Governments Lie

This is the history lesson I was taught only the hazy outlines of in high school and college. And Howard Zinn doesn't even go as far as he should--say, including the goading of the nation into war with Japan and Afghanistan. But he goes plenty far enough for anyone who learns the shadowy, largely untaught history of America's undemocratic, sickening foreign policy, esp. in the post-WWII period, to know that the executive branch is never to be believed in matters of foreign policy. No government should ever be believed on that score without reams of documentary evidence and cross-checking. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something.

What's sad is that everyone doesn't already know this. I was a history major and learned of plenty of horrors perpetrated by plenty of governments up until around the time of my birth. But until recently I didn't begin to appreciate the depth and breadth of what governments have been and are still doing to the majority of poor miserable bastards on this earth. And among them America is chief. Pray that China and India never develop militaries as powerful as ours, lest they use them as we do to devastating, unconscionable effect.

Really, nobody needs to make things any worse.

Nota Bene: On a completely unrelated note, listen to the cadence of Zinn's speech. It's almost the same as Christopher Walken's. (Their accents are similar but not nearly as similar as their cadences. Zinn is from Brooklyn; Walken is from Queens.)

Haiku of the Day

Miasmatic days
Fog-filled, living in cotton
Why did she leave me?

How Not to Rob a Liquor Store

Ah, the stupid! It hurts!


What Reshaping the Middle East Really Means

I read about this over the summer but not in this much convincing detail. Per usual, The Centre for Research on Globalization is way ahead of the curve. Yes, boys and girls, They aren't just considering literally redrawing the borders of countries, they're actually doing it. This was, as pointed out here (esp. in the first bullet point), part of the reason for the Lebanon War last summer. It comes on the heels of what we did in Afghanistan in the eighties and Bosnia in the nineties, in both cases with the help of Al Qaeda, and it may well be (and I hope it's not) one of the several purposes of making Iraq bleed. In this scenario, Iran would be lucky to be bombed, even with nuclear bunker busters, than to undergo the strife of its neighbors. At least they'd get to keep their land--a dubious gift top military planners aren't even granting our ally Turkey.


The Katrinacrat

Thanks to suckers like Donnie McDaniel, I finally started blogging at the Katrinacrat.com. Now I know that me blogging anywhere is close to pointless but that's what pundits are for. At least the unpaid ones. So last night I finally managed to post on the Katrinacrat and hope to pollute that site with the detritus of my ridiculous imagination in the near future.

Masochists, read the post here.


The Ineluctable Question

I understand everybody's wondering if I'm going to run in '08. To reiterate my position, I'm going to take time over the holidays to talk over the possibilities. There's ample reason for this. For one, my lesbian Massachusetts remarried ex-wife would come under even more scrutiny for her investment in fur-seal factory farming. Two, despite my children being full-grown, I have been repeatedly smeared for their DUIs and child-molestation slip-ups (c'mon, everyone makes mistakes)--acts for which I was not responsible, despite my investment in their adult video venture. Three, no matter how many times I point it out, my two girlfriends and one boyfriend (again, the Hodgkins is not my fault) disavowed those snuff films and they are bisexual, not gay. And as for my goat, it began nuzzling up to me before I ever wore that costume, let alone started giving Bessie mulled wine. Last time I ran, the liberal media tore me apart for no reason at all--aside from the allegations of heroin smuggling and snorting coke off my former hooker receptionist's recently altered breasts.

Finally, I would like to thank Joe Lieberman for helping me staff my exploratory committee. I will accept their decision, no matter how painful, when they finish their month of spelunking in the caverns southern Mexico.


Is There a Journalist in the House?

What conservative wrote this ridiculous headline? Elected House Speaker, Pelosi Suffers First Defeat. Gotta gin up that conflict, eh? How about: "Hoyer Elected Majority Leader" or even "Hoyer Beats Murtha for Majority Leader Post." Such a story should note that Pelosi backed Murtha and why (he was the big force behind her rise in the ranks). But her role in the story is not headline-worthy and there is simply no excuse for constructing a dramatic twist when all that exists are minor competitions. Note to NPR: Hire some real journalists. Hint: Real journalists can more easily be found outside of Washington.

Tesla's Dream

Poor Nikola Tesla. He practically invented the modern world of electricity--how it's generated, transported and applied. Thomas Edison shit-canned him and stole his work, enabling him to make piles of cash providing power to cities. Then Marconi stole Tesla's discovery that information could be broadcast wirelessly through electromagnetic fields, eventually giving liars like Rush Limbaugh something to do while popping Oxycontin and Dominican girls. Tesla, the genius who seemed born of and to electromagnetism (and who was allegedly born during an electrical storm) spent the latter part of his life trying to broadcast electrical power itself--without wires. Eventually, he went insane and died. But now his vision may be resurrected--at least over short distances.


As you read through the columns of headlines every day, there's always an odd story or two that stands out, like yesterday's about the invention of a musical shirt. But this one is so far off the map, it's somewhere on that tropical island in Lost: "Man Has Sex with Dead Deer." That alone would suffice, but the story contains several surprises.
A man is accused of having sex with the carcass of a deer that he found lying beside the road – but his lawyer denies that he committed bestiality, on the grounds that a dead deer isn't an animal any more.

20-year-old Bryan James Hathaway of Superior, Wisconsin allegedly had sex with the deer corpse after he found it on the roadside on October 11 this year. Authorities say he told police that he noticed the deer lying in a ditch, and then moved the corpse into the woods.

He is charged with 'sexual gratification with an animal' – but in a magnificent piece of legal footwork, his attorney argues that he can't be guilty of that crime, because a carcass isn't an animal, the Duluth News Tribune reports.
In an act of titanic understatement, the paper's headline reads, "Deer assault case presents unusual issues."
Public defender Fredric Anderson filed a motion last week which claimed: 'The statute does not prohibit one from having sex with a carcass.'

He said that if you try to include corpses in the category of 'animals', then 'you really go down a slippery slope with absurd results.'
As if we haven't gotten lost in that territory already.
The only clear place to draw a line in the definition of what is an animal, and what isn't, was at the point of death, he argued.

He gave the example of a roast turkey – with which it would be illegal to have sex under the braoder interpretation of the law – claiming that it was unreasonable to suggest it should still be classified as an animal for the purposes of law.
And isn't this what makes law more fun than science? In law, anything is possible for those who believe.
In response, prosecutor James Broughner argued that a deer carcass is still an animal – pointing out that in his statement to police, Hathaway called the corpse a 'dead deer,' demonstrating that he still thought of it as an animal.
Ah, but he didn't say "animal," he said "deer." Who knows what "deer" could mean "for purposes of law." Personally, I when I hear "deer," I think "cuisinart."
Judge Michael Lucci noted when hearing the arguments that: 'I'm a little surprised this issue hasn't been tackled before in another case.'
Say whaaa? I'm pretty jaded; I've heard of or seen some really bizarre and unwelcome practices--even outside of John Ashcroft's boudoir. But even in my farthest reaching comic moment, the possibility of people fucking dead animals has never occured to me. Just what sort of legal world does this judge inhabit? Does it overlap with an emergency room? What Rick-Santorum-level of bizarre shit do lonely Minnesotans partake in? Can it be filmed and sold overseas?
If Hathaway is convicted, he could serve up to two years in prison, because of a previous conviction in 2005 for shooting dead a horse called Bambrick. So that he could have sex with it.
Count that as one more thing I hadn't considered. How, exactly, does one come to such a fetish? How do you find out you've got it? Are trudging through the woods one day, on the cusp of puberty, and see a dead dog and get sprung?



Hey, asshole Karl, you might want to read this before 2008.


Bye, Bye, Rummy

Would you like a side order of Resignation with your Woopass?


After yesterday's ass-whoopin' that we gave the gee oh pee, I'm supposed to be elated. But I'm not. I'm relieved--extremely relieved. It's the same feeling I got after finishing long, complicated projects or term papers. Maybe I'm feel a tinge of elation if we take the Senate. If nothing else, we narrowed the gap and put what amounts to a Congressional flood gate in government. Anybody feel the same way?

On a side note, newly minted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (can't we have Boxer?) declared that this Congress would be "the most honest, most open, most ethical Congress in history." I guess that means none of them will be showing up for work in January....

On another side note, from here on out, things are gonna get fugly. Fortunately, in a Hegelian dialectical reversal, to Democrats fugly = beeyooteefull.


Fake Headline of the Day

Katherine Harris Dead at 90 from Makeup Overdose

Fetus Song

Holy Christ Almighty.

It's the Iraqis' Fault

Late last night, I wrote most of a highly ironic post blaming the Iraqis for the decimation of their own country, because that's the logical extreme of the position so many former war cheerleaders are taking. But nutjob Paul at Power Whine beat me to it. I've never been able to tell how much of their preposterous prattle the lobotomized bruderbund at Power Whine believe, but it's frightening to contemplate the likelihood that much of the time they're sincere. Really, somebody should do a neurological study of them; we might learn something critical about derangement--and that would at least save these people from being total wastes of water. (Via Atrios.)

