Interesting. We'll see if it goes anywhere.
Monday, June 27, 2005
This WaPo op-ed contains some very strong, very worthy, language regarding the importance of free speech - near absolute free speech - not, whatever the current Congress deems appropriate.
This op-ed rails on the Rethugs for trying to pass this piece of shit as an amendment to the Constitution. Here's the part I like:
The other effect would be to water down one of the most profound principles that the Constitution articulates: that Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech. The great power of this principle is that it admits no exception: not for the most odious racism or Holocaust denial, not for the most insulting criticisms of those in high office, not for cone-shaped white hoods or hammers and sickles, and not for burning or otherwise defiling the Stars and Stripes. Passing this amendment probably wouldn't create a great substantive shift in the general scope of the First Amendment's protection, but it would sap it of the idea that gives it its power: that American government does not punish even the most offensive ideas. Congress does the flag no service with such protection.
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
This is the kind of inspiration and lessons that sports can produce. Too often, the 'life lessons' thing preached by coaches sounds awfully suspect - it sounds like bullshit most of the time, but facing an elimination game in a hostile environment where you haven't won in years - that's guts, that's determination, concentration of will, energy of soul, persistence, resilience, never-say-die, self-responsibility, teamwork, sharing, competitiveness, excellence, trust in your teammates, rising to the occasion - that's DETROIT - BAS-KET-BALL! And those are all traits I'd love for my children to have, and for every American and every person in the world to have.
Mad props to RaSHEED Wallace, who funked up at the end of the last game - and helped to cost his side the game. He could have sulked and blamed others, but he manned up - took responsibility for his 'boneheaded' play - and delivered a great performance tonight. Yep yep.
I'm shocked. A Dem told the truth, and then he apologized for telling the truth. He deserves whatever he gets for being so cowardly. Thousands of innocents are suffering and dying in Guantanamo and hudreds of other U.S. military facilities around the world, yet Durbin decided he needed to apologize. For telling the truth...un. fucking. believable. Or not - this is a Dem we're talking about...
He gets letters:
That apology was one of the most cowardly acts by a U.S. Senator I've ever witnessed. Have you no compassion for the thousands of innocents are being brutalized and murdered at the hands of American troops all over the world?
Outrageous and disgraceful. Turn in your badge.
You have no idea what you even apologized for. It makes me sick. It makes me think you had no idea what you were making the criticism for in the first place.
Absolutely disgraceful. Please resign - seriously. At least I can count on a Republican to stick to his guns. I'd rather battle an enemy I know.
Your act of cowardice, while not as bad as hooding and waterboarding the prisoners yourself, has certainly helped to further legitimize the practice. How many more will suffer and die thanks to the tearful apology, for telling the truth, of one Senator Durbin?
Sunday, June 19, 2005
This article is to let those of you non-elites out there know that you are not alone - there are other people out there in the great state of America who, like you, were not born with silver spoons in their mouths, and who worked their asses off for a lifetime, and still need social security to get by.
Don't feel as if you don't deserve a decent life as an elderly person in America just because you weren't born rich - that's exactly what the rich folks want you to think, and by and large, they've succeeded in convincing most non-rich people that they deserve to not be rich - regardless of how hard those folks have worked. Don't let them get away with it.
Unless you read liberal blogs, everything you hear and everything you see will try to make you believe that you deserve your fate - that, in America, anything is possible - and if you are not rich, it's all your fault. Guess again.
I'm here to tell you right now that everything you see on Fox and MSNBC and CNN and in the Washington Post, and the New York Times, and the LA Times, and the Chicago Tribune, and the USA Today and the rest of the corporate media is total bullshit. Rich people in America may actually believe that anybody in America can make it - but then, how many rich people in America have ever had to actually make it on their own? 5% of them? 2%? Fewer? Probably.
And what percentage of those non-silver-spooned rich kids had the disadvantage of being part of America's underclass? That is, how many were non-white, non-heterosexual, or non-male?
Don't be convinced that they deserve their station in life just because their parents left them money and status. They have fancy degrees, and fancy clothes, and fancy cars, and fancy friends, but they are not better than you or I. Believe that.
