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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

[+/-]
 Republican's guide to NYC

This is hysterical: the Republican Conventioneer's Guide to New York City.

1 Comments:

Blogger ELK RIDER said...

Very cool site with lots of informative and funny stuff.
It's always good to meet a fellow traveler.
If you like you can check me out at http://www.elkrider.blogspot.com/

3:34 PM  

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[+/-]
 Big bucks for lying


Step 1: Lie.
Step 2: Lie again.
Step 3: PROFIT!

0 Comments:

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[+/-]
 Penis envy, Republican style

Leading reTHUGlicans describe the length of their member.

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[+/-]
 The GOP doesn't reflect America

Michael Moore has been hired by USA Today to cover the reTHUGlican convention. He has some interesting observations:
I've often found that if I go down the list of "liberal" issues with people who say they're Republican, they are quite liberal and not in sync with the Republicans who run the country. Most don't want America to be the world's police officer and prefer peace to war. They applaud civil rights, believe all Americans should have health insurance and think assault weapons should be banned. Though they may personally oppose abortion, they usually don't think the government has the right to tell a women what to do with her body.

There's a name for these Republicans: RINOs or Republican In Name Only. They possess a liberal, open mind and don't believe in creating a worse life for anyone else....

The Republican Party's leadership knows America is not only filled with RINOs, but most Americans are much more liberal than the delegates gathered in New York.

The Republicans know it. That's why this week we're seeing gay-loving Rudy Giuliani, gun-hating Michael Bloomberg and abortion-rights advocate Arnold Schwarzenegger.

3 Comments:

Blogger mxcote.blogspot.com said...

FROM MXCOTE -

A Mitt Romney speech surprise at the convention! Spread the word!

I failed in figuring out what it is, but my thoughts: VP? Insider Kerry scoop? This might be HUGE!!!!!

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/08/29/opinion/main639222.shtml

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

Mayber he'll replace Dick "F-Bomb" Cheney?

11:30 AM  

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[+/-]
 America burns as the media fiddles

If you looked at the RNC delegates closely last night you could see some of them wearing bandages with purple hearts drawn on them. This was an inexusable act of mockery to anyone that has ever been in uniform.

More than 3,700 purple hearts have been issued during the Iraq war so far, and of course none of us know how high that number will climb. What ever happened to "support our troops?"

This story is being reported on both CNN and MSNBC, and therein lies the problem: the media are reporting this like news, rather than condemning the spectacle as another Rovian political ploy. This is the same news media that has engaged in the Kerry mudfest. The same news media that refused, for more than three years, to report the documented absence of George Bush from National Guard duty.

In the likely case that you, like most Americans, were distracted by the "Swift Boats" crap last week, here's what you missed:
  • Six American soldiers died within a 24 hour period in Iraq
  • Nearly 100 prominent Muslims called on followers around the world to support resistance to American forces in Iraq and the government installed in June
  • The secretary-general of al-Irshad and al-Fatwa Association in Iraq accused world media of colluding with US-led occupation forces in imposing a media blackout on Iraqi resistance operations
  • The coach of the Iraqi Olympic Soccer team spoke out against the occupation of his country, and harshly criticized George Bush for using Iraq and Afghanistan in his election ads
  • July job figures showed a drop in payroll jobs in 22 states
  • George Bush refused to extend the ban on assault weapons, which will expire next month
  • The three companies that certify the nation's voting technologies operated in secrecy, and refused to discuss flaws in the ATM-like machines to be used by nearly one in three voters in November
  • At least $8.8 billion in Iraqi funds that was given to Iraqi ministries by the former U.S.-led authority there cannot be accounted for, according to a draft U.S. audit
  • Pollution threatens life in southern Iraq - Puddles of sewage water, piles of garbage and contaminated water channels are seen all over the southern cities of Iraq
  • The US was accused by Palestinian leaders of destroying hopes for peace in the Middle East by giving its covert support to Israel's expansion of controversial settlements in the West Bank
  • American military doctors have been accused of condoning the torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib
  • A UN human rights expert criticized U.S. military authorities in Afghanistan for barring him from visiting detention centers, and he described one Kabul prison he did visit as "inhuman."
Be sure to watch for more media shenanigans this week to cover up continued bad news on Iraq and the economy.

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Monday, August 30, 2004

[+/-]
 Is RNC In violation of military code?

I don't usually like being nothing more than part of the blogosphere's news echo, but this item from the Altercation blog on MSNBC is important enough that it needs reprinting:
Is the Republican Party in violation of the US military’s rules on the participation in party politics by active duty military?

It sure looks that way. The RNC convention week is boasting that it has 144 active duty military delegates at the convention or three percent of the total. That information can be found here.

