Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ms. Coulter, Please Report To The Re-Education Camp

I have no doubt that Ann Coulter could complete the above picture. After all, the message is right up her alley. But, that's about as far as I would go in giving her any credit for being on the ball. This rabid dog of a right-wing commentator seems to have been raised on a steady diet of Rush Limbaugh, roller derby girls, and raw meat, and I would not recommend putting your hand anywhere near her mouth.

In her latest screed, she joins in the conservative chorus now blaming enviromentalists and democrats for the current gas prices. Apparently, the oil companies' latest price-gouging is due to us having protected the Alaskan wilderness from oil-drilling. I'm having a hard time drawing the same conclusion, what with oil companies recording murderously obscene profits, and oil execs getting four hundred million-dollar retirement bonuses. The American auto industry's successful ploy of convincing us that we have to drive around in Sherman Tank-sized SUVs that get 17 MPG doesn't quite jibe with what she's saying, either, but, I guess she didn't think about all of that. Thinking isn't what she gets paid to do, anyway, but, at some point, reality has to slap up against that horse face and register. Perhaps when a significant portion of our coastal areas are inundated, and gas is at $6.49 a gallon, Ms. Coulter will come around. But, I'm not betting on it. Most likely, she'll proudly and defiantly go down with the ship, much like that capricious captain in Melville's epic tome. Wouldn't that be just like her.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

After The New Gold Rush

Now that global warming has caused considerable Arctic thaw, the notion of accessing an abundance of new oil is presenting itself as consolation for the damage global warming is bringing. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, and last September saw the lowest extent of ice cover for more than a century. And, there are huge deposits of oil in the Arctic. What incredible good fortune it is for the oil companies that global warming should turn out so propitiously. It's an American tradition to turn lemons into lemonade, and our oil companies are always up for the challenge.

"By the end of this century, the length of the navigation season...along the Northern Sea route is projected to increase to about 120 days from the current 20-30 days..."

How convenient that is. Of course, the probability of spillage increases as well, but that's of no great concern to the companies who see no end of the rainbow for oil profits, in spite of all the talk of peak oil. Their only concern is that they have a future, however short-term it may be. For those wondering why the breaks haven't been applied to global warming, they should now have their answer. The U.S. is not likely to change this unfolding scenario while there is oil to be had in the Arctic, and will play a dangerous game of limbo with our climate. How low can the ice go before the damage is globally catastrophic? One thing's for sure- if weather conditions continue to become more severe, there should be plenty of fuel to burn to stay warm. And so, to the oil companies, it's the kind of win-win situation that brings myopic smiles all around the boardroom.

Those wishing to implement alternative energy have got their hands full in trying to divert this scenario. The public is going to have to be made to demand better fuel efficiency, and, considering that the SUV has become the new status symbol, it's going to be a very ardous task. The public will not budge until they see tangible signs of danger to their own well-being and, by that time, it may be too late to reverse the warming trend. The sense of self-import on the part of American consumers precludes heeding the warning signs, and so it's down the road we go towards oblivion. The acceptance of fossil-fuel useage as part of the status quo is embraced with religious fervor. As a sign of the times, one could almost reverse the popular bumper-sticker slogan to say, "my dogma ran over your karma".

It's a shame that so few have the imagination to envision a world without oil consumption. It was such imagination that once made this country great, as it moved past the time of oil lamps and horse-drawn carriages into a then-futuristic world that relied on innovation. That we have reached such an impasse of ideas speaks volumes for our foundation-driven, dumbed-down educational system and corporate-controlled media, and how we now find ourselves in an evolutionary cul-de-sac, with individualism on the wane. Unless a sudden virus of thinking outside of the box miraculously takes hold, this purgatory of progress will in short order be our undoing.

"Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, April 20, 2006

9/11: S.F. Chronicle Takes The Low Road

The latest 9/11 hit piece, this time issued by one Cinnamon Stillwell, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, has gone just a bit too far out of the realm of respectable journalism. In fact, it told an outrageous lie, for which the Chron has been forced to issue this retraction:

"Cinnamon Stillwell's column Wednesday on SFGate originally stated that images of the plane that struck the Pentagon had been seen by the American public. No such images have been made public."

I'm sorry to see my hometown newspaper sink so low as to allow a no-nothing hack like Cinnamon Stillwell to publish such nonsense. It's obvious what demographic is being targeted here- the SUV-driving, latte-sipping professionals who are not yet clued into what happened on 9/11, and aren't likely to be anytime soon. Much like Betsy Hart, the Suzy Homemaker of FOX, Cinnamon Stillwell is reaching out to her right-wing yuppie bretheren, but has dropped the ball on her toes. The Chronicle was besieged with e-mails and letters, demanding a retraction of her obvious and deliberate falsehood. It may have gone right over the heads of Muffy and Buffy, but, not so for those who are paying attention.

Doesn't this all point to the fact that the 9/11 truth movement is now speaking to a majority? That the mainstream media has to rely on the most dumbed-down of their ranks to bolster the 9/11 cover-up for the remaining drones speaks volumes as to how far the movement has come. Had Ed Asner made it onto CNN as planned, the subsequent duck-and-cover would have been something to behold.

The group Scholars For 9/11 Truth have been putting out solid, well-researched information. Where are the scholars who would de-bunk this information? Cinnamon Stillwell and Betsy Hart are about as scholarly as Paris Hilton, and their brand of Stepford Wife karaoke journalism is to be discarded in the dumpsters of our junk culture. Those two, and any others of their ilk, should stick to writing about sailboats, puppies, and poinsettias, and leave the serious topics to the big people.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind

For this administration, the wheels are most certainly off the track. I can't imagine what it must be like to be a Bush official these days. Pol Pot has had better approval ratings than this. Adding to the wreckage is the former chief economist for Bush's Department of Labor Morgan Reynolds, who will be making a public presentation on 9/11 complicity at the University of Wisconsin on May 6th. Recently, he wrote this on the subject:

"While more Americans doubt the 9/11 story every week, evidence abounds that many have a mental block against rational examination of the evidence of 9/11."

This is no backwater "theorist" speaking, is it? He's one of Bush's former top people, AND a member of Scholars For 9/11 Truth, and he's here to help us with those pesky mental blocks. The whistleblowers are coming out of the woodwork, and the Bush administration is in even more trouble. Recently, Robert Bowman, former head of the Star Wars program, also came forward to say that 9/11 was a set-up. I would like to see Noam Chomsky, or any other 9/11 debunker, debate these people, and see if they can even go one round without making fools of themselves. I suspect they would be drowning on dry land.

Dr. Reynolds' presentation will be accompanied by a screening of the video Loose Change, an excellent documentary on the 9/11 deception that has been making the rounds. In the Dark Ages, church officials refused to look through a telescope and see the universe as it is. Those who deny the obvious evidence for the greatest act of treachery in our country's history are doomed to the same ignominious place in history. But, the fog does seem to be gradually lifting, and Bush's grip on this country is loosening. Despite the best efforts of the administration to keep us distracted by a multitude of other woes, people are smelling smoke, and want to know where it's coming from. When they find out, it could get ugly.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Beyond Impeachment

A poll currently being taken on MSNBC shows 86% favoring impeachment. The exasperation level is reaching fever pitch, and the word is becoming a mantra. Unless I'm mistaken, the last time the polls showed such uproarious disapproval, the president WAS impeached. Those were simpler times, of course, and it had become the mandate for the ruling elite to throw that president overboard. However, if demographics are truly undergoing a change, and the Democrats do well in the mid-terms, then the will and the way to impeachment might just present itself. And, I understand that Neil Young has written a new song called Impeach The President. Well, if Neil says it, then I guess we can count on it, right? Before, he said Let's Roll, and we sure did that. Thanks for finally coming back to the fold, Neil.

