Thursday, April 30, 2009

Supreme and Stunning Hypocracy

My jaw is on the floor over the banality and the blasé tone in which the following text showed up in an article this morning on CNN online, about the fact that a nuclear business deal between the U.S. and the UAE is being held up NOT because it has been recently revealed from video documentation that the UAE royal family tortures its recalcitrant business partners, which MIGHT mean that we MIGHT want to refuse to do business with the BASTARDS, but no. Obama has decided to "temporarily" slow down on signing the nuclear deal because of the "concern" that the media attention to this pesky little torture issue could give critics of the nuclear deal ammunition to thwart its passage.

Fuck me, and the horse I rode in on.

The senior U.S. officials say they are worried that lawmakers critical of the deal could use the videotape to undermine the agreement. The officials say lawmakers could argue the United States should not have such nuclear cooperation with a country where the rule of law is not respected and human rights violations are tolerated. Nabulsi's lawyer, Anthony Buzbee, told CNN he sent letters and excerpts of the tape to lawmakers. (emphasis mine)

So, now that we've established that torture is just hunky dory in America, and that people who have broken both domestic and international law by torturing people, get to stay in their little mansions in Texas or opine on network news about torture and how fucking great it is. And now that Obama wants to "look forward and not backward," we get to see torture videos online and worry, not about the horror of such practices, but whether or not it'll flubb up some huge mother fucking business deal. And to add insult to injury, we have the FUCKING BALLS to stand back and say, "We can't possibly do business with countries that torture!" Well, that would mean that we should not do business with our fucking selves.

There I go again. It seems that fuck is the only word that mollifies.

And then there's this:

The State Department had little to say publicly on the torture tape incident, but its 2008 human rights report about the United Arab Emirates refers to "reports that a royal family member tortured a foreign national who had allegedly overcharged him in a grain deal." When asked about the case, Acting State Department spokesman Robert Wood said only, "We urge all governments to fully investigate allegations of criminal acts. " (emphasis mine)

Well, do you now, Mr. Wood? I'll be damned.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Singin' The News

Now THIS is what I call news. What these geniuses call it is Auto-Tune The News:

Breaking: Jerry Falwell Within 160 Miles Of The Capital

For a dose of reality about the supposed Taliban "threat" to Pakistan, go read Juan Cole as he douses the flames of "The NYT's breathless observation that there are Taliban a hundred miles from Islamabad."

Revolution: The Spades And The Hoes

There's a revolution brewing in southern California, and it's not gang related. Unless you want to form an army with your neighbors, dole out the nitrogen pellets and Tunisian phosphates (a particularly effective acid for those of you who don't want to grind up any bones), sharpen your scythes, block the corporate evil-doers and get a whole lotta green. Interested? You rebel, you.

Take the Path To Freedom or, if you've got the gonads, go read this revolutionary journal.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Snappy Tune

This is a song I will be singing for a while, not just because it's funny, or true. But because it's snappy. Very snappy. (If you're viewing this post from an email, click through to my blog to view the video.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Challenge To Rush Limbaugh

There are some things I don't blog about because I'm so appalled by them, that I don't know what to say.

I know. Imagine that.

The fact that America tortures, is one of those things. There are so many more gifted and knowledgeable people out there that can write brutally and elegantly and deeply about this subject, that I don't know what I can add. But I realized today, that there are a few things that I don't see, so I thought I'd better write them down.

First of all, there's that fat fuck Rush Limbaugh. Sorry to insult all people of weight. But his large-ass figures prominently into what I'm going to say.

I'd like to challenge Rush Limbaugh to go through SERE training. (That's the school where they put you through all the torture techniques that were approved by BushCo for the non-white, bearded different people who wear turbans sometimes and actually fucking kneel down once a day to pray - can you imagine? - and who are still in our custody illegally, unless of course they mysteriously died or have gone insane.) I'm just appalled that that motherfucker Limbaugh is actually slapping his blubbery face on the radio to show people how stupid we are to be upset about torturing people.

