Concerto for blunt instrument

An irregular heartbeat from d.o. to you. Not like a daily kos, more like a sometime sloth. Fast relief from the symptoms of blogarrhea and predicated on the understanding that the world is not a stage for our actions, rather it is a living organism upon which we depend for our existence.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Enemies of the Earth – The Bush regime and the war against the planet

If George W. Bush is so concerned about the people of Florida and the suffering they've endured from the devastation of all those mega-hurricanes recently, why doesn't he do something about the problems that may well fuel such storms? Perhaps because it's easier to deliver empty platitudes in exchange for votes than it is to inspire and institute the kind of momentous programs needed to address the disastrous results of climate change.

Earlier this month, respected scientists informed Congress that they have "more confidence in the link between so-called global warming and increased intensity and precipitation during hurricanes". Additionally it was pointed out that higher ocean temperatures appear to influence the track of hurricanes, increasing the likelihood of their traveling through the Caribbean or striking the U.S. east coast. Perhaps more disturbing is what may well have been the most unusual weather event in 2004: the hurricane that hit southern Brazil in March. Hurricanes have never been recorded in the southern Atlantic before.

The connection between weather extremes and human-induced climate change is no longer a matter of speculation to be attacked by those in the service of corporate profiteering or far-right lunacy. While such attacks will no doubt continue to emanate from industry's perception managers and neo-conservative nay Sayers, few actual scientists doubt that climate change is one of the most far-reaching environmental threats of the 21st century. They predict that global warming will lead to rising sea levels, the spread of disease and hunger, species extinction, and increases in extreme weather events, caused primarily by power plant, industrial, and automobile pollution.

The Bush administration is, of course, all about corporate profits. Recall George W. Bush’s comment to the "haves and have mores" at a wealthy Republican fundraiser caught on film and reproduced for infamy in Michael Moore’s recent movie: Bush calls the obscenely rich his base. Base indeed. In keeping with this morally low, mean spirited approach to governing, the present occupant of the White House and his handlers have done all in their power to suppress and distort scientific analysis from government agencies and initiate more than 200 major rollbacks of U.S. environmental law, weakening the protection of the nation’s air, water, public lands and the wildlife living within it. Ecologically speaking, the Bush regime has twisted the United States of America into a rogue nation, turning their backs on the international Kyoto accord on climate change and transforming the White House into a clearing house for Big Oil.

That environmentalists have condemned Bush for having "one of the worst environmental records in the history of the United States" should not be surprising, what is surprising is that even some high-profile fellow Republicans are opposed to his policies. In addition, a group of U.S. Nobel laureates are now actively campaigning for John Kerry and growing numbers in the scientific community are signing on to a public statement criticizing the White House for "misusing and misrepresenting science". Given that scientists are usually a cautious lot, tending to shy away from the rough and tumble of the political arena, this is an interesting turn of events.

But, all this is probably of little comfort to you if you’re sitting amongst the debris of your former home in Florida wondering what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. But before you go blaming Mother Nature or God for your misfortune, be aware that the present occupants of the White House have done everything in their power to set the stage for your misfortune. What can you do about it? Well, there's always Election Day. However, even if the Bush regime should survive a well-deserved rout, be advised that the day after Election Day promises to be the beginning of a very powerful storm headed straight for Pennsylvania Avenue.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Security Mom seeks NASCAR Dad for mutually degrading relationship

Is anyone looking into the sources for these hot-button voter categories like so-called “Security Moms” or “NASCAR Dads”? When examples of these nebulous voter groups are given by the talking heads in the corporate media they appear for all the world like code words for paranoid mothers and macho fathers. Great combo. Sounds like the perfect recipe for a dysfunctional family. Why shouldn’t they vote for George W. Bush and his den of retro reptilian handlers! If they really are clinically paranoid, neurotic egomaniacs they’d be right at home in the present White House.

On the other hand, these fabricated categories of U.S. citizens sound more like the same old, same old of perception management we’ve seen the neo-conservative corporate media dish out in the past. Putting U.S. voters in convenient boxes for “consumers” of news makes everything seem so…er…manageable? O that life was so simple.

