The World of Bush Today
Wanna get pissed off [part I]? Watch Bush's video ad called "Kerry's Coalition of the Wild-Eyed" on this page (sorry to ask you to go there).
This gem is from Josh Marshall:
"Consider for a moment. Who is Dick Cheney? What do we know of him? None of us like being questioned or critized. But in him the disinclination runs particularly deep. He prefers to act in secrecy and is a man to whom government transparency has all the allure that a shaft of sunlight has to a vampire." HA! I love it!
This book looks awesome. I think I know what I'm buying next.
From the publisher of Imperial Hubris:
"According to the author, the greatest danger for Americans confronting the Islamist threat is to believe--at the urging of U.S. leaders--that Muslims attack us for what we are and what we think rather than for what we do. Blustering political rhetoric 'informs' the public that the Islamists are offended by the Western world's democratic freedoms, civil liberties, inter-mingling of genders, and separation of church and state. However, although aspects of the modern world may offend conservative Muslims, no Islamist leader has fomented jihad to destroy participatory democracy, for example, the national association of credit unions, or coed universities."
Wanna get pissed off [part II] (I apologize again for the site)? From that blowhard Limbaugh, where he bashes Michael Moore and F911:
"Rush Limbaugh, talent on loan from God. More than I'll ever be able to use, ladies and gentlemen. Wish I could share some of it, but it just isn't possible. I mean if it were possible to do, I would do it. I just don't know quite how, to divvy up my brain and still use the half that I have."
From The Angry Liberal, a Buzzflash contributor re: Bush in the Florida classroom:
"Now, Bush is spending $200 million to convince Americans that he's a leader. That he's decisive. That he can and will take bold action in the face of a crisis. But thanks to the videotape shot on September 11, we know it's a lie. Fahrenheit 9/11 shows us what all the misleading advertising in the world couldn't cover up: When faced with a real emergency, George W. Bush, with nobody to tell him what to say or how to act, simply froze. For almost seven minutes on September 11, America was paying a $400,000 yearly salary to an ice sculpture. I dare any pundit, any handler, anybody who supports this loser to explain this away.
The game is up. In an era when this administration's policies have made America the most hated country on the planet, our very survival requires that we have a strong leader at the bridge. And Americans now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that George W. Bush is no leader. We have the videotape to prove it."
This strongly echoes a conversation I was having with Kathryn and Jenny. It's a really good letter from another Buzzflash contributor in response to F911 and the fallacy that a 'good' Christian is going to support Bush no matter what:
"As a Christian, I know in my heart, and my spirit, that God created every human being on this earth with the intent that all of us make a contribution in this life that will benefit and bless others. I know that every life is precious and worthy."
She continues later, "It's because of free will that I can question and study Bible scriptures for myself to see what lines up with God's word and what doesn't. I find that people who label themselves as Christians tend to deal in absolutes, and not allow for change, diversity or exploration, in accordance with where the individual is at that point in her/his life. People are constantly growing and changing, and experiencing life; this is what you bring to the table.
And finally, an awesome suggestion from Americablog.org:
Here's what to do with your "Fahrenheit 9/11" ticket stub...
After you go to Fahrenheit 9/11, keep your ticket stub and mail it to:
George W. Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington DC 20500
With a note attached, "I saw what you did last summer".
Good To Know I'm Not Crazy
So I too saw Fahrenheit 9/11 on Saturday (like all my blogging friends). I had no doubt the movie would further fuel my already highly-stoked anger toward this administration. I went into the film expecting that. What I did not expect was how upset I would become. Not upset in the 'how dare you' kind of way I had anticipated, but in the '[sob] what's become of this country? [sob] I'm so mad. [sob] And scared' kind of way.
During the movie I was fighting back tears but I didn't let loose because I thought I would look like a nutjob. But I lost it once in the car. I was yelling, sobbing, full-on crying. The poor Boy looked so confused as to how to handle me. This was a side of me with which he was hitherto uninitiated. Well, that's love, baby. Love me in my hysterics.
All levity aside, I heard Janeane Garofalo remark on Majority Report that she had never understood conservatives who said that Clinton made them sick until GW came along. Now she gets physically ill when she hears him (GW) speak. That's the most accurate description of how I feel that I can come up with.
