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Although I have been following politics almost religiously, i have been too preoccupied to write much. From here, especially with the recent The President Can Throw Anyone in Jail as an Enemy Combatatant Act--I can't remember what it's called-- I hardly recognize my country. People have't taken to the streets?

I just thought this Tom Toles cartoon said it all for me.

And a Place for Everything

I promised to write about my travels in Seattle and Spain and have decided that in order to do that I should start a new blog. I am realizing that I still want a place to write about politics and call bush an idiot if I felt the need. I don't know that I will, but still...

If you are interested in reading about my travels you can find that at http://oldworldnew.blogspot.com/.

Let's Just Face It-- Dude's a Liar

So I'm sitting in Barcelona, without my luggage, which sucks, but i am in Barcelona, which does not. I have long ago decided that I'm tired of talking about American politics. It's just stupid, but I can't ignore it. I want to and I can't, completely. I'd rather write about the wonderful people with whom I spent time in Seattle and the activities but I was reminded, again, that we are approaching the anniversary of the Katrina disaster, the event which for many Americans crystalized their understanding of who this administration is as well as being the event that made me start blogging. To some degree they have gotten away with it, but not completely. So for now I would like to turn your attention towards my posts from last year and the timeline of what happened and what has happened since from Think Progress.

Is Preparing the World for the Second Coming Appropriate Middle Eastern Policy?

I believe this to be the first time in modern American history that a president's religion, in this case his Christian fundamentalism, has become a decisive factor in his foreign and domestic policies. It’s a factor that has been under-reported, to say the least, and that begs for press attention.

Saul FriedmanPrior to the last election I asked several friends who were voting for Bush to explain why; to give one reason that would justify re-electing the man. For the one friend who answered it boiled down to his faith. I pointed out how un-Christ-like his policies were, from rewarding the rich to the unnecessary deaths in Iraq. I think that may have been the end of the discussion. I essentially felt that my friend and millions of Americans had been duped. I thought Bush was pretending to be a Christian for the sake of votes. I was wrong. Bush is a simple man. I forgot that my own seperation from the church was prompted by the inconsistencies between the teachings of Christ …

"Every Being Counts, Every Person Matters...."

...unless they're sitting where we'd like to drop our bombs.

I admit that I only watch actual mainstream news in small easily-digested bites. I have a number of reasons, but mostly I think the corporate news programs refuse to be relevant. I could be wrong, but I don't remember anyone else outside of the blogs calling the presidents cynical "culture of life" bullshit veto for what it is--a cynical, um, well, bullshit veto. When Tony Snow said to the press gaggle, "What the President has said is that he doesn't want human life destroyed. Now, you may consider that insignificant." No one bothered to ask how that applies to the mostly civilian casualties of the Israeli bombing campaign and the US attempts to oppose the UN resolutions calling for a ceasefire; or the 50-100,000 dead Iraqis (or even the oldie-but-goodie, his fast food approach to the death penalty-- more people served faster).

It makes my head hurt that the president is more concerned w…
I'll Never Be Ashamed To Be an American, But Sometimes It Does Make My head Hurt

I imagine that when I get to Spain more time than I would like will be spent trying to explain the decisions of my president and why he is the president. But how can you explain this guy? If anyone has a nice simple answer I can give I would appreciate it. I have mostly avoided his press conferences and pr speeches throughout his presidency and before. I can barely take him in print but seeing and hearing him causes me to hemorrhage internally. Sadly everytime I see him he's actually worse than I could have thought possible.

