Friday, June 30, 2006

Fundamentalist Treason

Now I know why I feel sick to my stomach whenever I hear radical right wing religionists claim that the founding fathers wanted us to live in a Christian Republic. Beyond the fact that it simply isn't true (many of the founders were in fact deists), the claim that we should be a Christian Republic is nothing short of a cry for the overthrow of the United States government in favor of an ultra-fundamentalist theocracy.
-----Consider the following remark. Tell me if it isn't revealing, or for that matter, seditious.
-----"Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility, to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ--to have dominion in the civil structures, just as every other aspect of life and godliness. But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion that we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion that we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion that we are after.
-----"World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything else. If Jesus Christ is indeed the Lord as the Bible says and if our commission is to bring the land into subjection to his Lordship, as the Bible says, then all our activities, all our witnessing, all our preaching,* all our craftsmanship, all our stewardship, and all our political action will aim at nothing short of that sacred purpose. Thus Christian politics has as its principle interest the conquest of the land--of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. It is time to reinstitute the authority of God's word as supreme over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions, and confederations."
-----That extended quote from George Grant's The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Principles for Political Action (Dominion Press 1987) appears in Chapter 1 of FUBAR: America's Right Wing Nightmare by Sam Seder and Stephen Sherrill (Harper Collins 2006). and I have to say that it opened my eyes. This is nothing less than sedition. It is a call for the undermining--or the actual overthrow of the united States government. And the last I knew that was treason.
-----Despite what the ultra fundamentalist right may claim, the Constitution is our governing document:
-----"This Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made shakk be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in everystate shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary not withstanding. The Senators and Representatives before-mentioned and the members of the several State Legislatures and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States anmd of the several States, shall be bound by an oath of affirmation to support this Constitution; but no religious test shal ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." (Sections 2 and 3 of Article VI of the United States Constitution.)
-----Now let's go back to the opening quote by Mr. Grant, who specifically says that the ultimate goal is imposition of God's will (or rather his interpretation of God's will)) on the entire world. He specifically says that the goal of the ultra-fundamentalist right is the undermining of the Constitution, legislation, and courts. Or, if you will, Mister Grant, and those who believe as he believes, are advocating the overthrow of the United States government, in essence declaring a war from within on the same, and the last I knew that was treason. So what does the Constitution say about treason?
-----"Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying against them or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act or on confession in a court." (From Article III of the Constitution.)
-----When someone announces that they are striving to undermine the work of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and Alexander Hamilton so that they can impose a very rigid interpretation of the Holy Bible as the official law of the land, that is in effect calling for a religious war, a crusade against the United States and its Constitution. Maybe it's me, but it seems to me that a secular constitution which protects the rights of everyone--Christians, non-Christians, and nonbelievers alike, is a lot gentler and a lot kinder than a return to the bad old days of the17th Century Puritans who hung witches, whipped Baptists, and flogged Quakers. Maybe it's me, but I really think that the Founding Fathers of the late 18th Century had a better ideas about liberty and tolerance than the homicidal, theocratic authors of Leviticus, who imposed the death penalty for everything from adultery to mouthing off at your parents. And yet we have people out there who really do believe that the dirty and hateful parts of the Holy Bible are a better guide for good government than the United States Constitution and the writings of the Constitutional framers. There really are people out there who think that the sexually repressive Puritans were the real American Founders and that we are supposed to live in a repressive, Calvinistic theocracy in which Puritan Divines will interpret the word of God for everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike.
-----Of course, you may be thinking something like: "Tthat couldn't happen. The fundamentalists don't have that much power, they couldn't possibly overthrow the republic." To which i would say: "Do yah wanna bet?"
----In the near future the Republican-dominated Senate will introduce "values" legislation, which, among other things, will include measures that will forbid the Supreme Court from ruling on cases concerning the word God in the Pledge of Allegiance, and will forbid the payment of lawyers who argue Church-State Separation cases involving public displays of the Ten Commandments. What does this mean? This means that the Christian American Taliban and its theocratic, Republican puppets are attempting to undermine the system of checks and balances under which we all live by imposing limits on what courts and can rule and on the types of cases for which lawyers can charge and correct. Far from being a another volley in the Cultural War, is an opening shot in the American Taliban's attempt to overthrow the United States government.
-----And the irony in all of this is that their treason is being presented in terms of American, indeed Christian values. Christian values my Aunt Minnie. These traitors stopped being Christians long ago. Oh, they know how to mouth words like Christ, and Jesus, and Savior, but when they want to impose their beliefs on others, when they want to eradicate democracy in the name of their lunatic-fringe beliefs they go right for the dirty, violent, hate-filled passages of the Old Testament. And they do the same thing on the few occasions when they actually bother to quote the New Testament. They dig out the passages which support their oppressive agenda and conveniently overlook the four gospels where Christ delivered a message pf love, joy, peace, charity, forgiveness, and overall compassion. In short, they cherrypick throughout the entire Bible, looking for passages that are hurtful and repressive. Or, if you prefer, they have obsessed over the name of the messenger but conveniently ignored the message. Indeed, when you think about it, they have already overthrown Christianity in the name of theo fascism, and now they want more. They now want to spread their malignant, pseudo Christian beliefs nationwide in a vicious, anti-American attempt to sabotage the work of our Founding Fathers.
-----No matter what you call them--ultra fundamentalists, radical right wing Christians, theo fascists, the American Talbian, Christianists, etc---the fact of the matter is that they have betrayed the teaching of Jesus Christ and they have already made a mockery out of Christianity. And I will be damned if these Bible-thumping quislings are going to overthrow my country. If living in a Constitutional Republic (where civil liberties are guaranteed to everyone regardless of their religious beliefs) isn't good enough for them, then I would suggest that these Bible thumping fascists move to a tropical desert isle where they can practice their phony brand of Christianity without revealing themselves to the outside world as the miserable, reactionary dictators that they really are.

A...B...C...what?

In an effort to keep things fresh (because, after all, there are things happening in this world other than politics, though admittedly most of it is usually politically-based), I’m here with an editorial that’s been percolating in the back of my mind for some time now. It’s come to my attention for the last, oh, ten years or so—and this includes the Clinton administration, for those that would be quick to dismiss this as a conservative bashing—that the state of education in this country is more rotten than Denmark in Hamlet. What happened, people? America used to be the most academically advanced country in the world. And now, it seems as though the ones running this great nation have ranked the importance of education somewhere beneath the Save the Spotted Owls Foundation. It’s not just public schools, either. Private institutions are just as much a joke as P.S. 102 (this assertion is made with some trepidation, as the only experience I have with private schooling is on the university level). Because of this, we no longer rely on the compulsory stage of education to teach anything and simply send kids off in search of the highly-prized frameable piece of paper, aka the diploma. Teachers metamorphosed into underpaid babysitters…apparently, the only alternative to TV. And really, that’s all they can do, is babysit. Kids certainly aren’t interested in hearing what teachers have to say, and who can blame them? Why are we teaching the same outdated curricula from the 1950s? There are other playwrights and writers besides Shakespeare, there are other composers besides Mozart and there are other equally prestigious schools besides Harvard. Granted, there has been interest, in recent years, in turning around our educational system and making it work. It seems, however, that these attempts are half-hearted at best. My high school’s math program (and further, how it affected me while I was a student there) makes an excellent example.

