The River

Friday, June 27, 2008

Please welcome



Blog of Revelation

to the blogroll. See examples of their work below.

An Appraisal of Obama's Platform

Plank by Plank

By Brother Tim, Blog of Revelation

I've decided to pre-empt my Saturday Quote of the Week with my analysis of Obama's Campaign Platform.

As I have said, Obama will, in all probability, get my vote this November. I loathe the term 'lesser of two evils', so will say, "It's a vote AGAINST McCain". It's a vote I will cast with a litany of reservations, caused by many unanswered questions.

I will examine Obama's platform in much the way I would survey (appraise) a wooden boat, plank by plank, fastener by fastener. I will examine each plank for soundness and integrity. The plank I'll start with, is the plank that is most important to me:

Plank No. 1 ----- The Iraq War

Obama has stated that he was adamantly against the war from the git-go. He made eloquent speeches about it on the floor of the Illinois Legislature in Springfield, and in many other venues. I find it troubling though, that since he took his seat in the U.S. Senate on January 4, 2005, he has consistently voted to fund the war. If there is one, sure-fire way to end the war, cutting off the funding is it.

If he voted, like most DINOs, out of fear of being called 'weak on terror' or 'not supporting the troops', then he is 'weak on leadership skills'. He, himself, has stated that America needs to be told the truth, even if it's an ugly truth; and a good President should have the intestinal fortitude to do that.

He promises to end the war in Iraq, but how and when, seem to be murky questions that are never fully answered. He says he will task the Pentagon and his Military Advisers to draw up plans for a withdrawal within 16 months. What, exactly, does that mean? This isn't a full withdrawal, as he has often stated that he would leave in place Trainers and Advisers, Forces to Combat al Qaeda, and Troops to Protect the Embassy and Other American Interests (isn't it ironic that the Western Big 4 Oil Companies just got there sleazy foot in the door to start taking control of Iraq's Oil Reserves?) So, exactly how many troops will that require? Another answer this eloquent speaker can't seem to muster.

The Troops he plans on leaving there probably represents 75-80% of what they're doing right now. This doesn't sound like ending the war to me, it sounds like re-defining it. And what about the civilian contractors, the private mercenary armies, that out-number our Military Personnel? Again, crickets chirping.

Dennis Kucinich was the only one to have the balls to say he would start a full withdrawal the day he took office, and the MSM and the DNC publicly castrated him for it, post haste.

Alors, I am left with the impression, that the war will be 'business as usual'. Yeah, he'll bring home a few thousand troops temporarily, but when the casualties start mounting, he will be forced to re-escalate.

The American people, Democrats in particular, want this war ended NOW, not in 1, 2, 3, or 4 years. Now, Senator, now! And completely! Where are those 'billions of war $' you plan on saving, going to come from, while you are still going to have to fund an 'occupation'?

Stop with the ambiguous, rhetorical BS, and give us some straight answers; even if they're ugly.

What say Y'all?

The next plank to be 'hammered' on: The Israeli Connection.

Why Is Peace A Dirty Word?
Brother Tim

“Bipartisanship” in the Moronic Monkey’s Era

By JollyRoger, reconstitution

The go-along CONgress of “Nanny” Pelosi and “Stepnfetchit” Reid has been rightly criticized for selling us out to the moronic monkey on the issue of wiretaps without warrants. Instead of exercising their constitutional obligation to put a check on the moronic monkey, the CONgress has, yet again, given him their blessing to do as he pleases. In 2006, they were given a mandate to cage the idiot, and instead they’ve taken off the leash. This CONgress, in substance, is no different from the one that preceded it.

Constitutional raping is of course a huge issue, but there is an even bigger one in the minds of most voters. In 2006, voters sent an unmistakable message when they flipped the House of Represetatives and sent several Chimpleton Senators packing. The message was a simple one; get the monkey under control. The people expected the CONgress to curb the murderous monkey and start getting our soldiers out of Iraq, a move that might even have saved our economy from the incompetent lout’s horrid fiscal mismanagement. What did “Nanny” and “Stepnfetchit” do? They rolled right on over, capitulating to every one of the spoiled simian’s demands. A Democratic CONgress has legitimized the murders and other crimes of the moronic monkey in a way that his former rubber-stamp Gopper apparatus never could have. And with this latest passage of the monkey’s latest list of demands, the CONgress has ensured that the mess will be carried over to the next Presidency.

Surely, John McCavein does not deserve to be elected President after all his kowtowing to Chimpy-but why do the Democratic “leaders” in CONgress deserve THEIR positions? Why can’t they be replaced as well? They are as responsible for Chimpy’s Reign of Error as Trent Lott or Dennis Hastert are. Is it any wonder that the present CONgress only has a 12% approval rating, given their lies in the 2006 election cycle?

George W. Bush, who has never chosen to take responsibility for addressing the mess he created in Iraq, has now been given permission by the U.S. House to finish his presidency without doing so.

After the House voted 268-to-155 to provide $162 billion in additional “emergency” funding for the Iraq war last week, Bush was effectively assured that he will be able to finish his presidency next Jan. 20 and head back to Texas without taking any steps to conclude a conflict that has killed and permanently disabled tens of thousands of Americans, killed and dislocated millions of Iraqis and destabilized one of the most complex and dangerous regions in the world.

“The president basically gets a blank check to dump this war on the next president,” says Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern, who voted against letting Bush off the hook — and against setting up a situation where the next commander in chief, be he Democrat Barack Obama or Republican John McCain, will be “a war president.”

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, another “no” voter, explained the frustration of those who opposed a measure that ultimately passed with Republican and Democratic support by members of the House who are no more willing than Bush to take responsibility for ending a war that should never have begun.

“We have lost 4,103 of America’s best and brightest young people, another 30,000 are grievously wounded and will require care for much of their lives, and we are spending $10 billion a month in Iraq. We have built over 800 schools, nearly 5,000 water and sewer projects and over 1,000 roads and bridges — in Iraq — while gas and food prices go through the roof here, home foreclosures wreak havoc on American families, and our infrastructure is in a shambles. Enough is enough! One day of spending in Iraq would finance the entire reconstruction of the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis” said Ellison, a first-term Democrat who has been meticulous about opposing moves to continue the war. “I will not vote for more American taxpayers’ money going to Iraq until that proposal contains deadlines and timetables for the safe withdrawal of our troops.”

That’s what a congressman who takes his duties seriously sounds like.

Unfortunately, that’s not what the majority of House members sound like.