Limbaugh is a classic bully. The kind that ridicules and threatens people from the safety of his fucking recording studio, but doesn't have the teabagging balls to engage mano a mano. Because he's a... Fucking Pussy.

Once I was in this group therapy class and one of the women was describing her uncle who had molested her and who now was molesting her daughter. She was terrified and didn't know what to do. The therapist was this famous guy who was a protégé of Carl Yung, and in that Germanic-Swissy not-very-sissy accent he said, "Your uncle is a classic bully. That means he is more afraid of you, than you are of him. I want you to go back home tonight, get a male friend or relative, and take your uncle aside and tell him this: If you touch my daughter again, I'm going to get a shotgun and blow your balls off. Your penis will be scattered across the room in tiny little bloody bits. Understand me? UNDERSTAND ME?"

You know, I could say that to her uncle right now and mean it. Even if I didn't have a shotgun, his balls would be mincemeat.

But, back to Rush. And his balls. Or lack thereof.

First, he'd have to suffer through cold turkey to get off that OxyContin. Because you know he didn't stop taking that shit. Hell, he's being paid by the RNC in tablet form (or maybe they crush it into powder for him to get rid of the time-release aspect so Rush can get his Rush faster), just so he can continue to mouth off about the feminazis pain-free. Fucking drug addict.

We don't want that pasty-white chicken shit to avoid the pain of torture by using recreational rich-boy drugs. No, we don't.

Next, he'll need to be deprived of cheetos and twinkies, his favorite foods when he was couch surfing on welfare while his wife worked. Fucking deadbeat.

Maybe he'll have the svelt look when he comes out of training, along with that crazy look that comes from having your worst fears shoved into the tiny box that somebody decided they'd put you in for, oh, well, who knows how long. And what day is it? And is it daytime, or nighttime? Who am I anyway? Don't you know who I am? I was famous, I think. Once. Can I have some food now? Could you turn down that rap music? I hate black people. They're all drug addicts and deadbeats.


I repeat. If that motherfucker can make light of torture from the comfort of his radio studio, then he can go take the torture class. We'll see how long he lasts. I hate to say this Rush, but Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah have way bigger balls than you do. Way. Bigger.

(Image stolen from PoliticalHumor. Let me know if that pisses anyone off and I'll take it down. The image. Not PoliticalHumor. I really don't own a shotgun. Really.)

Friday, April 17, 2009

To Russia, With Love

The other night I had a great dinner with friends. There was good wine, stinky cheese (my favorite kind), a lovely meal, a lot of animated conversation and ribald laughter. OK, I admit, I was the one laughing ribaldily, with ribaldity, I was ribaldous. In French, I was a paillard. And the lightning made fireworks in the sky outside, without even a murmur of thunder. It could have been the mean old God of Sarah Palin, threatening us all with the licking flames of hell fire because of our depravity. Or, it could have just been a spring night in Paris. It all depends on your frame of mind, or perhaps your level of spiritual cluelessness.

By the time the laughter died down, we realized we had to make a run for the Metro, lest we miss the last train. It was raining, and I shared my umbrella with my lovely tall friend. I looked up at her, way up at her, and said, "Wow. You're tall, aren't you?" I'm a master of the art of observation. "Gimmie that," she said. And so I gave her the umbrella, in order to stop stabbing her in the chest with its pointy spokes.

We all made the first train, but I didn't make my connecting train. So there I was in the wee hours of the morning, walking down Montparnasse, alone with my umbrella, hoping for a cab with his taxi sign glowing white and available. It was only a few blocks, and I stood in front of an open cafe, at the intersection of four streets. I saw the welcome glow of the taxi light, and waved my hand. He pulled over. I opened the back door, collapsed my umbrella and shook it violently, then slid into the seat with a hearty, "Bonjour Monsieur!" It was nice to hear a hearty and friendly reply, "Bonjour Madame!" He had a head full of gray curls, and very dark eyebrows. I saw those brows as our eyes met in the rearview mirror.

