Saturday, February 04, 2006

Ukes for troops

You’re probably well ahead of me on this, but in case not, you might want to contemplate the impact a boat load of ukuleles could have on the Iraq war, especially if we expanded the program to include insurgents as well as U.S. troops. If you do think about this program, like me you might come to the conclusion that settling issues with dueling ukuleles might be a good way to go.

For those of you not already involved, here’s a LINK to the Ukes for Troops website.

I found the site (can we call it a movement?) this morning via WNTI radio’s Flaming Ukulele radio hour.

Captain George Bush and the Republican crew?

From this Reuters story: "Red Sea ferry survivors say captain fled"

...We were wearing lifejackets but they told us there was nothing wrong, told us to take them off and they took away the lifejackets. Then the boat started to sink and the captain took a boat and left," he added, speaking to Reuters Television.

"The captain was the first to leave and we were surprised to see the boat sinking," added Khaled Hassan, another survivor.

Other survivors also reported that the crew had played down the gravity of the situation and withheld lifejackets.

"There was a fire but the crew stopped the people from putting on lifejackets so that it wouldn't cause a panic," said Abdel Raouf Abdel Nabi, one of the survivors.

"There was a blaze down below. The crew said 'Don't worry, we will put it out.' When things got really bad the crew just went off in the lifeboats and left us on board," said Nader Galal Abdel Shafi, another arrival on the same rescue boat....

Even if Bush and Cheney weren't aboard, they certainly subscribe to the same approach to leadership. Lie to the people, take care of yourself first and screw everyone else.

Friday, February 03, 2006

More lies, more evidence

If you want to get the latest, breaking details on Plamegate, trumped up reasons to invade Iraq, and evidence that Cheney knew the wmd tale was a lie, here’s a LINK, and be sure to follow the links from there.

The Left Coaster via Firedoglake And don't miss Waas

What's surprising is how damn clumsy they are. If we had an honest press or an honest Attorney General, the Bush gang would be on the spit and well roasted long ago.


This morning I was entertained by reading Bush’s prewar scheme to justify war with Iraq: paint a plane with UN insignias and provoke the Iraqis into shooting it down. LINK. This crackpot plan could have been cooked up by a crew of roofers slugging down lunchtime beers in the Flying Dutchman saloon. No wonder Bush has support from the Sportsmen for Bush gang. They are on the same wave length, together stumbling lost in the murky woods between here and the Halfwit Hills.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What a fucking waste

Could the Democrats have found a less inspiring spokesperson than Tim Kaine?

Even Gergen, on CNN right now, describes the Democrats as spineless.

I have been a Democrat all my life. When I was young it was a kick your teeth in party of longshoremen, cops, and intellectuals. Who knows what it is now. But whatever it is it embarrasses me, makes me sick and I'm ashamed to be associated with it.

Reality based resistance

Thanks mainly to the cowardly, ineffectual Democratic Senators; the Y2K coup is now complete. The fascist Right now controls all branches of the government and can now devote all resources to maintaining power. They can accelerate the dismantling of the constitution and the movement of wealth to their friends and allies in the corporatocracy. Expect them to use U.S. military power to continue seeking control of all the world’s energy resources resulting in lots more little wars, coups and assassinations.

Here at home we can look forward to torture, arrest and murder becoming, more than ever, politics as usual.

Best we can hope for is the collapse of the Right under the weight of their own stone cold stupidity while we well meaning Liberals continue in a hallucinatory daze to nominate candidates, send money and play sincerely our parts through the election cycle of hope, disappointment and despair as if it were all real and elections were more than theatrical productions with predetermined outcomes.

If the Democratic Senators wish to change the course and redeem themselves, they should get up and walk out during this evening’s superfluous state-of-the-union address. At least then the reality of the situation would be boldly outlined and that could be the beginning of reality based resistance. But they won’t, of course. The seats are too comfortable.

Ready for the roundup

Here’s something that Patty Sheehan needs to know, especially if her camp out at the ranch is joined by Venezuela’s President Chavez.

A new provision tucked into the Patriot Act bill now before Congress would allow authorities to haul demonstrators at any "special event of national significance" away to jail on felony charges if they are caught breaching a security perimeter.

Sen. Arlen Specter , R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sponsored the measure, which would extend the authority of the Secret Service to allow agents to arrest people who willingly or knowingly enter a restricted area at an event, even if the president or other official normally protected by the Secret Service isn't in attendance at the time.

The measure has civil libertarians protesting what they say is yet another power grab for the executive branch and one more loss for free speech.

"It's definitely problematic and chilling," said Lisa Graves, senior counsel for legislative strategy at the American Civil Liberties Union , which has written letters to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, pointing out that the provision wasn't subject to hearings or open debate.... LINK

Business as usual

My guess is that even those Democratic Senators who voted in favor of an Alito filibuster did so only because they counted the votes and knew it would fail. Taking falsely principled stands on hopeless issues is one of their often used tactics. It allows them to posture grandly before their constituents. Watch them all piously vote “NO” in the Alito confirmation vote, taking cover once again by casting a meaningless vote.

