Tuesday, March 29, 2005

It Has Been. . .

A Week of Absorbing The Reality Of The "Allowing" To Continue. . .
by The Old Hippie Because It's The "Allowing" That Angers Me.

Why do so called "reality-based," so called rational, Americans continue to allow all of this insanity to continue, unstopped, and unpunished?  I honestly do not understand the continued "allowing" being allowed to continue. . .

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

This taking over of our nation, the changing of its laws, the destruction of the Constitutional Democracy, and its replacement with a true Plutocratic Corporatist Theocratically enhanced Fascist regime, with Totalitarian safeguards replacing individual liberties, and the purposeful, agenda driven destruction of all social security safety nets, and the open, and obvious, smirking theft of our entire federal treasury - - by corrupt religious nut cases, and opportunistic corporate criminal cronies, and power mad neo-cons - Is well beyond the pale - and is real - And yet, supposedly rational and sane Americans are still "allowing" it to continue - unstopped - unpunished - as hundreds of thousands of innocents die in their wake - our wake - - -

It is simply beyond me - It is insane that this "allowing" continues - unabated.

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Some Interesting. . .

Things That You Might Have Missed In Your Daily Surfing. . .
compiled by The Old Hippie Because I Had The Time

  1.  Some say this is brilliant - Whatever, it is interesting though -

  2.  Col. (Ret.) David Hackworth's letter to Lt. Gen. John Sattler

  3.  Insane Creationists fighting the really big screen - and winning -

  4.  Miscovering (yawn) Anti-War Protests (Again)

  5.  Gas soars 13 cents a gallon, just in time for Easter travel

  6.  Other important stories not topping corporate news today
 Your Right

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

  7.  Casting Aside the Separation of Powers, a John Conyers, Jr. editorial

  8.  Protest Stories, from those that were at the protests  (Will Pitt's FYI blog)

[ Let me interject here - This planet's largest worldwide protests in written history, before the war, all of the protests here, and worldwide, during the past two years, and the protests of this past weekend - Were important, and should not end - But they all were totally ignored by those in power, and completely marginalized by the corrupted, and complicit, corporate media - I am convinced the only choice left to all of us reality-based Americans for saving the soul of, and the reality of, the American Constitutional Democracy, is an open and sustained revolt.  Not unlike what our Founders did to the original King George, that created this Democracy - That the current one-party-rule corporatists "leaders" are purposefully destroying, for the greed of personal wealth, and power. ]

  9.  If Jesus returns, Karl Rove will kill him, a column by Harvey Wasserman at FreePress.org

10.  Concerned Citizens Flood FCC With Demands To Stop Fake News - 40,000 so far -

11.  And finally - This Most Interesting Observation. . . - From uruknet.info -

PEACE GROUPS Continue To Miss The Real Issue
Day of demonstrations guaranteed to accomplish absolutely nothing.
by John Kaminski - March 14, 2005

I received an e-mail notice the other day informing me of a worldwide day of protests March 19 to focus public attention on America's neverending massacre of innocent Iraqi civilians and the continuing lies that attempt to justify this needless and shameful carnage.  ...The e-mail focused on the agenda of the local social event in Sarasota, Florida, and listed speakers, sponsors, activities, locations, and times.  Conspicuously absent from this list were reasons...

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Monday, March 21, 2005

Just More Proof Of. . .

How "Red State" Attitudes Are Destructively Wrong For Them, And Us.
by The Old Hippie Because Not Exposing Truth Is Un-patriotic, And Un-American.

Will They Never Wake Up To Their Own Destruction?

1.  10 of 10 states with highest divorce rates - Red States, (9 of 10 lowest - Blue)  [ Proof ]

2.  12 of 12 states with most unhealthy kids - Red States, (7 of 10 healthiest - Blue)  [ Proof ]

3.  Now add the fact that the abstinence-only/virginity-pledge program - Very much a "red-state attitude" program - Has been proven to cause children, who have been through the program, to engage in activities that cause an increase in sexually transmitted diseases, (STDs,) like oral, and anal, sex.  [ Proof ]

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

If you have ever "debated" with an irrationally stupid person, then you know how dangerous, and irrational, their anger can be. - When finally they realize that they have been used/abused - made fools of - by the very people they were convinced were "on their side," but in reality were laughing all the way to bank, over their willing stupidity, and willing ignorance, of their own destruction.

When, (if,) the red-staters, the moronic bring-on-the-rapture Evangelicals, the Texas rednecks that "thought" Bush was "one-of-them," (he bought Crawford in 1999 for political reasons, he was a cheerleader at Andover, grew up in the heart of privilege in Connecticut,) and all of the other more irrational proudly stupid Americans, finally, (if ever,) wake up to their own destructive trust in these sociopathic politicians now running this one-party-ruled Plutocratic Corporatists Theocracy, that use to be a Constitutional Democratic Republic - America - Better watch out. . .  It's not going to be pretty.

All the way through this planet's written history, the ending/awakening of this type of trust-abuse has never been "rational," nor pretty.

All Americans do deserve what is coming - For we, all of us, did allow it to happen, we all, blue-staters included, in one way or another, allowed it, some, mostly the insane born-again-bring-on-the-rapture Evangelicals with the arrogant "red-stater-attitude," actually encouraged it to happen.

But, in the final analysis - We all deserve what coming, for allowing it.

[ The following is a little extra for you, dear readers. . . ]

The opening from the article titled, "Bush Cheerleader Photos."  (From: SFIndyMedia.org)

Reinventing George W. Bush: From Cheerleader to Cowboy

Editorial by Shane Cory September 15, 2004

Many Americans are comfortable with the managed, false persona they have of the current President of the United States.  They view George W. Bush as a rough-riding Texan who, when not attending to the affairs of the most powerful nation in the world, is busy clearing brush on his West Texas ranch.  In truth, George Bush is far from being a "common" man as he does not understand the trials of American life.  He may not even be considered a true Texan.

President Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut.  As his father made his first million in the oil industry, the Bush family spent George and Jeb's childhood in between Midland, Texas, Kennebunkport, Maine and Jupiter Island, Florida.  As part of the Bush-Walker clan, the family had access to luxurious homes and compounds around the nation.

As a child, George pursued his interest in baseball but was known for inability to hit a ball.  This probably didn't matter much to the young George Bush as he was probably the richest kid on his team, owning over a million shares of his father's company at the time.

