Friday, May 16, 2003
The Bush and Bin Laden families, and Saudi Arabia: What is being hidden?
I'm not one to run around spouting conspiracy theories... but this is an area which begs some serious investigative journalism. The American people really need to know what's being hidden from them. Something really smells funny here.
Sen. Bob Graham Sits On A Bombshell re: 9/11
Sen. Bob Graham makes the startling revelation that a sovereign foreign nation actively assisted the 9-11 terrorists. Unfortunately the information is classified and we may not know for decades which country it is.
This is not some wacko conspiracy theory, it's a respected US Senator who co-chaired the 9-11 commission. Why isn't the NY Times and Washington Post all over this? This could be as big as the Pentagon Papers. If they could spare all that manpower and column-inches over what Pres. Clinton did with his penis, don'tcha think they could pry into this a bit? Or have we all fallen asleep again?
Thursday, May 15, 2003
The Bloody Peasant Sketch, revisited
(with apologies to Monty Python)
[King Arthur music]
[thud thud thud]
[King Arthur music stops]
Hey there, you lazy, homeless old bum!
Man. Sorry. You lazy, homeless old man. What knight done lives in that castle over yonder?
I'm thirty-seven. I'm not old.
Well, I can't just call you 'Man'.
Well, you could say 'Dennis'.
Well, I didn't know you were called 'Dennis'.
Well, you didn't bother to find out, did you?
I did say 'sorry' about the 'old bum', but from the behind you looked--
What I object to is that you automatically treat me like an inferior!
Well, I am King!
Oh, King, eh, very nice. And how d'you get that, eh? By exploiting the workers! By 'anging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society. If there's ever going to be any progress with the--
Dennis, there's some lovely filth down here. Oh! How d'you do?
How do you do, good lady? I am George, King of the Murricans. Whose castle is that?
King of the who?
Who are the "Murricans"?
Well, we all is. We is all Murricans, and I is your king.
DENNIS: You mean, "Americans".
GEORGE: That's what I said, Murricans!
WOMAN:I didn't know we had a king. I thought we were a democratic republic.
You're fooling yourself. We're living in a dictatorship: a self-perpetuating oligarchy in which the working classes--
Oh, there you go bringing class into it again.
That's what it's all about. If only people would hear of--
Please! Please, good people. I are in haste. Who lives in that castle?
No one lives there.
Then who is your fuhrer?
We don't have a fuhrer.
I told you. We're a democratic republic. Every four years we elect a set of electors pledged to each candidate, the number of electors is based on each state's congressional representation, and in turn they select our president...
...but all the decisions of that president and the executive branch are kept in check by the judicial and legislative branches of government...
Yes, I see.
...it takes a simple majority vote in the case of legislation,...
...but it takes a two-thirds majority to overturn a presidential veto of legislation proposed by Congress--
Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
Order, eh? Who does he think he is? Heh.
I is your king!
Well, I didn't vote for you.
The majority of the people didn't vote for him.
You don't vote for kings.
Well, how did you become King, then?
Five Justices of the Supreme Court,...
...their arms clad in the purest stinking bullshite, tore to little bitty pieces the Constitution, signi... signuh... sinifying... they done told me that by Divine Provi... Provinunce... Prollidunce... God told me that I, George, was to usurp the Executive Office. And I believe it, and that settles it.
That is why I is your king!
Listen. Fanatical right-wing ideologues making up the law as they go along, is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical judicial ceremony.
Well, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some fascist goons with law degrees threw out the votes!
I mean, if I went 'round saying I was an emperor just because some goose-stepping Nazis said so, they'd put me away!
Shut up, will you? Shut up!
Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help! Help! I'm being repressed!
Oh, what a give-away. Did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh? That's what I'm on about. Did you see him repressing me? You saw it, didn't you?
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Austin Tea Party Update The Department of Homeland Security was used to help locate Texas Democratic legislators who left the state to deny the GOP the necessary quorum to ram their re-districting plan through the Legislature.
I thought the rationale for this new bureaucracy was to better defend us from the terrorists, not to be the GOP's brownshirted stormtroopers. Perhaps the Bush regime has decided that dissent = terrorism. I remember a time not so long ago when it was the GOP which was the party that feared the police state and big government.
Another big goose-step down the path to fascism.
Kurt Vonnegut had some good words to say recently. Like, "Conservatives are crazy as bedbugs. They are bullies.". If it were up to me, I'd qualify that as "Today's conservatives". But you get the idea.
Don't let them get away with the Big Lie Since President Clinton took office 10 years ago, we've had to put up with an incredible parade of shameless lies about Clinton and liberals/Democrats in general. I'm not talking about 'spin', I'm talking about pure, made-up BS deliberately intended to perpetrate the usual slanders and false stereotypes about Dems and the left.