My high school received a mandate from the state essentially warning that if our math scores didn’t improve, there would be some sort of serious consequences. As a result of this, the school adopted a new math system, called the Core System (sounds like exercise or computer equipment, right?). The new curricula claimed not to focus on the minutiae of any mathematical problem. Meaning, it didn’t matter so much how one got the answer, but rather that it was the right answer in general. I did not begin this program until my sophomore year of high school, having to take some kind of pre-algebra first.


As my teacher explained it, this new system put math into the hands of the students, rather than the instructor. The learning itself became more self-directed, with the teacher there as guide, should any problems or questions arise. We often worked in groups (yes, let’s take a bunch of sixteen-year-olds, put them in a group, and expect them to get any work done) and it was easy to let other, more math-oriented members do the work, while the rest sat by and wrote down answers. Not just answers, but paragraphs explaining why we got the answer we did. My friends and I now call it the “infamous Core math ‘explain.’” My math teacher further aggravated this problem by taking the term self-directed to mean, “I don’t have to teach, but rather, I can sit at my computer all hour and write email.” Sure, he’d answer questions if we asked him, but for the most part, he was there only in physical presence. Another facet of the Core System was calculators. To this day, I’m still convinced that educators and the Texas Instruments Corporation cooked up the program to sell more product, with kickbacks going to the schools—we were only allowed to use a certain type of Texas Instruments calculator. Any other brand was not allowed, and they run about $100 each. In fact, to support this claim further, the entire Core math program was designed around the TI-83 calculator. It almost got to the point where we weren’t allowed not to use a machine to figure the problems. The text itself encouraged heavy calculator use, the reasoning behind this being “that’s how it’s done in the real world.” The only thing that ever came of it was that I now cannot do some simple mathematical operations without the use of a calculator. Once again, I did well enough to pass, but the fundamental error in the Core system was that it assumed all students came in knowing the basics of algebra, and knew them well-enough to use this so-called self-directed learning. I did not, and my teacher didn’t seem to care to take the time to teach me. Therefore, I passed my math classes, but I didn’t do well. In later years, after I had graduated from high school and enrolled in college, I had to take remedial classes—a collegiate version of pre-algebra, of sorts. These were not the basic requirements for any students at my university, but rather, a step below them. I paid the full tuition for these classes, but I received no credit. Are we all starting to understand how I might feel that America’s educational standards resemble a rather stacked deck?


This is to say nothing of other subjects, such as English or science, and honestly, when it came to my English education over the years, I have no complaints. All it took was one phenomenal teacher in high school and my English skills catapulted light years away from the average student in the country. At college, reality came crashing down in the form of proofreading. Many, many students quickly learned that when it came to editing papers, they could find a trusted advisor in me. Why? Because someone actually took the time to teach me properly. Granted, the English language certainly counts as one of the most difficult in the world, and I cannot claim perfection. I wonder, though, how many of the Average Joe can tell me what a gerund is or why breaths are not good indicators of comma placement. These are not the minutiae of the language; these are the basics of communication. Perhaps not verbal so much as written, but still things that are considered basics. (Can you correctly identify why “don’t end sentences with prepositions” is the absolute dumbest rule ever conceived for the English language? Anyone that can gets fifty bonus points.)


I don’t even want to touch the problems with social science. Yes, they’ve revamped civics into something called “American Experience,” but it’s still the same, tired curriculum—perhaps someone should mention that updating the name doesn’t make kids want to learn the material.


In short, those that sit at the top levels of education boards and the like have become lazy. Yes, some things needed a breath of fresh air but when it comes to things like basic mathematical operations or learning the English language, it was too damn easy for students to whine, “But it’s just too hard!” And that’s what’s happened, ladies and gentlemen. We have dumbed down our educational system to the point where it’s doing more harm than before, just so that no student will ever struggle. No Child Left Behind? Every Child Left Behind, if you ask me. What it’s come to is the kind of dream system George Bush always wanted when he was in school: all multiple choice, so it was easier to cheat—no work required! But there is more than one kind of cheating going on in that school of thought, and the cheating that actually makes a difference is the one our youth gets because no one can figure out how to teach kids anymore. Education is the one thing that will make the largest impact on the biggest number of people (and I’m not even going to hint at the subject of using schools for military recruitment—it’s already too clear that the American educational system is one big ass-rape, anyway) and if any clear-thinking liberal had half a brain—yes…I said liberal—he’d come up with a better plan because he realizes, in the words of Whitney Houston, “I believe the children are our future.” Cheat them now, cheat us all later.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Look What the American Empire Became!

You have to give the Republicans credit. They really know who to emulate.

In Communist China journalists now have to get permission from the Chinese government before they can report on the Chinese government. Here in the increasingly evil American Empire, totalitarians in the guise of Republicans are waging a war against the First Amendment guarantee of a free press over information that has been available ti the public and terrorists alike for the better part of five years.

In Communist China the government routinely spies on what the Chinese people are reading and writing on the Internet and in emails. Here in the American Empire our Leader Supreme, George W. Bush, and his merry band of Constitution-bashing traitors are spying on what their American subjects are reading and writing on the Internet and in emails.

In Communist China there are no real equivalents of our 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendment protections. Citizens in the Peoples Republic of China can be arrested without warrants and held for indefinite periods of time, either with or without official charges. Here in the American Empire our repressive Demander and Thief and his heel clicking goons believe that people can be whisked away (read kidnapped) in the middle of the night and held in secret locations without charges, legal representations, or a swift and speedy trial.

In Communist China political dissidents are often arrested, tortured and executed. Here in the American Empire we have a sadistic ruling party that seems to enjoy the barbaric practices of rendition, torture, and execution.

In Communist China, the ruling Communist Party of China is the only political party allowed by law; the political and judicial entities are little more than rubber stamps for the Powers That be. Here in America we have a rapacious, ruling party that is dedicated to the idea of a permanent Republican Majority. Indeed, the Republican-dominated Extreme Court just ruled that states can redistrict for blatantly political reasons at any given time.

In Communist china, political corruption has become a national crisis. Here in the American Empire, private contracting schemes, war profiteering, campaign fund raising, and favoritism have made the members of our Republican-dominated Congress themselves a national disgrace.

In Communist China the Hu Jintao, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, holds a lion's share of the political power in China. Here in the American Empire, Decider George W. Bush is trying to establish a one branch system of government in which a lion's share of the power will be seated in the executive branch.

Of course, you also have to remember that many of our moldy-oldie GOPigs have spent so much time and energy fighting Communist regimes during the Cold War, that they eventually resembled and emulated the very enemy they were fighting, essentially adopting the very tactics that they condemned.

On the other hand, our Republican Rulers (I just can't bring myself to call them elected officials) were already so reactionary and oppressive that they would have adopted the most repressive characteristics of any totalitarian regime.

It kind of makes you wonder what and who they will resemble when they are eventually finished with the war on terrorism.

RELIGIOUS BULLSHIT: MEDICAL CURE ENCOURAGES SEXUAL PROMISCUITY

Cancer, as we know it, is one of the most dreaded diseases known to Man. While cervical cancer afflicts specifically women, it is one of the most common forms of cancer known to women, and believe you me that these type of cancer is particularly dangerous, because my mum was stricken with this type of cancer, and she had to endure a painful surgery plus months of chemotherapy.