Meanwhile, according to DOD Directive 1344.10, which can be found here this is a violation of the code of military conduct. It explicitly says:

A member on active duty shall not ... Participate in partisan political management, campaigns, or conventions (unless attending a convention as a spectator when not in uniform).

But the Republican Party itself is claiming that the active duty personnel are not spectators but delegates. What’s going on here? Why are the Republicans encouraging our soldiers to violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice and its stated rules of political engagement? And why for goodness sakes, aren’t these rules being enforced? Hey MSNBC.com, can we put a reporter or two on this story please?

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[+/-]
 A coward and a liar

I like the straightforward manner of William McTavish. "Yes, my dear, George W. Bush’s statements on the Today Show over the weekend shows us, without a doubt, what kind of man he is: A pathetic, lying coward surrounded by pathetic hangers-on and cheered on by pathetic, partisan morons."

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Friday, August 27, 2004

[+/-]
 The undecided voter

Worried about Kerry's leadership on the war on terror? Are you still undecided?

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[+/-]
 Cabbies Against Bush

Cabbies Against Bush is offering delegates to the reTHUGlican national convention a free ride to to Kennedy or Newark airports if they will fight in Iraq. Does not include tip and toll.

0 Comments:

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[+/-]
 Bush is a coward

Here's a new Google Bomb: Coward

Pass it on.

How is Bush a coward? Juan Cole puts it like this:
The debate that a handful of Texas multi-millionnaires close to the Bush family have cleverly manufactured over John Kerry's war record is absurd in every way.... Most of those making the charges have even flip-flopped, contradicting themselves. Or they weren't eyewitnesses and are just lying.

But to address the substance of this Big Lie is to risk falling into its logic. The true absurdity of the entire situation is easily appreciated when we consider that George W. Bush never showed any bravery at all at any point in his life. He has never lived in a war zone. If some of John Kerry's wounds were superficial, Bush received no wounds.... Kerry saved a man's life while under fire. Bush did no such thing.

What was Bush doing with his youth? He was drinking. He was drinking like a fish, every night, into the wee hours. For decades. He gave no service to anyone, risked nothing, and did not even slack off efficiently.

The history of alcoholism and possibly other drug use is a key issue because it not only speaks to Bush's character as an addictive personality, but may tell us something about his erratic and alarming actions as president. His explosive temper probably provoked the disastrous siege of Fallujah last spring, killing 600 Iraqis, most of them women and children, in revenge for the deaths of 4 civilian mercenaries, one of them a South African. (Newsweek reported that Bush commanded his cabinet, "Let heads roll!") That temper is only one problem. Bush has a sadistic streak. He clearly enjoyed, as governor, watching executions. His delight in killing people became a campaign issue in 2000 when he seemed, in one debate, to enjoy the prospect of executing wrong-doers a little too much. He has clearly gone on enjoying killing people on a large scale in Iraq. Drug abuse can affect the ability of the person to feel deep emotions like empathy. Two decades of pickling his nervous system in various highly toxic substances have left Bush damaged goods. Even for those who later abstain, "visual-spatial abilities, abstraction, problem solving, and short-term memory, are the slowest to recover." That he managed to get on the wagon (though with that pretzel incident, you wonder how firmly) is laudable. But he suffers the severe effects of the aftermath, and we are all suffering along with him now, since he is the most powerful man in the world.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

[+/-]
 Your DNA is showing

Reich Right wingers who enjoy screaming about how marriage between a single man and a single woman is "natural" are in for some serious cognitive dissonance. DNA tells a far different story.

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[+/-]
 (Un)intelligent design

Chris Mooney has written a good piece on the differences and similarities between creationists and the "Intelligent Design" (ID) folks.
[A]s far as its strategic behavior goes, ID actually appears to represent a kind of natural culmination of the 'creation science' movement, which originated in the 1960s and 1970s for specific legal and educational reasons. When compared to 'creation science' on a strategic level, it turns out that ID proceeds still further in the direction of PR-oriented pseudoscience and the denial of religious intentions in argument. In fact, we can detect many rudimentary elements of the current ID approach among earlier advocates of 'creation science'—though ID has improved and perfected them.
Are the ID folks rehashing the old Argument From Design? Seems so. Perhaps they should have sit in on my freshman year intro to philosophy class; maybe they would have learned something. I like the way Richard Dawkins puts it in The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design:
To explain the origin of the DNA/protein machine by invoking a supernatural Designer is to explain precisely nothing, for it leaves unexplained the origin of the Designer. You have to say something like 'God was always there', and if you allow yourself that kind of lazy way out, you might as well just say 'DNA was always there', or 'Life was always there', and be done with it.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least one of intelligent design's chief propagators, Jonathan Wells, is a Moonie:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/14581

1:40 AM  

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[+/-]
 What if they gave a draft and nobody came?

