Trying To Maintain Rationality

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Shareholder Update:

My blog is worth
One smushy banana and a seedless grape.

How much is your blog worth?

Pigs Seen Flying

Ok. (that's right: the unapologetic neoconservative suckhole embarrassment to journalism) writer, John LeBoutillier, had this to say, last week:

"It is clear that total incompetence and fraud dominates this administration."

[carbonated water shooting out of nose] * tingly *

... oh really, doctor?

[shaking head]

I won't soon forget how long it's taken the BushieBacker asshats to jump ship. In fact - let's all make sure that no one does, so this kind of crap never happens again.

[still shaking head]

In other news parodytainmentnews: Are Your Cats Old Enough To Learn About Jesus?

I still feel dirty for linking to a Newsmax article. Someone lick me.

I'll Take... "Goofy Analogies" For... $500, Alex.

From Reuters: Prosecutor likens Guantanamo defendants to vampires

According to the prosecutor, "confronting the defendants at the Guantanamo war crimes tribunals with the evidence against them will be like dragging vampires into the sunlight"... with the idea being that the "light of truth" would expose the detainees, like... ah, you get the idea.

The chief prosecutor, Air Force Col. Moe Davis, blamed the delays on the
detainees and their lawyers and compared them to movie vampires.

"Remember if you dragged Dracula out into the sunlight he melted. Well that's kind of the way it is trying to drag a detainee into the courtroom. The facts are like the sunlight to Dracula. The last thing they want is to face the facts in the courtroom," Davis told journalists. "But their day is coming."

Funny thing, though. These aren't trials. These are military tribunals, which include "the use of secret evidence that defendants will not be allowed to see and the potential use of evidence obtained through torture."

Ahhhh... I see. *That* kind of light... so, like, there are no harmful UV rays? Will every defendant get a pair of his/her own BluBlockers?

Bottom line: It's not really much "The Light Of Truth,"... more of a "Flourescent Illumination."

Monday, February 27, 2006

Only 1,300 Iraqis Died In Sectarian Violence DURING THE PAST WEEK

Nothing to see here.

Freedom's on the march.

Douchey McDouchebag Garnering A Whopping 34% Approval

From a CBS News poll... only ~1/3 of the population gives Bush the thumbs up.

In other news, a mere 2/3 of the population can identify what constitutes "a really, really fucking lousy President."

Friday, February 24, 2006

My Ticket? Dismissed. Officer Mansavage? Denied! Suck It, Loserboy. *PPPPPLT!*

You may recall that I got pulled over (for having an expired sticker on my license plate) by a douchebag cop a few weeks back... and that rather than give me a warning and tell me to take care of it a.s.a.p., he cited me.

In any case, my court appearance this morning lasted about, oh, 2 minutes... I'm not exaggerating - the court commisioner just looked at my citation, asked if I registered my vehicle since then, looked at the registration certificate that I handed him, noted that my driving record was clean, and told me that the ticket was waived. The sheriff just pointed at the exit doorway and told me to have a nice day.

I had to waste 2 hours of my life (including waking up early, shower, drive time, etc) for that? The court had to waste its valuable time/resources over virtually nothing? I guess so. Ofiicer Mansavage - you, sir, are a retard. Next time you pull someone over for something so utterly non-threatening to the public... try simply issuing a warning. You'd have saved a bunch of people a whole lot of bullshit, had you done so a few weeks ago. Douchebag.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I Don't Drink A Whole Lot Anymore... But When I Do.... *giggle*

What Kind of Drunk Are You?
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey

Oooh. Ouch!

I suppose that one can never really run away from such things. Oh well.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"Bystander Fired Deadly Shot, Not Officer" - Conceal And Carry Weapon Laws In Action

I got into an interesting debate with a pro-CC guy re: this article from Louisiana's WAFB Channel 9 online (not sure exactly what city in LA, but presumably broadcasts mainly to the Baton Rouge area).

It's a short article, so I'll just quote the whole thing:

Bystander Fired Deadly Shot, Not Officer

Feb 21, 2006, 07:39 AM CST

There were two big developments Monday in the case of a motorist who was shot and killed along Greenwell Springs Road Friday after a fight with a police officer. Investigators say an autopsy shows the deadly bullet was fired by a bystander, not the officer. Police also announced that no charges would be filed in the case, either against the police officer involved or the bystander who fired the fatal shot into the head of George Temple.