Exit Polls

Come Tuesday, if the exit polls don't match the official vote tallies, it's time to follow the example of Ukraine, Georgia, the Czech Republic and Mexico: Flood the streets and march on Washington. It's our last chance for democracy. After that, all bets are off.

Et Tu, Bruce?

Wow. I had no idea that director Richard Linklater (A Scanner Darkly, School of Rock, Dazed and Confused) had joined the 9/11 Truth chorus but on set he handed out DVDs about the twin towers' destruction and (apparently) Bruce Willis was so shaken by what he saw that his understanding of contemporary politics has shifted radically. The Boy King was right when he declared that "9/11 changed everything." As usual, what he meant was not what he meant us to think.


I was surprised to read not that Saddam was sentenced to death but that he was sentenced to hang. What is no surprise is that George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and the many other murderous sociopathic bastards responsible not only for 9/11 but for the subsequent bloodbath in Iraqistan. They will never be tried. They will never be sentenced. They will never, like Mussolini, be strung up at a gas station to hang upside down for public purview. That is because life is not fair. But now and then there is justice. So let's be glad that Saddam will hang, even if that's maybe not such a great idea for Iraq right now (c'mon, guys, could you maybe put it off for a couple years?)


From the Department of Obviousness Studies

Dear neurotic, sclerotic "news" media: Kerry was insulting the President, not the troops. But the staff of realitique™ don't expect you to listen to the entire quote in context. Because, frankly, you never do that. Which is why I, a former American news consumer, don't read your shit anymore.

Other recent discoveries of the obvious told realitique™, on condition of anonymity, that the obvious place to look to wed General Relativity (or, alternatively Lorentzian Relativity) to Quantum Mechanics is spacetime (neé the Ether) itself (a.k.a. "dark energy," which is quite likely the same thing as the "zero-point energy," which follows logically from the discovery of the Casimer--sp?--effect).*

In other news of the Obvious, Slate's John Dickerson is showing signs of concluding, based on six years of documentary evidence, that President Bush™ almost never tells the truth about anything. Welcome to the club, John; wish you had the mental wattage to figure that out, as the rest of us did, as early as 2001, but then you're a prominent Washington journalist, so obsequiousness, ignorance, incuriosity, spinelessness and a hazy cloud of advanced stupidity were required for you to land your current position as Slate's White House Disinformation Specialist. Tell Tony hi for us, willya?

*Thanks to several talented surgeons over several hours, I am now free of the inexplicably expanding stick up my ass.


Scene of the Day

Osman and girlfriend argue over something trivial, like whether he picked up the coffee or something else. They make up. They head for the bedroom and the camera crew attempts to follow. They angrily tell them to go away and slam the bedroom door in their face. The crew knock and get cursed out in response. We overhear "Oh, well, you'd think he'd like his fifteen months of fame." There is a large sliding glass door to the right of the crew. As they turn to leave (or pretend to leave but sneak back to listen for sex), they see through the glass door another similar film crew. The crews stare at each other, then flip each other off and nearly come to blows. Osman comes out of the bedroom and shouts at everybody to get out, lest he do something violent to them. The interviewer asks Osman if his girlfriend is naked and if he's interested in a side gig in porn, and whether they've started foreplay yet. Osman stares in disbelief. The interviewer keeps going: It pays premium, you know? and your girlfriend's pretty hot. Think she'd be interested in a little menage a trois? Osman fumes, then lunges at the crew, knocking the cameraman over or knocking the camera out of his hands. It falls on the floor. We see feet and legs and hear lots of grunting and cursing--but the camera is on its side. Finally the camera man picks up the camera and turns it toward the front door. Focuses. We see the back side of the interviewer as he leaves (Mr. Brown, this may be you). The camera tracks him as he exits the residence. The Film Crew are immediately accosted by many camera crews. Microphones are thrust in their faces. Scuffle as they reach the car. Insults. They get in the car, camera blurs. More question shouting and insults. They speed away.

Find the Differences between the Pictures


Happy Halloween

Or happy autumnal equinox, one of four points in the calendar year that is central to primitive religion. It's the source not only of hundreds of thousands of humans sacrificed to non-existent gods but also of Bible stories such as Jericho (the sun "stood still") and Easter (when winter's over and everything is green again--and the godman Jesus ascends to the "Father," or in this case the sun). Funny how a gruesome, childish practice over the centuries mutates into a benign celestial allegory and kids trick-or-treating in cute costumes. Better than the reverse, I guess.

In celebration of Halloween (or Samhain), here are too unwelcome articles, one on the provision Bush™ recently snuck through Congress that gives the Boy King the authority to seize control of the National Guard anywhere, anytime, without informing or asking permission of any state's governor. And if that news wasn't good enough for you, the dollar is looking pretty precarious right now. What should you care? two words: Howard Beale. The US dollar is the default currency of the world, against which all other currencies are measured. Heretofore it's been stable and so half of Asia has been buying up dollars and loaning them to us to pay for massive tax cuts for the rich, earmark giveaways, war profiteering and bloody, out-of-control wars in the Middle East.

So here we have a president illegally overriding Congress and state governors and a currency that's rolling down hill pretty fast until it reaches bottom and collapses.

What I've worried about vis a vis this election is the nexus of several disturbing, dictatorial trends, namely:
  1. The rapid construction of prison camps throughout the country which could eventually hold up to 400, 000 people. This is being done under the cover of "immigration reform."
  2. At the very least the last two elections were stolen outright, and there's all the documentary evidence you could ever want to back it up. And the GOP is busy stealing this one too.
  3. Cheney's order not long ago that the Pentagon draw up detailed plans for responding to another 9/11, despite the fact that the Administration is allegedly "keeping us safe" and we have no idea how to respond to an attack that has not occurred by people from a country we don't know.
  4. The building of superhighways for transporting things from Canada to Mexico and back. This is the flipside of a North American "security zone" that's in the works. Essentially, we'd cede our national sovereignty in exchange for a continent-wide shared security apparatus.
  5. The death of Habeas Corpus.
  6. Illegal wiretapping of the entire population.
  7. Using signing statements unconventionally to undermine legislation
  8. Ceding federal authority to industry insiders who join government and write legislation on behalf of said industry.
  9. Gearing up for war with Iran. Right now, most of our military hardware, most of it Naval, is in the Persian Gulf doing exercises with Israel and NATO (I think). Russia, China and most Caspian countries performed exercises as well, as did Iran. Add to that our cooptation of the exiled Iranian terrorist group the MEK to carry out acts of terror in Iran itself. There's good reason to believe that at least two planes full of top brass were crashed by the MEK. The war on Lebanon was a test case and was a smashing success. At least it was according to the Israelis. That's because the war had little to do with Hizbollah and everything to do with undermining Russia, China and Iran so Israel and Turkey could build their Ceyhan to Ashkalon oil, gas and water pipelines along the coast.
This is not good, people.


Saddam Capitulated to US Demands...before the War

Not only has this useless war for oil, money and domination wasted ~2800 American lives, killed tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis and blown off the lips and permanently injured the brains of tens of thousands of American soldiers and Marines and Iraqis, but according to Canadian peace negotiator, at the eleventh hour Saddam agreed to step down and accede to all American demands. The US government didn't respond, and shortly thereafter the bombing began. The Executive branch of our government is rife with lying, murderous bastard who should be taken outside and shot. But that won't happen. They probably won't even spend a night in jail. There's justice for you.

Sadly, though, we shouldn't be surprised. The same thing happened after 9/11. Before the attacks, the Taliban insisted that they wouldn't allow Bin Laden to attack the US. After the attacks, they agreed to hand over Bin Laden to the Hague, for trial. What did we do? Not only did we not tell the American public but we told either the Taliban or reporters (from the UK?) that peace was against our interests. We'd already threatened the Taliban with "a carpet of bombs" rather than "a carpet of gold" before the "snows fall in October." Which is when the bombing began. Considering that we have documentary proof that the war plans were ready before 9/11 and that taking Afghanistan was central to the War on (Some) Terror and that the entire fake war was an ingenious, if crazy plot cooked up by Zbigniew Brzinzski and Wolfowitz and later revised by the Project for the New American Century, it's pretty clear from that evidence alone that 9/11 was our plan to create a pretext for an underhanded war whose purpose was base economic gain and world domination. And that's even before you venture into the shadowy realm of Tora Bora, where we purposefully left open an escape route and later flew ~8000 Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters to Pakistan over several days, requiring the full knowledge and approval of Reich Marshall Rumsfeld, not to mention the Pakistan ISI, our offspring and favorite cutout in the Middle East.