As the situation in the middle east continues to deteriorate, could it be anymore obvious that we have the worst possible president for such a volatile time? The region is on the verge of exploding and this modern day Nero can't wait to roast pork over the flames. At least Nero could fiddle, this idiot can't even hold a guitar correctly.
Minimum Wage

Is there anyone who can say honestly and with a straight face that our representatives are not promoting class warfare? After pushing deficit-building, budget-busting (wartime)tax cuts that overwhelmingly favor the rich and giving themselves another raise, how do the senators voting against raising the minimum wage justify their votes?

stepping towards the exit

oral orgy (a double triptych)

because words don't come
as easily as they did
i turn to haikus

i turn to form to
express something, anything;
it's an exercise

form over function
until words work again and
say more than


until words embrace
me, until my desire is
enough to shape them

i will pour them like
molten steel in pre-conceived
shapes and well worn forms

i will fatten them
on the old ways until the
juice flows down my chin

New Justice Happy Meal w/ Toy Gavel

I have been planning to go to Spain for a while now. I essentially decided I should go on a "why the hell not?" impulse. After taking a step back I realized that it was exactly right, exactly what I want, and I have been filling in the blanks ever since. The reasons are varied, but the one I want to discuss today is perspective. I feel like I don't recognize my country. It's the same country as ever, beautiful ideals, poor execution, just to nutshell it. Somehow, despite our reality, our history, our poor execution, I have remained mostly optimistic that we could continue to improve and grow spiritually as a nation. And by spiritually I mean that sense of empathy and social justice that has led citizens to put themselves on the line to help and to defend the lives and rights of those seemingly disconnected from them and in danger.

The story of the civil rights amendment period that interests me and confounds me still is the extent and limits of the spiritual a…

I Forgot my Dick's Deluxe

I just got back from a visit to Seattle. It was lovely. I lived there for six years and ten months. It was time to go but it's still a lovely city. I like to go there and move so much slower. In almost silence. In the shadow of the sleeping volcano, Rainier. There were times, even after years of living there, when the sight of it would take my breath away. It would disappear for days, weeks, under cloud and rain and then suddenly I'd turn a corner and there it was. Huge, majestic, like god saying, "wake up boy." And the city just seemed to stay green all-year round. Is that even possible? Is that just nostalgia? I'll have to ask someone.

This trip I remembered two racial dynamics that I always enjoyed there. Most black people passing each other on the street greet each other. In nyc I'd place it at 1 in every 17 (+- 2 for sample). Also there seems to be more warmth and connection between Asian and black communities in Seattle than one might fi…

More to Share

For some reason I have been sitting on the Rolling Stone cover article "Worst President Ever?" I finally read it. My favorite part was his description of the survey of 415 historians on Bush as failure or success. 19% deemed him successful,
among those who called Bush a success, many gave the president high marks only for his ability to mobilize public support and get Congress to go along with what one historian called the administration's "pursuit of disastrous policies." In fact, roughly one in ten of those who called Bush a success was being facetious, rating him only as the best president since Bill Clinton -- a category in which Bush is the only contestant.
While that's a marvelous gem, the true value of the article lies in its historical perspective, the chance to see a comparison between Bush and the historically acknowledged presidential failures. You know you're in trouble when Nixon and Hoover start to seem not quite completely horrible when…

Worth More Than a Bump on the Head

It's oddly gratifying to come across an article from a traditional news source that shares a perspective with me on a subject. Especially if it's not currently a widespread assertion. I write mostly for the practice of writing. This format makes it somewhat easy when other formats are less conducive. So to have another writer advocating a position I take, it makes me feel almost legitimate or something. Almost. Check out this article from Mark Woford.

Trying to Bother

I have started a number of postings in the last few weeks without publishing anything. I get through half my thoughts and eventually find myself asking, "why bother?" Admittedly, I have been somewhat melancholy lately, thinking a lot about events in my life and my mother's passing birthday. Still, the source of my ennui and dissatisfaction lies elsewhere. Simply, I'm sick of talking about politics. I'm tired of feeling like I'm basically saying the same thing over and over. Although I write on different subjects, when it comes down to this administration, all I ever have to say on the matter is that all that they do is illegal or morally reprehensible; they are either very stupid, or very evil, or both; and they are breaking our nation and don't seem to notice or care. Pick a subject and essentially I could write the same statements and acurrately describe their conduct, whether it's the military, health care, tax cuts, or national securit…

Mr. President, my question is exactly how much more blame should the media accept for your fuck up in Iraq?

