Monday, March 31, 2008


Photo Essay by Brian Ulrich. "American Happiness and the Need to Consume"

The photos on these pages are selected from photographer Brian Ulrich's Copia project, which began after 9/11. "In 2001, citizens were encouraged to take to the malls to boost the U.S. economy through shopping," he says, "thereby equating consumerism with patriotism. The Copia project, a direct response to that advice, is a long-term photographic examination of the peculiarities and complexities of the consumer-dominated culture in which we live."

Mother Jones picks a few they dug. I thought the photos were awesome. If you have about 4 minutes to waste then waste it on this.

Kill Your Phone..

I've never owned one and I never plan to. They have been described as to me as irreplaceable. I have heard how handy they are when your car breaks down. I see people everyday driving with them. Some people wouldn't be able to live without them. What you don't hear much about is the downside. Like cancer causing.

That's right. Cell phones cause brain cancer people. Not just a meager chance like you may have heard, but a full blown health risk according to a new study. A risk that is on par with smoking and asbestos. I can now smile as I ride my bike through Los Angeles cursing people on cell phones while they almost run me over. My question to the Illiterate Electorate is who's health care plan do you want to be under when you get brain cancer?
Read the entire story here.

9/11 Inside Job...

Our Attorney General has been spewing lies about the FISA bill and telecom immunity for months now. He keeps repeating the lie that wiretap warrants hurt the government in trying to protect us. He claims that retroactive immunity is necessary for telecoms because if they are sued for breaking our fourth amendment rights then the ensuing trials would reveal how the government listens to "terrorists". Or how the administration has broke the law is how I interpret it. These claims are false. He knows they are false yet he continues to spread the lie. Mukasey has now taken this falsehood to a whole new level. Last week while speaking in San Francisco about FISA he nearly wept while exploiting 9/11 for his cause to keep the spying program hidden and he dropped this BOMB:

Officials "shouldn't need a warrant when somebody with a phone in Iraq picks up a phone and calls somebody in the United States because that's the call that we may really want to know about. And before 9/11, that's the call that we didn't know about. We knew that there has been a call from someplace that was known to be a safe house in Afghanistan and we knew that it came to the United States. We didn't know precisely where it went."

Did he just admit that the Bush administration KNEW of a call from the plotters of 9/11 but didn't do anything about it because FISA law forced them to get a warrant? FISA law at the time absolutely did NOT force them to get a warrant. So which is it? Is he lying about " a call from an Afghan safe house" that the government "could" have intercepted had it not been for FISA? Or, is he saying that the government actually listened to " the call" and allowed what happened on 9/11 to happen? He can't have it both ways, he's lying about one of them. Which do you think?

Glenn Greenwald breaks it all down here.

Bush Greeting at Ball Game

Here is a clip of Bush at the Washington Nationals home opener:

Friday, March 28, 2008

The View on Obama

OK, so you don’t like the show the View. I understand, it can be annoying; you think it’s a show just for women, and you are not a woman; you work during the day, so you have not gotten to watch it; la la la la la the list goes on and on. Personally, I am a man and I enjoy the View in doses. I find the show to be quite revealing in regards to the way the general public views a lot of important social topics. The factor that adds so much is that they have five women of varying intelligences talking about the issues. Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg are really intelligent people who think before they speak. Joy and Sheri are of run of the mill intelligence and think about fifty percent of the time before they speak. Last, dim-witted Elisabeth does not have the brain power of dirt and has the debilitating disease “diarrhea of the mouth”. Again, they do an outstanding job shedding light in regards to the way different people think, which is reflective of our wonderfully diverse society as a whole. In the following video, dumb-ass Elisabeth makes an absolutely amazing metaphor concerning Barack Obama. You have got to watch this, but you have got to hang on until the end of the clip to see it. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Late Late Music...

I thought this was poignant for John McCain to use for his inauguration speech. I'm just saying, the press has been giving him a massive free pass. Oh, and he's an asshole. John McCain will be our next president! You heard it here. "Here comes sickness...controlling my country"

This is why Dante wrote the Divine Comedy:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thank you, come again...

When I'm cruising the "tubesphere" that is our internets I come across scary, goofy, and sometimes just down right, what in the bloody hell is THIS? I have read quite a bit about how much money that has been tossed drunkenly at any number of the major players in the defense and security industry by our government through massive contracts since 9/11. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the scope of how far that, (to quote GWB recently) "gravy train" would go. Apparently all we needed to do the whole time my fellow Illiterate Electorate is to have Inc. behind our name.

Your government awarded a 300 million dollar contract to the nitwit you see to the right. Yes, you read that right. The idiot (soon to be killed by the Albanian mafia) in the pic is the head of the company. We gave $300 million to that ass munch to supply ammo to the Afghan army to help us in our fight to kill "terror". What did the people of Afghanistan who were willing to risk life and limb to help us "fix" their country get in return? 40 year old Chinese ammo that didn't even come close to working. Shocking, from his boyish good looks I figured his frat boy connections could of gotten him further in life. Where's the backwards baseball cap dude? Here's the meat of the story:

"With the award last January of a federal contract worth as much as nearly $300 million, the company, AEY Inc., which operates out of an unmarked office in Miami Beach, became the main supplier of munitions to Afghanistan’s army and police forces.

Since then, the company has provided ammunition that is more than 40 years old and in decomposing packaging, according to an examination of the munitions by The New York Times and interviews with American and Afghan officials. Much of the ammunition comes from the aging stockpiles of the old Communist bloc, including stockpiles that the State Department and NATO have determined to be unreliable and obsolete, and have spent millions of dollars to have destroyed.