Bush's high school of choice was the elite boarding school, Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.  While in high school, Bush gave baseball another shot but found his calling in being the head cheerleader for the all-boy school (he should be thankful that he did not attend a Texas high school).

After graduating from the same high school that his privileged father attended, George Bush headed off to Yale University as yet another legacy admission (Bush now opposes legacy admissions despite his own reliance on them along with one of his daughters).  Bush's first year at Yale concluded with his grades swirling to the bottom 20% of the student body just as kegs of beer swirled into emptiness.  At the conclusion of his Yale experience, Bush left his mark on the prestigious school with a "C" average and no academic or athletic accomplishments.

Upon his graduation from Yale in 1968, George Bush, in order to avoid being drafted and sent to Vietnam, enlisted into the Texas Air National Guard with the supposed help of the then Texas Speaker of the House, Ben Barnes.  After jumping the waiting list and joining the Guard, Bush applied for pilot training stating that "flying is a lifetime goal."  Shortly after the announcement of drug testing in the military, Bush failed to show up for his annual physical examination and lost his flight status.  Bush's stated lifetime goal of flying crashed and burned.

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Just Click On It. . .

The News In 30 Seconds. . .  You Will Love It.
voice over by Mike Malloy


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

You do watch, listen, and read other sources, don't you?  If not - - -


Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Saturday Evening. . .

Random Notices Within The Observed Manufactured Chaos Of America
by The Old Hippie Because They Struck Me As Telling

In an earlier posting, I noted that 9 of the top 10 lowest divorce-rates are in the blue states, and that the 10 highest divorce-rates are in the red states - - Well, today I found out, (from: WebbMD,)


that the"Best States for Raising Healthy Kids" is again the blue states!  7 of the 10 states with the healthiest kids are blue states, and the 12 states with the most unhealthy kids are again red states.

Keep in mind, the divorce rate study is by an Evangelical researcher, and the healthy kids study is by WebbMD Medical News, both of which are not lefty liberals. - - -  So, both the highest divorce rate, and the most unhealthy kids are in the Republican "family values" conservative red states.  And here I thought all this time that God was on their side - - - ?

Guess not - Turns out they are just arrogantly stupid, and proudly ignorant.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

But there are so many of them, I think protests are a waste of time.  But maybe a full-blown "tough-love open revolt" reality-based-revolution-of-reality might make a dent?  You know. . .  Like what our blue-coated Founders did to the red-coats, when they created America.

One never knows until one tries - Does one?

You do remember that the good guys wore blue back then, and the bad guys wore red - Right?  That is still true today people.

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

How To Tell. . .

The Depth Of Trouble The American Democracy Is In?
by The Old Hippie Because I See Its Deepness

This administration's own General Accounting Office, (GAO,) has publicly told the White House that their using of taxpayer monies, our monies, to produce, and distribute, what the GAO itself terms "illegal covert propaganda," is against the laws of our nation - Our nation's laws - not anyone elses'.

And what is the president's response?

(I paraphrase here)  With an arrogant smirk firmly up-front, he openly, publicly, says fuck 'em, and ordered all of "our" federal agencies to "ignore" the GAO, (read 'break American law',) and to continue to use "our" money to illegally produce, and distribute, covert propaganda, the soul purpose of which is to "fool" the people, (us-you-me-everyone-below-the 1%,) that are paying for it, with the fake newscasts they make and distribute.

His smirk is firmly in place because he knows that they will get away with it, again.

That is how one can tell their Constitutional Democracy has been destroyed.  The "Leader" is told he can't do something, because it is illegal by the laws of our land, and he openly says 'fuck you,' I'm doing it, and rhetorically ask, 'what're you going to do about it?'  With the smirk barely being held back from an open belly laugh.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

Why aren't you in the streets in open, sustained, coordinated revolt?

Does anyone really believe today's worldwide protests will have any effect, or affect, on the president, or his cronies?  Protests just make their knowing smirks wider.  Open revolt would maybe accomplish something - But that would take sacrifice and courage, the same kind our founders demonstrated when they created this Constitutional Democracy.

That was all I had to say today.

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Their Reality. . .

Is Now Our Reality - It Can't Be Denied - It Can Only Be Fought
by The Old Hippie Because Stating The Obvious To The Oblivious Is Fun

"The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community."...  I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism.  He cut me off."

"That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued.  "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.  And while you're studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out.  We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

(Ron Suskind talking to senior Bush advisor, The New York Times Magazine)

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

[ That quote, without any doubt, is the most accurate thing said by this administration. ]

Reality-Based Proof. . .

Within the first year, of the first term of this administration, the sum total of the U.S. Treasury surplus, left by the pervious administration, was transferred successfully into the pockets of the extraction, pharmaceutical, military industrial, and other corporation's upper management.

All of the upper, and upper-mid-management, positions of all of the federal regulatory agencies have been successfully replaced.  Almost all of which spent their entire previous careers as CEOs, and/or as lobbyists, working for the very corporations that the agencies, that they now de facto control, were created to regulate.  Many of which still receive financial compensation from.

The successful creation of, to a level unseen in our written history, a propaganda machine, of proven immense power, to control the national mind set.  i.e. Consolidation of the mainstream media into, at this time, the control of just 5 corporations, and more consolidation being considered right now.  The allowing of major media outlets, FOX News most notably, to become, and to continue to, openly put out in-your-face un-stoppable propaganda-in-plain-sight for the "oppressed" conservative media machines.

The incredible success of the creation of "free-speech zones."

The ongoing successful destruction of the Separation of Church and State.

The successful, and continuing, disregard of federal laws against the spending of tax dollars to put out political propaganda as "news" stories.

The successful tax cuts, during war, during the largest deficit in history, that favors only those making over $100,000/yr., and increases the load on the middle and lower economic citizens of our nation - us, the lower 98% of this nation, putting even more of "our" tax dollars into their pockets.

The success of the allowing of the corporate privation of the vote, and the resultant, and well documented, corruption of "our" last three national elections.  i.e. One mid-term, and two presidential.

The incredible ease of the allowed successful transfer of "War Powers" out of "our" control, through the Congressional Branch," into the hands of one person, in the Executive Branch.  Not to mention the ease of the also allowed war of "choice & profit," rather than "of last resort," on Iraq, a nation that had not attacked us, that was of no real threat to us, nor any of our allies.