A new Alliance For Security survey finds escalating concern about the military draft.

In a sharp reversal from historical support for military service, the first comprehensive national survey on the draft reveals that the US could face a crisis in military capacity with an unprecedented number of draft eligible adults stating they will actively seek deferment or refuse to serve if a draft is reinstated. Moreover, a growing number of parents say that they would not want their child to serve if called to duty today.

According to the survey:
  • 52% of draft age Americans would actively seek deferment or refuse to serve
  • 40% of parents would not want their child to serve or would want their child to seek deferment
  • 71% of Americans are concerned about the capacity of the military to meet overseas’ commitments and defend the United States from attack
  • 58% are concerned about the possibility that the United States could be headed for a military draft in the near future

2 Comments:

Blogger Ur Not Alone said...

We used to feel so proud of our soldiers and now I just feel sorry for them. They are disillusioned young men and women - What a shame.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

I agree. I worry a lot about whether my own kids will be forced to risk their lives for an unjust cause.

9:17 PM  

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[+/-]
 Presidential race tightens in battleground states

In the latest Zogby Interactive poll, Mr. Bush musters a lead in just two battleground states. The other 14 states in the poll go to Senator Kerry. If these results were to play out on Election Day, Kerry would score an easy victory. Here's the math:
  1. Assuming that the District of Columbia and the 34 states that aren't in the battlegrounds poll will vote for the same political party that they did in the 2000 election gives Bush 189 electoral votes and Kerry 172 votes.

  2. A total of 177 votes are up for grabs in the 16 battlegrounds (a candidate needs 270 to win the White House). Adding the 152 votes from the 14 states that Kerry leads in the latest poll gives him a total of 324 electoral votes. Bush's two states have 25 electoral votes and give him a total of 214.
However, there are a lot of caveats to consider:
  1. Kerry's lead has narrowed in five states since the Aug. 2 poll, moving inside the margin of error in two relative strongholds, Michigan and Minnesota. Bush increased his lead in Ohio, moving outside the margin of error for the first time since June.

  2. Kerry's lead is outside the margin of error in only three states -- Pennsylvania, Oregon and Washington -- and the president in just Ohio. If one considers only those results that are outside the margins of error, Kerry would cling to a lead of 211-209 -- with 118 votes still up for grabs.

  3. In Florida and Missouri Kerry's lead is less than a percentage point. If both of those states, which have moved back and forth between the candidates over the course of Zogby's polling, were to go Bush's way in the end, Kerry's lead would shrink to 286-252.

  4. Finally, in five states, Kerry leads by fewer than three percentage points. If all of those states went to Bush on Election Day, Bush would win the election 274-264.
So in case you haven't been paying attention, we have a horse race, folks.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

[+/-]
 Atkins is for wimps

Try eating rocks instead.

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[+/-]
 Digital (in)security

Looks like it's time to upgrade your hats from tinfoil to lead: computer scientists have found previously unknown flaws in three key mathematical functions embedded in common security applications. The weaknesses exist in a popular algorithm called MD5, often used with digital signatures, and in the SHA-1 "Secure Hash Algorithm," which was believed to be secure.

While the results are all preliminary, these discoveries could eventually make it easier for intruders to insert undetectable back doors into computer code or to forge an electronic signature, unless a different, more secure algorithm is used.

The MD5 and SHA-1 algorithms are known to computer scientists as hash functions. They take all kinds of input, from an e-mail message to an operating-system kernel, and generate what's supposed to be a unique fingerprint.

Currently considered the gold standard of its class of algorithms, SHA-1 is embedded in popular programs like PGP and SSL. It is certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and is the only signing algorithm approved for use in the US government's Digital Signature Standard. SHA-1 yields a 160-bit output, which is longer than MD5's 128-bit output and is considered even more secure.

Perhaps its time to pump some additional research funding into quantum crytograpy.

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[+/-]
 Carbon nanotubes are cool

Researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have devised a simple and inexpensive way to manufacture very fine filters from carbon nanotubes. Carbon nanotubes are rolled-up sheets of carbon atoms that can be narrower than 1 nanometer, which is about the span of 10 hydrogen atoms.

The experiments demonstrated the filters may be useful in producing high-octane gasoline. They also can remove 25-nanometer-sized polio viruses from water, as well as larger pathogens, such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Moreover, the nanotube surfaces of the filters may be chemically modified to create highly ordered and chemically selective pore spaces for high-quality separation of specific chemical mixtures. The researchers believe this could make the filters adaptable to microfluidics applications that separate chemicals in drug discovery.

The researchers' method could be used to make practical filters within five years, according to the researchers. The work appeared in the August 1, 2004 issue of Nature Materials.

