Thursday, March 31, 2005

Your Friday Feel-Good Story

here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I Cried Because I Had No Shoes.....

... then I bought myself a pair of V1 Blackspots, made of organic and recycled materials by union workers, these are affordable and they are great shoes. Each pair you buy is a kick in the ass of the sweatshop-wage paying, windfall profit making corporations.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Help Stop Government Censorship

Sign the Petition to the FCC, courtesy, WesPac.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

What Happened to --

Real Republicans? Link from here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Brain Dead? You Must Live. Can't Pay? Pull the Plug...

Blogenlust and Digby on the Schiavo case. Evidently, George W. Bush signed a law that allows Texas Hospitals to turn off life support for patients who cannot pay, and since then the administration has, as we know, championed legislation that makes it harder for people to pay medical expenses. These and other mind-blowing facts on the case here.

Schiavo

The American Street has a thoughtful analysis of the Schiavo case, looking at the case on legal and consitutional grounds.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Securing America

Supporters of Wesley Clark have started a website with an eye towards 2008.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Blogunderground.net

Blogunderground is going on hiatus from blogging to make time for other activism. Happy trails.

Our Orwellian Dreamscape and other good links

(Reposted with cleaned-up language so as not to offend the delicate sensitivities of the new, more-aggressive-on-"indecency" FCC. )

Maureen Dowd on the latest bald-faced propaganda from the White House.

More of the same kind of BS from the Bush administration.

Why Jesus wept to see a woman kick a soccer ball.

Bush to world: FU.

Bush to arctic wildlife: FU too.

Once again, it's important to check in with Fafblog every day to keep from putting a gun in your mouth and blowing your brains out.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Torture is Good

The Medium Lobster takes on torture and Giblets looks at China over on the Fafblog.

"Attention Lunatic Atheists"


WTF?


Saturday, March 12, 2005

Ha

Friday, March 11, 2005

Agree and Disagree with This But...

-- it's an interesting article to say the least , by Lillian Rubin from Dissent Magazine, on the state of Progressive politics. Excerpt:
In his intriguing book What's the Matter with Kansas?, Thomas Frank argues that culture now trumps economics in the political sphere and offers as explanation yet another, if more sophisticated, version of false consciousness. "People getting their fundamental interests wrong is what American political life is all about," he writes on the very first page. "This species of derangement is the bedrock of our civic order; it is the foundation on which all else rests." American politics is, he insists,

a panorama of madness and delusion worthy of Hieronymous Bosch: of sturdy blue-collar patriots reciting the Pledge while they strangle their own life chances; of small farmers proudly voting themselves off the land; of devoted family men carefully seeing to it that their children will never be able to afford college or proper health care; of working-class guys in Midwestern cities cheering as they deliver up a landslide for a candidate whose policies will end their way of life . . .:
:

Back to the Schoolyard

-- which is where GOP Tactics take us. And America has fallen for it. As messy as politics get in other western "democracies," it rarely gets to this low level, except perhaps in Italy.

In the words of the late great Bitish actress Beryl Reid, "Politicians, sack the lot of 'em, and replace them with one good, Scottish Nanny." Thanks to the playful people here for the Reid quote.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Without a Windfall Profit Motive....

Great things can happen, as Crooked Timber notes about a possible cure for diabetes pioneered thanks to "socialized" medicine and higher motives.

More on Clark

Shakespeare’s Sister wants to know more about Wesley Clark:

Here are the reasons for the Fool’s interest in a Clark movement. His stands on the issues are close to mine, closer than anyone else I see emerging on the horizon. (I am more pro-choice and less pro-military.) He has clearly articulated plans to deal with family income, education, child poverty, women’s issues, the environment , and health care.

Pragmatically speaking, he could win. The man is a genuine war hero, unlike Bush, and his demonstrated concern for the troops and their families should have greater appeal to red state voters. He also excels at peace negotiations and led the military negotiations at the Dayton Peace Talks. He is intelligent (a Rhodes scholar). He is a proven leader. He has already braved and weathered the mud-throwing storm, controversies real and created, and false charges of American politics in his 2004 bid for office. Friends who worked on his campaign also say he is as sincere as he seems, and that he is a true patriot, whose love for America is based on the ideals enshrined in the constitution. He is a uniter who has earned praise from people as diverse as Alexander Haig, Colin Powell, and George McGovern. His mistakes in judgment have been far fewer and far less egregious than those of the President, the administration and Bush's congressional supporters, not to mention most of the Democratic names being bandied about for '08. He appears to learn from mistakes, not compound them, as Bush does. I believe the experiences of 2004 and since have made him wiser and stronger as a candidate and clarified his views on murky issues (as they have for many of us).

More here, here, here and here.