Legal Releases

I've been soliciting advice about lawyers, accountants and LLCs for the past few days, so this struck a chord when I read it earlier:
The detailed legal releases, which it seems no one ever reads, were presented to people as if they were permission forms for being interviewed by a Kazakh TV show.


Good thing the election's coming up. The amount of work involved in making a film, esp. when you don't yet have a staff, is daunting--but fun. I'm all down with the photography, writing, acting and directing, but then there's PR and sales. You have to write and call everybody and juggle their responses. You have to make a press kit. You have to buy equipment, schedule flights, find food and all the other little bits of life. But I'm not complaining. If we get some buckage in a little while, then we (I) can hire at least a production assistant, if not a few more people than that. Right now, it's just me and Geoffrey and all the wonderful people who are helping out by hooking us up with Famous and Powerful People, giving professional advice (thanks, PDS), writing a bit here and there, letting us crash at their houses and donating their time for short scenes. Etcetera.

Once this project gets rolling, I'm going to find some guest bloggers to take over for a while. I'll probably have a blog for the production, but I doubt I'll have time to write it. Interns: they're not just for blowjobs anymore.

New RNC Ads



So You Want to Make a Movie?

Well, yes. Actually, the staff here at realitique™ headquarters beneath Sav-A-Center in our concrete, electromagnetically shielded bunker is busily working on the script and hitting up friends and connections for roles and general aid. When we get a short clip produced, don't worry, we'll be begging for change, so save up those nickels and dimes boys and girls. And if you can act, have piles of disposable cash or loose morals and a willingness to deceive or steal, know anything about film, have access to equipment or famous filmmakers, journalists, politicians or actors, or just like traveling with me and doing grunt work or making coffee and sandwiches, let me know. My bet is, after Nov. 7, you'll be so used to giving away your money that you'll come begging to me to take yours, which I will gladly do. This is a nearly zero-budget Indie flick, with the first round of financing provided by yours truly. Fortunately, it's a mockumentary, so aside from hotels, food and plane fare, it's close to free (well, once I finish buying the equipment). Working Title: Tim Osman Wants to Kill Your Children. In case you're concerned, it's a political satire based on the government's propensity to invent enemies as excuses for war. I know, sounds hilarious, but the god is in the details, o my brothers....


The Next War? (Update)

I don't know about you, but when the snows fall in October, I get all misty eyed about military adventure. Maybe it's the football. But it feels like it's time to get our asses back in the slaughterhouse and get to killing some Islamonazishariafascists, and what better target this season than Iran? Seems the Administration is thinking the same thing. Please join me in a prayer to Mars, beseeching Him to provide a Holy Pretext in the Persian Gulf, where we've amassed much naval hardware and are embarking on war games off the Iranian coast. Brothers and sisters of the Church of Bloodletting, there is salvation in killing. Shave your heads and harden your hearts, for the apocalypse draweth nigh!


Withdrawal Method

Ooo. Mmm. Ahhh. Great sounds in the proper context. Unfortunately, the context is consternation, not copulation. Watch the striking similarities between the "arguments" of the Nixon White House (or Bush's precursor) and those of Joe "Bush" Lieberman on the Vietraq War.

I understand that it's "hard" to "pull out" and "end" the war. But as Bill Maher said last week, we wanted to "penetrate Iraq and bring it to a glorious, euphoric climax," but three years later, we "keep pounding away until the whole area has become inflamed. Under the circumstances, the kindest thing you can do is just...pull out."*

*If you find the quote and I got some of the words wrong, let me know. And if you want to know how to make fine print like this, just ask. I use the font-size property of the span tag.


The Great Sketch Experiment

JibJab got John Landis to direct six short comedy sketches. Vote for your favorites. While they're all good, "So You Want to Be a Cop" and "Small World" are the best. The latter is hilarious.

The Drive

Since returning home a year ago, I've photographed all the devastated areas of the city. While I was doing so--and it took its toll on me emotionally--I kept wishing I had a good video camera, because it was impossible to capture the extent of the devastation with still photographs. It's one thing to see a ruined house sitting atop a car, the detritus of its owners' private lives spilling onto the pavement, but you cannot understand the palpable presence of destruction unless you've been in a war-torn city, witnessed a tornado destroy a town or simply drive through the post-apocalyptic metropolis and see it. Thank god somebody did exactly that: The Drive is literally a tour (what we call the "devastation tour") of the city as it was the first few months after the storm. I've written before that Lakeview and the Lower Ninth Ward look like post-atomic Hiroshima but without the burn victims. That description is absolutely correct, as any viewing of Japanese film reels will show. Watch The Drive here.

Which Party Supports the Troops?

Not the Gee Oh Pee.

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Khazakstan

First four minutes of the movie here. (Via Raw Story via Huffington.) Got your tickets yet?

Quote of the Day

Recently, George Michael openly smoked a joint during a TV interview and confessed, "Christ, if I drank as much as I smoke, I'd look like Keith Richards."


Are You Sitting Down II?

Um, uh...this is.... Know what? Just watch.

Are You Sitting Down?

Sometimes things are simpler than they might appear - and they involve envelopes of cash.

–Daniel Ellsberg

For those who know a good bit about the blockbuster dirty secrets of Bush, Reagan and Iran-Contra, connections between drug-smuggling, arms dealing/smuggling and various Western intelligence services will come as no surprise. But then there's Sibel Edmonds, who can (apparently) link widespread congressional bribery by foreign interests like Turkey to: Dennis Hastert, the Perlowitz Neocon Allstars, Afghan heroin, the European heroin market, Al Qaeda, Brewster Jennings (Valerie Plame's cover), Israel, AQ Kahn's bomb and other arms trading. This is The Big One that the FBI had gone quite a ways investigating (including documents and wiretaps) and was handing over to DoJ when Johnny "Spank Me, I Love Authori-tie" Ashcroft quashed it. These interviews with Larisa Alexandrovna and Daniel Ellsberg make it pretty clear that this story is one of the biggest out there in an era where you can throw a rock and hit a ginormous story--so, you know, don't expect to read it in the New York Times.

NOTE: If you haven't heard of "The Octopus," google it and read the Spy magazine article from several years ago. Whenever I hear about international organized crime (which Sibel Edmonds explicitly mentions) connected with the Military Industrial Complex and Western intelligence services, I think of it. The most disturbing thing is perhaps the extent to which such criminal enterprise drives foreign policy and influences government. For a taste, read Robert Parry's many articles on Bush, drug smuggling, the October Surprise and other tasty treats. (Scroll down and follow the links on the left-hand sidebar.)


Exsqueeze Me?

The Boy King claims his Administration was never "stay the course." Next: Bush reveals that he never claimed Iraq had WMD or that Osama was connected to 9/11. (Via Atrios.)


The Next War?

There's been lots of buzz recently about both an impending "October Surprise" and war with Iran. There's good reason to conclude the two are one and the same. But with the recent outbreak of what radio goddess Stephanie Miller calls "mastergate" or "La Cage aux Foley," the predictable pre-election fear-mongering has been thrown out of whack. I don't know if war with Iran was the planned October Surprise, but despite mounting evidence that such a war is in the offing, it's looking increasingly unlikely that it will begin before the elections of November 7. Why? Lack of pretext. While the neocon message machine was churning out regular calls for such a war, post-Foley we've heard barely a peep. And now there's the most recent episode in Those Wacky North Koreans (sweeps week edition). Given that there's all of 2 and a half weeks till the election, it's hard to believe the Administration can generate sufficient interest in Iran to mount an attack. Former Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter, who's pretty much always right about everything long before anyone else suspects anything is going on, claims that we'll start bombing the bejesus out of Iran by March. I wouldn't doubt him--ever. In any case, barring a small-scale false-flag terrorist attack in the U.S.--not bloody likely considering the lack of warning (fear mongering) and the outstanding claim that Bush™ has "kept us safe" since 9/11--it's hard to believe we'll be bombing anybody for at least a month.

But if you want an excellent overview of what we're up to in the Middle East and Central Asia, including all the military exercises Iran, Russia, China and their neighbors have conducted recently, and the massive naval military buildup by us, NATO and other allies, read this. For a detailed list of all the hardware we're positioning in and around the Persian Gulf, follow the Chossudovsky link near the beginning of the article. Considering that the Enterprise Strike Group (I may have the name wrong) is 1) getting near in the Persian Gulf, 2) is one of our most valuable naval assets but is especially susceptible to Iranian missle attack for which we have no adequate defense, and 3) was ordered out of dry dock prematurely, it's hard to believe that its hurried positioning off the coast of Iran is just a bluff. Ergo....


Habeas Corpus: RIP (No, Really)

Well, volk, it's legal now (don't say we didn't warn you). Kiss your Bill of Rights goodbye.

