Saturday, May 21, 2005

Mr. Floatie, the environmental champion

Saw this great entry in The Poutine Diaries:
"A man dressed up as a giant piece of faeces has been refused entry to a government meeting in Canada.

James Skwarok arrived as 'Mr Floatie' to represent POOP, People Opposed to Outfall Pollution, reports Canada.com.

But the cross-party meeting in Victoria-Beacon Hill refused him entry.

Skwarok said he wanted to protest against the daily dumping of 120 million litres of raw sewage into the Pacific ocean.

He said he was 'a little bummed out' by the politicians' refusal to meet him and that British Columbia province should look good for the 2010 Olympics if it didn't want to get a 'brown medal'."

I think we need to follow this example of creativity if we want to win the media war.

Monday, May 16, 2005

We Killed Tillman, Not the "Evildoers"

"Writing in an army report, Brigadier General Gary Jones admits that the official cover-up even included 'the destruction of evidence': the army burned Tillman's Ranger uniform and body armor to hide the fact that he had died in a hail of American bullets, fired by troops who had 'lost situational awareness to the point they had no idea where they were'."

Tell Rall is great! Read his hilarious cartoon 3 times a week, here.
Read above quote in article, here.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Conservatism

Kevin Drum pretty muchsums it up:
"Among advanced economies, the United States is by far the richest, youngest, and fastest growing country in the world. By far. And yet, we're supposed to believe that an increase in Social Security costs from 4% of GDP to 6% over the next 50 years is cause for panic. We're supposed to believe national healthcare would bankrupt us - never mind that our current dysfunctional system is the most expensive and most unfair on the planet. We're supposed to believe that broader unionization would ruin American industry, home of the highest profits and most highly paid executives in the world. We're supposed to believe that the nation's millionaires, having already had their tax rates slashed by a third over the past two decades, are still being bled to the bone by federal taxes."

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Battle for Jesus

So I have been wondering how long it would take for some more liberal Christians with actual moral values to stand up to the religious opportunists who have hijacked Christianity in order to advance their economic agenda. So file this under it's about fucking time (via Kos):

The New Catholic Church

Just a few thoughts about the Catholic Church and its emminant judgement, or lack thereof. Taking a page out of the religious right playbook in the States, they have decided that in the face of a modern, rapidly changing world, the best solution is to bury one’s head as far into the sand as physically possible. Given the complexity of societies, fertility, economics and cultural differences, one solution stands clear: “Let’s not waste any time trying to learn about or comprehend these challenges, instead let’s expect the world to become the simple world we would prefer it to be!” In their power hungry, white male existence, the rulers of the Catholic church have decided to place a ‘Cheney’ in the top position. The religious right here did the same, but given the American history of having a good looking front man, they made sure George was the symbolic ruler for PR reasons. Cardinal Ratzinger is the ‘Cheney’, the previous attack dog for the inflexible, the judgemental and completely out of touch within their organization. No doubt he is good at denying the fact that birth control is here to stay, that no society once given access to reproductive choice will later reject it. No doubt he is good at denying the fact that declining interest in the Catholic church across the world and especially in the home base of Europe stems not from inadequate strictness of doctrine, but from excessive strictness of doctrine. No doubt he is good at denying the harmful effects of denying marriage rites to priests, effects seen across the globe in the form of rampant sexual abuse and lack of future priests entering the church. No doubt he is good at denying the beneficial role played by Liberation Theologists who responded to the needs of Latino Catholics by addressing poverty, an action Cardinal Ratzinger considered too socialist for the Church. The greatest failure, however, in the Church’s decision is the use of fear tactics. Using the tactics of fear to govern can work in America in the hands of religious zealots in the short term. However, Catholics around the world will not let themselves be governed by fear, as intelligent humans around the world have come to the conclusion that no ‘fire and brimstone’ religious threat is ever as real or dangerous as a single-minded, angry ideologue, whether his name be Bin Laden, Cheney, Atta or Rumsfeld.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The State of American Journalism

Those of us paying attention know that the state of American journalism is not so good. We have a press corps cowed by the government, afraid to ask any hard questions, afraid to criticze the administration for fear of being deemed unpatriotic. This has got to stop. This article adapted from a speech by Molly Bingham, a photojournalist who covered the Iraqi resistance, is a good start.

We need to begin to be able to look again at our government, our leadership and ourselves critically. That is what the Fourth Estate is all about. That's what American journalism can do at its zenith. I also happen to believe that, in fact, that is the highest form of patriotism -- expecting our country to live up to the promises it makes and the values it purports to hold. The role of the media in assisting the public to ensure those values are reflected in reality is undeniably failing today.

Read the whole thing, it is well worth your time.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Clusterfuck Nation

I was pointed to this blog by James Wolcott and I think he brings up some good points. As I am too lazy to come up with any good stuff on my own:

Everywhere I look I see things that are not going to work in the years ahead, and see people making plans for conditions that will no longer exist. State DOT officials in Texas are planning to build a new statewide super-mega highway network just as the global oil peak forecloses a future of easy motoring. Where I live, at the rural edge of New York's Capital District, suburban housing pods are springing up in every cow pasture in complete faith that supernaturally cheap mortgages and long commutes will continue to be the norm. Municipalities everywhere are investing in multi-million dollar parking structures in the belief that we will be using cars in 2019 exactly the way we do now.

[snip]

I'd go as far to say that a public as complacent and clueless as America's is these days deserves to be played for fools. It's not pretty, but life is tragic. History doesn't care if we sleepwalk into a clusterfuck. Plenty of other societies have before us. The real sin in the real world is the failure to pay attention to the signals that your environment sends you. The signals aimed at us now tell us the following: the oil age is entering an unstable permanent decline; suburbia and all its usufructs is finished; the blue-light special shopping economy is about to end; easy motoring will shortly be a thing of the past; the middle class will be replaced by a new former middle class; and all bets are off as to how violently American politics will shudder when the fog finally lifts.

A little on the harsh side. . .perhaps. . .

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Who Would Jesus Bomb?

"After all, Jesus was a rebel. Jesus was the Original Liberal. Jesus was a devoted pacifist and a badass egalitarian and his best friends were all whores and dissidents and freethinkers and miscreants, artists of every shape and size and haircut and of course, were he walking around today, Jesus would be pretty much loathed and ostracized if not outright hacked to bits by the Christian Right. 'Goddamn hippie liberal tree hugger,' they'd sneer, waving scythes and Bibles."

The rest of Mark Morford's column here

Only half?!

Gallup: "50% of Americans Now Say Bush Deliberately Misled Them on WMDs"

This headline brings a few questions to mind: What took them so long? What are the other 50% thinking? Why aren't there mass demonstrations demanding Bush be throw out? Am I the only one to whom this seems a better reason for impeachment than oral sex?
Story here

How Far Will the Army Go?

"McSwane contacted his local army recruiting office in Golden with a scenario he created. He told a recruiter that he was a dropout and didn't have a high school diploma. 'No problem,' the recruiter explained. He suggested that McSwane create a fake diploma from a non-existent school." Keep reading, it gets worse.

Story here