In purchasing munitions, the contractor has also worked with middlemen and a shell company on
a federal list of entities suspected of illegal arms trafficking."

We gave a "company" $300 million, that was working with a company that was on our illegal arms trafficking watch list? Really? Glad to see once again that the MIGHTY Republican run government is protecting us. Assholes.

Afternoon Memo:

- The United State Congress has been accused of "hectoring" by a very important county's head of state. The accuser is none other than our very own George W. Bush! At first I was not entirely sure I knew one could hector, but alas, one (or a body of people) clearly can. It could be a derogatory term. I mean, imagine if your name was Hector? How would you about feel being turned into a verb and all??? Shucks fellas, I sure would be sore.

Anyhow, the reason for this charge is as follows:

U.S. President George W. Bush defended the pace of political and economic reform
in Iraq on Thursday and accused members of the U.S. Congress of "hectoring"
Baghdad and threatening its leaders.Bush also praised Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for launching a "tough battle against militia fighters and criminals" in the oil city of Basra, citing it as evidence that Baghdad is increasingly able to handle security without U.S. leadership.
(click here for more)
It sounds to me like he thinks the Iraqi Parliament, headed by Mr. Maliki, is doing a better job than the U.S. Congress. Maybe he should just move to Iraq if he loves their government and hates ours....America, love it or leave it, baby!

- Former Black Panthers member Mumia Abu-Jamal (left) is no longer on Death Row. Abu-Jamal's cause has been long championed by judical rights activists and independent coffee shop advocates alike. Virtually every major subway system in the United States has some graffiti or flyer purporting his innocence and demanding his release. I speculate that this will only fuel such behavior.

I must say, based on the facts, it does seem like he got a raw deal in terms of his arrest and trial. Of course when you get your facts from this website, you might become a bit biased. It does not seem improbable to me that in a town as corrupt as Philly someone could get framed for such a thing. It would not be the first time. My only fear is that if he is innocent and is released, he might go out and do something crazy. I know I might after serving 25 plus years for a crime I didn't do. Shit, I wonder if they even let him read the paper in prison? Imagine what might go through his mind when he finds out about such horrible things as the Iraq War or the Mark Penn scorched Earth approach to primary politics?

- Lastly, from the "Better Late than Never" files, Florida's legislature has finally apologized for slavery! The next apology should be for that worm hole Katherine Harris (pictured right with one of her relatives) for screwing up, on purpose, an otherwise perfectly good presidential election in 2000.

A little comic relief


Gore meets Nader

Here is something interesting that I had never come accross before - a brief clip showing Ralph Nader at an Al Gore book signing:

Sen. Clinton Update and more...

She is still choking the Democratic Party... However, at least we get some gems for her pro-McCain campaign, such as the photo on the right. Is she puckering up to kiss the arse of anyone that will give her power, for no end other than power itself?

Here is a good read that sums up a plurality of my sentiments:

This is a bit embarrassing to admit, but for a time there I was pulling for Hillary Clinton.
It’s not easy to explain why. Anyone who had to put up with Bill Clinton for all those years seemed to deserve the benefit of the doubt (though Bill could probably say the same about Hillary). She’s also the first woman to put herself in a serious position to challenge for the presidency, and did it against some pretty heavy water. (Click here for more)

- In other news, as this site was not designed to bash Sen. Clinton (even though she deserves it right now), you may be able to apply your stimulus check toward that cup of coffee in Paris this summer, as the Euro is beginning to slip.

- Here is a story about Shiite violence in Iraq:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Is Hillary on Steroids?

Until recently I really liked Hillary Clinton as a potential president. Unfortunately, I have lost all respect for her. Her campaign is not just malicious; it is extremely damaging to the Democratic Party as a whole. It is hard to believe that a Democratic Presidential front runner would sabotage her own party’s strides for her own power enrichment. If a meteor strikes Obama in the head, I do not know who I will vote for, but I do know that I will not vote for Hillary Clinton or John McCain. My list of cons for Hillary Clinton continues to grow.

Further, I am continually amazed of the people, that I run into every day, who don’t seem to keep up with current events in any way. There are still voters out there that are concerned that the “Muslim” Obama could be our next president. Even if he was a Muslim, so what? Remember, this is the country with religious freedom. By the way, if you are one of the people who didn’t know, Obama is a Christian. I am not a Christian myself, but I am not opposed to a Christian president. I still like the old concept of separation of church and state.

Some bad eggs....

Turds making a video about turds...

The Truth is a Lie

The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.
George Orwell

Sen. Clinton Is Killing Her Campaign and Obama's!!!!

The Paste Eater's strategy to get McCain elected is working! Hillary is as hated as ever, but Obama is catching up! Any Democrat that supports Hillary Machiavelli hates the middle class, wants all Iraqis dead or maimed, and of course, eats glue.

There is no logic to any of this other than the fact that perhaps, Clinton wants to use that Tonya Harding strategy to run in 2012. One is right to ask, is it Hillary or nobody???

Tonya Harding Option

- ABC news has introduced a new wrinkle in the Clinton strategy:

What will she have to do to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, in order to eke out her improbable victory?

She will have to "break his back," the official said. She will have to destroy Obama, make Obama completely unacceptable.

"Her securing the nomination is certainly possible - but it will require exercising the 'Tonya Harding option.'" the official said. "Is that really what we Democrats want? (Click here for more)

I love the reference to Ms. Harding, and think that its accurate. The very idea should disgust any democrat or person that believes in the most basic forms of decency. Anyone that thinks all Democrats will come together in August is drunk on their own stupidity. Americans have very short attention spans in general, but not when it comes to hate and anger.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I have been saying this for weeks...