UPDATE (Not Exactly): From CBS and ABC morning news to NPR, I have heard nothing but whitewash from every Mainstream News Media outlet today. If you've heard something substantive, please, let me know. E&P sums up what most of the "news" sounded like. As pathetic as NPR's coverage was, at least they let Don Gonyea put criticism of the new tyrranical legislution in stark terms.

UPDATE: More Olbermann on today's tragedy.

UPDATE (Sort of): Meant to post this earlier Olbermann Habeas Corpus dirge, which is quite funny, but couldn't find it at the time.


The Wire

In an interview with former Attorney General John "Cromwell" Ashcroft to be published tomorrow, the golden-throated crooner had this to say:
Defending the president's policy on torture, he says, "I think there is a very sound argument for saying that those who violate the Geneva Conventions should not benefit from its provisions." When Solomon reminds him that that the U.S. stands for rights for all, he answers, "Well, we have guaranteed many rights to the prisoners."

Speaking of which: Ashcroft reveals that his artistic leanings go beyond music. He also makes "barbed-wire sculpture," he says (you can't make this stuff up).


Elsewhere, Ashcroft, a leading evangelical, admits he is a sinner, explaining, "I'm unkind on occasion, and I am selfish." He's an active Christian "because I am not good, because I need help."

(Emphasis mine.)

Nuff said. (Via Raw Story.)



Is It Fascism Yet? (Chapter Umpteen)

I know, I know, the following list was written by some dumbass academic and scholar (obviously an Osama-loving pinko librul) but I was just rereading the fourteen points of fascism, and I have to say that, yes, we're there. Not in the jack-booted-thugs-in-the-street sense, but very much in the social, legal and political sense. I'm not sure that any American government these days would risk pissing citizens off with jack-booted thugs, but I'm not so sure it matters anymore.

As so many have already done (including myself), it's time to recognize that America is dead.

Mr. Frozen Cash

I'm behind on a lot of things, so maybe some of you won't be surprised, but just now I found a pamphlet in the road for...(come on, guess)...William "Frozen Cash" Jefferson for Congress. His website is pretty sparse, like his ethics, but Jeeeeeeezus. Why is he bothering? Next: Mark Foley runs for governor of Florida. Stay tuned.

Line of the Week

John Dickerson of Slate often rubs me the wrong way--kinda like Mark Foley did to more than a few pages. But in his latest piece, he shows uncommon wisdom and insight. I hope he (ahem) keeps it up. After criticizing Bush™ for using the "dumb" phrase "cut and run," Dickerson (okay, yes, his name is a bonus for the story) speculates that
...perhaps Bush was just trying to be heard this week. Mark Foley's heavy breathing by BlackBerry consumed a lot of news cycles. Maybe Bush should have talked about Iraq by IM to get heard.
(Emphasis mine.)

Heh. Indeed.



New Orlean's annual Art for Art's Sake is tomorrow night, in which many New Orleanians stroll around Magazine and Julia streets, looking at art and drinking wine and snacking on not nearly enough food. Well, this year, John Waters (of Pink Flamingoes fame) has an art exhibit at the Arthur Roger gallery, starting at six PM. Needless to say, I'll be there.


Pagegate: Is the Sky Falling?

Think pagegate has already broken wide open? Apparently, far from it. According to former NSA official Wayne Madsen (today's Madsen day, I guess):
A well-placed source has told WMR that the Pagegate scandal will soon involve underage male and female teens who have not served as congressional pages, but who have reported abuse by well-known GOP players in the nation's capital. The source says the Psychiatric Institute of Washington's "Center Unit" has dealt with a number of child abuse cases involving senior Republican office holders in the Washington, DC area. Now that GOP abuse of minors is finally receiving media attention as a result of Pagegate, it is a matter of time before the abused males and females report the details of their own abuse cases.
Even if that proves false, Brian Ross reports that three more teens are accusing Foley:
Three more former congressional pages have come forward to reveal what they call "sexual approaches" over the Internet from former Congressman Mark Foley.

The pages served in the classes of 1998, 2000 and 2002. They independently approached ABC News after the Foley resignation through the Brian Ross & the Investigative Team's tip line on ABCNews.com. None wanted their names used because of the sensitive nature of the communications.
If both reports prove true, the GOP isn't just toast, it's burnt toast.

Kinda reminds you of Bush Sr.'s Boys Town, Credit Union sex scandal starring sicko Larry Franklin, don't it? Haven't heard of it? Not surprising. It got killed by most "respectable" news outlets. (Raw Story's Larisa Alexandrovna told me about it in a really, really long phone call in 2005.)

UPDATE: Now Congresscritter Ferguson gets caught at a Washington college bar.

UPDATE: Kevin Drum's heard rumors that two more politicos are about to get swept up in this unholy mess. (Via Democratic Underground.)

Rash of Data Thefts Tied to US Intelligence Services

While I'm on a Wayne Madsen kick, I thought I should finally mention his stunning revelation of what may be the reason for the obviously calculated and widespread theft of laptops and data from government agencies, telecom companies, universities and other entities. The operation is so widespread that even organized crime couldn't tackle it (unless, like me, you think the entire GOP is the very definition of organized crime). That pretty much leaves government intelligence and security services. Why steal laptops? Information, esp. private information very valuable to the NSA domestic spying operation, much of which likely has more to do with controlling the vote than anything related to terrorism. Read Madsen's chart here.

NOTE: One thing that's never made sense to me about all the previous data theft stories is how it's even possible. How do you steal 19,000 laptops? Don't people take them home? What gives? And why am I (seemingly) the only person to wonder why the MSM seemed uninterested in investigating such a huge number of thefts occurring in just a few months?

The Next War

I can't say whether the increasingly likely war on Iran, the next phase of the long war, is going to happen or whether it's Rove's promised October Surprise, but right now I'm betting they're one and the same. Here are the two best articles written on the situation--articles unavailable in the MSM, which with the exception of Sy Hersh and a few others, can't find its ass with both hands.

The first article is Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya's thoroughly researched "The March to War: Naval build-up in the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean." The second is Wayne Madsen's special report of September 17-18 (scroll all the way down), which is stunning in its detail and connects the CIA, Bob Ney, Iran, Valerie Plame, Armitage and a bunch of arms smuggling and dirty dealing. I hate to say it, but these two articles make Hersh and Woodward look neophytes.

UPDATE: More reason to think war with Iran is a few short blocks away. But here's the clincher: The plan was requested in the event of another 9/11 attack. Put that together with the indications that the war will occur in October (or possibly a month later, post-election) and you'll understand why I'm a bit anxious. Add to it the Halliburton-constructed detention centers and the abrogation of Habeas Corpus, and you'll understand why leaving the country is an option everyone should consider. Moreover, in light of the outright, nationwide theft of the last two elections and you'll understand why the next five weeks are critical to the country.


Sayeed Sheik

This guy is the central figure in 9/11. He makes Atta look peripheral.


Borat Speaks

Maybe this won't be the biggest comedy of the year, but I suspect it will be even bigger than Napoleon Dynamite. Chist, I wet myself just thinking about it.

Nie Wieder: A Tortured History

I was just listening to the otherwise well-informed Tom Oliphant and Al Franken (sorry, Geoffrey), when I heard how opposed the CIA was to the recent Republican rah-rah-torture bill. Now I'm not saying that everyone in the CIA is pro-torture, but it was the CIA and other intelligence agencies that taught to Latin American governments the very techniques that have now migrated to the military. Not that the "liberal media" has noted it, but WE invented and tested the psychologically damaging practices that migrated to the Middle East, and we did so decades ago. Haven't heard of it? Don't listen to the allegedly liberal media. Do your homework. The media of this country, as excellent as it is, sucks shit compared to that of, say, Britain. These days they suck far more shit than the gov't-teat-sucking media of Singapore. This article's been around for a couple of months, but anyway, Naomi Klein gives you the skinny in one of the few American publications worth reading.


You Might Be a Republican If

Take the test.

Do I think you're an idiot if you vote Republican? No, but at the very least, I think you're in extreme denial. Or you're too lazy for words.

Uh, Yeah, That

Not only did 12+ foreign intelligence services warn the US that Bin Laden was about to strike (and the Joint Chiefs of Staff cancelled their travel plans for 9/11), but Rice was warned strongly by Tenet and Cofer Black about an impending attack. She did nothing. Atrios may think there's a simple explanation for My Pet Goat, but given the available evidence, the plausible explanation is a bit more severe.

UPDATE: Raw Story reports on what the, er, NYT reports. Why didn't I link directly to the NYT's account? I don't bother reading them. I don't bother with the MSM, even when they (rarely) do their jobs--and I mean that as a criticism of owners and editors, not reporters, who often see their stories killed. The MSM is on life-support. There's no reason to read them. Read Raw Story, Online Journal and Global Research if you want to know what the fuck's going on in the world.


