinian historian of Islam being thrown out of a window. Fuck me. After all that, I just want to nuke the motherfucking Muslims off the face of the earth, don't you?

OK, back to sanity. In Ali-Karamali's op-ed, you'll find out that before the illegal US invasion of Iraq, Sunni and Shi'a lived together, worked together and intermarried in relative harmony. I use the word relative, only because even in supposed peaceful countries, there will be strife between people with different belief systems. But Sunni and Shi'a beliefs are not very different, their difference is in who they believe to be the leader for Islam, someone selected by consensus (Sunni) or someone who is a blood relative of Muhammad (Shi'a).

You'll learn that Sunni and Shi'a are simply different branches of Islam, and both consider the other as valid.

You'll learn that when Britain occupied India, they created division between Hindus and Muslims that had not existed before the occupation, and which resulted in the separation of India and Pakistan, still a cauldron of trouble today. We have done the same divide and conquer thing in Iraq, with probably far reaching, and as yet unknown, consequences.

You can buy Sumbul Ali-Karamali's book, The Muslim Next Door, by clicking on the link or the graphic below. I haven't read it yet, but would like to. So can you. And, more importantly, I will make $.000034589 from the sale of each book. Thank you. Thank you very much.

(By the way, in trying to finish up and publish this post, I had a hell of a time trying to find a link to the show on the National Geographic website. I finally found a link for the show's overview, but only got a 404 Error page. I then found a press release about the show that announced how happy National Geogrphic was that the show was going to be aired on the American Forces Network. I was then completely unable to find any reference to the show on the AFN website. Was this thing produced in association with or paid for by the US military as a troop propaganda piece? I'm sorry, conspiracy theory alert!)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

McCain Waves Buh-Bye to Ohio

Here's what McCain would have said to that woman in Ohio if he really actually practiced straight talk:

"Yes, I can tell you, absolutely for certain, that all those DHL jobs are gone for good, because me and my lobbyist campaign manager purposely made the jobs go away. In fact, my lobbyist campaign manager got paid more than a half million dollars to take those jobs away from you. That's what good Republicans do. If you're lucky, we'll let you vote for us. Any questions?"

But, did you notice what a whiner she was? Geesh. Where is Phil Gramm when McCain needs him to slap down the hoi polloi?

(If you're viewing this post from an email, please click through to the blog to view the video.)

Change This, Ass Triscuit

I don't know why people with Republican or conservative blogs try and "friend" me through BlogCatalog or any of the other blogging communities. I go to all their blogs and read them, and rarely, if ever, do I find anything worth a damn. And I don't want any of them as friends. Not even virtual friends. I already have a family full of people like that, and that's way more than enough for me.

Today's little friend experience brought me to an inane post about how the Obama slogan of "change" is so stupid and vague and if you "ask any Obama supporter" what specific changes they want, they get all confused and can't tell you. Well, fuck that. Here's the comment I wrote on his post (you'll be proud of me that I didn't say douche bag, not even once, nor did I use my new favorite word that I found in the comments over at Pandagon's blog and am just dying to use: ASS TRISCUIT):

I think there are vacuous people on both sides of this election, who make decisions without really researching and understanding all the issues. There's that horrible lady on that video who said, "I am not voting for that Hussein guy. I've had enough of that Hussein name." ugh. Perhaps it's worse, but still as vacuous as "Oh my God! I mean, like, I just love Obama, you know? He's like, about change and everything!"

But for somebody like me, I know specifically what kind of changes I want, and I know that Obama won't give them all to me, but McCain won't give any of them to me. So, Obama gets my vote. For instance...

I want to change the fact that we are in major debt to the freakin' Chinese for the war in Iraq. Didn't they used to be the dreaded commies that the conservatives abhor?

I want to change the fact that the conservatives who I used to respect because part of their platform was fiscal responsibility in government, have been hijacked by the neocon mob.

I want to change the fact that we are pouring billions of dollars into Iraq and Afghanistan while there are Americans without health insurance, bridges crumbling, people losing their jobs and their homes.

I want to change the fact that the US is now known as a nation that tortures. Which now endangers every one of our soldiers' lives if they are ever picked up by our enemies.

I want to change the fact that the executive branch thinks they can do whatever they please and thumb their nose at the constitution and established law.

I want to stitch the constitution back together, after it's been shredded by BushCo.

I want to change the fact that BushCo deregulated the securities and banking industry so much that it created a huge vacuum into which greed stepped right on in, and unsophisticated or unaware consumers got the word "sucker" tattooed on their sorry foreheads.

I want to change the fact that we can just make sh*t up in order to go to war with a country that had not attacked us and had no plans to attack us, destroy that country, kill and displace more than five million of that country's people, just so we can line the pockets of our pals with private security companies, oil companies, and anybody else that wants to make a "killing" by killing another country.

I could go on with more specific things I want "changed," but I won't. I imagine you get the picture by now.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Tim Wise: On The Creation Of Whiteness

Please watch this segment, and then buy the DVD. I will live vicariously, and jealously, through you.

Please also read this brilliant article, also by Tom Wise: Your Whiteness is Showing: An Open Letter to Certain White Women Who are Threatening to Withhold Support From Barack Obama in November.