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Monday, August 23, 2004

[+/-]
 Is blogging protected by the First Amendment?

Traditional journalists in America have been protected from revealing their sources. 31 American states protect journalists by offering a limited legal privilege: reporters can be subpoenaed only if the evidence sought is essential and otherwise unobtainable. In practice, this privilege is generally observed, but who is a journalist? Define "journalist" too narrowly, and free speech is unacceptably restricted; define it too broadly, and any witness to a crime can simply sign up as a freelancer to avoid testifying.

Are bloggers journalists? Should bloggers have this same immunity? Discuss.

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[+/-]
 Behind the "Swift Boat Vets"

Check out the links between the "Swift Boat Liars" and Bush-Rove. Kudos to the NY Times for some genuine investigative reporting.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

[+/-]
 Positive versus negative campaigning

I hear many politicians talking about how much the American people hate negative campaigning. Personally, I've never cared that much. Yes, it would be preferable if candidates simply presented themselves and their credentials, instead of making sport of tearing down their opponent, but I'm never going to vote against someone because of the manner in which they campaign.

For example, here is a current screen capture of the Kerry and Bush websites, respectively. Notice how the Bush team, with no record to run on, must resort to attacking Kerry. What bothers me isn't the negativity, but that our president has no record on which to run. You'd think that after nearly four years the most powerful man in the world could compose a reelection theme that amounts to something more substantive then "Kerry sucks."

Of course, if Kerry does win, it will all be because of Lyndon LaRouche (NOT).

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[+/-]
 Can only Republicans be war heroes?

"Republicans don't believe that anyone else can be a patriot or a hero. To them, that idea is absurd -- indeed, against the order of nature.... What the discrediting of Kerry's war record is really about is the conservative belief that liberals can't be heroic.... If Julius Caesar were running for president, they would question his conduct in Gaul. If Hannibal were running, they would complain that he had stolen their elephants."

Yeah, that about sums it up.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

[+/-]
 What we have in common

In light of the breakdown of civil discourse in America it is truly refreshing to read an attempt at repairing the dialogue between left and right. "A Letter to a Republican Friend" focuses on the common ground of commitment and belief.

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Monday, August 16, 2004

[+/-]
 Who is the enemy?

Who is America's enemy in the war on terror? Before answering, consider the following items from today's news:
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been questioning political demonstrators across the country, and in rare cases even subpoenaing them
  • Florida state police officers have been interrogating elderly black voters in their homes as part of an odd "investigation" that has thrown a chill over efforts to get out the black vote in November
  • Rep. Porter Goss (R-FL), President Bush’s nominee to head the CIA, has a plan to authorize CIA agents to conduct law-enforcement operations inside the United States, including arresting American citizens.
  • The Federal Communications Commission voted 5-0 to prohibit businesses from offering broadband or Internet phone service unless they provide Uncle Sam with backdoors for wiretapping access
This is just a partial day's worth of news items. Do you remember a time when even one item like this would have created an uproar? What is happening to this country?

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[+/-]
 Why doesn't Sears want to sell to me?

I'm departing from the 'blog theme today to relate a personal story involving Sears. How do these guys stay in business?

Here's the deal: I need a new set of box springs for my bed. So I get on Sears.com and find what I need, and go to order them. Whoops! Sears won't deliver to my zip code. WTF? It's not like I live in the boonies on a dirt road, or on a tropical island, or in any other locale that might hamper delivery. I live in suburbia: paved roads with well-marked street signs.

So I call up the local Sears store. They don't carry box springs. I ask if I can get them delivered to the store so I can pick them up. The employee I spoke with doesn't know. But what is strange is she is far more concerned that the matresses would sit in the store for days and days, and never get picked up, than she is with satisfying my question. Can I order from Sears and have the box springs delivered to your store for pick up? She doesn't know. Does her manager know? Nope.

Still determined to get my box springs, I call Sears phone order number. The rep tells me that Sears is changing the way it delivers matresses, and untill the logistics are worked out, it ain't gonna happen.

So the bottom line is, I have hundreds of dollars I want to spend at Sears, and they won't sell to me. How are they still in business? If I owned any Sears stock, I would be dumping it right now.

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Friday, August 13, 2004

[+/-]
 Iran Battling US In Iraq

Senior intelligence sources in the US and officials in the Middle East claim that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has made a strategic decision to confront American forces in Iraq's Shi'a heartland.

"The rhetoric coming out of the Bush administration has convinced Iran that military conflict is inevitable and rather than await an attack at a time and place of America's choosing, the Iranians will try to inflict significant damage to US forces on Iraqi soil by means of the Mahdi Army and other Shi'a groups," an informed intelligence source said.

