Sunday, June 18, 2006

Formica: bad advice.

No excuse.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Do you believe

the Pentagon's assertion in the headline & at the lead of this story? I don't.
I believe they'll disclose a fraction of the truth-- that fraction that looks best of course.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Well perhaps I should be a little more nuanced.

This article states the following:

Quote:
In a statement, Mr. Luskin said, "On June 12, 2006, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald formally advised us that he does not anticipate seeking charges against Karl Rove." end quote.

And then there's this:

Quote:
Mr. Fitzgerald's spokesman, Randall Samborn, said he would not comment on Mr. Rove's status. end quote.

So what the hell is really going on here?
At any rate, I would call on Jason Leopold to expose his mendacious sources by name immediately, to devote an entire article to how he was deceived in this matter.
As for Mr. Rove, I'm sure the smearing spree will begin in a matter of a few hours at least. Smearing is the only thing Rove does in politics with any originality and consistency. Every strategy he uses to glorify his clients is ripped straight from Dr. Josef Goebbels.

Rove: innocent till proven guilty.

Detainees at Guantanamo: guilty until proven innocent.

Monday, June 12, 2006

My son, good gosh.

I was just talking to my son, and he would be glad to deploy . . . he wants to go to Iraq, not Kosovo. And why? "I can do more good in Iraq than in Kosovo. I can kill more Hajiis and protect my buddies."
Here's how I feel. I feel like I must have committed suicide the day he was born. I must've somehow disappeared because I certainly didn't teach him to despise in so facile a fashion. Will someone please tell me if I'm alive or dead, because it's obvious I'm dead to him.
If I were going to Iraq, I'd probably say, "screw this, I'm headed off to Uruk or Eridu. Don't call any time soon."
If I could read Sumerian or Old Babylonian stylus marks, a trip to one of those cities would be more fun than all the theme parks in the world. And here are these fools wasting time killing each other and hating each other to boot.

Giving up so soon?

I find that hard to believe. Scroll down to headline: Mission Accomplished?

Quote:
The doors may be closing shortly on the nine-year-old Project for a New American Century, the neoconservative think tank headed by William Kristol , former chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle and now editor of the Weekly Standard, which is must reading for neocon cogitators and agitators. end quote.

I sense that they're trying to cover their tracks.

Hey, it's the new Gilded Age,

you're going to see a lot of situations like these.
It's Bushworld, of course there's no money to bury the dead, feed the hungry, house the homeless, and secure the future.

It's the ACLU

versus the Trust-Me Government.
Whose side are you on?
It's bright and early, and already, the drummers are working the street.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Some pictures are worth seeing

over and over again. The best of these are the most ancient, the water buffalo standing next to the tears of Tiamat and the house that stands in the winds of Enlil.
This project is the most important any occupation force or existing government could undertake in Iraq, and I note that it has required the cooperation of the surrounding nations to succeed. The entire world has a stake in the restoration of the marshes, so let's not go halfway here. My thanx to my sigoths.

Scanning

& reading Stephen L. Sears's Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam. This is a history of the South Mountain Campaign & the Battle of Antietam. I've been focusing most on the places where Sears describes formations marching in columns, the ambience of the fields in every stage of operations, features and face of combat, reactions of the soldiers to combat, and individual and collective states of mind.
I've also been reading about reputed hauntings there, and the Sunken Road is a real crowd of military ghosts. I had two places to set my poem, one is the Sunken Road, the other possibility is in the vicinity of the Rohrerbach or Burnside Bridge. Several soldiers were buried anonymously in the latter area, and their bodies remain there, unmarked, to this day.

And then, there's the neocon at judgment,

"Dear God, who loves me no matter what, I imprisoned, tortured & killed people because I was frightened. I declared virtual war on New York City because I was frightened of pluralism. I fought war after war after war because I wanted safety."
And God would answer, "Yeah, you're really a picture of perfect faith."

