Saturday, October 18, 2003


Poly sent me two op-eds from the Sydney Morning Herald, concerning Bush's visit to Australia. The background to this visit is that Bush said that friends had told him Oz is a lot like Texas and that John Howard's government is no mere duputy but actually America's "sheriff". Thus Bush not only massively insults Oz's landscape and people but, nicely, fixes their diplomatic wagon (pardon the Texan expression) with their Yank-phobic neighbours. Good Job. Of course it wasn't intentional, but then that's the beauty of it.

Should they sit or stand while Bush speaks?

"Forget education and health, Labor has spent the week locked in a debate over whether to sit or stand for the US President. By week's end, the search was on for a compromise, under which the party will presumably spend the week hesitantly hovering, half-up, half-down, in a kind of skier's crouch.

It's going to put a lot of pressure on the backs of the honourable members, but at least it might remind Labor that human beings come equipped with spines. Others say Labor should give a standing ovation, as it will be the first time the party has stood for anything in years.


The President, of course, is on a flying visit. His aim is to thank us for helping out with the war, and for providing the birthplace of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Californian governor-elect. He'll visit Parliament House, the US embassy, plus the mountains where we shot Sound of Music. If he asks about our world-famous cakes, it would be polite to play along and offer a slice of zachertorte."

LOL. Link here.


"My old sixth-class teacher, John "Beaky" Morris, has sent me what he says is an old Ethiopian proverb that may be helpful when President Bush addresses Parliament in Canberra next week. "When the aristocrat comes, the peasant bows low and farts silently," it goes.


I urge Quick and Co to wolf down copious quantities of an explosive rogan josh before Dubya's appearance and then to let their digestive organs erupt in mute, gaseous protest. The rest of us can watch eagerly for a puzzled clouding of the presidential brow, a slight flaring of the already rather simian presidential nostrils. The Quick and the dead, you might say.

(..) [Now more seriously..]

If Labor MPs absent themselves in disdain for Dubya's disastrous adventuring in Iraq, surely it would be hypocritical for them to appear next day for the speech by President Hu of China, whose record on human rights leaves more than a bit to be desired. Then again, Hu is not holding Australians as political prisoners without trial, as Bush is doing in Guantanamo Bay. Such an ethical dilemma. MINDFUL of the horrifying protests which met Lyndon Johnson on his visit in 1966, the powers-that-be are determined that the great unwashed will not get within a bull's roar of the festivities on Thursday. It is an outrage, but the Australian people will be kept away from their Parliament. "

How typical. Link here.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Oscar Lives in a Trashcan, Grover Lives in a..

Josh Marshall considers Grover Norquist outrageous, and of course he's right. Link via Marstonalia.

Something tells me that the Kristolmethodist creeps and the Commentary gang will give Grover a free pass.

Grover thinks that a progressive tax policy is comparable to the Holocaust. It's fine that he thinks such a stupid thing (and Mr Marston nicely explains why Norquist, as extreme ideologue, here says what he really means); it's his, as they say, prerogative. As far as I'm concerned, it illuminates how insane the far-right (Norquist is a Bush advisor) really is.

But my problem is the inconsistency of Norquist's fellow ideologues -- witness the recent rightwing bitching (I think in an op-ed New York Times piece) about the left equating Bushism to fascism -- as if the analogy is off limits. At any rate, calling someone -- or labelling someone's politics as -- fascist is a far cry from specifically calling them Nazi or Holocaust-enthusiasts or comparing their actions in any way to the Crime of all Time. At any rate, the Kristolmethodists would ordinarily excoriate someone on the left for, in effect, taking the Holocaust's name in vain. I suspect they will not extend Grover the same courtesy. Even though Norquist in effect degrades the memory of the Holocaust with such a comparison.

(I might as well complete it : the only time it is, I think, relevant or even dutiful to raise the Holocaust in this sort of way, in this sort of argument, is when the opponent, as so many do on left and right, deny ethnic cleansing or genocide or the fault of those responsible -- Hitler, Stalin, Jackson, Sharon, Kissinger, Sherman, Suharto, Milosevic, Pol Pot, Saddam, Amin, ad nauseum -- for such events.)

