Saturday, April 30, 2005
Friday, April 29, 2005
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Hastert raises the white flag
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Monday, April 25, 2005
Sunday, April 24, 2005
If a Democratic Tree Falls in the Republican Controlled Foreign Relations Committee, Does it Make a Sound?
Irony; the Republican dissenters, who are doing the right thing, are now being attacked by the same wacked out 527's that went after Kerry and others, even before the Bolton vote. Well, that's life riding to victory on the coat tails of the ultra-religious ultra-conservative right-wing hit squads. Don't they think this may weaken their own party's candidates when they come up for re-election? Of course not, why think about tomorrow when today can be so full of fun tearing down the next piece of meat?
Note to Tom DeLay and the far-right: when galvanizing the "mob", remember that it takes on a life of its own, and as a new life form wants to survive, so it will feed on any dissent to further propel its righteous mania and continue its life.
These Republican dissenters are doing the right thing, and being victimized, to the detriment of their own party. Tom DeLay is discovering other Republicans may want to cut him loose and run before the damage vibe spreads past him. Hey Tom, welcome to your kind of politics, where the new food on the table might be you. Link
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Friday, April 22, 2005
But the real issue is why she was on the cover, and why Michael Moore was on the cover. Jeff Bezos was on the cover too, remember that? Amazon.com? Relax. Time magazine is no longer a new magazine with political insight, it's become a moderately refined People, and the barometer for cover page is REVENUE (see previous post Value vs. Revenue). Coulter's on the cover because she's had four best selling books (filled with inaccuracies, by the way). Moore was there because his documentary soared over 100 million dollars in box office receipts. Bezos was there because he made a dot com giant. Cash talks, doesn't matter how you make it. Next liberal to make a mint gets the cover too.
And sometimes it's good to shine the light on the darkness, brings bigger attention to all the mistakes in the details they used to build their own success. More fodder for us to bring them down with. Don't despair, use it well.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Right Turn, Exit Here
Violating the Frist Amendment
From my friend Boni:
"Senator Bill Frist is planning on addressing a huge group of Christians on
4/24 to lobby for killing the philibuster and according to CNN, he's
planning on telling them that Democrats are against people of faith.
I find this frankly outrageous and polarizing and an out-and-out lie.
I called his office in Tennessee to tell him so. And I said it as a person
of faith and told them that, too. If you are as outraged as I am, please
call today and tell him so.
Tennessee office 615-352-9411
It's what Ghandi did in India. The Brits ran the salt production and trade, the Indian workers were dependent on them for their salt, and for their livelihood. Ghandi showed them how to make their own salt, how to make their own clothes. Suddenly the locals didn't need to work for the Brits anymore. The salt industry faltered, and it didn't matter how hard the British fought to try and restore the old order, an Empire's hold on its people was broken.
Sound good? We need to do that with big oil. Link
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
People vote from their pockets. When it was all about the tax cut in 2000, and people thought they would get five more dollars, you got their vote. So even though the Governor from Texas seemed like a tongue tied yahoo, everyone wanted that extra five dollars. But now they're taking money out of your pocket. In this car culture? If gas prices are your fault, you will lose. Now the Dems, have to get into it.
However the Puppetmaster is already in action. In Bush's speech today he refers to the gas price increases as if it's almost like a "tax" on the American people, that will affect their quality of life. It's a brilliant play to protect Big Oil, isn't? The Big Oil that he is born of and beholden to? He wants you to think that the oil companies aren't raising your gas prices, it's just like a tax. Something the government levy's on you. Something that he's cut, by the way. But it's not a tax. It's the price of doing business with his donors and supporters. Why are the prices of gas going up so mercilessly? It's the price of doing business in the gas culture with demand going up internationally. It's also the weak dollar, brought on by the immense deficit, and the War in Iraq. But notice, if the fuel issue is so unbalanced, why haven't the Gas companies posted losses? We continue to pay, while he'll continue to protect Big Oil, and they'll lavish him with the millions he needs to keep protecting himself.