When a lie is repeated often enough without sufficient challenge, it becomes accepted as truth. Goebbels called this, "The Big Lie".
Partisan Republicans love to repeat the lies listed below as if they are commonly accepted facts.
Don't let them get away with it.
Information is power. Read the stories at the links below. Remember the information as best you can. Challenge these lies when you hear them, as often as is practical. Don't let the right-wing throw the truth down the memory hole.
Frequently Heard Republican Lies
"The Clinton Administration Trashed The White House and Air Force One"
"Government Always Gets Bigger When Democrats Are In Charge"
"Troopergate was true. There is no 'vast right-wing conspiracy'."
"Whitewater Proves Clinton Was A Crook"
Get tough. Fight back. I love good quotations. Here's a great quote from the Bruno Gianelli (played by actor Ron Silver) character on "The West Wing". It's likely Aaron Sorkin is the one who actually wrote it.
Somebody came along and said 'liberal' means 'soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense, and we're gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn't have to go to work if they don't want to.' And instead of saying, 'Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, Leave it to Beaver trip back to the '50s,' we cowered in the corner and said, 'Please don't hurt me.'
Bob Riedel wrote this hilarious version of "The Yellow Rose of Texas".
(Here is the tune in case you forgot how it goes)
The Taliban From Texas
There are Taliban from Texas who want to run the world
Their crossbone-spangled banner's triumphantly unfurled
They trample on the Bill of Rights and mock democracy
The Taliban from Texas have it in for you & me
They'll say you are a traitor if you don't toe the line
Their friends at Exxon Mobil all think that's very fine
"Support the troops" means "shut your mouth & never raise a fuss"
Those Taliban from Texas will be the end of US.
They're pocketing a tax cut as big as all outdoors
To pay for Fox cheerleaders and other sundry whores
They worship "G.I. Jesus" and not the Prince of Peace
The Taliban of Texas want to be your thought police.
A Comparison Imagine a presidential election with two hypothetical candidates:
Candidate 1) A family man, a Southern Baptist. Has had a long, distinguished, relatively scandal-free career in government. Completely faithful to his wife, has never even been accused of sexual scandal. Volunteered to serve in the Army in Vietnam. Generally considered knowledgeable and intelligent. Considered well-read and has written a couple books. His wife led a crusade against obscene lyrics in rap and popular music.
Candidate 2) Widely regarded as unintelligent. Not much of a book person. Extremely limited vocabulary. Partied his way through college and earned a "C" average, only because of his family connections. Same family connections enabled him to avoid the draft by serving in the National Guard. Deserted by not showing up for the last year of his service. His only previous experience in political office, is 6 years as a Governor. Failed at several businesses. His only successful business experience was as owner of a major sports franchise, set up again by powerful family connections. Was an alcoholic until age 40. Probably abused cocaine in his youth as well. Extremely poor grasp of foreign affairs. Strongly connected to a major corporation which collapsed in perhaps the greatest Wall Street scandal of all time. His grandfather was convicted of aiding the Nazis in wartime.
Which sounds like the Democrat, and which sounds like the Republican?
Which sounds more qualified to be President?
More dirt on Bill Bennett. He didn't write any of the books that carry his name, nor the speeches he gave when he served in the Reagan administration. The author of this column is a 'paleo-conservative', something I wasn't aware of before I came across his site. I don't agree with much else of what he has to say, but in this case he hits the nail right on the head. Bennett joins the ever-growing crowd of 'do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do' right-wing moral busybodies.
Does Pope John Paul II believe Bush is the Antichrist? Very interesting article. You have to scroll down a bit to get to the Antichrist business. But before that, a very good case is laid out for why Bush is a phony Christian. Even ultra-right wing fundie Gary Bauer was disgusted by Bush when he mocked Karla Faye Tucker, the murderess who was born again and appealed to then-Gov. Bush for clemency.
Here is a rather extensive list of Bush-isms. Updated frequently. Of course. I alternated between laughing and cringing.
The Austin Tea Party Update A roundup of editorial opinions in Texas newspapers lays the blame for the standoff pretty squarely at the feet of Texas Leg Speaker Tom Craddick. And guess what else? Craddick did the same thing, along with 29 other Texas legislators, in 1971!!!
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
A Short List of Right-Wing Hypocrites
It's been quite amusing listening to the right wing-nuts rationalize
self-appointed moral busybody William Bennett's gambling addiction. They sound
positively like a bunch of the very moral relativists they hate so much!
Here's just a very short list of right-wing hypocrites who didn't/don't
practice what they preach. Most you may already know about, some not.
