DemocracyMeansYou

Daily political commentary and satire. We encourage your comments and participation!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

State of Denial 2005

War on terror, freedom, Iraq, social security, liberty, courage, respect, dreams, blah, blah, blah.

As usual, what Bush says sounds great. If he actually did the things he said so grandiosely I wouldn’t have half the problems with him that I do. He has fantastic speechwriters and he’s improved at public speaking tremendously. In fact, he has some of the best speechwriters in history.

But it doesn’t change at all the fact that he was lying through his teeth the entire time. At every opportunity, symbolism, patriotism, emotionalism, and generalizations were waved like post-9/11 flags and yellow ribbons. A woman from Iraq whose father was assassinated. Parents of dead soldiers. It’s even better scripted and presented than the most masterful propaganda of Hitler and Leni Riefenstahl.

But actions speak louder than words for those who are listening. Just as with the SOTU addresses of the past four years, words don’t feed the hungry, don’t provide armor for the troops, don’t actually give the $15 million to AIDS treatment in Africa, don’t decrease the debt, don’t improve or provide for education, and on and on.

Sickly sweet tributes to the troops, tugging at the heartstrings of America, telling us that “we are in Iraq to create a democratic society,” as if that’s why we were there in the first place. His speechwriters seem to have left out the “grave and gathering threat,” with a “smoking gun that might come in the form of a mushroom cloud.” In fact, with everything, it’s a matter of fact as convenience, and when inconvenient, deny the facts. Or better, ignore them completely.

"On the sixth day of Hate Week, after the processions, the speeches, the shouting, the singing, the banners, the posters, the films, the waxworks, the rolling of drums and squealing of trumpets, the tramp of marching feet, the grinding of the caterpillars of tanks, the roar of massed planes, the booming of guns — after six days of this, when the great orgasm was quivering to its climax and the general hatred of Eurasia had boiled up into such delirium that if the crowd could have got their hands on the 2,000 Eurasian war-criminals who were to be publicly hanged on the last day of the proceedings, they would unquestionably have torn them to pieces — at just this moment it had been announced that Oceania was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally." -- George Orwell, 1984

I have never in my 38 years seen or heard more Orwellian speech, behavior, and scripting than I have with this administration. It’s terrifying to me. And millions of others. And the 50 million who voted for Bush keep tossing the facts of recent—or distant—history into the memory hole. Eurasia is an ally.

As one of the best things John Kerry managed to say, "four words: more of the same."

It has proven true, already. Not that I expected otherwise.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Elections In Iraq (and Columbus)

First let’s deal with the bullshitters: No, “we” do not want elections and democracy to fail in Iraq. Let’s not be idiots here, shall we?

Regardless of anyone’s position on the war on Iraq, the only people who actually want democracy to fail there are either far-left morons or far-right morons. The far-lefties, like some of the more obnoxious A.N.S.W.E.R. people I know and the like want democracy to fail in Iraq to prove the Bushies and American imperialism wrong. The far-righties don’t officially want democracy to fail, but if you look at their idea of democracy… exactly.

That said, elections in Iraq are both a stepping stone and a sham all in one. We can look the behavior of the Bushies regarding the elections in the United States to predict the basics of what will happen in Iraq. Here, “elections are imperfect,” and anyone questioning the process or the outcome is called an adherent to the “X-files wing of the Democratic party.” No reform will be allowed, no need for it will be acknowledged, and the electoral winners talk loudly and religiously about cooperation but continue to steamroll any opposition, and beat critics as violently as possible with olive branches, just as they’ve been doing all along.

There, the Bush administration and its cons will declare victory regardless of the facts on the ground, just like they’ve done from the start. They will “be positive” by endlessly repeating the looped fact that elections are happening and therefore democracy is a success (and “hard work”), ignoring the cost in American (1400+ lives, 20,000 injuries) blood, Iraqi blood (at least 25,000, possibly over 100,000 killed, probably a million wounded), future damage to Iraqis (Depleted Uranium is again being used and left in Iraq for future generations of birth defects and cancer) international law, and history.

