Archives: January 2005
Fri Jan 28, 2005
Tell Them, 'Because our Fathers Lied'
by Gilbert Jordan
"The master class has always declared the wars;
the subject class has always fought the battles...."
- Eugene Debs
Almost two years after our invasion of Iraq - an occasion that was to be 'a piece of cake,' one that would be celebrated by Iraqis strewing flowers before our troops - it is well past the point when we should recognize that the Iraq War has become the Vietnam of the 21st Century. As in Vietnam, The Mexican War, the Spanish American War, the pretext for going to war was manufactured by misrepresenting facts and whipping up public fury, usually a simple task when that well known toxin - patriotism - is in the air.
Many years ago Rudyard Kipling wrote in his Epitaphs of the War:
'If any question why we died,
Tell them, because our fathers lied.' More...
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Wed Jan 26, 2005
Another columnist paid by your tax dollars to push their stupid shit
Syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher was paid $21,500 to help promote
President Bush's push for a $300 million initiative encouraging marriage.
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Tue Jan 25, 2005
Cocktail of the Moment
Do Be Careful. Really, you should... More...
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Cocktail of the Moment
Cafe Kirsch. cold coffee after dinner sounds kind of weird but be a mensch and give it a shot. More...
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I'm not the only one using the dreaded F-word around here.
"Kennedy: Fascist America"
by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. wants to run for Attorney General of New York State.
He might announce his candidacy within the next two weeks.
He's the son of Robert F. Kennedy, the former Attorney General under his brother, John F. Kennedy.
In 2001, President Bush named the Justice Department building after RFK.
The young Kennedy attended the ceremony.
We asked him what he thought of President Bush naming the building after his dad.
He said he wouldn't comment on the record.
But he did call President Bush "the most corrupt and immoral President that we have had in American history." More...
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Sat Jan 22, 2005
Retiree Doggedly Pursues Legal Challenge of Iraq War
by William Fisher
NEW YORK - His name is Clare Callan. He is a feisty 85-year-old former congressman from rural Nebraska. And he is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to declare that Pres. George W. Bush had no legal authority to go to war in Iraq.
Callan does not see himself as some kind of Don Quixote, haplessly tilting at windmills. He is not asking the Supreme Court to end the war. Callan himself is a World War II veteran, who served on a Navy destroyer in the Pacific.
He says he is proud of the U.S. military, proud of his own service, and proud of the troops fighting in Iraq. But he believes that president violated the Constitution when he sent U.S. soldiers into harm's way. Now, he wants the nation's highest court to say so.
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White Stripes Rush on Limbaugh.
I wonder, when Rush Limbaugh plays that Pretenders song in the opening and seigueways from commercials into his show, have the band ever objected over the use of that song.. It's practically the theme song.
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Fri Jan 21, 2005
Wed Jan 19, 2005
The Coming Wars
This article from the most recent New Yorker explores our proud country's movement into Iran. I'm cutting and pasting the entire thing in "more" but here's the link if'n you want it: http://newyorker.com/printable/?fact/050124fa_fact More...
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Fri Jan 14, 2005
Turning Up the Heat on Bush | Robert L. Borosage
Turning Up the Heat on Bush
by Robert L. Borosage
For a nanosecond after November's election defeat, the Democratic unity forged by the radical provocations of George W. Bush seemed intact. From the corporate-funded Democratic Leadership Council to Howard Dean's new Democracy for America, Democrats drew similar conclusions from the election about what needed to be done: Challenge the right in the so-called red states and develop a compelling narrative that speaks to working people--don't simply offer a critique of Bush and a passel of "plans." Champion values, not simply policy proposals. Don't compromise with Bush's reactionary agenda. Expose Republican corruption, while pushing electoral reform. Stand firm on long-held social values, from women's rights to gay rights. Confront Bush's disastrous priorities at home and follies abroad.
