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Chronicling the new Empire of America, the uber-Bully.

16 June 2003

Turd of the Week

Tom DeLay, I'm sorry I've left you out of this esteemed and steamy group of luminaries. Your defiance of the child tax credit for struggling low-wage earners is even to the right of Dubya. Maybe you can find a way to convert poor people into SUV fuel?

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Civilian casualties update
This data is an accounting of civilian deaths in Iraq to date.
See Iraqbodycount.net for statistical methodologies


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Growing fat off juicy Iraqi rebuildin' contracts. Did you know the bin Laden group is one of our top investors?


screw all the other stockholders, we're cashing out!


Hey, what do you know? We make money from American militarily screwed up countries in the Middle East!


We're already negotiating with the “new Iraqi democracy” for oil rights!


Selling weapons all over the globe to ensure civilian death and instability which in turn ensures a strong market for years and years...

 

Professor Pissed Gives a Little History Lesson...

The Fall of Rome
Does anyone else notice the coincidence between the state of ancient Rome just before it fell -- irreparably damaged by corruption and fear-mongering, weakened by greed and overextended imperialism -- and the situation in the USA in the twenty-first century? (Hey, we only got fifty years of world domination, while Rome got centuries -- no fair!) The buildup of military might at the cost of the American people's day to day welfare, for one, is a sure sign we are losing our grip. Attacking other countries and even, internally, constituencies that disagree with the powers that be -- these are other sure signs. A third sign of internal decay? -- violence that occurs from within. I, for one, have not forgotten that the second worst terrorist attack on US soil was perpetrated by an angry, American, white boy (remember the now-executed and so virtually disappeared Timothy McVeigh? Americans have very short attention spans).

Being attacked by forces from elsewhere gives the administration in power (whether constitutionally or not, apparently) momentary access to an authority so unquestioned that it can strip away civil rights and order the military to attack other countries without overt provocation. (No, we still haven't found any signs of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq -- unless you believe Bush's bleating on about suspicious, yet in actuality completely empty trucks to the Polish a few weeks back....) Being attacked from within, a blatant sign that our culture is rotting from the inside out, leads to the building of more gated communities, the purchasing of more personal firearms and armored vehicles (go figure -- so we can imitate those who we fear are attacking us?), and momentary, helpless handwringing on the part of the left and right alike. At this moment, people in the USA are being encouraged to fear both what is inside and what, supposedly, might come from without.

Funny how the seemingly deliberate buildup of these anxieties coincides with the Bush administration's continuing triumphs in lowering the taxes of the very rich (everyone else seems to be too frightened or depressed to notice what's going on). As the Rev. Al Sharpton, who is sounding more and more reasonable by the day in contrast to what's going on at the Federal level of government, has pointed out in his public statements, removing taxes on dividends to privilege rich (or even not so rich) investors effectively increases taxes on the poor since state and sales taxes, as well as fees for public services, will inevitably go up in order to make up the difference.

As for gated communities and Hummers, Peter Gabriel, that famous British rock star (and so an ally of our patriotic international crusades) has been known to say, *the more we are protected, the more we're trapped within.* Rather than be trapped, I'm moving to England (which also had its fall from power not so long ago) to schmooze with the likes of Gabriel. Looks like there, at least, people are PISSED OFF enough to expose the lies that Blair's administration fed them to make them our allies in Iraq. As Professor Pissed, that's where I belong. Don't worry, though, I'll continue to vent periodically on sotc.com.


The good Professor sold the solar station wagon, the tofu fermentor, has an offer on Geodesic dome and is ready to ship out...

Building Peace, One Corpse at a Time
Two streams are running in opposite directions through Washington. One is a raging torrent of insistence that WMD will be found. Caught in the frothy tides is our Rhinestone Cowboy, whose beliefs in alarmist intelligence are becoming more defensively dogmatic and desperate. Relying on a form of religious zealotry whose mantra "I will not be swayed O' Lord, for thou hath told me of the light" is increasingly disconnected from the paltry evidence issuing from the beleaguered ruins of Mesopotamia, he stumbles forward.

The other stream, running in the opposite direction, is a gradually rising river of doubt, quietly overrunning banks, straining levees of trust and overspilling dams of prudence. This stream began as a wayward trickle from a distant meadow, but it has joined with other rivulets to begat brooks, creeks and now a river of unanswered questions, roiling on its way to the sea.

The torrent out of the White House is undergoing a fascinating transformation. We're hearing verbiage shift toward Iraqi WMD "capabilities" rather than WMD possession. We're hearing a greater emphasis on liberation (pretty ironic given the state of Iraq) than on protecting America. We're hearing more about the bar being lowered, to make the target bigger, so we can find justification.