I suspect that the detainees

are very divided about suicide. After all, they're in an untenable situation, imprisoned by implacable authorities who want to keep them on ice for the rest of their lives. To commit suicide is to make a statement about one's conditions, but one can only make it once.
There is also the problem of Muslim doctrine & suicide. If Allah commanded you into existence, I don't see where you have the right to deal yourself out of life. If you're answering for your suicide, what do you say, "conditions down there got too much for me, and I wanted to make a statement and get out at the same time"? Or how about this: "Since I have heard the final revelation and perfect word, I felt I had the right to chastise the infidels who imprisoned me by killing myself and humiliating them in the eyes of the rest of the world."
I could imagine there being a few questions about the nature of faith in adversity ensuing, if not in conversation, within the individual.

What I'm saying is, I wouldn't want to be these people for all the American debt in China.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I'm quite sure

we won't be reading this story in an American newspaper any time soon. If I had the wherewithal, I'd subscribe to the IHT. Now there's a real newspaper.
Update: I note that the story was carried this evening by NPR, & that an officer from Guantanamo was interviewed and said the suicides were aggressive acts of war.
If you'll buy that, I've got some oceanfront property in New Mexico you might like.

Do you like being watched?

How bored the intelligence community is becoming focusing on terrorists. Time to widen the net and give all those new Homeland Security people something to do.

Activist judges . . . right.

No provocation?

Quote:
Just as they did when the massacre at My Lai came to light, militarists in America will continue to make excuses for the war crimes and authoritarian trends of the Bush/Cheney Republican Reich. It was almost laughable on Memorial Day when President Bush told an audience at Arlington National Cemetery that "America has always gone to war reluctantly, because we know the costs of war."

In reality - as opposed to the neocon fantasies of the Bush crew - the Iraq invasion was foisted upon this nation eagerly, not reluctantly, and the true costs of that deadly debacle will be borne upon the backs of American taxpayers for generations yet to come.end quote.

We must cultivate

a richness of concept in the minds of the people we teach. Then, when the new civil war erupts and the people have won back the democracy and republic that were stolen by charm, graft, and cowardice from them, they may create something better and more secure from elitism and money than the system we are saddled with now.
The ticket is bought & signed.
All it needs now is a punch.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Angels on the Limberlost


In this area, my husband's ashes mingle with the dried leaves and humus they touched six years ago. This place is slightly cooler than most of the region surrounding it. The sun does not sear the ground because the forest has been decently untampered with. Charity maintains forests, greed destroys them-- and that's an axiom that will be valid for the foreseeable future. Here, my husband's remains have the world he deserved while living, but was not given.
The trees are the most worthy monuments for him, because they evoke angels.
Only that which is truly holy can compensate for the loss of a loved one. And it is this which makes grief itself sacred.

A few things

about Ann Coulter.
Her problem is not that she can't think, but that she reasons erroneously virtually all the time. She engages in black and white thinking.
To protest for reproductive choice is to desire the death of infants.
Only if you oppose abortion do you want infants to live.
The 9/11 widows who criticize Bush are "enjoying their husbands' death" because to mourn is to be silent and let someone else speak for you.
She cannot criticize the people who have been hurt by neocon policies and so she wants to question their ethics in speaking out against neocon policies.
For instance, if I started a movement to gain national health insurance because of the horrible circumstances of my husbands illness and death, she would accuse me of power-ambition, and thereby try to lessen my authority.
The perception of authority is what this is all about.
She is also virulently anti-democratic.

Preconceptions

Well I'll have knotted neurons, this document from the CDC is huge!
Not only is it huge, it's not really scientific. It has the scientific sound:

Quote:
Childbearing is a common experience among women in the United States. In 2000, an estimated 62 million U.S. women were of childbearing age (aged 15--44 years), distributed in approximately equal segments across the age groups of 15--24, 25--34, and 35--44 years (9). By age 25 years, approximately half of all women in the United States have experienced at least one birth, and approximately 85% of all women in the United States have given birth by age 44 years. end quote.

That's the beginning sentence of the third paragraph. So I begin to understand what's really at stake here.

