Compare and contrast...
"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."
- George W. Bush, during a photo-op with Congressional leaders on 12/18/2000. As broadcast on CNN and available in transcript on their web site.
"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended. Its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war...and in the degeneracy of manners and morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
- James Madison, April 20, 1795
"[T]o those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies and pause to America's friends."
- U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, December 6, 2001
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
And some more great quotes:
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."
"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
--Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Evil triumphs when good men do nothing."
"We the people are the rightful master of both congress and the courts -
not to overthrow the Constitution,
but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."
"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
- George Orwell
it Scott Ritter, a former U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq, is right. "This is not about the security of the United States," Ritter says of the administration's rush to war. "This is about domestic American politics. The national security of the United States of America has been hijacked by a handful of neo-conservatives who are using their position of authority to pursue their own ideologically driven political ambitions. The day we go to war for that reason is the day we have failed collectively as a nation."
From The Capitol Times. The medias skill at avoiding saying this is simply amazing. I think we all know it, right,left or otherwise. As a consequence of this the far right has been launching a huge smear campaign against Ritter. He has guts (as he proved in iraq) and ethics, as he has proven afterwards. And like John McCain, they will do anything to slander his reputation.
Over on Democrats.com Quote "John McCreery writes: "I've been thinking about what it means to be a Democrat, looking for a slogan that not only captures the essence of what it is to be a Democrat but also appeals to a value that most Americans share. To me there is something very simple and powerful about these words, 'Life isn't fair. Democracy should be.' Few, if any of us would assert that life is fair. Some are born rich, some are born poor; some are born beautiful, some are not. Some are great athletes, artists, scientists, or financiers. Most of us have to make do with something less than extraordinary talent. But if life isn't fair, we as a democratic nation can be, and we Democrats think that's important." End quote. Well Said!
Big Brother Watch
Bush and his henchmen are making their enemies lists and checking them twice. Salon and The Black Commentator detail increased use of "Enemies lists" by bush and the intelligence agencies to target those not of the correct mindset. The Greens, Constitutional groups, civil rights groups....are you next?
Salon.com "Grounded" article (premium)
The ACLU No Fly List Complaint Form.
Total Information Awareness site
Absolute Power corrupts Absolutely.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY!
(or if your native american ..screw the invaders!)
Over at Democrats.com they have some good ideas. One is for the democratic party to use the net for two way, instead of one way, communications with the grass roots. Sounds like a good plan... But...
The problem lies in the assumption inherent in them. The assumption is that our leadership cares what we think.
That may sound cynical , but its true. When democratic politicians poll, they dont poll their base. They make assumptions of what we want, calculate whether repugnicrat policies are sufficiently objectionable to us that we will vote against them, and then court the center and right. What democratic politicians look for in polls is now what we think. They are looking for what the right, which by definition these days is the Far right, thinks.
Consider that the gop really has no issues. It makes noise about being against abortion , but in truth won't vote that way. The GOP is about corporate interests and its not going to give up the ability to fill the pockets of big business by making abortion illegal and being thrown out of office in a landslide. It makes noise about being patriotic yet last time i checked the Dems had one CMH winner in the Senate and one who just retired. The gop on the other hand is full of draft dodgers and chickenhawks with the noteable exception of McCain, who conservatives slander with vitriol and hate heretofor reserved for Bill Clinton. They introduce bills barring the burning of the flag knowing they are so blatantly unconstitutional not even the hacks in the SC will uphold them. They make noise about vouchers, which are a transparent attempt to destroy public school systems funded by local taxpayers and funnel that money into the upper class private schools their children go to through 'vouchers'. IE scholarships for the wealthy.
If you consider the facts and avoid emotion the republicans have won by merely silencing or destroying the opposition through smears and lies. And the only people who could have fought back, our elected Democrat politicians, simply didnt.
They rolled over, pretended to be more and more republican. Proclaimed loudly they would never read the village voice , or slate, or any other leftist media. They happily filled their pockets from the corporate trough and kowtowed to the right wing media by pretending .. it wasnt. They let people like Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson pretend not to be corporate hacks while wondering why the office they were 'entitled to' was being taken away by baseless slander from those very people. They tried to pretend the republicans in the democratic party.. arent. And then watched them vote the gop line.
