Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

Last night I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 with a friend. The theater was packed on a beautiful summer week night. I don't know if the film's popularity can help get rid of Bush, but we have to take our victories where we find them.

I have always been a fan of Michael Moore. I enjoyed Roger and Me and Bowling for Columbine. In general I liked Fahrenheit also. It gave an up close and frightening look at our President. The prolonged close up of his face the moment he was told that planes struck the World Trade Center was terrifying. He looked frightened, vacant and confused. It was the perfect moment for a psychic reading.

Unfortunately I was put off by a very significant omission. Moore didn't say one word about Israel's role in pushing for war against Iraq. The neo-con hawks in the Bush administration are pro-Israel. These Sharonists give Israel carte blanche to build walls in Palestine, shoot unarmed protesters, take more land for settlers or do anything else they want. Israel wanted this war and the pro-Bush Christian Zionists and just plain Zionists pushed right along on this side of the Atlantic.

Why did Moore leave Israel untouched? It is a question that our journalists, the few we have, need to ask him. Bob Dreyfuss raises the question for Tom Paine. Israel is so untouchable that even leftists remain silent when they have the change to speak up. Then again, Moore supported General Wesley Clark for president. Perhaps he isn't such a leftist after all.

Our media is so skewed to the right that 90% of the country can be considered left wing. That doesn't mean that the rest of us have to buy into the drumbeat.

It doesn't hurt Moore that the increasingly right wing mainstream media have joined the Bushies in the attack. Bob Somerby at Daily Howler tells us more.

Monday, June 28, 2004

The Demons of Manifest Destiny

Reagan, as you mentioned just a few minutes ago, was known as the great communicator, and I believe that that is true only if one believes that to be a great communicator means to be a good liar. That he was for sure. He could proclaim the biggest lies without even as much as blinking an eyelash. Hearing him talk about how we were supposedly persecuting Jews and burning down non-existent synagogues, I was led to believe really, that Reagan was possessed by demons. Frankly, I do believe Reagan at that time as much as Bush today was indeed possessed by the demons of manifest destiny.

Miguel D'Escoto, former Foreign Minister of Nicaragua

The pro-Reagan propaganda continues, so it is only fair that Reagan bashing continue. It is more truthful after all. Father Miguel D'Escoto's comments about Reagan should have been heard by the entire country. In the same Democracy Now interview he said that Reagan succeeded in making Americans the most ignorant people in the world. Today we are told that sovereignty has been returned to Iraq. I'm not sure that any nation can be sovereign when 150,000 foreign troops are still based there. Like the man said, we have been made ignorant.

There is so much to talk about that I am finding it difficult to keep up. So I won't even try. I will let Democracy Now do the talking for me. Today the program addressed the phony Iraq hand over, human rights abuses against Aristide supporters in Haiti, nukes in Israel, human rights abuses in Israel's occupied territories and protests against Bush in Turkey. The demons of manifest destiny have created all of these problems, but we don't have to take it lying down. We have Democracy Now to help us.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Size Does Matter

Why does George W. Bush keep Saddam Hussein's pistol? According to psychoanalyst Stanley Renshon, "It's the phallic equivalent of a scalp -- I mean that quite seriously." OK. Now I am very, very afraid. However, military historian Michael Sherry puts it more simply. "I'm left feeling that it sounds kind of childish." Read about it all here.

Monday, June 21, 2004

The Beheading of Paul Johnson

Have the Saudis found Paul Johnson's body? Why did they capture the perpetrators so quickly? Have Saudi security forces been infiltrated by al-qaeda? Talk Left raises questions about the speed of capture and Archy raises a host of issues about news reports. Some discrepancies are to be expected in a fast breaking news story, but we still don't know how many kidnappers were killed or if Johnson's body has been recovered. Will the media finally do its job and ask real questions? Don't hold your breath?

Friday, June 18, 2004

Et tu Mother Jones?

Even Mother Jones has lost its mind. Mother Jones blogger Bradford Plumer is running the discredited line that the U.S. must stay in Iraq to maintain stability.

Earth to Plumer. Iraq has high unemployment because of the contracts given to Halliburton et al. Subcontractors have hired workers from south Asia while Iraqis are desperate for work. Iraqi engineers who were able to keep the lights on after the first Gulf War are now unable to do so because Bush decided to punish France and other nations who wouldn't go along with the occupation. France helped build much of Iraq's infrastructure and could have helped the Iraqis reconstruct. Instead they are on the side lines and Iraqis suffer.

