Friday, July 27, 2007

Rotten To The Core

Just when it seems that the Bush administration and their Republican enablers can't get any more corrupt or any more vile, new information surfaces and this gang is cast down even further into some new level of stinking rot. Can we consider these fucks anything less than Satanic at this point?

(Via the great, who incidentally, need you help.)

Item 1: Apparently the numero uno US construction contractor building the US Embassy in Bagdhad (a complex rumored to be larger than the Vatican) has been using slave labor.

"I believe these men were kidnapped by First Kuwaiti to work at the U.S. Embassy,"a witness tells the House Oversight Committee, adding "I've read the State Department Inspector General's report on the construction of the embassy. Mr. Chairman, it's not worth the paper it's printed on." More on 'charges of human trafficking.'

Item #2: As new information is leaked about the death of post-9/11 US Army enlistment poster-boy, Pat Tillman (the poor fella who walked away from the NFL only to be killed by his own unit in Afghanistan), it turns out that in the days before his death, not only was he about to go public as a major anti-war figure, but by all accounts it now appears his death was an assassination, not an accident.

Documents obtained by the AP in response to a FOIA request, note medical examiners' suspicions that Pat Tillman was killed deliberately by his own men, something that his mother, who remains harshly critical of the investigation, has long suggested may have been the case.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Power Grab? What Power Grab?

Via Crooks & Liars:

Democratic Member Of House Homeland Security Committee Denied Access To Portions Of Presidential Directive

From the article:
...As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, DeFazio, D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure "bubbleroom'' in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked the White House to see the secret documents.

On Wednesday, DeFazio got his answer: DENIED. "I just can't believe they're going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack,'' DeFazio said...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

My Next Album Cover

Had I a record coming out, I would beg, borrow, steal, murder to get the cash together to buy this picture by nature and landscape photographer Ladislav Kamarad.

Were I to spend about a minute and a half on it and name the band after myself, it might look something like this:


It just occurred to me that my new imaginary album cover looks a lot like this record from The Fucking Champs:

Ah well.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Free Market : The Ultimate Problem Solver

(Or, Semi-Coherant Rant About America's Hyper-Capitalist Economy)

It's one of the main tenets of those who champion the free market as the ultimate righter-of-wrongs, healer-of-wounds, and servant of humanity-- customer service. It's the manifestation of their belief that the corporation is controlled by the citizens (the old "speak with your wallet" adage). Unfortunately, even in the face of massive deregulation across the business spectrum, this belief looks far better on paper than it works out in real life.

The plainest evidence of this is seen in the presentations of the massive anti-Wal Mart-ization movement and, on a slightly more conceptual level, by the anti-globalization movement. And those are only a couple of specifics. Just look at the blowback from the global warming hoopla. The vast majority of independent scientists across the globe are practically in hysterics about the toll humankind's massive carbon emissions have begun to take on the biosphere. And who stands against this science? A far, far smaller number of scientists who, as becomes clearer the deeper you dig, are represented by various think-tanks and PAC's who all have ties to manufacturing and production lobbyists.

Care to connect those dots? That's right, the good ol', god-like free market that works so wonderfully in our favor, in theory anyway, is also working, for... well, to take the thing to it's logical conclusion, is working for our extinction. Not exactly a god I'd like to worship.

Well... to turn from the macro to the micro, give this story a read: Sprint ditches customers who complain too much.

How does that story apply to the failure of today's hyper-capitalist free market? I mean, these schlubs can always go sign with a rival network, right?

Well , they can certainly switch cell phone providers... for now anyway. The same unchecked free-market force that's allowed the mass media environment to become homogenized to the point that you can count the number of companies behind America's major news outlets on one hand can also be seen in the dwindling number of cell phone service providers the public has to choose from.

As these companies buy each other out and conglomerate again and again, our choices as consumers dwindles as well. And as we saw from the uncritical, uninterested media in the run-up to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, homogeny breeds complicity, which breeds apathy, which, in turn, breeds decay.

And that is the ultimate result of the unchecked, hyper-capitalism so many deluded American trumpet so loudly these days--decay.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Anti-Science Friday

OK, so we all got a huge laugh out of the Flat Earth Society koo-koo-krazies a couple weeks ago, right? Well, today, the vaunted Science Blogs site gives us a look at Overwhelming Evidence, a site dedicated to, uh, to... well, apparently dedicated to the intellectual heavy lifting of conflating science and religion. And wouldn't ya know it, anything with a whiff of off-kilter scientific verbiage has attracted a gaggle of ID proponents. (And like the Flat Earth, it can only spell fun after you realize just how goddamn nuts this gang is.)