....Sen. Clinton wants McCane to win: (click here for more)


PBS is running a very interesting two part series “FRONTLINE:Bush's War. Watch this definitive documentary analysis of President Bush's war on terror, from 9/11 to the present.” You can watch it online for free at

Clinton Caught Lying and Decides...

...That now is the time to start mentioning Obama's pastor:

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton broke her week-long silence Tuesday morning about Senator Barack Obama’s relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, saying that she would have changed churches if her pastor had made the racially divisive and anti-American remarks that Mr. Wright had made.

“He would not have been my pastor,” Mrs. Clinton told reporters and editors at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review as she interviewed for the paper’s editorial endorsement. “You don’t choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend.”

First off, why would she ever attend a black church? It reminds me of the following exchange from the film Real Genius:

Mitch Taylor: Did you know there's a guy living in our closet?
Chris Knight: You've seen him too?
Mitch Taylor: Who is he?
Chris Knight: Hollyfeld.
Mitch Taylor: Why does he keep going into our closet?
Chris Knight: Why do you keep going into our closet?
Mitch Taylor: To get my clothes - but that's not why he goes in there!
Chris Knight: Of course not, he's twice your size - your clothes would never fit him!
Mitch Taylor: Yeah...
Chris Knight: Think before you ask these questions, Mitch! Twenty points higher than me? Thinks a big guy like that can wear his clothes?

She explains this as a mistake that makes her human. She is a political whore, a thief, and a compulsive liar. She is a Machiavellian demon that is destroying the Democratic party. This is not a petty issue. She said she was getting shot at? So then she brought her daughter with her? AND SINBAD!?! Getting shot at is not something you forget.

Then that paste eating Hydra Mark Penn states that Richardson's endorsement doesn't matter. They are worse than the Bush folk, who at least were effective at being dangerous scum. The Clinton camp wants McCane to win. Do not forget that...


Please check out some of the new sites we have up under the Good Reading and Blogroll, as well as our Friend's Sites sections... Then check out a good read by the Field Negro.

Clinton Misspoke....

Sen. Clinton has acknowledged that she "misspoke" when she said she was under fire in Bosnia, ie, she got busted and exposed as the calculating liar that she truly is. David Brooks has written a great op-ed in the NYT describing the slow and grueling death of the Clinton campaign:

When you step back and think about it, she is amazing. She possesses the audacity of hopelessness.
According to my calculus, only two psychological scenarios remain:
A) She is mad for power, and like most of this frame of mind, she is delusional, or at the very least blinded by her lust for power.
B) She, as part of the ruling elite, wants John McCane to win, for he is from the same class.

We report, you decide....

Monday, March 24, 2008


I know this story was already posted, but it wouldn't let me embed this in the response. What the fuck was Hillary thinking?? On a lighter note, I often think of Sinbad. Good to see him back in the news.

NYC Cab Politics

Here is a clip from the Opie and Anthony show on XM. Who do you think would have an easier time catching a cap in NYC: a black man or a Nazi?

Mark Penn Sucks

He is a paste eating whore. Check this:

Rednecks Against McCain

Let that be a lesson...

Afternoon Memo:

- I hate to fly, yet I love to travel, and I hate to drive. This leaves me with two choices:
A) Spend my days at home, letting my beard and finger nails grow to freak show proportions, watching the travel channel and, eventually, Ron Paul speeches over the Internet.
B) Fly drunk and hope for the best.

Up until now I have elected, for the most part, to go with plan B. But after reading about this, I may change my mind:

US Air pilot's gun accidentally goes off on plane
Mon Mar 24, 2008
3:18pm EDT
CHICAGO (Reuters) - The gun carried by a US Airways pilot
accidentally went off on a flight from Denver to Charlotte on Saturday,
the plane to be pulled from service, the airline said on Monday. (click here
for more).

I never thought that guns and giant floating tubes mixed very well, and this certainly does not help me change my mind.

- While contemplating the enormity, tragedy, and absurdity of 4,000 U.S. troop deaths in Iraq, I began to wonder about defense contractor deaths. I found that as many as 900 mercenaries and contract workers of American origin have been killed in the fighting as well. I think these numbers should be reported more readily then they are, as it paints a much fuller picture of the Iraq War story.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I may endorse McCain

The surge is doing so well (click here for more)

4000 US Troops Killed in Iraq

(Click here for more)

For now, I will let this speak for itself...

Tax Rebate

President George Bush said each one of us would
get a $600.00 tax rebate. It was previously slated to be
$800.00, but they dropped it to a $600.00 tax rebate
because of various budget problems.
Now, if we spend that money at Wal-Mart,
all the money will go to China, if we spend it on
computers, most of the money will go to Korea or India.
If we spend it on gasoline it will all go to the Arabs
.....and none of these scenarios will help the American

We need to keep that money here in America the
only way to keep that money here at home is to drink beer,
gamble, or spend it on prostitution. Currently it seems that
these are the only businesses still left in the U.S.

I'm Elliot Spitzer and I approve of this message.

Quick Weekend Update

- China is upset with Speaker Pelosi over her support of Tibetan freedom:

China attacks Pelosi over Tibet remarks

By CARA ANNA, Associated Press Writer

CHENGDU, China - China attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Sunday for her recent meeting with the Dalai Lama, accusing her and other "human rights police" of double standards and ignoring the truth about the unrest in Tibet.

China also again accused the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, of orchestrating anti-government riots in Tibet and neighboring provinces this month in a bid to mar the Beijing Summer Olympics and overthrow the area's communist leaders.

