Saturday, June 19, 2004

the poor fight back

In what has to be one of the coolest nonviolent protests ever, homeless and poor people are banding together to fight Bush policies by setting up "Bushvilles" across the country where poor people gather to build tents and raise visibility and awareness of their conditions. In a country where it's increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to find a job, where it's equally impossible to count the true numbers of homeless and jobless and the percentage keeps increasing despite the lies of the Bushitos (can't eat just one!) this kind of action is desperately needed to remind people that Bush's decisions affect more than people in Iraq. How many more Americans will be beggared before we work to meet their need?

The news media have been strangely silent about this - perhaps because, despite high feelings, it's still less controversial to talk about the effects of Bushonomics on far-away Iraq than to focus on the problems he's caused at home, especially since it's very embarrassing for a previously inattentive media to admit their culpability. I'm not, like some people, going to scream and shout "I told you so" at the New York Times, but their example in the case of Judith Whoever and Ahmad Chalabi only demonstrates how difficult it is for them to reverse their tracks in the middle of a story. They're like beginning writers who hate to self-edit. In any case, only small-town newspapers have carried any stories about this - and, of course, foreign newspapers. But this movement is going to carry across America, and it deserves far more attention; indeed, it demands such attention.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

the politics of believing

Lots of interesting trends in politics have surfaced lately which bother me; the concept that the president is above American law, for example. My least favorite of late is the "believe" trend. From Cursor:

The Post article refers to a April 2004 Harris poll, in which 49 percent of Americans said they believe "clear evidence that Iraq was supporting al-Qaeda has been found." And according to a March 2004 PIPA poll, 57 percent believe that before the war Iraq was providing substantial support to al-Qaeda.

Believe. Believe. Lots of believing going around. The President believes Saddam has connections to Al-Qaeda. People believe things are going well in Iraq.

Fuck this. I'm tired of belief. I want to see evidence. I want to see a paragraph going by without the word "believe." Evidence means "that which is seen." Mr. President, if it's so visible, why isn't anyone else getting it? Are you letting belief get in the way of your eyes? Or are we all supposed to do that? Suspend whatever critical faculties we possess in favor of the race-inspired belief that all Middle Easterns are terrorists? Fuck all this "belief" shit. This is the real world, not a church. You have proof, you show us. What are you so afraid of? Saddam's in fucking PRISON. What is there left to compromise on your evidence? And why are people so reticient about pointing this out?

The administration's dependency on belief is a house built on a lot of straw men - largely the race thing I mentioned (grouping all Middle Easterns together makes it easier to believe in a connection;) the alienness of their language (Look! Iraq and Al-Qaeda both have Q's!;) the alienness of their religion for many Americans (who still aren't well-informed enough to truly perceive the distinction between Muslim groups, who are often as distinct from each other as Baptists and Catholics.) The administration relies on this lack of information - this lack of evidence, if you will - to create an atmosphere where belief is not only possible but necessary. Add to the stewpot Bush's dependency on religious language and his invocation of the Crusades - and of course the terror of a populace devastated by Nine-Eleven - and you have all the elements needed to create an uninformed populace, dependent only on the words of the Bush-hydra (so many heads from the same body), who will believe whatever they are told, ignoring the various cries not only for common sense but evidence.

This might be one of the reasons why the Bush administration is insisting so strangely that they are right despite the commission's evidence and findings. They are hoping to confuse the issue by confounding proof with authority. They hope that speaking loud enough will make people, you guess it, believe. They can't contradict any of these findings with papers, photos, confessions, or anything. All they have are loud voices, with which to make us believe.

Maybe that's one reason I see past him so easily; Deaf people aren't swayed by political voices! Hmmm!

Has this occurred to anybody?

I don't know. Maybe it's this, or the fact that Bush didn't go after bin Ladin or the guy who killed Nick Berg. But I had a scary thought this morning and I want to put it out there.