The amazing fact that not a single person has been punished for any of the multitude of well proven, well documented - lies, and/or war crimes, and/or the obvious cronyism of war-profiteering, and/or the treasonist "outing," and exposure, of a deep cover agent, Valerie Plame, that was tasked with the finding of WMD networks worldwide.

The successful placement of the president's lawyer, Alberto R. Gonzales, as the Attorney General of the United States, the very man that "proved" it is okay for American policy to allow torture of human beings.

The successful placement of the John Bolton as "our" ambassador to the U.N., whom has openly, publicly on the official record, stated he wants to destroy the U.N.  There is no single person that he could have named who is more anti-UN than John Bolton.  It is not hyperbole to say this is like naming the head of the Ku Klux Klan to head the NAACP.

All of this, and so much more, that has been so successful, so easily, so quickly, so arrogantly, so in-plain-sight, so well documented, so judiciously studied, and so un-punished - IS proof of the accuracy of the original quote I presented in the opening of this posting.

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Just Do It. . .

Compare The Following With The Theocratic Corporatist Party Line. . .
by The Old Hippie Because You Need To When You're Being Lied To

Global Warming "Is A Theory"

Here's Mount Kilimanjaro before global warming, with it's 11,000 year old snowcap.

(oops - 11,000 years is longer than the Earth has existed, according to creationist Evangelicals.)

Mount Kilimanjaro with 11,000 year old snowcap

Here's Mount Kilimanjaro now, after global warming, as it hasn't been seen in 11,000 years.

(oops - Did I mention, President Bush is one of the creationist Evangelicals?  You did know that - Right?)

Mount Kilimanjaro as it hasn't been seen in 11,000 years

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

Published on Monday, March 14, 2005 by Jeremy Lovell, Reuters
Mount Kilimanjaro Photo Wake-Up Call for Action Against Global Warming

"LONDON -- A photo of Mount Kilimanjaro stripped of its snowcap for the first time in 11,000 years will be used as dramatic testimony for action against global warming as ministers from the world's biggest polluters meet on Tuesday."

Full Article Link Here

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

Evolution "Is A Theory"

[ The following is from:  http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-evolutiontheory.htm ]

Myth: Evolution is only a theory.

Fact: The occurrence of evolution is a fact; how it occurred is a theory.


Evolution is a fact in that scientists know beyond reasonable doubt that it happened.  The exact mechanism of evolution -- that is, exactly how it happened -- is still a theory.


Evolution is both a fact and a theory.  Mainstream scientists consider it a fact that evolution occurred; how it occurred is still considered a theory.  Stephen J. Gould describes this difference best:

"In the American vernacular, 'theory' often means 'imperfect fact' -- part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess.  Thus the power of the creationist argument: evolution is 'only' a theory and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory.  If evolution is worse than a fact, and scientists can't even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it?  Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric):  'Well, it is a theory.  It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science -- that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was.'

"Well evolution is a theory.  It is also a fact.  And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty.  Facts are the world's data.  Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts.  Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them.  Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's in this century, but apples didn't suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome.  And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.

"Moreover, 'fact' doesn't mean 'absolute certainty'; there ain't no such animal in an exciting and complex world.  The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are NOT about the empirical world.  Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us falsely for a style of argument that they themselves favor).  In science 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent'.  I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

"Evolutionists have been very clear about this distinction of fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred.  Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory - natural selection -- to explain the mechanism of evolution." (1)

Some nit-pickers might try to argue that nothing can ever be proven 100 percent in science, therefore there is no such thing as a fact, let alone evolution standing as a fact.  H.J. Muller tackles this argument:

"The honest scientist, like the philosopher, will tell you that nothing whatever can be or has been proved with fully 100% certainty, not even that you or I exist, nor anyone except himself, since he might be dreaming the whole thing.  Thus there is no sharp line between speculation, hypothesis, theory, principle, and fact, but only a difference along a sliding scale, in the degree of probability of the idea.  When we say a thing is a fact, then, we only mean that its probability is an extremely high one: so high that we are not bothered by doubt about it and are ready to act accordingly.  Now in this use of the term fact, the only proper one, evolution is a fact.  For the evidence in favor of it is as voluminous, diverse, and convincing as in the case of any other well established fact of science concerning the existence of things that cannot be directly seen, such as atoms, neutrons, or solar gravitation...

"So enormous, ramifying, and consistent has the evidence for evolution become that if anyone could now disprove it, I should have my conception of the orderliness of the universe so shaken as to lead me to doubt even my own existence.  If you like, then, I will grant you that in an absolute sense evolution is not a fact, or rather, that it is no more a fact than that you are hearing or reading these words." (2)


1. Stephen J. Gould, "Evolution as Fact and Theory," Discover, May 1981. Both quotations have been taken from Larry Moran's FAQ, "Evolution is a Fact and a Theory," which addresses this issue in much greater detail.

2. H. J. Muller, "One Hundred Years Without Darwin Are Enough" School Science and Mathematics 59, (1959) pp. 304-305.  Reprinted in Evolution versus Creationism, J. Peter Zetterberg, ed., (ORYX Press, Phoenix AZ 1983).

[ On this subject, from the Progress Report and Washinton Post (front page), Mar.14, 2005. ]

EDUCATION – WHEN RELIGION MEETS SCIENCE:  It seems scientific reasoning is not what it used to be.  After years of crafty strategizing orchestrated by conservatives, policymakers in nearly twenty states are now considering measures "that question the science of evolution."  Though most do not seek to completely disavow the teaching of evolution, an overwhelming number of the proposals attempt to address the "gaps" in Darwinian theory by means of the intelligent design theory, which claims that the vast complexity of nature is evidence of the existence of a great cosmic "designer."  Though many scientists are aghast at what is being called neocreationism, religious activists and anti-evolutionary scientists have long felt "persecuted" by the teaching of evolution and are now simply taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the Bush presidency, as President Bush himself believes the "jury is still out on evolution."

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Monday, March 14, 2005

Just A Fair Warning. . .

This Posting Is Filled With Documented Reality-Based Knowledge
compiled by The Old Hippie Because I Like Stunning The Ignorant With Reality


If you are not aware of the following items listed in today's posting, then you are not nearly as pissed off as you should be, or are going to be, after you read them.