Pelosi's visit to the Dalai Lama in Dharmsala, India, on Friday was the first by a major foreign official since the protests broke out. The Democratic leader said if people don't speak out against China's oppression in Tibet, "we have lost all moral authority to speak on behalf of human rights anywhere in the world." (click here for more)

The Chinese government are fascist, perverted thieves, like the Bush folk, only without the need to shelter their perversion. Speaking of which, I am off to Mexico. I leave ye with this:

It might be worth a damn...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Media is Terrible

I know this is nothing new, but this clip really pisses me off:


Obama's Future VP???

Governor Bill Richardson will formally endorse Sen. Obama this morning. .e and I were discussing him as a possible VP for Obama the other day, and I think he might be the best guy out there for the job. He has more (and better) experience than anyone else that was in the race, including McCane. He has been an ambassador, a cabinet member, congressman, and a governor. He would balance the ticket by helping Obama with his two biggest weaknesses: Hispanics and those who do not think he has enough foreign policy experience. Furthermore, Obama balance's Richardson's greatest weakness, his lack of charisma.

As I sit and watch Sen. Clinton and Mark Penn and their master plan to elect the Republican nominee, and the temporary results of their behavior, I wonder how this can all end on a positive note? If Clinton really cared about the issues she claims to care about, she would have dropped out long ago. They care about power. Like any good student of Machiavelli, power is an end in of itself.

I do think that Democrats will come together and today's polls just reflect bitterness that occurs in the heat of battle, but this thing needs to end before we have irreconcilable differences.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Photo of Bill Clinton and Rev. Wright

The foreign desk

Since it's seems that the people on Illiterate Electorate haven't been wearing their standard issue American blinders, I've started a subsidiary... HanoiJake Check it out.

Late Morning Memo:

- A quick question...Has anyone else ever purchased (or otherwise possessed) a banana that went straight from green to black, bypassing the eatable yellow colour all together? I have and it sucks. On the basis of Alzaido's post earlier in the week I bought some certified organic bananas the other day. I usually buy green ones so that they last longer. These were green and remained green. Then I began to notice them rotting. I miss my favorite morning snack.

- If you are convicted of a crime there is one less attorney you can hire:

Former aide to Cheney disbarred after conviction
Thu Mar 20, 2008
11:43am EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former chief of staff to
Vice President Dick Cheney, was stripped of his ability to practice law on
Thursday as a result of his conviction in the CIA leak case.
The former White
House aide was found guilty a year ago of obstruction of justice and lying.
Those are considered crimes involving "moral turpitude" that under the law
require disbarment, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled.
court had previously suspended Libby from the practice of law in Washington.
President George W. Bush in July commuted Libby's 2-1/2-year prison sentence,
enraging Democrats who accused Bush of abusing his power. (click here for more)

Could you imagine walking into a court room with Scooter Libby as your legal council? He is of course scum, and I wish he was in a maximum security prison.

- Here is an AP story about a Senator from Illinois that (I feel correctly) connects the war in Iraq to the sagging economy in the United States:

Obama Ties Economic Woes to Iraq War
By MATT APUZZO – 1 hour ago
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Barack Obama blamed the Iraq war for higher oil
prices and skyrocketing debt Thursday as he sought to tie the unpopular war to
the slumping economy in working-class West Virginia.
The Democratic hopeful
is trying to cut into Hillary Clinton's base in West Virginia. The state's
demographics appear to favor Clinton, whose support is strongest among older
white voters and blue-collar workers.
"When you're spending over $50 to fill up your car
because the price of oil is four times what it was before Iraq, you're paying a
price for this war," Obama said. "When Iraq is costing each household about $100
a month, you're paying a price for this war."
By linking the economy to the
war, Obama is playing to his perceived strength as someone who spoke out against
the war as a state lawmaker in Illinois. He has criticized Clinton for only
recently opposing the war and said Thursday that her criticism of Republican
John McCain's war policies lacks teeth. "Her point would have been more
compelling had she not joined Senator McCain in making the tragically
ill-considered decision to vote for the Iraq war in the first place," Obama said
to cheers. (click here for more)

Here is further evidence that Obama is able to see both the forest and the trees. To me this is an obvious connection. Every borrowed dollar spent on Iraq has correlated with a strain on the global finance industry. What is the primary wart on the U.S. economy? Lending!

In other (fake) news, Mark Penn says that Obama can't count change and thus only Clinton or McCane should be president because they have experience counting change, whereas Obama only talks about change.

- Lastly (for now), here are some Iraq War protest videos from yesterday's 5 year anniversary:

This one is from Washington D.C.:

Here is Tulsa:

Here is Chicago:

Imagine if we all got off our asses and hit the streets?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Osama Bin Laden’s Agenda

Bin Laden warns Europe over Mohammed cartoons

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden warned Europe Wednesday of a "reckoning" for publishing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, monitoring groups said.

You can read the full article by clicking here.

There is something fishy going on here. There are only a few reasons for Bin Laden to continue to taunt the U.S. Here are some of my theories. First, the Bush administration planned the 911 attacks and the atrocities that followed with Bin Laden to grow personal wealth. Second, Bin Laden did not post the new video; rather, it is a phony produced by the Bush administration to help support McCain’s candidacy. Third, Bin Laden is egging on the US, so the US continues its war efforts in the Middle East. If governments collapse, it would make it easier for Bin Laden’s gorillas to take over more regions.

What are your theories?

McCain Might Have Dementia

This article was posted on Press TV.

McCain: Hasty Iraq pullout boosts Iran

Wed, 19 Mar 2008 01:55:16

Hasty pulling out of Iraq is a 'mistake' that would boost up Iran and al-Qaeda and damage America's credibility, Sen. John McCain claims.

