American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, May 03, 2003
googling around for stories about bill "you moral incompetents, can you bring me a drink while i play the slots" bennett, we came across this one in the charlotte observer that has nothing to do with gambling:

bill bennett, the former national drug czar and voluntary national curmudgeon, sent us a letter recently that expressed deep concern about today's youth….

as an example of "how morally at sea some young people are," he cited this result, among others, from a national survey he commissioned: "35% of the students said they would be likely to evade a draft were it reinstituted; 21% of students would be willing to serve, but only if stationed in the u.s.; and only 35% of students would be willing to serve and fight anywhere in the world."

we share mr. bennett's concern about morality of young people, and older people as well. but a wish to escape the draft is hardly new, and it's not necessarily illegal. consider these examples:

• george w. bush avoided the draft by enlisting in the texas air national guard, the kind of duty that, as former joint chiefs of staff chairman colin powell said in his memoirs, was generally reserved for "the sons of the powerful."

• vice president dick cheney evaded the draft by receiving five student and marriage deferments during the vietnam war.

• hawkish defense department official paul wolfowitz didn't serve, nor did a fellow hawk, defense adviser richard perle.

and the article goes on. at least nobody pointed up the hypocracy of lecturing on virtue while dropping $8 mill in atlantic city!
the english school girl who was suspended from school for organizing an anti-war rally has been reinstated, according to the bbc.

however, the judge in the high court who reinstated her branded her as "a very silly girl."

the school maintains that her anti-war activity was not the reason for her suspension, but rather a pattern of bad behavior in general, including "allegedly ‘greatly upsetting’ one teacher by calling her a ‘fascist cow’."

that fiend!

the east anglian daily times news delves further into the girl's obviously anti-social behavior:

the ban was also influenced by complaints that the teenager from rayne, near braintree, whose mother is in turkey, had in the past "bunked off" school and had a reputation for being "aggressive, rude and non-conformist".

earlier carolyn hamilton, for the school authorities, said she had refused to wear full uniform, disobeyed rules and confessed to "hating" school and having an interest in "shocking people".

heavens! that's no way for a future consumer to conform to the greater good of society! bunking off school? having an interest in shocking people? this kind of behavior will not be tolerated!

all in all it's just a
nother brick in the wall.

What else can anyone say about the Israeli "Defense" Forces? They're a bunch of murderous fucking genocidal maniacs doing the bidding of a bunch of Jewish fundamentalist fucks who believe their God gave them that land, so I suppose, by extension, their God also gives them the right to murder Palestinians and anyone else who dares stand in their way including international peace activists and journalists.

Evident, right?

So what can we do about it? What can the international community do about it? We can do fuckall about it, that's what. I'll tell you one thing though: the Zionist extremists currently conducting genocide against the Palestinians and murdering anyone with a fucking conscience who comes in and tries to stop them or at least document it for the world to see will not win the information war. I will and can at least continue in my own small way to expose their ongoing campaign of fundamentalist-based mass murder. At least, that. Otherwise I deal with my fury at them and for all the rancid journalists in the world who do nothing about it.

Friday, May 02, 2003
Widespread scepticism greeted the "road-map" that was handed to Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Wednesday after the swearing in of the Palestinian government, headed by Mahmoud Abbas. For a document that had been so long in gestation and so loudly trumpeted in advance, its publication was low key. Here is the complete text of the document.
After more than two decades of Saddam Hussein, the Iraqis are used to bizarre television and radio broadcasts. But not even that prepared them for yesterday's broadcast by the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to the Iraqi nation.

"Hello, I'm Don Rumsfeld," he said, opening the broadcast. The personal approach would have baffled even the Pentagon press corps used to a more aggressive Mr Rumsfeld.

He said: "Back home in America I have three children and six grandchildren. The youngest is just one year old. I want the same things for them that each of you want for your children and grandchildren - safety, security and a just society where they have freedom to pursue their dreams."

Seemingly oblivious to the fact that he was addressing one of the best-educated societies in the Middle East, with a big middle class, his tone was at times that of the colonial governor addressing the natives. "Building a free society isn't easy. It requires hard work and sacrifice," he said.
The popular author, lecturer and Republican Party activist speaks out, often indignantly, about almost every moral issue except one-gambling. It’s not hard to see why. According to casino documents, Bennett is a “preferred customer” in at least four venues in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, betting millions of dollars over the last decade. His games of choice: video poker and slot machines, some at $500 a pull. With a revolving line of credit of at least $200,000 at each casino, Bennett, former drug czar and Secretary of Education under Presidents Reagan and Bush, doesn’t have to bring money when he shows up at a casino.

