"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Tracts

I kind of got a kick out of this religious cartoon. Of course, as a non-believer, I simply enjoy it for the comic value. Still, it's a larf. Got the link off of JT's site, which is back in action and long-winded as ever. Shazam!

For other lovely bite-sized media, try www.freedomads.org. Here's my favorite so far. Thanks to reader Paul Feine for sending the link. Great stuff! Seemlingly connected to the essay contest I linked to a while back.

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Another View

Here's another view on the Iraqi's pull down the statue thing the other day. I have to say, if this is an accurate arial shot, then the propaganda machine is in full swing. I was watching some live satelite feed from Baghdad with my oatmeal this morning, and part of what they had was footage of teenage boys running around smashing just about everything. One of the kids had an RPG launcher and was using it to break windows. Good thing he had no ammo, I suppose.

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Best. Rant. Ever.

This gem popped up in the comments over on Daily Kos in a thread about the Baseball Hall of Fame cancelling an event commemerating the anneversary of Bull Dhuram because Susan Sarandon's statements "endanger the troops."

What rankles me is the non-stop, continuous nature of this thing. If it's not the Halliburton scandal, the AWOL scandal, "with us or against us", "crusade", "axis of evil", "WMD", cutting veterans benefits on the first day of the war, nominating crazy super-loon judges to important positions, defunding the 911 commission, providing virtually no terror defense funds to blue states, fake rioting to stop vote counting, rewarding the fake rioters with government jobs, trying to drill in protected lands, the fucking patriot act, getting caught lying about the existence of patriot act II, gitmo, 'disappearing' of US citizens, the craven disappearance of any sort of trustable American video media, the hiring of Coulter + Hannity + Savage, the continuous lies of Ari Fleischer, the ties between Bush and Enron, "the free market has to work" (to punish California), the fact that we control about 400 square feet of Afghanistan, Ahmed fucking Chalabi, any sentence ever uttered by Donald Rumsfeld, a rainbow of stupid colored alerts just in case we can't understand English words, the Department of Homeland Security, the continued inability to kill one fucking 6 foot 5 inch crazy man who lives in a cave, the continued inability to find a one eyed muslim cleric who likes to rant loudly, the deforestation of our natural forests in the guise of 'forest fire prevention' by loggers, the loosening in 'acceptable levels' of arsenic in our drinking water, the part ownership of voting machine makers by Republican party hacks, fucking Clear Channel whipping up fake rallies in order to (successfully) buy off the partisan FCC, fucking Scalia suggesting that homosexual teachers are a threat and ought to be illegal because they'll indoctrinate our children, Enron and the rest of the evil bastards getting off scot free because they're Cheney's best friends, Cheney getting US$30,000 A DAY from Halliburton as a golden parachute, massive tax cuts for the rich as a way of forcing Congress to cut programs like Head Start and school lunches, 'No Child Left Behind' except those children who don't get to go to fucking private kindergartens because their daddy doesn't have million-dollar stockbroker connections to the guy who heads CitiBank, the covering up of failed missile tests followed by an attempt to secretly rush through a bill so that we don't have to run the embarrassing tests any more and Star Wars can proceed, the attempt to remove all responsibility for declaring war from Congress and concentrate power in the presidency, the attempts to make the patriot act permanent, our continued violation of the letter and the spirit of the Geneva Convention, our flouting of all international law and the attempted destruction of the United Nations and NATO, the crack about "old Europe" that miraculously didn't get Rumsfeld fired, "Fuck Saddam, we're going to take him out" -- even as Bush 'searched for a peaceful way to resolve the situation', "Mr President, Rumsfeld just threatened Syria and Iran on national television" "Good.", the fucking Project for a New American Century -- a concept so crazy that even Pat Buchanan turned pale, "Freedom Fries", pouring out French wine in protest after buying it, it's just a fucking non stop list of shit which not just Democrats, not just Libertarians, but any human being on this planet who hasn't been totally indoctrinated must LEAP out of their FUCKING CHAIRS AND UPON READING, MUST JUST SCREAM OUT THE GODDAMN WINDOW, "WHERE THE FUCK IS THIS COUNTRY GOING AND WHY DID IT GET HERE? AND WHAT IN THE NAME OF ANYTHING THAT IS EVEN REMOTELY IMPORTANT CAN WE DO TO STOP THIS SHIT FROM EVER HAPPENING AGAIN? WHY ARE MY GODDAMN POLITICAL LEADERS PLEDGING ALLEGIANCE TO A BUNCH OF INVISIBLE SUPERMEN WHO LIVE IN OUTER SPACE? IF THEY HAVE TO DO THAT, CAN'T THEY FUCKING READ THE BOOK THE INVISIBLE SUPERMEN ARE SAID TO HAVE LEFT BEHIND, THE ONE ABOUT HELPING THE POOR, NOT BEING BRUTALLY VENAL, YOU KNOW, THAT BOOK? IT'S NOT ABOUT SUSAN SARANDON, IT'S ABOUT THE ENTIRE DISGUSTING MELTING BALL OF PSYCHOLOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE CONTRADICTORY NONSENSICAL BULLSHIT WHICH JABBERS FORTH FROM THE MOUTHS AND MINDS OF THE MILLION-HEADED BEAST THAT EATS OUR FUCKING CIVIC SOUL AND SHITS OUT A NOISOME CONCOCTION OF MONEY, FALLACIES, PROPAGANDA AND LIES, LIES, ENOUGH FUCKING LIES TO FILL THE COFFERS OF A THOUSAND ENRONS, MAKE A THOUSAND VICE PRESIDENTS INTO LORDLY OLIGARCHIC GREY SARCASTIC PRINCES, AND HURL ANY CONCEPT OF REASONABLE PUBLIC DISCOURSE INTO THE SEWERS OF A DOZEN MURDOCHS.



