{ An Autopsy of Democracy }

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Bush supporters still believe the lies

Bush supporters misled

Well, this explains a lot. For those of us who cannot comprehend how anyone can still support W at this point, this poll is illuminating--and, in my opinion, is not only a testament to the power of self-delusion, but also a scathing indictment of the media. When this many people believe things that are objectively, factually false, we've gone beyond the point of having an ill-informed citizenry; we have a mis-informed citizenry (or at least a large part of the citizenry).

The poll can be found at {http://pipa.org} Program on International Policy Attitudes



Sunday, October 03, 2004

The Ethics of George W. Bush

The Ethics of George W. Bush

A good brief interview with Peter Singer.

Again, anyone who wants to talk about morality, ethics, right, wrong, good, evil, etc., with a straight face, must first read Peter Singer.

Once again, please read his excellent and very even-handed assessment of the arguments for and against going to war with Iraq:

"The President Of Good and Evil" by Peter Singer

Chapter 8 War: Iraq


Save a Child, Kill a Muslim Sticker (Bumper) > US Politics Evil Shop #3 | CafePress

Save a Child, Kill a Muslim Sticker (Bumper) > US Politics Evil Shop #3 | CafePress

Who doesn't want a bumper sticker, T-shirt, hooded sweatshirt, or coffee mug proudly proclaiming: "SAVE A CHILD, KILL A MUSLIM extremist"?

Get 'em while they're hot, folks! While supplies last!

So how did I happen upon this store? Well, as a matter of fact, I was shopping for a W'04 bumper sticker. Yes, it's true. I intend to get one and place it upside-down. (Problem is, just the "W" sticker, well, it'll just look like an "M"--might just be confusing . . .) Eventually I decided not to give any money to those folks, and instead just got a few that say "Support Our Troops: Impeach Bush" and the "NO W" (W with a slash through it) ones.

Anyway, I've seen some pretty goddamned stupid anti-Bush stuff, I must admit. Really, really lame and stupid. But not until I shopped in the Right Wing section did I encounter levels of depravity, stupidity, and vile hatred such as the above.

(The word "extremist" tacked on at the end, in small letters I might add, does not exonerate the message. In case there's any doubt, just replace "Muslim" with "Jew" or "Christian" and see how it sounds.)

So. Because I'm such a masochist, I ended up following a little Right-Wing rabbit hole, and it really gets disturbing. People talk about how our country is so "polarized" and how that's not good; but after today I fell like our country might very well be imploding.

Some examples:

"American Jingoist
jin*go*ism: Extreme nationalism characterized especially by a belligerent foreign policy; chauvinistic patriotism.

Yeah, that's me--unabashedly!"

"Worth Fighting For: God, Country, Your Conservative Babe, and your Freedom" (you gotta click and see the picture this refers to)

"Support Terrorism: Vote Kerry in '04"

"Teresa Heinz Kerry: Communist, Billionaire, KGB General and Sleeper Agent. Teresa and Her Brainwashed and Whipped Puppet John Kerry are about to take over."

"John Kerry has been turned into a Communist Puppet by his KGB Sex Agent wife Teresa. Warn you friends and neighbors the Commies are Comming! Anti-Kerry, Pro-Bush, Politics, Election, Traitor."

More unnerving right-wing stuff here:



Saturday, October 02, 2004

"If Kerry wins": Michael Savage's crystal ball ... [Media Matters for America]

"If Kerry wins": Michael Savage's crystal ball ... [Media Matters for America]

So not only will there be another 9/11-type attack if Kerry is elected, but Kerry will also ban the Bible. Also, you can expect a "rampant increase in the sale of baby parts." (That's good--those baby parts are way overpriced. I hope Kerry pushes to raise the minimum wage, too, so I can afford to buy more baby parts.)

So, yeah, this psycho was fired from MSNBC. But more significant to me is that he was ever hired in the first place by the "liberal media."

A raving lunatic spouting hate and lies is all well and good if he's standing on the street corner. Hey, free speech is free speech. But you don't have to give the guy an outlet for it on TV and pay him for it, for chrissakes.