The cab was a cozy Mercedes, as are most cabs in Europe. This fact amazed my little niece when she visited me recently. It's one of those details I forget because I've been here a while. The car splashed through the empty, early-morning streets, and on the radio, Obama started to speak. I strained to hear what he was saying, just below the French interpreter's voice. The taxi driver said, "Il est une optimiste." Well... that's an understatement. I said, "Il est mon président." That also may have been an understatement.

"Nous avons besoin d'une optimiste maintenant," I said. His dark eyebrows nodded in assent. His eyes were gray.

We chatted back and forth for a little while in French, until he was kind enough to switch to English... with a Russian accent. Here are a few things he said:

  • The American people are suffering, but instead of being helped, it's the American banks who are being rewarded for their greed and avarice with billions in taxpayer's money.
  • Bernie Madoff will avoid jail, or if he must go to jail, it will be a comfortable one.
  • The taxi business is down in Paris. The Americans who are visiting during the Easter holiday are taking the Metro to save money.

We talked for the entire trip. He said so much. It wasn't just the regurgitation of headlines he'd read. He had digested reems of information and integrated it into a deep philosophical reality. I was sorely dissappointed when he pulled up in front of my apartment. I dug through my purse for the 12.50 Euros in cab fare, and apologized for all the small change I had to give him. He said, "Don't worry. I can always use the change."

It costs a minimum of $350,000 to buy a taxi license in Paris. That doesn't include the price of the new Mercedes. It's a wealthy man's job. And I'm glad it's a job preferred by at least one Russian intellectual.

I just hope he's wrong about Madoff.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Swingin' Those Dicks

I've now seen Elizabeth Warren three times on TV, and I'm seeing her name more and more in the press. In the back of my mind, I knew that this was not happening by accident. But on Jon Stewart's April 15th Daily Show, she made her intentions very clear. She is going to tell her story, expose the utter stupidity of TARP and other current financial fiascos, until she gets heard.

So, while the big ex-Goldman Sachs boys are swingin' their dicks over at Treasury, helping out their old banking, investment and insurance pals, she's making the media rounds telling anybody who will listen that these boys are just, well, swingin' their dicks... with no transparency, no accountability, and a shitload, I imagine, of Viagra. I bet they're cooking up strategies about how to be deadbeat dad's too, because after all, it's the American tax payers who have to go through all the pain while they push this stillborn bloody baby of an economy out the door, while the guys who planted the seed are spending all the taxpayers' money in the bar and laughing about how good that pussy was, after all. Ha ha!

That little Warren girl, with the brain full of numbers, the elocution of a librarian and eye glasses to match, is trying really hard to get a message to the big dicks: abstinence wouldn't hurt, you guys, but birth control is the way to go.

Sorry about the dicks n' pussy metaphors. I just couldn't help myself.

Everything Elizabeth Warren says on the Daily Show is worth listening to, especially her incredibly clear explanation of the causes of the boom and bust cycles in American history. (Video is below. If you receive this in an email, please click through to my blog to view the video.)

Part I:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Elizabeth Warren Pt. 1
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

Part II:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Elizabeth Warren Pt. 2
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

Stephen Colbert Told Me I Had To Do This

At the end of Stephen Colbert's April 15th show, he told his viewers he expected a full report about the show on his desk the next morning. So, before he wakes his ass up, here's my report.

Colbert eviscerated Obama about denying Habeus Corpus for detainees at Bagram AFB. Evidently, the detainees are "guilty until forgotten about." Colbert doesn't know why Obama wants to deny the detainees their constitutional right to Habeas Corpus, but he offered the possibility that the detainees did something "really unforgivable, like remind Obama he was once a professor of constituional law."


And then Colbert immediately segued to the Fox News Corp-sponsored tax-day tea parties. There was a clip of Newt Gingrich lying his ass off and saying these tea parties "kind of sprang up almost unexpectedly in the last two months in a spontaneous effort around the country." Colbert replied, "Newt Gingrich is right. It was really unexpected how these spontaneous grassroots political events that Sean Hannity is hosting in Atlanta, Greta Van Susteren is hosting in DC, and Neil Cavuto is hosting in Sacramento, just sprang up without promotion from the media."