I am admittedly a lazy poster. It's not that I lack for worthy subject matter. If anything I'm overwhelmed by the depth and breadth of subject matter, as well as by the still inescapable feeling that the fuckers are trying to break us. I have been wanting to go back to last week's press conference and Bush's answer to Helen Thomas' question of why he wanted to go into Iraq. His answer was so ridiculously false and convoluted as to not be an answer. Helen later said what she, and I, and many others believe which is that 9/11 was the excuse and not the reason. The evidence has been there for years. As Helen mentions to Wolf Blitzer, Iraq had been on the administration's radar from the beginning. Several of the war architects belonged The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) which had been advocating for military action in Iraq for years. Then there's the "new" Downing Street Memo. The New York Times finally published a front page sto…

My Octogenarian Sweetheart

From yesterdays Bush press conference we get this piece of magnificence:
QUESTION (Helen Thomas): I’d like to ask you, Mr. President — your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime.Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is: Why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, your Cabinet officers, former Cabinet officers, intelligence people and so forth — but what’s your real reason? You have said it wasn’t oil, the quest for oil. It hasn’t been Israel or anything else. What was it?Of course the president skirted the truth like a mine field. It's a shame he's such a pathetic public speaker. Actually it's kinda funny watching him try to tie 9/11, al qaeda, saddam, and afghanistan together without repeating any of the old discredited lies, which he of course he never said. As a result we get things from hi…

The New Semper Fiefdom

A U.S. soldier who raped a Nigerian woman in Italy was given a lighter sentence because the court deemed his tour of duty in Iraq had made him less sensitive to the suffering of others.
According to an Italian court document obtained by Reuters on Tuesday, James Michael Brown, a 27-year-old paratrooper from Oregon stationed in northern Italy, was sentenced to five years and eight months for rape in February 2004.Brown beat and handcuffed the woman, a Nigerian resident in the town of Vicenza. He raped her vaginally and anally and left her to wander the streets naked in search of help.The crime would have earned him an eight-year sentence, but the judges reduced the penalty due to the "extenuating circumstances'' of the psychological effects of Brown's year of service in Iraq, the document said.Leaving aside my thoughts that the leniency had as much to do with the victim's race as anything, this news brief in the NY Times chilled me. It leads me to wonde…

snow days made baby jesus cry

I can't escape the feeling that despite all of the families' grief, our military deaths mean little more to the president than the quarterly profit losses he grew used to hearing about in every business he ran into the ground. And like in those businesses, ultimately the loss is someone else's problem.
I have been intermittently following the various discussions on the left for and against the pursuit of articles of impeachment. I think that I had basically fallen on the against side, agreeing with several pundits that it would be a distraction from the fall elections. After today I'm leaning the other way. I spent the day indoors, avoiding the snow and slush to curl up with a little on-line news. I read excerpts from an article by Harper's editor Lewis H. Lapham, The Case for Impeachment. He wrote it in response to the report from John Conyer's committee investigating the lead up to war. In the closing paragraph he says,
Before reading the report, I would…

Small reasons the world doesn't suck completely #17

I have worked with people younger than myself since fourth grade. One of the things that I have always found striking was how often I was told by a parent that a kid couldn't do something or didn't like something only to watch the kid prove her wrong within hours. Not always, but often enough. Kids learn quickly, quickly enough to surpass our awareness. I think it has happened most often with kids on the autism spectrum. Kids perform to expectations, and raising expectations has the power of changing behavior. Easy to say but sometimes difficult to do, especially in the face of a diagnosis like autism. So when I encounter a story like that of Jason McElwain I can't help but be touched. I'm a huge fan of stories of human potential. stories like this make me question the ways in which I limit myself. At the end of the report they assume it's his last game, but that just seems silly.