George W Bush, who recently donned a flight suit and flew onboard an aircraft
carrier, had his wealthy, influential family maneuver to get him into the
Texas National Guard in order to avoid having to serve in Vietnam. He did not
show up for the entire last year of his term of service in the Guard. To this day he
has not accounted for that time. By contrast Al Gore volunteered for the Army,
went to 'Nam, and served out his entire tour of duty. Not a deserter like George the
Newt Gingrich, one of the Clinton inquisitors, carried on an affair while
married to his first wife. He delivered his request for a divorce to her while she
was in the hospital being treated for cancer. During the Clinton impeachment Newt was carrying
on witha staff intern (a poorly-kept secret inside the Beltway) while still
married to the 2nd wife. He divorced the 2nd wife and married the intern. Another
example of a compassionate conservative.
Henry Hyde and Bob Livingston, also part of the scheme to 'get' Clinton by
any means possible, both had extramarital affairs.
Rep. Bob Barr, perhaps the most vitriolic of the Clinton inquisitors,
filed a $30 million lawsuit against Clinton for 'emotional distress'. Later he
introduced a bill in Congress to restrict 'frivolous lawsuits'.
Richard Anthony Delgaudio, a prominent Republican fund-raiser who once said
former President Bill Clinton was "a lawbreaker and a terrible example to our
nation's young people" pleaded guilty last month (April 2003) in Baltimore
Circuit Court to production of child pornography. He admitted to taking lewd
photographs of a 16-year-old girl he met in East Baltimore's Patterson Park in 2001. In
some of the photos, he was engaged in sex with her, court records show.
Then of course there are the televangelists, right-wing fundies one and
all, who fleeced their flock. Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, and less-well known
thieves like Robert Tilton, Benny Hinn, Bishop Earl Paulk, Larry Lea, and W.V. Grant.
Lynne Cheney, wife of the Vice President, wrote a lesbian erotica work
"Dr." Laura Schlessinger, who is an orthodox Jew, rides the 'family values'
bandwagon and loves to lecture the rest of us wretched sinners on how
horrible we all are because we don't live up to her high moral standards, was
well-known in the LA radio world as a career climber who didn't hesitate to use sex to
advance herself. She posed for nude photos which you can easily find on the web. These
pictures were taken by her lover, who was married (to someone else) at the time.
She loves to lecture mothers to stay home and raise their children, but
since she's too busy with her own career to raise her son, she's got a nanny to do
that. The kid once set fire to the family house. She's estranged from her sister and was
estranged from her now-dead mother. Laura started dating her current husband, Lew
Bishop, while he was still married to someone else and lived with him for nine
years before they got married.
Schlessinger's brand of moralism apparently includes stretching the truth.
In her book The Ten Commandments (ironically enough), she calls herself a "licensed
psychotherapist." Her Ph.D., however is in physiology, not psychology.
Though she does have an MFCC (a certificate in marriage, family, and child
counseling), the State of California, where she resides, does not consider her a
psychotherapist. In fact, it is illegal in California to call oneself a psychotherapist
without a state license, which she does not have. No one could receive an MFCC
without knowing about this requirement; it is common knowledge in the psychological community.
Whatever one may think of the requirement for state licenses, her claim that she is
a "licensed psychotherapist" is on shaky ethical ground.
Rush Limbaugh, who frequently and stridently claims, "I'm not making this
up folks!", does in fact make it up. Often. His lies and distortions are documented in
numerous places, including at fair.org and in the book, "The Way Things Aren't".
Many of the facts and figures Rush regularly uses on his show to support his claims, are
William Bennett, the arrogant moral crusader who has made quite a bundle
preaching to America how morally decadent we all are, was not only recently
exposed as a gambling addict; he also is quite obviously guilty of one of
the seven deadly sins, gluttony. He is rather large, to put it kindly. 300 pounds,
easily, I would wager. He smoked quite a bit too but apparently gave it up, finally,
about 2 or 3 years ago.
Here in Arizona we have a very strident Mormon right-winger in the
Legislature, Leslie Johnson, who I believe has divorced and remarried three times.
As ever, it's 'do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do' from the family
values/Moral Majority crowd.
Not content with having subverted democracy in 2000 (or perhaps inspired by it), Republican Congressman Tom DeLay re-drew the Texas congressional districts (something state legislatures are supposed to do, not the Republican National Committee) because he didn't like the fact that voters elected 17 Democrats to Congress out of 32 available seats. The redistricting was done by a court in 2001. Redistricting is normally done every 10 years, not every time the party in power feels like it. So the Texas Dems made a run for the border to deny the GOP the quorum necessary to do business. Read about it here or here. Send a message of support to these heroes for standing up to GOP bullies. It's about time we showed them we can play hardball too!
The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism - do these sound uncomfortably familiar?