THIS SICKNESS 8 from Bottomless Studio, featuring John Linton Roberson, Emily Kaplan, Chad Parenteau, Charles Alverson, Gianna Ratto, Chris DeWildt and a cover by Molly Kiely. 100 pages! Available in print & Kindle at Amazon!
I Didn't Write That!
30 September 2003
  What George the First Had To Say

One could be forgiven for thinking that there's something weirdly Oedipal to the presidency of the second Bush. At first, it was thought he would somehow try to vindicate his father's presidency, by returning to the policies that prevailed then. But it turns out that he tries to overturn most if not all of what his father did--like actually taking Iraq, something his father didn't do, didn't want to do, and is on the record as saying that even in hindsight he'd have made no different decision. Probably because he knew we'd be stuck in a quagmire like the one we are in now, which will cost us money and blood we can't spare.

And then there's this Bush presidency's relationship to the CIA, which his father headed for a time. It seems that his view of the CIA is that they are there to back him up politically, not to provide accurate data on which decisions are to be made. In other words, in Bush's presidency the policy comes first and the intelligence is considered only of any use to back it up--certainly not to let them know they risk catastrophe by said policy.

The purpose of intelligence, one would think, is very much tied up with accuracy. If the information is not accurate, how can decisions affecting the lives of hundreds, thousands, millions or even billions be made with any certainty? Does inaccurate information help you make good decisions?

So blinded by ideology and something approximating machismo is this administration that they will not see when they are wrong(let alone admit it) even when it is in their own interest to do so. And when this view is for a second punctured, they lash out. If an individual were doing this you'd at least call it unhealthy denial. At worst you might call it psychopathic.

An example is the leaking of the name of the highly critical Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, who is a CIA analyst. This was done, according to Robert Novak, whose column was where the leak popped into the public, by two "senior administration officials" but Novak, on Monday's Crossfire, says it was no one at the White House.

Yet Wilson on Tuesday's Nightline openly declared that six other journalists were also given the information, but did not publish it, unlike Novak--probably because it was completely gratuitous to do so unless you were trying to send a bit of a threatening message to Wilson. These journalists were contacted by Karl Rove, who, Wilson said, called Wilson's wife "fair game." Hard not to see. Wilson, who says he was contacted after each instance by the journalist in question, also said he would gladly give the names of these journalists to the FBI.
As he claims these are friends, one hopes they've told him it was OK, as they didn't out his wife.

Bush has implemented a Justice Department investigation of the matter, but without an independent counsel(which he no longer is legally compelled to appoint) one wonders how far it could possibly go.

But if it's Rove--of Cheney, as has also been alleged--then the purpose was definitely to intimidate Wilson, as well as the intelligence community in general. I wonder how they feel about being valued so little by this administration at this most dangerous time for such operatives. I wonder too how they feel about George Tenet being so cuddly with Bush at such a time.

But it would be interesting to see Bush attempt to duplicate his quasi-success in 2000 without Rove, especially with at least two very strong Democratic candidates in store for him.

What did George's dad think about people who reveal the names of CIA operatives and put them and their families at risk? At the dedication of the CIA HQ building that bears his name on August 29, 1999, George H.W. Bush had this to say:

I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors.

I wonder what he thinks of this, then.

Labels: ,

 
29 September 2003
  Do you have specific information to bring to our attention that suggests White House involvement?

It's always the tiny little details that fester and eventually blow up in a presidency's face. Little things like a "third-rate burglary," for instance. Having just re-read The Final Days, however, one realizes that it can take an incredibly long period of slow increments for such an infection to spread to the head, and the crook in question can get a second term anyway--even if he loses most of it because of his stupid mistakes.

But one can argue that Nixon got caught because he wasn't nearly the coherent thinker he tried to present himself as being: indeed, if you look closely at the conversations taped in the Oval Office between himself, Erlichman, Dean and Haldeman, after you're done being amazed at their almost sociopathic disregard for the Constitution even in ordinary conversation, you're struck by just how clumsy Nixon would think, when he did so out loud. One brainfart after another. This was the imperial presidency, and it was never long for this world in hindsight.

