A conservative blogger recently challenged liberals by saying that if they couldn’t even think of one positive thing George W. Bush has done, they were completely blinded by ideology. I thought about it and I finally found just one good thing GWB has done. He has revolutionized and reinvigorated the Playing Card Industry. This is an actual image from a real anti-liberal card deck.
I just received the most disgusting political mailing I have ever seen, courtesy of Tom Delay. It is a blatant attempt by this ultra-rightwing Texan to influence the upcoming Iowa Presidential caucuses. I have scanned the 21 page document and produced a downloadable 1.4Mb PDF so you can see it for yourself.
This 20 page bulletin from Rev. Lou Sheldon of the “Traditional Values Coalition” came under a cover letter from Tom DeLay. There ought to be a law against Members of the House meddling in politics outside their district. Maybe there is a law, I don’t know, but if there isn’t, there ought to be. DeLay won’t be satisfied until the entire country is reshaped into a conservative rule under a christian god. And there’s where I really got irritated.
The Sheldon letter opens by addressing me as “Dear Christian Friend.” How do I get on these mailing lists? I am neither a christian, nor a friend of conservatives. From there, the letter is 100% lies. I spent a few moments analyzing some of the lies, and when I got to their assertion that the 9th Federal District Court ruled “the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional because it contains the phrase ‘one nation under god’…” my head just about exploded. No, the Pledge is not unconstitutional, it can be recited in the schools as long as it omits “under god.” Unfortunately, most Iowans are unsophisticated enough to be duped by these lies.
This nasty propaganda piece lays the blame for all evil at the feet of Tom Daschle, it claims he blocked Bush’s radical conservative judge activists from confirmation, preventing the Religious Right from assuming their god-given place as rulers of the USA. It spends much time slandering the ACLU for their defense of Bill of Rights and the Separation of Church and State. I guess religious activists have no use for the US Constitution.
There is so much offensive garbage in this mailing, I cannot even begin to describe it. I encourage you to read it for yourself, and fight back against this attempt to manipulate voters with lies.
I saw something appalling on TV yesterday, I would have captured it for BlogTV but I decided I didn’t want to give this more publicity than it deserved. Here is the idea. Some exercise trainer advised continuously repeating the Pledge of Alliegance while jogging. The theory was that you should be able to speak out loud while jogging, if you couldn’t speak clearly due to shortness of breath, you were overworking yourself. The hyperpatriot lunatic trainer somehow seized upon the current frenzy, and declared the Pledge as the perfect speech for joggers. Perhaps there is something to this idea of using the Pledge as a motivational device for exercise. If I see some sweaty guy jogging down the street chanting the Pledge over and over, I’m running the other way as fast as I can.
Whenever I’m bored and feel like I have nothing to say, I go through my old files and pull some old images. Here’s a strange piece of politicial artwork I made back in the days of the first Gulf War.
When I made this image, nobody understood it. I guess you had to know the backstory. I hate explaining my work, but I guess I have to. George H.W. Bush was infamous for a saying he hated broccoli. In one amusing incident, Bush spoke at a college commencement and the students all wore corsages of broccoli. About that same time, Iraq took some British hostages, and released a video with Saddam Hussein showing how he made sure they had humane treatment. A young boy is shown sitting at a breakfast table with a big box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, and Saddam asks if he’s getting enough milk with his corn flakes. Apparently Saddam thought it would be great propaganda if he showed the British hostage kid eating something that was rare and extremely expensive in Iraq, imported corn flakes with real milk.
I was going through some files and found this newspaper clipping from about 1970. I thought I’d post it just for no reason at all. The caption reads
That venerable institution, Nelson Rockefeller, with sidekick Bob Dole looking on, vents his political philosophy on a group of student demonstrators who had previously vented theirs. The action occurred in Binghamton, N.Y., on Thursday. Need we ask why Rocky was fingered for the job?
I frequently review my referrers log, to see who is sending hits to my page. Occasionally I see something exceptionally strange. Currently my top referrer for April is www.iaea.org, which makes no sense because there are no links to any site on their page. I’ve seen this sort of thing before and I always assumed it was a DNS glitch misrouting links to my page.
Today, I just saw the most chilling entry in my referrer log. I tried to check the site but it is obviously firewalled from the regular internet. Here is the URL, read it and be afraid, be very afraid:
Think about that for a second. If the FBI is using sequential record numbers, they have computerized files on over 750,000 people, and it appears they’re monitoring me. Also consider, we have no idea how high the record numbers go, there could be millions of “suspects.”