But this brief interlude of common sense and purpose quickly descended into rancor and division. Peter Beinart of The New Republic and Al From of the DLC rolled out the tumbrels once more, calling on Democrats to purge liberalism of the taint of MoveOn.org, Michael Moore and the antiwar movement. Apparently anyone who worries about the suppression of civil liberties at home, doubts that the reign of drug lords in Afghanistan represents the dawning of democracy, prematurely opposed the debacle in Iraq or isn't prepared to turn the fight against Al Qaeda terrorists into the organizing principle of American politics is to be read out of their Democratic Party. Then, normally staunch Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi floated for chair of the party former Congressman Tim Roemer, a New Democrat distinguished mostly for his opposition to women's right to choose, his vote to repeal the estate tax and his ignorance of grassroots politics. Consolidating its corporate backing, the DLC solemnly warned against "economic populism" or "turning up the volume on anti-business and class welfare schemes"--despite the corporate feeding frenzy that is about to take place in Washington and Bush's slavish catering to the "haves and have-mores," whom he calls "my base."
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The world according to neo-con orthodoxy...
If you fight for civil liberties, you're pro-criminal.
If you fight for justice in U.S. foreign policies, you're anti-American.
If you think people should have a right to determine their life partners and give them health benefits, you're pro-queer.
If you question the justice of a war based on false intelligence, you don't support the troops.
If you think the U.S. government should not be spying on its own citizens, you're pro-terrorist.
If you think the United States should not be torturing those it holds captive, you're coddling murderers.
If you think people should not be held indefinitely without trial or lawyers, you support terrorism.
If you think society should help the poor, you're soft on the shiftless.
If you want equal education for all, you're pro-black at the expense of whites.
If you want health care for all, you're a socialist.
If you think everyone has a right to a fair trial, you're soft on crime.
If you hope for a fairer tax system, you're for higher taxes.
If you want a government that helps people, you're for big government.
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Wed Jan 12, 2005
Tue Jan 11, 2005
The 14 Characteristics of Fascism
Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt recently wrote an article about fascism ("Fascism Anyone?," Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20).
Studying the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), Dr. Britt found they all had 14 elements in common. He calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. The excerpt is in accordance with the magazine's policy.
The 14 characteristics are:
Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottoes, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
Supremacy of the Military
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
Controlled Mass Media
Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
Obsession with National Security
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
Religion and Government are Intertwined
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
Corporate Power is Protected
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
Labor Power is Suppressed
Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .
Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
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Mon Jan 10, 2005
I wish Madonna was my ex-wife
Sean Penn Reflects on His 2002 Letter to 'Washington Post' on War
By E&P Staff
Published: January 09, 2005 1:00 PM ET
NEW YORK In the transcript of an interview with the Boston Globe's Ty Burr, published this weekend on the newspaper's Web site, actor/activist Sean Penn reflected on the criticism he received in the media around his two visits to Iraq.
"I wrote a letter to the Washington Post a couple of years ago, before we went into the war," Penn said. "The very things I was criticized for saying then are now being reported by Bill O'Reilly. I was criticized for suggesting the possibility there were no weapons of mass destruction.
"But the bigger issue is that it's an absolutely stupid notion that you should take the title of someone's profession and attach it to what they should not do. It has nothing to do with citizenry. I think they should shove it with their hypocritical Ronald Reagan standard right up their ass."
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Fri Jan 07, 2005
If you know anyone in the L.A. area that might be interested, I'm staging a performance of The Ballad of The Bush Leagues on Thursday, January 20, Inauguration Day. Here are the details, which can also be found at http://estnyboer.com/ballad
Inauguration Day Performance
January 20, 2005
8:00pm reception (no host beer & wine)
3116 2nd Street, between Marine and Rose
Santa Monica, CA 90405
 comments (4485 views) | link
Wed Jan 05, 2005
someone was listening
Mr. Klein specifically cited the criticism that the comedian Jon Stewart leveled at "Crossfire" when he was a guest on the program during the presidential campaign. Mr. Stewart said that ranting partisan political shows on cable were "hurting America."
Mr. Klein said last night, "I agree wholeheartedly with Jon Stewart's overall premise." He said he believed that especially after the terror attacks on 9/11, viewers are interested in information, not opinion. More...
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Sat Jan 01, 2005
Clare Alison Maynard: Dandelion
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