Not so with the corporate presidency we have now, which is brilliant in only two things: disingenuousness and secrecy. Today's press briefing concerned the outing of a CIA agent because of her husband Joseph Wilson's criticism of the White House Niger uranium story--long since proven to be false and looking like it's not going away, ever--by conservative columnist and Crossfire co-host Robert Novak, who cited "senior administration sources." The controversy is concerning who this was. Most bets are on Dick Cheney or Karl Rove.

But the White House isn't saying. The constant refrain of the present press secretary, when asked questions regarding whether the White House would appoint an independent counsel(now, conveniently, no longer required by law) to investigate this matter, was:

Do you have specific information to bring to our attention that suggests White House involvement?

They also made it clear they will not investigate this matter unless pushed to do so. Translated, this all means: "You have nothing solid and we won't give it. Come and get us." Do they suppose the press will not?

Notice too they don't deny Rove was involved. They just know it'll be very hard to prove, and that Novak can stand upon refusal to reveal his sources. And they're smug about it.

It's nice, I suppose, if you're an intelligence professional, to know that your White House will put your family at risk should you cross them, and I bet it provides a powerful incentive to tell them the truth even if it doesn't suit their aims. I bet it's not at all intimidating.

I wonder: what kind of gutless CIA do we have that doesn't give a damn about the security of its own personnel? Is George Tenet more concerned with keeping his job than the reputation and effectiveness of the agency he has managed to head through two administrations?

And what kind of intelligence can we expect to receive from the agency, and how useful could it be, if this results in their only telling the administration what it suits their political agenda to hear? Will this in any way help national security? Or does this administration even care about national security?

Feel safer?

Labels: ,

 
27 September 2003
  Dick Cheney Still In Bed With Haliburton

More lying, this time from Dick Cheney, possibly our most crooked VP ever. Seems that Cheney is still very much financially tied to Haliburton. From Matt Bivens:

"Since I left Halliburton to become George Bush's vice president, I've severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interest. I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't had, now, for over three years." -- Vice President Cheney on the Sept. 14 showing of "Meet the Press".

Not true, says the Congressional Research Service. According to Cheney's own financial disclosure statements, he continues to collect a yearly Halliburton check in "deferred compensation" -- Cheney spread his last paycheck out over a period of years so he could pay less income tax to those sons-a-$#%@s in Washington like, um, himself. So he'll be pocketing about $150,000 or so a year from Halliburton through 2005. And, Cheney also holds hundreds of thousands of stock options, which gain in value as Halliburton grows fat, and fatter, on those shameless no-bid cost-plus contracts.

Halliburton, meanwhile, continues to soak the American taxpayer for astounding sums. One contract -- negotiated and awarded in secret -- could ultimately be worth $7 billion if allowed to stand. Already we have shelled out $1.2 billion of that, a sum likely to rise to $2 billion in the near future.

Labels: ,

 
  The History of Bush Lies

The Nation carries an excerpt this week from a new book by David Corn detailing Bush's lies all the way back to his governorship. Give it a look.

Does it bother people in this country that Bush tricked them so thoroughly all this time? I imagine his supporters knew they were lies all along but knew it would be more difficult for Bush to get what he wanted if he told the truth, so they wink, knowing that it's all part of strategy and continue to insist the lie is true.

In this country, it doesn't matter if something is a lie or not so long as you repeat it more than 5 news cycles.

Labels:

 
25 September 2003
  David Horsey: Empire Rising

You don't often see political cartoons in long form--which for a political cartoon would be anything over three pages, I suppose. In any event, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David Horsey has done one concerning our very own emperor, called Empire Rising. Read it at Daryl Cagle's site here.

Also: a few have asked me what candidates for 2004 I like. I think it's premature to say, and I think the media are fixing to either anoint or destroy Clark, because they're lavishing upon him the attention they've so far held back from the Democratic candidates.