So make no mistake. The next election will be about oil. Because we're all about to have our lives changed forever by the high price of oil. Plane fares will inch up, meaning less travel and a harder summer for those relying on tourism, the truck industry will suffer, who keep all of ours stores so well stocked 24/7 365 days a year, which means our consumer goods all go up, even summer trips in the car will have to be rethought as we're all counting the pennies.
So the first person to point the finger and say - it's not bad luck, it's not like a "tax", it's just Big Oil and how protected they are. And the first one to point that finger and say they do this to you, and I won't do this to you, will win the next election. Link
Monday, April 18, 2005
Point is - they can't lead, they don't know how to. They just know how to fight. And they fight to the death to win. Here's the problem, having won, they continue to fight to win the next point, to win next poll, to win next campaign contribution.
There's no one actually leading the country. The White House and senior leadership are leading a group of winners around by rings in their nose to continually divide, wedge and browbeat the public to keep winning at all costs. And all the time there is one murmur in their collective ears: stay in power, control the flow of money, control the message and keep winning. Link
Saturday, April 16, 2005
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Value vs. Revenue
Ethical conduct is handed down to us from the English tradition of honor and nobility, the Greek notion of education and governance, ancient religious doctrine. Socrates pursued the definition for "what is virtue?" his whole life. Certain established ideas about civility have always been about following the "rules" of conduct. No the system isn't perfect, and you'll always find rotten apples in the barrel, but at least there was a barrel. I'm talking about a system that at its core connected to the idea of teaching "right from wrong. Because deep down we all know the difference.
You used to value a person based on their values. How they conducted themselves. If they would do the right thing, not only when it was easy, but when it was hard.
Now we care about revenue. About one more dollar for me, give me more, and however I get it, my personal value has increased because of my net worth. My conduct doesn't matter. Even if I'm caught and arrested, "at least they caught a millionaire" you can hear them whispering in the hallways.
Kids today admire Paris Hilton because she's a billionaire, not because of how she chooses to act as a person. Because if you're a billionaire you can act however you want. Isn't that point?
Well, that that is the point.
Because we used to admire a person who did the right thing. Because we were taught that was the highest value a person could have. Now we admire the person who makes the million dollar contracts, the billion dollar stock sales, or just inherits the estate. Like the President. Because a person's value is linked directly to their dollar value. And damn the steps that got them to sign on the dotted line.
What happened to the barrel? The barrel is an inconvenience to Bush, because it conflicts with his need to get the job done. And the job is to get more for himself and his donors, more for the military establishment, more for the oil companies, more for rich corporations, and make sure everyone else has less - "because if you're not with us, you're against us." So I'd better make damn sure you're weaker than I am. So he gives to his side relentlessly, and takes from every other side.
His 2% of the population will indeed have higher net worth, but begin attacking each other like sharks in bloody waters when there's no one else to take from except themselves. And the other 98% of us will feel the pain when the barrel collapses completely.
Governance vs. Politics
"Here's my view: there are two parts to running a society: governance and politics. That's the way it has always been; even when the turtle-god chose Thag over Ogg to run the tribe of the smelly swamp, you can bet there was somebody behind Thag's rock of power whispering: "Our campaign to make Ogg look soft on disembowellment work like charm."
So it has been, so it will always be. It's a two-stage process: Politics gets you to the power, and once there, you start governing. Of course, since we elect our governors, there is always a need to do some politicking, even when in power. And since we have a two-party system, the party that's not in power will often play an adversarial role. It's called loyal opposition.
So politics does play a role in governance, and that's cool; the give-and-take of ideas, and the negotiation of projects makes for a stronger system.