Okay, so impeach the bastard, even if it IS five years too late. I'll be cheering for it as much as the next guy. But, when we fall out of the cloud and hit the ground, where will we be? Even if the chain of command falls all the way down to the Speaker of the House, we're still left with a Republican. Would President Hastert pull out of Iraq, quit the Patriot Act, disband Homeland Security, and cease deficit spending? Most likely, he would "play it safe", and sit on his hands until the election.

Another intriguing question is who he would appoint as Vice-President. The last time that happened, it was Nelson Rockefeller. Imagine that rattlesnake just a heartbeat away from the presidency. It's interesting to note that there were three serious attempts made to assassinate President Ford. Go dig up the PBS special on the Rockefellers, and listen to brother Laurance say, "Nelson said he wanted to be the president, and I told him later, you have failed". It's hard to believe that Sharon Rockefeller, former chairwoman of PBS, would allow that to slip through, but, there you have it. There must have been happier times for those boys, but it sure wasn't in the '70's.

I may be jumping the gun here, as impeachment isn't very likely, but it's frustrating to not hear of any real vision beyond that horizon. Do we sail triumphantly across the river, escaping the 300-lb gorilla, only to discover that we're riding on the back of a crocodile? History is littered with the remains of those went back to sleep after a tyrant had been deposed. The I-Ching, while known primarily for divination, is actually a parable about the safe transition from despotism to benign rule. One would wish that the current and soon-to-be Democratic legislators would read it. Or, at least, the history of Watergate, and all that followed in it's wake.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Making The McWorld In Our Image

I guess it isn't enough that we tacitly agree to dumb down here in our own country. No, we really want the rest of the world to be just as crass and tasteless as we are. There are new markets to conquer, and they need to be softened up. We'll export our glittering mediocrity with a happy face, but you'll be staring down the barrel of a gun if you dare to resist. Friendly fascism works out real well here, but it can take something a little more brutal to get the folks abroad to dance the dance.

Much in the way Christianity was once spread throughout the world, now American-bred idiocy pushes it's way through the thicket and brush, overturning the temples as it goes. Cable TV, junk culture and bad drugs are finding their way into everyone's neighborhood, and it's an ugly scene. But, hey, if Desperate Housewives and paxil work for us, then it should work for them. And, there's plenty of room down here at the bottom.

If those ancient lizards of rock, The Rolling Stones, can slither over the Great Wall of China, then is Madonna far behind? Will Pepsi be the pause that refreshes after a hot day in the Nike factories? Of course, the toughest nut to crack will always be the fundamentalist Muslims, but that's what the bombs, tanks, and torture chambers are all about. Once the door is finally open and a little light shines in, the turbans will give way to Yankee caps, and the Koran will be put aside for People magazine. If not, well, there'll just have to be far fewer muslims in the world. We have our ways, don't you know. I'm just wondering who will cut the ribbon when the global theme park is officially opened.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Democratic Underground Gets Underhanded

It figures that the biggest "progressive" forum on the web would suppress discussion of 9/11 complicity, and relegate it to the cellar of their forum. Democratic Underground will tolerate no posting of 9/11 information, or links to it, on the main discussion boards. This is what democracy DOESN'T look like.

Long-time contributers to Democracy Underground have been permanently banned for having crossed the line. The head moderator's excuse for this shameless censorship is that too many 9/11 threads were cropping up, and so they had to be relegated to their own page. What lousy reasoning that is. Why, then, aren't other popular topics similarly paired off? How many threads that start with "Bush said this", or "Bush is going to do that" can anyone read? This moderator is full of shit.

