{ An Autopsy of Democracy }

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Re-design . . .

Well, the blog re-design is now done (as you can see, assuming you've been here before), and is consistent with the new look of the main cadaverpolitik.com site -- which is still in progress, but should be up and running very soon (FINALLY).

Also, everything is now on a brand new server. The main address is still "cadaverpolitik.com", but the url of this blog has moved to: "cadaverpolitik.com/blog".



Monday, March 14, 2005

John Bolton: Ambassador to an Agency which he Despises

Beating the dead horse of irony, Bush appoints John Bolton as ambassador to the U.N. What's wrong with that?

Well, it's a bit like appointing Pat Buchanan as your ambassador to Israel.

Bolton has been quoted as saying, among other things:

"there is no such thing as the United Nations."

"If the U.N. secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."

"He spearheaded U.S. opposition to the International Criminal Court, declaring that the day he signed the letter withdrawing the U.S. signature on the treaty was "the happiest moment of my government service." He was the force behind Bush's Proliferation Security Initiative, a coalition designed to halt trade in nuclear materials that bypassed the United Nations. And he pressed the administration's unsuccessful campaign to deny a third term to Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. (WashingtonPost)

". . . Additional evidence of Bolton's extreme, take-no-prisoners worldview is not difficult to find. He is a prolific writer and speaker.

In an article for the right-wing Weekly Standard (10/4/99) entitled "Kofi Annan's UN Power Grab," Bolton excoriates the UN Secretary General for trying to limit warfare and to establish the supremacy of UN forces. In Bolton's words, "If the United States allows that claim to go unchallenged, its discretion in using force to advance its national interests is likely to be inhibited in the future."

On U.S. arrears to the UN, Bolton proclaimed, "[M]any Republicans in Congress--and perhaps a majority--not only do not care about losing the General Assembly vote but actually see it as a 'make my day' outcome. Indeed, once the vote is lost… this will simply provide further evidence to may why nothing more should be paid to the UN system." Not surprisingly, Bolton is also a hard-line opponent to U.S. peacekeeping missions, whether under the UN or unilaterally. When George W. Bush denounced the use of the military for so-called "nation building," he was repeating Bolton's criticism of the Clinton administration's efforts in Somalia and elsewhere. Nonetheless, Bolton did favor the bombing of Serbia--which was presumably not nation building, nor was it pursued under UN auspices. On North Korea, Bolton has declared that the U.S. should make "it clear to the North that we are indifferent to whether we ever have 'normal' diplomatic relations with it, and that achieving that goal is entirely in their interests, not ours."

After the Senate voted not to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), Bolton declared categorically, "CTBT is dead." Here he's at odds with much of the American public. Public opinion polls consistently show that more nearly 80% of Americans support a ban on all underground tests.

Bolton's reputation has the advance man for the right wing has continued to grow during his tenure in the George W. administration. Although his office has no purview over human rights or international justice issues, he was the one to sign the letter to Kofi Annan in May 2002 renouncing any role for the U.S. in the International Criminal Court. Bolton has been a staunch advocate of the administration's revival of the "Star Wars" missile defense system, and its rejection of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

A speech by Bolton at the Heritage Foundation, also in early May 2002, signaled that the administration may be targeting Cuba in its war on terrorism. His "Beyond the Axis of Evil" speech claimed, without any evidence, that Cuba was developing biological weapons and sharing its expertise with other U.S. enemies." (Foreign Policy In Focus)

But you wouldn't know it from listening to Georgy Boy, who claims that Bolton "has a proven track record of effective multilateralism. . . . John Bolton is personally committed to the future success of the United Nations, and he will be a strong voice for reform at a time when the United Nations has begun to reform itself to help meet the challenging agenda before the international community." (CNN)



Friday, March 11, 2005

Wage Peace Movie : Wage Peace Campaign : AFSC

Wage Peace Movie : Wage Peace Campaign : AFSC

A well-put-together Flash movie with its heart in the right place.


Thursday, March 10, 2005

Gay Marriage vs. Theocracy

I've been meaning to post on this topic for some time now. While I agree with those who pointed out that it's not that big an issue, but was seized upon by the Bush administration during campaign time as a convenient wedge issue (like abortion) that would bring out the Christian base . . . It is important when the president proposes (seriously, I now think, because he brought it up again in his second term) amending the Constitution in order to restrict people's rights. And when it's obvious that they would need to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage, because eventually the Supreme Court will rule that such a ban is unconstitutional.