The problem with our party isnt that the grass roots doesnt have a voice, it is that our leadership doesnt care to hear that voice. It is that our leadership spends more time developing new means of appeasement, rather than leading the troops in battle. The time of Chamberlain is over people. Its time we found our Churchhill.
A note to Eric Alterman: Calling Palestinian terrorists "innocent olive pickers" is akin to calling the Isreali Defence Forces "unarmed civilians". Dishonesty never serves to further ones cause. An only a fool would Deify the Murderer Arafat and his ilk. The fact that Sharone acts like a tyrant and doesnt care how many palestinian lives his political ambitions cost doesnt lessen the fact that Arafat is a mass murderer who has used the blood of those same innocent Palestinians and Jews to keep him in political power. It is akin Stalin a saint to stop the atrocities of Hitler. The seeming ignorance of the conflict, of the peoples involved in it, of how both are being used by their leaders is shocking frankly from someone who's views i normally respect so much. Sorry but the Isrealis arent Evil. Neither are the Palestinians saints.
And in a more fun light.. some very cool stuff i came across researching something about the Isreali-Arab conflict believe it or not.
Santa Anna... a microbiography.. sorta and The Alamo Webcam.
Oh my god.. Molly Ivans calling sellout politicians Whores and Corporate tax cheats.. tax cheats. How can you not Love this woman?
And lastly but not least.. Mark Shields on the far rights new Enemy Number One, John McCain. Well.. after all the republicans wouldnt want an ethical, principled, popular war hero in the party. Much better the Chickenhawks lead.
Theres something VERY SCARY about the fact that PRAVDA, the old communist party rag, reports accurately what the american Corpo-media wont.
If you wonder why people Hate and Fear the police heres a damn good reason. Another murderer in blue. Of course after the blatant execution of an innocent unarmed black man in New York that required at least two reloads to put more bullets into his dead body.. who is suprised by these things anymore. Viva la Police State. I have friends and family who are police officers. Animals like the guys in this case are an embarassment to police officers everywhere, and to human beings everywhere.
The Rag of the Rich, the wall street journal, is pushing the gop's next class warfare attack on working people.
I can't be the only person in america who finds it ironic the party who's only concern is welfare for the top 5% and making sure they dont pay their fair share of taxes accused the left of 'class warfare'..... as if thats a bad thing?
Do working class republican voters SERIOUSLY think the gop cares about them?
As a very wise man once told me "my daddy told me once that any working man who votes for a republican is a fool".
On that note..Just a thought to the Yankee liberals out there. We southerners kept the democratic party alive and in office for decades. Now you've taken over and out of it we got Clinton, and the other republicrats. Thanks a lot.
Now for some heroworship (something im NOT usually inclined to do.. and never have before in fact).
On a positive note. John McCain, the one republican democrats would turn out in mass to vote for, is being rumored to consider switching parties.
I've admired McCain for years. On some issues he is far to my right. But McCain is without question the single most courageous and honest Senator in the united states.
He's fought for Campaign finance reform while quisling dem leaders have given it lip service. He's stood up for what he believed in against the democrats, against his own party, and against more Presidents of both parties than you can count. If you dont know anything about him, find out. The Bushies considered him such a threat they introduced rumors this war hero had gone crazy in vietnam. His big crime their by the way was refusing special treatment, refusing the opportunity to go home as a 'special perk'. He underwent years of torture, starvation and misery because he made a moral stand that i doubt there are more than ten people in washington would even consider. I've never, EVER voted for a republican but if McCain ever gets in a position i can vote for him. I will. Come over to us John. I could care less who controls the senate. I could care less about washington power. But we need men like you in the Democratic party. The Country needs a man like you. You are the one man who could win this nation by a landslide if you ever win either nomination.
Go read the Sunday November 24 post on Alas, A Blog. And then they came for me...
Thanks to TEARS for this
|"God will not suffer man to have the knowledge of things to come; for if he had prescience
of his prosperity he would be careless; and understanding of his adversity he would be senseless."
|You are Augustine!|
You love to study tough issues and don't mind it if you lose sleep over them.
Everyone loves you and wants to talk to you and hear your views, you even get things like "nice debating
with you." Yep, you are super smart, even if you are still trying to figure it all out. You're also
very honest, something people admire, even when you do stupid things.
What theologian are you?