Most of the time I have to limit my exposure to GW's antics to political blogs or legitimate news (which excludes most American media, btw). If I hear him speak, there's a good chance I will soon be ranting. I can't handle it. F911 was one heck of a long exposure to this moron. I was angry beyond words at his cavalier treatment of such critical issues. His blank-eyed stare during the time he was in the Florida classroom knowing that America was under attack. His unrestrained smirking. I could have happily smacked his face.
I was more than angry, though. I was devastated. To see the lows to which he has dragged this country. His outright lies. The contradictions. The ship of fools he calls a cabinet. I love this country, but I hate what has become of us. I knew some of the Saudi ties with the Bush family, but there are some surprising revelations in the film. Yes MM can belabor his points, but I think the last 4 years have shown us that the American people actually need to have things drilled into their heads in this manner. Otherwise we'll just glide along with the status quo. What other reason is there for this man remaining in his stolen office??
It goes without saying that I will see this film again, and buy the DVD. These messages HAVE to be shared. I pray that our brothers and sisters who have been blinded by the Right will be compelled to see this film. It is so important that they do. I don't think that the nightly news or the daily papers are getting through anymore; we're so enured by the images or the scandals that we almost don't see them anymore. After all, this administration is facing more 'investigations' than anyone since Nixon, but the American people blandly sail along. It takes something that forces us to confront the ugliness, like F911, to wake us up.
Wake up, America. Abu Ghraib is not an isolated incident. Iraq is only the beginning. VOTE HIM OUT! Show your love for the US and the world. Get rid of Bush, his oil ties, his anti-American behavior, and his croney capitalism. Bring back peace, love and compassion!
'Cause W Stands For Honesty
From today's Altercation regarding the newly revised terrorism report:
"Anyone who might assert the numbers were intentionally skewed is mistaken," said Brennan, director of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), created by President Bush to produce efficient and comprehensive assessments of domestic and international terrorism.
When the April report was released, Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage said it provided "clear evidence that we are prevailing in the fight." Yesterday, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said Armitage's words were based on incorrect information.
The revised figures show that more people were killed by terrorists last year than at any time since 1998, apart from 2001, when the Sept. 11 hijackings caused 2,973 deaths. Terrorist bombings and shootings left 3,646 people injured around the world -- more than in any year in the past six.
So we just had one of the worst years of terrorism on record when, just a few months ago, the State Department was claiming to have had one of the best. And no, they did not make anything up—just like the Secretary did not make anything up when he said all those things that turned out to be untrue to the U.N. in February 2003. And all those statements by Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice, Feith, Rumsfeld and Perle were all honest mistakes.
Does anyone in the mainstream media ever wonder why this administration only makes "honest mistakes" in favor of its own arguments?
Sadly, we have very little media responsibility, and God knows that we have no govermental culpability. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that all of their little "mistakes" lead to so much corruption, destruction and death.
Blog Blog Blog
No, I didn't blog yesterday, and I can't really blog today. I'm busy. Yea!
I've been listening to some dissection of the 9/11 commission's report on Air America (just reading and taking calls on the report). Sickening. Where was the FAA? And GWB's cell phone didn't work so he couldn't issue commands to shoot down the planes?!?! What the !@#$ did they do before cell phones in cases of national emergency? You can't tell me that none of the dozens of security people that attend the president's every move didn't have their own cell phones? Or any other method of getting in touch with the president? OMG. Disgusting.
Separated At Birth?
Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary for W.
Jack Black, actor, half of band Tenacious D. (I know it's not the greatest pic of Jack Black, but I think you get the idea).
Groovin' At The House of Blues
#$%^&*( dentist appointment! If not for my (long and painful) dental appointment this morning, I would have beaten Jenny to posting about our trip to the Disney-rific HOB in Anaheim to see the inimitable Aimee Mann.
If you haven't seen the HOB in Anaheim, it is sort of set up in concentric squares, on two levels, and you stand for the whole show. I found this chairless setup to be barbaric, but maybe that's just me. Anyway, Jenny has stolen much of my thunder by describing some of the more colorful figures that made up the HOB crowd.
Oh, side note: would someone please tell Miss Smith that I am not responsible for the kooky characters that make up the Anaheim-ites just because I live there?? I've lived there less than a year. I tried explaining this already, but to no avail. Okay, back to the show. Since Jenny described some of the characters, I'll describe the band and show to the best of my (admittedly limited) ability.