And, according to a recent news article, the scientific community has found a vaccine to deter this deadly disease, and it has proven to be very effective, so far.

Suffice to say, this is joyous news. Now, why, you would ask, am I so damn bloody mad?

Because the Conservatives, once again, are going ape over what they deem as "an erosion of morals".

Excerpts from San Francisco Bay Guardian:

Sex vs. death

Will the religious right stymie the first-ever cancer vaccine?
By Tali Woodward

tali@sfbg.com

One might think a medical breakthrough that could prevent most cases of cervical cancer would be met uniformly with joy.

Think again.

Two separate but similar vaccines for human pampillomavirus, a sexually transmitted infection that is the primary cause of cervical cancer, have recently been developed. In clinical tests they have proven to be shockingly effective. Medical researchers say the vaccines, if administered routinely, could virtually eradicate the second most fatal type of cancer in women.

The problem is this: It makes sense to administer the vaccine to women who haven't yet been exposed to HPV – in other words, women who haven't had sex. The best way to do that is to inoculate preteen girls. But some conservatives see the vaccine as an invitation to be promiscuous – and are gearing up to limit its reach.

Even though many people have never heard of HPV, it's the most common sexually transmitted infection around, infecting up to 80 percent of Americans at some point before they turn 50.

Public health officials have found stemming the spread of HPV particularly challenging because it can be transmitted simply through the contact of skin in affected areas, with condoms offering only limited protection.

Most women have immune systems strong enough to kill HPV. But in some, HPV causes genital warts. And in others, the virus causes potentially cancerous cells to develop in the cervix. (It's possible, though significantly less common, for HPV to cause cancer in men.)

Cervical cancer – which researchers believe is almost always tied to HPV – kills more than a quarter million women each year. Women who live in developed countries where regular Pap smears are the norm are fairly well-protected because the test can detect precancerous cells that doctors can then remove. Still, in the United States about 3,900 mostly lower-income women die of the disease each year.

But in recent years, two pharmaceutical companies, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, have announced development of a vaccine – administered in three doses over six months – that protects against HPV, and therefore against cervical cancer. In clinical tests both have proven extraordinarily effective: They blocked contraction of the two most dangerous types of HPV in every woman who had been inoculated.

Dr. Joel Palefsky, a UC San Francisco professor who is an expert on HPV, said he thinks the development of these vaccines is "the most important thing since sliced bread in the HPV business" and something that ranks high on any list of recent medical advances.

But not everyone is greeting the vaccine with such enthusiasm.

Conservative groups, including the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and the National Abstinence Clearinghouse, have already suggested that vaccinating young girls would send them a message that premarital sex is acceptable. Christian-oriented Web sites have also been following objections to the vaccines more closely than mainstream news organizations.

"Concerned Women for America"? They should perhaps call themselves "Witch-hunters of America". Seriously, what is going on through the minds of these narrow-minded baffoons?

Does anyone, anyone at all, in the fundamentalist groups that have any idea as to what they are objecting? So, am I to say that the procedure to reduce short-sightedness in people will encourage more people to play more computer games, which is one of the major causes of short-sightedness?

This is one of the primary reasons why I ardously support the Church-State Separation: When both co-mingle, you get the worst kind of ignorant crap and rubbish from these pious fools.

A vaccine that would otherwise have saved a huge portion of the 3900 people dying from this dreaded disease is abandoned, because some religious nut opposes it: This really takes the cut.

And they could jolly well do that, as the writer continues:

But if conservatives interfere with the CDC process, or prevent government funding of the HPV shots, access to this breakthrough vaccine could be seriously curtailed.

Alan Kaye, who became the executive director of the National Cervical Cancer Coalition after the disease killed his wife, told us he hopes critics of the vaccine back down. "I can tell you, with a ripped heart, that anyone who's ever battled cancer themselves or with family or friends would be for it," he said. "I mean, how can you not be for a cancer vaccine?"

I totally agree and concur with Alan Kaye's views. Allowing these religious nuts to bushwack their way to get a potential vaccine banned is no less evil than denying standard health treatment for the general public.

It seems to me that the fundamental right might want to cease this opportunity to assuage some of the wounded pride suffered in the recent ID Dover trial. But to choose this as a platform to launch another one of those silly campaigns is terribly sick; it really goes to show how low these idiots are willing to stoop just to achieve their godly purposes.

It is time for atheists to stand united and say "NO" to these kind of bullshit, especially when innocent lives are concerned.

Sincerely
The Beast

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sadistic Murder Then, Malicious Neglect Now

-----"In the murders in this field the Jews were not the only victims. The Nazi doctors also used Russian prisoners of war, Polish concentration camp inmates, women as well as men, and even Germans. The 'experiments' were quite varied. Prisoners were placed in pressure chambers and subjected to high altitude tests until they ceased to breathing. They were injected with lethal doses of typhus and jaundice. They were subjected to freezing 'experiments' in icy water or exposed naked in the snow outdoors until they froze to death. Poison bullets were tried out on them as was mustard gas, At the Ravensbrueck concentration camp for women hundreds of Polish women--the "rabbit girls" they were called--were given gas gangrene woulds while at Dachau and Buchenwald gypsies were selected to see how long, and in what manner, they could live on salt water. Sterilization experiments were carried out on a large scale at several camps by a variety of means on both men and women; for SS physician Dr. Adolf Pokorny, wrote Himmler on one occasion, 'the enemy must not only be conquered but exterminated.'" *
-----That was William L. Shirer on the Nazi medical experiments. This is the American Taliban's take on a cancer-causing virus.
-----"Here's something you won't hear about in sex ed: HPV. That's short for human papilloma virus, a sexually transmitted disease that, when left untreated, is one of the most significant factors in the development of cervical cancer. HPV is extremely common, half of all sexually active women between ages eighteen and twenty-two in the United States have it. The incidence of cervical cancer is expected to jump four times by 2050. But HPV is also very preventable. In fact, a vaccine against the disease is about to be approved. That is unless the Bush administration has its way.
-----"Why would anyone have a problem with vaccinating women against an STD that could lead to cancer?
-----"'Abstinence is the best way to prevent HPV,' says Birdget Maher of the Family Research Council, a leading Christian lobby group. 'Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex,' Maher claims.
-----"One Can just imagine the chaos errupting in the halls of high schools all over the country. 'I was immunized against the human papilloma virus--let's get it on!'"**
-----That's right. The Family Research Council and their Bible-thumping ilk, have devolved to the same level of moral development as the Nazi Doctors. They may not be as blatant, but their deranged thought process rises from the same poison well. The Nazi quacks took a sadistic delight in torturing and exterminating those who they considered racially inferior. Sixty-one years later, the American Taliban takes a sadistic delight in tormenting and persecuting those that it considers morally inferior.
-----What's the difference between a cold blooded Nazi who deliberately infects an unwilling subject with a lethal dose of typhus and a cold blooded Christian who would withhold medications and vaccinations from those whose lives that might be saved or prolonged by those medications and vaccinations? Are those who oppose funding for state AIDS Drug Programs, or who condemn and prevent the use of condoms as a method of safe sex coming from the same dark place as the German quacks who sterilized their unwilling victims? And what about the Bible-thumping pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions based on their personal religious obsessions. Are they or are they not a cheap, dime store variation on the SS Doctors who stood back and watched their victims die in agony?
-----In the end it's a question of degree. The German quacks took a sadistic, even fiendish delight in torturing and murdering the so called inferiors who they so obviously loved to hate. By the same standard, the American Taliban takes a sadistic, even fiendish delight in persecuting and repressing those who it loves to hate. Whether it's outright sadism in the name of Adolf Hitler or malicious neglect in the name of Jesus Christ is irrelevant--the fact remains that both, the Nazi quacks and our not so Christian Bible-thumpers took and now take a perverse delight in the pain, suffering, and oppression of others

*The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany, page 979
1960 William L. Shirer
Published by Simon and Schuster

**FUBAR: America's Right Wing Nightmare, page 74
2006 by Sam Sedar and Stephen Sherril
Published by Harper Collins

Saturday, June 24, 2006

MEET KRANKY!