East Baton Rouge Sheriff's spokesman Greg Phares says Officer Brian Harrision was escorting a funeral procession Friday when he pulled Temple over and wrote him a ticket for breaking into the procession. According to Phares, that's when Temple attacked Harrison. Police say Perry Stevens was walking outside of the Auto Zone on Greenwell Springs Road when he heard Harrison yelling for help. Harrison was reportedly on his back with Temple on top of him. That's when Stevens went to his car and grabbed his .45 caliber pistol.

According to Col. Greg Phares, "[Mr. Stevens] orders Mr. Temple to stop and get off the officer. The verbal commands are ignored and Mr. Stevens fires four shots, all of which struck Mr. Temple."

Perry Stevens fired four shots into Temple's torso. Officer Harrison had already fired one shot into Temple's abdomen. With Temple still struggling with the officer, Perry continued to advance toward the scuffle. "He again orders Mr. Temple to stop what he was doing and get off the officer. Those commands are ignored and he fires a fifth shot and that hits his head. The incident is over with, and as you know, Mr. Temple is dead."

Police are calling the shooting death justified. Perry Stevens has a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Col. Phares would not give out any more details relating to the shooting. Both Phares and Baton Rouge Police Chief Jeff LeDuff stopped short of crediting Stevens with saving the officer's life. LeDuff says the entire incident is unfortunate.

"I spoke with his father at the scene briefly," said LeDuff. "I think this is a tragic situation all around."

9 News is told George Temple has a criminal record, and Officer Harrison was involved in a shooting while employed as a prison guard in East Baton Rouge Parish, where he was suspended for three days back in 1995.

I thought it looked pretty overreaching to summarily justify the totality of the citizen's actions, and that, at least, the citizen is probably looking at a civil lawsuit by the shot/killed man's family; my debator thought it was a clearcut example of the usefulness of CC... case closed.

Neither of us had the appropriate Louisiana laws in front of us, so we mutually decided to quit arguing about it. For me... it was more about whether or not this kind of *outcome* is appropriate, versus the proscribed legality of the situation (without the benefit of knowing how a jury would in fact interpret the situation, of course).

I think I'll follow this story.

I look forward to any comments, from any position.

NOTE: I've been generally undecided on conceal/carry laws, for a very long time now.

Monday, February 20, 2006

"U.S. Reclassifies Many Documents In Secret Review"

From the AP wires *oops* NY Times online...

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 — In a seven-year-old secret program at the National Archives, intelligence agencies have been removing from public access thousands of historical documents that were available for years, including some already published by the State Department and others photocopied years ago by private historians.


"It doesn't make sense to create a category of documents that are classified but that everyone already has," said Meredith Fuchs, general counsel of the National Security Archive, a research group at George Washington University. "These documents were on open shelves for years."


In related news, Americans are going to have to jam farts back up their asses.

Anyhow. I like this next part:


Among the 50 withdrawn documents that Mr. Aid found in his own files is a 1948 memorandum on a C.I.A. scheme to float balloons over countries behind the Iron Curtain and drop propaganda leaflets. It was reclassified in 2001 even though it had been published by the State Department in 1996.

Another historian, William Burr, found a dozen documents he had copied years ago whose reclassification he considers "silly," including a 1962 telegram from George F. Kennan, then ambassador to Yugoslavia, containing an English translation of a Belgrade newspaper article on China's nuclear weapons program.

Under existing guidelines, government documents are supposed to be declassified after 25 years unless there is particular reason to keep them secret. While some of the choices made by the security reviewers at the archives are baffling, others seem guided by an old bureaucratic reflex: to cover up embarrassments, even if they occurred a half-century ago.

One reclassified document in Mr. Aid's files, for instance, gives the C.I.A.'s assessment on Oct. 12, 1950, that Chinese intervention in the Korean War was "not probable in 1950." Just two weeks later, on Oct. 27, some 300,000 Chinese troops crossed into Korea.


[shaking head]

Christ... get over all the secrecy, you morons.

Just Saw Speilberg's "Munich"...

Very powerful film.