Senior CIA officials refused to comment on these reports, but a former senior intelligence officer said that the conclusion was 'a no brainer: "If you had US troops on your doorstep and George Bush calling you a part of the axis of evil you would take steps to protect yourself. And it would be better to protect yourself on Iraqi soil than to have to do so on Iranian soil. That is what they are doing. Are we surprised? We shouldn't be."

I am not surprised for three reasons:
  1. It's a matter of public record that the war with Iraq is largely the brainchild of a group of neoconservative intellectuals, who view it as a pilot project.
  2. In August 2002 a British official close to the Bush team told Newsweek: "Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran."
  3. In February 2003, according to Ha'aretz, an Israeli newspaper, Under Secretary of State John Bolton told Israeli officials that after defeating Iraq the United States would "deal with" Iran, Syria and North Korea.

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[+/-]
 Bush tax cuts heavily favor rich

The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will release a report today concluding that Bush's tax cuts have heavily favored the rich. The CBO report says tax cuts have transferred the federal tax burden from the richest Americans to middle-class families, with one-third of them benefiting people with the top 1 percent of income.

Taxpayers whose incomes range from $51,500 to around $75,600 actually saw their share of federal tax payments increase.

I'll have to wait to read the report, but I'd wager that the calculations do not include what many are calling the Bush Tax: shifting costs to states and communities, which then pass them on to taxpayers.

1 Comments:

Blogger Dave S. said...

Maybe their share as a % of total taxes, but their taxes still went down. Maybe Kerry will choose to raise thier taxes as well. File this report under "No F'n Shit". Of course those who pay the most in taxes are going to get most of the benefit.

That Bush Tax is a joke. Our property taxes went up about $100 vs. the 2 to 3 grand we got from the tax cut. I'll gladly take the Bush tax over the Kerry tax.

11:58 AM  

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Thursday, August 12, 2004

[+/-]
 The Corporatist States of America, Part 2

This type of corruption is disturbing, but I think it is significant not because of the misuse of taxpayer dollars (although that pisses me off), but because of the feedback loop to the Bush Cartel reelection machine. There have been other instances of the Republican party harnessing the power of the federal government to their own ends. House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) used a Homeland Security Department agency to track Texas Democratic legislators who left the state to block passage of a GOP-backed Congressional redistricting bill. This is the same Homeland Security Department that is supposed to be making America safe from foreign terrorists. It's the agency we were told would never be used for domestic political purposes.

A more well-known example is Fox News, which is now (thankfully) widely recognized as the media arm of the Republican party. Other news organizations, however, have not proved to be any more objective. Just as the US media failed to objectively cover the war after being embedded with the troops, they have mostly failed to map out how thoroughly inbedded this network of contractors is with the Bush family, friends and campaign cronies. For example, last year, the Financial Times reported that Neil Bush has been involved in the Iraq contract gravy train through his association with John Howland and Jamal Daniel of New Bridge Strategies. The president's brother wrote letters to push businesses established by Howland and Daniel, including Crest Investment Corporation, which in turn employs Bush as co-chairman. The Financial Times reported that Bush receives the equivalent of $60,000 a year from Crest for working an average of three or four hours a week.

The failure of the US media to widely report this story is incredible. Imagine if the story involved John Kerry.

In sum,
  1. We have a single party, unified with the apparatus of government, ruling the country and controlling the means of voting.
  2. America's President, George W. Bush, claims that it is his Administration's right to torture anyone, to imprison anyone, to invade any country, simply because he claims that as Commander-in-Chief in a war, he has the sole right to decide who should be prosecuted, imprisoned, tortured, invaded and killed, civil liberties be damned.
  3. The commanding heights of the economy are controlled by the ruling party
  4. The Republican governing apparatus recycles taxpayer dollars through corporations for its selfish electoral benefit, to the mutual benefit of those corporations.
  5. Our unelected leader has dehumanized millions and millions of human beings simply because of their religion and race
How is this situation not fascism? I'd love to know your thoughts.

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[+/-]
 The Corporatist States of America, Part 1

I'm becoming increasingly convinced that America is no longer a capitalist democracy but a corporatist democracy. Capitalism is the private ownership and private control of capital. Communism is the public ownership and public control of capital. Corporatism, which was the economic component of fascism during World War II, is a blend: private ownership but public control of capital.

Corporatism is socialism for the wealthy: it has the outward form of capitalism in that it preserves private ownership and private management, but as with socialism, government guarantees the flow of material goods, which under true capitalism it does not. In classical capitalism, what has been called the "night-watchman" state, government's role in the economy is simply to prevent force or fraud from disrupting the autonomous operation of the free market. The market is trusted to provide. Under corporatism, it is not, instead being systematically manipulated to deliver goods to political constituencies.