The measure was opposed by 151 Democrats — including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Appropriations Committee chairman Dave Obey — and four Republicans (California’s John Campbell, Tennessee’s John Duncan, Arizona’s Floyd Flake and Texas’ Ron Paul).

Voting for the Iraq spending increase passed were 188 Republicans and 80 Democrats. The votes of those 80 pro-war Democrats were definitional If House Democrats had simply held together as a caucus, this blank check for more killing, maiming, dislocation and mass destruction would not have been written.

Unfortunately, a number of top Democrats in the House — including Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., and Chief Deputy Whip Ron Kind, a Wisconsin Democrat who has served as a point-man in the chamber for the Democratic Leadership Council – voted with the Bush administration.

Democrats were elected in 2006 to end the war in Iraq. When more than one-third of the House Democratic Caucus supports maintaining the war into the next presidency, it is not just individual Democrats but the party as a whole that is failing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Obama, you don't need to move to the center

Doing so is a travesty and a tragedy

"First of all, what's clear is Ralph Nader hasn't been paying attention to my speeches," Obama said. "Ralph Nader is trying to get attention. ... It's a shame, because if you look at his legacy in terms of consumer protection, it's an extraordinary one. But at this point, he's somebody who's trying to get attention."

-- USA Today

Damned straight Nader is trying to get attention. Isn't that the name of the game? Exercising free speech is trying to get attention. It's what democracy is founded on. You're beginning to sound like Bill O'Reilly when someone gets his goat: shut up! shut up!

Let's look at what Nader has focused on:

Adopt single payer national health insurance
Cut the huge, bloated, wasteful military budget
No to nuclear power, solar energy first
Aggressive crackdown on corporate crime
and corporate welfare
Open up the Presidential debates
Adopt a carbon pollution tax
Reverse U.S. policy in the Middle East
Impeach Bush/Cheney
Repeal the Taft-Hartley anti-union law
Adopt a Wall Street securities speculation tax
Put an end to ballot access obstructionism
Work to end corporate personhood

Please spare us the "Nader is just an egoist" cannard. It's insulting. Nader is trying to get attention to issues you have ignored so that you can market a soothing image. These issues are not frivolous and ego-centered (your charge looks like projection; it's weak). They come from a love for the country and a distaste for politicians who facilitate its rape by an unaccountable financial and corporate elite.

If they want war, they get it, or at least line up for the spoils once the bombs start falling on civillians. If they want a new bubble -- the current one is oil trading -- they get it, nevermind the damage to the financially vulnerable.

It's easy if there is no accountability, and yet you have not stood up for accountability.

It's pretty simple. If we keep supporting politicians such as yourself who will not stand up for us (i.e. the majority of everyday working Americans) against an ever-increasing right-wing/corporatist/authoritarian government, then we are, as Glenn Reynolds opines, fundamentally unserious. Or perhaps, completely cowed by the right. I find either charge distasteful.

The upshot is a charade of an election in which you ride revulsion of the Republicans into office so you can hold it for a short period of time in order to keep the lid on.

If you tell me you can't do anything now, then when? Nothing has been done in my lifetime to stop the slide and I fail to see some mythical near future when things "change." Your governing style looks like a repeat of Bill Clinton, and while he did some decent things for the economy, his presidency led directly to where we are now.

So far, you are proving to be another fighter who leaves himself open to the right, not seeming to care that so many have put money on you. If you diss Ralph Nader and you fail to back up your rhetoric, then you are at some level the elitist (read: con artist) Karl Rove says you are, you are the empty speechmaker the right claims you are, and you are fundamentally unserious in holding out hope to your constituency.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gas could fall to $2 if Congress acts, analysts say

Limiting speculation would push prices to fundamental level, lawmakers told

By Rex Nutting & Michael Kitchen, MarketWatch

Last update: 4:24 p.m. EDT June 23, 2008 (MarketWatch) -- The price of retail gasoline could fall by half, to around $2 a gallon, within 30 days of passage of a law to limit speculation in energy-futures markets, four energy analysts told Congress on Monday.
Testifying to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Michael Masters of Masters Capital Management said that the price of oil would quickly drop closer to its marginal cost of around $65 to $75 a barrel, about half the current $135.
Fadel Gheit of Oppenheimer & Co., Edward Krapels of Energy Security Analysis and Roger Diwan of PFC Energy Consultants agreed with Masters' assessment at a hearing on proposed legislation to limit speculation in futures markets.
Krapels said that it wouldn't even take 30 days to drive prices lower, as fund managers quickly liquidated their positions in futures markets.
"Record oil prices are inflated by speculation and not justified by market fundamentals," according to Gheit. "Based on supply and demand fundamentals, crude-oil prices should not be above $60 per barrel."
Futures trading in London has not been a major factor in rising oil prices, testified Sir Bob Reid, chairman of the Chairman of London-based ICE Futures Europe. Rising prices are largely a function of fundamental supply and demand, not manipulation or speculation, he said.
"Energy speculation has become a growth industry and it is time for the government to intervene," said Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., chairman of the full committee. "We need to consider a full range of options to counter this rapacious speculation." It was Dingell's strongest statement yet on the role of speculators.
There has been much discussion recently about how big a role speculators have been playing in the sharp rise in energy prices, though no consensus has emerged on this point.
Dingell introduced a bill on June 11 that would ask the Energy Department to gather the facts on energy prices, including the role played by speculators. See full story.
There are two kinds of speculators in the futures markets, Masters said. Traditional speculators are those who need to hedge because they actually take physical possession of the commodities. Index speculators, on the other hand, are merely allocating a portion of their portfolio to commodity futures.
Index speculation damages price-discovery mechanisms provided by futures markets, Masters added
The committee will likely consider legislation that would rein in index speculation by imposing higher-margin requirements; setting position limits for speculators; requiring more disclosure of positions; and preventing pension funds and investment banks from owning commodities.
Both major presidential candidates have supported closing loopholes that encourage speculation in the energy markets. Read more on Election Blog.
However, other witnesses said that pure speculators have had little impact on energy prices, which have doubled in the past year to about $135 per barrel. Both Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman have dismissed the impact of speculators on prices paid by consumers.
Speculators now account for about 70% of all benchmark crude trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up from 37% in 2000, said Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., chairman of the investigations subcommittee. Stupak introduced a bill on Friday that would limit index speculation.
There has been much discussion recently about how big a role speculators have been playing in the sharp rise in energy prices, though no consensus has emerged on this point.
Congress, however, has grown increasingly concerned over speculative investors' role in the energy market in comparison with those buying futures contracts to hedge against risk from price changes. Lawmakers are expected to consider legislation to set strict limits -- or in some cases, an outright ban -- on speculative trading in energy futures in some markets.
Dingell is looking into any legal loopholes that may have contributed to speculation in energy markets. In 1991, according to documents provided by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to the committee's investigators, the agency authorized the first exemption from position limits for swap dealers with no physical commodity exposure. This began what Dingell said was "a process that has enabled investment banks to accumulate enormous positions in commodity markets."
Is Congress barking up the wrong tree?
Neal Ryan, manager at Ryan Oil & Gas Partners, said that if Congress develops regulations to cut back speculative trading, speculation will just find a new home.
"Speculation is the root of capitalism," he said. "If the speculation is forced out of the U.S. exchanges, it'll simply show up on other exchanges that are OTC like the ICE, or new exchanges will pop up to allow for the spec trades to continue functioning."
Ryan said he does see a reason for Congress to look at eliminating aspects such as allowing West Texas intermediate crude oil futures to trade on foreign markets and the "Enron loophole," but "these exchanges are currently functioning as they are supposed to in a free marketplace."
The creation of a comprehensive U.S. energy policy that tackles issues of increasing domestic supply and reining in consumer demand via conservation should be Congress' focus, Ryan said. "Instead we're on bended knee begging the Saudis to put more oil on the market and talking about shutting down spec trades."

