Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lawrence Welk of American Politics

I saw this somewhere last week and couldn't resist quoting it. I have no idea who Mr. Shiblikov is, but he sure has some talent for dislike.

"McCain, the walking flag lapel pin, the embodiment of every vapid, stomach turning sentiment of Norman Rockwell paintings, the Lawrence Welk of American politics, the loaded .44 magnum with the hair trigger Uncle Sam has been pressing against his temple for the last 8 years. He would have been even better than Heath Ledger as The Joker. President McCain. Get used to it - and the continuation of America’s utter ruin."

--Mordechai Shiblikov

Monday, August 25, 2008

Proud Nancy

Nancy Pelosi is proud. In her speech at the Dems conventions she said as much:

"I am very proud of the Democrats in Congress.

Working with Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Senate, here are some of our accomplishments:

-- After years of inaction by Republicans, in our very first act, we passed the 9/11 Commission recommendations to protect the American people. That was just the beginning.

-- We helped rebuild the Gulf Coast for the survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

-- We put recovery rebates into the hands of more than 130 million families.

-- We passed legislation to keep hard-working American families in their homes and to keep toxic toys out of the hands of our children.

-- We increased the minimum wage for the first time in ten years.

-- We improved fuel efficiency for the first time in 32 years.

-- We passed the largest college aid expansion since the G.I. Bill 64
years ago.

-- We passed the largest veterans' health care funding in the 77 year history of the Veterans Administration.

-- And, we enacted a new G.I. Bill to thank our veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by sending them to college."

I am tempted to examine these accomplishents one by one. Some of you will as surprised as I am to learn that college aid and auto fuel efficiency are both better, and that "hard-working" Americans can now stay in their homes. (Only the lazy lost their homes?) And the people of New Orleans have had their world "rebuilt," which means, I guess, their schools privatized and their homes gentrified. My favorite is that the bizarre recommendations of the bizarre 9/11 Commission, with the help of the Dems, are now protecting the us all. How does making a million passengers (including infants) at the Miami airport take off their shoes protect us exactly? I know a person, so insulted by the morons at airport security, that he threw his shoe at one. At that moment, at least, the world was more dangerous than before. There were no shoes thrown at airports before 9/11.

On what planet does Nancy Pelosi live?

If I weren't tired, I'd write a long list of what the Dems didn't do, the non-accomplishments. Here are just a few.

Impeach the president.
Impeach the vice president.
Prohibit torture.
Tell the truth.
Make peace.
Respect the Bill of Rights.

Now that holding cells have been fenced out of Denver parking lots and the National Guard has rented all those Denver hotel rooms for reasons that I assume will become clear, maybe someone will arrest the dems themselves for high crimes. The protesters, unwitting followers of the Hippocratic Oath, don't do much harm. But Nancy Pelosi, Dr Dean, and Giv'em Hell Harry are as guilty as Karl Rove and Cheney.

But at least they got rid of Toxic Barbie and those other dark Chinese toys.

"Ah, humanity," wrote Melville.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Politics of Hypocrisy

I highly recommend the John Brown article excerpted below:

America in the World: Silenced by Bush

by John Brown

"The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity."

--André Gide

One of the legacies of Bush's tragically flawed foreign policy is that it has managed to silence Americans who believe that the United States -- for all its faults -- should condemn aggression in other parts of the world.

If one word describes how Bush has dealt with the rest of our small planet, it is hypocrisy. For the past eight years, the administration's deeds have seldom, if ever, matched its rhetoric. Operation Iraqi Freedom, it now seems clearer than ever, was in fact Operation Iraqi Oil. While the State Department issues human rights reports, the Bush/Cheney regime supports dictators who suppress the innocent. And in Eastern Europe, which the administration proclaims should be a region of peace and stability, it is heightening tensions by installing missile systems against "the Iranian threat."

To prevail in its so-called "war on terror" the White House has allowed the use of inhumane methods -- among them torture -- that go against basic American principles. In a crusade against those it labels as "terrorists" the administration established a detainee camp -- Guantanamo -- that violates fundamental justice.


I have to wonder if the "basic American principles" that Brown cites have changed. Richard Perle said not long ago that elections no longer matter in the US: his neocons have changed our culture. One change that seems sadly obvious to me is that we have lost the basic principles that made us condemn torture in the past. What in the world will save us? Obama? Pray it be so.

The rest of Brown's article is at Common Dreams.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dangerous Laptops

According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the Department of Homeland Security has clarified its policy on seizing laptops at US borders. Ellen Nakashima writes, "Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop computer or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies...."

One of the differences between protofascism and fascism, according to my friend David, is dissent. Fascists punish it. Yet it seems that we are moving very quickly toward a world where dissent equals treason and is punished. So before I back up my hard drive and delete any writings that might be interpreted as dangerous, I'll share with you Naomi Wolf's article from The Guardian of April 2007. "Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps."

Imagine, if some knuckle-headed border cop at the Miami airport had seized Thomas Paine's writings, he might have prevented the American Revolution.

Try to stay clear of the border till after the elections.