Tuesday, February 11, 2003
Axle of Evil [tnr.com]. The full scoop on how bad SUVs are. You need the evidence that SUVs are more deadly for their drivers. Let's spread the word!
By the way, I've written a lot in the Web - Usability - Humor lately that I haven't included on this page.
What about the snipers? The set-up seems perfect for the Bushies: black, Muslim, homosexual, pedophile, shooting white folks. But embarassingly, he's a homegrown, US Army trained terrorist. Even worse, the gun of choice is actually called *Bush-Master*. If you made much hay out of this episode, people would argue for gun registration and maybe even control of certain types of weapons. That wouldn't play in the Bush league.
In contrast to the anthrax terrorist where a few people died and Bush snuck the PATRIOT Act on us, the sniper killed people over a period of weeks, effectively terrorized a metropolitan area, and yet was pretty much swept under the rug.
But at least they did *catch* the sniper... it looks like they were trying pretty hard not to find the anthrax killer. And then there was letting Bin Laden get away, and not tracking him down.... Other white supremacist Christian domestic terrorists get carted off to jail with barely a rustle in the newspapers. Odd pattern.
This is Day 512 of Dim Dubya's all-out, dead-or-alive man-hunt for Osama Bin Laden.
Today Bin Laden or the CIA or somebody released a tape calling for attacks on the US in response to Bush's war on Iraq -- where the bombs are already falling daily.
Helen Thomas: This is the worst president ever. He is the worst president in all of American history.
Greg Palast has updated and re-published his book. He'll be at Kepler's on February 27. Palast digs up dirt on the Bush people, which is published in newspapers in England, but black-holed by the Republican-owned media here.
Greg's interview with Buzzflash goes into some of the gory details: Bush is blackmailing Blair to support the war. Poppy Bush himself set up the Iraqi nuclear weapons program in the 80s, with $7 billion from the Saudis.
Greg is also the only known/suspected victim of licentious radio's campaign to stop justification of text on the web. We're not taking credit for it, but we *did* email a suggestion that it would be easier to read his articles if they weren't justified. And today, the articles aren't justified.
For now, we'll spare you the anti-justification manifestoing.
"Secret arrests? Expatriation because you belong to a suspicious political group? Unchecked surveillance? These are instruments of repression, used by totalitarian states. They are why American soldiers have fought -- and died -- in wars against fascism and communism."
Weird Google-glitch yesterday. If you searched for various combinations of: "George W. Bush State of the Union address, 2003", licentious radio's (not very funny) satirical transcript was the *second* hit. Presumably because the title of the licentious page includes "2003". The page got forty or fifty hits yesterday, versus approximately none in the previous week. Today, it's gone from Google, altogether.
The most interesting thing is the question of why it suddenly got a high ranking.
But we're pleased and proud that even if *China* doesn't censor licentious radio, Google *does*. (This isn't the first case.)
There's also a rather interesting question as to how exactly Google chooses which pages to censor. Surely there's no one reporting our lame satire to a censor desk, but surely "boob job" isn't enough to get you whacked, either. Maybe there's a special "be polite to Mad King George" filter? That'd be some clever code.
"I've said for the longest time, the left's kooks are becoming their mainstream, the left's kooks are who define them - and these people are whacked out."-- Limbaugh (quoted by BartCop)
In fact, the Republican party has moved so far to the right-wing fringes that former extremists are now moderate. Think of Grassley.
Some people say Bush doesn't know how to fight terrorism, or that the war on Iraq is a distraction from the war on terrorism. It's *much* worse than that.
First, you must distinguish between state terrorism, and non-state terrorism. State terrorism is by far the most common form, where governments seek to repress and intimidate their own citizens. In complete contrast, non-state terrorism doesn't aim primarily to terrorize citizens, but rather only uses terrorism to provoke a reaction from the state. The non-state terrorists hope the state will respond with its own acts of terror, thus creating support for the non-state terrorists. Frankly, this is elementary stuff, that's obvious from reading the papers.
Obviously the non-state terrorists have won beyond their wildest dreams. Bush -- rather than responding appropriately and reducing support for terrorists by treating them as criminals -- has given tremendous support to the terrorists, by pretending to make "war" on them, and attacking one nation after another. The result has been that terrorism is becoming more common, and more effective. (Consider nightclub bombings in Bali and Bogota.)
Another elementary fact about terrorism is the way the state and non-state terrorists support each other. The Palestinian terrorists don't want peace, and so provoke Sharon whenever there is any danger of peace breaking out. Sharon, similarly, doesn't want peace, and provokes the terrorists whenever the risk of peace increases. In the last few years there have been several times when terrorism by Palestinians dropped off. Sharon consistently responded by assassinating terrorist leaders until the suicide bombings started again.