'nuff said

Saturday, February 18, 2006

In "Booming Economy" News

From the AP wires, posted at

Electronics retailer RadioShack Corp. on Friday said fourth-quarter earnings dropped 62 percent and disclosed it plans to close 400 to 700 stores and two distribution centers as part of a plan to improve its financial performance.


That's 6%-10% of their U.S. retail outlets.

In other news, al-Qaeda in its last throes.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Secret, Secret... He's Got A Secret.

Posted at

FBI locates 780 pages of Vice President's 'FBI file,' but hasn't released after nearly two years

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has responded to a request from a San Francisco-based blogger for Vice President Dick Cheney’s FBI file—but has been withholding its release since September 2005, RAW STORY has learned.

In a letter to blogger Michael Petrelis, of, the section chief for the FBI’s records management division acknowledged in August 2005 that the bureau had located some 780 pages on the vice president. Petrelis then agreed to pay for all copying costs.

To date, Petrelis hasn’t received a single page on Cheney.


In the letter, Hardy also indicated the records would be released soon—when he wrote Petrelis in September of last year.

“We anticipate that a disclosure of responsive materials will be made in the near future,” Hardy wrote.


"I requested these files because the American public must know what's in the dossiers on Bush and Cheney," Petrelis said at the time. "Democrat John Kerry's voluminous FBI files were scrutinized by reporters and the subject of hundreds of news accounts in March of this year. Less than sixty days before the November election, the FBI has a responsibility to treat Bush and Cheney's files equal to those on Kerry, which means releasing their files forthwith."

Petrelis was denied expedited processing for the records’ release. A later appeal was also denied.

Wellllllllll... fucking imagine that.

I wonder what's taking so long?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Neocona Non Grata

From a report:

(AP) CHICAGO Thanks but no thanks.

That's Chicago's answer to an invitation to submit a bid to host the 2008 Republican National Convention.

The Republican National Committee said yesterday that Chicago and 30 other cities were selected to submit bids explaining why they'd be a good choice to host the 2008 convention.

But a spokeswoman for Mayor Richard Daley says City Hall isn't interested.


In otherwords: Take a hike, losers.

Small Compilation Of Quotes To Help Combat Neocon Douchenozzles, Courtesy Of Leftist Grandpa

Grandpa Eddie (Leftist Grandpa of has had this on his sidebar for a quite while -- I thought I'd reproduce it here, in case you've never been to his blog. His place is one of my favorites; he's a fellow Wisconsinite with the heart of a lion. Check it out sometime.


    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. -- Thomas Jefferson

    A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. -- John F. Kennedy

    Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it. -- Mark Twain

    When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross. -- Sinclair Lewis (1935)

    There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. -- John Adams

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

    The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere. -- Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, 1787.

    It is better to die on your feet then live on your knees. -- Emiliano Zapata

Goddamn right, Emiliano Zapata.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Rush Limbaugh: Idiot Extraordinaire

Ok - this one's almost too good to be true:

And don’t forget, Sherrod Brown is black. There’s a racial component here, too. And now, the newspaper that I’m reading all this from is The New York Times, and they, of course, don’t mention that. But — you know, “Democratic leaders say that Representative Sherrod Brown, a seven-term incumbent from Avon, has a far better chance of toppling Senator DeWine than does the — Hackett.”


Uh, Sherrod Brown’s a white guy? Then I’m confusing him with somebody. OK, I’m sorry. I thought Sherrod Brown was — I’m — I’m confusing him with somebody then. Must be somebody in New York has got a similar name…


For those of you who continue to email me, even though I have made the correction — let me make the correction again. I erred when I said that Sherrod Brown is black. I’m confusing him with somebody with a similar name in the Democratic Party somewhere. But we have — we have corrected this, and I, you know, I’m not gonna apologize, ’cause I don’t think it’s an insult to be black. But — but I did err. He is — his is — he is — he is not black. He’s one of these white European descendents in Ohio. He’s the guy that — that the Democrats have kicked Paul Hackett out of the race for the Senate seat in Ohio against Mike DeWine. And it really boils down to a matter of money, plus they don’t like military guys in the, in the Democratic Party.


Truth be told, the first time I saw his name in print (probably 8-9 months ago) *I* assumed "Sherrod Brown" was black, too. But what did I do? I FUCKING LOOKED THE GUY UP ON GOOGLE BEFORE I MADE THE ABSOLUTELY FUCKING EGREGIOUS ERROR OF PRESUMING THAT HE WAS BLACK BASED SOLELY ON MY PRECONCIEVED NOTION.