First off, I would describe the band as sort of nouveau hippie. Aimee Mann has long hair that she seems to like in her face. She was wearing jeans, a loose shirt and a very large powder blue tie. Why? I just don't know. To her right, one of the guitar guys was the spitting image of Topher Grace on That '70s show (especially the hair). He had on a velvety looking jacket and apparently some really fantastic shoes, but we couldn't see them from our location at the back of the HOB. (At one point, Aimee couldn't concentrate on the song because of his shoes; instead she started to just make up a song about his shoes and how they made her think of hot tubs and gold chains in the Valley.) The drummer looked like Michael Chicklis.
The other guitar guy was the obnoxious opening guy that Jenny aptly describes (although she forgot to mention his crazy quasi-fro hair). He wanted so badly to be an innovative and cool solo musician. He fell far short of the mark. There were moments when his singing was okay, but they--sadly--did not last long. But he was good in the band. And then there was the keyboard player. This individual was of indeterminate gender (although I think Jenny and I ultimately determined that it was probably a guy) and also sported the wacky frizzy-headed look. He/she appeared to be really...um...moved by the music that she/he was playing. The ecstatic look on his/her face was kinda disturbing, to be honest with you. Bad-Opener-Guy and Strangely-Orgasmic-Keyboard-She-male were both decked out in peasant-style tops; very Woodstock-like.
The music, however, was just fantastic. I don't really like to see bands live most of the time because I always end up disappointed--they never sound anything near as good as on their albums. But Aimee Mann is an exception. She was just as good live, if not better. Live you really get the soulful and playful quality of her singing. She is incredibly talented with music that adroitly walks the line between rock and folk. She's not afraid to incorporate electric guitar and heavy drums, but they somehow never manage to overshadow The Voice that is Aimee Mann. On the other hand, many of her songs rely on an acoustic guitar and very muted accompaniment. She really was great.
Well, I'm a little partial. I've really liked her since I first heard her song Amateur on the soundtrack for the movie Sliding Doors. I loved the song so much I went out and bought her Collection CD and I've been hooked ever since. I would even characterize her performance at HOB as sublime, knowing full well that this could draw accusations of exaggeration. But I truly don't believe that's the case.
Isn't It Interesting
GWB can remember his precise words to the administration telling them to conform to international treaties, but he can't recall seeing any documents from anybody re: the treatment of prisoners? (shades of Reagan...)
Of course, GWB has never shown much regard for international treaties to begin with, so it's interesting that now that he's being called to question on the torture issue, he's such a strong advocate of them!
Crass Exploitation Is The Name Of The Game!
As is quite often the case, Josh Marshall calls it like it is. This administration is so pathetically grasping at straws. Mwahahahaha Mwahahahaha!
I've been really irritated lately about the Reagan propaganda because it is diverting public attention from some really important issues. Did you know that W consulted independent counsel re: the upcoming grand jury investigation into the Valerie Plame CIA identity leak? That's HUUUUGE. Or that John Ashcroft refused to turn over to Congress the documents indicating the White House's stand on torture?!
These are both tremendously important issues/events, and have been greatly overshadowed by the image of Reagan's casket in the Capitol rotunda and interviews with every single person in line. I mean, I understand that he was a president and is entitled to a state funeral. But the so-called liberal media is seriously falling down on the job here! Not that that's anything new since W took over. But that's a tirade for another day...
Just My Two Cents
Amanda has posted such a good blog re: the whole Reagan quasi-canonization issue that I won't try to rephrase it. Instead I'll make a feeble attempt to enhance her message with this excellent political cartoon.
And a little bit of soothsaying from Eric Alterman here.
And, finally...once again the Bush administration will capitalize on the deaths of others in order to pick up their (seriously) flagging ratings.
And Now For Something Completely Different
In a massive detour from yesterday's post, I wanted to take a moment and explain why I want to add a section called MY LIST to this blog. You know how sometimes when someone ticks you off you say, 'well, so and so is on my list now'? That's MY LIST.
So, my geeky computer friends (who I respect tremendously), how can I create a list in my sidebar of what is on MY LIST and link each item to the blog posting where I rant about it?
Here's the first one, today I was driving back from picking up my lunch at Chipotle (mmmm), and I was at a light, in the right-most lane that goes straight. Next to me was a car in a right turn only lane. The car in that lane was supposed to cross the intersection and get onto the on-ramp for the 405S. Instead, the !@#$%^&*()_+ guy driving the Silver Acura TSX, license plate # 1QKTSX, cut me off and got into my lane, just BARELY missing hitting me while moving!!!!! I was so mad. If you are ever driving in Orange County, CA, watch out for that jerk!