"When the Bush era is done, one of the puzzles left to history will be the seeming ease with which the recklessness and radicalism of Bush's fiscal and military endeavors, not to mention his gang's open contempt for democratic forms, gained the assent of tens of millions of people."
  -- Steve Perry, Minneapolis/St. Paul City Pages, Mar. 9, 2005 [ Link ]

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

[ All items listed clearly linked to all sources of their information. ]

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

James Kennedy's - Christian Crusade
TV Evangelist's ministerial and media empire claim US a 'Christian nation', don't believe in the separation of church and state, and aims to extend political reach

by Bill Berkowitz, MediaTransparency.org, Mar. 12, 2005

"Although not nearly as well-known or flamboyant as the Rev. Jerry Falwell, Focus on the Family's Dr. James Dobson, or Pat Robertson, Dr. D. James Kennedy, who was recently inducted into the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB - website) Hall of Fame, has created a media and ministerial empire that is packing a powerful political punch."

Full Article Link Here

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

The Pentagon Has "Cleared The Pentagon" Of The 'War on Terror' Abuses!?!
(In the words of the 'Church Lady' of SNL. . .)  "Now Isn't That Special?"

Published on Thursday, March 10, 2005 by Reuters
Pentagon Clears Top Personnel, Policies in Abuses

by Vicki Allen, Reuters via CommonDreams.org, Mar. 10, 2005

"This looks like another whitewash.  Almost a year after the Abu Ghraib pictures, we still haven't had an independent investigation into the widespread prison abuse by someone not appointed by or subordinate to Secretary Rumsfeld."

Full Article Link Here

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

Just to be able to execute some Mexicans on death row. . .  Bush pulls America out of the international agreement that we proposed in 1963, and ratified in 1969 - Just to be able to kill some Mexicans on death row.  What a proudly American thing to do. . .
(Are you pissed off yet?  Just curious.)

Execution Protocol Ends

US withdraws from agreement on death penalty

By Charles Lane, Washington Post via The Boston Globe, Mar. 10, 2005

"The United States initially backed the measure as a means to protect its citizens abroad.  It was also the first country to invoke the protocol before the International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, successfully suing Iran for the taking of 52 US hostages in Tehran in 1979.

But in recent years, other countries, with the support of US opponents of capital punishment, successfully complained before the World Court that their citizens were sentenced to death by US states without receiving access to diplomats from their home countries."

Full Article Link Here

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

If you aren't really pissed yet - Try this. . .  An eight year old child, (Yes - Just 8 fucking years old!,) is being held at Abu Ghraib, in our name, to "protect" us, and our freedoms.  Feeling proudly patriotic yet?

Documents Show Children Held At Abu Ghraib

ACLU Releases Hundreds Of Pages

By Associated Press via TheNewOrleansChannel.com, Mar. 10, 2005

"WASHINGTON -- Army records show the U.S. military held children who appeared to be as young as 8 years old at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

Transcripts of testimony show the prison's former commander said one boy claimed to be almost 12 years old.  Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski told officials investigating prisoner abuse that the boy was crying, asking if he could call his mother."

Full Article Link Here

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

Hey Texas, Here's one for just ya'all. . .  Feeling smugly proud that you voted them in?
I've actually read the Texas Republican Platform.  Wonder how many Texans have?


Texas to raise taxes on the poor by 5% in order to cut taxes for the rich by 3%

By Associated Press via Tyler Morning Telegraph, Mar. 10, 2005

"AUSTIN (AP) - The Texas House on Thursday marched closer to a $10 billion tax bill that would increase the burden on the poor with a bevy of new taxes, including one on snacks like cookies, doughnuts and chips."

Full Article Link Here

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

As I stated, and asked, in an earlier posting, "This Is Your America Today. . ."

All three groups, the corporatists, the Evangelical fundamentalists, and the Neo-Cons, want to destroy any part of "our" Constitutional Democracy that stands in the way of their individual, and shared, agendas.  The reality is not that they are succeeding, it is that they have been allowed to already succeeded.  And in this 2nd term, they have made it clear that they are willing to take that success even further.

Is there anyone rational left who still denies that all in this administration lied us Americans into an illegal war of profit and choice, not defense and freedom?

Is there anyone rational left who still denies that our Constitutional Democracy has been allowed to become a corporatist plutocratic theocracy?  And is becoming more so daily?

Is there anyone rational left who still denies George Bush did not win the election?

Is there anyone rational left who still denies that we are much less "safe" now, after the past 3 years of foreign and domestic policy decisions by this insanely imperial administration?

Is there anyone rational left who still denies that the Evangelical bring-on-the-Rapture nut-jobs, (23% of the American electorate,) are for nuclear conflict, environmental destruction, and the destruction of the entire federal welfare, educational, and tax systems?  Because they "believe" these events were "prophesied" to bring on the "Rapture," and that their helping these things to occur, secures them a place with their God?

Is there anyone rational left who still denies that almost all Evangelicals, (46% of the American electorate,) are also delusional Dominionists?  Including the president of the United States?

Is there anyone rational left who still denies that there is not any difference between the Islamists putting their "Biblical Law" over political governance, and the proposed, now under consideration in our congress, the "Constitution Restoration Act of 2004," which will cause "our" Constitution to be re-written to read that Christian fundamentalist Biblical Law will take precedence over the laws of our own government?

Is there anyone rational left who still denies that there is no longer any "rational" solutions left for us "reality-based" Americans?

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Saturday, March 12, 2005

An Intelligent Debate. . .

Sometimes One Can Find Sane Rational Debate On The Web
by William Rivers Pitt, et al., at the Truthout FYI Blog

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

Almost all "debates" on the web are like a shoutfest on FOX, but I found this at Truthout's "FYI" blog.  It's the best example of a sane, discussed, and rational debate I've found.  Enjoy intelligent debate for once. . . 
[ Note:  This a direct copy of Truthout's FYI Blog posting.  (7:00a.m. 3/12/05) ]

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

Last Thoughts of the Week on Iraq Withdrawal
By William Pitt

Fri Mar 11th, 2005 at 04:03:42 PM EST :: Iraq :: (13 comments, 2 new, 459 words in story)

I don't know about you, but I haven't been as happy to see a Friday afternoon come along in quite a while.  Hoo.