Today's case revolves around a company's claim to have built a perpetual motion machine (which failed completely at its first public outing... surprise, surprise). The debate, er, diatribe revolves around some hilarious misinterpretations of the laws of thermodynamics, raising the dead, and the wicked dogma of the leftist science-elite. Don't worry a bit if you're unfamiliar with the science behind the laws of Thermodynamics (entropy and all that fun stuff), cuz, you're still way ahead of the brainiacs at Overwhelming Evidence.

Oh, and be sure to read the comments on the Science Blogs page. Golden.

From one of the resident PhDummies at Overwhelming Evidence:

Let me explain: Such acts [Jesus' bringin' ol' Laz back from the dead] would have required a great deal of energy brought in from apparently nowhere. The laws of thermodynamics as Hawkings understand them say this can never happen. In hawking's world-view reviving the dead is impossible because a long-dead body contains a great deal more entropy than a healthy living body. On the other hand, well documented evidence says these miricales [sic] happened. As scientists we must follow this evidence wherever it leads.

Read, "Yet another example of credulity begetting credulity".

(Via the mighty Boing Boing.)

Sleep Deeper

Oftentimes over the past six years (though decidedly less of late), we of similar opinion note how Emporer President Bush lives in a bubble; an insular world where critics and their criticism are constantly shieldled from the predisdent's perception. It's why he rarely speaks off the cuff and why he almost never takes uncanned Q&A. It was why Jeff Gannon was planted in the press pool and why we smiled so wide when Stephen Colbert got Bush's goat at a press club dinner. It's why they created "free speech zones" at presedential events and why, to even attend a presidential speech, you are forced to sign a loyalty oath to the president.

We bitched and moaned and cried about these rank and unAmerican actions taken by the American government against the American people. But the so-called "liberal" media could have cared less. Their complicity was duly noted and we've been left to, for the most part, preach to the converted in light-circulation magazines and on (increasingly less) obscure political blogs.

Will any of this change with the release last week of "Presidential Advance Manual" a document obtained by the ACLU in a lawsuit against presidential staffers? Well, no one's holding their breath, but chalk it up as yet another straw on the tired camel's back.

Sez the ACLU:

The lawsuit names as plaintiffs Jeff and Nicole Rank, who were arrested at a Fourth of July presidential appearance at the West Virginia State Capitol because they were wearing T-shirts critical of the president, and Alex Young and Leslie Weise, Denver residents who were thrown out of a town hall meeting with President Bush because they had an anti-war bumper sticker on their car.

The heavily redacted manual illustrates the gameplan for shielding the president and the complicit media from any dissenting or derogatory positions taken, quite leagally, by American citizens in the public sphere. It's just as predictably sickening as one would expect from this sickening administration. And whatsmore: it highlights exactly what we've claimed all along. Yet agian, we've been right from day one and all the talking heads and barking dogs have been dead wrong.

Monday, July 02, 2007

From the Dept. of Great Big Surprises

Wow. The sleazy criminality of the ruling thugs in the Republican party has officially breached the levies.

Today #43 commuted the prison sentence of federal criminal I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Bush White House intimate, Libby was convicted (by a Republican prosecutor and Republican judge, no less) for lying to authorities and obstructing justice in an investigation looking into the outing of an undercover CIA agent for political retribution.

Libby had only today been ordered to report to prison immediately and no stay of time would be awarded. The $250,000 fine and two years of probation remain intact, however. Though, apparently, it's fully within the bounds of the law for Libby's defense fund to pay the fine. So, it's quite safe to assume he'll incur very little financial duress from the sentence. And how 'bout that probation? Good golly. Ouch. That wrist must be hurting after a slap like that.

Gotta love it. One set of laws for them and another for the rest of us. I mean, last week it was the VP claiming he wasn't a branch of the government at all (and therefore able to operate his office in TOTAL secrecy) and now this. America, these guys are f'ing laughing at you. And laughing all the way to the bank.

Bush and Co: putting the "Con" back in Neocon.

Oh, and be sure to keep a look out for the full pardon, sure to come on January, 19 2009.