I will say it would either be Howard Dean or Wesley Clark as far as I can tell of them at this time. I certainly think either of them can beat Bush, while I don't believe any of the rest would stand even the slightest chance, not because Bush is well-liked--because increasingly he is definitely not--but because they're irritating and not presidential. (When will Gephardt learn he will never be president?) I don't think these two candidates would hold back, and I think both are decent men with the people's interests at heart. Beyond that, let's see.

I do think too that Bush can only win in 2004 if the election is actually stopped. Do you think he'd dare? I think if any president would, this one would. We're going to remember him as worse than Nixon. This man is Poppa Bush's revenge on America for not loving him enough: a presidency that makes the first Bush's look distinguished by comparison.

Labels:

 
24 September 2003
  Released Of Their Supports, His Polls Dropped Like Hanged Men

The decay of the Bush presidency is beginning to get pretty ripe. Today it was reported his approval ratings have dropped to 49 percent.

Why should people hate George Bush, after he completely ignored actually making this country secure in favor of dragging us into a war in Iraq already planned even as he was campaigning in 2000? Why should they hate a president who doesn't hesitate to alienate every ally, squander all his political capital, or give a tax cut or defense contract to his friends, while trusting in, seemingly, magic to make the conditions to create at least one damn job? Why should they hate him when his cronies attempt to take advantage of this desperate situation to attempt to kill overtime rules(though they did fail)? Why should we hate him for stealing the election and then using the presidency to do things with this country and its resources--which include our army, whose lives he squanders every day for the sake of Haliburton's stock price--that none of us want him to do?

Or is it possible that the administration's condescending parent approach to governance is the wrong approach, and that the American people are merely patient, not stupid?

I ask this every now and then: Had enough?

Labels:

 
22 September 2003
  Cut To The Chase!

Just sat through the puffy yawner of an interview Brit Hume just did with our alleged president. I was left with only one thought:

Why didn't Hume just make it completely blatant and start fellating Bush right there on camera? I mean, it is Fox. It's not like that would have shocked anyone.

Labels:

 
  Reasons Why It's Good To Leave The Henhouse Unlocked, By The Wolf

If you saw, either recently or some time ago, a documentary on PBS purporting to explain the economic history of the twentieth century, Commanding Heights, you may have been as appalled as I was about its very obvious bias, but what can you expect from a documentary glorifying the Friedman/Hayek view of free trade funded partly--yes--by Enron. That is, back before everyone knew about Enron. I could go on about this but someone else already has so have a look at their review.

I will mention that I've been noticing a slow and genteel conservatism seeping in at PBS. Not just in this documentary--which makes people look evil and savage for decrying Friedman's advising Pinochet(and the documentary leaves the impression that the installation of Pinochet was no more than a change of an economic system; this is the documentary the Ned Beatty character in NETWORK would make, and it largely makes the same argument he did)--but in others resembling it like THE PRIZE and THE ROCKEFELLERS, both involving one Daniel Yergin(author of THE PRIZE and COMMANDING HEIGHTS, surprising given his colorless contributions to the documentary interviews) and both a total whitewash job on the Rockefellers. Maybe the groups with a vested interest in propagandizing capitalists, and making them saintly patriotic builders and engineers of all that is good and decent in America, are the only ones that will contribute to PBS these days.

If it's not that it's another Suze Orman or Deepak Chopra infomercial disguised as a seminar, not coincidentally scheduled during pledge breaks and a great chance for the likes of the scary-eyed Orman--who looks like Brigitte Neilsen as a Tupperware Lady--to unload her extra merchandise as "incentives."

I suppose the conservatives found the best way to kill it. Starve it, then feed it poison.

Labels:

 
21 September 2003
  "Shouldn't you feed the lepers, Supply Side Jesus?"
"No, Thomas. That would just make them lazy."


You might enjoy Al Franken & Don Simpson's "Gospel of Supply-Side Jesus" today at Buzzflash.

And as long as we're showing you things to make you laugh & think, by way of the brilliant Whitehouse.org I happened to come across the exceedingly pious Landover Baptist Church. Have a gander.

On religious subjects that should be jokes but are all too real, I happened to find this information on Roy Moore, the Ten Commandments-statue-worshipping judge from Alabama who wasted state time and money (in a time when Alabama is facing a record budget crisis) simply to increase his political profile for what most assume is to be a future run for elected office. Seems he's quite consistently the theocrat.