Rex Nutting is Washington bureau chief of MarketWatch.
Michael Kitchen is a copy editor for MarketWatch and is based in New York. Nate Becker contributed to this report from San Francisco.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Funny way to fight a war

Not merely by rolling over and playing dead, but also by throwing ammunition to the other side

The latest example is the FISA capitulation, which has allowed Glenn Reynolds to rightly call the left (as it plays out in his narrow little mind the media) fundamentally unserious:

MORE: Reader Phil Dean emails: "Thanks for linking to Greenwald's critique of Obama's FISA support and the left's reaction to it. What I think this shows is that all the Bush-is-shredding-the-Constitution rhetoric was, at its core, fundamentally unserious. Greenwald seems surprised by this." Yes, he does, and yes, it was.

Wexler Questions McClellan in House Judiciary Committee

Congressman Robert Wexler: It is time we sweep away the claims of executive privilege and get Karl Rover, Andy Card and others before this committee

via RatTube

Thursday, June 19, 2008

General who probed Abu Ghraib says Bush officials committed war crimes

By Warren P. Strobel | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — The Army general who led the investigation into prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison accused the Bush administration Wednesday of committing "war crimes" and called for those responsible to be held to account.

The remarks by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who's now retired, came in a new report that found that U.S. personnel tortured and abused detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, using beatings, electrical shocks, sexual humiliation and other cruel practices.

"After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes," Taguba wrote. "The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."

more has Obama stomping McCain, 317 to 221

About the site:

Welcome to Electoral Vote Predictor, which tracks political polls for U.S. federal elections. The site was immensely popular in 2004, ranking in the top 1000 Websites in the world and the top 10 blogs in the world, with about 700,000 visitors a day. In some surveys, it was the most popular election site in the country. In 2006, it tracked the Senate and House elections. Now it is back tracking the presidential, Senate, and House elections for 2008.

Unlike other sites, which track generic national polls, this site tracks the state-by-state polls. After all, the presidency is decided by 51 separate state elections, the Senate by 35 separate elections (in 2008) and the House by 435 separate elections. As new state polls are released, the maps, spreadsheets, tables, graphs, etc. will be updated. In the maps, the states with white centers are essentially tossups and are subject to rapid fluctuations.

The main page contains a map showing the state of the polls for the presidency. Putting the mouse on a state pops up information about the polls there. Clicking on a state goes to a graph of the polls.

Polling methodology and using polls is not as simple as you might think. The Polling methodology file explains polling and the methodology used here in detail. The site is updated once a day, generally by 7 a.m. Eastern Time. For this reason, polls released during the course of a day will not show up until the next morning. This is the same news cycle as a morning newspaper.

Before sending e-mail, PLEASE, PLEASE read the FAQ first. Your question may be answered there. Please DO NOT send e-mail announcing a new poll until you have checked the site the next morning. Getting 1000 e-mails about a poll I already know about is not so much fun.

I am a libertarian and lean towards the Democrats, but I have a lot of respect for traditional conservative Republicans like Sen. Barry Goldwater, who believed that what consenting adults do in private is none of the government's business. Like Goldwater and also Bill Clinton, I believe in balancing the federal budget. I also have a lot of respect for Sen. John McCain, who refused an offer to be released from prison in North Vietnam unless all the Americans captured before him were also released.

Despite my political preference, I have bent over backwards to be scrupulously honest about all the numbers, and have carefully designed the main page to be strictly nonpartisan. Only the political humor page is somewhat partisan. If you want an election site that has a pro-Republican bias from beginning to end, including all over the main page, try

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Warning: Proper use of Internet will make you a "loony leftist whacko"

Not even Japanese lawmakers are immune.

Lawmaker takes 9/11 doubts global

Special to The Japan Times

In a September 2003 article for The Guardian newspaper, Michael Meacher, who served as Tony Blair's environment minister from May 1997 to June 2003, shocked the establishment by calling the global war on terrorism "bogus." Even more controversially, he implied that the U.S. government either allowed 9/11 to happen, or played some role in the destruction wrought that day. Besides Meacher, few politicians have publicly questioned America's official 9/11 narrative — until Diet member Yukihisa Fujita.

In January 2008 Fujita, a member of the Democratic Party of Japan, asked the Japanese Parliament and Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to explain gaping holes in the official 9/11 story that various groups — including those who call themselves the "911 Truth Movement" — claim to have exposed.

Fujita, along with a growing number of individuals — including European and American politicians — are leading a charge to conduct a thorough, independent investigation of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001.

"Three or four years ago I saw some Internet videos like 'Loose Change' and '911 In Plane Site' and I began to ask questions," Fujita said in an interview, "but I still couldn't believe this was done by anyone but al-Qaida.

"Last year I watched more videos and read books written by professor David Ray Griffin (a professor emeritus of philosophy of religion and theology at Claremont Graduate University who wrote the most famous Truth Movement book, 'The New Pearl Harbor') about things such as the collapse of World Trade Center No. 7. This building, which was never hit by an airplane, collapsed straight down. Between the videos showing the way it fell, and the numerous reports of explosions, many are convinced that this building was demolished."