Is My God More Worthy of Funding Than Your God?
I have some questions/issues with the 'faith-based initiatives' so dear to Bush's heart. I know that there is a likely risk of angering or offending some of my Christian/religious friends, so I just ask that you hear me out (or read me out, I suppose) before you get too upset with me re: this post.
Okay, faith-based initiatives. When I first heard about these I thought that they seemed like a pretty good idea. Fund churches and other organizations so that they can further their humanitarian projects. And, in theory, this may even work. But, as with most things, theory and practice are often vastly different. In fact, the more I learn, the more I think government should get its mitts off my faith (and everyone else's).
First, I am an ardent supporter of separation of church and state. This isn't because I'm anti-faith at all. It's because I don't think the two mix well together. It's because the government was divided into three branches to ensure checks and balances of power. And none of those branches was 'Religiosity'. In fact, dictatorships and violent militant regimes have long embraced the idea of state-mandated faith to humankind's great detriment.
The first problem that strikes me is that a government that gets to decide what is/not a legitimate faith-based program is likely to exclude (i.e.: discriminate against) certain other faiths. For example, how many of these dollars earmarked for 'faith-based programs' do you suppose are going to be given to Muslim organizations? Another problem I see is that once they start engaging with the government, some churches are going to be conflicted about their earthly loyalties. Don't you think that there would be certain pressures to support the administration that has given them thousands or millions of dollars? A third--more practical--problem is that a partnership such as this may begin to look more like a corporation, and less like a church-based organization, and may later be denied the tax-exempt status currently bestowed on most faith organizations.
I am following a proposal to what I see as its natural, negative conclusions. I don't think churches or church-based organizations should ever become (or be seen to become) the mouthpiece of the government. Once they do, get ready to bow down to your dictator-king. This country was NOT founded to be a theocracy or an oligarchy. I see governmental support of faith organizations as one step on the path to ensuring that kind of extremely dangerous rule of the land.
Our founding fathers were very clear about separating out the powers of God (whom- or whatever He/She may be to you, as an individual) and the powers of government. This is yet another reason why I cringe when I hear W referring to himself as an agent of God, doing the Lord's work. I think our leaders should indeed by moral and do their absolute best to honor good, sound principles for governing. But I do not agree that our leader should proclaim his right by divinity. To paraphrase (atrociously), pray in private when you need the strength, but don't be boastful and showy with your prayers. Our leaders need to lead based on what is best for ALL people; not just those whom are affiliated with the same church or faith. When W claims to be God's right-hand man, or decides to fund those churches and organizations that he sees as directly supporting his personal vision of good, he is overstepping his bounds.
I fear that taxpayer support of faith-organizations sets a dangerous precedent and sends a bad message. A dangerous precedent, because what other things are going to slowly and insidiously became overshadowed by one man's (or one faith's) version of right and wrong? And a bad message because what happens to all those whose 'faith' organization (which is so loosely defined as to leave all manner of loopholes for the arbiters of the national checkbook) is declined government funds? We've seen what happens when people are isolated for religious reasons, and it's not pretty.
This situation also underscores the point I've mentioned above, and that's that our president is (at least meant to be) an elected official, appointed by a democratic voting system. Our president is not chosen by a beam of light shining down from heaven or a smoke signal, like the Pope. Western innovations and lifestyles are already globally pervasive and have lead to a lot of ugliness throughout the world (i.e.: terrorism and all that entails). How much more do you think this would increase if the US was seen not only to be forcing its rule of government, but it's national religion (whatever that may ultimately be) onto other countries?
What Is Your Knitter's Geek Code?
According to Knitty, I am (give or take a bit) a KER++ Exp SPM- Skacel++ Bam+ Syn Nov+ Stash Fin+ Scale+ Ent? Circ++DPN-Swatch---Blog++SNB+++ FO3WIP2 GaugeSW+DK++
Countdown: 2 days to HP3!!
Too caught up in my new book, The Time Traveler's Wife. I've been waiting ages for the paperback to come out, and saw it at a bookstore on Friday after seeing Shrek 2 at Downtown Disney. So good. Must go read more.
In the meantime, this is a real tribute to the fallen for Memorial Day. Not the farce perpetrated on the U.S. yesterday at Arlington by the prez and his cronies.