And this is what it took for him to actually get fired: He called a gay caller a "sodomite" and said he should "get AIDS and die."

What I hate most is that I'm even commenting on this stuff. What I mean is, I should be able to completely ignore Mike Savage and Rush Limbaugh and FOX News and all the rest--just have a hearty laugh and be done with it. But I can't, because the fact is they're listened to and/or watched by millions of people every day. It really is quite frightening.


More missing questions from the debate

While Iraq is obviously of the utmost importance in terms of foreign policy, and time is necessarily limited by the format, there are some [related] questions that need to be addressed by both candidates, and that were not asked at the debate.

Citizen's Media Watch invited question submissions prior to the debate, and delivered all submissions to the moderator for consideration. Here are just a few that ought to have been addressed:

"Senator Kerry: Mr. Kerry, if elected president, what kind of position will you take on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Is peaceful resolution possible?"

"Senator Kerry: When will you (or anyone in our government) acknowledge the role our unilateral support of Israel plays in the Middle East conflict and more importantly for American citizens, our homeland security? Why does it seem impossible for anyone in our government to accept that the nation of Islam will continue to fight us as long as we arm and support their enemy?"

"President Bush: Polls show that many Americans believe you and your cabinet have created foreign ill-will and thus created more terrorists not less. How do you respond to those charges?"

"President Bush: You have said that the war in Iraq is about deposing a dictatorial regime and spreading democracy across the Middle East. Why did you not try by peaceful means to depose repressive regimes and spread democracy to Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt or other Middle Eastern countries before launching the Iraq war or since launching it?"

(Feel free to suggest you own questions, on any issue, in the COMMENTS sections.)



Friday, October 01, 2004

"I don't flip-flop, I'm just retarded!"--text message from my good friend Derek Smith

Where do we start?

It was a great night.

Before this debate, I simply considered Kerry the lesser of two evils, and supported him with great reservations. Now, I am pleased to say I support Kerry with great enthusiasm. Any sane person who can't see that Kerry is far more intelligent, experienced, and competent in every respect than is George Bush, is simply blind, ignorant, or self-deluded.

But, the one key moment: when Bush (off-script, I'm assuming) voluntarily brought up the International Criminal Court, openly and explicitly opposing it, I thought: he just shot himself in both feet, with a shotgun. (Possibly a rocket launcher.)

The supreme irony of the Iraq war is that we have Saddam Hussein in captivity, but are unable to try him in any international tribunal because we refuse to ratify the ICC, because that would require giving up our long tradition of blatant hypocrisy and Exceptionalism. Bush basically came right out and said, "Can you believe it? This court wants us to apply to ourselves the same standards we apply to everyone else! Can you imagine?!? What INSANITY!"

(Same goes, of course, for Osama Bin Laden.)

Speaking of which . . .

Conspiracy theories and rumors aside, many, many, MANY people (including almost everyone I've spoken with at my workplace, regardless of their political views) have agreed with me that if Osama is "suddenly" captured between now ("now" being early this summer, actually) and November, clearly he was already caught and this is merely a political move to regain power--the "October Surprise."

I repeat: if in fact Osama, some time in the next month and a half, is "all of a sudden" captured . . . Well, do the math.

(In any case, Bin Laden has been "marginalized," so it doesn't really matter. Bush "isn't really concerned" about him anymore, "doesn't spend much time on it" anymore, as Bush has publicly stated.)

O.K. Back to the debate.

I still have huge misgivings about Kerry voting for the use of force against Iraq. (And, I think, if he had not done so, he'd be "in like Flinn," as they say.) But the fact remains (AND THIS IS IMPORTANT):

Bush lied about the reasons for the war, about how the war would go, about the costs of the war, and about under what circumstances he would go to war.

Which brings me to the $87 Billion . . .

Forget everything for one second and think about this:

If Bush had been honest (which he was not) and had said in advance that the invasion would cost at least $87 Billion, and probably much more (say, oh, I don't know . . . $200 Billion?), and would kill at least 10,000 Iraqis (most of them civilians, and the rest of them involuntary soldiers), and 1,000 U.S. soldiers . . .