In 2002-FEB, Moore wrote a separate concurring opinion in a case before the Alabama Supreme Court in which he blasted homosexuality on religious as well as legal grounds. The case involved a lesbian who sought custody of her three minor children. The court unanimously rejected her case. Moore wrote that homosexuality is "a sin [that] violates both natural and revealed law." He cited verses from the books of Genesis and Leviticus in the Bible. He called homosexuality "an evil disfavored under the law," "an inherent evil," a "detestable and an abominable sin," and "an act so heinous that it defies one’s ability to describe it." He suggested that the death penalty is an appropriate response to homosexual behavior. He wrote: "The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle." Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, responded: "It appears that Justice Moore is once again making his decisions on the basis of his personal religious beliefs, not the commands of the law,. Justice Moore would make a great official of the Inquisition, but he doesn’t belong on a state supreme court. I don’t know what to expect next from Moore. Perhaps a witch burning?"

This is a growing trend in this country. The Landover site, behind the satire, has it correct when they say a split is occurring in this country that will have devastating future consequences. The split is not Democratic vs. Republican or Conservative vs. Liberal, though. It's between those who think our society should follow secular law, i.e. the Constitution, and those who think we should follow whatever vague idea they think they can justify in the Bible.

Incidentally, from the Landover site, within a parody sermon is slipped a quite factually-true passage that is a rebuke to the idea we were founded on Biblical principles(the passage is, satirically of course, supposed to be written by a pastor glorying in the anti-Constitutional theocracy to come, which is the reason for the "Dead and Gone To Hell" part):

The Founding Fathers had little respect for state-sponsored religious indoctrination. President John Adams (Dead And Gone To Hell) signed the Treaty of Tripoli, stating that “The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” In a 1756 letter, he wrote: “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.” Thomas Jefferson (DAGTH) said, “Our civil rights have no dependence on religious opinions, any more than our opinion in physics and geometry.” James Madison (DAGTH) claimed: “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise…the legal establishment of Christianity [results in] superstition, bigotry, and persecution.” Thomas Paine (DAGTH) rejected all denominations of Judeo-Christian faith, saying, “I disbelieve them all.” Ben Franklin (DAGTH) and Ethan Allen (DAGTH) were deists, believing the universe functions independently of any god, with Allen writing: “I am not Christian.”

And what do you know! A weak job market has driven armed forces recruitment up! How very convenient.

Labels: , , ,

 
19 September 2003
  Why Doesn't Ralph Nader Just Join The GOP?

Because he already acts as an unpaid operative for the party. Consider his condemnation this week of Democratic New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson for speeding.

Interesting that he jumps so quickly upon a Democrat when a Republican, former governor and present congressman Rep. Bill Janklow of South Dakota, not only chronically speeds--and had a public reputation for it going back some time--but in fact killed another human being doing it last month. Any words from Nader on this?

Of course not, because the Republicans are Nader's allies(they certainly love him, if you ask any of them). To this day he has never applied any of the energy he uses acting as a spoiler for the Democrats--going all the way back at least to the 1992 presidential campaign, where he supplied the press with damaging information on Clinton to help the Brown campaign(see THE WAR ROOM)--against a single Republican.

I would have more respect for Nader and believe him to be sincere if he ever attacked Democrats and Republicans equally, but quite consistently, he is silent on the GOP. What is the strategy here? Is there one? Why does Nader expend so much energy hurting the Democrats when in fact the Republicans, rather than being merely imperfect and not as left as he and his idiotic supporters would like, are pure right-wing and are quite unequivocally against anything Nader claims to support? Does he not realize this can only result in his issues definitely failing?

Unless they're not really his issues at all. Unless he just says that to get the left on his side. Unless he's fooling them all just to drain votes away from the Democrats.

Unless Nader is a mole from the GOP.

And in any event, the results of supporting Nader and supporting the GOP are the same. Worth considering.