Hypnotic

I can't remember the last time that I heard or saw a subway performance that made me stop to watch, forget buying a cd. I have to admit that the subway and street performers were a contributing factor in my moving to New York. What I didn't realize until moving here and seeing the same amazing and not so amazing acts repeatedly is that most of these performers don't change their acts. Ever. Por ejemplo, there's this brother who plays versions of Bob Marley on the R train sometimes, always seems to get on the same train as me. I tipped him once, but never again, as I soon realized that he only plays one song, and mostly just the chorus. I have no problem with that, we all do what we can to avoid doing what we must, or something like that. My favorite performer was the guy in the Times Square station who I never saw play his violin because anytime I saw him he was tuning it. I doubt he actually ever played. Although his performance of tuning a violin was comp…

On Steps Taken Back pt. 2

I had a conversation with a woman earlier this week who feels that the democrats and republicans are basically the same party. I felt that way too until bush. In retrospect Clinton was actually a pretty good president, the most effective in my lifetime, unless you consider Reagan's success at making workers less secure and corporations stronger a good thing. I personally don't. She also said that the democrats won't speak the truth because, like the republicans, they are afraid of losing money and power. I disagreed with her at the time on several points, but find myself agreeing with her on this point, at least in part. I hear individual democrats making smart, precise, and thoughtful critiques fairly often. At the same time I feel they lack the seemingly unified voice of the political right. I also think that for too long the dems have rolled over for bush, instead of making principled stands because they were afraid of the political backlash. Bush has been pol…

On Steps Taken Back pt. 1

I've been less engaged with the world than usual for most of the month of February. My entire life is changing and I have been trying to embrace that change. I've continued to follow the news without writing about the world, sort of absorbing the impact of our nation's directionless lawlessness and dissolving national character without the release that, even if unread, a forum like this allows. I think that I have gained a better understanding of a few things in taking a step back.

I don't think people are as disengaged from the news of the day as they seem, and to the degree that they are I understand better why. It really is too much. It's too much to live your life and follow all of the criminal details of this administration and the republican machine. Bush and congress' disapproval numbers have been consistently high for months. So what is obvious is that despite not having the details people have a strong sense that this presidency is failing us acr…

let the next british invasion be the press

i admit it-- the ease of the alito confirmation was disheartening. i took a little break from politics, downloaded a bunch of justice league unlimited episodes. they're great there's a dark undercurrent of paranoia fostered by illegal actions by a covert govt. agency, just took my mind off of everything.

during my little break i thought about the clinton impeachment. it was over a lie about a blowjob. the lie came out in an investigation that began by looking into alleged financial improprieties during his days as governor and through several odd turns, and acquitals for clinton at every one, it all came down to the fact that monica doesn't swallow. i saw a great post recently comparing the coverage of clinton after the lewinsky revelations and the coverage of the illegal nsa spying revelations. it might not be too surprising that there was much more coverage of clinton and lewinsky. clinton was under such incredible scrutiny, more than any other president in my lifet…

SOTU Wrap-up-- so basically what he said was...

(reposted)

the time, ironically stuck in the 80's

i just got back from seeing morris day and the time. it was entertaining. and a bit odd. i don't think i've ever been to one of those sorta revival shows. i never saw the beach boys, or the four tops, or the monkees (even though in my childhood the monkees were better than the beatles. i had never heard the beatles, but somehow i just knew). i never quite understood the appeal of music frozen in an era, the disco revival; the 80's craze; artists who essentially say, "i'm going to make a living performing the same songs for 20 years." i don't blame them, i don't think it's wrong. if i had a couple hits i'd hit the road every couple years myself. still, it's odd.

we ran into a couple who'd been at the show at a restaurant afterwards. the man said he saw them in the 80's. i asked the question that had been in my head since the third song, "is it the same show?" his answer, "yeah, pretty much." i knew …

they must be giving comfort to the enemy....

...cause they're sure not giving it to our side.
i can't escape the feeling that despite all of the families' grief, our military deaths mean little more to the president than the quarterly profit losses he grew used to hearing about in every business he ran into the ground. and like in those businesses, ultimately the loss is someone else's problem.
i think that anytime i post about the military i will start with that quote (pardon the self-quoting) because the mound of evidence supporting it is growing weekly. the gall of this administration somehow still continues to surprise me. if their actions were fiction i would say it was too over the top to be believable. god i wish they were a fiction.

it's bad enough that haliburton got no-bid contracts and keeps over-charging us for billions, but then to give the troops contaminated water is unbelievable. is it really too much to ask that our vice-presidential crony war-profiteerers at least be competent? in the f…

" My Military Experience (What Really Demoralizes the Troops)"

i found this link to a dailykos diary on news blog

My Military Experience (What Really Demoralizes the Troops)
by filmgeek83 [Subscribe]
Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 12:17:21 AM PDT

Before I begin, I just want to say thank you to all you Kossacks who have been so kind and thanked me for serving. I greatly apprieciate it. I always thought I'd be reluctant to speak on my time in the Marines, but now I realize the greatest disservice I can do for my buddies still in uniform is to remain silent.