Public control over the private sector is manifest is a variety of ways. For example, the US security establishment is rapidly increasing its ability to monitor average Americans by hiring or compelling private-sector corporations to provide billions of customer records. Sounds like tinfoil hat stuff, but it isn't. Check out the ACLU report that
  • Documents how individuals are being recruited to serve as "eyes and ears" for the authorities
  • Examines how companies are pressured to voluntarily provide consumer information to the government
  • How the government uses private data on a mass scale, either through data mining programs like the MATRIX state information-sharing program, or the purchase of information from private-sector data aggregators; and
  • How some companies are pushing the government to adopt surveillance technologies and programs based on private-sector data.
Corruption associated with government contracts, especially contracts for military expenditures, are blatantly corporatist. Beyond doling out goodies to companies, the profiteers feed back into the Bush re-election machine. The powers of government have been harnessed to maintain a Republican party lock on power. Consider that...
  • In 2003, a few of Bush’s closest political allies created New Bridge Strategies to help corporations "evaluate and take advantage of business opportunities in the Middle East following the conclusion of the U.S.-led war." New Bridge shares its Washington, DC offices with Barbour, Griffith & Rogers -— the high-powered Republican lobbying firm founded by Haley Barbour, former head of the Republican National Committee and current governor of Mississippi. The firm’s CEO is Joe Allbaugh, the Bush/Cheney 2000 national campaign manager (and subsequent head of FEMA), and others involved include Ed Rogers (a top aide to Bush Sr.) and Lanny Griffith (who held several top advisory positions under Bush Sr., and is a 2004 Pioneer). Allbaugh recently registered as a lobbyist with Lockheed Martin.

  • Top GOP strategist Charlie Black’s clients have included Fluor, which received a big public works contract in Iraq to reconstruct the country’s water and electricity. Black is chairman of BKSH, an affiliate of global public relations giant Burson-Marsteller, and a big backer of Ahmed Chalabi before the war. In June, the London-based Telegraph reported that an arrest warrant was issued by the Iraqi police for Francis Brooke, a BKSH consultant who attempted to block a recent raid on Chalabi’s Iraqi headquarters, after Chalabi was accused of passing American secrets to Iran.

  • The US Agency for International Development allowed BearingPoint to help write the specifications for the $240 million contract, which in effect knocked its competitors out of the running, according to AID’s own inspector general. BearingPoint (formerly KPMG Consulting) and its employees have given more than $117,000 to the 2000 and 2004 Bush election campaigns. In 2003, an $80 million BearingPoint contract in Florida was withdrawn after critics complained about the company’s close ties to Gov. Jeb Bush.

  • Former Rep. Bob Livingston, R-La., runs a lobbying firm that has represented well-placed Iraqi families seeking to form business alliances with U.S. and foreign companies wishing to do business in Iraq. Livingston has also gained some notoriety in Washington for lobbying against provisions that would ban tax-dodging companies that have incorporated offshore from being eligible for federal contracts. Recently he was part of an effort that succeeded in convincing Congress to drop an attempt to block the Department of Homeland Security’s from giving Bermuda-based Accenture a $10 billion contract for, of all things, "border control." (US taxpayers who don’t have any offshore accounts might not be happy to learn that Accenture also has a contract to help the IRS upgrade its website.)

  • In 2003 Coalition Provisional Authority chief Paul Bremer issued a decree that Iraq’s 200 state-owned companies would be privatized and that foreign owners would be allowed to expatriate 100 percent of the profits. This looting of Iraq’s state-owned businesses—disguised as "private-sector development" was stalled by worker protests and skepticism among wary investors concerned about the strength of the insurgency. Thomas Foley, a former Citigroup banker assigned by the CPA to oversee the privatization process, returned to Greenwich, Connecticutt in early 2004, where he is the state co-chair for the Bush/Cheney re-election campaign.

  • Three weeks after construction and engineering firm Washington Group was awarded a contract to rebuild water projects in Iraq, 31 company employees gave $27,750 to Bush. By the end of April 2004, CEO Stephen Hanks had become a Bush campaign "Pioneer" (by raising more than $100,000).

  • A political appointee working under Douglas Feith made the decision to override objections from career Pentagon contract experts to award Vice President Cheney’s old firm, Halliburton, a key oil-related contract which provided the company an inside track for no-bid billion-dollar contracts. (The fact that Cheney’s chief of staff was notified of the decision contradicts the vice president’s claim that he has had no involvement in the decision.)
I'll continue this analysis in Part 2.

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[+/-]
 Christians are bitchin'...

Some prominent evangelical Christians are bitching that they have not been invited to participate in or attend the Republican National Convention.

Yeah, I'd want to hide them too. Say what you will about how scripted the Democratic convention was, but at least you saw Democrats as they are: women, union members, gays, minorities, yuppies, among others. Truly the party of the big tent. The face of America.