"Visiting Iraq ... it just becomes so palpably clear what a mistake it would be if the United States precipitously withdrew our forces,'' McCain told reporters in Jordan on Tuesday before moving on to Israel.

"The victors in that (pullout) would be the extremists, and America would lose its credibility,'' he added.

"Al-Qaeda and the Iranian extremists would be the winners,'' claimed McCain.

The claims came after McCain met with US and Iraqi diplomatic and military officials in Baghdad on Monday.

The Arizona senator, however, failed to elaborate on the negative effects of the long-fought war in Iraq which was supposed to be quick and cheap.

He was a strong supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and US President George W. Bush's troop increase last year.

McCain, the likely Republican nominee for the US presidential election this year, has linked his political future to America's success in Iraq.

My Thoughts and Questions

I learned in grade school that we study history to learn from decisions of the past. When studying history, one has the advantage of hindsight to see how all decisions in regards to matters played out. McCain’s support of the Iraq war baffles me, in part, because he is a Vietnam veteran. Apparently he did not learn the lessons that the majority of our citizens have learned from the conflict. Additionally, he is still playing the fear card in his speeches. Is it possible that McCain really believes the Bush rhetoric? Does he really believe that he can eliminate Al-Qaeda, Iran, and all other Bush proclaimed “Evil-Doers”? McCain made it clear yet a gain today that a vote for him means a continued war with Iraq and a soon to be war with Iran. Will he go after the other member of the “Axis of Evil” (AKA N. Korea) too?

The question posed....

This report isn't great, but I think the question posed is an interesting one... "Who benefits from Iraq as a campaign issue?" which begs the question "Do we need to hope and pray for the economy to continue to tank.... ? "

Obama Thought O.J. Was Guilty

For what its worth, Sen Obama is of the opinion that O.J. was guilty of murder, and I am curious to see how this will play out. In an interview with A.B.C., Obama stated:

You remember when, during the O.J. trial ... black and white culture just had these completely opposite reactions and nobody understood it. I'm somebody
who was pretty clear that O.J. was guilty, and I was ashamed for my own community to respond in that way, but I also understood what was taking place, which was that reaction had more to do with a sense that somehow the criminal justice system historically had been biased so profoundly that a defeat of that justice system was somehow a victory."

Time to scratch the noodle....

....Murtha endorses Clinton?

Morning Memo:

- People in Britain are turning their deceased pets into coats. I think this might be wrong. My beloved mate Charlie the Dog recently went to, as this article states, "that great kennel in the sky," and yet, when the cold winds blow, I do not wish I had his fur made into a coat to keep me warm. I ask myself, were he to have outlived me, would I want to have him wear my skin or hair for any reason??? The answer is no...but am I just being selfish? If I am dead, what use do I have for my skin? But I digress....

- I thought I would post the World Factbook's profile for Iraq in order to celebrate their 5 years of glory and freedom. Here is an interesting quote from the page:

Following Kuwait's liberation, the UN Security Council (UNSC) required Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles and to allow UN verification inspections. Continued Iraqi noncompliance with UNSC resolutions over a period of 12 years led to the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the ouster of the SADDAM Husayn regime. Coalition forces remain in Iraq under a UNSC mandate, helping to provide security and to support the freely elected government.
I like this. It makes the entire thing sound so legitimate!

Here is some interesting data from the profile:
Literacy: total population: 74.1%
male: 84.1%
female: 64.2% (2000 est.)

Economy - overview:
Iraq's economy is dominated by the oil sector, which has traditionally provided about 95% of foreign exchange earnings. Although looting, insurgent attacks, and sabotage have undermined economy rebuilding efforts, economic activity is beginning to pick up in areas recently secured by the US military surge. Oil exports are around levels seen before Operation Iraqi Freedom, and total government revenues have benefited from high oil prices.
What?!? Oil exports are around levels seen before Operation Iraqi Freedom? I thought one of the primary reasons gas was so high is that Iraq has NOT been producing like it had been. I have been unable to find any reliable or recent data as to the barrels per day oil production in Iraq now. I thought they were producing roughly 3.5 million bpd prior to the invasion.

Either way, here is a video that to celebrate the day:

- Lastly, Sen. Clinton released her schedule as first lady, to show us why failing to deliver on universal health care and having tea with the queen of a country where people turn their dogs into coats makes her the best choice for president.


Permanent things, furthermore, are not possessed exclusively by the democracies; not exclusively even by the Western world. - Joseph Campbell

I was watching the President speak this morning and I was reminded of Joseph Campbell and the concept of myth. Mr. Bush believes that we can win this war, but I wonder, what does that mean? What would victory look like? A friend in Hanoi recently sent me a photo of himself and a Vietnamese gentleman that was wearing an American flag t-shirt. Is that what victory looks like? Does this mean we won the Vietnam war now that they like us? I really can't figure it out. Is victory the entire world buying into the U.S. hero worship myth that Bush is selling?

We are going through a national identity crisis in the U.S. and I think that Bush's tired slogans, such as "We are fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" or "Iraq will be a glorious flower of democracy that will spread its seed throughout the region" are not going to do the trick. How can we win a war when we cannot define victory???

This is Obama's appeal. His brilliance and eloquence is in such stark contrast to Bush's ignorance and bumbling. The Sen. from Illinois is about to speak. More soon...

McCain causes chaos at Israel's Western Wall

Here is a story about a guy named John who visited a holy site (so photographers could take his photo) and caused a mess. More soon...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dalai Lama may step down....