Right now, we have in power a group of folks who don't seem to give a flying fig about the governance part of running the country. The Republicans of the Bush-Cheney-Rove ilk have discovered that if they politick correctly--which is incessantly and ruthlessly--they don't actually have to govern. Perhaps this was by design; more likely it is because of a perfect storm of money, amoral ambition, and a newsmedia that's trying to fill a 24-hour newswheel. Whatever it is, we're no longer living in a democracy or a bureaucracy--we're living in a politocracy. The Bushies have no more idea of how to 'fix' Social Security than they did on how to 'win' a war on terror. They have no ideas at all. They don't need to: all they need is messages, and some one to point out as being the bad guy. Bin Laden, Hussein, Clinton, Kerry, 'activist judges'--it doesn't matter who it is. It doesn't matter if the bad guy is a former ally--as Tom DeLay is about to find out. It also doesn't matter if their current message is completely opposite to a previously stated message. Because there will be another message coming along as soon as a different enemy can be found. No new enemies? Recycle an old one.
"But BP," you say, "This means there's no one actually running the government. Their inattention to the actual work of running the government--governance--can lead us to disaster."
So what do we do?
Well, as I see it, there are two choices. One: continue on as we are going, and let the whole damn thing collapse and hope that something better comes out of the ashes--that is, if anything or anyone actually survives.
Two: STOP PLAYING THEIR GAME Or, more precisely, stop pretending that the Bushies are playing by the same rules as everyone else. (Notice I say Bushies, not Republicans. I feel that Bushies are a bizarre sub-sect of the Republican Party. The Bushies are to the GOP what the KKK is to Christianity. I'm not a Republican; in fact, I disagree pretty much across the board with most Republican viewpoints. However, I can't bring myself to believe that half the country is as hellbent for personal gain and destruction as the current regime).
Stop playing their game. That would be my message: They're not govening; they're politicking. They have no plans. Point this out. Give every Democrat and Democratic sympathiser the same message: "They are not governing." Repeat it over and over. Use specifics. Respond to every attack with a question: "Why aren't you governing? Why aren't you going for the long view?" If they come back with Social Security, respond with a variation of the statement: "The reason you don't give us specifics is because you don't HAVE specifics."
I'd tell the Democrats: Make it clear that you're not playing their game. Don't be angry. Don't be retaliatory. Be concerned. No one is governing. Everyone is politicking. Where are the specifics? What are your plans? What are your plans for energy? What are your plans for the middle east? What are your plans for the economy? What are your plans for the ecology? You've got the Presidency. You've got the House. You've got the Judiciary. Don't wait for me to offer my plans. I'm not the one in power. What the fuck are your plans?
The Emperor has no clothes.
At any rate, that's the view from the high seas of hypocracy.
Bolton, a true U.N.-American
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
What's Next? Prepare To Walk The Rope With No Net
I think we'll begin to see many short lived cycles powered by the internet or fads. It'll be a major change and people will have to adapt readily, but I believe the days of - go to school, get a job, know you have a career and retire in 30 years with a pension and put your kids through school are history. Because in Bush's corporate donor world, the corps raid their pensions, crush their unions and ultimately outsource the entire company. Workers left high and dry will be desperate to become a part of anything that works, even if it's "just for now". The pick up line "so what do you do?" will evolve into "So what do you do right now and keep it short."
I'm wondering how people will surf this world, and if part of the new media for connecting, networking and reporting on this world may be starting with blogs. We'll see the small email mags/and the rise of internet micro tv shows, or other bits of business, things that may only live for a few days/months/years at a time. This will become the new independently owned media, literally powered by a subscription base and not dependent on advertisers - as the hulking goliaths of media are, and are now pussy whipped by the same.
How tight will the cycles be? Some people who make a killing in a new cycle will bail and leave others in their dust, I'm expecting, sure. But just like patterns of living organisms intertwine in nature, the little economies will help grow new ones before they die, some will live longer, others very short, etc. Wouldn't be surprised if it has some kind of mathematical expression like that.
Point being, if this is our brave new world, brought on by the loss of Federal protection, de-regulation, an immense deficit, and the Republican shaving of every Federal safety net, who will be looking out for the people of America? The Republicans have made it clear, it won't be their party. Just another reason to think outside the box.