Fujita's presentation to the Diet and Fukuda focused a great deal on yet another aspect of 9/11 that now quite a few around the world find extremely suspicious: the Pentagon crash.

"I don't think (a) 767 could have hit the Pentagon," Fujita reckons. "There is no evidence of the plane itself. Almost nothing identifiable was left on the lawn or inside. The official story says the entire plane disintegrated, but the jet engines in particular were very strong (two 6-ton titanium steel turbine engines). And the damage to the building is much smaller than the size of the supposed airplane. The official claims just don't fit the facts."

While some label that claim "wacky" and label critics of the official 9/11 story "conspiracy theorists," Fujita has impressive company. For one, former Maj. Gen. Albert Stubblebine, who was commanding general of U.S. Army Intelligence and Security until 1984, is quoted on the "Patriots Question 911" Web site as saying, "I look at the hole in the Pentagon and I look at the size of an airplane that was supposed to have hit the Pentagon. And I said, 'The plane does not fit in that hole.'

"So what did hit the Pentagon? What hit it? Where is it? What's going on?"

Fujita urges the Bush administration to put the issue to rest simply by showing videos that show the plane that hit the Pentagon. Instead, only a few grainy images have been released to the public. More disconcertingly, many videos taken by surrounding businesses were confiscated by the FBI immediately after the Pentagon explosion.

The Pennsylvania crash, like the Pentagon explosion, also yielded virtually no recognizable plane parts at the crash site. Rather, small pieces of debris were found up to 10 km away. The official story — that the plane "vaporized" when it hit the ground — is inconsistent with the evidence left by every other plane crash in the history of aviation.

Plane crashes always yield plane fragments, Fujita explained, which can be identified by the plane's serial number, but that's not the case for the four planes which crashed on 9/11. Strangely, the U.S. government managed to produce passports and DNA samples of individuals killed, but no identifiable plane parts. In an online article entitled "Physics 911," 34-year U.S. Air Force veteran Col. George Nelson notes, "It seems . . . that all potential evidence was deliberately kept hidden from public view."


In fact, there are even American lawmakers who have also allowed the Internet to increase their awareness of the, uh, problematic nature of 9/11.

That would be representative Dennis Kucinich, who included the following in his 35 articles of impeachment (a remarkable document):

Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001.

Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders.

Monday, June 16, 2008

In The Great Tradition

Obama Is A Hawk
In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger reaches back into the history of the Democratic Party and describes the tradition of war-making and expansionism that Barack Obama has now left little doubt he will honour.

By John Pilger

14/06/08 "ICH" -- -In 1941, the editor Edward Dowling wrote: "The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it." What has changed? The terror of the rich is greater than ever, and the poor have passed on their delusion to those who believe that when George W Bush finally steps down next January, his numerous threats to the rest of humanity will diminish.

The foregone nomination of Barack Obama, which, according to one breathless commentator, "marks a truly exciting and historic moment in US history", is a product of the new delusion. Actually, it just seems new. Truly exciting and historic moments have been fabricated around US presidential campaigns for as long as I can recall, generating what can only be described as bullshit on a grand scale. Race, gender, appearance, body language, rictal spouses and offspring, even bursts of tragic grandeur, are all subsumed by marketing and "image-making", now magnified by "virtual" technology. Thanks to an undemocratic electoral college system (or, in Bush's case, tampered voting machines) only those who both control and obey the system can win. This has been the case since the truly historic and exciting victory of Harry Truman, the liberal Democrat said to be a humble man of the people, who went on to show how tough he was by obliterating two cities with the atomic bomb.

Understanding Obama as a likely president of the United States is not possible without understanding the demands of an essentially unchanged system of power: in effect a great media game. For example, since I compared Obama with Robert Kennedy in these pages, he has made two important statements, the implications of which have not been allowed to intrude on the celebrations. The first was at the conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), the Zionist lobby, which, as Ian Williams has pointed out, "will get you accused of anti-Semitism if you quote its own website about its power". Obama had already offered his genuflection, but on 4 June went further. He promised to support an "undivided Jerusalem" as Israel's capital. Not a single government on earth supports the Israeli annexation of all of Jerusalem, including the Bush regime, which recognises the UN resolution designating Jerusalem an international city.

His second statement, largely ignored, was made in Miami on 23 May. Speaking to the expatriate Cuban community – which over the years has faithfully produced terrorists, assassins and drug runners for US administrations – Obama promised to continue a 47-year crippling embargo on Cuba that has been declared illegal by the UN year after year.

Again, Obama went further than Bush. He said the United States had "lost Latin America". He described the democratically elected governments in Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua as a "vacuum" to be filled. He raised the nonsense of Iranian influence in Latin America, and he endorsed Colombia's "right to strike terrorists who seek safe-havens across its borders". Translated, this means the "right" of a regime, whose president and leading politicians are linked to death squads, to invade its neighbours on behalf of Washington. He also endorsed the so-called Merida Initiative, which Amnesty International and others have condemned as the US bringing the "Colombian solution" to Mexico. He did not stop there. "We must press further south as well," he said. Not even Bush has said that.

It is time the wishful-thinkers grew up politically and debated the world of great power as it is, not as they hope it will be. Like all serious presidential candidates, past and present, Obama is a hawk and an expansionist. He comes from an unbroken Democratic tradition, as the war-making of presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton demonstrates. Obama's difference may be that he feels an even greater need to show how tough he is. However much the colour of his skin draws out both racists and supporters, it is otherwise irrelevant to the great power game. The "truly exciting and historic moment in US history" will only occur when the game itself is challenged.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Kucinich on Impeachment of Bush and Cheney

This goes beyond politics

Excerpt, transcript of Rep. Dennis Kucinich on Democracy Now!

AMY GOODMAN: Congressman Kucinich, the head of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean, said voters did not hand Democrats control of Congress two years ago in order to impeach President Bush.

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Is that what he said? Well, you know what? Howard Dean ought to check with the people where he lives with in Vermont, because the people in Vermont understand this. And people all over this country understand it.

This isn’t a political question, by the way. The appropriate response for Howard Dean would be that this is a matter that’s beyond politics. This is a matter that relates to a democratic system of government and whether or not our Constitution is just a piece of paper. So this has to go beyond politics. It’s not for the Democratic Party to decide to overlook violations of US law and international law. We cannot let our political system trump the requirements of the law.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, let’s go to Nancy Pelosi. This is the House Speaker in late 2006, shortly after the Democrats took over Congress.