This batch of Democratic Senators love for their privileges is far greater than commitment to any principle. Along with their pals, their Republican colleagues and also the equally privileged superstar members of the media, their main goal is always to preserve the status quo where they all sit comfortably near the top of the American plutocracy.

Soon a little cluster of Democratic Senators will skip off to compete in the presidential primaries. Very likely once again one of them will win and we will get excited about their gibberish and posturing and starry eyed we will troop off to vote in another predetermined, meaningless election.

What a mess.

(UPDATE: digby has a more eloguent, more optimistic, more in depth analysis, here LINK)

Monday, January 30, 2006

How it works

A peek at how the corporatocracy works from a book review in the Guardian.

...In 1972 Perkins went to see the then dictator of Panama, General Omar Torrijos. Torrijos was a nationalist who was eager to wrest control of the Panama Canal from the US. Perkins went in to read him the riot act and came out with what sounded like an agreement. Some years later, Torrijos started talking to the Japanese about building a larger, sea-level canal for Panama that would have undermined American influence and corporate interests in the area. One night in 1981 Torrijos died when his Twin Otter aircraft crashed under mysterious circumstances. Perkins is convinced he was killed by US interests who placed a bomb on the plane. Had he lived, Perkins writes in his book, Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man, "He would have served as a role model for a generation of leaders in the Americas, Africa and Asia - something the CIA, the NSA [National Security Agency] and the EHMs [economic hit men] could not allow."

Economic hit men resort to such heavy-handed tactics, says Perkins, only when all other means of leverage have failed. The rest of the time they would employ a mixture of bribery, sex, flattery, prostitution, distortion, extortion, abduction and invasion to get their own way. "Sex was a very common tool used by economic hit men," Perkins says. "It was not uncommon for us to seduce wives of oil company executives because that was a way of gaining information and learning things about their husbands."

If the threats of the economic hit men don't persuade, the "jackals" will come in to make good on them. The jackals, says Perkins, are the CIA-sanctioned heavy mob who foment coups and revolutions, murder, abduction and assassination. And when the jackals fail, as was the case in Iraq, then the military goes in.

Economic hit men, Perkins says, work entirely separately but completely in concert with the state. Perkins never once reported to a US government agency - but he is in little doubt that the US government always knew and approved of what he was doing. His task, he says, was to ensure that US business interests came out on top, regardless of who won an election, and that the American wealthy were further enriched, regardless of who was impoverished as a result....
LINK via 3Quarks Daily

(Wellstone fans should note the use of the small plane as murder weapon.)

Anti Alito staging area

Even though it's the last minute, it is still possible to have an impact. If you want to get in the fight against Alito a good place to start is Firedoglake. Everything you need to get active is there.


Serious challenges in the primaries might awaken some anti fascist attitudes in our somnolent Democratic Senators.

At a press conference in Venezuela, alongside President Chavez, Patty Sheehan said she might run for the Senate.

Sheehan, who lives in Berkeley, Calif., said Saturday that she is strongly considering challenging Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein because the lawmaker will not support calls to immediately bring the troops home.

Sheehan, 48, said running in the Democratic primary in June would help "bring attention to all the peace candidates in the country."

Sheehan, who was visiting Venezuela for the six-day forum along with other anti-war and anti-globalization activists, told The Associated Press that she decide whether to run after talking with her three adult children in California.

Sheehan accused Feinstein of being out of touch with Californians on the war in Iraq. Feinstein's campaign manager said the senator did not support Bush and felt she had been misled by his administration.
LINK via the Raw Story

Chavez said Sheehan invited him to join her in setting up tents at Bush's ranch.

Fool me once...

Republican election theft is the most important political issue we face. Why invest time, energy and fantasy in picking candidates when the problems that allowed the election thefts in 2000 and 2004 have not been addressed? If anything, the stakes are even higher now and you can bet that impeachment wary Republicans will have their fraud machine updated, tuned up and supercharged to meet the challenges of 06. All they need do is target selected, vulnerable districts—just enough to ensure continued control of both houses.

Don’t expect much help from incumbent Democrats. Most have revealed themselves to be more interested in keeping their comfortable seats than presenting an effective challenge to Republicans. Being a minority Democratic Senator is a great job and, since they have no control, they bear no responsibility for whatever the Senate does or does not do. All they have to do is spoon out a little spunk now and then and reelection is assured. Where else are the anti Bush votes going to go?

For more on how we lost before, how examination of vote fraud is stifled, and how we’re going to lose again, here’s a link to an informative, but brief interview with Mark Crispin Miller, via The Sideshow.