Laugh, I did. But, you know what's really sad about this? The Wandering Eye Of Newt, his Fox cohorts and their history-challenged teabaggers are presented as the simple fools that they are, which makes for great comedy. But there's very little that's funny about Obama being an abuser of human rights.

I hope I get an "A" on my report.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Obama Denies Habeas Corpus
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorNASA Name Contest

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Amos Oz Writes With Two Pens

NYT: “I never mix them up,” he says of the pens. “One is to tell the government to go to hell. The other is to tell stories.”

My kind of guy.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Now THIS is Big News

The CIA tortured detainees in April 2002, 4 months before BushCo attorneys issued the memo giving permission to use "enhanced interrogation techniques" (torture by any other Rovian name, is still torture) in August 2002. BushCo will only give the court interrogation videos for August.

Gee, I wonder why?

How BushCo Helps Israel Kill Palestinians

By shipping them 989 20-foot long containers of munitions, each weighing 14,000 tonnes, and possibly containing white phosphorous. The munitions were shipped on a German freighter in December of 2008 and arrived March 22nd, so they will replenish munitions used by Israel in the Gaza conflict.

"A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed to Amnesty International that "the unloading of the entire US munitions shipment was successfully completed at Ashdod on March 22," Wood pointed out.

The spokesperson had said the shipment was destined for a US pre-positioned munitions stockpile in Israel, he said. Under a US-Israel agreement, munitions from this stockpile may be transferred for Israeli use if necessary.

Why in the fuck are we giving such "aid" to Israel? Can't the Obama administration cancel the aforementioned US-Israel agreement?

Can't we build schools or something? Be productive instead of destructive? Aren't my Photoshop skills awesome?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Take Action: Obama Is Wrong About Warrantless Wiretapping

From CREDO Action:

We have an opportunity to bring the Bush administration to justice for illegal wiretapping. But President Obama is blocking the way.

On April 2, President's Obama's lawyers invoked Bush's radical theory of executive power -- and the 'state secrets' defense -- to argue for the dismissal of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's litigation against the National Security Agency for the warrantless wiretapping of countless Americans.

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has said "The Obama administration is just flat out dead wrong about this." You can watch Olbermann and Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley discuss Obama's use of the "state secrets" privilege to protect the Bush administration on illegal wiretapping in this YouTube video:

If EFF's case against the NSA is dismissed, we may never know the extent of the Bush administration's illegal spying on Americans.

Please join me and take action to support the Constitution.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Israel Was Never Mentioned

I read an article this morning, Obama to call for nuclear-free world, and was delighted at the news, although I haven't dug deep enough to know how far Obama can go with this initiative, before the American weapons manufacturer's lobby, or the Neocon-Likud-influenced American Jewish lobby, starts strong-arming him.

But the most interesting thing I've seen is that Israel's substantial cache of nuclear weapons was not mentioned in this article. It's rarely discussed in the media, unless you read lefty, pro-peace media like I do. It's the big SHHH! secret that everybody knows about, but few have the balls to talk about. It's the elephant in the room who continues to poop white phosphorous as Israel compliments the burn victims on their nice tans.

Just call me Pollyanna, but it would seem to be a logical assumption that if your neighbor (Israel) has a shitload of nuclear weapons, you would be a fool (Iran) if you didn't get busy and build a bigger shitload. You could try diplomacy at the same time, and hope that it works before anybody launches their warheads, but it would be a good idea to keep building those puppies in the background, just in case diplomacy fails. I know that Iran is a troubled child, in a world of big bad boys and their duke nukem war toys, and perhaps diplomacy isn't their strong suit. And of course, I don't know the history of who had nukes first, but who cares? If everybody agrees to get rid of them, then who started the fight is a moot point. And, I remember reading, no doubt in one of my communist pamphlets, that Iran has made genuine diplomatic outreach efforts in the past (here and here), only to be rebuffed by BushCo, who needed to maintain Iran as the boogie man, to scare the bejeezus out of underinformed Americans, so that Halliburton and Blackwater could rob the treasury of many more billions in a nice little profitable (for them anyway, certainly not for America) war with Iran.