REP. NANCY PELOSI: No, impeachment is off the table.

LESLEY STAHL: Off the table. And that’s a pledge?

REP. NANCY PELOSI: Well, it’s a pledge in the—yes, in that it’s a pledge—of course it is. And it is a waste of time.

Democrats are not about getting even. Democrats are about helping the American people get ahead. And that’s what our agenda is about. So while some people are excited about prospects that they have, in terms of their priorities, they are not our priorities. I have said, and I say again, that impeachment is off the table.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Nancy Pelosi. Well, last December, I asked House Judiciary Chair John Conyers about impeachment.

REP. JOHN CONYERS: Unless we’re going to impeach the Vice President and the President within this space of time, I think we could be very seriously compromising the greatest important—most important thing, in addition to documenting any misdeeds that may have happened, whether we continue to have Bush enablers continue to shatter and tear the Constitution to shreds. And so, all of this, academically, is great. I’ve got a number of books from my friends about which articles would be best and which ones we should go after more. But it seems to me that the time element and also the feasibility of whether or not there is any possible chance of success—there is a very stark reality that with the corporatization of the media, we could end up with turning people who should be documented in history as making many profound errors and violating the Constitution from villains into victims.

AMY GOODMAN: That is the House Judiciary Chair John Conyers. Dennis Kucinich, your response?

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: There is arguable evidence that President Bush has committed war crimes. We have a moral obligation to have hearings in Judiciary to make a determination whether or not this is so. This goes beyond politics. I have a great respect for John Conyers, I have a great respect for Nancy Pelosi, but this goes beyond politics. This is not—you know, our whole government rests on moral principles, not just on political principles.

And so, we need to evaluate what Congress’s rightful role is here. You know, one of the founders of our nation made it very clear that Congress had a role that was not simply to pass laws, but to ask questions of the executive. This is what helped to create a powerful three-branches-of-government concept that was imbued in the Constitution, co-equality, so that we wouldn’t have a monarch. George Bush has acted in a way that has separated him from the rule of law. Congress must hold him accountable. And to say, “Well, we have more important things to do”—what could be more important than finding out whether or not the President of the United States has committed war crimes, whether or not he’s violated United States law and repeatedly violated the Constitution?

You know, you look at the price of gasoline today. Does anyone have any idea that the United States invaded Iraq for oil, that there were meetings with the oil companies laying out maps of oil fields in Iraq, that Congress has not been able to get full documentation from the Vice President as to what was said in those meetings? What about the pressures that are being put on the Iraq government right now to try to get it to turn over its sovereignty so that the United States can facilitate the control of Iraq oil for the international corporations?

We have to stand up for this country and for its people, and that’s what I’m doing. And I am going to be challenging my colleagues to look at the evidence. And if they look at the evidence, I think that they’ll want to do what’s right.


Kucinich is right

Without impeachment, American government will remain morally bankrupt and functionally unrecognizable as a democracy. And the American people will remain royally screwed.

In a BuzzFlash Exclusive, Dennis Kucinich Says He's Not Giving Up on Impeachment: Morality and the Law Require It.
Submitted by meg on Fri, 06/13/2008 - 12:11pm. Alerts
By Meg White

"This isn't just about impeachment. It's about reorienting our politics to a position which respects morality. Our moral compass needs to be reset here."
-Rep. Dennis Kucinich

In an exclusive interview with BuzzFlash Friday, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) discussed the 35 articles of impeachment he introduced against President George W. Bush earlier this week. Though the word on the Hill is that the call for impeachment will not go anywhere, the Ohio representative is undeterred.

"This is a very grave matter that cannot be and will not be swept under the rug by some kind of a legislative trap," he said.

Representatives Robert Wexler (D-FL), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) have signed on to the resolution, and Kucinich expects more co-sponsors in the coming days and weeks.

"There will be more. I'm quite confident of that, and as members start to read the document it'll keep growing," he said.

The proposal is now in the Judiciary Committee, where many expect it to stay at least until after the November elections.

"Some bills are sent to committee to be acted upon," Kucinich said. "But in this case it's widely assumed, based on statements by House leaders, that it'll be sent to committee and nothing's going to happen."

Kucinich entered the articles of impeachment as a privileged resolution, which means it can be reintroduced. He said that if the committee does not act on the resolution within 30 days, he will bring the subject up again in more detail.

"I think it's reasonable to give the committee 30 days," he said. "There are other areas of law that I have not, in the interest of time, put in the resolution that was introduced. But they will be put in the next one if no action is taken."

When taking over as Speaker of the House in 2006, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said impeachment was "off the table." She has stuck to that statement thus far. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the man in charge of calling Kucinich's resolution up for debate, said at the Take Back America Conference earlier this spring that he would consider waiting until after the presidential elections to pursue impeachment.

Kucinich does not see this as an option.

"If we wait, we're licensing further abuses of power. There's been broad concern that this administration could attack Iran. Why should we give them the opening to do so by failing to challenge the lies that they told that took us into war with Iraq?" he asked. "We cannot wait for after the election. We don't know what could happen in the next six months with respect to a further erosion of our democratic process. And what the impeachment process would do would be to have a chilling effect on further abuses of the Constitution and on creating another war."

He's also concerned after the election there could be a drop-off in interest and a move toward reconciliation, much like the actions that led to President Gerald Ford's controversial pardon of his predecessor President Richard Nixon. In addition, Bill Clinton did not pursue the Reagan/Bush I violations of the law, particularly the Iran-Contra and BCCI illegal activity.

"If they refuse to act, you know what'll happen. The election's over and it's like, 'Well, let's not go back. That was yesterday. Let's move forward.' That's what'll happen," he predicted. "The House leadership, which is above Congressman Conyers, and even the leadership of the Democratic Party now are joining in and saying, 'Well, we just can't do this.' Well, you know what? This isn't about politics anymore. This is about whether or not there's such a thing as the rule of law, and you can't have a political agreement to violate the law."

Kucinich differs with those who have suggested that the hearings could be divisive. He sees impeachment as an opportunity for healing both the partisan divisions between people and the mistrust Americans have for their government.

"This war has been a wedge, which has driven Americans apart," he said. As for Congress, he said that "there is no logical explanation for their position. We cannot abdicate our responsibilities. If we abdicate our responsibilities, we end up being in collusion. Why are we not acting? There's a reason why the Congress is so low in polls and I think it's because the American people feel we won't stand up."