Then, there is the less-than-scientific sound here:

Quote:
Preconception care aims to promote the health of women of reproductive age before conception and thereby improve pregnancy-related outcomes (5--7). ...
This report discusses several interventions that, if implemented before pregnancy, can improve pregnancy outcomes for women and infants. ...
This report provides recommendations to improve both preconception health and preconception health care. ...
The recommendations should be used by consumers, clinical care providers, public health professionals, researchers, policy makers, and others concerned with the health of women, children, and families. ...
Federal, state, and local public health agencies can play a vital role in translating these recommendations into projects, educational materials, and programs designed to improve preconception health. ...
These recommendations are a strategic plan to improve preconception health through clinical care, individual behavior change, community-based public health programs, and social marketing campaigns to change consumer knowledge and attitudes and practices. ...
end quote.

I think you get the drift of this ponderous, badly-written list of policy recommendations.
Contraception is mentioned once. Here.

Quote:
In addition to having chronic diseases, a substantial proportion of women who become pregnant engage in high-risk behaviors and contribute to adverse pregnancy outcomes. In 2003, a total of 11% of pregnant women smoked during pregnancy, a risk factor for low birthweight (10), and 10% of pregnant women and 55% of women at risk for getting pregnant (i.e., those not using contraception or using ineffective contraceptive methods or using effective contraceptive methods inconsistently) consumed alcohol, a risk for fetal alcohol syndrome (45). Certain women also continued to engage in high-risk sexual behavior, potentially exposing themselves to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV (46). Although a smaller proportion of women used illicit drugs, this high-risk behavior has been associated with adverse outcomes. These behaviors often co-occur, therefore, compounding the risk for adverse outcomes for certain groups. Immunization for adults and infants is critical for preventing infectious diseases (e.g., influenza and pertussis). end quote.

Please note that contraception is used in a paragraph that highlights risky behaviors, disease, all the things that could make a pregnancy go awry. It is associated with high-risk behavior, and a kind of liberty which is at odds with conservative constructions of women. I'm sure Betty Crouse and the CWFA had a hand in the writing of this document at some time or other. It reflects their agenda perfectly.

I want to thank the current issue of Truthdig for the link to the CDC statement, they linked to it in this article by Sunsara Taylor. While the pre-pregnant classification has been mentioned frequently by liberals and people who oppose the perspective from which the statement arises, I did not notice pre-pregnant here. I did, however, notice the repetition of preconception, preconception health, etc. As if they want to create a classification of health care called preconception and then through it, they would modify the behavior of women. Yes, I think it's a backdoor attempt to control women's lives by controlling their bodies. The war on women just never stops, and if that sounds like hysteria, well here is evidence. Choke on it.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Say anything,

but do not say this amounts to argument.

Quote:
THE MOVEMENT TO REDEFINE MARRIAGE to include same-sex unions has packaged its demands in the rhetoric and images of the civil rights movement. This strategy, though cynical, has enormous strategic utility. end quote.

1. burden of proof.
2. The first sentence describes a tactic, not a strategy. The goal of gaining same-sex marriage rights is couched in the language of the civil rights movement. But this does not amount to a strategy for its achievement.

Quote:
As an exercise in marketing and merchandising, this strategy is the most brilliant playing of the race card in recent memory. Not since the "poverty pimps" of 35 years ago, who leveraged the guilt and sense of fair play of the American public to hustle affirmative action set-asides, have we witnessed so brazen a misuse of African-American history for partisan purposes.
end quote.

An argument is suggested, but not made.

Quote:
But the partisans of homosexual marriage have a problem. There is no evidence in the history and literature of the civil rights movement, or in its genesis in the struggle against slavery, to support the claim that the "gay rights" movement is in the tradition of the African-American struggle for civil rights. end quote.

1. Appeal to ridicule.
There is also no evidence that the feminist movement, LaRaza, or disabled rights are in the tradition of the African-American civil rights movement. Yet they have used the language of the civil rights movement and some of its tactics in legal and activist challenges to unjust laws. Simmilarly, the civil rights movement was influenced by, and used the rhetoric of, Mohandas K. Gandhi.
The gay rights & the African-American civil rights movements are different historically, yet in their defiance of injustice, they are strikingly similar. That the gay rights movement would use civil rights language is not a historical freak. It's history. Period. Get over it.

But what really concerns me, are the authors' assertions about the nature of slavery.