It also seems obvious that building and maintaining nuclear capabilities costs a bloody fortune, and if everybody would agree to stop building and maintaining them, then everybody else could relax and spend money doing other things, like, oh, feeding and educating the poor.

But that makes too much fucking sense.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Attention Please: All GLBT's Report To Sweden

This is what freedom feels like. Thank Buddha and the Flying Spaghetti Monster that there are not very many Christian Democrats in Sweden. May the rest of the world follow suit.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

When Your Trappings Trap You

I just read a great article about why CEOs do what they do, and in essence, it's a much more sophisticated explanation than the one I gave in my previous post, in that it gives a detailed description of the typical personality style of a CEO: Why Do CEOs Do Such Stupid Things? It's Their Nature.

This paragraph was spot-on:

People high in power motivation have certain characteristics that go along with their need to have an impact. They are competitive with others and assertive in their interactions. They need to be top dog. They crave prestige. Thus, they value corner offices, keys to the executive washroom or even private bathrooms, exclusive country clubs, chauffer driven cars, private jets, and well-appointed offices. They own high performance cars, wear expensive suits, and have their initials monogrammed onto their shirt cuffs. The more such prestige items, the better. Consider the impact of walking into a spacious, corner office with a magnificent view. Although such an office has no bearing on the quality of work done in it, it screams importance and prestige. This is just what the high power personality lives for. Bonuses are important because they bestow immediate prestige. They show how important you are and how much more important you are than your fellows. They are better than high salaries because they can be repeated every year.

The word "trappings" popped into my brain. These people attach themselves, and their worth, to the trappings of wealth, prestige and power. But in a very clear way, they become trapped. Once you get trappings, there's no go-backings.

I've flown around in a private jet for two of my jobs, rode in limos for one of them, stayed in $400-$1000 a night rooms. The spaciousness, the softness of the bed and pillows, the subtle perfumed smell, the quiet of those expensive rooms were very nice. But the other amenities - the fluffy robe and slippers, the shampoos and creams, the evening turn-down and mint on my pillow? Couldn't care less.

I've eaten in restaurants where the final bill for 5 people was $5000. I've watched executives choose one bottle of wine from Miami's famous Forge restaurant wine list that cost hundreds of dollars. One bottle. When it was opened, and we all took a sip, I remember thinking that there was no sip, no lingering taste, that could be worth that much money. And I'm no slouch when it comes to wine. I know the difference between plonk and the good stuff. But, it's still not worth that much money. It's a glimmer of pleasure, an instant of tannin sizzling on my tongue, and depositing little fuzzy sweaters on my teeth. And then it's gone, down the gullet, to be subjected to sharing the same gurgling space as that $50 steak and a few limp green beans, only to be processed during the night, by inelegant acids until it leaves my body in a non-dignified way.

I'd rather buy a book, or 42, with that wine money. At least what I learn from it will be lasting, and bring me closer, through the magic of knowledge, with other people and places. I thought it was wasteful to fly in private jets and ride in limos and stay in ultra-expensive hotels when I was working at those high-flying glamor jobs. I guess I'm a freak of nature. Or perhaps, I am not high... in power motivation.

Admitting that I have no power motivation has in the past, and would in the future, screw me politically in corporate America. I'd be dead meat. You have to at least pretend that that shit means something. That you are eager to do whatever it takes to climb that fucking ladder. You know why? Because the entire egos, the entire self worth, of those executives who have all those trappings of power, demand that you value and acknowledge, and most importantly, envy and desire them, and their trappings.

I am so happy I am not there anymore. I feel as free as a bird. Really.