Friday, February 18
I Think I May Hurl.
Jesus'General is at it again. I swear someone should take his photoshop away before an innocent bystander dies from laughing so hard. Dammit, I just got out of hospital!
"Mr. Jim JD Jeff Gannon Guckert isn't the only friend of Our Leader's who took advantage of capitalism's many benefits by creating an internets business. Deputy Leader tried his hand at providing personal services via the web as well. I found the site shown above this morning while googling the phrase "Dr. Dobson's mighty rod."
I think this is the final proof that Jim JD Jeff Gannon Guckert did nothing wrong. If Deputy Leader can run an escort service out of the Executive Office Building than anyone can--that is as long as they've been washed in the blood of Jesus, of course. posted by Gen. JC Christian, Patriot 3:02 AM"
Thursday, February 17
A Belated Valentine's Day Story
Do you think it may be catching? Thanks to Rising Hegemon and this wonderful image, I think it just might be...
Today's White House Terror Alert
Is ... pink.
"WASHINGTON -- Senior U.S. intelligence leaders told Congress yesterday that "it may only be a matter of time" before terrorists try to use weapons of mass destruction against the United States.
In his first public appearance since becoming CIA director in September, Porter J. Goss used the annual worldwide threat hearing to issue the prediction, while another federal official said the FBI knows little about al Qaeda sleeper cells such as the September 11 terrorists.
"It may be only a matter of time before al Qaeda or another group attempts to use chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons," Mr. Goss told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence."
Can you say Gannon, children?
I can't believe it.
Negroponte is to be the National Intelligence Director. If I were American I'd be packing my bags and running now, the man's a death squadding nun-raping torturing psychopath.
"As ambassador to Honduras, Negroponte played a key role in coordinating US covert aid to the Contra death squads in Nicaragua and shoring up a CIA-backed death squad in Honduras. During his term as ambassador there, diplomats alleged that the embassy's annual human rights reports made Honduras sound more like Norway than Argentina. In a 1995 series, the Baltimore Sun detailed the activities of a secret CIA-trained Honduran army unit, Battalion 3-16, that used "shock and suffocation devices in interrogations. Prisoners often were kept naked and, when no longer useful, killed and buried in unmarked graves." In 1994, Honduras's National Commission for the Protection of Human Rights reported that it was officially admitted that 179 civilians were still missing.
A former official who served under Negroponte says he was ordered to remove all mention of torture and executions from the draft of his 1982 report on the human rights situation in Honduras. During Negroponte's tenure, US military aid to Honduras skyrocketed from $3.9 million to over $77 million. Much of this went to ensure the Honduran army's loyalty in the battle against popular movements throughout Central America. "
George Bush Sr was CIA chief until 1977 before running as Vice-President to Reagan and he was deeply involved in US covert operations in Central America. Negroponte has done well in reward for his loyalty. Never say the Bushes don't look after their own.
Nice review by Dennis Lim in the Village Voice of the Rotterdam film festival. It's so annoying to be a short train-ride away and theoretically able to go, but to not be well enough to. Pah.
"There was also an unavoidable sense of nervous reflection to Rotterdam '05—the first large international arts event in a country still reeling from the assassination last November of filmmaker and political gadfly Theo van Gogh. For proof of how decisively the Dutch liberal dream has shattered, you needed to look no further than the metal detectors at the screening of van Gogh's final movie, 06/05, a speculative thriller about the murder (on May 6, 2002) of right-wing politician Pim Fortuyn. The festival had planned to show Submission, the Islam critique that cost van Gogh his life, but citing security concerns, pulled it at the last minute. (Part of the short, reviewed in these pages last November, is still available at ifilm.com.) A wheezy conspiracy clogged with broad and suspect characterizations, 06/05 connects Fortuyn's murder to a backroom effort involving the Dutch military and the U.S. Joint Strike Fighter program. 06/05 is now as much about its director's death as its subject's, and just as his hagiography offers a heroicized view of Fortuyn, van Gogh, who had a knack for provoking anger and not argument, is being eulogized as a free-speech hero. "
But for once a non-Dutch commentator is judging Van Gogh on what he did, rather then as some sort of icon for free speech. Now that's verfrissend.