More than 40 pages of internal casino documents provided to The Washington Monthly and NEWSWEEK paint a picture of a gambler given the high-roller treatment, including limos and tens of thousands of dollars in complimentary hotel rooms and other amenities. In one two-month period, the documents show him wiring more than $1.4 million to cover losses at one casino. In one 18-month stretch , Bennett visited a number of casinos for two or three days at a time. And Bennett must have worried about news of his habit leaking out. His customer profile at one casino lists an address that corresponds to, the Web site of Empower America, the group Bennett co-chairs. But typed across the form are the words: NO CONTACT AT RES OR BIZ!!!

Bennett and his organization, Empower America, oppose the extension of casino gambling in the states. In a recent editorial, his Empower America co-chair Jack Kemp inveighed against lawmakers who “pollute our society with a slot machine on every corner.”
Israel will from now on bar pro-Palestinian activists from entering the country and will try to expel at least some of the dozens of activists who are already here, according a new plan drafted by the Israel Defense Forces and the foreign and defense ministries.

Most of the activists, who come from Europe, Canada and the United States, belong to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

The IDF charges that many of the self-proclaimed peace activists are "provocateurs" and "riot inciters" who deliberately interfere with the IDF's work, with the goal of blackening Israel's image.
The Treasury Department says the United States could face the prospect of not being able to pay its bills in late May unless Congress raises the government's borrowing authority, now capped at $6.4 trillion.

Treasury's debt managers have taken a number of steps since February to prevent the government from defaulting on the national debt, but "on current projections, the extraordinary measures taken since Feb. 20, 2003, will only be adequate to meet the government's needs until the latter half of May," said a statement released Tuesday.

After that - absent a boost in the government's borrowing authority by Congress - Treasury would breach the current $6.4 trillion ceiling on the national debt.
From an address by John Sanderson, Governor of West Australia and former chief of the Australian army, to the United Nations Youth Association State conference:
I think it is safe to say at this time that the UN, as a decision making and mediating body, has been severely discredited in the minds of the American voting public. Whether it deserves this or not, the harsh fact is that the World body is impotent without the support of the only super power, and the possibility that it can only gain this support by compliance with America's domestic priorities seems to me to be an issue of deep concern for all of us.

My assessment of this development would be that the probability of the support for and the resort to terrorism has been enhanced as a direct result. The demonstrated preponderance of American military might is such that terrorism must now seem to some as the only way to gain leverage against the United States in the process of international mediation and bargaining.
Full text here.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich led the opposition to the war in Congress. On the eve of President Bush's speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich -- ranking member of the Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations -- issued the following statement:
"Regardless of the outcome, the war in Iraq was wrong. While the United States has won a military victory in Iraq, the Administration never justified the war, rendering it a diplomatic and foreign policy failure.

"The Administration led America into a war based on false pretenses. Even today, as the President declares an end to combat, there is no credible evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. These weapons, they said, posed an immediate and imminent threat to our nation and our allies, and could not be eliminated through international weapons inspectors.

"The Administration, with its policy in Iraq, has isolated the United States from the international community and threatens to make our country less safe, not more safe.

"Bringing the troops home, and bringing in the international community to assist with humanitarian reconstruction and security, must happen immediately. Rhetoric alone will not convince the world that the United States is not occupying Iraq, especially since the U.S. has prioritized the rebuilding oil infrastructures instead of providing humanitarian assistance."
Thursday, May 01, 2003

This Loyalty Day, as we express allegiance to our Nation and its founding ideals, we resolve to ensure that the blessings of liberty endure and extend for generations to come.

The Congress, by Public Law 85-529, as amended, has designated May 1 of each year as "Loyalty Day," and I ask all Americans to join me in this day of celebration and in reaffirming our allegiance to our Nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2003, as Loyalty Day. I call upon all the people of the United States to join in support of this national observance. I also call upon government officials to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings on Loyalty Day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-seventh.

The most important question now facing the world is the use the Bush Administration will make of its military dominance, especially in the Middle East. The next question is when and in what form resistance to US domination over the Middle East will arise. That there will be resistance is certain. It would be contrary to every historical precedent to believe that such a quasi-imperial hegemony will not stir up resentment, which sooner or later is bound to find an effective means of expression.