Fuck of the Day

Y'know, that's probably the first time I've used the word "fuck" on this blog in its original meaning. Anyway, here's some hot pom-on-pom action, compliments of YouTube. I was inspired to search for "pomeranian" because my 5-lb., 10-year-old dog, Boudin, has been beleaguered of late by Mr. Kibbles, a 7-month-old, unneutered pomeranian, the ward of the neighbor of my ex-girlfriend Amanda. (Amanda was dogsitting for me during "vacation.") I have not met Mr. Kibbles, but I'm told he's, um, "eager," and given his lust for my poor spayed pooch, he likes older women, especially ones who don't like him. Last time this happened, my dog was the object of affection of a French bull dog, who quit showing off once Boudin barked at him, warning him off a chew toy. Pussy. My question is, given the sheer amount of fur on a pomeranian, how does a male find the (as Ali G would say) poonany?

UPDATE: Turns out, I did use the verb in its original meaning at least once before.

Forgive Her

The most deplorable bill ever passed in these United States, a disgusting legalization of torture, contrary to what any conservabot asserts, was helped along by Senatrix Mary Landrieu. I've said it before and will continue to do so: She can vote pro-Bush until this city is rebuilt. As Schroeder and Oyster have said, we're all wearing the blue dress now. And Mary's much hotter than Monica's wet dreams. I hate the unelected president of our once decent country, but Louisiana is his bitch. He should take care, though, lest his bitch strangle him one night while he sleeps, dreaming of his beloved autocracy.


Cat Head Theater Presents Hamlet

I don't remember cats swatting at butterflies in the original stage directions, but I think it's appropriate to the scene. Note: If you still haven't listened to Falafelsex's "Tequila" below (cure for what ails ya), please do so; it's a riot.

Liquid Explosives? Pshaw!

Nafeez Ahmed, the brilliant author of the must-read The War on Truth, reports the latest on last month's faux terror plot.

Note: If you want the most reliable, open-source, damning information on how and why the US gov't perpetrated 9/11, read Ahmed's book. It's overwhelming, and it doesn't even touch on the controlled demolition of the WTC or the plane that did or didn't hit the Pentagon.

Iraq to US: Stay the Course.

Not. (Via Raw Story.)


Condi Rice: Liar

Not a surprise, but here you go.

UPDATE: The Daily Show features clips on Condi's typical lying shenanigans. Then again, she was right to assert post-9/11 that "there were no warnings" and that "nobody could have predicted they would use planes as missles." And the August 6 PDB was merely "historic"; the ambiguous, misleading title was only "Bin Laden Determined to Strike within the United States." Who could blame her for not acting against Al Qaeda?

UPDATE: Olbermann runs down the Clarke plan the Clintonistas developed for lyin' Condi and what she didn't do with it.

Another non-NIE NIE

On the heels of the revelation that a (probably purged) version of the recent Iraq/Patterns of Global Terrorism National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) will be declassified, TPM Muckraker reveals that there's another NIE on the same subject waiting in the wings. Josh Marshall reports:
Hill sources tell TPMmuckraker that the administration has been sitting on the report, trying to prevent its dissemination before the election, presumably. And it turns out, from what we've heard, that this NIE actually hasn't been given the official "NIE" label because doing that would have required sharing it with various members of Congress.
Call your congresscritter and tell them to demand this other report be released as well.

Doublespeak Newsweek

Your state-influenced Chinese American media at work. (Via C&L.)

Stop Hiding, and Start Living

Nature's cure for what ails ya.

UPDATE: I don't know what's in that shit, but my only unforgiveably embarrassing moments came from drinking too much of it. In the only instance I'm willing to repeat (Amanda knows the one I'm not willing to), I attended an office party for Innovative Emergency Management with a hot German chick who, at one point, plopped down a bottle of Cuervo (I actually went to college with a Puerto Rican named Jose Cuervo--not kidding). That's the last thing I remember. The next Monday, my officemate informed me that I'd poured the remainder of the bottle over our receptionist's head and offered to lick it off. I was being honest, and would still love to do that, but red-faced and shuffling, I apologized to her. Had I been sober, I would've known that no one would enjoy having Cuervo poured over them, no matter how it may have been removed.

Who Dat?

Now I'm one of those rare straight men who doesn't watch sports, but I always like it when the Saints win. Given the prison-bitch condition New Orleans is in, last night's inaugural win at the renovated Dome was some kinda sweet. We really needed it.

UPDATE: It's hard to explain, but reading Chris Rose's piece in today's paper made me cry. Then again, so much around here makes so many of us cry. We cried every day for months. Now we just cry once or twice a week.

UPDATE: If you don't know the quintessential New Orleans song "Hey Pock A-way," listen to it here (requires plugin). I don't ordinarily name-drop, but as the ex-roommate of the most famous young drummer in the world (literally), Brian Blade, I have him to thank for introducing me to The Meters--and he can thank his Baptist-preacher dad for introducing him to same.


We Must Disenthrall Ourselves

We've needed another Edward R. Murrow for decades now. At last, we have one. Thank you, Mr. Olbermann.

Ah, the Good Ole Daze

A brief primer on the last time we overthrew the Iranian gov't. Note: Last time, it was a citizen-oriented, progressive democracy that we overthrew in favor of a snivelling dictator. Don't you just love our foreign policy? Fortunately, we haven't learned a thing.

Pogue Mahone

I've been in Ireland for the last week, with one of realitique™'s mystery reporters. It was a good trip, despite a relapse of the horror-show sinus problems I had a few weeks ago that led me to overdose on pseudoephedrine and wind up in the ER. Trust me, if I told you the details of the malady, you'd understand why I OD'd. Anyway, I hadn't been to Ireland before. We went to Dublin and Gallway, which was beautiful. Highlights: the cliffs of Mohr and the Guinness brewery (free samples! and a view of all of Dublin).

What I learned: Stewardesses are petty tyrants. Maybe not all of them, but after years of flying, my dense brain finally caught on to the striking similarity between kindergarten teachers and stewardesses. A hefty percentage of both professions is filled with people who love to tell others what to do and take argument little better than cops do. Example: When we were about to land at JFK, a Jennifer-Connelly-looking stewardess told me to put my shoulder bag in the overhead compartment. I complied, but (god forbid) sighed. She turned and walked back to me and told me in no uncertain terms that it was "for safety reasons." I pointed out that I hadn't said anything, and she responded, "I heard you sigh." Um, yeah, okay. Sorry for registering my discontent. Pogue mahone.

If I can locate (or purchase) the wire for my camera, I'll post what few pictures I took.

Sorry, Nancy

God forbid a foreign leader (and one who cares about the citizenry) should call Il Duce "el diablo." So of course the Dems have to hurry to denounce his remarks, lest any prospective voter should think...I dunno, that...well, I don't know why. Saying nothing would not indicate support. It may well indicate that one thinks Chavez's remarks irrelevant or unimportant. Or it may indicate agreement. Anyway, there's little point in denouncing Chavez's remarks. Not just because Chavez is right, but because the people who were in a lather over the weekend over said remarks are the people who won't vote for Democrats anyway. Do something useful, Nancy: Attack the GOP and the president on security. Their policies are disastrous and anti-American and the majority of the public thinks the Democrats are better on security/defense than the Republicans. Not that I'd expect Democrats or, god forbid, our GOP-fellating national media to read any polls....

GOP Congress Fails to Finish Destroying America

Republican Congressman admits that, unfortunately, recognizable parts of America remain intact.

Well, there's always next session....

David Frum Sniffs Own Colon

The Frumster reveals that he hasn't read any liberal blogs, let alone their comments sections. Of course, this is to be expected. He is a conservative pundit. That means (usually), that he lies, dissembles and never knows what he's talking about.

Remember When...

We had a president worthy of the title? Question: Why do conservatives hate America?


The Stupidest Shit on the Planet

[Please include some use of the word fuck.] I've singled out this asshole before, but he keeps besting himself. I wouldn't bother except that he makes Assrocket look like an intelligent being. Anyway, enjoy. Or don't. (Warning: He can't figure out how to give a permalink so you have to go to the comments and click on "original post." Sorry.)
I'm not sure, since various neurosurgeons would know better, but if you're willing to vote Republican right now, I strongly suspect you're an idiot, retarded or some kind of lobotomized hybrid. My own father falls into that category, as does my architect uncle in California who introduced me to Monty Python. I'm not sure why he's an authoritarian, but apparently he is. You want to vote for Bush? Fine. Don't talk to me. If you read news and still support this guy, then you are off the fucking map. Seriously. As in, you're a Brobdignaggian. You don't have the intelligence or interest in reality to comment on anything. Go fuck yourself.

UPDATE (not really): I haven't read the comments and probably won't. Anyway, that last bit was over the top. No, don't go fuck yourself, just don't vote. Or at least do your homework first (no, that doesn't mean read presidential statements and conservablogs, it means read actual sources and news reports, like the rest of us do).