Now - get up off your ass and help us fight these ignorant, soulless, fuckwads. There is strength in numbers, and there are a whole lot more of us than there are of them. Don't feel sorry for yourself anymore. Start reading. Start learning. We'll take just one step at a time. One tiny, seemingly insignificant step at a time. And we'll continue to make progress. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.
There will always be evil people in the world. It's our job to make sure they don't go unopposed.
You are not alone.
I sometimes find myself trying to convince a fellow American of how dangerous it can be today to take drugs and use medical devices in America. The federal agencies who are supposed to protect Americans from immoral drug and medical device makers, I argue, have now been totally bought off, and cannot be counted on to provide the oversight necessary to ensure product safety.
I try to make that point that by the time these stories make the major media outlets, people have been dying by the scores - probably hundreds. Most drug companies are able to battle and beat individual consumers in court - or use any number of tactics to effectively invalidate any scrutiny a consumer tries to impress upon a company - like, maybe, the company keeping a court case running for tens of years, waiting for the family of the deceased to die off or just give up.
This story shouldn't be surprising to you. Wake up, Americans - you are not safe anymore - if you ever were.
Great pickup, by roberkbrown.com, on how the major media outlets - including the Associated Press - the media organization that feeds stories to thousands of media outlets around the world - will change the story when told to do so by The White House.
Saturday, June 18, 2005
So 'Freedom Fries' Jones is having second thoughts:
When I think about what happened in Vietnam — we lost 58,000 — I wonder, wouldn't it have been nice if, two years into the war, some representatives would have said, 'Mr. President, where we going?
That's so awesome. Freedom Fries only waited....oh....what's the total now?....is that up to date?....i mean, is that up-to-the-minute?.....no?....just a daily total?...ok....1720 dead U.S. soldiers! that's so awesome! Just think, that's a 97% drop!
But that's not even the best part of Freedom Fries' bravery. That dude is so brave - seriously - that he is actually going to ask the President - ask the President - 'where we going?'
Now, I don't know about you, but I know bravery when I see it. It was brave to come up with the 'Freedom Fries' waste of taxpayer money, but to be a Congressman who actually asks the President of the United States a question - that's just beyond bravery - that's downright heroic.
I attended this little shindig and man was it a beautiful day...the weather, that is. And the White House just looks incredible on a nice day. Wow.
There were a couple of good speakerss - you can usually count on a black preacher showing up and actually saying something empowering, and the preacher dude who showed up this day was on point (don't remember his name).
They were talking about sleepovers in the park until something on the Downing Street Memo happened. Not sure if they pulled it off. Will swing by and check it out.
UPDATE: Negative on the sleepovers.
Friday, June 17, 2005
Raimondo from AntiWar.com, but also of the Huffington Post, pointed out some fragging stories the other day that just might have included this one for the this century's version of Vietnam.
He had some other links that talked about how pervasive fragging had become in Vietnam during the late stages of the war. 600? Another 1400 that 'died mysteriously'? Wow.
How common was it to turn down the job of 'Commanding Officer' in Vietnam? And how common is it today, in Iraq?
Holy cow. Dude was serious. He really did run for Congress.
Makes me wonder if I could ever vote for that dude. I like a lot of parts of libertarian philosophy, but the wild wild west utopia that those folks envision is just scary. We'd be sent back hundreds of years in the social justice movement, and 'democratic capitalism' would probably go away because of the severe disparities in wealth distribution in American society...well, that's according to this guy, anyways.
What would replace democratic capitalism? And what do the free marketeering libertarians say about it all? The 'invisible hand' will take care of everything? Who knows...
Kinda tired of this topic, but it's probably useful to occassionally point out exactly why media consolidation is so bad for the non-elite citizens of America.
If the ownership of the major media outlets is concentrated in a very few hands, then those very few hands can decide to effectively bury a story forever - even if it's a story about innocent people getting killed by very big, powerful, monied businesses.
On a side note, media consolidation is the type of thing that happens when libertarian philosophy is employed by the U.S. government. Media consolidation during the Bush presidency has been a boon to U.S. elites and a disaster for ordinary Americans. If only those moronic Rethugs who are not members of 'the elites' could see that.
Bush reduces tobacco penalties from $120 Billion to $10 Billion. Good guy, that George.