The privatization of Iraq has wasted billions of American tax payer dollars and ruined the Iraqi economy. Plumer can read about it here.

It is time to cut and run. Our presence is causing instability and blood shed. Unrest is directed at American forces because Iraqis are fighting to get the U.S. out of their country. If we want to see a stable Iraq the U.S. military and U.S. corporations have to go and soon.

Abu Ghraib in the USA

Black Commentator is always on point. This week BC has the definitive article on prison abuse in America. America has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Even dictatorships and police states have fewer citizens behind bars. The implications of this oppression are enormous and devastating to thousands of communities. As usual BC leads the way for all thinking people.

Monday, June 14, 2004

George W. Bush: Paranoid Megalomaniac

I always thought Bush was unstable. Now I have been backed up by a shrink. Dr. Justin Frank is a psychiatrist who calls bush a "paranoid megalomaniac" and an "untreated alcoholic" who is dangerous because he stopped drinking without the benefit of a treatment program. Read it all here.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Adolf Reagan

Ouch! Writer and GMHC founder, Larry Kramer, compares Ronald Reagan to Adolf Hitler. Kramer quite rightly points out that shameful Reagan policies allowed thousands of Americans to die of AIDS before he uttered a single word about the disease.

After a week of media butt kissing it is truly refreshing to hear someone fearlessly tell the truth about this man. Democracy Now has also done a terrific job of reminding us that Reagan gave aid and comfort to Saddam Hussein's WMD program, to the mujahadeen (read Bin Laden) in Afghanistan, increased homelessness and nearly destroyed the labor movement.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Ronald Reagan and His Friend Saddam Hussein

December 20, 1983 was a date that will live in infamy. The Reagan administration special Middle East envoy, Donald Rumsfeld, met with the evil dictator, Saddam Hussein. When Saddam Hussein had WMDs and was using them on Iranians he was a friend of the Reagan White House. Common Dreams has the story and as always, a picture is worth 1,000 words.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

"Is it news that some fellow out in South Succotash someplace has just been laid off, that he should be interviewed nationwide?"
Ronald Reagan, 1982

Ronald Reagan, the Bonzo Years, is a great site for anyone who was less than admiring of Ronald Reagan's reign of error and terror. Scroll down and you will see a treasure trove of Reagan memorabilia for every year of his presidency.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Ronald Reagan

The conservative cult of personality has begun. Reagan won the cold war, blah, blah, blah.

Reagan raised the deficit, backed dictators in Central America and Angola who killed thousands of civilians, and institutionalized the transfer of government dollars to the wealthiest Americans, a trend that has continued until today. Reagan ignored the threat of AIDS until thousands had died. I am also convinced that Reagan was responsible for keeping the hostages in Iran to prevent Carter from winning. I hope that the truth about that is told some day.

Let's see if the conservatives who allegedly love him so much will help Nancy Reagan in her efforts to find a cure for Alzheimers through stem cell research. I wouldn't bet on it. They love to protect embryos, not anyone who has actually been born, not even their supposed icon.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Christ or Brutality

"The Christian in me says it's wrong, but the corrections officer in me says, `I love to make a grown man piss himself.' "
Cpl. Charles Graner, Abu Ghraib

That is a quote from one of the "few bad apples" at Abu Ghraib. I guess the voice of Christ wasn't loud enough to be heard. I wonder if there are any photos of what he did as a prison guard in America.
Can't Buy a House? Blame the Patriot Act

Thanks to 99 craven Senators who supported the Patriot Act, only Russ Feingold had any guts, Americans purchasing homes have to prove a lack of affiliation with Osama bin Laden. The average person has now been defined, thanks to Ashcroft, as a financial institution. Financial institutions have to prove that they are not laundering money for terrorists. Read the sad news here.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Torture in Iraq

G. Simon Harak, SJ, anti-militarism coordinator of the War Resisters League gives us a truly comprehensive study of Torture in Iraq. Harak proves that torture doesn't take place because of just a few "bad apples." The U.S. has made torture an integral part of its foreign policy. Many thanks to Simon. :)

Christian Fascism

In my latest Black Commentator column I lament the decline of the black church as an advocate for social justice and its acquiescence to the right wing in the search of cold hard cash from the faith based initiative.

Rev. Richard Lang of Trinity United Methodist Church in Seattle has outdone me. He lets us know in no uncertain terms that George W. Bush is not content to be fascistic in his economic and foreign policy. He has now co-opted the church and given rise to Christian fascism as well.

Amen, Rev. Lang!