This morning on NPR’s “Morning Edition”, listeners were treated to a little fluff piece on so-called “Security Moms”. They even trotted out Juan Williams, the corporations’ very own neo-conservative person-of-color, to lend the piece some air of authenticity, I guess. In the segment was the example of two moms, both teachers, both whose husbands are in Iraq, and both diametrically opposed in their choice for the next president of the United States. Were they both Security Moms? I guess that’s what the piece was implying, but when listened to on the whole, one could easily surmise that these fearful mums are flocking to the phony tough guy persona of King George. Perhaps that’s fitting given that “Security Moms” are being spoon-fed phony fears and that NASCAR Dads don’t seem so macho when they’ve run out of gas (and sensible positions) on the side of the road.

Friday, September 17, 2004

No account Republicans

It may be that the next terrorist attack on the United States of America has already taken place. Apparently the forces of darkness have tainted the public water supplies with mind-numbing drugs. How else can you explain reports that about half the nation continues to support the present occupants in the White House in spite of the ever-growing list of scandals, lies, and lack of accountability? Surely that many citizens haven’t come under the spell of frauds like Rush Limbaugh or Faux News and its far-from-fair and totally out-of-balance reporting!

It’s hard to know where to begin. The list of sins committed by Republican neo-cons mounts seemingly by the day. Perhaps a sampling should begin with the so-called Commander-in-chief’s own history. CBS may be getting flak for featuring what may be a forged document concerning George W. Bush’s questionable service record in the National Guard, but the facts remain that the guy passing himself off as some sort of Top Gun flyboy was more like a bottom rung no-show in his salad days. The man in the Oval Office can pretend to land as many S-3B Viking jets on as many specially positioned aircraft carriers as he likes, but in the real world his flight experience was greatly limited by simply not being on base a good bit of the time. As numerous reports show, no one but a discredited former Guardsman can recall George being anywhere near his post.

But even if folks don’t remember him back then, how about the ones who do! Yoshi Tsurumi, a former professor of George W. Bush when he was briefly at Harvard has just gone public with a scathing critique of the man in the White House, referring to him as someone who "showed pathological lying habits and was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and bias". No surprise there, right? Who could forget the press conference this past April when Bush was pressed by a reporter to admit ANY mistake he’d made in the past three years? Zip. Zero. Nada. Yet, the fingerprints of mistakes and bull-headed blunders are all over this particular administration. It’s just that no one will take responsibility for them. The White House is where the buck don’t stop.

The fact that George W. Bush has some serious character flaws should come as no surprise to those who’ve been following his exploits. What is surprising however is how oblivious his supporters seem to be as they blindly follow the neo-cons over the precipice to endless war, economic ruin, social and political disaster, and an environment beyond repair. It is George Bush’s arrogance, and that of his handlers’ and supporters, that helps fuel the downward spiral this White House and its friends on Capitol Hill have generated. But character flaws are really just a sidebar for what has turned out to be the single most disastrous administration to ever haunt Pennsylvania Avenue.

You’d never know it by following the mainstream corporate media, but Republicans in this sorry era of the neo-cons are up to their smirking faces in political scandals. In any other period of U.S. history these guys would be run out of town on a rail.
While there’s plenty of dirt to go around, the most notorious rightwing sins are those emanating from the White House. Right on top of the list is the supposed “intelligence failure” behind the lack of weapons of mass destruction and an al Qaeda connection in Iraq. Never mind that evidence abounds that the Bush regime had every intention of invading Iraq regardless of the absence of WMDs or collusion between Saddam and al Qaeda, in the Orwellian world of the Bush regime all facts are fiction. Thus, when Bush tells the nation in his State of the Union address that Saddam tried to score nuclear materials in Africa for a bomb and a White House sanctioned investigation proves otherwise, the investigator, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, is punished for going public with his fact-finding by having his wife’s CIA cover blown. That’s yet another scandal for the Bush regime: revealing a CIA operatives cover is a felony. There’s a Grand Jury looking into it as we speak.