Thursday, October 16, 2003

The Plame Game

More on the fallout (I posted my thoughts on it when it first came up in July, look in the archives) : Brett Marston takes NRO shill Clifford May to task over May's mendacious (even by NRO standards) dismissal of the Plame "outing." Mr Marston apologises for using harsh tones, but I rather admire his pithy but muscular critique.

Ambassador Wilson, apparently, is going to fight back; and though I doubt this mud sticks like it ought, the splattering effect could make for some amusement.

And as far as funny ideas go, Dante Chinni at the Christian Science Monitor suggests that the perfect tool to find the leak-er within the adminstration who, in a dutiful fit of vengeance, outed Wilson's wife, is the abominable PATRIOT Act. Sweet! The junto hoisted by their own petard.

Speaking of Noble, Doomed Enterprises

George Soros has apparently funded two worthy causes, the Iraq Revenue Watch and, also through his Open Society Institute, the Caspian Revenue Watch.

There's not much Soros or anyone else can do about McWorld-PetroDivision's invasion, homogenisation, and exploitation of these countries. The people who live there are doomed to recieve pennies for the true wealth of their resources, and as a bonus will enjoy whatever decent environment they had used as a semen receptacle by the unencumbered-by-regulation Corporate Resource Rapists.

But at least Soros's effort will make for a modicum of transparency.

For now Representative Henry Waxman, that old scourge of the tobacco companies, is doing a decent job of exposing some of the crooks, like calling out DICK Cheney's Halliburton for overcharging the U.S. Army and Iraqis alike on gasoline of all things. And the rightwingers can spare me the excuses that Iraq's production isnt at full blast yet : it can't be so low that they "have" to import oil for the relatively modest needs of a shattered Iraq (even including an occupying Army). It's a simple scam of stealing from the poor or the coerced and selling the loot back to them at mark up. The Vice President should be called DICK Corleone.

Surprise, Surprise

Yes, I'm being sarcastic.

Because it is absolutely no surprise to find one of the Kristolmethodists' hands up the ass of this sock-puppet of an Adminstration.

In this case, it's Michael Ledeen, the distended fucktard who last year infamously insulted our intelligence and character by intoning, "all the great historians say that Americans are a war-like people".

Check out the yahoo photo in the first link. Is this not the stereotypical string-puller? He even holds what George Carlin calls "the big brown cock".

Anyway, Ledeen is obviously cooking info concerning uranium, a mendacity which should ring a bell considering recent news. Why "cooking"? Because his source is notoriously disreputable.

I'm not great at remembering specific Arabic or Farsi names but when I saw that of Manucher Ghorbanifar, Ledeen's snitch, I remembered, if only because while on the farm I read three-quarters of Bob Woodward's Veil, about Bill Casey's mafia of a CIA. Eventually the majority of those who shared offices with Oliver North didnt trust Ghorbanifar's info, though it took quite long enough for them to grasp the man's character.

Ghorbanifar --

intentionally fabricated a story of Libyan hit squads targeting Ronald Reagan for assassination.

lied about or used a crappy source in relating to the CIA that Iran had dispatched assassins to Europe to target Iranian exiles.

regularly failed CIA polygraphs :"Ghorbanifar polygraph examination: he showed deception on virtually all of the relevant questions. He has lied/fabricated his information on terrorist activities... is clearly a fabricator and wheeler-dealer who has undertaken activites prejudicial to U.S. interests. Deception indicated to 13 of 15 relevant questions."

functioned as North's and Casey's pack-donkey, however, in couriering TOW missiles to Iran. This was of course monstrously illegal.

suggested to the CIA of using the proceeds of illegal arms sales to Iran for funding of the Nicaraguan Contras and the Mujahadeen resistance in Afghanistan (who later became the Taleban).

and that's just some of it.

So this vendor of useless information is Ledeen's source. Ledeen's dream is to invade Iran. Too perfect. All this is so 1987.

President Gas's Latest Trysts With The Plutocratic Harlots Of The Former USSR

ChevronTexaco, which by the way owns Miss Condoleeza Rice, is planning to suck the lifeblood from the Ukraine, currently the most corrupt Eastern European nation in a too crowded field. Scheme outlined here in glorious Dow Jones Newspeak.