when are we going to fucking wake up

wake up

WAKE UP

--Willhelm

Sounds like something my friend Nick might summon forth.

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Holy Shit, Blogs Save Lives

Yeah, I'm a day or so behind on this, but it takes some time for memes to work their way around the world. I've got a few Koenig Originals in the hopper, but for now please enjoy this story about how a dude with an accordion was warned off from dating a complete psycho by someone who read his weblog. It's quite a harrowing tale. And if after that you're still hungry for more nail-biting first-person accounts, I gladly refer you (again) to back-to-iraq.com, possibly the best $20 I've ever spent.

Another thing to stare at: Come on, Dow, support the troops (theonion.com)

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Ah, Shit... Here We Go

It's hard not to be happy for the people in Iraq they show us on TV and talk about in the news. They're psyched, pulling down statues of the dictator, smacking his face in murals with their shoes -- I've seen this every time, but the specific meaning has never been explained (ohh! here it is! found by total accident...) -- and really greeting American GIs as liberators. On the one hand, it's hard not to be pumped about all of this, but it does give me the Fear. Two reasons. The first -- small -- reason is that we didn't kill all the bad men with guns. Maybe they just decided to give up. Maybe they're waiting for the Marines to let down their guard. Hard to say at this point.

Here's the second reason to be afraid. Conservative writers are already writing pieces with titles like "Syria and Iran Must Get Their Turn." This scares the living crap out of me. Anyone who thinks America can handle more of the liquor of empire than any other nation in history had better think again. We may be the fattest fucks around, but that shit packs a much bigger punch than Cuervo. Let's hope Team Bush has the sense to rein in this animal quick. On the other hand, since back home the economy is still in the crapper, another jolly war might look pretty enticing to Dr. Rove. Watch for some rehetoric about Iran/Syria (probably Syria as they're the softer target) supporting terrorists and maybe (*gasp*) having WMD. Maybe if we don't find any significant WMD in Iraq, they'll float the story that they bad juice was moved to Syria. Oh, shucks! It isn't here: must be in Iran...

Yeah, we need to stop. If the freedom of Iraq is for real, then let's just lead by example, ok?

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Globalize yr Thinking

I'm somewhat obsessed with the future, how things are going to be, how the world works and so forth. A reader sent me an invite to this free conference on Globalization, which due to Best Coast travel plans (monkey 4th of July and OCF) I cannot attend. But I pass the link along so anyone with an interest can take a gander. I'm seriously thinking about submitting an essay though. I like writing essays (nerd!) and I might win a few bucks while I'm at it.

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Poll Numbers

Tom Tomorrow brings to light some distressing poll numbers. Our informed citizenry. This is the sort of thing that really frightens me. It honestly does feel like we are starting to slip into some sort of Orwellian nightmare, where facts are completely mutable, controlled by the state, and the Memory Hole gobbles up whatever is inconvienent to the current Plan. This is largely the result of confluence of interestest between the government and the media since 9-11, and it raises serious questions (for me anyway) about the essential health of our democracy.