My favorite part of his trying to cover his stupidity was in the non sequitur:

He’s one of these white European descendents in Ohio.




You warmonkeys are a sick bunch, you know that?

Link to Australian television show's exposé on unreleased Abu Ghraib photos (use the bittorrents, if you can... helps share the bandwidth).


I'm gonna remember every last one of you douchebags that keep trotting out apology after apology for this administration.

Know what?

Fuck you.

I hereby dedicate my life to ruining your miserable lives.

Fuck you.

Thought-Provoking Debate Re: Use Of Anti-Semitism & Israel's Human Rights Record

Yesterday, Democracy Now! hosted the following debate (moderated by Amy Goodman) between DePaul University's Professor Norman Finkelstein and former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami.

Description, from the website:

Norman Finkelstein argues that some supporters of Israeli government policies have attempted to de-legitimize criticism by disingenuously heaping the charge of anti-Semitism. Shlomo Ben Ami defends Israel's record on human rights, and says peace will only come about through a negotiated two-state settlement.

Highly recommended read (page also provides links to A/V versions; I haven't had the chance to watch/listen yet).

I don't want to spoil "the read" for you, but I must note that I had no idea that Israel currently holds 9,000 Palestinian political prisoners.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I Like Santa

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Daily Show; Cheney Shooting Incident

Maybe I'm still pissed about the whole Paul Hackett thing unraveling tonight and was ripe for a good belly laugh...

Maybe not.

I think that this 10-minute Daily Show stretch qualifies as a classic, regardless.

"Bush Admin. spent over $1.6 Billion on advertising and P.R. since 2003, GAO finds"


Today Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. George Miller, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, and other senior Democrats released a new Government Accountability Office report finding that the Bush Administration spent more than $1.6 billion in public relations and media contracts in a two and a half year span.


"It is unbelievable that the Administration, on several occasions, has used limited taxpayer dollars to secretly promote initiatives such as No Child Left Behind, while underfunding money for our schools, books, technology, and after school programs," said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings.


Unbelievable? Believe it.

Worst administration ever.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dubya - The Movie

I was just over at Grandpa Eddie's (aka Leftist Grandpa, aka For The Grandkids) blog - he posted a link to this video that someone put together. Pretty funny.

Don Knotts as "Dubya". Believable... an excellent portrayal by the venerable actor. Two thumbs up.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Only The Republican Party Can Keep Us Unsafe

From an article at

A company in the United Arab Emirates is poised to take over significant operations at six American ports as part of a corporate sale, leaving a country with ties to the Sept. 11 hijackers with influence over a maritime industry considered vulnerable to terrorism.


The State Department describes the UAE as a vital partner in the fight against terrorism. But the UAE, a loose federation of seven emirates on the Saudi peninsula, was an important operational and financial base for the hijackers who carried out the attacks against New York and Washington, the FBI concluded.


Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the FBI has said the money for the strikes was transferred to the hijackers primarily through the UAE's banking system, and much of the operational planning for the attacks took place inside the UAE.

Now, granted, it's only management of the ports and not operation of the ports... and the article notes that:

Flynn and others said even under foreign control, U.S. ports will continue to be run by unionized American employees. "You're not going have a bunch of UAE citizens working the docks," Flynn said. "They're longshoremen, vested in high-paying jobs. Most of them are Archie Bunker-kind of Americans."

However, and probably most importantly:

Critics of the proposed purchase said a port operator complicit in smuggling or terrorism could manipulate manifests and other records to frustrate Homeland Security's already limited scrutiny of shipping containers and slip contraband past U.S. Customs inspectors.

... cripes

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Pajamas Media Asplode

From the BBC:

The head of Israel's domestic security agency, Shin Bet, has said his country may come to regret the overthrow of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Yuval Diskin said a strong dictatorship would be preferable to the present "chaos" in Iraq, in a speech to teenage Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

LGF, Malkin, et al. must be going cuckoo trying to figure out who they stand *with* now. Buuuuut... that's the price you eventually pay... when you stand *for* nothing.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

"Mansavage".. heehee

I just got back from work... was pulled over on the way home for an expired tag on my license plate ($160 ticket!? wtf?? lol)... so when I got inside here and finally got to look at the ticket, I noticed that the officer's last name is:



seriously - what a dumb name... the dick
you heard me, mansavage... dick... dick... dick... diiiiiiiiiiiick...