If you like razor sharp political satire, and if you enjoy watching Republicans getting hoisted by their own petards, then you might be interested in a wonderful new site called Kranky's Cartoons. I am especially fond of this website because the site creator, Joe Rank, is a local talent who has since moved from the backwoods of Walworth County, Wisconsin to Sunny California. Joe and I used to make life a living hell for the local Republicans throughout the 1990s through our often satirical letters to the local editors, and, more important, through Joe's satirical use of humor and irony in what many consider a lost art, the political cartoon.
For those of you who don't think that a political cartoon can have a dramatic impact on policy, I would offer the following situation as an example. A few years ago the city of Beloit, Wisconsin, was in the throes of a truly serious drug epidemic in some of its more rundown neighborhoods. Instead of assigning more police patrols, the proverbial Powers that be decided that they would post park police cars at both ends of the neighborhoods in question, and stop every car or person which decided to enter. There would be no exceptions. Anyone and everyone would be stopped, whether there was a legitimate reason for doing so or not. Joe, of course recognized this as a highly aggressive form of law enforcement, a violation of Fourth Amendment Rights and decided to take action. Someone had to. Despite intense and widespread criticism, the police and political leaders refused to change this obviously repressive policy.
What happened next was a classic example of citizen activism.
"Then I did the cartoon," Joe said. "It was dark and foreboding, looking down a street at night. A highway sign says "WARNING...You are about to enter BELOIT. Be prepared to show ID." Then, up ahead is a guardhouse with a gate that says HALT. A mini-firestorm ensued, with the chief-of-police and the mayor writing (letters to the editors) decrying the cartoon. Evidently, someone with the ACLU forwarded the cartoon to main offices and there were threats of injunctions The city then backed down and stopped their indiscriminate searches."
I remember this cartoon well. It was indeed, dark and foreboding, and the imagery Joe used reminded you of the kind of check point that one might find in a fascist or communist state. It wasn't a wonder that the Powers that be were offended--or should I say frightened?--by the power of what, for all intents and purposes, was a very artistic use of light and shadow.
After hundreds of cartoons, after building a a loyal readership for his satire here in Southeast Wisconsin, Joe was of course silenced by the local media which are little more than rubber stamp propaganda organs of the all powerful Republican party. That's right, our biased, right wing media decided that Joe had become a threat to their political fiefdom; and since the owners and editors are goose stepping members and mouthpieces for the local GOP, Joe's cartoons disappeared. As if to add insult to injury our local media weren't only biased, they were also cheap, refusing to may more than the bare minimum per cartoon. Can you say exploitation? One paper, in its imbecilic reasoning went so far as to suggest that the readers were more interested in seeing area photos than intelligent commentary. Of course, the real reason was obvious. Joe's cartoons had become a threat to Republican establishment and the very obedient owners and editors, who were undoubtedly acting in harmony with their Republican masters and allies, decided that area photos would be a lot safer than encouraging the people to think about the issues. That's a rather tacky thing to do to someone whose work has appeared in THE BEST EDITORIAL CARTOONS OF THE YEAR on four different occasions, but who said that the Powers That Be in Southeast Wisconsin recognize talent when they see it? In many ways the so called journalism (most of which sounds as if it were penned by Karl Rove and the Republican National Committee, is highly reminiscent of Joe's favorite bumper sticker: "Vote Republican--it's easier than thinking.
Fortunately, Joe's fortunes have increased since he left the economic dustbin which is Southeast Wisconsin. Today Joe resides in Grover Beach, California where his talents are truly appreciated by people who are willing to pay for his obvious talent.
Joe came from an FDR Democratic family but became an independent as a young man. Later, the same traits which had led him to become a political independent eventually brought him back to the Democratic party, essentially bringing the cycle full circle. Joe is a devout capitalist, but he does not endorse the type of pirate capitalism, the corporatist type of fascism that is currently being endorsed by the Bush Administration and the Republican members of the House and Senate. By the same Standard, Joe is by no means a pacifist, he recognized that there are times when military force is the only solution to a (festering) problem, but he does not endorse nor support the naked grab for power and financial gain which has become the occupation of Iraq.
So, if you want to see what Joe has been up to, and if you want to see the kind of slicing, cerebral work that drove the Republicans of Southeastern Wisconsin crazy for so long, please be so kind as to check out KRANKYS CARTOONS

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

WE ALL KNOW THAT CRAP IS KING

Editor's note
I wasn't going to post this. At the time it struck me as a local issue that wouldn't have a lot of interest beyond the area of the country in which I lived, but after one of my team members offered a little encouragement I decided--albeit reluctantly--that it touches on two issues that we like to talk about here: the conservative, corporate media, and historical revision--and if anyone believes that Germany didn't start World War II, and that the holocaust never happened, and that Hitler was merely misunderstood, then I would humbly suggest that ideas (read delusions) such as those qualify as historical revision.

Okay,that's all for my prepost rant. I hope you enjoy the piece proper.

Advocate 1




WE ALL KNOW THAT CRAP IS KING
by Advocate 1



"We can do The Innuendo
We can dance and sing
When it's said and done we haven't told you a thing
We all know that Crap is King
Give us dirty laundry!"



From Don Henley's "DIRTY LAUNDRY"



-----The good news is that the proposed Memorial to Adolf Hitler will not open in Walworth County, Wisconsin. The bad news is that the so-called journalism in Walworth County, and in the country as a whole, has finally sunk to the politically pornographic level of the Voelkisch Beobachter.

-----I kid you not; for some bizarre reason, a local right wing tabloid (I just can't bring myself to call it a newspaper,The Week, decided that life wasn't difficult enough, that there were no other issues to cover, t hat it had to offer free, front page propaganda to an elderly farmer, a former Waffen SS officer, in a hair-brained attempt to promote his--you guessed it-- Memorial to Adolf Hitler.

-----Under normal circumstances I would ascribe this kind of journalistic malpractice to the old axiom "that if it bleeds it leads." I might have assumed that it was another case of our very biased, right wing media chasing the mundane and the irrelevant in yet another, meaningless feeding frenzy. But from what I've gathered, The Week is in the unusual--and I might add, dishonorable--position of having broken this story, of having stirred the pot for a cheap thrill in the guise of "informing the public."