Occasional Ceph Blogging No's 4,5 & 6
PZ Myers at pharyngula pounts out this nifty squid ipod case. I'd love one, but first I'd have to get an ipod. Fuck that, they're 369 euro here in NL, which is utterly ridiculous. I'll stick with my cuttlefish hat if it's all the same to you.
" Is Our Children Learning, Mr McCarthy?"
Via Atrios, now apparently famous after a mention on the Daily Show regarding l'affaire Gannon. This seems somewhat unfair to those who actually did and are still doing the digging on AmericaBlog and Kos, but there you go, fame is fickle and fleeting and it's the exposure of the truth that's important, so feh. At least it momentarily gets that bloody awful, spoilt, fratgirl Wonkette off the airwaves, the silly little madam. I must say if she is a fair example of just what kind of education many young people are getting in the US then we should be worried. Many seem beyond redemption from developing a capacity for independent thought at a scarily early age, as is evidenced by the number of complaints made to a wingnut front website.
Students for Academic Freedom was set up to gather ammunition for the Republicans to allege liberal bias in colleges and schools. So far, so unexceptional for the genre. There's lots of these things, laid out like lures by Republican party operatives and their characteristics are quite similar. But when you start to read the complaints here en masse it takes on a much more sinister aspect.
Not Optimistic At All
Margie Burns, commenting on Atrios yesterday, notes that military nurses are quietly having their tours extended and being sent to Iraq.
"The more sinister possibility is that this is one early warning sign of some new deviltry planned for Iraq by the White House. The quietness and abruptness of the move do not inspire confidence, though admittedly the quietness and abruptness could be a political response to a worsening combat situation that the White House will not acknowledge."
In the light of the aggressive noises being made against Syria for allegedly blowing up Lebanon's former prime minister (why would they destabilise their own client state? That little escapade has Rumsfeld's private army's sticky fingerprints all over it), and the openly aggressive posture Condisleeza has been taking towards Iran, who can doubt there is more combat on the horizon?
Christ, these neocons are dumb. Every single time they get caught out at home ( like rentboys in the WH, say, or being caught out lying, again) they think they can pull the old bait and switch by starting wars abroad. "Look! Over there! Terrorists! Axes of Evil!" Unfortunately it's real people that die, and real civilisations that are decimated.
Last night on BBC2 Adam Hart-Davies hosted a programme called 'What the Ancients Taught Us'. This episode showed how the Arab and Islamic world virtually invented modern scientific method, not to mention maths, astronomy and chemistry. The breadth and sophistication of the Arabian empire spread from Western Europe to China, before the Greeks, before the Romans, before the Enlightenment. We in the west like to think we are the civilised nations. We have nothing on the Arabs. If it had not been for a few lucky breaks ( there you go, Jared Diamond's whole thesis in one handy phrase) the industrial revolution might well have happened in Baghdad or Constantinople, not Manchester.
Aside from the individual deaths this is a civilisational war, just like the crusades, and we westerners were the barbarians in that too. The crusades led to the dark ages, and a general retreat from knowledge and the collapse of western civilsation for a long time. The crusaders at least had the excuse of religious fervour and general ignorance, but by destroying ancient civilisations like those of Iraq and Iran now the neocons are doubly culpable, in that they know what they are doing but they just don't care. A few military nurses, or dead children, or thousand year old seats of learning, they're just minor inconveniences in the quest for christian dominion. What do thousands of years of learning matter when you know, for certain sure in your heart of hearts because God says so, that the earth was made in 6 days and white men are the pinnacle of creation?
I think it's inevitable, barring miracles or some sudden plague that only affects wingnuts, that we will see the whole of the Middle East in flames soon. What happens then is anyone's guess. Let's just say I'm not optimistic.
Wednesday, February 16
It's The Corruption, Stupid.
Like a lot of people I've been absolutely riveted by the whole Gannon/Guckert -shock-horror- male -whore/pretend journo -in -the -White House thing. It's been a bit of light relief after a horrendous weekend; in which not only did I narrowly escape agonising death once again, hurrah! I also was told that my insurance wouldn't cover it. I'm still too angry to really blog about that whole it experience; suffice it to say that it was very very scary and painful and for the moment it's nice change to focus away from the purely personal.