Kucinich said Congress is not living up to its responsibilities to the American people. But he has personal feelings about the resolution that drove him to move forward on impeachment.

"Where's our heart here? What is going on that we can't connect with the suffering of other people?" he asked. "We can't say, 'Oh, yeah, we went into a war, they didn't tell the truth and all these people died. Sorry about that. Pass the Grey Poupon.' We can't do that. We cannot become so callous that we don't care that innocent people are killed. This is what's driving me."

Any casual reader of the articles of impeachment can tell the Iraq war figures heavily in the resolution. Of the 35 articles, Kucinich said around half are at least tangentially related to Iraq. While some articles deal with election fraud and offenses against Medicare, Kucinich is clearly bothered by the lead-up to the war.

"I can't think of any more grave offense than that the people of this country, at a moment of peril in post 9/11, would be lied to in order to get their support for a war," he said. "There's a difference between just being wrong and lying. And there's a pattern of lies here."

However, Kucinich said that the effort is not only about Constitutional law and his personal feelings. He wants to demonstrate to future U.S. presidents and the international community that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated by Congress.

These are not just symbolic concerns; Kucinich raised the specter of international involvement:

"How awful it would be if the Congress looks the other way and within the next few years some nation decides to prosecute a member of the Bush Administration for war crimes at a time when we clearly knew that there was sufficient evidence to proceed with hearings?"


Gore Vidal’s Article of Impeachment
by Gore Vidal

On June 9, 2008, a counterrevolution began on the floor of the House of Representatives against the gas and oil crooks who had seized control of the federal government. This counterrevolution began in the exact place which had slumbered during the all-out assault on our liberties and the Constitution itself.

I wish to draw the attention of the blog world to Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s articles of impeachment presented to the House in order that two faithless public servants be removed from office for crimes against the American people. As I listened to Rep. Kucinich invoke the great engine of impeachment — he listed some 35 crimes by these two faithless officials — we heard, like great bells tolling, the voice of the Constitution itself speak out ringingly against those who had tried to destroy it.

Although this is the most important motion made in Congress in the 21st century, it was also the most significant plea for a restoration of the republic, which had been swept to one side by the mad antics of a president bent on great crime. And as I listened with awe to Kucinich, I realized that no newspaper in the U.S., no broadcast or cable network, would pay much notice to the fact that a highly respected member of Congress was asking for the president and vice president to be tried for crimes which were carefully listed by Kucinich in his articles requesting impeachment.

But then I have known for a long time that the media of the U.S. and too many of its elected officials give not a flying fuck for the welfare of this republic, and so I turned, as I often do, to the foreign press for a clear report of what has been going on in Congress. We all know how the self-described “war hero,” Mr. John McCain, likes to snigger at France, while the notion that he is a hero of any kind is what we should be sniggering at. It is Le Monde, a French newspaper, that told a story the next day hardly touched by The New York Times or The Washington Post or The Wall Street Journal or, in fact, any other major American media outlet.

As for TV? Well, there wasn’t much — you see, we dare not be divisive because it upsets our masters who know that this is a perfect country, and the fact that so many in it don’t like it means that they have been terribly spoiled by the greatest health service on Earth, the greatest justice system, the greatest number of occupied prisons — two and a half million Americans are prisoners — what a great tribute to our penal passions!

Naturally, I do not want to sound hard, but let me point out that even a banana Republican would be distressed to discover how much of our nation’s treasury has been siphoned off by our vice president in the interest of his Cosa Nostra company, Halliburton, the lawless gang of mercenaries set loose by his administration in the Middle East.

But there it was on the first page of Le Monde. The House of Representatives, which was intended to be the democratic chamber, at last was alert to its function, and the bravest of its members set in motion the articles of impeachment of the most dangerous president in our history. Rep Kucinich listed some 30-odd articles describing impeachable offenses committed by the president and vice president, neither of whom had ever been the clear choice of our sleeping polity for any office.

Some months ago, Kucinich had made the case against Dick Cheney. Now he had the principal malefactor in his view under the title “Articles of Impeachment for President George W. Bush”! “Resolved, that President George W. Bush be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate.” The purpose of the resolve is that he be duly tried by the Senate, and if found guilty, be removed from office. At this point, Rep. Kucinich presented his 35 articles detailing various high crimes and misdemeanors for which removal from office was demanded by the framers of the Constitution.

Update: On Wednesday, the House voted by 251 to 166 to send Rep. Kucinich’s articles of impeachment to a committee which probably won’t get to the matter before Bush leaves office, a strategy that is “often used to kill legislation,” as the Associated Press noted later that day.

via Inspector Lohmann

Drunken Monkey Style Blogging


The Commentary

I have been gone. I went away. I couldn't handle it anymore. The lies the deception. The sheep. And all the little lambs being led to slaughter in this country or that so I could eat a chocolate bar, or drive a bigger truck.

But I was never truly away in spirit. All too often I have hurled invective across the house at the drivel running out of the telecasters smilling face. How dare they affront my reason and sanity by saying one thing today when they spent the last eight years telling me an entirely different story. Memory hole my ass. Americans don't forget. They just give up expecting concepts like truth and justice can be found in either politics or the media. Because after all both are nothing more than circuses. And old P.T told us that there's a sucker born every day. So how do we blame the clowns if we're the ones supporting the circus by going to it?

But I do blame. Because it's human? Maybe. Because it's helping anything? Hardly. No, I think I blame because if I didn't the steam would pop my head off my neck as the politicians told me another bold faced lie that only an idiot would believe. Which means they think we are all idiots, and the only ones who aren't either work for them and are in the know, or don't count. STIMULUS PACKAGE!!! HA! They ain't saving this country from a recession. With all their talk of competing globally in a global market they have gone and done deluded themselves into believing the lies they were feeding us. We will slip and slide into recession depression whatever. Mexicans will start returning home or heading North to Canada. More and more of America will start looking like Detroit because the working poor can't afford to move nor fix up the hovels they live in on the poor wages they make in between lay offs.

Which leads me to saying I'm out of work. Heck I've been in and out of work a few times these last months. Work was fine while it was there. When there wasn't any more work I was let out at the park to chase the ball into the woods. When I came back, no one was there. They had left me. Then they took me back. Then they left me again. So I found someone else. But he was a real bastard who exploited the fact the job market is so depressed by treating his help like crap and paying most of the illegals far under par of what working wages should be. Welcome to America after eight years of George Bush. How's that trickle down theory working out for ya now? Assholes.