The Washington Post reports:

Dalai Lama Airs Prospect of Quitting
Exiled Spiritual Leader Says Further Violent Protests in Tibet Would Leave Him No Other Option

By Rama Lakshmi
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, March 19, 2008; A09

DHARMSALA, India, March 18 -- Reacting to a week of sometimes bloody protests in Tibet, the Dalai Lama said Tuesday that he would resign as spiritual head of the Tibetan government-in-exile if the violence spun out of control. At the same time, the revered religious figure vehemently denied Chinese accusations that he was organizing the riots.

"If things become out of control, then my only option is to completely resign," the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace laureate and the exiled leader of millions of Tibetans around the world, told reporters. As he spoke, the narrow, winding streets of this Himalayan town were filled with hundreds of angry youths, monks and nuns, marching and chanting, "Long live Dalai Lama!"

The prime minister of the government-in-exile, Samdhong Rinpoche, quickly sought to play down his leader's statement. "I don't think he has said those words without any qualification or context," Rinpoche said at a news conference. "The Dalai Lama has always said, over and over again, that if the Tibetan people resort to violence, he would not be able to lead the people and be their spiritual leader."

"The Tibetan people's commitment to nonviolence remains, and there is no question of his resignation," Rinpoche added.

The Dalai Lama reacted angrily to the statements by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao blaming him for engineering riots in Tibet that have left scores of people dead. The Tibetan leader, who fled China for India in 1959, said that he was open to scrutiny by any international body. (for more click here)

I was in Dharmsala 18 months ago and must say that I became much more aware, and depressed, about the situation in Tibet than I had ever been before. Dorks like Richard Gere are often associated with this tragedy, which means, for many, the coolness has been removed from the issue. I have been to over 35 countries and I have to say, the Tibetan exiles I met were without a doubt among the most beautiful and passionate people I have met in my life. I hate the fact that China has raped them of their culture, their identity, and their land-- yet, for the most part, the Tibetan spirit is intact.

I hope the Dalai Lama hangs in their, and that he gets his country back...

Bush's Iraq War Speech....

The White House released bits of "president" Bush's speech for tomorrow. It's the fifth year anniversary of the Iraq war/invasion. What do you get for 5 years of madness? Pottery?
Let's break down the snippets of his speech before he even gives it:

"The successes we are seeing in Iraq are undeniable, yet some in Washington still call for retreat," the president said. "War critics can no longer credibly argue that we are losing in Iraq, so now they argue the war costs too much. In recent months, we have heard exaggerated estimates of the costs of this war."

No one IS arguing that this war has not come at a high cost you asshole. Exaggerated estimates? Like the war won't cost anything, we'll be greeted as liberators....blah, blah. Oh, I forgot treasure. It wasn't about oil remember. I guess "treasure" is more important to the strategic victory that your overlords have been pushing. Don't get me started on the "credibility" comment. From these guys the word credible is very vague. Do the Boston Red Sox "really" wear red socks? Well, that's to be debated. You almost have to sit back and admire how the lunatic fringe have polarized everything from socks to nuclear war.

"Five years into this battle, there is an understandable debate over whether the war was worth fighting ... whether the fight is worth winning ... and whether we can win it. The answers are clear to me: Removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision and this is a fight America can and must win."

There is an understandable debate over whether the war was worth fighting?!? Really? I must have been asleep from 2002 till 2004. Where was the debate? Everyone who was against the war was unpatriotic! Remember? Removing Saddam Hussein? I thought the war was to stop Al Qeada. You know the "War on Terror". How can the sheep keep up with the changing talking points? I thought they were the stupid ones.

"The surge has done more than turn the situation in Iraq around; it has opened the door to a major strategic victory in the broader war on terror," Bush said.

Now we're back to the "strategic victory". Now it's OUR strategic victory in the broader war on terror. Doesn't that sound nice? We're winning!

Only in Alabama?

I'll let this video speak for itself.

(Brief) Evening Memo:

- Here is a story about a fella that got 13 months in jail for hiring undocumented/illegal immigrant labor. I think this is bullshit. If we are going down this path, should we not hire the consumer that pays 19 cents for a banana? Perhaps the only thing saving our economy from a catastrophic inflation crises is the cheap labor that is keeping produce reasonably cheap. Is it better we import goods from poor countries with devalued dollars? As Mr. Mackey would say, "Xenophobia is bad, M'kay."

- The U.N. is broken and needs to be rebuilt. Here is just one more example of their ineptitude. They will not take any action on the Chinese atrocities in Tibet. For the record, the Security Council should consist of The U.S., Japan, China, Germany, and India, if it is going to be based on the current century. More later...

Obama is Teflon Man

As many of you are by now aware, Sen. Obama gave (what I thought was a brilliant) speech today. This is an expert from on A.P. story that covered the address:

Obama Confronts Racial Division in US

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Barack Obama unsparingly criticized his longtime pastor's words while strongly defending the man himself Tuesday in a politically risky speech that appealed to the country to overcome racism and the black anger and white resentment it spawns.

Forming a more perfect union "requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams," said the Illinois senator running to be the first black president.

"This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected," he said.

In his most pointed speech of the campaign, Obama confronted the nation's legacy of racial division head on, tackling black grievance, white resentment and the uproar over his former pastor's incendiary statements. Drawing on his half-black, half-white roots as no other presidential hopeful could, Obama urged Americans to break "a racial stalemate we've been stuck in for years.'"

"The anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races," he said in a speech at the National Constitution Center, not far from where the Declaration of Independence was adopted. (Click here for more)

Here is a video of the speech:

If you wish to read his remarks, click here.