Quote:
As the eminent historian Eugene D. Genovese observed more than 30 years ago, the black American experience as a function of slavery is unique and without analogue in the history of the United States. While other ethnic and social groups have experienced discrimination and hardship, none of their experiences compare with the physical and cultural brutality of slavery. It was in the crucible of the unique experience of slavery that the civil rights movement was born.
end quote.

Let's divide it.
1. The "eminent historian" wrote 30 years ago. One should never rely on just one secondary authority to buttress one's case.
2. The black American experience is unique in that it is a function of slavery. No. The black American experience must be historically contextualized generationally.
Is it unique and without analogue? No.
Cuba and Puerto Rico possessed slave systems of labor by African-Americans until 1888.
All over the Atlantic world of the 15th-19th centuries, the slave trade and slavery flourished. It is not a fluke of the United States.
3. It was in the crucible of the unique experience of slavery (lie) that the civil rights movement was born. Which one? The one at Reconstruction (which was not so named and is historically contextual in language and action) or the one from 1954-1980? Remember the second? Ronald Reagan et al murdered it. Damn them to hell. The authors read their 30-year-old historical perspective but leave Eric Foner (a genuine current authority) alone. The civil rights movement 1954-1980, arose out of Jim Crow, urban poverty, and discrimination, and it employed the rhetoric of non-violence, Islam, Black Nationalism and even shades of socialism & communalism.
The authors assert:
Quote:
The extraordinary history of the United States . . .
end quote

American exceptionalism, the engine of much fallacious history.

Quote: as a slaveholding republic . . . end quote.

No, not as a slaveholding republic, as a set of slaveholding colonies that became a slaveholding republic.

Quote: included the kidnapping and brutal transport of blacks from African shores, . . . end quote

Blacks betrayed by black chieftains.

Quote: and the stripping of their language, identity, and culture . . . end quote.

There is much archaeological evidence to suggest that their language, identity and culture continued to be practiced even in the repression of slavery.

Quote: in order to subjugate and exploit them. end quote.

Welll duh.

Quote: It also included the constitutional enshrining of these evils in the form of a Supreme Court decision--Dred Scott v. Sandford--denying to blacks any rights that whites must respect, end quote.

Fine.

Quote: and the establishment of Jim Crow and de jure racial discrimination after Dred Scott was overturned by a civil war and three historic constitutional amendments. end quote.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong.
The establishment of Jim Crow did not occur until the 1880s.
de jure racial discrimination (a pretentious use of words) was Jim Crow, along with numerous cultural conventions and arbitrary social rules.

Slavery and involuntary servitude were overturned by the civil war, but related forms of coercive labor have continued to flourish. The only concept that was challenged was a human being's right to own other human beings. The question of coercive labor is one Americans are afraid to discuss.
The three historic constitutional amendments open the door to gay rights and African-American civil rights. It is only now that people are perceiving what is possible with the Equal Protection Clause in force and extended.

Quote:
It is these basic facts . . . end quote.

These basic opinions is accurate. The use of the word facts is misleading.

Quote:
Whatever wrongs individuals have suffered because some Americans fail in the basic moral obligation to love the sinner, even while hating the sin, there has never been an effort to create a subordinate class subject to exploitation based on "sexual orientation."
end quote.

I don't think we're talking about subordination here.
We're talking about humiliation.

Quote:
It is precisely the indiscriminate promotion of various social groups' desires and preferences as "rights" that has drained the moral authority from the civil rights industry. end quote.

So we shall discriminate among rights to conceal the resulting discrimination among or against people in fact and experience. A pro-Jim Crow white could have made the same argument in 1954.
There is no civil rights industry.
This is equivocation.

Quote: Why should an institution designed for the reproduction of civil society and the rearing of children in a moral environment in which their interests are given pride of place be refashioned to accommodate relationships integrated around intrinsically non-marital sexual conduct? end quote.

And here the authors reveal their true perspectives. They're not arguing, they are preaching.
Who is anyone to define marital and non-marital conduct for the universal set of human beings? The authors are conservatives, period.
These men are highly presumptuous, and presumption is not argument.