One of my favorite poems:
In our time the destiny of man presents its meanings in
political terms

- Thomas Mann

HOW can I, that girl standing there,
My attention fix
On Roman or on Russian
Or on Spanish politics?
Yet here's a travelled man that knows
What he talks about,
And there's a politician
That has read and thought,
And maybe what they say is true
Of war and war's alarms,
But O that I were young again
And held her in my arms!


That Darned Gee Oh Pee

Recently I informed my dad that, depending on how events played out in November, I might be leaving the country. (Will I? I don't know, but I thought I should warn a few people that I might.) I mentioned that I could no longer support the GOP and hoped never to vote for any of their candidates again (that's a polite way of rendering what I wrote). Several days later--a bit longer than it usually takes--he sent me a couple of grafs in reply. The main one read:
Sorry, I am not a blog reader and I do not understand what all you have been saying of a political nature. Your mother and I did not raise you to be a democrat. What is the specific issue? Are you involved in a civic capacity to improve situations or just complaining?
(Emphasis mine.)

I'm not sure what my dad meant by "just complaining," since that's what all the howling monkeys on the unhinged Right were doing for Clinton's two terms--with a stained dress as a pitiful excuse. I wouldn't term screaming about the shredding of the Fourth Amendment "just complaining." Be that as it may, I found it amusing that my father called forth the reason that he and my long-deceased mother didn't "raise" me to be a democrat. So true. Neither did they raise me to be an atheist, a libertine, a well-read and -educated person, a writer, an artist or anything else, for that matter. I much appreciate that they encouraged me to do what I wanted and what suited my talents. I have many friends who were torn apart early in life thanks to sick parental policies which I had none of. So kudos for my parents. But my dad has no right to mention how I was raised. He was raised a Catholic or Universalist, depending on which parent you speak of; he was also raised to beat children, drink copious amounts of liquor and indulge in "engineering." So what?

Presumably, my father didn't raise me to get divorced. And yet I did just that. Neither was he raised to remarry before my mother was in the ground a year. Nor was either of us raised to be a serial killer, a philanderer, a thief or a greedy politico. My answer to my unthinking father: Tough shit.

Analogy of the Day

Plenty of die-hard Bushies still insist that everything's fine, there's no reason to worry about the shredding of the Constitution, war powers are absolute and they always dial down, etc. Good for them. But take a gander at the attitudes of most German citizens following the Reichstag fire and Hitler's assumption of extra-Constitutional powers:
The overwhelming majority of Germans did not seem to mind that their personal freedom had been taken away, that so much of culture had been destroyed and replaced with a mindless barbarism, or that their life and work had become regimented to a degree never before experienced even by a people accustomed for generations to a great deal of regimentation.... The Nazi terror in the early years affected the lives of relatively few Germans and a newly arrived observer was somewhat surprised to see that the people of this country did not seem to feel that they were being cowed.... On the contrary, they supported it with genuine enthusiasm. Somehow it imbued them with a new hope and a new confidence and an astonishing faith in the future of their country.
Fuck the Fourth Amendment. Our Glorious Il Duce will lead us into the shining corporatist future!


The London Bojinka Plot: Pre-Fab Pseudo Terror

Nafeez Ahmed, the author of the shocking, damning analysis of 9/11 The War on Truth, has a lot to say about the latest UK scary terror plot.

He also has a blog.

Highly recommended. If you want to know what's really going on, Ahmed is the most insightful, thorough analyst next to Michael Chossudovsky. By far the two best sites for cutting-edge information that even blue bloggers won't report are The Online Journal and Global Research.


The New Iraqi Robocracy

Since the prospects for democracy in Iraq are looking a bit, um, thin, Wonkette held a poll for which alternative they should try. The winner? Robocracy. Be sure to read the whole list at the end.


Power-Broker David Gergen Breaks Down

Normally, I'd be semi-okay with David Gergen, but in this instance, he's just an asshole who should be outed. Dave, get over your Skull and Bones connections. You like the sacrifice of Dull Care? Kool. Beyond that, shut the fuck up. And, while we're at it, go fuck yourself.

Kingdom Come

The new movie adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's magnum opus All the King's Men is coming out soon. While I'll neither condone Huey Long's authoritarian or corruption streaks, I don't condone his assassination. What may get lost in the non-debate we'll see, in which Long will be posthumously reviled for looking out Chávez-like for the poor, is that Long authored the New Deal. FDR revised it slightly, then implemented it. Now Bush™ is systematically dismantling it--a process that's gone much farther than you think. That's the tragedy here, because we need not only the old New Deal but new New Deal. Huey Long's career was fundamentally about the class war, the one being waged against most of us right now by the fascistic corporatist monied elite who want to rule a globalized police state in which you must obey their every whim.

But that's not why I posted about this. What initially struck me was that the director got the accents right. If you're not a Louisianian, that may mean nothing to you. But for ages, film crews have shot here and, despite the accents of the help which they never seem to hear, they never portray Louisiana accents accurately. We don't have southern accents. We have an odd blend of French, English and Italian (and even German and Irish) accents that are more akin to those of Brooklyn than anything in the South. Thanks for getting it right.

Mike Malloy "Terminated"

Air America has fired Mike Malloy. We're not sure why, as he's one of the founders of liberal talk radio and has a large, loyal following. And he beats the living shit out of people like Ed Schultz and Jerry Springer. If I can find AAR's phone number, I'll post it here. Those idiots should be flogged for this. There is nobody like Malloy, and AAR can be sure that people like me will follow Mike wherever he goes, avoiding whatever show replaces his.

UPDATE: Lost and lonely Malloy listeners who perchance happen upon this space may want to know whom to call or email about this "business decision." From Mike Malloy: call 212-871-8290 or email to: comments@airamericaradio.com

And remember, Mike's replacement Peter Werbe's in an awkward spot. So be nice to him. He neither asked for nor expected this shit.

The Next War Is as Close as Baluchistan

Want to know what funny business we and our beloved Al-Qaeda-Pakistani-ISI proxy (of the CIA) are doing to swab the target Iran before the inevitable shot (now this will sting a little)? Here's an Online Journal article that confirms what Seymour Hersh reported a while ago: we're conducting operations in Baluchistan, a part of Pakistan that borders Waziristan (the alleged Taliban/Al-Qaeda stronghold) and Iran, and the leader of which, Bugti, Musharraff recently assassinated. It's rife with natural resources and yields access to the Ali-Baba-like cave opening the Straight of Hormuz, which like Borat's sister's thighs, once spread wide lets ships move oil and gas to China and elsewhere. Key grafs:
The latest developments in the murder of the Baluch leader, Bugti, is a case in point: Pakistan is in an uproar and calling for his resignation.

Why would the axis-of-evil crusaders want to destabilize a crucial ally? They don't "want" to, but they have bigger plans.

The US has three military bases in Baluchistan. They say they are fighting Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in the region. Perhaps. But, Baluchistan borders with Iran to the west. Baluchistan, too, is rich in natural gas and minerals. China is helping the Pakistani government to build a natural gas pipeline from Baluchistan's port of Gwadar to China, a project the Bush administration opposes. The port of Gwadar just happens to be geographically located to overlook the Straits of Hormuz, which the Iranians intend to block if they are attacked. Hormuz is the crucial sea route for internatinal oil distribution.

Coincidence that the US should be interested in "terrorism" in Baluchistan and urging Musharraf to be more zealous at the same time that it is planning an attack on Iran?

An article by the Carnegie Endowment entertains the same thought, albeit to deny it: "The Baluch and the Pakistani think that Washington would like to use Baluchistan as a rear-guard base for an attack on Iran, and Iran is suspected of supporting Baluch [independence] activists in order to counter such a Pakistani-US plot. . . . Some Pakistanis perceive the US using its Greater Middle East initiative to dismantle the major Muslim states and redefine the borders of the region. Some Baluch nationalists charge the US with conspiring with the Pakistani government to put an end to Baluch claims. So far nobody has been able to prove any of these accusations."

No? No matter, the Iranians have been mining their side of the Baluch borders, just in case, and Bugti, Baluch independence leader, has been killed by the diplomatically besieged Musharraf, catapulting the country into a political crisis.
As with the initial US-led 9/11 attack, perhaps yet again the bombing will commence before "the snows fall in October"....

UPDATE: A January 23, 2005 article in the London Telegraph confirms Hersh's report.