I want to inform all of you, first hand, what I find most of those brave men and women find truly demoralizing. I'll give you a hint. Dissent is nowhere on this list.

1. Being Unprepared.

There is a sort of gallows humor that one clings to in Iraq. This is especially true when outfitting a Humvee with armor. I've saw some of those Up-Armor vehicles out there. Almost all of the grunts don't have them. They have to ride around with plates attached to their vehicles. This plating is spotty at best.…

if hurricanes gave blowjobs

"I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," Mr. Bush said in a television interview on Sept. 1. "Now we're having to deal with it, and will."
i start this post with a quote from the president because it's a standout example of how efficently he lies. three lies in one statment, two brief sentences. an amazing lie:word ratio. i have never seen better. it is unfortunate that such simple magic fades under the harsh glare of facts-based reality
A Homeland Security Department report submitted to the White House at 1:47 a.m. on Aug. 29, hours before the storm hit, said, "Any storm rated Category 4 or greater will likely lead to severe flooding and/or levee breaching."-----
Other documents to be released Tuesday show that the weekend before Hurricane Katrina made landfall, Homeland Security Department officials predicted that its impact would be worse than a doomsday-like emergency planning exercise conducted in Louisiana in July 2004.T…

first they came for the vegans, and i did nothing

my friends i would like to invite you to join me on the path of paranoia; the righteous path of justified paranoia. i think it's going to be the next big religion, bigger than scientology, but with less money. i founded this cosmology very recently and it began with a vision. while trying to gain insight into the president's way of thinking i consumed a massive amount of jim beam. when the world would no longer sit still no matter how still i was i knew i was ready. the less enlightened might call it passing out and vomiting all over myself or a typical saturday, i'd like to say i was transported to another paradigm.*

in the vision i saw myself as a pawn aligned against the forces of tyranny and oppression lining the great chess board of life across from me. they seemed to have more pieces than they should, but i was ready for battle, until i took stock of my comrades. they all seemed to be mostly smoking weed and playing video games. before i could even get out, &q…

1nce again

i had friends in town last weekend and that broke my grasp on my plan for semi-regular postings. taking a step back and trying to begin again is like trying to jump in for double dutch; where the hell do you start? i can't help it, i find myself overwhelmed by the oh-shitness (as in oh shit they did what?ness) of this administration but probably moreso by the response or lack of response of the american public. the optimist chained up in my stomach would like to believe that people are up in arms and the corporate media is just a poor conduit for the righteous anger of ordinary americans; the cynic responsible for chaining the optimist has spent enough time with people to know better. if i had been writing i think i would have written about:
the reverend dr. martin luther king jr.
my early season prediction that the knicks would make the playoffs or at least be competetive for the final spot, this was after i felt vindicated by their 6 game winning streak and before stephon mar…

tragic and mundane

in november time magazine published a photo essay, honor after the fall, about informing military families of the the deaths of their loved ones. i came upon it without realizing what it was and eventually found myself weeping, hiding my face in my hands to keep my sobs from disturbing my co-workers. one image in particular has stayed with me. it epitomizes the loss, needless death, and massive squandering of human potential that the war represents. on the face of it, it's not tragic exactly, in war death is the norm, loss is mundane. it is only tragic when it becomes apparent that for this administration our soldiers are just another natural resource to squander, somewhat less precious than oil. i had wanted to write this without getting all political but it's not possible. i can't escape the feeling that despite all of the families' grief, our military deaths mean little more to the president than the quarterly profit losses he grew used to hearing about in …