Monthly Archives: January, 2004

New Movie Called "The Corporation"

This movie looks like it’s very very important. Its subject matter is horrific, or rather it documents our time’s truly big story, that the so-called “librul” media, which won’t even take our Super Bowl ad money let alone our ideology, of how private power has corrupted everything. Here’s a review. Their links page is especially good. I didn’t know the Multinational Monitor links were so extensive.

In fact, from those MM links, try out Oligopoly Watch, where we learn all about how “slotting” practices determine the politics behind the California supermarket strike.

 

From Robert B. Reich and the New York Times, what the Democratic primary is really all about:

The dismal fifth-place showing by Senator Joseph Lieberman in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday serves as both reminder and motivator to the other Democratic presidential candidates on what it will take to win in November. For so long now, everyone has assumed that recapturing the presidency depends on who triumphs in the battle between liberals and moderates within the party. Such thinking, though, is inherently flawed. The real fight is between those who want only to win back the White House and those who also want to build a new political movement — one that rivals the conservative movement that has given Republicans their dominant position in American politics.

By now, I’m supposed to be settled in on this: Anybody But Bush. After all, it is hardly a secret that I despise the man. The trouble is that I can’t sign on to anything that simple simply because it is that simple.

You see, I am a Movement Liberal, and I am tired of getting my head stomped on for the last 20 years by the radical ideologues of the Movement Conservatives. The Presidency is not enough for me. They’ve wanted my head, and now I want theirs.

But isn’t Anybody But Bush better than Bush, you ask? Think about it. What chance will a non-Movement Democrat have with a Congress and Supreme Court stacked with Movement Conservatives? If you thought what they did to Clinton was bad, remember, they have further consolidated their power since then, and they are going to be mad as hell if Bush gets beaten. (It couldn’t after all be Bush’s fault, could it?)

But that’s only the start. Greenspan is going to extraordinary lengths to hold together the jobless recovery until after the election. After that, all bets are off. And where Bush has positioned the country, you can almost bet on a severe crash. If a Democrat is in, that Democrat will get blamed, and the Movement Conservatives will further entrench themselves. The worst of all possible worlds.

So no, it is not sufficient to simply win the Presidency; we must also bring along our “Movement” if we do. If the Democrats want to simply put up a “safe” candidate, then I just can’t go along. Better to vote for Bush and have the chance that way of sweeping out the Movement Conservatives as they finish wrecking the economy and launch war after war. And if worse comes to worse, we can all just have four more years of fun trying to impeach the bastard.

A Benedict@Large Opinion.

If you are a U.S. Citizen who lives or has an address within the United States, you can use this link to:
  • Register to vote in your State;
  • Report a change of name to your voter registration office;
  • Report a change of address to your voter registration office; or
  • Register with a political party.

You must also have an inkjet or lasar printer and Adobe Acrobat Reader. (You can get Adobe Acrobat Reader here.) This link will provide you with a completed voter registration application for your state, and (optionally) a pre-addressed envelope to your voter registration office. [Note: If zip code selection doesn't work for you, use the state selection option.]

This on-line registration service is provided by the Democratic National Committee, though you need not register as a Democrat to avail yourself of it. I’ve used it myself (to alter my party affiliation), and it’s quite easy.

What we know

Dennis Kucinich knew it

And said so

Thousands of bloggers knew it

And said so

Intelligence experts knew it

And said so

Newspaper columnists knew it

And said so

Millions of protesters worldwide knew it

And said so, loud and clear

George W. Bush knew it

And lied, and continues to lie

Dick Cheney knew it

And lied, and continues to lie

Condeleeza Rice knew it

And lied, and continues to lie

Donald Rumsfeld knew it

And lied, and continues to lie

Colin Powell knew it

And lied, and continues to lie

Corporate media mouthpieces knew it

And lied, and continue to lie

What did they all know?

Iraq had no WMD

Iraq was not a grave and gathering threat

Iraqi citizens did not deserve death and DU

“Iraq has not committed any act of aggression against the United States. Iraq was not responsible for 911. No credible evidence exists linking Iraq to Al Qaeda’s role in 911. Iraq was not responsible for the anthrax attack on our nation. The United Nations has yet to establish that Iraq has usable weapons of mass destruction. There is no intelligence that Iraq has the ability to strike at the United States.”

Dennis Kucinich

U.S. Representative Swearing-In Ceremony

Sunday, January 5, 2003; Cleveland, Ohio

(quote via Public Domain Progress)

Slouching toward Big Brother

Unfortunately, it’s rare to hear this level of informed debate. Few people remind us how minor the terrorist threat really is. Rarely do we discuss how little identification has to do with security, and how broad surveillance of everyone doesn’t really prevent terrorism. And where’s the debate about what’s more important: the freedoms and liberties that have made America great or some temporary security?

Instead, the Department of Justice, fueled by a strong police mentality inside the administration, is directing our nation’s political changes in response to Sept. 11. And it’s making trade-offs from its own subjective perspective–trade-offs that benefit it even if they are to the detriment of others.