Bush has based his political career on fighting (he doesn't say ending) the War on Terrorism. Does that mean he has to make sure the war continues, for his political career to continue? Is this why he's gone after the wrong people? To make sure there's always terrorists for him to fight, and help him get the support of the American people? It would sound like a silly conspiracy theory to except for the fact that he's gone after zero (0) out of (millions) of terrorists and managed to capture one (1) Hussein instead. And even his insistence that Hussein is a terrorist, in the face of all the evidence, seems to hint more that he's afraid people will see him as unsuccessful in the War on Terrorism than that he really believes Hussein has ties to Al-Qaeda.

And then, of course, there's the ominous foreboding Bush keeps putting out that the War might take years and years...

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Fried=fresh, lawmakers!

I laugh at this. Basically french fries are now considered fresh vegetables for commercial purposes. Aside from the bit about them being fried, and often covered with various chemicals and batters in the process. Next up: belgian waffles with ice cream, the new vegetable! Oh come on. This is just blank.

Fahrenheit WHAT? Can you repeat that?

Great. One of the most important political movies of the decade, and guess what? It's not subtitled in English. Anywhere. Can anyone tell me any different? Please do. Because to excise an entire portion of the populace is NOT good tactics.

Monday, June 14, 2004

cold oil

In some traditions, putting a drop of oil into a basin of water is a prelude to prophecy; the seer would sit in semi darkness and watch the rainbow-patterns of oil on water. It'd provide a focus for their concentration and they'd see visions in their basin.

These days I'm pretty sure they'd use Canola oil. Much cheaper.

The gas situation in the States today strikes me as more than just mildly humorous. If you go hunting on Yahoo for "gas prices," you'll find hundreds of sites dedicated only to current listings of those costs for specific areas. There are even nationwide sites where you can compare gas here to gas there... It's like we never considered gasoline was a finite resource? I mean, hello? In March, 1998 Scientific American wrote that, at the rate of usage in 1998, we would run out of oil in 200 years. That was six years ago. The rate of oil usage, especially in America, has gone up a LOT since then. It will continue to go up. That number's probably been shortened by a few decades.

Now we're all rather shocked because oil's gone up past two bucks a gallon. By rights it should have been past that point years ago. I suspect government subsidization (paid for by your taxes) has kept gas prices down; now the government's new habit of cutting taxes forces some of that money to come out of your pocket. But that isn't the point. The point is, the prices aren't going to go down.

Not gonna happen. Ever. It will continue to get more and more expensive. It can't not. It is limited. Nobody can make more. So please
cease the surprise
and open your eyes
the oil's being drained
your wallet's being maimed
and the government's taking no pains
to find an alternative
before we end up having to walk whereever we want to gooooooo
and dont forget bikes need oil too
to be made
and repaired
so... ooops! (Sorry for the musical interlude, I'm having that kind of day.)

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Welcome to June

So I took a week's hiatus to just kind of relax. Not that the relaxation kept the news from stopping. The last week's just been kind of silly. I haven't got much patience for people any longer. I mean, how many stupid mistakes does Bush get to make before we take him out of office? Is there a number, anyone? The whole Iraqi governing council debacle is bad enough; now we find out Bush is supporting a double agent. The fact that he claims to be conservative, while fiscally bankrupting the country, is bad enough; yet he and his cronies continue to lie about the financial situation of Americans while covering up how they themselves profit from bunking Americans out of their hard-earned money. He's contributed substantially to the decay of our environment, too. So basically the country's in line to be poor, desert-like, and yelled at by angry Muslims.

Nope, wrong. See, it's all a conspiracy. Bush really loves middle-eastern countries, so he's trying to turn America into one. Only thing that makes sense. That explains why our educational standards have gotten lower, we're becoming more religious, we don't investigate rape, and he's engaging in politics which destroy our environment - he WANTS us to be just like the Iraqis. Because then he can keep freeing us, and we'll be just as grateful as the Iraqis!

But please, Mr. Bush, don't bring over the Iraqi Spiders.