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Friday, February 24, 2006

Talk About Triumph Of the Human Etc... 


This is pretty neat. I guess, mathematically, it's bound to happen. They will make a movie about it. Elijah Wood in a headband...?

[Team manager Jason] McElwain, who's autistic, was added to the roster by coach Jim Johnson so he could be given a jersey and get to sit on the bench in the team's last game of the year.

[His team was down by double digits with four minutes to go] and, in his first action of the year, McElwain missed his first two shots, but then sank six three-pointers and another shot (video), for a total of 20 points in three minutes.

I mean that's pretty uplifting, right? Clearly this is Hallmark material. But, really, pretty cool. Go human spirit, go!


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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

NASCAR Fans, Take Notice! 


Your philosophical leader has pulled out of the Neocon program. It failed, he says. It failed and it should be destroyed. If this won't convince America's radical right mainstream, I ask bewilderedly, tasting the bitters in my cheek, WHAT WILL?!

Francis Fukuyama, who wrote the best-selling book The End of History and was a member of the neoconservative project, now says that, both as a political symbol and a body of thought, it has "evolved into something I can no longer support". He says it should be discarded on to history's pile of discredited ideologies.

In an extract from his forthcoming book, America at the Crossroads, Mr Fukuyama declares that the doctrine "is now in shambles" and that its failure has demonstrated "the danger of good intentions carried to extremes".

Going further, he says the movements' advocates are Leninists who "believed that history can be pushed along with the right application of power and will. Leninism was a tragedy in its Bolshevik version, and it has returned as farce when practised by the United States".

See, Earl and Bill and Jebediah? See Suzie-May and Marge and Stella? The Jesus head of unilateralism thinks your president's masturbation rocket ritual will go down in flames -- and he invented it. How do you reconsile that, eithically and intellectually? Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.


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Port Fever! 


From the New York Times. The last lines of the article:

Lawmakers from both parties have noted that some of the Sept. 11 hijackers used the United Arab Emirates as an operational and financial base. In addition, critics contend the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a Pakistani scientist.

The first lines of the article:

President Bush was unaware of the pending sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates until the deal already had been approved by his administration, the White House said Wednesday.

You know, it's fine. The Times article is about the White House's damage control, not Dubai's checkered past. So let's take it for what it is.

The President of the United States had no idea that an Arab state-run company was being sold the rights to control the most important shipping ports on the Eastern seaboard. He had no clue. It never came up. The President for whom protecting every single American was never let in on the conversation about who we'd be putting in charge of this. Ok. Fine.

So: why wasn't he told? There are three possible explanations:
1) He is incompetent, uncurious, and not at all concerned with the security of America.
2) He was purposely kept out of the loop, either at his own request, or at the behest of someone else who wanted the deal pushed through.
3) He is lying and was aware of the deal.

And in consideration:
1) This is all true. He doesn't read the papers and had never been off the continent before getting elected as leader of the free world.
2) This is possible. If there was some concern that this deal would be met with trepidation or outrage, they may have wanted to keep Bush out of it.
3) This seems most likely. Given the fairly close ties to Dubai Port (Treasury Secretary John Snow was CEO of CSX, who the same company bought a few years ago -- those connections are not mentioned in the article) it seems improbable that he would have heard nothing about this. Given, too, that protecting the ports was a major Democratic concern in the last election, it seems likely that it would at least have been on his mind. Things are never what they seem, however, and very little seems ever to be on his mind, so who knows.

But why would the President be so adamant about pushing this deal through -- a huge, controversial deal with a country who provided two of the 9-11 hijackers -- when he had known nothing about it just days earlier? Did his cabinet convince him? Did dollar signs flash in his eyes? Or was he aware about it to begin with? Why threaten a veto, which he's not used once in six years, on something so trivial he didn't bother to learn of it till it made the news? Why the sudden 180? What is so important about this deal? He says it would send the wrong message to the Arab world to turn the deal down. We have a saying for that: too little too late. A president so concerned with the Arab view of America doesn't invade sovereign Arab nations and declare a holy crusade.

Something is fishy here -- something is always fishy -- and I do not like it. They are expending a lot of political capital on what looks to me to be a no-win situation. Unless there's a very, very important reason they put Dubai in charge of East Coast ports. Not that I can think of one. I mean, what good would another terrorist attack do them, anyway? It's not like BushCo saw any advantage from 9-11.


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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

L'humeur 


I saw this lady last night and I think she is funny.


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Le Futur 


This article on DU got my blood boiling again, like it used to back in the day so long ago (2003) when I thought things were really bad something had to be done about it and before my passions were overwhelmed and silenced by the deafening hum of nobody doing anything or caring.

And so, under Bush/Cheney, we've become an America that has codified torture in official state policy, that admits it went into a war under false premises but continues to keep our targeted troops there anyway, that spies on its citizens without court orders, that is willing to out a covert CIA agent (one who was probing the extent of Iran's nuclear program) for reasons of political retaliation, that "disappears" American citizens into military jails and doesn't permit them any contact with the outside world, that flies suspects in its care to secret prisons abroad and "renders" others to countries that use even more extreme torture measures, that passes laws permitting police agents to "sneak and peek" into citizens' homes, phone records, computer databases, library requests, e-mails and medical records without permission or even informing those whose privacy had been violated, that neuters the Congress by saying it will listen to "suggestions" but that the ultimate decisions are to be made by the Chief Executive, that emasculates the political opposition in Congress by cutting them out of the key decision-making processes, that declares the president has the right to violate the law whenever he so chooses and Congress and the courts have no role to play in reining in that power-grab, that is eager to keep America on a permanent war footing since it's engaged in a never-ending battle against a tactic (terrorism), and on and on.

I don't know what happened to me, a young man who filtered almost everything through my new looking glass of oncoming fascism, while still maintaing a sense of humor. I read voraciously all the news and information and opinion, from both extremes of the political spectrum and recalled it all. It was stamped into me. I could think critically and fast and I believe that, in my prime, I could have gone toe to toe with any of the Right Wing pundits now vomiting across the airwaves and more than held my own. But now. Well.

I think part of the problem was how rabid I was. Because all was filtered through this one world view, and the world view called for a great deal of complaining and outrage and windmill tilting, I kind of lost steam. It was unbalanced. I've tried time and again in the last year or so to get back into it, but those days are over. That's not to say I've lost any political bent -- clearly I still do -- but it'll have to be under a different glass. That one stopped working.

Yet I do believe this is a dangerous aministration heading toward fascism and bent on global domination. I do and that's the truth. And our president absolutely ought to be impeached if there is anything resembling a rule of law left here. That said, go read the above article and let your blood boil, too.


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