At the very least, this is a voice we need in the public debate now to help shape the 2006 and 2008 elections. Watch this blog for more of the growing dialogue on Wesley Clark.

Watch out Venezuela!

Some on the right warn that Venezuela may be next on the U.S. hit list if it doesn't give us cheap and easy access to "our" oil (which, to paraphrase Jon Stewart, is inconveniently located under their land and sea).

Wesley Clark in 2008?

Dogfight suggests Wesley Clark should make a run again in 2008, and the people should draft him if necessary. Others concur. The Court Fool’s roommate says, “He’s the closest thing to Atticus Finch we have in American politics.” In other words, a real man.

Linkapolooza

From Blogenlust comes this link to the latest way the Bush administration and congress have joined forces with wealthy corporations to screw the people. Big surprise.

From those busy primates... no not the dumb ones in Washington... the smart ones here, comes the link to this story about coerced conversions to born-again Christianity. If a Muslim company benefitting from millions in public bucks made its employees convert to Islam in order to keep their jobs, the right wing bloggers would be in a spitting froth about it.

Did the U.S. government know Italian journalist Sgrena was freed and on her way to the airport? CNN reports that the Italian prime minister says so.

Self-explanatory: Sweet Jesus, I hate Bill O'Reilly and the Sweet Jesus, I hate Bill O'Reilly Blog.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Wag the Dog?

What is real, and what is fiction these days?

Good Point

"Do you think it ever occurs to President Bush that the only weapons of mass destruction to be found in Iraq are the ones we brought with us?"

Quote from Shakespeare's Sister on the subject of depleted uranium ammunition used by U.S. troops. More DU here, and here's a very graphic and disturbing flash animation on the effects.

The Fifties are Back

It took a real asshole to write this retrogressive bit of lame "satire." Calling it satire doesn't do anything to lessen the smug, classist, condescending and sexist attitude towards both sexes in this piece, as others in the blogosphere are noting today.

The Purple Finger of Democracy

These are strange times. I see people fall into line behind the Bush doctrine because, after all, the Iraq war brought us that moving purple finger of democracy that has inspired democratic-minded people in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon. Is it actual democracy, or a democracy flavored product that will fill the people’s stomachs, without providing much nutrition, to keep them from asking for real food for as long as possible? (See: lame and limited local elections in Saudi Arabia recently.) Or it may just be the pitting of rival religious sects against each other and against the true indigenous democrats in order to keep the region in constant civil war. That seems a messy way to do business.

Embracing the Bush doctrine means embracing the idea that the ends justify the means -- the murder of innocents, torture, sexual humiliation, not to mention debt, lies and other more mundane evils most of us are guilty of -- are all justified as long as one provides something good, like a bit of democracy and freedom and control of another country’s oil supply. What kind of message is this to send the kids? Forget Janet Jackson’s nipple. Kids already know about nipples. They have nipples. What the poor tykes have learned in the last few years from the Bush administration is much scarier. (Ironically, while the Right Wing Christian Republicans oppose the teaching of Darwin in schools, the social and political lessons they are teaching are mighty Darwinian.)

That purple finger was a powerful symbol. Was there anyone who wasn’t moved in the days around the election? The Iraqi people were brave and determined. But if the Bush administration had its way, Iraqis would not have had the chance. The U.S. government initially opposed the idea of direct, democratic elections, preferring regional caucuses -- and those fears are understandable. It could have been a logistical nightmare given the violence and volatility in Iraq and of course, caucuses would be easier to control. It was that kooky, unpredictable Ayatollah Sistani who fought, through peaceful means and negotiation, for direct voting. What the elections will create in Iraq is anybody’s guess at the moment. Judging by the blogs and the news reports, Iraqi women are worried about a new government implementing Shariah law.

Could it have happened without the Iraqi invasion? Not under the Bush administration, since its members lack the diplomatic skills and imagination to develop new ideas and bring skeptical others aboard the bandwagon. But if the Iraq war was the only way to spark the flag-waving mobs, and if it does, by some miracle, bring about real and lasting democracy and peace, it certainly could have been handled differently, without rushing in and without fucking up so much, killing so many and angering so many others, making us look like thugs to much of the world.

Maybe I am suspicious of the true democratic intentions here because on every count, it seems like the Bush administration and its friends are the only ones who really benefit from these costly policies, and the regular people are the only ones who really pay for them, with the lives of their children as well as in other ways.

Think about it. How many sons and daughters of the war’s most hawkish supporters in government and media are off risking their young skins in Iraq? If sacrificing your child for Iraqi elections is a good thing, why haven’t the Bush twins enlisted? Are any members of that patriotic clan in the military? But nobody seems to expect them to go fight. Their class is needed to rule those of us in the cannon fodder classes below. The wealthiest people also benefit most from the Bush tax cuts but believe me, they are not the ones who are going to suffer when it comes time to pay up for that insane national debt.