Well i know absolutely nothing about Saint Augsutine but i know a really kickin florida city was named after him. How bad could he be? hehe
If you think you know what the future will be like.. go to Future Pundit and scroll down to his 'space elevator' blog.
The idea has been around in science fiction for decades. The idea is that you orbit something in geostationary orbit and then build either a cable, a ribbon, or a shaft to it from the equator. The "end" is just higher than standard orbit to provide providing enough force to hold the ribbon and its payload in space. The technology is not quite here to do it. But if it does become possible humanity just took a giant leap.
The revolution is in that the 'elevator' would "give us total launch costs of $100/kg ($45/lb or 1/10 to 1/100 of conventional systems" according to it's developer. Current costs are from the $10,000-$45000 per kilogram. Thats $8550 for the average adult male as compared to 3.5 million. Can you imagine $45000 Space vacations? It might be out of the reach of most of us. But a lot cheaper than Russian provided $30 million space visits.
The real potential here is humanities move into space and an expansion of the worlds economy on the scale of the difference between feudal renaissance economies and todays world economy.
Once we have cheap reliable transportation to space there is no longer any limit on the human economy. From the asteroids we can at will take all the mineral wealth we will be able to use for the next thousand years. We can do it cheaply and with no worries about ecological harm. In addition there are elements in the asteroids that just dont exist on earth. We can harness the energy of the sun in ways only dreamed of. Unlimited energy becomes meaningful. From planetary 'atmospheric scrapers' concieved and designed for decades by science fiction writers, nasa engineers, and space buffs we can collect lighter elements at will. And with todays advances in robotics we can literally build space based factories that are totally automated to produce anythign you can imagine.
Imagine an automated factory in space. It produces something as simple as habitat modules. Square walled boxes attachable to each other on all sides. Becoming in effect a habitat and a structural member. Its energy requirements met by solar power unhampered by a day night cycle, atmosphere, or even land space requirements. Fed by near automated mines on the asteroids or possibly even based on an asteroid. The cubes moved into earth orbit by railguns .. powered again by solar power. Cities in space. Factories producing all the things that are too dangerous to produce here. Fuel cells becoming economical and replacing the internal combustion engine. No more smog. No more superfund sites. No more burning rivers. No more energy crises as we can simply pipe energy down the 'elevator' ribbons. No more ecological devestation from oil, gold mining and the like, should we so choose. The possibilities are endless. Should this prove possible within a century we will see humanity inhabit space. People who have never set foot on earth. We'll see a world economy that makes what we have now look like 15th century england. We may be on the edge of the dream of the future economists and the science fiction community has dreamed of for two hundred years. If that sounds like a fantasy, it is.. but very possibly not for much longer.
Robert Reich said it better than i ever could. What the democrats need is a Leader and a return to our Cause
Thanks to Instapundit for pointing this out :
A marine's father is forced to search his soul.
Quote: "It had been hard enough sending my two older children off to Georgetown and New York University. John's enlisting was unexpected, so deeply unsettling. I did not relish the prospect of answering the question "So where is John going to college?" from the parents who were itching to tell me all about how their son or daughter was going to Harvard. At the private high school John attended, no other students were going into the military.
"But aren't the Marines terribly Southern?" asked one perplexed mother while standing next to me at the brunch following graduation. "What a waste, he was such a good student," said another parent. One parent (a professor at a nearby and rather famous university) spoke up at a school meeting and suggested that the school should "carefully evaluate what went wrong."
Have we wealthy and educated Americans all become pacifists? Is the world a safe place? Or have we just gotten used to having somebody else defend us? What is the future of our democracy when the sons and daughters of the janitors at our elite universities are far more likely to be put in harm's way than are any of the students whose dorms their parents clean?"
Go read this story on The Washington Post. Its something the elite of this entire country need to think about.
An 8 Year old was shot and killed , among others in the continuation of atrocities by both sides of the Isreali/Arab conflict. The only winners in the conflict appear to be Sharone and his thugs and Arafat and his murderers.
And now for something completely different
My rantings on the incredibly long wait for Matrix: Reloaded and hollywood's apparent total lack of business sense.
It seems hollywood has lost all common sense about movies. The RARE movie like the matrix is worth pumping 200 million into. Theyre going to make 5 or 10 times that back eventually. But most movies.. well you can make 200 small films.. 50 of which will make money and 5 or six of which will be Great and make a fortune for what something like Waterworld cost or the new star wars "lets sell some mcdonalds happymeal toys" movies cost. (exception: clones was passable).