Just as Mission Accomplished was declared by Bush trotting around in his Air Force Drag, Election Accomplished will be a rhetorical and marketing achievement, but mean very little to either winning the hearts and minds, or even just winning the war.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Pre-Apocalyptic DC

For those of you who didn't get to the inauguration, you missed a glimpse of what might be coming.

It was amazing how effectively DC was shut down and controlled for the inauguration. Literally, about 100 square blocks were closed to traffic. Which means that in some sections, streets were totally abandoned, except for dark-tinted SUVs from the FBI, cop cars, and believe it or not, busses blocking off entire streets.



Helicopters flew overhead like constantly spying mosquitos, and there wasn't a square foot without a cop or two, at least. I kept saying "post-apocalyptic" until someone suggested my sense of history was off, and corrected me with "pre-apocalyptic."

Now I know what it will look like in DC when the next attack happens and we're under martial law. Only the cops will be much less friendly.

Not that I blame anyone; this was definitely a high-profile target for terror. It's still a real threat. But it' s still unnerving in the context of the increasingly-controlled-and-controlling, secretive, and vindictive Bush administration to witness DC being as controlled as Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan.

But honestly, that doesn't disturb me as much as the sheer in-your-face arrogance and hubris, the sheer cost of this thing, with no respect for either real conservative values of thrift, no respect for the hundreds of thousands dead in the tsunami, and no respect for the District of Columbia, who the Bushies screwed to the tune of 12 million dollars for the cost of security, as we mentioned previously on the blog.

And the mink... oy. And the gaggles of born-again school trips. And the angry young brown suit Republicans.

...And of course, the fact that all this security is largely necessary because of international policies like Bush's over the years.

Believe me, there is no going back to pre-9/11, and there's going to be no slowing down until we get responsible and progressive candidates in office who don't alienate and provoke the rest of the world.

Sure, it's a dangerous world. Neither I nor you are so stupid as to fall into the sterotypical but incorrect "why can't we all get along" image of liberals that so many knee-jerk jerk Republicans have of us. That's stupid.

It's a jungle out there. But only idiots tease the animals.






Sunday, January 23, 2005

Why is DMY offline? Homeland Security?

Nope. Just my own stupidity, sorry. It would be much more exciting if I were on some sort of watch list and were interfered with, but I don't flatter myself. Who knows, maybe I should.

Regardless, we messed up with the domain registration. For stupid reasons, it's registered through another company than our more than fantastic hosting company, Hostasaurus.com, and we hadn't updated the notification email ... so we missed it when they told us it was about to expire. That simple. And now it's changed.

Regardless, it will co$t us a pretty penny to get it out of lockdown by ICANN before it goes on the market again. (Which, by the way, we've already done, so don't worry about DMY getting hijacked by some rabid right wing schmucks. It's still run by us rabid left wing schmucks.)

Let it be a lesson to the rest of us on the left who have this tendency to not be so organized: Get with the program.


Monday, January 17, 2005

Little Known Fact About MLK (and you)

There will be so much said about it by far more articulate people than I that I'm going to keep this short for a change.

Here's a true story about Martin Luther King, Jr. that I heard today.

I met a man today who's father went to seminary with MLK. His father was selected to march next to King because he was blonde, blue eyed, southern, and very, very white. this can be seen in some of the documentaries of the Chicago marches.

While marching shoulder to shoulder with King in Chicago, Scott's father heard him muttering over and over again, “This is crazy. What were we thinking? We're going to get killed. We should all just go home and live.”

He was scared shitless. Yet he had the courage to do what needed to be done. I think that's about the most inspiring story I've ever heard about the man. But not for the usual reasons. Not because MLK was such a great man that he could overcome his fear, buck up his courage and march... but because it means that he was not one whit different than the rest of us, scared, unsure, questioning, and doing the best he could despite all odds against him.

It means to me that ANY of us can do it, and I suspect King would agree with me. We all have the courage. But we don't think we do because we're scared.

Well, he was fucking scared, too.

So we no longer have an excuse.

