Archive for March, 2007

Politics is pornography

March 27, 2007

First let me share a post-bomb I just dropped over on DKos:

Breaking-Tony Snow announces presidential run
by just another vet
Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 07:06:08 PM CDT

Having observed the boost John Edward’s campaign for president received after Edward’s wife, Elizabeth, shared in a press conference that her cancer had returned, White House spokesperson Tony Snow announced he is running for president. “Tony realizes this is his chance, since right now the sympathy for cancer victims is at an all time high.” remarked Ted Stevensonville, a Republican strategist. Polls do show that a majority of Americans feel cancer is bad, leading some to see opportunity.
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Having observed the boost John Edward’s campaign for president received after Edward’s wife, Elizabeth, shared in a press conference that her cancer had returned, White House spokesperson Tony Snow announced he is running for president. “Tony realizes this is his chance, since right now the sympathy for cancer victims is at an all time high.” remarked Ted Stevensonville, a Republican strategist. Polls do show that a majority of Americans feel cancer is bad, leading some to see opportunity.

“Now is the time for a Republican resurgence,” said campaign consultant Bill Williams, who wished to remain anonymous. “If the RNC can find, say, 50 people with cancer to run, the Republican Party could easily take back the House and Senate in ’08.”

Tony Snow made his announcement in an impromptu news conference at the White House earlier today. “I am running for president, because I have cancer and if you vote against me the terrorists win.” Tony is quoted as saying. He equated his bid for presidency to the War on Terror. “The Terrorists are a cancer on the American people, and like our men and women in uniform who battle terrorism everyday, I am fighting the war on cancer. To not vote for me is to vote for cancer.”

Upon hearing the news of Snow throwing his hat into the presidential ring, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called an emergency meeting with top Democrats in both the House and Senate. Sources close to the Speaker say the Democrats are looking for other diseases that could garner sympathetic votes. “It’s all about the swing voters, and right now they are leaning towards candidates with life threatening illnesses or who know someone they love who has one.” remarked Tom Patchmaker, a DCNCCCCNC member who also wished to remain anonymous.

Though currently Tony Snow has no campaign staff, money or platform, he is said to be feeling good about his chances. Polls of Republican voters show Snow neck and neck with Macain and Giuliani. But among independent voters he is ahead of both. Democrats meanwhile are sticking with Edwards, hoping that a candidate with cancer doesn’t trump a candidate married to someone with cancer.

Too much? Over the top? Not at all. No, considering the political climate in which we live, this is par for the course. Why? Because politics in this country is pornography, which we all claim to hate yet love at the same time. Except you of course, because it’s always those other people looking at porn.

It shouldn’t matter if you are African American , but it does. It shouldn’t matter if you are a woman, but it does. So does being a homosexual. We say these things don’t matter yet we harp and focus on these things that don’t matter. A candidate should be judged on their ability to serve, period. Yet we constantly here about the “black vote” or the “Nascar Dad vote”. Well hell, why not the cancer vote? It’s not like the candidate asked to get cancer. What’s the difference?

We can claim some high and mighty sensibility, but in reality we are all focused on the physical “differences” the candidates have. Is he “black” enough? Is she too bitchy? You cannot argue the fact that John Edwards did in fact get a boost in the polls when he and his wife announced that her cancer had returned. The blogs were filled with post after post praising them for their courage. And while I do agree that they are courageous, I still don’t see how that means anything in regards to Edward’s ability to be president. I don’t want to hear about his family, I want to hear some real answers about what to do about Iraq.

And then Tony Snow shares that his cancer has returned. And a big fight breaks out over whether or not its ok to pray for him. Who fucking cares. Its voyeurism at its best, obsession with the lives of those we see on television. Pornography. Something to blog about, something to keep the sheep busy with. Something that has nothing to do with running the country.

Chirp, chirp. Things are important because we make them important, regardless of how unimportant we say they are. Tony Snow having cancer does not deserve the attention it is getting. It should not be a topic of discussion because all it does is distract us. Thousands of comments about this topic means thousands less focused on what is important. So count me guilty of adding to the pile. I stand guilty of my crime. I’ve lived through enough of these wars to see them for what they are; distractions. So let’s call this one over and done with.

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Rat Poison In Pet Food

March 24, 2007

In case you haven’t been paying attention, rat poison has been found in pet food made by Menu Foods, a major pet food manufacturer.

There have been some excellent diaries done on this at both DKos and TexasKaos. Whatever you do today, please make sure you check to ensure you are not feeding your pets poisoned food.

Thanks to the blogs a great deal of information is coming out. We cannot let this story go away as it has the potential to save thousands of lives, the lives of our beloved brothers and sisters, our companions, our pets.

Now, here is my link dump, which I will update as I find more:

First, stock market information on Menu Foods.