In these three threads:

1. How Do We Get Out of Iraq?

2. My Response to Anti-War.com on Iraq Withdrawal

3. Mother of Fallen Soldier Responds to Iraq Withdrawal Debate

...I had a semi-sneaky ulterior motive.  I wanted to see how many people could come up with something approximating a workable plan for getting us out of the bear trap over there, and I wanted to see how many people merely demanded that it be done without ofering any solutions.  I also wanted to get this debate going so the progressive community can get up off the mat and stop accepting the permanence of our presence in Iraq as some kind of given.  Because the people on this forum are so ridiculously smart and informed, I'd say the vast majority of the replies had excellent suggestions rather than empty sloganeering.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

I've taken a beating for starting this debate, for being the guy who put forth the argument that simply pulling out of Iraq is potentially harder and more dangerous than it seems.  Putting that argument forth is absolutely necessary to this debate; without it, the discussion is a waste of time.  The beatings have come here to a degree, on other forums, via email and via telephone.  T'was worth every second, because those three threads above are as good as it gets when it comes to discussion and information.

But take this with you over the weekend: If you are someone who says "Out Now!" about Iraq, be sure after you say that to offer a plan that can overcome Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Bolton, Negroponte, Feith, Perle, Halliburton, Bechtel, KBR, the brain-dead mainstream news media, congress, a broken electoral system and an American populace stripped of its public voice.  After you come up with that plan, I will ask you about the rest of the economic/social/petroleum ramifications, and ask for your plans to deal with that.

In other words, talk is cheap.  We owe it to women like Cindy Sheehan and her son, and all the other mothers and fathers and sons and daughters, both here and in Iraq, to do more than shout "Out Now!"  It feels good; getting out of Iraq is absolutely the correct thing to do.  But if we cannot come up with a way to do it, we are spinning our wheels.

Enjoy the weekend.  The beatings will cease once morale improves.

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Have You Noticed. . .

What The "Big Story" Is At The Mainstream Media Tonight?
by The Old Hippie Because it is so obvious

At FOX, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, et al, it is Michael Jackson.  It's the BIG story.  It's what they are saying is important.  So important that it takes precedence over the truth of the destruction of the Constitutional Democracy.

I wonder how long before rational Americans become irrational?

What follows, under the "Below The Fold" of this posting, are the first few "top stories" at various websites of the loopy left, liberal, and independent media tonight, just for your comparison, and enlightenment. . .  [Also note the absence of Michael Jackson stories at these news sites.]

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

At Air America Radio. . .  [ Link ]

Democrats Slam Report that Clears Pentagon
A report by Navy inspector general Vice Adm. Albert Church appears to whitewash the Pentagon’s role in the abuse and torture of prisoners.  Needless to say, there’s no mention of the CIA program of “rendition.”

Senate Panel Stops Bid to Loosen Air Pollution Standards
Chafee chokes on "Clear Skies."  The Rhode Island Republican joined Democrats to deadlock the bill in committee.

At AlterNet.org. . .  [ Link ]

Free Speech Impediment
MediaCulture: This Sunday's episode of ABC's Boston Legal focusing on censorship was itself censored, purged of all references to Fox and Bill O'Reilly.  And nobody's talking.

Open Fire On U.S. Consumers
It's one thing for credit card companies to exact their pound of flesh even as their profits soar.  But shouldn't we hold our elected officials to a higher standard?

At CommonDreams.org. . .  [ Link ]


US Says It Has Withdrawn From World Judicial Body

At Center for American Progress. . .  [ Link ]

The New Content Commissars
Anyone who decides to "set up a blog, send out mass e-mails, any kind of activity that can be done on the Internet" could be subject to Federal Election Commission regulation, the FEC's Bradley Smith said.

Public Opinion Watch - Mar. 9
Ruy Teixeira covers polls and related articles from the week of Feb. 28 - Mar. 6: Unpopular from Coast to Coast; Military Voters, Black Voters, Hispanic Voters.

At CounterPunch.org. . .  [ Link ]

Paul Craig Roberts
So Much for the New Bush Economy

John Marc Leas, Colleen McLaughlin and Ashley Smith
Vermont Vs. the War

Larry Birns
The Pathological John Bolton

At The Crisis Papers. . .  [ Link ]

The Week's Best Articles

Special: The Bush Budget Proposal
Special: The Jeff Gannon Scandal
Special: Was 2004 Election a Fraud?
Special: Social Security "Reform"

At Cursor.org. . .  [ Link ]

More than 40 people were reportedly killed at a funeral by a suicide bomber in a Mosul mosque, while according to news e-mailed from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, 30 American contractors were wounded by a car bomb at a hotel, a blast felt and heard by Baghdad Burning's Riverbend, who makes a surprise pick for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Following discovery of the execution-style deaths of numerous National Guardsmen, a "spooked" Iraqi soldier told the
Washington Post that "We are all waiting for death like the moon waiting for sunset.  We don't know whose turn will be next."

William Pfaff examines mounting popular and political pressures in Italy 'After the checkpoint shooting' -- and recalls another "horrific accident" in which Italians died at the hands of the U.S. military.  Plus: testing Italy's patience.

[ I've just been going down the list of sites that I list in the sidebar on the right, the rest are in the same frame of importance-priority for news stories - And my point has been made - Michael Jackson is a story, just not an important story, and definitely not more important than any of the current political stories that are occurring at this historical time. ]

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Maybe It's Time. . .

That Action Is Called For, More So Each Day, As Talk Isn't Cutting It. . .
by The Old Hippie Because Talking About It Is Failing

Seymour Hersh was right when he said, "The problem is that George Bush is convinced he's doing the right thing."  It doesn't matter how many body bags come back.  At some level he thinks


he'll be vindicated.  It doesn't matter what we write, we can't shape [Bush].  If you think it's a little terrifying, it is.  Other [presidents] felt the heat, this guy doesn't."

Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman are also correct in their recent posting of "A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action" - "We know this may sound strange coming from two writers who spend most of their time researching and writing and contributing to the flood. [of political analysis]

But someone has to come up for air and scream:  It's not making any difference!"

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

So I'm not alone in my realization of talking about it is not cutting it.  I'm seeing more and more calls for open and sustained action/revolt/revolution, rather than words, from more and more people/sites/opinions/analysis, and coming from "rationals," not just the more usual "radicals."  e.g. Seymour Hersh, Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, Howard Zinn, Thom Hartmann, me, William Rivers Pitt, Molly Ivins, Amy Goodman, Howard Dean, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and many others, all joining the call for action, sooner, than later, every day. . .