It seems to be a matter of course that anything so popular is eventually compromised. Once upon a time, indymedia was a great wellspring of progressive and activist information sharing. After it started to reach mass proportions, the open publishing section was moved from the front page, and doomed to relative obscurity. What were once well-read headlines are now a mere cypher. Well, the left gatekeepers are popping up everywhere. You spray and you spray, but they just keep coming back.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Asinine Assertions From The 9/11 Debunkers

To counter Charlie Sheen's appearance on CNN to call out Bush and the neocons on 9/11 complicity, FOX has trotted out...Betsy Hart. Make no mistake about it, she's speaking to those with a less-than-stellar mental landscape here, and her sophomoric rhetoric is made-to-order for the SUV and cellphone crowd. Let's see what Dumbed-Down Betsy had to say:

I'm the first one to suggest that we in a democracy should have a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to our government. I would sure like to know how the United States ever became vulnerable to such attacks in the first place! But our skepticism has to be based on thoughtfulness, knowledge and right principles. (Have other conservatives, and liberals _ have I? _ gone so far, too far, in trying to question a legitimate government that this is what we get?)

In any event, what the conspiracy theorists won't answer is why our government would do such a thing as 9/11 _ and more to the point, if it committed this terrible crime and then, essentially, got away with it, why hasn't it "finished" the job? Conspiracy theorists repeatedly claim that no one can answer why there are so MANY conspiracy theorists, so that alone gives their theories credence.

That's a circular argument to say the least, but here's at least one reason for the conspiracy theories that I find compelling: the threat of Islamic terrorism is so frightening, so unpredictable, so unknowable that in some ways it's easier and more manageable for some folks to think that our government is behind it all. Exposing the terrorists for who they are resolves little _ evil must still be fought, and the endgame in some minds is uncertain. But if the administration could be exposed for "initiating these attacks," it would provide final, "easy" resolution _ and it would end the administration and any influence its adherents have, forever.

Heavens to Betsy. I'm supposed to be so frightened by Islamic terrorism that I comfort myself in denying it and blaming it on Bush instead. How could I have known? Leave it to Betsy Hart's remarkable perception to shine a light into the depths of my subconcious mind. It's "easier and more manageable" to believe that my country is ruled by sociopaths with blood on their hands than to accept that bad guys in turbans really exist, and, of course, hate us for our freedom. How could I have been so misguided?

Betsy also said that we won't answer why the neocons would do such a thing. That lie is especially for the benefit of the aforementioned low-IQ drones who have never read a thing that counters the official line on 9/11. They didn't hear Bush say, "I won the trifecta". They don't see Halliburton's profit margin. They don't know that the war has taken much of Iraq's oil off of the market, thus driving oil prices to record heights. They don't realize that 9/11 has conveniently turned the Bush administration into a defacto dictatorship. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. And, Homemaker Betsy is here to hold their hands through all this awful conspiracy theory stuff now cropping up in the mainstream media. Imagine Kathy Lee Gifford combined with Rush Limbaugh, and you have the heinous Betsy Hart.

Over on the left side of the fence, we have Doug Thompson, a previously respected blogger and editor of Capitol Hill Blue. Given Mr. Thompson's usually unassailable work, one wonders if a gun is not pointed at his head for suddenly spewing such mindless drivel in defense of the official line on 9/11. Much of what he said is just plain lies, and flies in the face of solid, rational research, and he suggests that 9/11 researchers just have their own agendas.

Of course, Mr. Thompson cannot and will not respond to the question of why Building 7 fell, as it was not hit by a plane. He and the other debunkers will just go on hurling invectives at researchers and the celebrities who back them up, and insist that it's case closed. There will be no point-by-point debates with these people, as they can only lose in resounding fashion. The great Noam Chomsky has dismissed the whole thing out of hand, and refuses to discuss it. How the mighty have fallen.

That these debunkers are there at all, much less painting themselves into corners, indicates an urgency to roll back the recent wave of 9/11 exposure. That is guilt by association, and it only serves to point up the truth of what 9/11 researchers are saying, and to throw more fuel on the fire. They can paint stripes on the horse all they want, but it is still no zebra. Given the growing climate of mistrust in the Bush administration, and the turning away from the mainstream media, it is certainly within the realm of possibility that the cover-up unravels before the term is up. Good luck, debunkers. I wouldn't want to be in your shoes.