Sunday, April 10, 2005
And of course they're ranked as the number one retailer in the company this year, again. But that's America. Money talks, and common sense walks off into the sunset.
Check out this thoughtful insight from the Cranky Yankee. He starts:
"So you save a buck on some cheap goods made in China by virtual slaves. Apart from the hit our collective Karma when we allow worker abuse like that in order to enrich ourselves, the cost to the local community is higher than you might think.
The economic impact of a Walmart on the local and state are substantial and often under-reported. A Congressional report was released in 2004 that was commissioned by Rep. George Miller of California for the House education snd Workforce Committee. The report concludes that a Walmart with 200 employees will end up costing taxpayers $420,750.00 annually for things like public health care and housing assistance because Walmart employees can't afford them because of low pay and expensive healthcare benefits. These costs include --" Link
Saturday, April 09, 2005
"Prior to the 2004 Florida senatorial primaries, Martinez's campaign mailed fliers to voters that referred to his Republican opponent, former U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum, as "the new darling of the homosexual extremists," a reference to McCollum's support for federal hate-crime legislation. After Martinez won the primary, he apologized to McCollum for the smear, blaming it on "a couple of young turks" in his campaign. Miami Herald reporter Michael Putney wrote in a September 22, 2004, article:
''We made mistakes,'' Martinez told me after a news conference on the banks of the Miami River. ''A couple of young turks in my campaign went further than they should have. They didn't even have to do it, for gosh sake, we were ahead at that point. But I'm totally responsible for what happened, and I regret it.'' He added that his smearing of McCollum doesn't accurately reflect ''who I am or what I stand for.''
Read more at -
Thursday, April 07, 2005
Time to re-paint the Republican
I'm Sorry I Pirated The Congress, Let's Move On
And how the right spun like mad pointing fingers at the left and insisting it was all a forgery. It's another Rathergate! An annonymous forgery?
Washington Post reports that the Freshman Senator had it in his pocket, and handed it over by accident to Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) (on the senate floor). Senator Harkin says that Senator Martinez said "these are talking points," as he handed it over. Though now Martinez says he never read it. Perhaps the full quote by Martinez went something like "These are talking points on this one page memo that I haven't read yet," Busted.
Martinez now said his legal counsel wrote it, Brian Darling. Who he then fired. But Schiavo's name is mispelled at the top of the document. I thought lawyers instinctively double checked details like that before hitting "print" lest a briefing be thrown out of court. Or did Martinez write it, and after so ineptly handing over his own secret partisan plan, just had to find the fall guy? Link
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Monday, April 04, 2005
Sunday, April 03, 2005
Saturday, April 02, 2005
DeLay Uses Bully Tactics of Bush
This comment has had other law-makers (Ted Kennedy and others) demand he specifically retract or make clear he's not inciting violence. No comment from Mr. DeLay. President Bush in his continual head-banging-against-cement-push to convince people his threatening Social Security Bill must be passed, has begun to use threatening language against his opponents as well. "Bush said during the social security push: "I think there is a political price for saying, `It's not a problem, I'm going to stay away from the table.' Is this the way to run a government? Bully boy tactics? Why is there no willingness to dialogue? Because ideologues have no room for any opinions other than their own, or because at the core of each initiative is a basic lack of integrity and emptiness?
Hail The Everyman Leader, wealthy screw up, man of values
"No people ever recognize their dictator in advance. He never stands for election on the platform of dictatorship. He always represents himself as the instrument [of] the Incorporated National Will. ... When our dictator turns up you can depend on it that he will be one of the boys, and he will stand for everything traditionally American. And nobody will ever say 'Heil' to him, nor will they call him 'Fuhrer' or 'Duce.' But they will greet him with one great big, universal, democratic, sheeplike bleat of 'O.K., Chief! Fix it like you wanna, Chief! Oh Kaaaay!'" -- Dorothy Thompson, 1935