It has gotten this bad.  The anger, and the anger of the frustration, has finally reached this tipping point of realization - The American Constitutional Democracy is not "being" destroyed from within, not "could be," or "might be," or "possibly will," but rather "Has Been."  America is now a one-party-ruled Plutocracy of an enhanced Theocratically Corporatist Fascist government, with openly arrogant Totalitarian safeguards being added on a daily basis, to protect "their freedoms" - from us.  From us.  Not the "terrorists."

They are still getting away with all of it, they sneer and smirk at all of us, as they continue to pocket incomprehensible wealth, stolen from all of us "fodder units" in the lower 98%.  They are so successful that approximately 47% of "us" are actually helping them, because in their, manufactured and promoted, ignorance, they "know" Christ is coming, and they "know" he will pick them.  And our own president is one of them.  (Whether it's a crafty lie, or an insane delusion. . .  Does it make any real difference?)

We reality-based Americans have simply let/allowed this insanity to go on - way too far.

The time for talk is over.

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A Few Of. . .

The "Kind Of Says It All" Items That Are Hard To Ignore. . .
compiled by The Old Hippie Because ~47% Us Aren't Listening, And Don't Care

A list of recent revelations, exposures, ironical stats, happenings, and other general weirdness. . .

The most obvious one first:  Bush's naming of John Bolton as "our" UN ambassador.  There is no single person that he could have named who is more anti-UN than John Bolton.  It is like naming the head of the Ku Klux Klan to head the NAACP.  That comparison is not hyperbole, that's as honest, and as obvious a comparison as I could make.  The powers behind this choice have made it abundantly clear, even openly "arrogantly in your face," that they have no intention of allowing any "outside of the Empire interferences" from any other nation, or group of nations.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

Second has to be:  The corporate mainstream media's continued support, even promotion, of the likes of Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, David Horowitz, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, et al, is so beyond the pale, that one is left almost speechless.  Almost.  The fact that these obvious bigots, and/or openly arrogant propagandists, and/or insane religious nuts, and/or dangerous opportunists are still not only being supported, but even promoted, by the corporatist's controlled mainstream media of America does more than "kind of say it all," about the non-reality of "our" mainstream media's non-intention of allowing the truth out to us fodder units within the Empire.

Third must be:  The very well documented level of ignorance, that is continuing to increase, of the majority of American's perception of the reality of the facts behind 9/11, and the "reasons" for going to war on the Iraqi people.  But even more "kind of says it all," is the fact that those with the power to reverse this openly exposed ignorance of facts, are going out of their way to not do anything to reverse it, in fact they are promoting its continued existence, hence the reason behind the increase.  (i.e. The mainstream media, the administration itself, the church, etc.)

As I construct this list, contemplate which to add, I keep coming back to the fact that the "facts" of each is - That if "our" mainstream media had actually reported the "facts," they wouldn't exist as "kind of says it all" candidates for this list in the first place. . .  Think about it. . .

The facts of global warming, the facts of Intelligent Design/Creationism, the facts of one-party-rule, the facts of the criminally corrupted national elections, the facts of corporate ex-CEOs and lobbyists being placed into positions of control over "our" regulatory agencies, the facts of corporate privatizing of as much of our government as possible, the facts behind the purposeful destruction of the Separation of Church and State, the facts of state support and promotion of torture, the facts behind the facts that America (Land of the Free) has the largest prisoner population in the written history of this planet. . .  . . .

The facts, behind the fact, that absolutely no one has been punished for any of this incredibly arrogant in-our-collective-faces disastrously deadly and destructive mess.  Absolutely no one.

Hell - Even be an American patriot - Bitch about it.  If you don't. . .

Then - It Kind Of Says It All - Doesn't it?

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Monday, March 07, 2005

Recapping American Reality. . .

Which Is Truly Simplistic Within Its Complexity.
by The Old Hippie Because It's Too In Our Face To Be Ignored, Or Denied

Where to start?  The Dominionists?  The Neo-Cons?  The Corporatists?  It is the coming together, and the opportunistic cross-using of, and by, each of these three groups, that has caused the impossible to happen.  The internal destruction of our Constitutional Democracy.  Not so much a grand conspiracy, but more of a grabbing-on-to fortuitous ideological agendas.  Each of the three groups do have their internal conspiratorial agreements, each of which on its own would not have been successful, but the accidental historical juxtaposition of the three coming together, was unforeseen, and even though our Constitution does give protections from each, our Democracy was not prepared to defend itself from the multifaceted attacks of these type of fringe minority groups coming together to inflict their ideologies upon the majority. . .

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

And it must be emphasized that, even the three together would not have been successful, if not for the complete destruction, corruption, capitulation, and cowardliness, of what use to be "our" trusted news media.  In fact it may not be too strong of a statement to say that this loss of our free-press may be the single strongest factor leading in their successes.

On an almost equal level of the unreasonable-reason for their successes, is the "~47% Factor," which are the ~47% of our electorate that are the insane Evangelical fundamentalists, the born-again, the "bring on the rapture at any costs," the Christian Dominionists, whom actually "believe" that all of the Deist founders were Christians, that the Earth/Universe is less than 10,000 years old, that the Separation of the (Christian) Church and State must be done away with, that "our" president proudly professes to be a member of, as well as members of the Supreme Court, and many members of the Republican House and Senate, not to mention the many lower level bureaucrats, assigned to positions of power and influence, within all levels of "our" government, and corporate media.

The disaster of Nazi Germany was the coming together of only two of these groups, the "Christian" fundamentalists, and the corporatists.  Now we have the added insanity of a small group of convinced, opportunistic, and zealot "Neo-Cons" added to the mix, using the delusions of the lost-again Evangelicals, and the power of the money supplied by the corporatists, to advance a shared ideological agenda of power, profit, and imperial ideology.

In other words, an enhanced form of imperialistic Fascism.  A disastrous, and this time - globally - deadly usurpation of worldwide security.  Arrogantly propagandized as "spreading freedom."

See?  It Is Truly Simplistic Within Its Complexity.

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Saturday, March 05, 2005

America No. 1?