Further, the so-called Wilson Affair is itself connected to an even larger scandal brewing in Washington, Iraq and Israel. This one involves many of the infamous neo-cons orbiting around the Oval Office and the Pentagon, figures like Paul Wolfowitz; the “Prince of Darkness”, Richard Perle; Douglas Feith and others. It is, of course, all about the illegal war the White House and its operatives dragged this nation into, and from which many, like Dick Cheney and Halliburton, are profiting from in a big way. No one on the ground in Iraq is making much of a, dare we say, killing? with this adventure. There were reportedly 50 attacks on U.S. and Iraqi targets yesterday. These people are dying for people in Washington who never set foot on a battlefield and who probably are laughing all the way to the bank. Talk about a scandal.

At last count there was something like nine congressional probes and 19 scandals involving Republicans; some inter-connected, some not. Sounds like a far cry from semen-stained blue dresses in the Oval office, yes? It’s a wonder that some high-profile Bush regime supporters can keep a straight face during their tirades against John Kerry and the Democrats. As noted above, it’s even more of a wonder that good red-blooded U.S. citizens continue buying the snake oil freely flowing from the taps of the neo-con mass production opinion machines in Washington. It’s perception management at its….what? best? You can fool some of the people all of the time, but remember what Honest Abe, a REAL Republican, said in the end: "You can’t fool all of the people all of the time".

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Tonight! Live from New York City! Reruns of "The Compassionate Conservative", mindless cheering, AND! Enough Bullshit for everyone!!

Compassionate conservatism? Wasn't that spun four years ago and promptly deleted when the Bush regime stole the White House? Well of course it was! That's what politicians are paid to do: lie through their expensive teeth and those phony smiles, all the while yuckin' it up over drinks at the club at all the choirboys and rednecks fool enough to buy their pitch, and even dumber to go half way across the world and die for them. You'll see and hear plenty of that bullshit tonight in Madison Square Garden, a venue pointed out recently by a writer in the New York Times as a place that is neither square nor a garden. That's fitting because King George's speech will be neither sincere nor truthful.

I keep asking: how come nearly half the population in the U.S. believes in these guys? If the misinformation, disinformation, and outright bullshit the Bush regime has cranked out in the past four years was placed end-to-end it would reach all the way to Abu Ghraib. Sad to say, even my own sister has had her mind tampered with by these guys. The sole source of news in her house is Rush Limbaugh and Faux News. Last year I asked her if she would at least read something I gave her that had a different viewpoint. She said no. What's that line about a mind being like a parachute? It works best when opened?

Last night was a little more like the real face of the Repugnicans, but only a little. It was bash Kerry night. Not much "compassion" on display there, but at least they didn't cut away to a leakey boatload of bullshit ad from the Not so Swift Boat Veterans. The neo-cons and their fellow travelers on the far-right did manage to keep a lid on the worst of their usual traits. If they had gained full control of the nation by now they would have dispensed with the election charade all together and possibly lynched former Treasury Secretary Paul O'neil; former security advisor Richard Clarke; former Ambassador to Turkey and Pakistan, Ronald Spiers, and any of the growing number of defecting Repubs from the rafters of some Bund meeting. Instead, they deemed it more appropriate to tone down the viciousness usually seething not far under the surface, and present the somewhat friendlier face of fascism. I don't throw that term around loosely, by the way. A growing number of highly respected intellectuals and more than a few other high-profile observers are finally seeing the Bush regime for what it is. The question is: when will that deluded half of the population catch on?

Stay tuned for a few more months of this pathetic claptrap from the right. Don't be like my sister and tune your adversaries out. They are constantly blowing it and adding fodder to the fires of their own downfall. Besides, these guys are fairly entertaining in an alien kind of way. That being said, if they DO steal the White House in November the entertainment factor will turn to high drama. Another four years of neo-con fascism will take this nation down and your ass (and mine) could easily end up in a place we never really thought possible. To help prevent that gruesome specter, look for activity on the day after the election, coming to a theater of operations near you.