If This Quote Makes You Uncomfortable, You'd Better Go Take A Long Look In The Mirror.

"We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there. But Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war billions more but no more for the poor."

-- Reverend Joseph Lowrey

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

You've Obviously Seen The Coretta Scott King Funeral Clip...

... but did you know that Emperor Boosh actually *laughed* at his own public flogging/bitchslapping?

The mourners responded with a standing ovation. Bush's immediate reaction could not be seen on television, but after Lowery finished speaking, the president shook his hand and laughed.

Must be nice to be so immensely oblivious.


Douchebag Deutsch Never Graduated From Texas A & M

UPDATE: Deutsch surrenders... lmao!

The Scientific Activist discovered that George Deutsch, the 24-year-old Bush appointee who splits time between being one of three National Public Affairs officer for NASA and being an asshat who tries to censor scientists (who - oddly enough - could run intellectual circles around him with both pocket protectors behind their backs), never graduated from Texas A&M University.

Although Deutsch did attend Texas A&M University, where he majored in journalism and was scheduled to graduate in 2003, he left in 2004 without a degree, a revelation that I was tipped off to by one of his former coworkers at A&M's student newspaper The Battalion.


The idea that NASA let a 24-year-old journalism major, with no experience in science or technology, other than writing a few articles about video games, determine what scientists were able to communicate to the public was pretty bad. The fact that he was censoring scientific information on global warming and the big bang made things more interesting, especially since he was a political appointee doing this to prevent challenges to the Bush administration’s policies.


Now, don't get me wrong here; the "big deal" is still that the kid was in no position to have been trying to censor the NASA scientists in the first place.

The humor lies in the fact that (1) he was described by The New York Times as a 2004 A&M graduate and never bothered to try to correct the public record, and that (2) one of his classmates helped rat his douchebag ass out.

George Deutsch -- I hereby dub thee: "The Vinegar and Water Boy."

Monday, February 06, 2006

Another Day, Another Slimy Karl Rove Plot

From the article "Rove counting heads on the Senate Judiciary Committee" over at

The White House has been twisting arms to ensure that no Republican member votes against President Bush in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation of the administration's unauthorized wiretapping.

Congressional sources said Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove has threatened to blacklist any Republican who votes against the president. The sources said the blacklist would mean a halt in any White House political or financial support of senators running for re-election in November.


"He's [Rove] lining them up one by one," another congressional source said.

Mr. Rove is leading the White House campaign to help the GOP in November’s congressional elections. The sources said the White House has offered to help loyalists with money and free publicity, such as appearances and photo-ops with the president.

God damn that guy is a sleaze.

Hey (R)s -- don't protect the Constitution or serve your constiuencies or nothin' like that, now. Party before country. SEIG HEIL!

BTW - what GOP member *really* wants to be photographed with Bush for use in November elections? Is he serious? Dude can barely keep his head above the 40% approval rating. Lame-O.

As far as witholding campaign dollars goes... can anyone say "Solution To This Particular Problem: Publicly Financed Elections"...?

Time for a plug.


Which Horrible Affliction Are You?

I am Rabies. Grrrrrrrr!
Which Horrible Affliction are you?
A Rum and Monkey disease.

... I am... rabies.

The Myth Of The Totally Independent, "Self-Made" American

... just another one that's made its way around teh intarweb a few times; implicit in the text is the important realization that domestic social spending not only FILLS THE GAPS LEFT BY INEFFICIENCIES IN THE FREE MARKET SYSTEM, but also ADDRESSES ISSUES THAT PRIVATE INDUSTRY EITHER CAN'T OR WON'T.

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance -- now Joe gets it, too.

He prepares his morning breakfast: bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks on the government-provided sidewalk to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment checks because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe also forgets that in addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state funded university.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards to go along with the taxpayer funded roads.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans.

The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved conservatives have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

The 14 Characteristics Of Fascism

I know this has been posted a bazillion times, all over the intarwebz, but... after spending an hour over at* I thought this needed to go up... if only for cathartic reasons.