-----Well friends and neighbors, this did not inform the public. Itt gave respectability to a philosophy that resulted in the genocidal murder of millions of people. It proved conclusively that this paper is about as reliable as a Republican Party press release. In fact, I'll go one step further. For all intents and purposes this over-glorified piece of used toilet tissue is nothing more than an unofficial mouthpiece for the Walworth County Republican Party. And if you want the truth, I'm not even too sure if the term unofficial shouldn't read official. Fair and balanced it is not, and if there's anyone out there who seriously believes that the local media are interested in anything besides turning a profit for their very conservative sponsors and providing votes for their reactionary political masters, then I would humbly suggest that such people either need to begin a regiment of medication or should have the present doses adjusted.

-----As I have stated in other articles, the idea of fair and balanced corporate media is a joke. The advertisers are almost invariably served before legitimate journalism; reporters walk on egg shells to avoid open conflict with conservative owners, and the so called news that we consume is little more than superficial mush. I won't go so far say that it's the same kind of relationship that one might find between a street walker and a potential client, but I will say this: the few reporters and the editors who might actually disagree with the corporate masters, and who would, if allowed, write fair and balanced articles about a wide range of topics, know how far they can go, and will self-censor their material to avoid the dreaded D word (read downsizing).

-----In this regard The Week is only an exceptionally rapacious example in a sea of right wing public relations. We know that our media are morally and intellectually tainted. We know that they equate the sensational and the irrelevant with genuine news. We already know that they are more interested in turning a profit, and if that means that legitimate news must take a back seat to the gaudy, the garish, and the brazenly bizarre, then they will gladly tell us that the twaddle they are shoving down our throats is legitimate journalism. Of course, they don't bother to tell us that we can't have an ill-informed public and still live in a representative government, that representative government depends on an enlightened citizenry, but who said that their corporate masters were interested in representative democracy? They aren't. The bottom line is the only thing that matters and if that means that the American people remain ignorant and uninformed so be it. The Gods of profit must be served, and if we devolve into a totalitarian state as a result, then who cares? The corporate elite will always find a way to adapt, liberty or no liberty.

-----But you still have to wonder. Why would a woefully amateurish rag like The Week risk the little respect that it already had on a foolish, unnessary article about historical revision and the (not so) good old days of Adolf Hitler and his damnable Third Reich? What happened here? Had the writer, Donna Lenz Wright, been listening to a lot of Wagner? Did that last performance of The Ride of the Valkyries, finally push her over the edge? Had the editor, Don Plutchak, been watching a late night rerun of Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will and lost the ability to discern good taste from a momentary impulse? Or were they so desperate to attract attention that they lost track of good taste and common sense? Or was The Week trying to distract from other issues that might have been more important to the every day operation of the towns, villages, and people of Walworth County? While The Week was giving free publicity to a deluded former Nazi, what else had been taking place? What legitimate issue or issues were they hiding with this journalistic porn?

-----Those of us who write on this blog know that our media are informational cesspools. That's why we seek out and read a wide variety of national and international news, both private and public, and why most of us have learned to view the corporate media as a collection of over glorified secretaries for the corporate elite.

-----By the same token, we remember that The Week is a county-wide gossip sheet that sustains itself on want ads and corporate advertising. Despite transparent attempts to pass it off as a legitimate paper, it is nothing more than a bloated shopper service with a Republican bias and a lack of quality journalism. Sadly, or fortunately--depending on your point of view--it is littered on every front step in our county for free, and I think we all remember the old saying about getting what you pay for.
-----Now where did I put those copies of The Christian Science Monitor and The New York Times?

The fear-mongering Republicans

Editor's note
By Advocate 1

When Kyle submitted the long hand version of "The Fear-Mongering Republicans" he told me that he had "some serious doubts about it." Sadly, I didn't get around to reading the first draft until a few days later and then I nearly lost it while I was recycling on Monday evening. Fortunately I found it at the last second and discovered. much to my pleasure, that Kyle had said in a nutshell what is wrong with the Republican Party of 2006. The rage, the fear, the personal attacks--these are all the actions of people who are both, mentally unstable, and above all else, frightened. Kyle has it right. Almost everything the Republicans are doing is the direct result of their own fears and insecurities--and as Kyle points out, they certainly have more fears and insecurities than we had ever imagined.

To Kyle's post I would only add the following point. Throughout the Cold War, Republicans routinely said something to the effect of "better red than dead." Today they have discarded that McCarthyistic phrase and have adopted another McCarthyistic phrase, essentially asking you to "give up your freedom in the name of security." It reminds me of the old saying that is often attributed to Benjamin Franklin. To paraphrase: a society that will give up freedom for security will lose both and desrves neither."

On that note, here's Kyle.

THE FEAR-MONGERING REPUBLICANS
By Kyle


"Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd."
Bertrand Russell

-----During the course of the 2000 selection cycle, George W. Bush suggested that the only thing (Vice) President Al Gore had to offer was fear itself, but we all know that George W. Bush and his spineless supporters have a genuine talent for accusing others of their many shortcomings. During the last five and a half years, the Republicans have transformed the dishonorable practice of fear-mongering into a highly polished art form. That much became apparent shortly after 911 when the Bible-thumping, big government-hating "Christians" (the same people who are so certain that they are so without sin that they will eventually find themselves in Heaven with their beloved Jesus) ran to the supposedly evil Federal government, demanding that Big Brother deprive them of their civil liberties so that they wouldn't have to put all their past rhetoric about Heaven and Jesus to the ultimate test. Can you say scared silly?
-----I don't know about you, but I have just about had it, really had it, with gutless, bloviating, Republican cowards who spread fear at home and abroad and then wrap themselves in a flag of piety-mouthed hypocrisy whenever someone has the courage to challenge their failed, sanguinary policies.
-----Who are they kidding? These right wing worms couldn't care less about our troops. They openly admitted that they would "run on the war in 2004," and now it seems as if they are bringing out old wine in new bottles. Only this time the label reads "Run on dirty tricks in 2006." As far as the Republicans are concerned our soldiers are nothing more than expendable bargaining chips in a political poker game. As long as they can keep the troops in the line of fire they can run on the war and that they started and claim that they support our soldiers when they are actually exploiting the soldiers for selfish, political ends.
-----If the weak-willed Republicans were as brave and patriotic as they claim they are, political hacks like Karl Rove and Dick Cheney would have volunteered for military service during the Vietnam War. Gutless, prevaricating wonders like George W. Bush would have served--actually served--in Southeast Asia instead of protecting Alabama from the North Vietnamese, For that matter some of our younger Representatives might have signed up for a tour of duty in Iraq, or offered their sons and daughters for military service at a time when recruitment levels are at best iffy.
-----If you want to hear real terror, just listen to Republican campaign rhetoric. Listen to the smear tactics and character assassination: ad homonym attacks on veterans of past wars; self-judging accusations of cowardice; prepackaged talking points that question the loyalty of patriotic Americans; dimwitted remarks about cutting and running, ad nauseam.
-----Talk about classic projection. This is the party that cut and ran from Afghanistan to invade Iraq. This is the party that cut and ran away from New Orleans. This is the party that cut and ran when it slashed anti-terrorism funding for New York City and Washington DC. This is the party that's cutting and running on Veterans programs on a time when we see an increase in physical and emotional disabilities. This is the party that cut and ran on its own promise to bring us clean, efficient government. This is the frightened part that cut and ran on the middle class. And these hypocrites have the audacity to accuse Democrats of cutting and running? They have the nerve to accuse others of cowardice? Get real. Those are not the words and actions of the brave and patriotic. Those are the words of bullies and thugs, and as we all know, bullies and thugs are almost always yellow to the core.
-----Who are the Republicans kidding? The Republicans are afraid of losing power; they're afraid of Mexican immigrants; they're afraid of public schools; they're afraid of strong, independent women; they're afraid of the American worker; they're afraid of Blacks; they're afraid of homosexuals; their afraid of non-Christians and nonbelievers; they're afraid of debate; they're afraid of dissent; they're afraid of everything and their fears are reflected in their actions and policies.
-----They torture. They wage war. They undermine the time honored concept of habeas corpus. They invade our privacy. They undermine our 4th Amendment Rights. They impose an Imperial Presidency. They raise terrorist alerts when it is politically necessary for them to do so. They accuse others of holding their own pet fears and insecurities. They spread fear and paranoia in the same way that a carrier spreads a contagious disease.
-----The Republicans are not patriots. Patriotism requires integrity and courage and these nationalistic reactionaries possess neither.

"Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light?"
Maurice Freehill




Monday, June 19, 2006

FLY THE FLAG, BUT

-----Are in a quandary about what to do about the flag and the upcoming Fourth of July holiday? Do you love your country and the rights that we are granted under the COnstitution but feel uneasy about flying a symbol which has been bastardized by an illegitimate regime into a symbol of hate, division, and repression?
-----Don't worry. You can still by the American Flag and not support the values of a fifth column presidency which is dedicated to the eradication of the Constitution and the rights that it once protected. That's right. You can still fly the flag--you just don't have to fly the contemporary version that George W. Bush has so foully desecrated since the treasonous coup in Florida coup in Florida during the 2001 selection.
-----This July 4th we are going to celebrate Independence Day by looking back to the dreams and ideals of the Founding Fathers, by remembering and celebrating the freedoms and liberties that the Bush Administration has been working so feverishly to undermine and abolish .
-----You are not required to fly the Stars and Stripes per se. Indeed, you are always free to fly one of its predecessors.
-----You can fly a "Don't Tread On Me" Rattlesnake flag. Personally I find this old time classic to be very appropriate at a time when the Demander and Thief wants to tread on the Constitution, a document that he once refereed to as a "goddamn piece of paper ."

Don't Tread onMe

-----For those who prefer the classic red, white and blue, but with white stripes at the top and bottom, I would suggest the following alternatives. I personally like the Bennington '76, a 1777 masterpiece which has the distinction of being the first American flag to incorporate stars and stripes in the same flag. Think about it. You have the thirteen stars in the blue field which remind us of the first thirteen colonies, of a time before we made the huge mistake of incorporating racist insane asylums such as Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee. And we have that big "76" under the stars to remind us that the American Revolution was a patriotic battle to rid ourselves of the same kind of repressive, imperialistic attitudes and practices that the Bush Administration is trying to resurrect.


Bennington 76

-----For those prefer red stripes at the top and bottom of their flag, I would suggest my personal favorite, the 1776 Grand Union Flag. Granted, the incomplete Union Jack in the upper left hand corner may remind us of England, but it can also remind us of the fact that we were engaged in a war of liberation from a covetous mother country that had fallen under the maniacal influence of a demented king and corrupt corporations. By the same token, the various crosses in the incomplete Union Jack might remind us that the American Revolution was as much an attempt to disestablish an established (Anglican) Church--not a bad message when you remember the fact that we have an anti-American Republican Party which is dedicated to the overthrow of the United States government. Indeed, I am especially fond of this flag because the various crosses have become a powerful, personal symbol which reminds me that those individuals who claim that we should be a Christian Republic, and who are working to achieve that goal, are in fact traitors who are openly working to overthrow the form of government that was handed down to us my infinitely superior individuals such as Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson and Franklin.

GRAND UNION

-----On the other hand there is one flag that I will not, repeat not, fly--at least not for the time being.

Old Glory

-----I don't want to burn it, I don't want to defecate it. I don't even hate it. In fact, I love my flag. And that's the problem. It isn't my flag anymore. It's been co opted as a symbol of tyranny and corruption by a fifth column Republican Party that is trying to undermine and eradicate the creation of the original framers. Under normal circumstances the flag is indeed n important and powerful symbol of the United States of America. But in recent years my beloved flag has been hijacked by those who would abolish the Republic for which the flag once stood.

-----And I am not talking about the Flag Protection Amendment per se.

-----I am talking about a corrupt, illegitimate regime that embraces every tyranny that 18th Century patriots sought to overthrow. Rendition; torture; the abolition of habeas corpus; signing statements that undermine our system of checks and balance;, war for oil, power, and profit; fascism in the form of a "Christian" theocracy; disablingof our Fourth Amendment Liberties, a deliberate and racist weakening of the Civil War Amendments to the Constitution, the creation of a unitary form of government, the appointment of reactionary judges with a disdain for personal freedom and a yaerning for a presidential dictatorship, ad nauseam.

-----And this Administration has the audacity to wrap itself in the flag? This corrupt, intellectually challenged pretender has the audacity to tell us that he wants to protect the flag? His corrupt, iullegeitimate regime has descereted the Stars and Stripes on a regular basis. His actions, his contempt for truth and freedom have done more damage to both the flag and the Republic for which it stands than any potential flag burner.

-----They have descreated the flag when they used it as a symbol to support a war of choice for profit. They descereated our flag when they wink, nod, and laugh at the corruption that has become the Republican Party. They descerate the flag when they use it as a taudry backdrop for their over-emotional please for more death and destruction in Iraq. They descreate the flag when they send American GI's to death.

-----In the interest of speaking truth to power, I think it's time to admit that this administration is a descreation. And I will not fly my beloved Stars And Sripes until such time as we vote these goons out of office and repair the damage they have done. Then and only then will Old Gory fly again--and not one day before

Brandon and Advocate 1

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Before I pull out of here, I want to offer a very public "I'M SORRY" to Lily for the way she was treated during her stint on our blog. Thanks to a breakdown in communication that was entirely my fault, I foolishly "downsized" a very caring and decent individual who deserved to be treated a lot better than she was. We have since discussed the issue, discovered the source of the breakdown and I will certainly make certain that nothing like this happens again.

Lily, you're all right by me, and I'm sure the rest of the crew here is sorry about the misunderstanding that nearly undermined the relationships here.

Have a good weekend, and feel free to visit us at any time

The cast and crew of THE COALITION FOR A REPUBLICAN-FREE AMERICA

NOW HIRING

LOOKING FOR SHORT TERM EMPLOYMENT?

Do you enjoy living on the edge? We are searching for a person or persons of Islamic, Mid Eastern descent to serve as our next bogeyman. Must have a strong stomach; a short temper; a proclivity for barbaric behavior; advanced techniques in the proper and improper uses of a pruning saw, and a thorough understanding of electronics, explossives, weapons, and insurgency movements/terrorist methodologies. Applicants need not provide basic identitfication, but should look mean and threatening to xenophobic, white, middle class, American Christians. We also ask that applicants be willing and able to work on all Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Holidays. Pay negotiable. No fringe benefits nor health care. If you look good with a machine gun in hand, and if you have a talent for uttering the words "Great Satan" and "American Infidel," please be so kind as to contact us at 1-888-IAMBUSH. Ask for Karl.