Diagnosing Benny Morris: the mind of a European settler

Morris’ disease was diagnosed over forty years ago, by Frantz Fanon. Based on his experience in subjugated Africa, Fanon observed that “the colonial world is a Manichean world. It is not enough for the settler to delimit physically, that is to say, with the help of the army and the police, the place of the native. As if to show the totalitarian character of colonial exploitation, the settler paints the native as a sort of quintessence of evil … The native is declared insensitive to ethics … the enemy of values. … He is a corrosive element, destroying all that comes near it … the unconscious and irretrievable instrument of blind forces” (from “The Wretched of the Earth”). And further down, “the terms the settler uses when he mentions the native are zoological terms” (let’s not forget to place Morris’ metaphors in the context of so many other Israeli appellations for Palestinians: Begin’s “two-legged beasts”, Eitan’s “drugged cockroaches” and Barak’s ultra-delicate “salmon”). Morris is a case history in the psychopathology of colonialism.

 

From The BLACK CoMMentator:

Howard Dean has joined the list of victims of U.S. corporate media consolidation. Dean shares this distinction with Dennis Kucinich and the people of the formerly sovereign state of Iraq, among many others. Dean was stripped of half his popular support in the space of two weeks in January while John Kerry – tied in the polls with Carol Moseley-Braun at seven percent just two months earlier – rose like a genie from a bottle to become the overnight presidential frontrunner. Both candidates were shocked and disoriented by the dizzying turns of fortune, and for good reason. Neither Dean nor Kerry had done anything on their own that could have so dramatically altered the race. Corporate America decided that Dean must be savaged, and its media sector made it happen.

This commentary, however, is not about the merits of Howard Dean. If a mildly progressive, Internet-driven, young white middle class-centered, movement-like campaign such as Dean’s – flush with money derived from unconventional sources, backed by significant sections of labor, reinforced by big name endorsements and surging with upward momentum – can be derailed in a matter of weeks at the whim of corporate media, then all of us are in deep trouble.

Groups Fear Citizens Abroad Will Be Compromised
In a highly unusual pairing, the Republican and Democratic party organizations for citizens living abroad have banded together against the Pentagon’s Internet voting program for the presidential election.

Concerns about the security of the online ballots could cast the entire election under a cloud of suspicion, they said in a joint letter urging a halt in the program. The letter released yesterday is being sent to several congressional committees.

“We do not want to undermine confidence in our system of voting by discovering some real or imagined fraud in the November balloting,” wrote the leaders of Republicans Abroad and Democrats Abroad.

And the best part about this? These people wouldn’t have had a clue to complain about this without all the work done by the black boxers. And we didn’t even much have to tell them this time!

 

The New York Times reports of a new study handed to Maryland voting officials regarding Diebold e-voting security. The difference between this and earlier studies is that this is the first study of the Diebold systems under conditions found during an election. Four key findings:

  • There are numerous vulnerabilities through which these systems could be hacked.
  • Some of these can be addressed prior to the March primaries.
  • Some additional vulnerabilities can be address prior to the November general election.
  • Ultimately, Diebold election software has to be rewritten to meet industry security standards.

In his usual statement of denial, Bob Urosevich, president of Diebold Election Systems, said this report and another by the Science Applications International Corporation “confirm the accuracy and security of Maryland’s voting procedures and our voting systems as they exist today.” This however was hardly the tone expressed by several members of the “red team”.

“We were genuinely surprised at the basic level of the exploits” that allowed tampering, said Michael Wertheimer, the Red Team leader and a former security expert for the National Security Agency. Referring to the inconsistent application of security, he added, “It’s like washing your face and drying it with a dirty towel.”

William A. Arbaugh, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Maryland and a member of the Red Team exercise, said, “I can say with confidence that nobody looked at the system with an eye to security who understands security.” He added, “It seemed everywhere we scratched, there was something that’s pretty troubling.”

[Additional coverage from the Washington Post.]

 

... who sits in the ghoulish mire he's created and calls himself good.Chris Floyd:

A man in Lawrence, Kansas walks into a day-care center. He has a gun in his pocket but nobody sees it. He goes up to the second floor, where the preschool kids are having their afternoon snack of cookies and juice.

The room is filled with smoke and the sharp tang of freshly gutted meat. The man takes a desultory look around, shrugs his shoulders, then sits down on the snack table. When the police come and ask him why he did it, he answers forthrightly, without a shred of guilt or unease, as if it were the most natural thing in the world:

“Somebody said the guy who runs this place might attack me someday. I had questions that needed to be answered: Did he have a gun or a knife — or nothing? We must be prepared to face our responsibilities and be willing to use force if necessary.”

The cops roll their eyes — another nutball. “So,” says an officer, humoring him, “did he have any weapons?”

The killer shakes his head. “Nah, don’t look like it. But he could have had some. What’s the difference? …

“That’s all they have left as a public defense: the ravings of a man who killed for no reason, who sits in the ghoulish mire he’s created and calls himself good.”

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