Labels:

 
16 September 2003
  Consultants For Every Occasion

In this time of downsizing, corporations are sensitive to your fears. That's why they're now giving this to employees weeks prior to downsizing, to let them know that should they be among the ones to lose their jobs, it's their own fault that they feel bad.

This appears to be a pretty big push by this consultancy. Besides a close friend of mine, many others seem to have received this of late. It's designed to make the process psychologically easier, to the middle managers doing the firing, it would seem: "Well, I was supportive," Mr. Middle manager can say to himself. "I gave them a book about mice complaining someone has taken the cheese from their maze."

Yes, that is the metaphor the book(and cartoon, and audiotape, etc.) uses for workers: mice in a maze. Mice in a maze expected to have control over their own fate. So who are the research scientists in this metaphor, as mice don't naturally inhabit mazes? And who is the person somewhere laughing their ass off at having developed this final insult to worker dignity, and making some of them like it?

Pure evil, this. If you get this book, watch out.

Labels:

 
  Rumsfeld: "I've not seen any indication that would lead me to believe that I could say that."

What did Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld say this in regard to?

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday he had no reason to believe that Iraq's Saddam Hussein had a hand in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. At a Pentagon news conference, Rumsfeld was asked about a poll that indicated nearly 70 percent of respondents believed the Iraqi leader probably was personally involved.

You might remember that back when the administration was whipping us up for war, they said they very much had reason to believe there was a connection, and said so often enough to make about 70% of Americans think Iraq was involved in 9/11.

And that they had chemical, biological, and maybe even nuclear weapons which they planned to use against us. Not a trace of which has been found. But our destabilization of Iraq certainly has drawn terrorists into the country now. And our destruction of Iraq's infrastructure has made sure its population will sympathize with them.

So I suppose the question is: what in hell did we go to war for? Why are US troops over there being murdered every day? Why are we even thinking about wasting another $87 billion we don't even have on this insane folly?

Is even Haliburton making money off this debacle?

Now comes the hangover, folks. You let him do this and he's sinking our country. Wise up about Bush before it's too late. He's not lehitimate and doesn't even act it. He is simply a moron who has hijacked our country.

But maybe the contentions going about regarding the Ninth Circuit Court and the delay (or not) of the ridiculous California recall election might settle that. You see, it might go to the Supreme Court. Which means that the Supreme Court is about to have Bush Vs. Gore thrown back in its face. If the justices this time deny a delay because it's being requested by liberals, they reveal how partisan they are. If they do not, then explain to me what this does to the legitimacy of Bush's presidency?

What goes around comes around, and everything eventually balances out.

Labels:

 
14 September 2003
  He Doesn't Really Fit The Part

Well, heil to you too, Dubya.

Labels:

 
  "He still drives those right-wingers nuts, and that's another reason we love Bill Clinton."--Tom Harkin

Bill Clinton had a few pointed words to say about the walking failure now occupying the White House, and you may read about it here.

I'd just like to ask the Demogreens out there who love to chant(and they do love a chant) that Clinton is no different than the Republicans, then why is it that he gets under their skin so very quickly? Why are they so obsessed with hatred of him? Why do they consider him a threat to their interests while you can't? Worth thinking about.

But when he was in power it was at least prosperous enough that one could be concerned that free trade is in fact economic war(and make no mistake, it is) rather than simply being frightened at the thought of where one's next paycheck wasn't coming from. Where are your screams now that Bush really is the president you were afraid Clinton was? And thinking on all this, you might actually start to miss Clinton.

Labels:

 
  Ashcroft's Creative Uses of Increased Powers

Just in time to quiet any fears that he might be abusing the extended powers given to him by the Patriot Act, a story today details how, despite almost nothing being done to make the US safer from terrorism, the Justice Department and prosecutors across the US have been stretching the law to use the Act against common criminals simply in order to simplify cases and get around rights provisions they would otherwise have to honor. A few examples:

Federal prosecutors used the act in June to file a charge of "terrorism using a weapon of mass destruction" against a California man after a pipe bomb exploded in his lap, wounding him as he sat in his car.