The Fourteen Characteristics Of Fascism

  1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism -- Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

  2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights -- Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to 'look the other way' or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

  3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause -- The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

  4. Supremacy of the Military -- Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

  5. Rampant Sexism -- The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and antigay legislation and national policy.

  6. Controlled Mass Media -- Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or through sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in wartime, is very common.

  7. Obsession with National Security -- Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

  8. Religion and Government are Intertwined -- Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

  9. Corporate Power is Protected -- The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

  10. Labor Power is Suppressed -- Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely or are severely suppressed.

  11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts -- Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.

  12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment -- Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses, and even forego civil liberties, in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

  13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption -- Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions, and who use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

  14. Fraudulent Elections -- Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against (or even the assassination of) opposition candidates, the use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and the manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Fascism? Here? In the Unites States?

I see nothing. No fascism here.

* Fark is actually a pretty entertaining place, on the whole... don't take this as representative of how I regularly feel when I emerge from some time in the Fark threads... it's just that... every once in a while... a few ignoramuses who regularly post over there?... makes you wonder what sort of disturbing childhoods they went through (and/or what sort of fucked up, malicious/misguided parents they learned from)... I suppose it'd be prudent to forgive them, for they know not that they are dumb as bags of hammers.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Oil Industry Profitability

By the way, a couple tenets of efficient markets:

* new firms may enter the market at will (no "barriers to entry," in the econ vernacular)
* prices are determined by market forces (firms can't affect prices; that groovy "invisible hand")

So how is it that oil companies can cut production to protect profitability?

According to economic theory, what *should* be happening right now -- new firms *should* be entering the oil production market, sucking away at the teat of immense economic profits.

Thass no happeneeeeeeen

How come the free market isn't correcting itself? Just something to ponder.

Oh Look, Another Instance Of Lying In This Administration

From today's Murray Waas' Nationl Journal article Iraq, Niger, And The CIA...

Vice President Cheney and his then-Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby were personally informed in June 2003 that the CIA no longer considered credible the allegations that Saddam Hussein had attempted to procure uranium from the African nation of Niger, according to government records and interviews with current and former officials.


The new disclosures raise questions as to why Libby and other Bush administration officials continued their efforts to discredit Wilson -- even as they were told that claims about Iraq's having procured uranium from Niger were most likely a hoax.


Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University, said, "The prosecutor's implicit inference before the jury may well likely be that Libby lied to protect the vice president. Even in a plain vanilla case, a prosecutor always wants to be able to demonstrate a motive."

That Cheney was one of the first people to tell Libby about Plame, and that Libby had written in his notes that Cheney had heard the information from the CIA director, Gillers said, might make it more difficult for Libby to mount a credible defense of a faulty memory. "From a prosecutor's point of view, and perhaps a jury's as well, the conversation [during which Libby learned about Plame] is the more dramatic and the more memorable because the conversation was with the vice president" and because the CIA director's name also came up, Gillers said.

The disclosure that Cheney and Libby were told of a CIA assessment that the agency considered the Niger allegations to be untrue, and that Tenet requested the assessment as a result of the personal interest of Cheney and Libby, would "demonstrate even further that Niger was a central issue for Libby," said Gillers, and would "make it even harder, although not impossible, to claim a faulty memory."

I can almost hear the Freepers coming up with the latest explanation.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Great Depression Was So Great That... We're Going To Give It Another Whirl?

This past Monday, the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis released a report displaying how our nation's personal savings rate was actually *negative* during 2005... -0.5%, to be exact.

According to an article by Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press Economics Writer:

"Americans not only spent all of their after-tax income last year but had to dip into previous savings or increase borrowing.

The savings rate has been negative for an entire year only twice before — in 1932 and 1933..."


Dust bowls and bread lines.

How Eager Neocons Are To Be Slaves

... a most apt bit of history, from Gore Vidal's latest article, posted online at The Nation:

When the admirable Tiberius (he has had an undeserved bad press), upon becoming emperor, received a message from the Senate in which the conscript fathers assured him that whatever legislation he wanted would be automatically passed by them, he sent back word that this was outrageous. "Suppose the emperor is ill or mad or incompetent?" He returned their message. They sent it again. His response: "How eager you are to be slaves."

Bush supporters have never been accused of *not* being an eager lot, have they?