It's hard to know quite how to describe the whole Guckert saga. Entertaining isn't quite the word. There's the prurient angle, obviously : high jinks in high places are always interesting and even we're lucky they're titillating too, and this is certainly that, with Guckert plastered all over the internet, erect and coy and well, just so manly, and military and ooooh so perfectly designed to give a nice rightwing mama's-boy-blogger what he so desperately needs and has yearned for. I mean, what was the whole Iraq shebang but the sublimated desires of Bush and his coterie of closet queens for someone, somewhere, to get a good, hard and most of all military ass-fucking? From the large scale right down to the small, the administration is obsessed with anal sex. And baldness.
His mother must so be proud.
The irony of it all is that most people couldn't give a shit whether they're gay or not. The carapace that the Republican elite built for themselves to hide their true natures, this whole rightwing noise machine; it's their own self-made prison.
We the general public just don't care who's gay or whatever, just don't do it in the street and scare the horses, as it were. The fact that somebody is gay generally merits an "Oh? Is he? Well, I never knew that." And that's it. Nobody cares that much. Big deal. Next?
Scandal and gossip drive politics. It's the common change of every day discourse, another form of quid pro quo in a favours based system, which we, however high-minded we are about the constitution, know that that's how the system really works. Because the system is corrupt and we all know but won't admit it, there is this strange culture of impunity going on. It's like some sort of massive in-joke between mainstream media and the executive. Given the ubiquity of modern independent media and information channels (gossip, basically) the Bush administration must surely know that the blatancy of the corruption of US government is a generally known thing worldwide. But knowing that seems to give them license to take bigger and bigger risks, as if to say, "See! I dare you to report this. Look, see what I can do and there's nothing you can do about it, nyernyernyer, yah-booh-sucks. We win! USA! GOP!"
The alternative would be for the mainstream US media to admit to itself that the ship of state is full of obvious holes, that they know and have known it, that the executive arm is corrupt, morally, sexually, financially and utterly, and that the mainstream media knew that too and are complicit in the corruption. Who, if anyone, in the WH press corps challenged Gannon's credentials? More to the point, how many in the Washington press corps used Gannon's services? Who took him to that correspondent's dinner? What about Diplomats? Foreign diplomats, maybe? Maybe Iraqis, or Saudis or Afghans? Oh yeah, and drugs? What bout performance enhancers and cocaine and viagra and all those useful little things that middle-aged office jockeys need to keep their peckers up when they've finally scored a real ass-reaming by the bronzed buff marine of their sweaty adolescent dreams? What about HIV? How many good little dewy-eyed republican security moms should now go get tested? And how many more little chums has the administration got stashed away in convenient positions? This could go on and on.
It's been suggested that Gannon/Guckert will turn up 'suicided' in short order. I dunno. If nothing else has distinguished this administration, aside from the corruption, it's incompetence. They may well fuck that up too. Think of all the many many scandals so far, we found those out, easy-peasy. We find out everything eventually. The internet is heaven for the would-be investigative reporter, and some natural reporters have really shown their mettle in this thing, particularly on AmericaBlog and Kos. However I hope those intrepid reporters remember that in a quid pro quo system the question always to ask is cui bono? Who benefits? Follow the money and the favours. The rest is just entertaining fluff about bumboys, and while it's fun to read, Little Britain is much more entertaining on the subject. American rightwing closet gays have to be so bloody butch and military macho all the time, where's the 'Will & Grace in the West Wing' we all truly want?
Sigh. At least the Democrat sex scandals were entertaining, this everyday blatant corruption is just banal. But then, as Hannah Arendt said, evil is. In the meantime while all this goes on, the Bush administration is fighting American pilots who were tortured by Saddam during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, trying to prevent them from collecting nearly $1 billion from Iraq that a federal judge awarded them as compensation . Never mind, I'm sure they can become military escorts- I hear there's great opportunities in Washington DC. I'm even willing to bet there's an amputee sub-division. All your VA benefits problems, solved, the neocon way!
11/28/2004 - 12/05/2004