...While the special place of Saddam Hussein in American demonology means that this wouldn't be an easy trick to repeat, the American public's ignorance of international affairs in general and the Muslim world in particular make it by no means impossible. It isn't just Fox TV: numerous even more rabid media outlets, the Christian Coalition and parts of the Israeli lobby are all dedicated to whipping up hatred of Arabs and Muslims. More important is the fact that most Americans accept Bush's equation of terrorism and 'evil', which makes it extremely difficult to conduct any serious public discussion of threats from the Muslim world in terms which would be acceptable or even comprehensible to a mass American audience. Add to this the severe constraints on the discussion of the role of Israel, and you have a state of public debate close to that described by Marcuse. If America suffered another massive terrorist attack in the coming years, the dangers would be incomparably greater.
The "road map" has been unfurled at last, its destination a independent Palestine by 2005. So why are so many Israeli government hawks walking around with smiles on their faces?

The war in Iraq may be one big reason, the newfound sense among rightists that the Middle East can be made over by force of will, force of arms, and force of example.

Another possibility is rooted in the gambling instincts of George Bush and Ariel Sharon, who may well be betting heavily on new Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazen - to lose. (...)

What's in it for Sharon? Eldar believes that the Israeli leader quietly but genuinely believes what Israeli ultra-hawks like Likud cabinet minister Uzi Landau and American neocons like Richard Perle are pleased to say out loud: that everything connected with Oslo must go - up to and including the whole of the Palestinian Authority.

Because the road map is at heart a return to many of the aspects of Oslo and its offshoot the Peres-Abu Ala plan, even with a similar cast of characters, the hawks reject its very basis. As in U.S. neocon recommendations to then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996, "They reject the principle of land for peace. They believe that Israeli-Palestinian military cooperation doesn't work. They believe in peace by force, by regime change. They believe that the victory in Iraq proved that they were right, that the way to deal with terrorism is simply by force."

At the end of the day, "If 'Bush comes to shove' and the administration must decide whether to crack down on Sharon or on Abu Mazen, it's very clear what they are going to do."

It looks like the Palestinians are being taken again. The bloodshed will continue until the Palestinians get their own country (a real country, not the phony country Israel wants for the Palestinians) or the Israelis make all the Palestinians go away — one way or the other.
It'll be like occupying and rebuilding post-war Japan...

By Carol Rosenberg
Mercury News

BAGHDAD, Iraq -The Iraqi capital these days appears to be awash in gunmen waving or shouldering automatic rifles.

Members of a Sunni Muslim-led exile force suddenly set up checkpoints and snarl traffic in one neighborhood. Kurdish bodyguards screen visitors outside political-party offices in another. Shiite Muslims pile into mosques for Friday prayers, casually toting AK-47s they stole from government storehouses.

Three weeks after the collapse of Saddam Hussein's government, quasi-independent militias are carving out turf in the 2,000-square-mile capital, mostly along sectarian lines, much like the Christian, Sunni and Shiite militias that bedeviled Beirut, Lebanon, or the clans that sliced up the Somalian capital of Mogadishu.
...or Beirut.

Same thing.
I've been thinking about justifications for war. And the larger philosophical question of justification in general. No doubt it is a feature of my personality that the problem of justification seems more central to me that the various (& very real) political issues surrounding the recent war. I don't think poetry is any one thing, but one thing that poetry is, is an investigation of motive. If there is a universal quality of poetry, it is that poetry makes its rhetorical motives available to the reader; by doing so, poetry can also sometimes illuminate the public use of language. Poetry in this view is exemplary, not in the high-cultural sense of approved usage, but in the critical sense of language as self-interrogation. (Self? The personal self, yes; but also the "self" of language.) Aside: One of the failures of much recent poetics & criticism is lack of attention to the public qualities of poetic language. I want to advance the argument that part of the value of poetic language is its power to refract public discourse in such a way that its motives are revealed. There are other things poetry can do, but a poet's interest in the problem of justification is going to hone in on this particular use of poetic language.

On Sunday I posted a note in response to a Paul Berman review in the NY Times of a book by conservative academic Jean Bethke Elshtain. It was just a quick reaction. Today I heard Elshtain on NPR's Talk of the Nation, though, & my first reaction was to wonder what it must feel like to be an apologist for the likes of that bloated & diseased amphibian Richard Perle. The man sweats poisons. Elshtain appeared to be arguing that the recent war against Iraq was justified by a long tradition of just war theory, but she spoke as if recent revelations about the Bush Administration's public proclamations during the lead-up to the war had not yet reached the precincts of her ivory tower. Had I been able to address her, I would have wanted to ask the professor whether a war could be considered just that had been justified to the American public on the basis of a calculated series of lies. One of the most interesting exchanges occurred when a caller asked specifically about the requirements for just wars launched by a democratic nation. Professor Elshtain blithely followed her ideological script, replying that dictatorships could not launch just wars. Even the moderator could not let this statement go without question, remarking that any nation has a right of self-defense. Elshtain replied that dictatorships usually don't mind their own business & thus can rarely be passive victims of aggression & so entitled to the cover of just war doctrine.