You may also snail mail your application to:

Propaganda Minister Karl Rove
c/o The SECRET GOVERNMENT IN THE BASEMENT
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington DC 20050

Allow 6 to 8 weeks for a top secret, unofficial response.

ANOTHER RANT: SPEAKING TRUTH TO THE ROVE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

"The great masses's receptive ability is only very limited, their understanding is small, but their forgetfulness is great. As a consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda has to limit itself only to a very few points and use them like slogans until even the very last man is able to imagine what is intended in such a word."

From the original, full- length version of Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

I've said it before and I'll say it again. When it comes to propaganda, 21st Century Republicans make their Nazi forefathers look like rank amateurs. Hitler and Goebbels were good, but Karl Rove is even better--just as warped as his fascist idols, but genuinely talented in the fine art of deception.

In a stunning display of duplicity our beloved Minister of Enlightenment and Propaganda has unleashed another underhanded campaign of delusion, half truths, and out right prevarications. In another attempt to paste Osama Bin Laden's beard on Saddam Hussein, Herr Rove has unleashed anew smear campaign of unabashed falsehoods to link 911 with the ongoing invasion of Iraq. Once again we are hearing the half-baked myth that this ill-fated invasion is a focal point in the war on international terrorism; and yet anyone with an IQ of 60 or above knows that international terrorism is just that--an international phenomenon.

Perhaps, if Reich Minister Rove had said that he and his beloved Fuhrer, George W. Bush, had turned the now failing state of Iraq into a training ground for home grown Iraqi insurgents and a handful of al Quaida fanatics, Herr Rove would have finally said something that resembled the truth, but that isn't what he did.

Instead of telling the truth, he offered a delusional tale about a glorious, patriotic war (of choice) and ignored the sectarian civil war that he he and his pupper Fuhrer have spawned. Instead of coming clean with the American people, our pudgy, pink, propaganda minister wove a demented narrative of talking points in which anyone who disagrees with his beloved pretender is a traitor.

The eleven hour debate that we watched in the Republican-dominated Reichstadt was nothing more than a series of calculated sound bites for the 2006 midterm elections. And the part that both amused and infuriated me the most was the fact that the Republicans are so unaccustomed to independent thought that they had little choice but to read their statements--they were so lacking in creativity and spontaneity that that stood there reciting the same, hackneyed missives that we have already heard a thousand times before: Begin with 911, end with Saddam Hussein; use the words "God Bless America," and smear the Democrats as weak on terrorism. All that after Bush and Rumsfeld dropped the ball on Afghanistan (where the Taliban has returned with a vengeance) and transformed Iraq into an over-glorified training camp for homegrown insurgents and terrorists.

It makes me wonder.

If this regime was truly concerned about terrorism, why did it fail (on three separate occasions) to either capture or eliminate Zarqawi? Oh, Jeeze. Do you think it was because this highly political administration saw Zarqawi as a very useful bogeyman? Do you think that it might have had something to do with the fact that handling the Zarqawi situation at the proper tome would have interfered with their attempt to build a coalition of the gullible?

All right. Maybe I'm being a little hard on the regime. I'm sure that the regime didn't know what it was doing when it proposed the half baked idea of handing over our port security to a country with ties to 911. And I'm sure they didn't mean it when they cut anti-terrorism funding to New York City. I mean, it wasn't as if New York has any important cultural or historical icons. The Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Broadway, the New York Public Library, The Empire State Building, Saint Patrick's Cathedral, the United Nations Building, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera, the New York Philharmonic, a couple of museums, maybe a few universities, the Bronx Zoo, Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, Rockefeller Center: Who would want to protect places like those when we can save French Lick, Arkansas, or Arm Pitt, Mississippi from eager-to-marry homosexuals?

Okay, maybe I'm missing the main point. Maybe I should celebrate the fact that while our Republican members of the Reichstadt were conducting a pre-written loyalty oath to their beloved Fuhrer, the latest leader in Iraq was granting amnesty to those insurgents who had only killed American soldiers. Maybe I should be more like the blood thirsty Republicans who celebrate the fact that we now have more than 2,500 dead American troops. Maybe Propaganda Minister Rove has the right idea when he gleefully ignores the deaths of more than 100,000 Iraqis, or the wounding of more than 59,000 American soldiers.

Hell, for all I know the Iraqi Constitution, which establishes Islamic law, is a good thing. Yeah. That's right! Giving support to Iraqi Shias,who have strong ties to Iran, only strengthens Iran's position in the Middle East as a whole, but maybe, just maybe, Propaganda Minister Rove has a another propaganda campaign in mind for an even bloodier and more costly war against both, Iran and Iraq!

Wow! I'm impressed!

We spent 11 hours debating a meaningless, nonbinding resolution, which by its very nature, offered an honorable promise but not a single, solitary solution as to how that promise would be kept. Yup. We're going to win the war on terrorism, but we're not going to talk about the inadequate prewar planning or the lack of a post war plan for creating a viable Iraqi government. Nor are we going to discuss the failed strategy. But then again, it might just be that Rove and his puppets in the Republican-dominated Reichstadt are living in a bizarre dream scape in which an unseen, flag-draped coffin is better than a living father, brother, or son.

Sarcasm aside, I was nothing less than elated when certain Democrats grew internal body parts which resembled back bones. Perhaps-just perhaps--the bad old days of complacent lefties are a thing of the past. At long last we see Democrats--real Democrats--pushing back against the Rove propaganda machine.

In fact, I was especially impressed by the following remarks by Connecticut Democrat John Larson"

"What a sham this is today, when we're denied any alternative resolutions. As Mister Lantos eloquently stated earlier today, when he talked about George Michael and his eloquence , standing on the floor, talking about speaking truth to power. And that's what's so upsetting to the American people, and why Mr. has been recognized all around this country for standing up and speaking the truth to the American people--something this administration, and frankly, this Congress, has been unable to do--level with the American people.
"Let's start with leveling with the American troops, leveling with all those families of reservists and national guardsmen, who I speak with on a regular basis, who have been deployed, redeployed, deployed, and redeployed, again and many times, because we haven't had a plan.
"Here we are in a race between cooperation and catastrophe, and you guys bring to the floor a political document not designed for a new direction, or to bring the country together to discuss the issue this issue the way that it should be; but instead, as talking points outlined by Karl Rove out in New Hampshire, sandwiched between the President's photo op and a picnic this evening.
"Americans are outraged that we don't have a citizenry and members here who are willing to stand up and have accountability. We all support the war on this terror, And this party from Roosevelt, to Truman, to Kennedy, to Jack Murtha, has stood on the watch wall of freedom and stood there valiantly , but collectively, with the American people, and in this body and in this chamber.
"But that's not what's going on here today. Instead its right out of the play book. Attack Jack Murtha, attack the messenger. That's a formula that works. It worked against Max Cleland, it worked against John Kerry. Jeeze, that'll work against Jack Murtha also. Discredit this guy. Discredit what he had to say because he had the temerity to speak truth to power in an administration that can't level with the American public.
"Why don't they criticize General Batiste, General Zinni, General Van Riper, all of these generals. Are they all wrong too for speaking truth to power? Shouldn't we be talking about how we can collectively move forward, instead of a tried and true playbook of political jargon on a resolution that's nonbinding?
"Speak truth to power. I'm proud to associate myself with Mr. Murtha and everything he stands for."

