Monday, July 19, 2004

Misc. Topics

I didn't write anything for the last two issues of Grassroots Press . I thought I would just kick back and let events play out for awhile, see what developed.  What sticks in my mind from the past few months is the Abu Ghraib torture scandal.  What can I say?  The Bushistas are barbarians.  They have the distinction of being both war criminals and common criminals.  Double life sentences all around, I say.   

My favorite bloggers this time:
Billmon Consistently brilliant, but has burned out of late and doesn't post as often as his fans would like.
Digby Also brilliant.
Kos As usual, the best political blog. 
Steve Gilliard Writes with a lot of passion and typos; has a wider range of subject matter.   I disagree with many of his thoughts about food and relationships, but he's always been dead-on about Iraq.
Rude Pundit Warning:  he can be really crude but when he nails it, hoo baby!
I finally got my own blog on Sunday.  Now I have no excuse for not spouting off all the time.  Here's the address: . As an ex-magazine publisher I've wanted to put out New Earth Times for years, but print publishing is a form of madness I'm reluctant to jump back into.  Doing a blog seems like a painless way of getting a lot of good info out there.  One nice thing about blogs is readers can post comments.  I've received so much incredible feedback over the years and have often thought, "Too bad everybody can't see that."  Now, they can.  So keep those comments coming!  I'll try to post often enough to keep things interesting.  Your positive feedback keeps me going.     
One thing I want to talk about at more length is the degraded state of public discourse. You cannot have meaningful discourse if the words themselves don't actually mean what they claim to mean.  For example, consider the bogus terms "liberal" and "conservative".  It would be more accurate to say "preservers" and "destroyers."  There is nothing "conservative" about conservatives -- they are consciously out to destroy civil society, and in the process are destroying the planet.
Here's a quote I saved from that sums up the Republican agenda very well:
"We live in a time when liberal values are under sustained and merciless attack. Our opponents are not interested in reasoning with us or compromising. They don?t give a damn what anyone to the left of Colin Powell (if that) thinks about anything and are so convinced of their own rightness that they seize every opportunity to cut opponents out of the conversation. They lie, mislead, withhold important information, shout down and belittle critics rather than engage their ideas, and respond with dark threats when their authority is challenged. If it takes someone like Michael Moore to answer fire with fire, so be it. This is not the time to be splitting intellectual hairs, when the entire conception of the liberal state is at risk."
Rob Salkowitz
Here's another quote, in a similar vein, from Digby's blog:

There really is only one issue in this election. Since the Extended Florida Unpleasantness, this has been an Adminstration utterly unconcerned with any restraints, constitutional or otherwise, on its power. It has been contemptuous of the idea of self-government, and particularly of the notion that an informed populace is necessary to that idea. It recognizes neither parliamentary rules nor constitutional barriers. (Just for fun, imagine that the Senate had not authorized force in Iraq. Do you think for one moment that C-Plus Augustus wouldn't have launched the war anyway, and on some pretext that we'd only now be discovering was counterfeit?) It does not accept the concept of principled opposition, either inside the administration or outside of it. It refuses to be bound by anything more than its political appetites. It wants what it wants, and it does what it wants. It is, at its heart, and in the strictest definition of the word, lawless. It has the perfect front men: a president unable to admit a mistake because he's spent his entire life being insulated from even the most minor of consequences, and a vice-president who is viscerally furious at the notion that he is accountable to anyone at all. They are abetted by a congressional majority in which all of these un-American traits are amplified to an overwhelming din.

So, now we are faced with the question: Do you want to live in a country where these people no longer feel even the vaporous restraints of having another election to win?

BUSH-CHENEY UNLEASHED. Up or down? Yes or no?

Charles Pierce
My review of Fahrenheit 9/11:
Michael Moore rocks!  I saw F9/11 twice -- at the local art theater and a week later when the megaplex finally got around to showing it.  The art theater audience applauded -- which I expected -- but there was actually more audience reaction during the movie at the megaplex, with loud applause at the end.  This is unheard of in a mainstream theater around these parts.  The point is -- F9/11 is more than a movie -- it's a phenomenon.  Moore has succeeded amazingly well -- both financially, and at rousing the rabble.  I have noticed that when liberals review F9/11, they tend to quibble about different aspects of the movie while ignoring the fact that Moore has succeeded in his purpose beyond his wildest dreams.  (Whether or not this results in more votes for Kerry remains to be seen.)  BTW, not having live TV, I had never seen so much footage of Bush in my life.  What a nasty guy.  This is the brilliance of Moore's strategy -- let Bush speak for himself whenever possible.  Especially damning was the segment in the schoolroom, where Bush awaited orders after the Twin Towers were attacked.  What a lost little man -- not the kind of person you'd ever want to entrust with power. 
Another subject I want to tackle on the blog is the War Christians; such a fascinating phenomenon they are.  I wonder what Jesus would have thought of them?  Christianity got on the wrong track as soon as Jesus died, which allowed his closest disciples to become top dogs in the Christ-follower status hierarchy.  Within a few generations, the actuality of Jesus' spiritual power was replaced by blind faith.  Stupid, blind faith.  Belief in God rather than the direct experience of God.  Ideology replaced mysticism. It's ironic -- reality itself is magic, yet humans manage to screw it up almost without fail.  There is no doubt that fundamentalist Christians can sometimes manifest spiritual power (because they are fanatical and therefore tightly focused). There is also no doubt that if Satan really exists (as the fundies believe), then his obvious first target would be to co-opt Christianity itself.  Especially the Christians who know a little bit about the spiritual power that Jesus was pointing the way toward.  Change the thrust of Chrisitianity from love to hate, from peace to war, and Jesus' true message is negated.  Imagine -- our very own War of Armageddon, played out between insane Christians and insane Muslims, with the rest of us serving as unwilling spectator/participants.  (Of course, I'm not saying that all Christians and Muslims are insane -- just enough to keep things interesting.  Also, I don't mean to neglect the insane Jews, Hindus, athiests etc.)  I don't know what to do about this, except to say that we all need to be speaking out against the madness whenever we can.  Mass insanity is not an acceptable option.  And it never hurts to share as much love as possible. 
May we succeed in removing Bush and his idiot enablers from power.  This business of "whoever lies the loudest, wins" has got to stop.
Best wishes to us all; we will need them. 


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