This was only the first page of the article, but from it I think one may glean the intent of the authors, one of whom is not a philosopher, but a reverend. Perhaps in his own eyes, a righteous reverend.
And I just want to say that William Kristol is the editor of this publication.
Why does he have a job? He clearly isn't doing it.

I sense a community,

religion, nation and culture here, but the people are extremely unsure of themselves. The shopkeeper is a confident man-- the existence of the foreign does not frighten him because he has integrity. The cleric & his people are all walking on eggs.
I don't read "Baghdad Burning" often because I have certain questions of its author that have not been answered. The site's original language is not Arabic, but English. This indicates that the blog is directed at the Western & American communities in particular. At the very top we read "Girl Blog from Iraq . . . Let's talk war, politics and occupation."
I just sense that I'm being manipulated here.
Still, this particular story is resonant with other things I've heard about Iraq, so I don't mind linking to it or discussing it.

Monday, June 05, 2006

They demand compensation,

but no remedy exists upon the earth.

Will you exalt this?

Would you call the world evoked by these pictures the new normal and embrace it?
Because to do nothing as we face these things is to be consciously, even if unknowingly, complicit in every crime that has been committed. Every single one.

Why evaluate logic

if the presence of a fallacy has no bearing on the truth of the words themselves?
Because when I look at logic, I'm not trying to verify the statements, I'm trying to understand what the argument, or lack thereof, discloses or indicates about the intent of the speaker or writer. A statement may be fallacious but factual, but the fallacious presentation acts often toward the end of manipulating the reader to produce the comfortable and unreasoning state of belief.

If massacres happen

because of the breakdown in authority depicted in this article, the question is fair: can fraggings be behind what we see?

Quote:
The troops in Iraq have been ordered to take refresher courses on battlefield ethics, but a growing body of evidence from Haditha suggests the strain of repeated deployments in Iraq is beginning to unravel the cohesion and discipline of the combat troops. ...
The Newsweek account described a gung-ho battalion that had staged a chariot race, complete with captured horses, togas and heavy metal music, before the battle for Falluja in late 2004. The marines were given loose rules of engagement in the vicious urban warfare that followed. ...
Three senior officers in the Haditha-based 3rd battalion of the first marine regiment, known as the Thundering Third, have been relieved of duty because of a "lack of confidence" in their leadership.
end quote.

A much talked-about

investigative article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is here.
The Lead:
Like many Americans, I spent the evening of the 2004 election watching the returns on television and wondering how the exit polls, which predicted an overwhelming victory for John Kerry, had gotten it so wrong. By midnight, the official tallies showed a decisive lead for George Bush -- and the next day, lacking enough legal evidence to contest the results, Kerry conceded. Republicans derided anyone who expressed doubts about Bush's victory as nut cases in ''tinfoil hats,'' while the national media, with few exceptions, did little to question the validity of the election. The Washington Post immediately dismissed allegations of fraud as ''conspiracy theories,''(1) and The New York Times declared that ''there is no evidence of vote theft or errors on a large scale.''(2) end quote.

Sounds like the door is shut, right? Well, maybe it is, and maybe some hopes are futile.

Another bold attempt to preserve democracy

by our ever-vigilant, well-studied government: the National Security Letter.
First it was administrative subpoena, now it's a National Security Letter.
As if national security is the preservation of democracy.
I'd like to give the FBI, and those who signed the Patriot Act twice, a National Security Kick In The Ass for every National Security Letter ever thought of.

Mr. Floyd, you must be heard.

And here, my hope is that you will be.
He's one of the few people who can write in a textured and definitive manner about the left wing which has been ground under heel by the neocon bastard citizens who have taken over this country and the greed-driven elites that pay them.
The fact that he was banned from the Daily Kos is not in itself worrisome. What is, is their refusal to allow Floyd to respond to the criticisms and epithets leveled at him. Mr. Floyd's blog is titled "Empire Burlesque," and from this day forward, I am featuring it among my links. I have been reading his columns for years, and I am galled that this journalist who possesses strong credentials and who represents many of my views has been alienated by this large site. To silence Floyd is to forbid people to know of him. To silence Floyd to so many is like blinding a crowd, and a blind crowd is always dangerous to itself & others.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?