They planned a threequel all along. Had everything set presumeably on the condition the matrix was successful. Id bet they even had all the actors under contract .. everything preset. They had the scripts written. The plot finished. But it takes them 4 years to make the next two ? which theyre making concurrently? Dont get me wrong i dont have a problem with htem releasing the new ones six months apart. But four Years? Thats simply ridiculous. These people have Zero business sense.
Imagine if Terminator 2 had been released the year after terminator. It would have doubled its box office. In the intervening years though people moved on. Found new favorite movies. Saw cliches of T1 so much that in their minds T1 started to seem a little lame. A lot of us (me included) didnt bother to go to the big screen because 'whats the point'. The plot, the concept was what t1 was about. There was a lot of violence and a few cool special effects but MOST of the movie was anything but violent. Of course t2 turned out to be a Great movie. I think the matrix sequels will too. But they let the market cool off. Its sorta like Releasing the game QUAKE.. then waiting 5 years to release quake 2.. when they did.. nobody cared. The world had stolen the best of the original for other things. So 2 was anything but exciting. By the way. This actually happened with three games. Quake, Doom and Duke Nukem. All three were revolutionary in their way. Doom was the first true FPS. Duke nukem the first with a real plot and interesting characters (you CARED about duke), and quake the first real multiplayer fps. 2 of all the was a huge flop. They took years to release and by the time they did the world had passed them by. Games are entertainment. They have a lot in common with movies. In fact computer games are i believe at this time a larger industry than movies. Why can't they learn from the mistakes of the game companies?
So its been nearly 4 years. Lots of rumors after the first couple but thats about it. Then we hear its coming out. They stop shrugging off rumors theyre making it. Now we're told its in post production. That in 6 months Reloaded witll be out.. 6 months later the next one. I do look forward to it but not with any sense of excitement. Things like Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, Vanilla Sky and a lot of other truely great movies have come out since then (ya i know BoB was a miniseries).
Dont get me wrong im looking forward to this. I'll definitely see them on dvd and MAYBE the movies. Probably. But i guarantee if they'd released it in 2000 or 2001 i would have been first in line. I would have seen it repeatedly. Now ill probably watch it on dvd. Maybe even buy the dvd. Before i would have bought it. I would have watched it several times if its any good.
Give me 400 million and ill rebuild the world trade center. Give me 400 million and ill do it in a year flat. Give me 400 million and ill BUY a small south american country. Give me 400 million and ill put a space station in orbit and sell tickets. Give me 400 million and 4 years and ill make 20 Incredible films by hiring 2 skilled directors and crews and five or ten really good , interesting, charming, skilled actors and five or six TALENTED writers who worship PLOT above all things.
Give the studios and the brothers 400 million and 4 years and they promise to make a film and chop it in two. And maybe release it this year. Maybe not...
Armed Liberas's blog on Total Information Awareness, and on Liberty in general , shocked me. The very title of his blog, and being the 'Armed Liberal' implies his understanding of the constitution and civil liberties. The right to bear arms is one of them after all and it is one of the three under the most withering attack. Yet he sidesteps the orwellian assaults on the Bill of Rights and the other protections in the constitution in the name of.. what? Intellectual laziness? Ignorance of the issues and implications?
TIA IS the orwellian nightmare come to fruition. At this moment in time there are cameras covering a large extent of america's public spaces. And as hardware and bandwidth grow ever cheaper this coverage will grow a thousand fold. There is at this moment very sophisticated technology to identify individuals captured in video. There is even technology to 'read lips' recorded on video believe it or not. Add to this the databases kept by every large corporation in america on their employees, on customers, on potential customers. Combine this with the government records on every citizen ever born. From birth certificates, to social security records, to DOD records of military personel to the irs and you have a scary scenario. The creation of these records and technologies independantly was a result of need and individual desire. Most 'cams' are still probably run by individuals and small organisations to fit a specific need. Whether it be entertainment or 'speed traps'. The corporate databases were created to simplify corporate beauracracy to do things like distribute paychecks, pay taxes etc or to identify potential customers. Now the historically corrupt and incompetant intelligence community wants to compile it all together and apply whatever algorithms it wants to 'weed out the troublemakers'. And corporations drool as we speak at the thought of all that data on consumers just ripe for the plundering.