Congressman John Larsen, speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives on June 15 2006.

What can I say? It's about time.

Have a good weekend.



Wednesday, June 14, 2006

MARRIAGE AMENDMENT BILL: CROUCHING FUNDIES, LYING BUSHIES

CRAZY FUNDIES: CALLING FOR A BAN ON "FAGS". REPUBLICANS ARE TRYING TO REACH OUT TO THEM. ZEUS BLESS AMERICA.

In recent weeks, the Bush Administration has been rallying conservative Christians across America to support the "Marriage Protection Amendment", which, if passed with a majority of two thirds in Congress, would be inked into the US Constitution, henceforth banning gays from the so-called "sanctity of marriage".

Before I broach the issue a little further, perhaps the biggest irony of this "Marriage Protection Amendment", it seems, is never really about protection. In true Republican, fascist fashion, the amendment's objectives, in tandem with just about practically every Republican policy, is really to hijack more civil rights from the average American.

From the despotic terms of the Patriot Act, to the Bush Administration's handling of the prisoners of Guantanamo, tis clear that Bush and his fellow despots do not think that human rights and civil liberties are worth a dime. To them, the average American is just a small fry for the big fishes(big corporations, despotic characters, etc), willing to be exploited with minimal fuss.

So, the question that ought to be asked, at this point of time, is: Are the Bushies really that concerned about gays, or are they such a threat to the institution of marriage (if there really ever is such a institution), that they have to go through all the muss and fuss to bring up the whole issue to Congress?

BUSH ADMINISTRATION: FAILURES, FAILURES, AND MORE FAILURES

CLUELESS BUSH: HE JUST CAN'T SEEM TO GET ANYTHING RIGHT

Ever since Bush took over the helm as the "Commander-in-chief" (Read: Simian-in-hiding), America has been under seige, one way or another.

Which really is kind of unfortunate, if you consider how Christians consider America to be blessed (God Bless America).

Pardon the punt, but if this is the same looney Gawk is blessing America with, I'd think of God as some looney in a bin, rather than an aloof, stuck-up, all powerful deity they made him out to be.

First, it was the terrorists who struck on the tragic day of Sep 11, 2001. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq followed.

And then there was the penultimate "God-sent" disaster: The New Orleans flooding.

In the midst of trials and tribulations, not only have the Bush Administration not risen to the ocassion, they have been found wanting, with George Simian Bush being the chief culprit of them all.
IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN

OSAMA BIN LADEN: AMERICA'S BOGEYMAN

While the American Armed forces have been swift in destroying the renegade bastions of the Taliban and Saddam respectively, the abject failure to apprehend Osama bin Laden, the chief master of terror, in the rugged, mountainous regions of the Pakistani-Afghan border(thought to be the hiding place of Osama), and the subsequent failures to arrest the continuing violence and anarchy in Iraq (Despite the installment of a puppet Iraqi government), has drawn continuing criticisms from critics, who charge that the ineptness of the Bush Administration to think beyond techno-wizardries, has brought about this terrible, tragic mess.

HURRICANE KATRINA: BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S FAILURE?


Hurricane Katrina

The events leading to Hurricane Katrina cruelly exposed the frailities of America's elite units, both military and non-military, and much of it can be attributed to Bush's ineptness. By activating the Reserve Guards for military stints in Iraq, America was left exposed to the elements.

In the hour of need, the Reserve Guards, who were supposedly formed to contain such civil contingencies, was found wanting, no thanks to the unexpected burden borne in by them in Iraq.

ABU GHARIB, GUANTANAMO: AMERICA'S SHAME


Guantanamo:Gulag Camps Of Fascist America

Failures aside, policies instated by the Administration, geared towards protecting "American Interests", are merely cheap imitations of fascist and nazi policies, with the gulags of Guantanamo and Abu Gharib being the most notorious of them all. Thousands of "suspected" terrorists have been held, against their will, in detention camps, which are held in such secrecy that little or nothing ever leaks out from these appalling gulag camps. News of inmate abuse are rife, and recent reports of 3 Guantanamo inmates hanging themselves with bedsheets only highlights the tension between these detainees and their guards. With virtually no chance of a parole and freedom, the Guantanamo camps have become a symbol of what the Bushies really stand for: The Fascist States of America.

Even American citizens are not spared from Bush's policies. The Patriot Act, a carbon copy of the "Internal Security Act" of Malaysia and Singapore, actually provided legal provisions to federal law enforcement agencies to secure and imprison suspects without trial. Phones can be tapped by these agencies, without explicit approval from the local courts. In other words, the Bush Administration has been empowered to pry into the private lives of ordinary American citizens, and should anyone wishes to run for office in politics, they do better think twice, or live the life of a monk or nun. Because chances are, there is no telling whether anyone can misuse such information for cheap political and financial gains.

In light of such criticisms, support for the Bush Administration, both home and abroad, have dipped, and a recent Gallup Poll suggests that support for Bush and his inept policies have dropped to an all-time low of 31% (2005, May).


Al-Zarqawi: Killed by American forces

Oh sure, they killed Zarqawi (Chief of Al-Qaeda guerillas, Iraq) alright, parading his mangled corpse for all asunder (Funny you don't hear cries of censorship from those violent-phobic Christians), but the whole truth is, Osama is still alive and kicking, America is embroiled in two theatres of war, one of which was never justified in the first place, and America is no less vulnerable to terrorist attacks since the 911 incident.

In short, the Bush Administration has completely failed to achieve its agenda, and despite the rhetorics and counter-arguments, the unbridled truth is that, Bush screwed up. And America has to pay that price for his failures.

MARRIAGE AMENDMENT: A MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE

Understandably, the Administration's glaring errors, both at home and abroad, have triggered opposition towards the Bush Administration.

What really matters, however, is waning local support. With the mid-term elections coming up, the Bush Administration is banking on their last bastion of support from the one group amongst the masses: The Conservative Fundies.

Quite possibly the staunchest republican supporters of the lot, these fundies will be the ones the Bushies must appeal to, because they are a sizeable lot, and they are the ones the Republicans bank on for the last two terms.

In an hour of desperate need, the Republicans are gambling on one of their last chips in hand: A ban on gay marriage.

By bringing up the seemingly fraudulent concerns of "marriage protection", the Republicans have effectively married themselves with right wing bigots.

And that, my friends, is what the Republicans are after.

THE FLIP SIDE OF THINGS

Of course, the flip side of this obnoxious "marriage", really, is that you open a can of worms for preceding Presidents to follow. If the Constitution could be amended to accomodate erroneous laws of a religious nature, and worst still, a deprivation of basic human rights(which the Patriot Act has already done), the American Constitution will really be nothing more than "a god-damned piece of paper".

Deceptions and religious fundamentalism aside, too much precious time has been spent on debating on the marriage issue.

More debates in Congress should focus on bringing the American troops back home, and combating real terrorism. Throwing Muslims and other suspected terrorists into gulag camps does not eradicate terrorism; neither will blatant use of phone tapping technology.

As long as Americans keep voting for Republicans, you can be assured that these dastardly politicians will make use of conservative policies at the expense of civil rights to fool the masses away from the real issues at hand.