Bush's popularity surged after September 11, and Rove has been quite open about using war and terrorism as weapons against domestic political opposition. If terrorists pulled off another September 11-caliber attack, Bush's agenda would sail through Congress for the next year or two, as it did after the 9-11 attacks. The irony, of course, is that Bush/Cheney's lack of attention to terrorism (and their explicit orders not to investigate Saudi Arabians associated with the terrorists) left the country more vulnerable to attack on 9/11/2001, but Bush was able to use the popular response to the attacks to cover up his culpability in the attacks.
We'd all like to think that the attacks were unrelated to the Bush agenda, but it turns out that the vast and complex "PATRIOT Act" had been prepared previously, and was ready to pull out whenever an attack would suppress the political opposition to it. Now we find that "PATRIOT Act II" has been prepared, and is ready for passage as soon as another terrorist attack succeeds again in suppressing political opposition to the essentially fascist agenda. We hope this is merely opportunism, but the complete lack of effectiveness of the anthrax investigations makes you wonder.
From one of those right-wing kook newspapers: "Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly are doing the people of New York and the people of Iraq a great service by delaying and obstructing the anti-war protest planned for Feb. 15. The longer they delay in granting the protesters a permit, the less time the organizers have to get their turnout organized and the smaller the crowd is likely to be...[T]he smaller the crowd, the more likely that President Bush will proceed with his plans to liberate Iraq."
Zippy: "But there's no mystery to art, Zippy... it's really only here for one purpose.... To outrage Republicans!!"
From the SF Chronicle today: "About 108 venture funds raised $6.9 billion during 2002, compared with 331 funds that raised $40.7 billion in 2001.... Because 26 firms gave $5 billion in uninvested money back to their limited partners, the net amount of new capital was just $1.9 billion last year -- a 95 percent drop from 2001.... In 2000, nearly $107 billion was raised by 653 funds."
Don't forget the anti-war demonstrations this weekend! Sunday in San Francisco.
Does it make a difference if you show up? Yes! More directly than voting in an election....
Huge protests show that the mainstream of society doesn't believe the phony arguments Bush puts forward for the war. This is the *only* way we have to counter the incessant war-propaganda from government and the Republican-owned corporate media. People who haven't yet questioned the propaganda will see that a huge portion of our society has already seen through the lies. Only a handful of the most ardently pro-war Republicans will be left supporting Bush. Democratic politicians will be able to come out from their hiding places to oppose the war. Generals will be even more reluctant to go ahead with the war. Blair will be forced to opt out. European government opposition will grow significantly -- as it did after the January 18 marches.
The Bush regime is a house of cards. Their proposals are so extreme, and with such devestating consequences for the economy, environment, and safety, that we need to stop them before they can rid the world of peace and take the rest of our civil liberties (with the Patriot Act II, for example).
The protests this weekend may have a *huge* impact on international and domestic politics. You're invited. It's even going to be *fun*.
Today, the right-wing propagandists are spewing the story that France and Russia are only opposing the war to get better terms. This is implausible. The time to get better terms was several months ago.
The growing anti-US movement -- Germany, France, Belgium, and Russia so far -- is likely to prevent or postpone a UN resolution to start the war next week. Without the resolution, Blair is likely to stall some more. Bush may start the war anyway, but it would be a *very* dangerous move. With the largest anti-war protests in the history of the planet this weekend, it will be clear to everyone that only a handful of warmongers and a segment of the overtly propagandized US citizens favor a war. This will lend further strength to the anti-war efforts of nation-states.
The news today is about NATO countries drifting apart. NATO was doing fine before Mad King George and and that psycho Rumsfeld took over the government.
The real crisis is Bush's pre-emptive war policy. If you accept that as a starting point, conquering Iraq makes perfect sense. Then you dispatch North Korea. Then you get Iran. In between you knock off a few countries like Somalia. It's the best kind of war -- never-ending, because the faster you regime-change countries, the more countries become enemies in need of regime-changing. After Iran, we'll need to be on to Pakistan. Once we have Iraq, we won't need Saudi Arabia any more, and they really *do* support the worst sort of Islamic terrorists.
In this sense, the situation we're in really *is* like the run-up to World War II. It would be a *terrible* mistake to appease Bush and let him take over Iraq. No one expects the US to go on to conquer Europe. So Bush is truly less dangerous than Hitler. But the endless wars are *worse* than the equivalent World War II conquests, because each one *increases* the danger to our own country, rather than decreasing it.
And the danger of terrorism and proliferation will be faced by *all* countries, not just the US. So it's in every country's interest to put a stop to Bush's wars of conquest. Of course it is in the United States' interest to put a stop to the wars of conquest, too. Only the Bush cronies and those out to reduce our civil liberties will benefit. Only endless war can distract the public from the way Bush is wrecking the economy for his gang's profit, and only the impoverishment of America will distract us from the restrictions of civil liberties and the endless war.
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Last update: 3/1/03; 10:36:53 AM.