What I really hate about those who oppose gay marriage is that it's all about sex. That's all it's about. Otherwise, they would be encouraging marriage since, supposedly, it's the foundation of the family and (if we were foolish enough to believe our president) the foundation of our very nation. Hmm. What you're really saying when you say you oppose gay marriage is this: I want it to be illegal for a monogomous couple who love one another to make a lifetime vow of commitment and trust, because they have deviant sexual practices.

Now, for all you conservatives who believe in "small government": you don't want the government interfering in your private life, but you think it's fine and dandy to AMEND THE CONSTITUTION in order to interfere with someone else's private life? To, in a manner of speaking, come into your very bedroom?

If we want a Christian Theocracy, O.K.; but we then need to pass a constitutional amendment forcing all rich people to give all their money to the poor; another stating that we must turn the other cheek and love our enemy (no bombs in response to 9/11) and dismantle our military; etc. etc. etc. Because, that's what Jesus would do. (Although, Jesus wouldn't get married, apparently; so perhaps marriage should just be made illegal . . .)

If we're going to legislate morality (assuming we all agreed on the same moral principles, of course—not bloody likely), here are a few laws we need to pass:

1. Ban promiscuity. Further, make all sex outside of marriage illegal and punishable by imprisonment, fines, or both. Adultery should be made illegal as well, but the penalty should be much harsher. If we're using the Bible as a guide, then stoning to death, preferrably in a public square, would seem appropriate (the same punishment as for sodomy).

2. Make all sodomy—yes, including heterosexual—illegal and thus punishable by stoning to death. We could perhaps mandate that all homes have video cameras installed in the bedroom—wait, no, every room in the house, because sex in the kitchen is uncouth and should be illegal—with the video fed to the Department of Morals in Washington for surveillance.

3. Even in marriage, sex is only for procreation—otherwise it's naughty (that is, illegal). And the main purpose of marriage, I've heard it said many times, is for having children. So we must ban all birth control, and the government must monitor sexual activity to ensure that it is being done for its proper, sacred purpose of procreation; if fertilization does not result within a reasonable period of time, the couple must divorce. Actually, a better law would be that in order to get married a couple must already be pregnant; for if you cannot have children together, then you cannot get married. (This does contradict Law 1 about no sex outside of marriage, I realize; tricky business, this legislating morality; but I'm sure Congress can hammer it out.) Actually, with today's technology, we could do away with sexual intercourse all together and simply enact Artificial Insemination legislation so that no sex need occur.

4. Moving on from sex . . . All other immoral activities must be banned. These include: smoking, drinking, card playing, dancing, swearing, masturbation (put that in with Law 1, actually), wasting time, watching television, eating excessively, eating junk food, drinking coffee, playing sports (Jesus would consider it wasting time and a distraction from God), . . .

Now, this notion that marriage is "sacred" and always has been is as absurd as the notion that marriage has always been based on "love." If we want to go back to tradition, fine. Then women are property, and marriages should be arranged by the parents. Bring back the dowry, and so on. We might also adopt the policy of suttee, like in India; if women are property, they ought to be burned with all the other possessions of the husband when the husband dies.

Another argument often made by homophobic people is that homosexuality is "unnatural," and therefore wrong (and, therefore illegal, according to these brilliant folks). Now, I can see some merit to this argument, of course; heterosexual sex is more in accord with "Nature," as it leads to reproduction, etc.

But, again, should we make it illegal to have sex if you are not trying to create offspring? And should we ban all birth control, since it is "unnatural"?

Also, here are a few other things that are clearly "Unnatural":

1. monogomy (this includes marriage)
2. abstinence

But that's just in regard to sexual matters. Really, just about everything we do is "unnatural":

1. driving cars
2. flying planes
3. wearing clothes all the time
4. remaining indoors all the time
5. killing other animals en masse in huge factories, after enslaving them for the duration of their lives
6. shooting guns, dropping bombs, etc.

And, depending on how you look at it, most of our medicine could be considered "unnatural," as it prevents the natural progress of natural disease. After all, who are WE to play God?