Some crazy recent history of Chinese rat poisonings:

China deaths blamed on rat poison

China cracks down sales of powerful rat poison

Rat poison and food security in the People’s Republic of China: focus on tetramethylene disulfotetramine (tetramine)

Clinical Study involving aminopterin

Aminopterin used in treatment of Psoriasis

Rat poison homicides prompt a crackdown (China 2003)

Methotrexate (Aminopterin)

South Africa pet food poisonings

About aminopterin

Pet-food recall: More numbers … and some help

Doctors Caution Thousands More Pet Deaths Expected

Site devoted to this story

With friends like these….

March 23, 2007

Things are heating up in northern Iraq:

The US is scrambling to head off a “disastrous” Turkish military intervention in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq that threatens to derail the Baghdad security surge and open up a third front in the battle to save Iraq from disintegration.

Senior Bush administration officials have assured Turkey in recent days that US forces will increase efforts to root out Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK) guerrillas enjoying safe haven in the Qandil mountains, on the Iraq-Iran-Turkey border.

But Abdullah Gul, Turkey’s foreign minister, MPs, military chiefs and diplomats say up to 3,800 PKK fighters are preparing for attacks in south-east Turkey – and Turkey is ready to hit back if the Americans fail to act. “We will do what we have to do, we will do what is necessary. Nothing is ruled out,” Mr Gul said. “I have said to the Americans many times: suppose there is a terrorist organisation in Mexico attacking America. What would you do?… We are hopeful. We have high expectations. But we cannot just wait forever.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Several other factors are adding to the tension between the Nato partners:

· The firm Turkish belief that the US is playing a double game in northern Iraq. Officials say the CIA is covertly funding and arming the PKK’s sister organisation, the Iran-based Kurdistan Free Life party, to destabilise the Iranian government.

· US acquiescence in plans to hold a referendum in oil-rich Kirkuk in northern Iraq. Turkey suspects Iraqi Kurds are seeking control of Kirkuk as a prelude to the creation of an independent Kurdistan.

· Plans by the US Congress to vote on a resolution blaming Turkey for genocide against the Armenians in 1915. Faruk Logoglu, a former ambassador to Washington, said that if the resolution passed, relations “could take generations to recover”.

· Record levels of Turkish anti-Americanism dating back to 2003, when Turkey refused to let US combat forces cross the Iraq border.

I wrote about Israel training the Kurds as a buffer to Iran a while back. What we are seeing is just another example of how the US government has completely ignored the historical hatred felt between two groups of people in the Middle East. While our troops are busy killing Iraqis for peace, the rest of the region is falling apart at the seams.

And then we get this:

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) – Iran captured fifteen British Royal Navy personnel during a “routine boarding operation” in Iraqi waters on Friday, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said.

Iran’s ambassador in London has been summoned and Britain is demanding the immediate safe release of the sailors.

Let’s give the British the benefit of the doubt for a second and say they were not doing anything wrong. Then why would Iranian forces grab them? To start a war? Think Lebanon last summer. No, me thinks there is much more going on. Iran doesn’t want to get into a conflict with the US or the UK. So I will refrain for further speculation on this until more information comes out. In the mean time let us remember the Iranian reformist Mohammad Khatami, who Bush shunned out of power with the famous “Axis of Evil” speech. Khatami is still out there trying to stop a confrontation between Iran and the US:

In an interview with an Iranian newspaper, former Mr Khatami conceded that the outside world does have legitimate worries about Iran’s nuclear programme that need reassuring.

He said Iran did not want a nuclear bomb but it should use patience and tolerance to remove the concerns of those who worry about the risks of proliferation.

Mr Khatami stressed Iran should insist on its right to nuclear technology, but he said courage should be shown to avoid a crisis, or at least minimise the damage.

“I believe we should pay a certain price, and pay it bravely, for talks and not head towards crisis as well as guaranteeing our rights in future,” he said.

“We must try to prevent the adoption of another resolution.”

He is trying to stop a resolution that aims to turn Iran into Iraq circa post first Gulf War, when the embargo plunged Iraq into third world status. Never forget that this is the man Bush pushed from office because the neocons needed a more radical Iranian leader to help build their war support. More from Khatami:

In a wide-ranging interview Monday night, Khatami said Iran is not intent on eliminating Israel and accepts a two-state solution that includes both Israel and a new Palestine — on terms acceptable to the Palestinians. He basically contradicted the recent angry rhetoric of his hard-line successor, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has denied the Holocaust and has called for Israel to be wiped off the map.

“The practical policy of the Islamic republic has never been to eliminate or wipe Israel off the map. And I don’t believe that this policy has changed with the change of president,” Khatami said in an interview in New York, where he is attending a United Nations conference. “You’ve never heard me reject the right of anyone to exist,” added Khatami, who is scheduled to speak at the University of Virginia and the Washington National Cathedral on Thursday.

