Saturday, June 25, 2005
The American Research Group poll shows that 60% of registered voters disapprove of the Bushmauling of the economy, about the same percentage as all Americans.
To understand what this means you need to factor in that 77% of Republicans loyally approve of Bushonomics. And of course a nice round 85% of Democrats say he sucks. So to get to a 60% diapproval, you need:
INDEPENDENTS 15% approve; 79% disapprove.
And of everyone who approves of Big Bushyness, only 41% believe the economy next year will be better.
So suddenly it looks like Loss of Faith Based Economics.
The National Economy
Friday, June 24, 2005
The New York Times reports that a judge in Italy has ordered the arrest of 13 CIA operatives for kidnapping a terrorist suspect and delivering him to Egypt, where he was allegedly tortured.
Something like a hundred suspects have been cynically delivered to third party torturers.
This is the first time that this shameful thugish practice has met with public, official opposition anywhere. It isn't even that the person kidnapped was undeniably innocent--in fact the kidnapping disrupted European investigations into terrorist networks that have caused far more trouble there than here.
"The international community must struggle against terrorism and international terrorist groups in accordance with international laws and the rights of the defendants," the official said. "Otherwise, we are giving victory to the terrorists."
Italian Judge Orders Arrest of 13 CIA Operatives for Kidnapping - New York Times
Thursday, June 23, 2005
They've got most of the money, the manufacturing jobs, the biggest malls, and some of the biggest corporations---and now they're more popular.
Thanks in part to the war in Iraq that Robert Kennedy Jr. calls "humiliating," the U.S. is way less popular in the world than China.
In most countries surveyed, Americans are seen as "inventive" and "hardworking", but they are also seen by many in both Western and predominately Muslim countries as "violent" and "greedy" - a judgement with which many Americans agree.
And proud of it, too, the even sadder part.
BBC NEWS Americas China 'is more popular' than US
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Are you a student having trouble understanding what the concept called "Catch-22" means? It's at the core of the novel '>Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, which is today considered a classic and is widely assigned, in areas where it is not yet banned.
Your ever-helpful government is here with a demonstration of Catch-22 in action, and it's no farther away than your local library, in areas that still have them!
The Patriot Act contains a provision, called Section 215, that permits Your Government to gather information on your reading from libraries. For example, Your Government could find out if you happen to have withdrawn a copy of Catch-22.
Critics of Your Government in Action say this is unwarranted intrusion that violates the First Amendment to the Constitution, and smacks of the Orwellian mind control society of '>Nineteen-Eighty Four.
Your Government says this is nonsense, that in fact in has never used Section 215 to gather information from libraries, for example, on people who read Nineteen Eighty-Four or the '>U.S. Constitution. Though libraries report more than 200 requests for such information from the U.S. government, they cannot say if these requests were made with the authority of Section 215.
Section 215 prohibits libraries from telling anyone that such a request under 215 has been made. Therefore, there is no information to challenge Your Government's assertion that it has never used Section 215. Nor can there ever be.
This educational experience has been brought to you by Your Government in Action.
If you are reading this in a library, you may feel secure knowing that if Your Government investigates people who read this column, you will never know about it. Of course, if you wind up in a cell at Guantanamo, you might begin to wonder.
Fishing in the Card Catalogs - New York Times
Monday, June 20, 2005
There's a book waiting to be written about the marriage of fear and decadence in today's Washington: how a wartime mentality is fostered and linked with an unprecedented decadence that makes the age of Teapot Dome a tech rehearsal. One sure sign is the establishment press using the ridicule of an overstuffed decadent superiority in support of power, which maintains itself by keeping the wealthy and fashionable few satisfied and busy, while it keeps the rest of society under control with fear and nationalist fervor, this time linked with the false pieties of a religious cult so convinced of its sole possession of the truth that it excuses any ruthlessness or mendacity that supports it.
The latest example of press decadence is the Washington Post report of the Conyers Downing Street Minutes hearings, skewered by Rep. Conyers himself in a letter reproduced in full in a report by the Nation's John Nichols:Conyers vs. The Post - Yahoo! News
The New York Times and Washington Post were something of establishment mouthpieces until some of their reporters in the field in Vietnam in the mid 60s began to report facts that countered the Washington and Pentagon lies. These papers then distinguished themselves by printing the Pentagon Papers, which in part revealed how well they had served the government's interests. Watergate reporting was also a high point for the Post a few years later.
But the fact that Deep Throat is revealed to be an ailing 91 year old suggests how long ago that was. Apparently the Post reporters have returned to mirroring and mimicking those in power, perhaps grateful for their large incomes and looking forward to even better accomodations in the club. Unfortunately, others will pay for their decay.