Furthermore, a few fun things that are quite "Natural" indeed:

1. floods
2. draughts
3. hurricanes
4. earthquakes
5. tornados
6. tsunamis
7. forest fires
8. diseases

You get the point. Nature is amoral, at best.

I'll stop here.



Hypocrisy Writ Large: Iran's alleged nukes, and Bush calling for an end to [certain] occupations . . .

Well, haven't posted in a while, so this is going to be somewhat miscellaneous, but germane to the day nonetheless.

Firstly, this whole Iran situation . . .

#1. The IAEA has found little or no evidence that Iran is actively pursuing nuclear weapons. It's possible that they are (if you were Iran, what would YOU do?). But, at most, the available evidence warrants more inspections—NOT an invasion, or even a referral to the U.N. Security Council.
#2. More to the point, even if they were, it's irrelevant, unless you're willing to accept a completely hypocritical policy as valid. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty states quite unequivocally that the non-nuclear states will agree not to pursue nuclear weapons IF the nuclear states agree to dismantle their nuclear weapons stockpiles. Not only has the U.S. not done this, but we are actively pursuing NEW nuclear weapons production, in blatant and flagrant violation of the treaty to which we are signatory. Besides which, why are we not more concerned about putting pressure on other countries who we KNOW to possess nulear weapons and who therefore have refused to SIGN the bloody treaty—namely, India, Pakistan, and Israel? (The latter being a rather special case that needs no real answer.)

Furthermore, the U.S. could be said to be violating another agreement in the NPT: ". . . and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices." Why? Because when you single out three nations as members of an "Axis of Evil" and then invade one of them based on fabricated claims; and then, even when it is proven that these claims were fabricated, you fail to apologize and continue to threaten one of the other nations, rather than vowing not to invade it . . . You're pretty much guaranteeing that this nation will seek to develop any weapons it can that will deter an invasion. This is not rocket science, folks.

It's similar to the issue of alleged "ties" between Iraq and Al Qaeda. There never was much evidence for these "ties" at all—let alone ties between Iraq and 9/11, despite what Cheney keeps insisting—while there has always been a great deal of evidence suggesting that Bin Laden and Saddam were bitter enemies. But more to the point, even if there HAD been some evidence, it's a moot point. Iraq probably had the LEAST connection with Al Qaeda of any country in the region. Countries with much closer, deeper ties include Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and perhaps Iran and Syria. So from any rational standpoint, it simply made no fucking sense whatsoever to invade Iraq on the basis of "Terrorist Ties."

Now, on Syria and Lebanon . . .

The fact that these absurd speeches Bush is making, calling on Syria to cease its illegal occupation and withdraw its troops, and to abide by U.N. resolutions, . . . that these speeches are not met with disgusted laughter in the U.S. press is a sad comment on our media and on the collective conscience of our country. In the midst of our occupation of Iraq and the continuing occupation of Palestine by Israel, Sonny Bush has the balls to utter this nonsense with a straight face? (No, you're right: rather with the dazed smirking face of a half-wit stroke victim.)

I don't know much about the history of this situation, so I'm not qualified to say whether Syria should withdraw its troops or not. But we ought to at least take note of the fact that half a million people marched in the streets of Lebanon in FAVOR of Syria and in OPPOSITION to foreign interference by the U.S., as compared with maybe 70,000 Lebanese who rallied in favor of Syria's withdrawal in the past weeks. I heard one man—a member of Syra's "Reform Party"—on DemocracyNow! explaining how Hezbollah and the Syrian government had ordered all those people to march, thus we shouldn't take it seriously. Jesus, that's about as conspiratorial as you can get. Explaining away the presence of half a million people marching in the streets by claiming they were "ordered" to do so is about as ridiculous as saying that the Iraqi elections were rigged because someone "ordered" the Iraqi people to vote. But, if the conspiracy theory happens to fit in with the status quo and with the current agenda of the U.S. government, then apparently it's not a nutty conspiracy theory at all, but a sensible argument, a statement of "fact."

As far as the U.S. helping to uphold U.N. Security Council resolutions . . .

Here is a partial list of all the U.N. resolutions that the U.S. (very often alone, or with Israel only) has vetoed in one ten-year period.

I'm not privy to the voting record in more recent years, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and presume that the pattern has persisted.



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