In contrast, the Republican't party seems to be solely the domain of the white southern male. I'm sure the choreographers of the event will find some persons of color to address the convention. Maybe they can import a foreigner or or pay someone off? Frankly, it wouldn't surprise me if they just got up and did it in blackface.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2004

[+/-]
 Kerry is 11th most liberal senator

Turns out that John Kerry's Senate record makes him the eleventh most liberal Senator, not the first. Of course, don't expect the reTHUGlicans to admit it.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dave S. said...

11th is still pretty liberal.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

get ready for the apocalypse

3:45 PM  

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[+/-]
 XP lite or XP late?

Microsoft has announced it will offer a low-cost starter edition of its Windows XP operating system in Asia starting in October, as it strives to hold onto market share facing erosion from the open-source Linux system and software piracy.

"XP Lite," officially called Windows XP Starter Edition, will ship on new, low-cost desktop PCs available through manufacturers and Microsoft distributors in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. The operating system will feature "localized" help features, country-specific wallpapers and screensavers, and "preconfigured settings" for features that might confuse novices.

The tradeoff is that the software will be deficient in other areas. For example, XP Lite will allow users to run only three programs simultaneously. Other downgrades include a mere 800x600 display resolution maximum and no support for PC-to-PC home networking, sharing printers across a network or more advanced features such as the ability to establish multiple user accounts on a single PC.

This sounds like a truly bad product. If Microsoft wants to compete with Linux, shouldn't it offer something better than Linux? If it wants to compete against piracy, how is XP Lite going to compete effectively against pirated versions of regular Windows XP?

For that matter, how will it compete against pirated versions of Longhorn? Last year Malaysia's brazen software pirates were already hawking the next version of Microsoft Corp's Windows operating system years before it is supposed to go on sale.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

[+/-]
 Polls summary

This website has a comparison of Bush-Kerry across the major polling organization. Things currently look good for the challenger. Could it be that folks are beginning to understand all of Mr. Bush's lies?

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Friday, August 06, 2004

[+/-]
 Poor jobs figure a sharp blow to W

According to media experts, Friday is the best day to release bad news, as attention to the news wanes over a weekend. It is therefore unsurprising that the Labor Department reported today that US employers added a meager 32,000 workers to payrolls last month, stunning Wall Street economists who had forecast a gain of 228,000. The department also revised job figures down by 61,000 for May and June.

What was the White House's response to the numbers? "Today's employment report shows our economy is moving forward...". In other words, a weak economy is a strong economy.

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

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[+/-]
 Key figure in anti-Kerry book admits he lied

A key figure in a veterans' anti-Kerry campaign, Kerry's former commanding officer, admitted today he lied when he said the Democratic candidate for President did not deserve the Silver Star.

Lieutenant Commander George Elliott now says he made a "terrible mistake" in signing an affidavit that suggests Kerry did not deserve the Silver Star -- one of the main allegations in a new book that questions Kerry's fitness for President.

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[+/-]
 Interview with Paul Krugman

Buzzflash interviews Princeton University economist Paul Krugman. Here's a sample:
[R]easonable people can’t bring themselves to see that they’re actually facing a threat from a radical movement. Kissinger talked about the time of the French Revolution, and pretty obviously he also was thinking about the 1930s. He argued that, when you have a revolutionary power, somebody who really wants to tear apart the system -- doesn’t believe in any of the rules -- reasonable people who’ve been accustomed to stability just say, "Oh, you know, they may say that, but they don’t really mean it." And, "This is just tactical, and let’s not get too excited." Anyone who claims that these guys really are as radical as their own statements suggest is, you know, "shrill." Kissinger suggests they'd be considered alarmists. And those who say, “Don’t worry. It’s not a big deal,”are considered sane and reasonable.

Well, that’s exactly what’s been happening. For four years now, some of us have been saying, whether or not you think they’re bad guys, they’re certainly radical. They don’t play by the rules.
A definite must-read.

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Thursday, August 05, 2004

[+/-]
 Bush presidency revealed as Punk'd prank


(Courtesy of the Daily Probe.)

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[+/-]
 The continuing breakdown of civil discourse

First Linda Ronstadt, and now Don Henley.

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[+/-]
 Farenheit 9/11 vs. Limbaugh

Fahrenheit 9/11 Viewers and listeners of the Rush Limbaugh show are about equal in size even though they perceive two different nations. This is the conclusion of the National Annenberg Election Survey. Annenberg data show that Michael Moore’s movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, has attracted about as many people as Rush Limbaugh’s radio broadcasts, but the election-year film appears to have hardly changed any minds.