This is exactly, to the letter, what Orwelle warned about and yet all we hear is "we must trade some of our liberties for safety'. I for one am NOT willing to trade my freedom for safety. Neither were the founders of the United States. The founders did not write the constitution as a 'guideline when everythings ok and we feel like following it".
Liberty, Freedom.. the words Bush the chickenhawk speaks but doesnt comprehend. They are what is in danger here. The veterans of World war 2, Viet Nam, Korea, the Revolutionary War , the Civil war did not fight to protect the rights of corporations to make money. They fought for Liberty. For freedom.
And that is what we are giving up.
The government has long ignored, reinterpreted or attacked the Constitution to get rid of these 'freedoms' getting in its quest for total powere over a helpless serfdom. From the revisionist rethinking of the second amendment to into the 'right to hunt' when it was intended as a protection of the right of an enslaved population to overthrow a tyranical government. The federal government has reinterpreted the right to regulate commerce between states as the right to do everything from tax every transaction to the right of federal military and police forces to invade and overrule local law, politics, and business at its whim. The peril in trading away our freedoms is that to do so one must have an unflinching belief that only those of pure heart, bearing pure motive, and using pure, legitimate and wise means will have access to this power and information. To think that no Senator , Congressman ,President, military or intelligence officer would betray this trust is foolish naivete. The constitution is there for a reason and should not be further diluted and ignored to serve the interests of the corporatists and the greedy ambitions and political machinations of those in Washington and on wall street now or in the future.
When the CIA classifies everyone and gives them a 'security' score... what do you think yours will be? You havent been reading any Subversive books or websites have you? Have you?
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
10th Amendment - Constitution of the United States of America
Men rise from one ambition to another - first they seek to secure themselves from attack, and then they attack others.
My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest shall have the same opportunities as the strongest…no country in the world today show any but patronizing regard for the weak…Western democracy, as it functions today, is diluted fascism…true democracy cannot be worked by twenty men sitting at the center. It has to be worked from below, by the people of every village.
Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be lead to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
--H. L. Mencken
A politician will do anything to keep his job - even become a patriot.
--William Randolph Hearst
Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood, if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be like tomorrow.
--James Madison, Federalist Paper #62
Governments need armies to protect them from their enslaved and oppressed subjects.
Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.
I say one evil empire down…one to go.
--Michael Moore, The Big One
Go read Molly Ivans on 1984, Mussolini, and Dubya
Eric alterman noticed friday that Daschle grew a spine. For the last twenty years Rush Limbaugh and his ilke have
committed Plagiary(sp?) and Libel on a regular basis. That means lying about someone and impugning their reputation without a factual basis in plain english. Daschle just noticed?
You hear calls for a leftist version of a Limbaugh or the other mindless hatemongers on the right, yet noone heeds the call. You have to wonder why. We have people like
Anne Richards, Molly Ivans, Eric Alterman and a thousand others on the left who's intellect and wisdom outshines the buffoons on the right as a star to a candle. Yet you dont hear this trash from the left. And why? Because it is intrinsically who we are. You could no more expect a true liberal to make vicious decietful attacks on someone than you could expect a Limbaugh to show compassion.
I think it's part of what makes a person intrinsically leftist. At the core of our values is to aid those weakest among us. To fight for the weak, the underdog. At the core of the left is the understanding that how we treat people, how fare the weakest among us, is a true indicator of who we are. On the other hand, the right, at least the modern right is only concerned with the ends and the means are irrelevant. To make a very apt analogy that would upset those on the far right to no end, in a mondern day Imperial rome it is the left who would support Christ, while the right would call for his imprisonment for daring to assault the good citizen monechangers in the temple. They would call it terrorism and shout for the rounding up of his 'terrorist network'.. ie the disciples. Yes folks the bible can be applied to modern life (though im not really a 'christian' of late sadly). Quite simply the reason we have thinkers like Norm Solomon et al, and they have fascist smearmongers is because of who we are. Empathy, mercy, compassion, a bleeding heart. It's what makes us liberals. It's what makes us human beings. It is the definition of our souls. And no political cause, no ideology, no cause, no movement can make me, or the liberal friends i have, give up our souls.
Please email right wing hatemail Here.