A North Carolina county prosecutor charged a man accused of running a methamphetamine lab with breaking a new state law barring the manufacture of chemical weapons. If convicted, Martin Dwayne Miller could get 12 years to life in prison for a crime that usually brings about six months.

Prosecutor Jerry Wilson says he isn't abusing the law, which defines chemical weapons of mass destruction as "any substance that is designed or has the capability to cause death or serious injury" and contains toxic chemicals.

Civil liberties and legal defense groups are bothered by the string of cases, and say the government soon will be routinely using harsh anti-terrorism laws against run-of-the-mill lawbreakers.

"Within six months of passing the Patriot Act, the Justice Department was conducting seminars on how to stretch the new wiretapping provisions to extend them beyond terror cases," said Dan Dodson, a spokesman for the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. "They say they want the Patriot Act to fight terrorism, then, within six months, they are teaching their people how to use it on ordinary citizens."


So much for any notion that Ashcroft is someone who can be trusted with these extra powers. This makes it more obvious that the Bush administration could give a flying fuck about terrorism. What they used 9/11 for was simply as an opportunity to get a blank check on anything they wanted. That means they got their war in Iraq, and also that means they have taken Nixonian liberties with civil rights.

Granted, meth manufacture is not something that should be condoned, but if they're willing--indeed, eager--to use the powers this loosely, what's to stop them from using it against simple dissent? And indeed, one can see them practicing for that day. Truth be told, I don't think they ever wanted these powers for any other purpose than to simply streamline their ability to prosecute any crime any way they damn well want. And even possibly soon to prosecute things that, in America, aren't crimes at all.

Of course, there are ways to turn this back upon them. If a meth lab is a "chemical weapons lab"(and with that loose a definition it's no wonder the Bush administration makes such bold claims about those pitiful tractor-trailers in Iraq) because the chemicals manufactured there cause harm, there's more than a few polluting industrialists who fit that definition, like as an example the notorious Tosco refinery in Richmond, CA which regularly dumps dioxins into the San Francisco Bay. Or the government itself, for lying to New Yorkers about the condition of the air in Manhattan following the WTC collapse just to get Wall Street running again as quickly as possible.

But it's doubtful anything might come of that idea, as liberals aren't nearly as good at misuse of laws as conservatives are.

Hope you're all happy you handed your God-given freedoms over to this trustworthy administration. By that logic, I suppose you'd allow John Wayne Gacy to babysit your children, nation of sheep.

Labels:

 
12 September 2003
  Remembering 9/11 and What They'd Rather We Forgot

Mark Fiore has some pointed reminders for you if your memory has been slipping or has been clouded by the Bush administration.

(note: I don't know if this--at Salon--is subscription-only, so if it is my apologies)

And when you're done with that, read this essay by economist Paul Krugman on what's really behind the Bush/Norquist tax-cut obsession, and what the consequences not only will be but already are. Put it this way: in the end they'll cost us all a lot more than taxes would.
Particularly he articulates the fiscal crisis this will cause in the long run:

For the time being,[we can] borrow the difference between what we insist on spending and what we're willing to collect in taxes. That works as long as lenders believe that someday, somehow, we're going to get our fiscal act together. But this can't go on indefinitely. Eventually -- I think within a decade, though not everyone agrees -- the bond market will tell us that we have to make a choice.

In short, it will mean the death of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid:

In short, everything is going according to plan. For the looming fiscal crisis doesn't represent a defeat for the leaders of the tax-cut crusade or a miscalculation on their part. Some supporters of President Bush may have really believed that his tax cuts were consistent with his promises to protect Social Security and expand Medicare; some people may still believe that the wondrous supply-side effects of tax cuts will make the budget deficit disappear. But for starve-the-beast tax-cutters, the coming crunch is exactly what they had in mind.

Starve-the-beast tax cutters are the sort that want the government to default on its finances because this will force the government to spend less, or in their eyes ideally nothing, on social programs. The social programs, specifically, that date from the time of FDR and LBJ. Not coincidentally, these came into being in the lifetime of the Baby Boomers, indeed typify the kind of culture the Baby Boomers grew up in and built. The culture conservatives hate to distraction. This is a generation neocons consider to have been traitors to their country.