I hope everyone can see that the spread of disinformation and bullshit is a bad thing. It leads inexorably to widestpread corruption and retards progress, as people who are concerned with being 'on message' must in some way sacrafice their concern for telling the truth, for being honest. Just as scientists who serve an agenda (rather than science) do not produce worthwhile results, politicians who serve and agenda (rather than the people) similarly fail to make things better. The line between ideological kowtowing and honest pursuit of justice is much fuzzier in social contructs like politics, but there is still a line.

And then there's this: the International Hummer Owners Group: I-HOG, no kidding.

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Forward Progress

So I more or less have a job through June. This is good news, and it's making my stress-load feel much lighter than ever before. I'm also working on some interesting peace stuff and a new site feature. I want to add a little grafitti board in place of the poll, which I can never seem to come up with good questions for. Maybe we could have both. I'm also thinking about room-renovations, a new desk, some new hardware, etc. And I'm making travel plans for Ren Fayre and the little monkey gathering that's brewing later this month in Boston.

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Swooning

Real quick I have to brag. Here's an excerpt from an interview with the lady I'm besotted with, done by her roommate amy:

Sasha: Although, we've been known to have a swooning affect on people.

Star: I've witnessed this swooning you speak of.

Sasha: eeeeeee! And I understand that you've heard some as well, I apologize.

Hehehe... the emphasis is all mine.

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Looking Up

My mother used to send me little laminated clippings from magazines and such in care packages when I was in college, and I would stick them around my dorm room or whatever. They were really pretty cool images: things like students in Paris rioting in '69 and a human egg being artifically inseminated. One of my favorites was an image of Ollie North on a television with the Oscar Wylde quote, "we're all lying in the gutter, but some of us are looking up at the stars," superimposed over the top.

As I traversed the city in the beautiful weather this past fine Sunday I began to regain some of my lost affinity for my fellow man. Occasional smiles from strangers picked me up in little ways, and the cosmopolitan heart of New York pumped strong loving blood, a lone saxaphone playing man on 5th and 43rd echoed soothing basanova through the hollow canyons of midtown. In front of the central park bandshell capable people were playing games with gravity. A band of unicyclists occupied one corner, while another was controlled by young men performing personal cicular acrobatics with tricked out BMX bikes. There were plenty of regular people too, rolerbladers and dog-walkers and dudes playing catch. All around were freindly, beautiful, open faces of many ages and colors. I watched it all, conversations and acrobatics, people being people, and I thought to myself, yes, this is America.

A little closer to the lush closed off green of the sheep meadow -- still off limits so the sodding process can fully take -- there was a band of dreadlocked men in outlandish garb and loudspeakers playing some world beat fusion with a crowd of uninhibited people, smiling people, dancing in an unconscious and gleefully unorganized way. I thought that, yes, this too was America.

Then on my bike again to Grand Central I had another thought about how I'd seen so many clean, fit people with nice clothes and nice toys -- the fashionable long-haired woman with the acoustic guitar she couldn't really play; "just a prop," she said to her friend -- and I realized with more than a trace of bitterness how much I missed hanging around friendly affluent liberal people. They'd abounded in college, coloring the atmosphere with freewheeling funloving optimism and an earnest, if inexperienced, progressive consciousness. In the years since graduation I've lived in more austere company, class lines and parental cutoffs reducing my social sphere to that of people more in line with my means, and for a moment I feel a sense of regret and longing, to be a part of the soft pretty world that so often comes bundled with a lack of material concerns.

On my way out of the park I passed a man trying, poorly, to teach his daughter the finer points of riding a bicycle in busy surroundings. "Main road," he kept saying to her in a disconcertingly passive-aggressive tone as she drifted toward an exit spur, prompted in part by my lead. "Main road." She clearly didn't understand and was upset that she was upsetting her father, and I remarked to my self on how easy it is to fall into a pattern of forcing things.

Walking into grand central there's a skinny young National Guardsman with a black military baret and a high and tight haircut cracking jokes with a African-American female NYPD officer. More America, in all its spelendor, right under my nose.

And so I begin to feel a little better about everything. I don't need to have parties all the time, but I do need to help people join the 21st century. In spite of all their flag-flying, my neighbors are to my mind kind of unamerican. With that realization it occurs to me that it's up for debate; the nature of this country. My thought on the train, an optimistic one, as I rolled north past 125th St and the sun set over Harlem, was that America is this -- all the beautiful things I've seen and a helping loving hand outstretched to the ugly and maligned -- but only if we want it to be. If we want it to be and we will work for it, it is. Because it's the truth. Equality. Love. Justice. These are the truth, and they always feel better.

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