UPDATE: Remind me again why Iran is a "threat"? I'm sorry, but the rabidly insecure, bedwetting Krauthammers, Perles, Olmerts and Bushes of this world are full of shit. Ahmadinejad, as much of a right-leaning blowhard as he may be (he didn't call for Israel to be "wiped off the map") wants diplomatic relations and trade with the US. Iran's wanted that for years. Does no one in the GOP remember the Mob's advice to "keep your friends close but your enemies closer"? It's sound advice. Plus, even though Iran is well within its rights to develop nuclear power, it's years away from developing a bomb (even if it's trying to do so). And even if it gets the bomb, it will never use it. If it did, it knows it would be obliterated by either Israel or the United States. These people aren't crazy--well, no more than the blustery but harmless Pat Robertson. The real boss of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, is a cool pragmatist with a moderate approach to regional difficulties. We may not like his approach to governance, but he's no idiot. He's closer to Kruschev than to the paranoid Stalin. The way to eliminate Iran as a threat is the same way to eliminate everyone as a threat: Mind our own business, stop starting wars and overthrowing governments, strengthen diplomatic and trade ties, give money for development, exchange students, be the generous guy who buys the drinks and respects your space and opinion. Then everyone will love you, will tell you about any impending threats and will back you when you're in a corner. These fucking neocons are stone-cold idiots.

NOT AN UPDATE EXACTLY: Just another point that I made to a mystery reporter the other night (thanks for the hours-long conversation): If the present Administration cared about actual threats instead of pretexts, it would focus on North Korea. That place is run by a--does this sound familiar?--spoiled trust-fund baby who craves power and attention (flip side of coin). It doesn't help that that country is so poor and badly run (familiar?) that Kim Jong Il resorts to international smuggling to pay the bills. That creates a situation to sell nukes as tempting as a soldier sequestered in the Hanoi Hilton feels for any dumpy prostitute. Anyone with any sense would worry about the pompadoured dictator selling arms to monied clients. The only upside there is that he promised Saddam nukes but took his millions and gave him nothing. At least his cheatin' heart gives us hope.


Olbermann's Murrow Moment

When I saw Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck, I wished we had an Edward R. Murrow for this age of imperial decline. Well, we have one now. Olbermann humbly claims he could never write as well as Murrow. He just proved himself wrong.


Are We There Yet?

Thom Hartmann has an excellent piece on the rise of American fascism. He quotes liberally from a NYT article by then-Veep Henry Wallace that's stunningly prescient. A must read.

Palast Reports on Gov't Negligence

I've been dreading this day but now it's here. I've invested in plenty of kleenex, so I should be okay; maybe a jazz funeral will help too. In a perverse irony, while the very definition of evil's banality George W. Bush has been photo-opping and pretending to care over red beans with Nagin, Greg Palast has been investigating the staggering, incomprehensible breadth and depth of governmental negligence before, during and after the storm. Watch both parts here.

Note: In a stunning twist of events, Palast's reports on Katrina are not breathtakingly shocking. For once, he's coving a story that other actual American journalists covered. Remarkable. Too bad they don't follow him around.

Oh, and Palast doesn't do my former employer IEM any favors. They were paid $500k to come up with an evacuation plan--a task for which they're probably one of the best firms in the country. Too bad nobody can find the plan. Fuck IEM.

BONUS: The guy with his hand in the lens urging Palast's crew out the door is the longtime (and pretty brilliant) IT manager, Dave.

The Gamut

Here are two ads from Video Dog: one an anti-suicide-bomber PSA, the other a clever, gruesome (but funny) ad for...I don't want to spoil it. Just watch.

Where Y'at?

This is a bizarre video of a fat, shirtless New Orleanian dancing his way through Lakeview and along the lake (near the 17th St. breach). (Via Video Dog.)


The New American Empire

I haven't read the professor's book, but his blog kicks some serious foreign-policy ass.

Central Asian War Games

Right on the heels of extensive, long-lasting Iranian war games covering most (if not all) of the regions that the US and Israel would attack, various Central Asian post-Soviet satellites are following suit.


The Actual News

If you get your news from cable, you're probably out-of-the-loop or just plain GOP-crazy. Get the real news from the Middle East here.

Kenyon v. Nagin

I'm no fan of Ray Ray. But NY's Peter Kenyon has no idea what we're facing here. He seems to think that an entire NYC neighborhood's devastation is somehow equivalent to that of 2/3 of an entire city. So: Go fuck yourself, Mr. Kenyon. If you have a problem with NO mayor Nagin, take it up with him in person. Otherwise, knock yourself out or play homeless on a steam grate. We don't fucking care what you've done for NYC or what you think of our fucking city. You're a waste of water, asshole.

Paging Amanda Pederson

Aw, hell, so what if you and I are brokenhearted? So what if we should be together? We aren't, so I guess we're both fucked. But the least you could do is respond to my email or maybe your mother could. If you don't respond soon, I'll start calling you, just to see how you are.


9/11 Cover Up

Well, gee, I'm sure it's not true. We'd never stage terrorist attacks against our own country. Either way, it would help if, oh, I dunno, Democratic candidates didn't sign on to this shit. And maybe if Amanda Pederson and her mother at least let me know that they're alive.....

Mike Malloy Responds

There's really no point in this, but just now midnight Mike Malloy read my email on the air. Yeah, okay, I was thrilled. I humbly chastised him for fussing at a guy against the Iraq war for asking why we should leave. Malloy was kind enough to agree that he's, well, impatient but that he has his reasons. I understand. Patience is a hard thing to come by with this SOB in the White House. Some people are geared for it; some aren't. I'm probably not one of them. Anyway, a shoutout to the King of Radio for reading my message. If it weren't for Malloy, most of AAR wouldn't even exist.

Before I Forget: Late Edition

The invaluable Palast-level NYT investigative reporter David Cay Johnston was nice enough to reply to my email about the crisis in investigative journalism, writing, "You ought to look more deeply -- there is actually far more investigative reporting going on today than, say, 30 years ago. Look at the massive library of material at www.ire.org for example." As with one of our mystery reporters (the nicer one), I don't disagree (though I was surprised). Essentially, my email exchanges with these reporters reveal that, while we basically agree on much of what's wrong and what isn't being reported, they're coming from the view that American journalism is hamstrung by corporate beancounters and the hunger for access (etc.) whereas I'm of the view of a consumer: I want the news reported, and in the past year it's become blindingly clear that 80% of the biggest, most documented stories don't make it to American shores, esp. on TV. Europe? They know. That's why they think we're insane. The recent non-coverage of the War on Lebanon is a perfect example. Watching US TV news, you'd loathe Hizbollah and worry for Israel. The rest of the world thought the opposite, and for good reason: They actually get the news.

Anyway, per Johnston's advice, check out ire.org.

Bush Family Fortunes

Since we're still buried in Palastine, here's the BBC's exposé of the Bush family, one of the greatest and most devastating political dynasties in US history. (Oh, it gets worse, but this is a good introduction.) The page the link is on is a treasure trove of investigation journalism: view at your own risk.

The Invisible College

Year after year, the dead pile up: celebrities trip the light fantastic out of town for the more peaceful pastures of memory. We've passed up many an opportunity to eulogize many of the dead in the past year, partly out of laziness, partly out of the sheer pointlessness of blogging. But lest we let these greats go by uncommended, please celebrate the tragically short life of gifted comic actor Bruno Kirby and not-so-short life of Maynard Ferguson, who may not have been the best trumpeter ever, but was an influential one who'll long be remembered for his talents and, especially, for his trademark high notes. He testified in a clear, pure tone (as clear as Marsalis') and loved to perform. I last saw his shock of white hair at the State Palace Theater in New Orleans circa 1989. He was featuring a young saxophone Turk who sought to impress with lots of Parker-like riffs but couldn't touch my wounded, envious friend Pat, who played tenor with the minimalism, imagination and use of sonic white space of Dexter Gordon. Godspeed, guys. We'll miss you.

Um... I'm... Hrmm....

This is... this is, um....

Take a look for yourself. BTW, I can think of a remarkably similar and much more stimulating form of exercise. You can do it with a partner or, if you're so inclined, buy a Sybian....

(Via Ana Marie [ahem, Cox] subbing for Sully.)

Katherine Harris Twitches, Drools

On the day after a new technique for making stem-cell lines without killing precious frozen multi-cellular snow-flake teletubbies and the same day the FDA finally after Pat-Roberts-style foot-dragging let Plan-B (the Morning After Pill, not the Soviet secret silent sub report) be sold over the counter, Katherine Harris tells us that "God chooses our rulers." That's fascinating. Not only is that not detailed in the Constitution or federal law or any court decision, it makes one wonder why God needed Harris and Jeb Bush to deny the vote to tens of thousands of mostly black Democratic Florida voters who weren't even felons, so that King George could ascend the throne by a meager 500+ vote margin. Twice. Thank God relies on super duper Christofascists like Bush and Harris instead of those stoopid negroes and po' white folk. If Democrats had their democratic way, as my brilliant yet benighted uncle says, we'd all be "pushing oxcarts for Arabs."

The Next War?

One overlooked resource we have yet to start fun adventurous Hardy-Boys-style wars over is sand. That's right: sand. Imagine if we nuked the Middle East? How much glass would we have then, huh? Yeah, you right: buy your glass futures now!