I think it is cheap and small minded to say that this was a racial address. This talk was far too broad in its scope to be reduced to just one issue, even one as important as race relations in the United States. Obama was really speaking to the idea of empowerment for the downtrodden and dispirited citizens of the United States. Race was a huge component of the speech, but like Dr. King's historic "I have a dream speech", or his brilliant Letter from a Birmingham Jail, or JFK's Moon Speech for that matter, Sen. Obama, by touching on the rawest of nerves, was addressing the notion of possibility. He was touching upon the very idea that we can be the country we aspire to be, but in order to do so we have to recognize the ugly, naked reality of our past and present. However, we also have to take pride and understand the obvious achievements that we have made in regards to race. But in so doing, we have to take stock in the opportunity gap that exists in this country. White kids in poor schools are just as screwed as black or Hispanic kids, ect.

I also noticed that it was a smaller crowd than I am used to seeing Obama address. This seemed like a small conference room, not a basketball arena, perhaps setting a more serious tone. To me, the most profound words he uttered this morning were the following:

Ironically, this quintessentially American – and yes, conservative – notion of self-help found frequent expression in Reverend Wright’s sermons. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change.

The profound mistake of Reverend Wright’s sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country – a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old -- is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know -- what we have seen – is that America can change. That is true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope – the audacity to hope – for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

We are not stuck. We can change our lot, or circumstance, because it is possible. That to me is the handle between the Obama and the Clinton supporter. The Clinton supporter, in my opinion, tends to be more pragmatic in the sense that they are generally occupied by the possibility of improvement within the system as it currently framed. The broader structures are not as relevant as immediate and tangible results. And that is logical if you are without a job and have no health insurance. I imagine, even if I had a fatal form of cancer, I would be more concerned with fixing a broken arm after a bicycle accident than the disease that will likely do me in.

I am not sure if Obama put out the fire on this controversy, but I do think this will blow over for anyone that does not use Sean Hannity as their primary source of information, and lets be honest, most of those folk are not going to vote for a Democrat of any color or creed. I do think that the silver lining here is that Obama got to give what I think might be the most important political speech I have heard in my 33 years of life, and that his words will turn out to be far more important and long lasting than those of his pastor.

For me, listening to Obama give this speech on my way to work this morning conjured up images of the great Michael Jordon dropping 50 points on the tragic Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks. Which really got me thinking, Hillary Clinton is the political equivalent of Patrick Ewing, who probably would have won a handful of titles if his prime did not coincide with Jordon's. Ewing, like Clinton, was great. But Obama, like Jordon, appears to be timeless.

*UPDATE* Here is a collection of opinions on Obama's speech, courtesy of the Huffington Post.

Monday, March 17, 2008

China sucks?

Our Government Should Increase Regulations

The U.S.A.’s lack of regulation in corporate affairs is completely mind-boggling. In this case I bring to your attention yet another food industry wrongdoing. I received this in the mail today.

First, If you look at the sender address you will notice that this is from Jan Koelemary, RD. The RD stands for registered dietician. You will have to look at the second line of the sender address to see who this card was really sent from.

Second, the card states that the presenter Theresa A. Nicklas, “is the author of the American Dietetic Association position paper on Dietary Guidance for Healthy Children…and served on the 2005 US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee” yet she is getting PAID by the COCA-COLA COMPANY.

Does anybody else see a problem here?

The incredible shrinking dollar...

It is very difficult in some European towns to trade dollars for Euros. It is falling against seemingly every major currency worldwide. Alan Greenspan has some interesting views here.

This sucks. I just paid too much to drive my car to the grocery store to pay too much for food. In a global economy, a weak dollar means inflation, and further cuts by the Fed will only serve to further erode our once mighty currency.

In honor of these developments, I thought this tribute to our our paper weight in cheif might be fitting:

No Re-Vote in Florida

Check it. And Check this.

Democratic Party...

Markos, from the Daily Kos of course, really breaks the Clinton campaign down. We have all been slamming Hillary Clinton pretty good lately and it isn't all unwarranted. She has to step down and let the party concentrate on the task at hand. Defeating McCain and taking our country back. Here's Kos:

"Clinton isn't the most horrible person in the world. She's actually quite nice, despite all her flaws, and would make a fine enough president.

If she was winning.

But she's not, and that's the rub.

First of all, the only path to victory for Clinton is via coup by super delegate.

She knows this. That's why there's all the talk about poaching pledged delegates and spinning uncertainty around Michigan and Florida, and laying the case for super delegates to discard the popular will and stage a coup.

Yet a coup by super delegate would sunder the party in civil war.

Clinton knows this, it's her only path to victory, and she doesn't care. She is willing -- nay, eager to split the party apart in her mad pursuit of power."

"Why should I?"

An understated theme, or more to the point an under-addressed theme, during this campaign season has been on the subject of the accountability of our government... you know: "Of the people, by the people"... all that stuff.

Our government and our country have been crippled by the Bush administration's unwillingness to address questions posed by Congress, the press and, ultimately, by its own citizenry. Plainly, our press and our people have become accustomed to being bulldozed by a brutish mentality aimed at running our country as a business in which we are no longer considered stakeholders. This clip of McCain hits on the terrible truth of the continuity we will be supporting with the election of a McCain administration.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A few things...

- A brief history of the situation in Tibet.

- Here is some insight into an Egyptian election.

I'm not sure if this is an indictment on Manson or Fox news:

This is fucked up (and the Radiohead is good too):

Also, the U.S. Bombs Pakistan!

On a lighter note, if you are married, ALWAYS wash your feet...

ie Your Source For News

Is it fucked up that Illiterate Electorate has become a major source of news for me? I think that's a credit to all of you guys contributing. A lot of times, I think of something to post but it's already on here. We are covering a good spectrum. Let's keep it up. Here's wishing you all a great week.