America By The Numbers
by Michael Ventura, The Austin Chronicle, Jan. 21, 2005

[ This is a direct copy of the Austin Chronicle Article ]

No concept lies more firmly embedded in our national character than the notion that the USA is "No. 1," "the greatest."  Our broadcast media are, in essence, continuous advertisements for the brand name "America Is No. 1."  Any office seeker saying otherwise would be committing political suicide.  In fact, anyone saying otherwise will be labeled "un-American."  We're an "empire," ain't we?  Sure we are.  An empire without a manufacturing base.  An empire that must borrow $2 billion a day from its competitors in order to function.  Yet the delusion is ineradicable.  We're No. 1.  Well ... this is the country you really live in:

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

• The United States is 49th in the world in literacy (The New York Times, Dec. 12, 2004).

• The United States ranked 28th out of 40 countries in mathematical literacy (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).

• One-third of our science teachers and one-half of our math teachers did not major in those subjects.  (Quoted on The West Wing, but you can trust it – their researchers are legendary.)

• Twenty percent of Americans think the sun orbits the Earth.  Seventeen percent believe the Earth revolves around the sun once a day (The Week, Jan. 7, 2005).

• "The International Adult Literacy Survey ... found that Americans with less than nine years of education 'score worse than virtually all of the other countries'" (Jeremy Rifkin's superbly documented book The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream, p.78).

• Our workers are so ignorant, and lack so many basic skills, that American businesses spend $30 billion a year on remedial training (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).  No wonder they relocate elsewhere!

• "The European Union leads the U.S. in ... the number of science and engineering graduates; public research and development (R&D) expenditures; and new capital raised" (The European Dream, p.70).

• "Europe surpassed the United States in the mid-1990s as the largest producer of scientific literature" (The European Dream, p.70).

• Nevertheless, Congress cut funds to the National Science Foundation.  The agency will issue 1,000 fewer research grants this year (NYT, Dec. 21, 2004).

• Foreign applications to U.S. grad schools declined 28% last year.  Foreign student enrollment on all levels fell for the first time in three decades, but increased greatly in Europe and China.  Last year Chinese grad-school graduates in the U.S. dropped 56%, Indians 51%, South Koreans 28% (NYT, Dec. 21, 2004).  We're not the place to be anymore.

• The World Health Organization "ranked the countries of the world in terms of overall health performance, and the U.S. [was] ... 37th."  In the fairness of health care, we're 54th.  "The irony is that the United States spends more per capita for health care than any other nation in the world" (The European Dream, pp.79-80). Pay more, get lots, lots less.

• "The U.S. and South Africa are the only two developed countries in the world that do not provide health care for all their citizens" (The European Dream, p.80).  Excuse me, but since when is South Africa a "developed" country?  Anyway, that's the company we're keeping.

• Lack of health insurance coverage causes 18,000 unnecessary American deaths a year.  (That's six times the number of people killed on 9/11.)  (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005.)

• "U.S. childhood poverty now ranks 22nd, or second to last, among the developed nations.  Only Mexico scores lower" (The European Dream, p.81).  Been to Mexico lately?  Does it look "developed" to you?  Yet it's the only "developed" country to score lower in childhood poverty.

• Twelve million American families – more than 10% of all U.S. households – "continue to struggle, and not always successfully, to feed themselves."  Families that "had members who actually went hungry at some point last year" numbered 3.9 million (NYT, Nov. 22, 2004).

• The United States is 41st in the world in infant mortality.  Cuba scores higher (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005).

• Women are 70% more likely to die in childbirth in America than in Europe (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005).

• The leading cause of death of pregnant women in this country is murder (CNN, Dec. 14, 2004).

• "Of the 20 most developed countries in the world, the U.S. was dead last in the growth rate of total compensation to its work-force in the 1980s. ... In the 1990s, the U.S. average compensation growth rate grew only slightly, at an annual rate of about 0.1%" (The European Dream, p.39).  Yet Americans work longer hours per year than any other industrialized country, and get less vacation time.

• "Sixty-one of the 140 biggest companies on the Global Fortune 500 rankings are European, while only 50 are U.S. companies" (The European Dream, p.66).  "In a recent survey of the world's 50 best companies, conducted by Global Finance, all but one was European" (The European Dream, p.69).

• "Fourteen of the 20 largest commercial banks in the world today are European. ... In the chemical industry, the European company BASF is the world's leader, and three of the top six players are European.  In engineering and construction, three of the top five companies are European. ... The two others are Japanese.  Not a single American engineering and construction company is included among the world's top nine competitors.  In food and consumer products, Nestlé and Unilever, two European giants, rank first and second, respectively, in the world.  In the food and drugstore retail trade, two European companies ... are first and second, and European companies make up five of the top 10.  Only four U.S. companies are on the list" (The European Dream, p.68).

• The United States has lost 1.3 million jobs to China in the last decade (CNN, Jan. 12, 2005).

• U.S. employers eliminated 1 million jobs in 2004 (The Week, Jan. 14, 2005).

• Three million six hundred thousand Americans ran out of unemployment insurance last year; 1.8 million – one in five – unemployed workers are jobless for more than six months (NYT, Jan. 9, 2005).

• Japan, China, Taiwan, and South Korea hold 40% of our government debt.  (That's why we talk nice to them.)  "By helping keep mortgage rates from rising, China has come to play an enormous and little-noticed role in sustaining the American housing boom" (NYT, Dec. 4, 2004).  Read that twice.  We owe our housing boom to China, because they want us to keep buying all that stuff they manufacture.

• Sometime in the next 10 years Brazil will probably pass the U.S. as the world's largest agricultural producer.  Brazil is now the world's largest exporter of chickens, orange juice, sugar, coffee, and tobacco.  Last year, Brazil passed the U.S. as the world's largest beef producer.  (Hear that, you poor deluded cowboys?)  As a result, while we bear record trade deficits, Brazil boasts a $30 billion trade surplus (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).

• As of last June, the U.S. imported more food than it exported (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).

• Bush: 62,027,582 votes.  Kerry: 59,026,003 votes.  Number of eligible voters who didn't show up: 79,279,000 (NYT, Dec. 26, 2004).  That's more than a third.  Way more.  If more than a third of Iraqis don't show for their election, no country in the world will think that election legitimate.

• One-third of all U.S. children are born out of wedlock.  One-half of all U.S. children will live in a one-parent house (CNN, Dec. 10, 2004).

• "Americans are now spending more money on gambling than on movies, videos, DVDs, music, and books combined" (The European Dream, p.28).