Meanwhile the US is supporting terrorism in Iran:

Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi alleged that in the recent past, US intelligence operatives in Afghanistan had been meeting and coordinating with Iranian militants, apart from encouraging the smuggling of drugs into Iran from Afghanistan. He said the US operatives were working to create Shi’ite-Sunni strife within Iran.

American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has copiously written about recent US covert operations inside Iran. With reference to the incidents in Zahedan, Stratfor, a think-tank with close connections to the US military and security establishment, commented that the Jundallah militants are receiving a “boost” from Western intelligence agencies. Stratfor said, “The US-Iranian standoff has reached a high level of intensity … a covert war [is] being played out … the United States has likely ramped up support for Iran’s oppressed minorities in an attempt to push the Iranian regime toward a negotiated settlement over Iraq.”

Iran is fast joining ranks with India and Afghanistan as a victim of trans-border violence perpetrated by irredentist elements crossing over from Pakistan. Tehran, too, will probably face an existential dilemma as to whether or not such acts of terrorism are taking place with the knowledge of Musharraf and, more importantly, whether or not Musharraf is capable of doing anything about the situation.

Iran, perhaps, is somewhat better placed than India or Afghanistan to resolve this dilemma, since it is the US (and not Pakistan) that is sponsoring the trans-border terrorism. And what could Musharraf do about US activities on Pakistani soil even if he wanted to? The Iranians seem to have sized up Musharraf’s predicament.

So we are supporting extremists, the same people who supported bin Laden, giving them aid to attack Iran. One has to wonder if the reason we haven’t gone into Pakistan to get bin Laden is because we want his supporters to help us take down Iran. If true, then the whole War on Terror is a farce being used to cover US imperialism in the Middle East.

Let me put this another way. The US government is supporting the very people that attacked us on 9-11 in an effort to overthrow the government of a sovereign nation. Instead of working with the reformists a couple of years ago, our government decided to stir up the extremists in order to further the cause of perpetual war in the Middle East region. We support terrorism.

Four Years Later

March 18, 2007

Does anyone else find it surreal that this country has been in Iraq now for 4 years? That hundreds of billions of dollars and tens of thousands lives (if not more) have been wasted in an illegal occupation? And that to this very day there is still folks in this country who support the president and his illegal invasion no matter how many scandals surface?

In a time when news is available like never before propaganda still flourishes. Lies are repeated over and over again even when the evidence proving them wrong is presented free of charge to anyone with five minutes to kill. The right, having been proven not only wrong but also guilty of the most heinous of crimes against humanity, still runs free to spread hatred and fear amongst the sheep.

Well, one can only wonder what is to become of this supposed great nation. What lies in our future? More war, more lies, more erosion of the fabric of our republic?

We have in fact been in Iraq for much longer then 4 years. Try closer to 40 years. We propped up Saddam, gave him WMDs to fight Iran, and now are trying to control the mess left with his overthrow. And we have learned nothing.

This administration has lied to us, cheated us and sought to suppress our voices. It has eroded our precious rights and freedoms in ways terrorists could only dream of. Yet they remain in power.

Osama bin Laden accomplished much more on 9-11 then many realize. He opened the door for the right to wage war on this country. See, the war on terror has never been about bin Laden or terrorists, it is about war on progressive ideals, on liberty and the constitution, our constitution. The right hates America, they can not stand the idea of this country being a beacon of hope to humanity. The right fears freedom because with freedom comes truth, and with truth comes the exposure of their crimes.

The real war being fought this day is against us, the citizens of the United States of America. Iraq is a distraction. Terrorism is a distraction. The real target is you fellow citizen. The right wants you to bow down and do as you are told. Conservatism is nothing more then totalitarianism, the complete control of what we think, what we do and who we are.

I would go so far as to say that we are in the middle of another civil war. Only the deaths and destruction are happening overseas. And because of this most of us aren’t paying attention. It’s easier to change the channel or talk about bullshit then to admit to ourselves that we face a grave enemy in our country, that the highest office is occupied by the worst of criminals. I do not fear bin Laden, I fear George Bush and his minions.

The war on terror is no different then the war on drugs, a farce created to allow for the destruction of civil liberties and the profiteering of the business class. Issues like abortion, immigration and homosexuality are used to keep the conversation from turning to real dangers to this country like global warming, free market capitalism, the military industrial complex and religious zealotry.

When do we rise up against this insurgency? What will it take to really wake up our citizenry? And I am not talking about the Dems winning an election or two. When will we stop everything we are doing and march on Washington? Imagine the message it would send to our dear leaders if all of us, every man, woman and child just dropped what ever we were doing, circled Washington DC and shut this country down until these criminals were overthrown.

This is our country. It is our duty as citizens to protect it. Don’t kid yourself, the right is fighting tooth and nail to control you. Do you have the courage and conviction to defend yourself, your family, your country? We the people have the power if we choose to use it. Because fighting for freedom is the most patriotic action we can take, and there is no better time then now.