Update: In the comments, it was suggested that the URL came from a web browser that fakes the referrer. I never heard of such a thing, but I figured it was likely to be a dumb prank like this.
CNN published a photograph of the protest I just attended.
At the end of this rally, the organizers announced there were over 300 people at this rally, I figure it was closer to 500. But you would never know from this photo, it looks like this guy was the only one there. As usual, the media deliberately distorted the truth.
Ironically, this is a guy I came up to and offered my Biggie 50 marker so he could blacken in his lettering, this picture was taken before we fixed the sign. They picked this guy because he had the scruffiest sign, torn from a cardboard box with the label still attached. CNN is doing everything it can to disparage the protesters and give them a bad image, and make them look like solitary losers.
For the first time in my life, I attended an antiwar protest. I was sitting at home watching CNN, CBS, MSNBC, etc. pumping out war porn, when suddenly a short local news segment came on showing a protest forming in my town. The newscaster scoffed at the protesters, claiming there were only a dozen or so, and that the protest would be unlikely to grow since this is a college town and everyone is on spring break. I immediately decided to join the protest they needed support from everyone they could reach. I quickly took a large sheet of poster board, wrote NO WAR in sumi ink with a large brush, and then splattered it with droplets of red paint that looked like blood. I had to dry the paint with a hair dryer so I could get downtown in a hurry.
I arrived at the protest just as they started to march. As usual, the media lied, there were hundreds of people marching. We marched down the city’s main street, forming a line several blocks long. As we marched past the Fire House, I noticed firemen taking photos, so I shouted out “money for firefighters, not war!” and a rousing yell of agreement came from the crowd. The media was in attendance, and many cameras focused on my sign, one of the most graphic in the protest. We reached the main plaza and as we listened to some bad speeches, a crazy veteran in a tattered military jacket assaulted one of the protesters. He was arrested. The military teaches people that every problem has a violent solution. We must stop the military juggernaut, if only for that reason; it teaches people violence and then discharges them back into the populace.
I returned home, and turned on CNN. They were showing helicopter video of protests on Market Street in San Francisco. Aaron Brown was denouncing the protesters for violence, as he replayed the video repeat over and over. But the video clearly showed something else was happening, it was like Brown didn’t even look at the video. Protesters were standing in the intersection, shutting down the street. A car forced its way into the crowd, the protesters surrounded it and sat down in front of it. Suddenly, a redneck with a mullet haircut jumped out of the car and started beating on the protesters, they jumped back as he ran after them. Another protester jumped into the car and swiped the guy’s car keys. Other protesters did exactly what they are supposed to do, they tried to defuse the situation, they grabbed the protester and took the keys away and gave them back to the angry, violent guy. Then mullet-head started hitting the protesters again. It was sickening, but not as sickening as hearing Aaron Brown describing the protesters as violent. It was the bystanders that were violent, just like the protest I attended.
I read a few Direct Action manuals from militant SF protest groups, and I can immediately see what went wrong. Human bodies alone cannot shut down a major road if you’ve got nutcases prepared to drive right over the crowd, you need more. What they should have done is drive a car into the middle of the intersection, start a left turn across all lanes, then stop and turn off the key, get out, and raise the hood and fiddle with the engine like you’re having car trouble. A few stalled cars separated by a block each, and the whole city is gridlocked.
I could also give a few tips to our local protesters. First, dogs and dense crowds do not mix, leave your dog at home. I heard numerous yipes and yips from dogs as their paws were stepped on by marchers. Second, if you use a bullhorn or amplifier, you must keep the microphone well behind the speaker or you get feedback. Thirdly, nobody can read signs written in 1/4 inch magic markers, get some poster paint and a 2 inch brush, or a Biggie 50. And last of all, if it’s cold and damp, give the crowd some rousing speeches with opportunities to yell and clap and stomp, if for no other reason than to keep their bodies moving and warm. Otherwise, they’ll drift away.
I stayed to the end of the final speech, and then asked one of the protesters who was attacked what happened and if the guy was arrested. He said, “I hope not, he was just upset.” Hell, we’re all upset, I would not have been so magnanimous. But I was refilled with pride at the behavior of the peace activists, they were attacked in a most cowardly fashion, attacked from behind when they could not see the approaching blow nor defend against it, and they refused to retaliate. The violent ones are the true cowards.