Happy Martin Luther King day.

May we all rise to his very human greatness, and act on our courage despite our fears.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Sticking it to DC

Today's embarrassing political chicanery? The Bush-led congress is refusing to foot the bill for the inauguration this year--unlike every other inauguration in history (that I'm aware of).

Why? Because Washington DC votes Democratic.

The Bush administration is telling DC to take the 12 million shortfall out of their HOMELAND SECURITY budget. Nice, eh?

So, let's get the priorities straight:

1) Lavish payoffs and celebrations for your friends
2) Screw everyone else

Got it? Great. Now you can be a Bush Republican!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Bravery, Sour Grapes, Sore Cheaters, and Elephant Turds

Two thumbs up to Barbara Boxer!

Barbara Boxer was courageous enough to stand with the Democratic Ohio representatives to challenge the electoral votes in Ohio this time around. Make sure to call her to say “thank you for having the courage to uphold real democracy.”

Her number is

(909) 888-8525 phone

(909) 888-8613 fax

Here’s her statement:

http://boxer.senate.gov/news/record.cfm?id=230450

As all objective viewers of the 2004 election know, whether Americans or unofficial international observers reading the papers abroad, there were tens of thousands of incidents of so-called “irregularities” in voting, especially in the battleground states of Ohio and Florida.

No other democratic country, whether in “old Europe” or Israel or more recently democratized countries in South America would ever stand for the kind of elephant crap that happened in the 2000, 2002, or 2004 elections.

No other democratic country would even dream of allowing privatized secret software for computerized voting machines that have no paper trail.

Ohio’s Secretary of State Blackman did everything he could to marginalize Democratic voters, starting with the “80-lb paper” shenanigans (only voter registrations on 80-lb paper would be accepted, meaning registrations that were submitted after newspapers published voter registration forms, and the like would be ignored), continuing with the intentional lack of voting machines in heavily Democratic leaning districts, allowing bogus Republican “challenges” at polls, doing everything possible to interfere with voters either voting or having their votes counted… the list could take up the whole Internet.

It’s clear to everyone who wants to see it that there was interference with a clear, clean electoral process, and it was mostly—hell, almost entirely—carried out by Republicans.

Now that Boxer has had the courage to do what no senator did in 2000, the bad apples and sore cheaters in the GOP are calling it “grandstanding,” “sour grapes,” “sore losing.” Heh. Tom DeLay even called it “President Bush’s historic reelection,” and called Democrats who were questioning the fairness of the election followers of the “X-Files wing” of the Democratic party.

What a hero, eh?

Unfortunately, I can’t yet find his speech on the House floor today about it. Trust me, it was shameful, exclusionary, accusatory, and full of lies and misrepresentations. He, and they, consistently talk about integrity, rights, trust, all that highfalutin stuff, but will not acknowledge the concerns of millions of Americans about the sanctity of their votes. Nice.

So basically, the leadership of the GOP is going to pretend that everything was normal, the elections were fair and balanced, and that this is simply a political stunt by Democrats to take away Bush’s power and question his legitimacy. Of course, they should know, because that’s their standard operating procedure, but actually, they’re wrong.

This is about democracy here at home. Who the hell are we to talk about democracy in the world when 50 million Americans believe that there was something dreadfully wrong with the process here? And GOP leaders do everything in their power to sideline election reform, from insisting on NO PAPER TRAIL for, and NO FREE ACCESS TO THE CODE of electronic voting machines, not even acknowledging that electronic or not electronic voting machines were unevenly distributed in critical states like Florida and Ohio, and on and on and on.

Who screams the loudest about reform and fair play? The GOP leadership. Who does everything they can to avoid it? Same folks.

I do have some compassion for regular folks who don’t know who to believe, who don’t know where to find information, don’t know who to trust, or what have you. It’s inexcusable, but I have compassion for them.

But I can’t believe that the GOP leadership is fooled into believing their own lies and paranoia. It’s purposeful. It’s intentional. It’s a strategy. Don’t fall for it. And don’t let anyone get away with repeating it.