Has anyone considered the timing of this, that the true crisis will only erupt once the first Baby Boomers start collecting Social Security? Has anyone considered that this may be the conservatives' final revenge upon them? They probably should, because whether that's by design or not, the results will be the same, and the only ones who will probably be spared were the conservatives among Baby Boomers who never considered having to live on Social Security, or need Medicare, at all. Or maybe they won't, but didn't anticipate this.

Americans are such greedy babies about paying taxes, considering that proportionately they have the lowest tax rates in the world. They don't seem to understand that you have to pay some taxes to maintain a nation--this is why we aren't a third world country, yet. Or worse, the burden should be shifted to those least able to pay, while the rich should keep all they have. I suppose it's nice to be able to enjoy the benefits of roads, social security and the like--which rich people do too--on the crumbling backs of others. A bit adolescent and irresponsible, yes, but must be nice.

I submit that anyone who is for these tax cuts--which benefit those least in need of them almost exclusively--being permanent, given the crisis situation we live in now, is not just childish and selfish, but treasonous. If you don't want to contribute to the upkeep of your nation, and you can afford to, you have no business calling yourself an American. Move to France; I'm sure they'll love rich Americans there nowadays, right? Right.

And before you say I'm out of line, if you're for these tax cuts--and unless you're among a very small portion of the population, you haven't benefited from them anyway--are you also for the US making war in Iraq, or Afghanistan? If you're for the first you're probably for the second, because those two, against logic, usually get wrapped up together in the willful haze of these panicky days. (Witness Tom DeLay saying that in this time of war nothing was more important than tax cuts) So explain this to me: you want men and women to go to a foreign land and give their lives for you, and take lives for you, all to supposedly ensure your security.

But you're not willing to pay a dime for this?

If that's how you feel, in my eyes you are worse than scum. In any case, you may want to reassess your thinking, grow up, and join the human race.

Labels:

 
11 September 2003
  What You Think You Know About the 9/11 Hijackings Is Wrong

On this day of remembrance, in which the families of 9/11 victims remember their murdered loved ones(at the same time as they wonder why our president has done nothing about it except use it as an excuse to pursue only vaguely related foreign policy goals his people already planned, but lacked an excuse till 9/11, and also wonder why New York never saw any of the relief money it was promised), it might be pertinent to direct your attention to this Slate article detailing misconceptions about 9/11.

One link it directs you to is particularly interesting: are you aware(I wasn't) that the idea that the hijackers used box-cutters and plastic knives is completely anecdotal and probably wrong?

As it turns out, we don't really know how they did it. This was just an assumption by investigators based on spurious evidence which has been since accepted as gospel, most likely due to its poetic irony that such a massive attack could be perpetrated by such simple means.

The flight data recorders for three of the four flights(except the one that crashed in Pennsylvania) were completely destroyed. Calls made by passengers conflicted as to weapons: some said flight personnel were stabbed. Others said the terrorists said there was a bomb on board. Others said mace, or a similar sort of spray, was used. And one passenger reported another being shot, according to the FAA:

The American Airlines FAA Principal Security Inspector (PFI) was notified by Suzanne Clark of American airlines Corporate Headquarters that an on board flight attendant contacted American Airlines Operation Center and informed that a passenger located in seat 10B shot and killed a passenger in 9B at 9:20 am. The passenger killed was Daniel Lewin shot by Satam al-Suqama. One bullet was reported to have been fired.

The point of all this is that completely conventional weapons might have slipped past security--things that the security personnel are expecting and are supposed to look for.