Still, there is no refutation of misinformation, even misinformation that has been categorically denied by lower level staffers in the Administration. Take for instance the report that Niger had sold yellowcake uranium to Iraq. This report was repudiated by State department and Cheney's own specialists weeks before Bush began to reference this as fact, using it even in his State of the Union address, weeks after it was exposed as bogus. The forged document was pitifully amateur and quickly was exposed as phony. Yet, Bush will not repudiate it.

How long can the Bushies insist their river is running full stream ahead while questions mount around them?

That depends, my fellow disgustees, on our silence.

Thom Yorke Sums it Up
Yeah, I'm a bit leery of musicians, artists and thespians who take their positions as cultural icons as a prima facie pedestal from which to spew their ideology, especially the mainstream County Music scene, whose moral compass seems rooted in "Hey Saddam, we'll put a boot up yer ass!" But in a recent Rolling Stone interview with Radiohead's brooding Thom Yorke who is promoting their new disc "Hail to the Thief", his summation of the New World Order is sublime: "Whoever has the most weapons is in charge now. It's insane."

Word up.

Now, if Radiohead can just pen that country crossover hit with Reba, we'll have a few minds changed.

The War is Over, Long Live the War!
Spreading the democratic process can be a tough task for an imperial power. This week's foray included Operation Penisular Strike, a campaign to kill remaining Saddam loyalists and/or people just pissed with the American occupiers. Shame to US Media outlets who describe these resisters as terrorists. I ain't crazy 'bout no Saddam sympathizers, if that's what they are, but to call people who resist an occupying force "terrorists" is pretty close to just calling anybody who opposes US global hegemony a terrorist. Hey, why are you looking at me that way?

Environmental Predation Agency - Mouth Full, Still Hungry
Rolling back restrictions on formerly federally protected lands, Bush's EPA seeks to allow logging in 300,000 acres of pristine old-growth trees in the Tongass National Forest. Even more nettlesome is that these are discontiguous plots requiring labyrinthine roads into and out of the soon-to-be-Martian-landscape. In a ridiculous attempt to fool everybody, the Administration is supporting the Clinton ban on road building in these protected areas while simultaneously seeking to allow governors to make their own logging exemptions to road building, which of course would render the federal laws as merely antiquated suggestions.

#1 Deficit of all time!
Eclipsing Ronald Wilson Whatshisname's and later Bush1's Guiness enshrined deficits, Bush's budget has broken new records for creating the largest gap in taxation and spending fiscal fantasy. Dubya has liberated America from the earth-bound realities of 3rd grade mathematics! It's like a magic money machine that puts money into people's pockets, while maintaining the lip service facade of taking care of human beings.
GOP Blockades Inquiry into WMD Intelligence
You knew it would happen. The Dems are gettin more feisty in their demands to know what happened with the intelligence gathering processing and analysis during the Chicken Little investigatory period of sky stability. Then on the other side of the aisle, the Repubs are aghast that anyone would question our president's behavior. Even if there were exaggerations bordering on outright lies and deceit which led to the deaths of thousands, the scorn of billions, and new levels of global power imbalance, it's not like he porked an intern.

But careful reading of the Dems statements are not predisposed to find the Prez as bag holder. There is clearly a disconnect between Saddam's threat to the rest of the world and was has turned up in the almost 3 months since the war did, or didn't end. What is the source of that disconnect? Was it bad information? Was it biasing of the info gathering process? Was it selective processing of the facts? Given the egg on the face of our foreign policy, it is important that we understand what went wrong. Without such a fact-finding, we remain unable to convince other nations, not to mention our fellow citizens, the value of subsequent intelligence.

Look for GOP laden congress to have a closed-door investigation culminating in an all-clear siren.

WMD Deceit is now Infuriating Warmongers
What an interesting twist. Some far right warmongering types are expressing anger at the Bush Regime's WMD flap. Seems they are ready to roll tanks into Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and select college towns in the US. Problem is, the main rationale for such moves is the wornout "harboring terrorists and possession of WMD" thang. With that raison d'assassinate playing out so poorly in the recent unpleasantness, it kind of saps the energy out of our ability to dominate the world.

Hmmm... Can we make a case that Syria flooded phone lines during the final voting for American Idol, to ensure that Clay Aiken lost?

Gay Partying Confined to Dept of Justice Closet
During his confirmation hearings, John Ashcroft was asked specifically about his support of gay DoJ employee celebrations. Sure, he said, pandering to the committee to reassure them that his prejudices were held firmly in check. Well, now that the same employees want to throw the same get-together as the Crofster was quizzed about during his confirmation, the answer is no, even though myriad other employee groups are afforded the same right routinely. Of course, this runs afoul of prevailing Civil Rights laws, which Ashcroft will investigate.
Parting Thoughts...
Help me understand why images of the Bush family mastering Segways are so funny.
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