Elsewhere, megaplutocrat Mikhail Khordorkovsky plans to, perversely, cover his ass from the Kremlin's fraud investigators by lifting his skirt to the Bush junto's very own ExxonMobil. PG-13 rated version can be read here.

"president gas is tap dancing
for the banker he's a thief
he isn't very honest
but he's obvious at least"

--Richard Butler, Psychedelic Furs

The Azerbaijani Presidential election is a forgone conclusion, says the International Herald Tribune. gives an up to date look at the festivites, matter of factly stating that the country "braces for violence" while also showing the influence of western media by euphemising fraud as "irregularites". Plainly if the oil companies haven't taken over yet, the ways of their lawyers and the tastes in their media-employees have.

Baku Today has a lot of coverage of the election quoting the OSEC that Azerbaijan has shown progress but still falls short of international standards. Like Florida. The Baku Sun has a bit of coverage on the elections, as well. I suppose I should note that Azerbaijan is without question one of the most ravaged and polluted places on earth. Like Houston.

Petro Republic just doesn't have the same ring as Banana Republic, perhaps because it doesn't elicit rich images of a bumbling but menacing form of posh corruption (think of the setting and art direction of "Hungry Like The Wolf"). But if a Petro Republic has a music video's feel it's that of some grainy goat-roper video on CMT. Too dreary.

So I'm looking for and thinking of another phrase that can be used -- so far in vain. Any suggestions? As for the Azers, they even have copied the biggest Petro Republic in the world (America, natch) down to the "dynasty" bit -- the new President is son of an old President who in turn was an aging former spy master and protege of the region's most stalwart cold warrior. Sound familiar? They know US well -- as well they should, for the same people own them, too. Azerbaijan, welcome to Petroworld. Your Mecca is Texas.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

The Doge Has Recused Himself?

Amazing. Antonin Scalia is actually, for once, recusing himself from a case coming before the Supreme Court, and what a case it is .

Scalia, impartial? Nooooo. Would that he had been the slightest bit ethical in recusing himself from cases in which he had a conflict of interest. Like, you know, Election 2000.

The column describes the probablity with Scalia's absence of a tie vote on the Pledge of Allegiance case. Christians, pray that just this scenario plays out!

Because if it does go that way, the tacky broach of the Separation of Church and State that is inherent in the current pledge, "Under God", will be removed.

Solicitor General Ted Olson, never that bright no matter how tumescent he may make supposedly respectable fellow-travellers like Eugene Volokh, argues that the God propaganda is benign because "In God We Trust" has been branded on money for over a hundred years. But then Olson apparently doesn't know that that unconstitutional phrase was imposed on the secular nation during the civil war and as such, is by any standard a temporary law similar to Lincoln's suspension of Habeas Corpus (something else, come to think of it, that Ted and his cronies at Justice would like to resurrect).

Treasury Secretary Salmon Portland Chase, a vain and pious boob, was given pretty much free reign to fashion the emergency paper money of the Civil War in any way he saw fit. Thus he satisfied his two major character traits by putting his own portrait on the bills, and stamping them with a theocratic phrase. Alas, Chase's chrome dome is no longer on bills (unless you have a 10,000$ note, not minted since the late 1960s, IIRC), but we still have to live with his surreptitious little bit of fundamentalist drivel every time we handle or spend the real God of our culture.

That the two super-reactionaries of the High Court, Scalia and Clarence Thomas, are normally hesitant to recuse themselves even in the face of the most transparent conflicts of interest is of course scandalous but also of course in perfect cadence with a 30 year reactionary march against the Court's traditional ethical standards. The father of this trend was the pompous Warren Burger who in turn spread the peculiar infection (Dont recuse yourself unless the outside pressure to do so is unbearable -- and forget silly notions of conscience and the Court's ethical tradition) to then-rookie Justice William Rehnquist, who eventually replaced Burger as Chief Justice. From there on to Rehnquist's protege Scalia and his second-fiddle, Thomas.

The record of the Burger's and Rehnquist's attitudes and manoevres is well-told in Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong's The Brethren, with its memorable anecdote of the fascist Rehnquist's goofball putch moment as he yelled "Achtung!" and jumped on a cafeteria tabletop to address the clerks.