Why cover this up? For a couple of reasons. Firstly, it gives an excuse to heighten security in some ways to absurd levels(though weapons still slip through security daily) by claiming any ordinary object could be used. Secondly, though, it releases the airlines, some of whom were major Bush contributors, from potential millions in liability to the families of the victims:

In this case, the function was diversion. This fictoid serves to divert public attentions from the responsibility, and legal liability, of the government and airlines to prevent major weapons— such as guns, bombs, chemical sprays and hunting knives from being carried aboard airplanes. If such illegal devices had been smuggled aboard the planes, the liability could amount to billions of dollars. If, , on the other hand, it could be disseminated that the hijackers had only used plastic knives, such as those provided by the airlines for meals, or box cutters, which were allowed on planes, neither the airlines, the screeners at the airport, or the FAA, which regulates the safety of airports, could be held legally responsible. Paul Pillar, who had headed the CIA's counter-terrorism, could thus explain that"the attack that killed almost 4,000 people used box cutters." This press accepted it as established fact. The New York Times, for example, reported "the hijackers did not use firearms, which would probably have been detected, but apparently wielded box-cutter knives of the type that were then allowed on board but are now banned."

So not only do the airlines avoid liability, but receive an enormous bailout(money that could have gone to NYC, or toward actual, constructive security improvement) which they then maximize by laying off mass amounts of their workers, and ensure that the executives will be the main recipients of this corporate welfare.

Just typical of how 9/11 has had petty advantage taken of it by the corporations and the government, while almost nothing has been done to actually protect Americans. Food for thought.

Labels:

 
"Eternity with Beelzebub, and all his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me and this pencil." - E. Blackadder, 1791
JLRoberson Self-Portrait 2005.
Questionable words & pictures from John Linton Roberson

SUPPORT US AT PATREON!

NEW RELEASE!


LULU Book 1 by John Linton Roberson introduction by Martin Pasko
LULU Book 1(2013) 
with an introduction by Martin Pasko

Amazon | Createspace | Comixology


Features:
Frank Wedekind's LULU
SUZY SPREADWELL
VLADRUSHKA (adults only)
STORY OF OH!(2008) Written by Charles Alverson (adults only)
MARTHA(2009)

COMICS
WORDS
PORTFOLIO
CONTACT
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
OPEN SALON
COMIXOLOGY
AMAZON SHOP
ABOUT
CREATESPACE STORE
DEVIANTART GALLERY
PRINTS & MORE
ORIGINAL ART FOR SALE
COMMISSIONS

Interviews/Discussions:

ROBB ORR
April 2013: LULU Book 1 Interview at Comics Forge

DECONSTRUCTING COMICS
My appearances on the greatest comics podcast there is.

New!
August 2014: #415 Crumb’s Confounding “Genesis”

Discussion with Tim Young.


April 2014: Corporate Comics: Love 'Em, Hate 'Em
Discussion in Sack's Coffee, Berkeley with Tim Young, Deb Aoki, and Jason McNamara.


April 2013:
Lulu”- Staging a classic on paper
Interview by Tim Young.

August 2012: Flex Mentallo
Discussion with Troy Belford.


January 2012: Comics Events
Discussion with Tim Young


May 2011: Theatre and Comics
Interview by Tim Young




JOEY MANLEY
August 2006 at Talkaboutcomics.com

AUSTIN ENGLISH 
Sept. 2001 at Spark-Online



BUY MY BOOKS OR CATS WILL EAT YOU







Stuff About My Work







All content ©2015 John Linton Roberson and accomplices. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]


Archives
October 2002 / November 2002 / February 2003 / March 2003 / April 2003 / May 2003 / June 2003 / July 2003 / August 2003 / September 2003 / October 2003 / November 2003 / January 2004 / February 2004 / March 2004 / April 2004 / May 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / June 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / November 2011 / December 2011 / January 2012 / February 2012 / March 2012 / April 2012 / May 2012 / June 2012 / July 2012 / August 2012 / September 2012 / October 2012 / November 2012 / December 2012 / January 2013 / February 2013 / March 2013 / April 2013 / May 2013 / June 2013 / July 2013 / August 2013 / September 2013 / October 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / January 2014 / February 2014 / March 2014 / April 2014 / May 2014 / June 2014 / July 2014 / August 2014 / October 2014 / December 2014 / February 2015 / March 2015 / June 2015 / July 2015 / August 2015 / September 2015 / October 2015 / November 2015 / December 2015 / January 2016 / February 2016 / March 2016 / April 2016 / June 2016 / July 2016 / August 2016 / November 2016 / December 2016 / January 2017 / February 2017 / April 2017 /