I gotta tell you who I think should be the Democrats choice for our next president. Why? Because everyone else in the whole damnded country is telling you what they think and it's my turn. So sit down and read what I think. I think they all suck royally. Hillary? Sorry voted for the war before against. La da Washington insider who lies to our faces by saying veiled things like she'd bring as many troops home as she could right away. Which means the ones they decide don't need to be there to protect the oil. Obama said it. All combat forces. A lie by omitting he'd leave protective forces to "safe guard the Iraqi's interest". *chuckle* And Edwards said the same slop. Not a one of them is a shade lighter or darker than another when it comes to their real politics. And they all preach a good sermon. But the sermons are all old ones that turned out to be wrong ones that they have recycled to feed us once again. And if America once again bends over and eats of the vomit spewed forth from Washington and the Media will we not be proving Einstein right. That only the insane do the same failing thing over and over and over expecting a different result. Such is America. Such are our politics. The same lies over and over rehashed and constituted to be palatable to a new generation who believes their vote makes a difference in which corporate controlled goon fleeces the public this term. So maybe what I am saying is a good start to insuring we get the best candidate for the job is to shoot everyone in Washington associated with politics and appoint some poor slob to run things under threat that if we find him doing anything sneaky we'll string him up like Saddam. But that's just an opinion voiced friviously. I'm allergic to bullets, teargas, and long stints of incarceration. So I was just joking about hat other thing. MmmmmmK NSA? But you know that somewhere there is an agent who is shaking his head laughing because he thinks it'd be a great idea as well. But how do we broach it to our superiors? Hmmmmmmmmm.

Which leads me to the police state that is America. The old guard knowing a new guard is coming into office. Into place. A new generation not soo troubled about drum circles and pot smoking and women runnin round near naked. Well they fear this time of transition. It makes em wet the bed in fear we'll elect Satan as our next president. That sex education will be taught in the womb. That people will clone them when they are old and do all sorts of terribly naughty things to their bodies that aren't their bodies that it gives them the most unpleasant sweaty dreams. They fear that the new generation will do in the light of day what they have been doing in the dark restroom stalls of airports all across America. Now history will show me right on this is many ways. One being the economy itself. At very regular levels the economy has turned down on ten year cycles that coincide with new guard replacing old guard. And with each cycle we see a push to stack the courts with hard liners to insure the old ways live on. Well this is soon going to be 2010. While we all floated into 2000 with an upbeat economy and much festivities, we didn't have to face the transition of the new millenium because as of yet there weren't any real changes. Just a few letters on that check stub. Couple of numbers in the newspapers. Well now we not only have to wake up and clean up the mess of our little millenium party, but deal with the bills due with the coming new decade. Will the old guard slide out quietly allowing for the new to take on the tasks at hand withut a fight or will they go kicking and screaming with all the venom only the soon to be forgotten can muster? I still think it'd save us all alot of time and pain if we started shooting them all. Yeah? Yeah? Dammit. Well at least my NSA guy agrees with me.

Well thats enough for now. I'm sure there's plenty more crap trapped behind my ears but it'll wait. I'm not going out to dig up any of the old stuff, games, pictures, jokes, ect. It was another reason I stopped for so long. This became a real full time job. And only A listers can afford that crap. Z listers like me have to figuire out how to eat tonight. Often alot more important than typing on a blog. Ta.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wow. Dennis Kucinich on the O'Reilly Factor talking about his introduction of 35 articles of impeachment against Bush. Bill tries his best, but you cannot make this man look bad. That's why he was either ignored or fraudulently barred from the primary debates. Given the time to speak, the common sense and appeal of what he says and stands for will be obvious to a large percentage of the American people.

You can call John Conyers, head of the Judiciary Committee, to voice your support for impeachment.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

AIPAC Policy Conference, aka Panderfest '08

Just remember, it's business as usual. No need to trouble yourself...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Delta Moon -- Clear Blue Flame

If you like "Clear Blue Flame" from this hard-working Atlanta band, I guarantee you will thoroughly enjoy their latest album, which goes by the same name.

Check 'em out. Tell your friends. They deserve a bigger audience.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Obama to cancel "As the Wingnut Turns" this fall

I watched Obama’s speech at the Xcel Center in Minneapolis following his clinching of the Democratic nomination. On Fox. It was stirring. He basically said if America is to be great, then Americans have to be great. So when I’m president, let’s be great.

Yes, let’s. Of course, he knows better than to get pinned down on any of this. So it’s all inspirational sermonizing about the qualities of a “new” America rather than the actions that would put meaning behind the ideals.

Obama's speech made it abundantly clear that he cannot be torpedoed by the media. And that is remarkable. He merely has to do what he has been doing for months – play the consummate politician and brilliant speaker.

After the speech, the Fox News talking heads tried to pretend it was just another liberal delivering pie-in-the-sky liberal promises. Doesn’t really know what he’s talking about, too inexperienced to do it anyway, etc. But when you consider the source, it just falls flat. Even, I suspect, to a significant portion of their traditional audience. After two terms of a republican presidency, any republican nominee must answer for the record of the last eight years. And it is blindingly obvious that McCain, or surrogates such as Britt Hume, can’t. Those Fox News pundits had to pretend that it is foolish to change course from what the Bush administration has done. And what was so funny to me as I watched following the speech, was the looks on their faces. They knew their material was crap. They knew they had to really sell it, after watching Obama, and they just couldn’t do it. They were flopping, and it was like they could see already that it was gone – their brand, their memes they had been using for so many years, their labels. All of it was losing power right before their eyes.

Obama has declared that he is not going to play that game.

The other side will come here in September and offer a very different set of policies and positions, and that is a debate I look forward to. It is a debate the American people deserve. But what you don't deserve is another election that's governed by fear, and innuendo, and division. What you won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon — that sees our opponents not as competitors to challenge, but enemies to demonize. Because we may call ourselves Democrats and Republicans, but we are Americans first. We are always Americans first.

Barack Obama at the Xcel Center June 3, 2008

And without an opponent in "liberals suck" arena, the jabs become self-important posturing, rather than strongman slams. (Republicans must look back at the John Kerry punching bag with particular fondness.)