Would we have supported it? Would Congress have voted for it?

Bush was pressed REPEATEDLY to provide SOME ESTIMATE of how much the war would cost, how many soldiers would be required, how long it might last, etc. And the administration repeatedly refused--in fact, dismissed with complete contempt anyone who rasied such questions. (A top Army officer was even fired, essentially, for saying that we'd need about 200,000 troups.) When finally forced to give some rough estimate of the cost, Bush and Rumsfeld said it would be very quick and cost less than $1 Billion. Huh. (Maybe they really believed this, I don't know; if so, they weren't lying, they were just ignorant and incompetent.)

Furthermore, (which I think Kerry should have pointed out more strongly), most of the "intelligence" Bush keeps referring to (about Saddam's WMD's) was false (some of it CRUDELY FORGED). Now. Who bears the responsibility for this? JOHN KERRY? PLEASE. The most you can accuse him of is having believed the president of the United States (who deliberately hand-picked the intelligence which fit his pre-conceived plans for an invasion of Iraq. The Defense Department even set up a separate "Intelligence" agency, the "Office of Special Plans," when they weren't getting enough of the "intelligence" they wanted.).

Hmmm . . .

Other nice moments:

Kerry (rather than pretending to be some coal miner's daughter) pointed out that Bush's tax cuts benefit primarily people like Kerry and Bush (i.e., the well-off, or, to put it more bluntly, the rich). (Which, of course, Clinton also said, in the Democratic Convention--which I really liked.)

Anyone who still thinks that the media is "liberal" is a fool. Kari (my significant other for 5 years) and I flipped through the channels after the debate--not just "19th Century FOX," but ALL the major mainstream TV news outlets--and virtually ALL of them--no, not "virtually," but ALL of them--focused on KERRY'S WEAKNESSES!!! GIVE ME A FUCKING GODDAM BREAK.


There. I said it.

While I'm thinking of it: LeVina (a co-worker of mine--probably about 60 years old), asked me today (before the debate) "What do people see in him [Bush]?" I said "I have no idea. I don't like John Kerry very much, but--" She finished my sentence: "But I mean I'd vote for my neighbor's DOG before Bush." I felt very good; that doesn't happen too often.

Oh, yes: the other key moment in the debate:

Bush and Kerry "agreed" that Nuclear Non-Proliferation was the primary issue in foreign policy and national (/international) security. Yet (as Kerry pointed out) not only is Bush NOT abiding by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (which states that the nuclear states must destroy their nuclear weapons), but Bush is doing the OPPOSITE by proposing to build NEW NUKES.

How in god's name can we seriously expect to convince Iran not to develop nuclear weapons???? The U.S., the country with more nuclear weapons than any country in the history of the world, and the only country to ever have used them. Furthermore, the only country to have used them on civilians.

ESPECIALLY after we (that is, Bush) have explicitly labeled Iran and North Korea along with Iraq as members of the so-called "Axis of Evil," and then invaded, bombed and occupied one of those countries.

The clear message that we have sent is: unless you want to be bombed, you had better have a deterrent (i.e., nuclear weapons).

(Iran and North Korea have understood this rather direct message quite well.)

Notable ommission:

While Bush still says the war was a good idea because we got rid of Saddam's "Weapons of Mass Destruction" (Wha??), note that last night he did NOT mention Al Qaeda being linked to Saddam (asside from allusions, in referring to Iraq as the "central front in the 'war on terror'").

I wish Lehrer had asked at least one question about the coups in Haiti and Venezuela--and our apparent indifference to them.

Lastly, in Bush's first answer he implied again what Cheney said, that we will be attacked again if John Kerry is elected:

LEHRER:  "New question, Mr. President, two minutes. 

Do you believe the election of Senator Kerry on November the 2nd would increase the chances of the U.S. being hit by another 9/11-type terrorist attack?"

BUSH:  "No, I don‘t believe it‘s going to happen.  I believe I‘m going to win, because the American people know I know how to lead. . . ."

At first glance, his answer was "No." But what he actually said was, "that's not going to happen because I'm going to win the election."

Citizens of all political persuasions should be appalled.



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