• "Nearly one out of four Americans [believe] that using violence to get what they want is acceptable" (The European Dream, p.32).

• Forty-three percent of Americans think torture is sometimes justified, according to a PEW Poll (Associated Press, Aug. 19, 2004).

• "Nearly 900,000 children were abused or neglected in 2002, the last year for which such data are available" (USA Today, Dec. 21, 2004).

• "The International Association of Chiefs of Police said that cuts by the [Bush] administration in federal aid to local police agencies have left the nation more vulnerable than ever" (USA Today, Nov. 17, 2004).

No. 1?  In most important categories we're not even in the Top 10 anymore.  Not even close.

The USA is "No. 1" in nothing but weaponry, consumer spending, debt, and delusion.

[ The author did leave out one glaring #1 stat for America to be proud of. . .  America is also #1 in putting our own citizens in prison.  We have imprisoned more of our citizens then any other nation on this planet, in raw numbers, and in the percentage of our population - Land Of The Free? ]

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Friday, March 04, 2005

Some Things. . .

In Need Of Sober Contemplative Thought
compiled by The Old Hippie Because I Am Resigned To Reality

When you read the following items that I've included in today's posting, the irony of the cartoon below/right becomes obvious. . .  Rather than rant and rave at the obviousness of the stupidity, the arrogant ignorance, the denial, the corruption that has become "our" government, I simply present a list of perceptive, and ironical items for sober contemplation.

The existing reality of America today is long past the needs of contemplative thought, as it all as become so obvious, but I present these perspective, and ironical "jewels" for your perusal anyway.  Maybe in the hope that some, other than those of us in the choir, or on the bus, so to speak, will actually take the time to think - Wow, what a concept, real critical thought.  For anyone to actually still believe there are any loyal opposition Americans left who would actually use critical thinking as a method for contemplating American reality, could be pollyannaish, but my hope dies eternal. Your Right
Okay, I'll shut up now, and get on with letting you make your own critical analysis, and contemplative decisions on the following items of interest. . .

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

Postcards From Post-Election America
by Stephen Bede Scharper, The Toronto Star, Feb. 26, 2005

"Two weeks after the November 2004 election, I returned to the United States and saw firsthand how that soul was faring in the wake of the Democrats' defeat and the Bush ascendancy.  It was a poignant visit that was captured in four "postcards" that I brought back with me."

Full Article Linked Here

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

The People’s Business

Controlling corporations and restoring democracy

by Lee Drutman and Charlie Cray, In These Times, Feb. 18, 2005

"One does not have to look far in Washington these days to find evidence that government policy is being crafted with America’s biggest corporations in mind."

Full Article Linked Here

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

The Coming Crackdown On Blogging

by Declan McCullagh, C|Net News, Mar. 3, 2005

"Bradley Smith says that the freewheeling days of political blogging and online punditry are over."

Full Article Linked Here

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

Left, Right, & Wrong

by Garret Keizer, Mother Jones, Mar./Apr. Issue 2005

"What’s missing from the debate over values in America."

Full Article Linked Here

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

Project for an Old American Century Gallery - Crusade
From The Project for an Old American Century.
One of the best reality-based news sites out there.
And not to mention, one of my personal favorites.

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

A Short, But Also. . .

The Quintessential Straussian Education
by Varied Authors Because This Subject Requires It

Leo Strauss: A Founding Father of the Neo-Con Ideology

"Leo Strauss has long been a cult figure within the North American academy.  And even though he had a profound antipathy to both liberalism and democracy, his disciples have gone to great lengths to conceal the fact.  And for the most part they have succeeded. . ."

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

"The trouble with the Straussians is that they are compulsive liars.  But it is not altogether their fault.  Strauss was very pre-occupied with secrecy because he was convinced that the truth is too harsh for any society to bear; and that the truth-bearers are likely to be persecuted by society - specially a liberal society - because liberal democracy is about as far as one can get from the truth as Strauss understood it."

"Strauss's disciples have inherited a superiority complex as well as a persecution complex.  They are convinced that they are the superior few who know the truth and are entitled to rule.  But they are afraid to speak the truth openly, lest they are persecuted by the vulgar many who do not wish to be ruled by them."

Leo Strauss' Philosophy of Deception

"It's hardly surprising then why Strauss is so popular in an administration obsessed with secrecy, especially when it comes to matters of foreign policy.  Not only did Strauss have few qualms about using deception in politics, he saw it as a necessity."

"While professing deep respect for American democracy, Strauss believed that societies should be hierarchical - divided between an elite who should lead, and the masses who should follow.  But unlike fellow elitists like Plato, he was less concerned with the moral character of these leaders."

"Strauss believed that 'those who are fit to rule are those who realize there is no morality and that there is only one natural right - the right of the superior to rule over the inferior.'"

"This dichotomy requires "perpetual deception" between the rulers and the ruled, according to Drury.  Robert Locke, another Strauss analyst says,"The people are told what they need to know and no more."  While the elite few are capable of absorbing the absence of any moral truth, Strauss thought, the masses could not cope."

"He also argued that Platonic truth is too hard for people to bear, and that the classical appeal to "virtue" as the object of human endeavor is unattainable.  Hence it has been necessary to tell lies to people about the nature of political reality.  An elite recognizes the truth, however, and keeps it to itself.  This gives it insight, and implicitly power that others do not possess.  This obviously is an important element in Strauss's appeal to America's neoconservatives."

"The ostensibly hidden truth is that expediency works; there is no certain God to punish wrongdoing; and virtue is unattainable by most people.  Machiavelli was right. There is a natural hierarchy of humans, and rulers must restrict free inquiry and exploit the mediocrity and vice of ordinary people so as to keep society in order."

"Despite its wild implausibility, the scenario is in one important respect true.  And that has to do with the influence of Leo Strauss on a generation of neoconservative thinkers, some of whom are active in our politics (and some of whom can even be found writing in these pages)."

"The new elite, whose driving force is the pursuit of power, believe they have a right to impose their rule by way of deceit.  As disciples of Machiavelli, they consider themselves to be free from the constraints of moral absolutes.  Their philosophy also encourages them to promote religious faith among the people, even though they themselves are not true believers."

"The ancient philosophers whom Strauss most cherished believed that the unwashed masses were not fit for either truth or liberty, and that giving them these sublime treasures would be like throwing pearls before swine."


Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)