There are so many things I could talk about in the above video, but there was one thing that rang my bell immediately. I've always watched my parents and family proudly try and associate themselves with the ruling Republican elite. Like when Ronald Reagan died, my mother said, "THAT was a true love story, between Ronnie and Nancy!" as she looked up dreamily towards Heaven. Ronnie. Like he was my mother's actual friend, and she had some personal insight into that marriage because she was one of them. It was like Ronnie hisself said to her, "Clare, please stop with all this Mr. Reagan stuff, this Mr. President stuff. You and I, we is old time friends. You know you can call me Ronnie, anytime."

My family takes up the Republican cause, dissing all those homeless or jobless people and saying, "Get a job, you losers!" They do this because they suffer from the delusion that by parroting the Republican nastiness and talking points, that it instantly makes them a member of the elite and prestigious Republican club. It makes them elite too, even though they can't seem to figure out why they don't have an open invitation to any of those elite parties.

I would sit there listening to my parents pretend they're a member of this club, me, my politically ignorant self, and think, "They are being played. Used. The Republican elite doesn't give three shits about my family, except when they need to manipulate the vote to support their REAL buddies in Saudi, in corporate banking and finance, in the war industry, in the oil industry, in the insurance industry, in the pharmaceutical industry."

But when my sister is out of a job, she has to go and stand in the same line as all those other losers at unemployment. Her pal George Bush is golfing and can't be reached. Hell, my sister is in Arizona. She could just call up her pal McCain and say, "Bro, I just lost my job. Tell me where my next job is and I'll hustle on over there and start working." But ol' Johnnie is avoiding her calls. As my brother's construction business is crumbling because he can't do his usual bridge loan for materials at the beginning of the job because of the mortgage fallout, Dick Cheney is not available for a conference call to tap his bank buddies to help my bro out. My mother has always insisted on driving a huge General Motors car, because she's from Detroit and she worked as a secretary for General Motors years ago. But she was an "executive" secretary, dontcha know. And she was so special that those big important elite car manufacturers let her into the club. She was no loser, she was on the invitation list. She didn't notice that she couldn't enter through the front door of the mansion, though. She had to come in the back door, and clock in. Now, when gas prices as astronomical and are taking a deep cut out of my parent's limited retirement money, those guys at GM, her big pals, don't remember her name.

A few years ago there was a guy at my job named Brent who was the Chief Technology Officer. I've been around software development for more than 20 years, so as a technology guy, I knew he was crap. But he also claimed that he was a member of the elite Hunt (oil) family, which had all the grown men in my company drooling and fawning. During football season, Brent announced that he wouldn't be coming in on Mondays because he would be picked up by the Hunt family jet and taken to wherever the family ball team was playing and sit in the private family box to watch the game. And if the jet could get him home in time, he might show up the next day at work. My boss asked Brent if he could get him free tickets. He never said a word about whether or not Brent had vacation time to cover the absences. I knew, deep down inside, that Brent wasn't just a technological fraud, I also knew that he wasn't a member of the Hunt family. I sat down and talked to my boss and told him what I suspected. My boss said, "But Lisa, if he is a member of that family, think about the benefits of that association!" And I said, "Oh, so you think if you stand next to Brent, that the Hunt money will just leap out of his pockets and drop directly into yours?"

This is why I never made it in corporate America.

Then all my money was stolen out of my bank accounts. It was because I used my bank debit card to test the shopping cart software that Brent developed (badly by the way). So, I did a little Google search: "inmate search arizona," and entered Brent's name, and lo and behold, there he was, having served time for credit card fraud and impersonating wealthy people. The supposedly smart and well educated and sophisticated white men at my company, my "betters," were duped because they thought they could be part of the elite Hunt family club. Fools.

During Katrina, the white people over in Chalmette, Louisiana that Tim Wise mentions, that deluded themselves about being superior to the blacks across the bridge in the 9th ward, also got played. They are just as poor and desperate as the people in the 9th, just as screwed by the levies breaking, the toxic formaldehyde trailers, but they've been convinced that they are members of the big bad white elite, so they believed and still do believe, without a shred of actual evidence, that they are better off than those shifless nigras across the bridge.

But no matter how much they take up and espouse the cause, no matter how much they parrot their "betters," no matter how high they raise their heads (or in the case of Chalmette, their rifles) in "I know the big cheese" superiority, they'll never actually be invited to the party.

The white corporate elite of America is laughing at these fools all the way to the bank (and to the White House), just like Brent did every Monday of football season, as he sat snickering on his couch in his tiny slump block home in the poor area of Phoenix (I Google Earthed his address), watching the game and eating popcorn and sharing a few beers with his former cell mate, and gay lover. So much for Republican elitism.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Republicans Are The Spendthrifts, Not Democrats

I keep hearing people repeat Republican talking points like, “Obama will raise our taxes” and “Obama will spend all our money.” I'm sorry, but does anyone ever do any fucking research of their own before they repeat this horse shit? Right now, they're predicting a federal deficit of $400 BILLION dollars, which does NOT include the millions BushCo BORROWED FROM CHINA to finance the Iraq war. That money will come due at some point, long after Shrub has left the building and is off with his oil baron buddies laughing about how they raped the Middle East and got all that oil. Hehehe!

And so it's going to be Obama that raises our taxes and spends all our money? Puh-lease.