"What Limbaugh and Moore have done is find the hard-core partisan audience," said Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the survey and of its parent Annenberg Public Policy Center. "One-sided partisan communication tends to attract an audience of believers and reinforces their beliefs rather than change their minds. Even when such communication attracts people who know they will disagree but want to see what the other side is saying, it tends to reinforce their partisanship because they develop counter arguments."

In view of the huge differences of opinion between the two audiences for political messages, it is hardly surprising that there was barely any overlap. Twelve people, or about one quarter of one percent of all respondents said they both listened to Limbaugh and had seen Fahrenheit 9/11.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

[+/-]
 Prelude to a coup

This kind of story makes me fear for the future of democracy in America.
When a young Navy enlistee registers to vote [in Jacksonville, Florida], it is likely to be with the help of a uniformed superior officer. It may even be the one he or she answers to.

Officers in uniform regularly staff voter-registration tables outside of Navy NEX stores, the Navy version of a PX, where enlistees and their families buy groceries and supplies. Local election officials supply the paperwork, but it's the uniformed officers who hawk registration, hand out the pens - and get a peek at the political party chosen by each registrant with an "X" in a box on the face of each form.

"The problem is, a lot of the chiefs don't make any secret of the fact that Bush is their man," said Wendy Layton, program director at the USO center just outside the Mayport Naval Station here. "A lot of these young people feel pressured to register a certain way and vote a certain way.... I've been doing this kind of work a long time. I work with everybody from the officer community to the young enlisted kids. I have a pretty good feel for things," she said. "And I've never seen such an openly political atmosphere. The officers are for Bush all the way, and the young kids are afraid to talk."
Full article is here.

But hey, it's okay to be unamerican, as long as you're a Republican, right?

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[+/-]
 Revenge of the Sith Dixie Chicks

In an unprecedented series of concerts in nine swing states, more than 20 musical acts -- including Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and the Dixie Chicks -- will perform fund-raising concerts in an effort to unseat the Bush Cartel.

The shows, which will begin Oct. 1 in Pennsylvania, will take an unusual approach: as many as six concerts on a single day in cities across the states expected to decide the November presidential race. Other stops on the tour are North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin and the key state in 2000, Florida.

I predict the reTHUGlican brownshirts will try to disrupt the concerts.

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[+/-]
 Battleground states update

John Kerry saw slightly stronger support among likely voters in 16 battleground states during the Democratic National Convention, according to the latest Zogby Interactive Poll. Kerry now leads in 13 states; Bush in 3.

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[+/-]
 CIA Asks Bush To Discontinue Blog

Has anyone else noticed that The Onion has become funny again? I haven't found anything side-splittingly funny in the Onion for years, but this is hysterical. Make sure you check out the screenshot.

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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

[+/-]
 Conservatism is becoming un-American

Rick Perlstein has written a gripping piece in the current Village Voice on how conservatism is verging on becoming an un-American creed. The article is a set of brief interviews with Bush supporters on why they adore the president. "Conservatives see something angelic in George Bush. That's why they excuse, repress, and rationalize away so much." Check it out.

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[+/-]
 Credibility As Political Currency

The credibility of a politician is their political currency. With a surplus of credibility, people will follow a leader because their experience has demostrated that the leader's judgement may be trusted. With a credibility deficit, leaders cannot lead, because no one will trust where their leader might take them.

Bush43 has a significant credibility deficit. The lies behind the Iraq war lost him any international following he might have once had. Continued lies and missteps are causing his similar loss of support at home.

This week the US Department of Homeland Security put financial institutions on a state of high alert for terrorist attacks.

Howard Dean, in an act of political courage, was one of the few to dare suggest publicly that politics could just have something to do with Tom Ridge's announcement. Dean told CNN, "It's just impossible to know how much of this is real and how much of this is politics, and I suspect there's some of both."

Today it was discovered that the intelligence behind the new warning is three years old. "The only real 'increased chatter' we’re seeing lately is between the White House and the Bush campaign headquarters in Arlington," mutters one anonymous Homeland Security operative. "There’s no greater threat today than there was six months ago."

The loss of credibility puts lives at risk. Like the townspeople in "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," a population eventually numbs itself to the rantings of a liar. Eventually the US will be attacked again, and there will be casualities that might have been avoided if official warnings were believed.

If only official warnings could be believed. It is clear that the timing of such warnings is politically motivated. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, the man most responsible for waging America’s war on terrorism, complains to staff that he gets very little time with the President and gets most of his marching orders lately from Ashcroft.

"This whole alert game is a cosmetic saber-rattle, a show of force to try and convince the American public that we’re on top of things," says one FBI agent. "Sadly, we’re not. When the next attack comes, it will be when we least expect it and when we don’t have an increased alert."

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Monday, August 02, 2004

[+/-]
 Amazing similarities between Bush and Osama

Check out these funny but accurate similarities between Osama Bin Laden and Bush43.

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