So, it will continue to be interesting as power shifts to the other wing of the corpocracy. We’ll have smart people in charge. Our government will become a bit less vicious at home. Abroad? I haven’t seen anything that tells me Obama has a problem with America as a thug on the world stage who will slaughter you and your family in order to take the home entertainment system, while hanging a sign on the mailbox that says the property is now “free.” It’s all part of our “interests,” and so in the end that makes it okay. Sort of. Somehow. To some. But we could possibly start to change, and at least a demented freak such as McCain won’t be in charge of the most potent nuclear arsenal on the planet.

At least there's that. That’s because right now, republicans are choking on their kool-aid, gasping for air in front of the cameras. Call me shallow, but I'm enjoying the show.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Is This Change?

Obama Woos AIPAC
By JOHN WALSH, CounterPunch

I have tired of reading cyptic Obama endorsements, masquerading as attacks on “illogical” women feminists. Clearly Hillary’s sins are legion, but Obama is making it clearer by the day that he is eager to follow in her bloody footsteps. And the Left? It is running after Obama in the “hope” that he can be pressured “like FDR” into responding to a “real grass roots movement.” That simply does not cut the mustard for any rational being. Obama beat Hillary Clinton by taking on the mantle of the “antiwar candidate” who ceaselessly pointed out she voted for the war. Obama of course was not yet in the Senate for that vote. But once a Senator Obama voted for each and every appropriation for the brutal Iraq war and occupation – hundreds of billions of dollars to kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and lay waste that ill-starred nation. In fact his votes were not different from hers in this crucial area.

Meanwhile, the Left remains completely silent about the Nader/Gonzalez candidacy. Want to see what Nader/Gonzalez offers compared to Obama? I quote from today’s message on the web site:
“There is one clear choice this year for peace in the Middle East. Nader/Gonzalez. Only Nader/Gonzalez stands with the courageous Israeli and Palestinian peace movements. Only Nader/Gonzalez stands with the majority of Jewish Americans and Arab Americans which polls repeatedly show support a two-state solution as a way for peace in the Middle East. Only Nader/Gonzalez would reverse U.S. policy in the Middle East.

“Doubt it? Then just listen to Barack Obama's speech from this morning to the militarist and right-wing American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

“Did Obama make one mention of the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza's 1.5 million people and the UN-documented resulting humanitarian disaster there? He did not.Instead, Obama talked about ‘a Gaza controlled by Hamas with rockets raining down on Israel.’ Did Obama mention U.S. government supplied Israeli firepower resulting in Palestinian civilian casualties in Gaza at a ratio of 400 to 1 (Palestinian to Israeli). He did not.

“Many peace loving Israelis and Jewish Americans will be disgusted by Obama's speech today. Like the editor at the Israeli newspaper Haaretz who wrote that the Israeli government has ‘lost its reason’ through the brutal incarceration, devastation and deprivation of the innocent people in Gaza.

“Obama told AIPAC today that ‘we must isolate Hamas.’ (In its current form.) Did he mention that a March 2008 Haaretz poll showed that 64 percent of the Israeli people want direct negotiations for peace between Israel and Hamas, while only 28% oppose it? He did not.

“Instead, Obama said this morning that ‘Egypt must cut off the smuggling of weapons into Gaza.’ Did he say that Israel must stop bombing the people of Gaza? He did not.

“Obama this morning told AIPAC that ‘Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.’ Did Obama mention that this pledge undermines the widespread international consensus two-state solution peace plan? He did not.

“So, in a nutshell: In this critical election year, Nader/Gonzalez stands on these issues with the majority of Israelis, Palestinians, Jewish-Americans and Arab Americans. Obama/McCain stand with the hard-line minority position of AIPAC.”

The “Left” (and the Libertarians) should stop pretending that the Nader/Gonzalez candidacy is not there. The worst lies as Obama himself shows are those of omission.

Chris Floyd on Obama:

The salient point of this truly degrading campaign has always been: what will the winner do in office? Will he (there is no need to add the "or she" now) immediately begin the process of withdrawing from Iraq and making reparations for the mass slaughter and mass destruction of our war crime there? And speaking of war crimes, will the winner instigate investigation and prosecution of Bush Administration officials for a host of high crimes, foreign and domestic? Will he begin the process of winding down America's worldwide military empire of more than 700 bases? Will he halt the militarization of space? Will he end the multi-generational boondoggle of "missile defense"? Will he call for the immediate repeal of the draconian Bankruptcy Bill, that bipartisan weapon of mass destruction in the elite's unrelenting class war against working people, artisans, small business owners and the poor?

These are just a very few of the many essential and highly urgent issues that a new president committed to genuine change in the corrupted currents of our moribund Republic would have to take on. It goes without saying that John McCain will do none of the things outlined above. He is a dedicated, unashamed errand boy of empire, and would never upset the apple cart -- and long-term agenda -- of the war-profiteering class and its many courtiers and dependents.

And by every indication we have seen so far, it is increasingly obvious that Barack Obama won't do these things either. How can we know this? Because, as a member of the United States Senate, he could have already been actively addressing these burning issues -- had he wanted to. He could have introduced bills of impeachment against Bush and Cheney for their high crimes. He could have already introduced bills calling for the repeal of the Military Commissions Act and the Bankruptcy Bill. He could have introduced bills outlawing rendition, closing the concentration camp on Guantanamo Bay, shutting down the worldwide gulag of "secret prisons." He could have introduced a bill calling for the full and completely withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, and reparations for the Iraqis. He could have introduced bills rolling back the empire of bases, cutting off funds for missile defense, condemning the U.S. government's pivotal role in suffering and brutality in Somalia. He could not have stopped the war, closed Gitmo, restored the Constitution, prosecuted the Administration criminals for war crimes, torture, treason, corruption and malfeasance all by himself. But he could have at least tried to set the ball rolling, using all the institutional instruments -- and popular acclaim -- at his command to try to force action on these and other issues. But he did not do so; he is not doing so now; and there is no reason to believe that he will do so in the future, despite the eloquent lip service he occasionally pays to one or two of these points.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Make art, not war

A friend found the following on the site Grinding.


Unable to afford a proper camera crew and equipment, The Get Out Clause, an unsigned band from the city, decided to make use of the cameras seen all over British streets.

They set up their equipment, drum kit and all, in eighty locations around Manchester – including on a bus – and proceeded to play to the cameras.

Afterwards they wrote to the companies or organisations involved and asked for the footage under the Freedom of Information Act.

View the video here. This is a great example of the transformative possibilites of art. Instead of smashing the instruments of the state, the musicians make use of them. The faceless oppressive force loses its power, because it's enlisted in a truly public-spirited enterprise. Detournement and the Situationist International live!