Beware. They dazzle us with emotionally charged photo ops and coded language, frighten us with orange alerts, and while we’re distracted they pick our pockets, curb our liberties and suck our power away in order to enrich and further empower themselves.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Will Durst

The political comedian's latest column is archived on his website. Soon, the new one, drawing an analogy between frog soup and the erosion of civil liberties will be posted. Watch for it, or join his mailing list and receive his columns before they hit the rest of the net.

Ha

Like the writer of this article on lefty humor, The Court Fool is a fan of the left-side links at The Angry Arab News Service.

There's no better place to get an alternative view of the Arab news, with a bonus side of Chicken McNuggets trivia and Mother Teresa miracle news. Even when the Fool doesn't agree with the Angry Arab, the Fool often laughs. (I am much more pro-Israel than the Angry Arab. Even though I often disagree with the Israeli government and its policies and believe the Palestinains have a LOT of legitimate issues, I feel Israel has a right -- a need -- to exist.)

I would have to disagree with the East Bay Express writer's assertion that left-leaning blogs aren't funny.Has the writer not read this, an Orwellian fairy tale about sweet woodland (and sea) creatures in Bushworld? No other site so perfectly matches the absurdity of the, ahem, real world.

And don't mess with with the witty woman at Mousewords, who today is taking her rapier to anti-feminist comments by another woman. Or try this site for a laugh, or this, or any of the Fool's right side links, carefully chosen for wit as well as acuity of analysis.

And Whitehouse.org takes no prisoners. You'll laugh, you'll cry.

Monday, March 07, 2005

White Hats, Black Hats

From all those monkeys, comes this link. Might be just the cowboy we need to take on that imitation cowboy in Dodge... er, Washington.

Pavlov's Dogs.. Ring a Bell, and They Laugh and Applaud

From the New York Times, some unfunny lines, and the laughter and applause they generate among the brainwashed, mind-blunted faithful.

Buy Blue

More on Sgrena Incident

From The New York Times.

And, via A Logical Voice, a story from The Guardian.

I wonder if we will ever know the truth about this one. The truth is there, but how will we recognize it? It's a war zone, people are tense and accidents happen. Italy purportedly did not inform American authorities that Sgrena had been released (but then, shouldn't the CIA be on these things?) I don't think most indivdual soldiers would target journalists, which is how the Bush administration likes to spin any questions about the war, as an attack on all the troops, all those young people who are risking and often losing their lives, ostensibly on our behalf. There may well be a few doctrinaire, hardcore nuts and sadists who might target them but, as with Abu Ghraib, the truly guilty parties would probably be higher up the food chain.

There have been so many very suspicious killings of journalists in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Sgrena was a beloved reporter and an antagonist of Bush and Berlusconi policies. A mystery writer said to me recently, about the unrelated murder of a friend, "if you want to commit the perfect murder, do it in a war zone."

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Italy's James Bond

The Italian intelligence officer killed in Iraq, Nicola Calipari, was known as Italy's James Bond. Hmm. Where is Eason Jordan these days? What Danny Schecter had to say about the Jordan affair on February 28th. And here's Democracy Now's take on the Iraq shooting. Click here for an Air America report via GNN. The world media, outside of the U.S., seems to suspect it was a botched hit because the reporter, Giuliana Sgrena, was investigating the use of illegal weapons such as napalm in Iraq, and was also allegedly on Silvio Berlusconi's enemies' list. Developing.....

Abuse of Iraqi Detainees? You Must be Crazy...

Friday, March 04, 2005

Nuclear Weapons in Iraq

From 100 Monkeys Typing comes a link to this flash animation on the use of depleted uranium ammunition and the reported consequences. Warning: graphic images.

A BBC story on the same subject. Quote:
A United States defence official has said moves to ban depleted uranium ammunition are just an attempt by America's enemies to blunt its military might.


Thursday, March 03, 2005

Apocamon

Apocamon, the amazing, true, animated adventures of pokeman-like characters during the apocalypse. Start with the two free episodes and just keep clicking the NEXT button. Big thanks to World O' Crap for this one.

Bad Vernacular

Bad Vernacular moves like a butterfly and stings like a bee. Just the right kind of acid wit to singe the whiskers of the pseudodemocratic fashos running the world these days. Get to know Stockton & Tweed.

Unfucking (no pun intended) Believable

What do right wing Christians and fundy muslims have in common? Among other things, they both fear the freedom of women. Mousewords has some acid commentary on the move designed to force us back into the past and other people who want to limit our freedom.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Latest from Lebanon

-- from Shlonkom Bakazay and The Angry Arab News Service.

From the New York Times, an op-ed on Qatar, the progressive Gulf state.

Ill informed or... Ignorant? It's a judgment call...