Evening Memo:

- Former PM of Poland, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, does not think politics and the internet should not go hand in hand, so to speak, because the internet is really just for porn. (click here for more) What is this connection between the internet and pornography???

- This is an interesting site about ALL George Bushs, not just the President.

- According to this source, the U.S. has committed war crimes. Politics makes strange bed fellows...


For those who saw it last night apologies. For those who haven't......enjoy. It's SNL's digital short with Jonah Hill from Superbad, Andy Samberg and well, just watch.

Morning Memo: (brief)

- At least one third of oil pumped in Iraq is being sold on the black market. I still can't believe anyone ever believed anything Rumsfeld had to say. He and Baghdad Bob (right) should have a View style talk show....

Rolling Stone's Endorsement of Barack Obama

The tides of history are rising higher and faster these days. Read them right and ride them, or be crushed. And then along comes Barack Obama, with the kinds of gifts that appear in politics but once every few generations. There is a sense of dignity, even majesty, about him, and underneath that ease lies a resolute discipline. It's not just that he is eloquent — with that ability to speak both to you and to speak for you — it's that he has a quality of thinking and intellectual and emotional honesty that is extraordinary. (click here for more)

Happy Sunday Morning

Here is some Chuck Mangione:

Did anyone not see this coming?

McCain Makes Unannounced Trip To Iraq

With 13 U.S. Troops Killed This Week, GOP Candidate Who Supports Bush's War Makes "Fact-Finding" Visit

Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party's presumptive nominee for president, was in the Iraq on Sunday for meetings with Iraqi and U.S. diplomatic and military officials, a U.S. government official said.

Details of McCain's visit were not being released for security reasons, the U.S. embassy said. (Click here for more)


So our government won't help people after a natural disaster, hello New Orleans and now they won't even warn people?? A tornado ripped a 6 mile path through Atlanta. It hit two adjacent sports arenas filled with fans for a NCAA tourney and a Hawks game. The fans in the stadium were not told of the tornado. They were not moved or warned. Two people have died because of the tornado. From Yahoo News:

About 18,000 people were watching the Southeastern Conference men's tournament Friday night at the Georgia Dome when its fabric roof began rippling, the catwalks above the court started swaying and chunks of insulation rained onto the players.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning about eight minutes before the twister hit, but it wasn't clear when or if that alert was passed on to fans, said Katy Pando, a dome spokeswoman. Fans claimed they never heard or saw one.

Really!?! I'm sorry but if I was at that game I would be pissed. A tornado is barring down on me while I watch hoops and they get an 8 minute warning of it and they don't notify me? Unreal.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

On Air Cat Fight..

This has to be the best on air fight I have ever seen. I wish I could edit it down. You have to wait till the last 30 seconds or so but it is soooooo worth the time. I just can't figure out who owned who. Priceless.

Hasidic actor walks off Portman movie

Click here for more...

Hillary Clinton supported the Iraq War...

....don't ever forget that.

Sen. Obama picks up 9....

...Delegates today. (click here for more)

Up to 100 Killed in Tibet

Tibet protest crackdown claims up to 100 lives

By David Eimer in Beijing

Tourists were warned that if they ventured beyond their hotels they risked being shot. Yesterday morning there were soldiers and police posted on every street corner, Mr Plooj said. "They had a circle around the very centre and no-one could get in there."

In a now-practised formula for dealing with internal protests, one that was copied by Burma's ruling junta last year when they cracked down on protesting Buddhist monks, the Chinese authorities have moved to isolate Tibet from the rest of the world. There is no internet access to Tibet-related websites anywhere in China and mobile telephone coverage is spotty. (Click here for more)

*UPDATE* -The Dalai Lama is arguing (and I think correctly) that China is commiting cultural genocide. (click here for more)

Mitch Hedberg Sat Tribute

I have no idea what this guy is talking about....

....but he seems to not like McCane:

Two great stories from this month's Vanity Fair


The $3 Trillion War

After wildly lowballing the cost of the Iraq conflict at a mere $50 to $60 billion, the Bush administration has been concealing the full economic toll. The spending on military operations is merely the tip of a vast fiscal iceberg. In an excerpt from their new book, the authors calculate the grim bottom line. (click here for more)


The Gaza Bombshell

After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, David Rose reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever. (click here for more)

China has killed up to 30 in Tibet:

BEIJING (AFP) - Tibet's exiled government said Saturday that about 30 people had been killed during unrest in Lhasa, as Chinese troops locked down the city amid fierce international scrutiny ahead of the Olympics.

Witnesses said tanks and soldiers were out in force in Lhasa following Friday's protests, the biggest against China's controversial rule of Tibet since 1989, as authorities set a Monday deadline for perpetrators to surrender.

"We are confirming approximately 30 deaths, and we are even hearing numbers of over 100 dead, but this number we are unable to confirm," Tenzin Taklha, a senior official of the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamshala in northern India, told AFP. (click here for more)

The global front for NAMBLA, ie, the International Olympic Committee, has stated that there should be no boycott of the 2008 games:

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge (turd on the right) poured cold water
Saturday on calls for a boycott of the Summer Games in Beijing over China's
crackdown in Tibet, saying it would only penalize athletes. (Click
here for more)

This is absurd, offensive to the very concept of reason, and downright flabbergasting. They should just cancel the damn games altogether and instead spend a month having people in the West manufacture their own textiles. That would make much better television than 14 year old girls playing with monkey bars. Besides, doesn't Mr. Rogge (and I use the title Mr. very, very loosely) have a conflict of interest here? He has no soul and no rational for speaking at all. I highly recommend ignoring him whenever and wherever possible.