But unseriously, almost weekly I hear some candid clip of Il Duce talking and I have a naked lunch moment: I can't believe this jackass is in the White House. But hey, if a long political pedigree, tons of Binladdin and Saudi royal money, the backing of decades of giant corporations and banks, a brother in Florida rigging the election for you and a corporate story-killing media don't get you in, what can?

UPDATE: Good Christ, Power Line's uber-moron Assrocket fellates Bush (again). He thinks that
...up close, he is a great communicator, in a way that, in my opinion, Ronald Reagan was not....
He was by turns instructive, persuasive, and funny. His persona is very much that of the big brother. Above all, he was impassioned. I have never seen a politician speak so evidently from the heart, about big issues—freedom, most of all.
Oh my fucking god. Somebody put this man out of my misery.

Pelosi on Letterman

Old White Flag Pelosi's at it again, spewing partisan rhetoric and her radical, anti-American agenda with points like "keep America safe," "it's the wrong war," and commending UK intelligence and police with thwarting a plot that everybody knows Bush foiled personally, wrestling each teen and mother terrorist to the ground with his Matrix-like jujitsu moves and super speed. When are 61% of Americans going to stop hating America and the troops?

BONUS: Mad TV comic Frank Caliendo is as good as Rich Little--but a lot funnier. His Bush and Clinton impressions are unbelievable.

SUPER HAPPY BONUS: Tired of all the bloodletting, election theft and Halliburton mischief? Take a break with David Sedaris.

O'Reilly: Talking Asshole

Gross but funny.

Iranian War Games

Gee, isn't it interesting that during the pre-election window in which Pentagon insiders claim Rummy and friends hope to attack Iran, perhaps via Israel, it just so happens that Iran is running a series of major war games all over the country, but especially near areas that border US or NATO forces? Global Research, as usual, knows what's up before our intrepid non-journalists don't tell you about it.

From the concluding paragraph:
Iran has been very conscious for a long time of the hostile American-led forces encircling Iran and on its borders in the occupied territories of its neighbours, Iraq and Afghanistan, and stationed in bases in other Iranian neighbours. It has also reported that the Interior Ministry of Iran also has simultaneously planned to boost border security and all border patrols under the premise of combating smuggling and narcotics trafficking. 17 Military manoeuvres and war games can be multi-faceted and could easily serve many purposes such as being masked military mobilization and formation for an expected attack under the pretext of training and testing. It seems that the materialization of an escalating level of alert and defensive mobilization of the Iranian Armed Forces is taking place as an inevitable and anticipated showdown over the fate of the Iranian Nuclear Energy Program is drawing nearer and with it are coupled the fates of Palestine, Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, the Persian Gulf, the direction of Central Asia, he strategic balance in the Caucasus, and so much more…
Meanwhile, Iran is set to announce a "nuclear breakthrough," with one week remaining before the Security Council deadline.

UPDATE: I don't know why Atrios is confused about the blatant plotting against Iran. The question isn't whether Bush™ wants to bomb them (either directly or via our favorite Middle East proxy), it's when they'll try it. Even that isn't up for much debate now. The remaining salient question is: will the Democrats try to stop them, will Iran make a deal, will there be too little public support? Who knows.

Economic Flu?

This is encouraging:
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The United States is headed for a recession that will be "much nastier, deeper and more protracted" than the 2001 recession, says Nouriel Roubini, president of Roubini Global Economics.
Writing on his blog on Wednesday, Roubini repeated his call that the U.S. would be in a recession in 2007, arguing that the collapse of housing will bring down the rest of the economy. Read more.
"This is the biggest housing slump in the last four or five decades: every housing indictor is in free fall, including now housing prices," Roubini said. The decline in investment in the housing sector will exceed the drop in investment when the Nasdaq collapsed in 2000 and 2001, he said.
Fun. At least it'll be a good time to buy a house. If you have a job.



Imagine...George Bush singing "Imagine."


A Passage to North Korea

Today, Il Duce declared that "if we withdraw [from Iraq] before the job is done, the enemy will follow us here. I strongly agree with that."

Let's assume for the sake of argument that he's sincere. Given that "the enemy" has gone as far west as Britain, I suggest we attack some poor, third-world country farther east, say, North Korea. That way, maybe "the enemy" will move east as well. Maybe they'll go as far as Iraq.

An Irate Proposal

For several months now, Lein Shory and Brown Trout (alias) have been discussing the possibility of starting a group blog and even a publishing consortium (we all have books and others we know have more). The wicked turn that Lein's son had pretty much shut that down, but now that Logan* is back on a promising track, Lein seems eager to form a group blog. I dearly hope we get to start something up. If so, watch this space and I'll let you know what's happening.

*In a previous version of this post, I had "Evan" instead of "Logan." Sorry; I have a hard time with names. Anyway, we're still all sorts of glad that Logan's doing well. May his kine produce milk and his sheep abundant wool. Selah.


After the Garden

Neil Young's new album Living with War has been out for a while, but I've been replaying the song "After the Garden" over and over and over and over again. It's easily the best song on the album. "Let's Impeach the President" is great, too, but despite it's provoking title, it's not as insistent and moving. As a New Orleanian, the song resonates as well with me as "macaca" does with George Allen. Much of our garden is gone. Fortunately, to tempt fate by carrying the metaphor further, there's always another spring. You can hear the entire album for free here. It's worth remarking that giving away music on the Internet, just like you do on the radio, is the successful strategy of our era because it whets your appetite for the actual CD and makes you want to support the artist.

Note: This has gone mostly unremarked, but I think it's critical: Neil Young's marketing approach is innovative and savvy. Like Willy Nelson and the Dixie Chicks, he has a name as big as Bush's that guarantees automatic distribution and sales. And yet, what did he (or his marketing people) do? He made a clever website mocking USA Today that, unlike the paper, keeps visitors abreast of the actual news. He made a MySpace page (MySpace was created to give musicians a way to publicize their work before it because a hangout for horny teens and adults). He let you listen to the song for free. As if that wasn't enough, he put videos on YouTube. That's one smart man. It took the Democrats years to figure out that orgs like MoveOn were on the cutting edge of political advertising (they still haven't figured out how to talk, though). But Neil Young? He was way on up in that biyatch from the get go.

Mike Ruppert's Blog

The intrepid writer Michael Ruppert has a new blog. (Presumably, he's blogging from Caracas, but who knows.) Also be sure to check out the new evidence that we were behind the coup to oust Hugo Chávez. (Gee, you mean he isn't paranoid? he really caught four CIA operatives?)

Tweety Does His Job

Hardball's Chris Matthews is hardly known for being well-informed and even-handed, but his recent appearances on Imus revealed his deep dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq and Bush™'s propensity for bullshitting the public. Which is why it's worth watching his interview of Paul Hackett and GOP bobblehead Taylor. In the exchange, Taylor spits out ancient talking points about how we need to "be in Iraq" to "fight Al Qaeda" so we don't have to "fight them here." (Right: because they can't leave Iraq to attack the UK, Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia or Spain.) Matthews doesn't let him get away with it. He's persistent and argues every point, demanding that Taylor cite examples, which, of course, he can't.

Being There

Holy Joe was sucking off radio host Glenn Beck earlier today and said some very interesting things. But what's most enlightening in the TPMCafe post I linked to is the insight of the first comment. The commenter theorizes that Holy Joe is nothing but a cipher, like Chance the gardener in Being There.


Whitney Bin Laden
or Houston, We Have a Problem

Normally, I don't give a rat's ass about Whitney Houston, but this is just too bizarre to overlook.

Subversive Quote of the Day

"Mankind will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."
Denis Diderot    

When the Levees Broke

Spike Lee is an uneven filmaker (like so many filmakers) but like the best he has a personal style, a vision, moxy, a surfeit of talent and the ability to get daring projects done by sheer force of will. In other words, like all great writers, he changes the landscape with his work, leaving behind him a different, expanded cinematic world.

Tonight is the HBO television premiere of Lee's When the Levees Broke. (If I'd been paying attention, I would've known about the local premiere and seen it then.) I've heard only good reviews of this film, and from the clips I've seen, it's probably your one chance to get even a faint idea of the extent of devastation here--still present a year later. I've shown you photos of Lakeview and the Lower Ninth Ward, but you can't begin to understand it unless you watch long tracking shots of entire blocks. I've said before that it looks like Hiroshima but without the burn victims dying of radiation poisoning. That's still true today.

The wooden houses of the Ninth look like piles of matchsticks. Though Gentilly, N.O. East and Lakeview suffered the same fate, most of the houses were brick, so they're still standing. That landscape looks like the cities in Battlestar Galactica: as if a hydrogen bomb had been tested there, leaving nothing but a thin film of gray ash as a pall over the landscape and giant piles of debris and personal detritus on the sidewalk.

Imagine if 9/11 had destroyed 2/3 of Manhattan. That's what New Orleans looked like in January. It still looks like that today. And Spike Lee has captured it on videotape.