Listening to the radio program, I immediately thought of two counter examples, though I'm sure there are more. Legitimate arguments proceed through the presentations of facts & arguments that tie the facts together; responses present counterfactuals & attempt to reshape understanding by reinterpreting the situation in terms of the new constellation of facts. I'm trying to get at the basic relationship between language & the world here & what I object to in the current political discourse as exemplified by Professor Elshtain's treatment of just war doctrine is the obscuring of that relationship. Poetry, I am arguing, keeps the relationship tight & thus honest. Counter examples from recent Vietnamese history: In 1979 China launched a war against Vietnam in retaliation for Vietnam's actions against the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. The Vietnamese beat back the Chinese attack in what anyone would have to mark as a justified war. The second example is the preemptive Vietnamese attack on Cambodia in order to protect Vietnamese territory, but also--& this is crucial--to stop the genocide going on in Cambodia. Elshtain appears to be staking a claim for American intervention based on our unique virtue, but we are not as a nation uniquely virtuous: I take it as fundamental that no nation is uniquely virtuous & that even repressive regiems can act for humane ends. We would have intervened in Rwanda . . . One of Professor Elshtain's fundamental assumptions is given the lie by these actual historical counterfactuals. Poetry, I would like to think, is like journalism in that it has to pay attention to the world itself. Perhaps poetry is more interested in the language & journalism in the facts, but this is a matter of tendency & focus, not a fundamental difference. I'd argue, with Stevens, that poetry is a reflection of reality that allows us to re-perceive the world to our critical advantage.

Poetry should stand up to the pieties of the dominate discourse in politics, but poetry must also be self-policing, catching itself in its own comfortable lies. Style doesn't matter, school doesn't matter--each poem can be judged on this essentially philosophical basis: does it investigate the world's particulars while investigating itself as part of the world? Poetry is mostly powerless, but the clarity it can sometimes provide can perhaps deflect & transform the murderous powers of ideologically driven political programs such as those endorsed by Professor Elshtain. Poetry, at its best, can help us to avoid the complete disintegration of imagination represented by current American militarism.

To justify any act on the basis of a known lie would seem to undercut the very idea of justification. It's not that poetry can't lie, only that poetry is the one use of language that can sometimes expose lies, even its own lies.
by Wayne Madsen from CounterPunch
"...According to journalists close to the Vatican, the Pope and his closest advisers are also concerned that the ultimate acts of evil - the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon - were known in advance by senior Bush administration officials.

By permitting the attacks to take their course, there is a perception within the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy that a coup d'etat was implemented, one that gave Bush and his leadership near-dictatorial powers to carry out their agenda."
"The process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor"
-- Project for a New American Century (2000)

Never mind the Pope, he's a pinko commie "hate-America-first" conspiracy wack-job.

Also see:

  • A NEWSWEEK Web Exclusive: The Secrets of September 11
  • Bush will use third anniversary of 9-11 as electioneering platform
  • LibertyThink 9.11 Archive
  • Wednesday, April 30, 2003
    On the eve of the U.S. Navy's departure from the Puerto Rican island they used for bombing exercises, residents celebrated and activists laid claim to the property. The Navy is handing over 15,000 acres of land on the eastern end of Vieques to federal authorities. After an extensive cleanup, the property will become a wildlife refuge.

    "We are here today to mark the beginning of a new era in peace and prosperity for Vieques," Gov. Sila Calderon said Wednesday to the thunder of applause. "It is a moment of great joy, for we have achieved our dream."
    Were They Planted?

    After the United States and Britain were shown to be providing bogus and plagiarized "intelligence" documents to the UN Security Council that supposedly "proved" Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction program, the world's media is now being fed a steady stream of captured Iraqi "intelligence" documents from the rubble of Iraq's Mukhabarat intelligence headquarters.

    The problem with these documents is that they are being provided by the U.S. military to a few reporters working for a very suspect newspaper, London's Daily Telegraph (affectionately known as the Daily Torygraph" by those who understand the paper's right-wing slant).

    From the "they're gonna welcome us with open arms" folks:
    "The Arab" is noisy, exceedingly polite, evasive, honorable to the core, thin-skinned and a whole lot else. At least that's according to A Soldier's Guide to the Republic of Iraq, a booklet prepared by the Army's 101st Airborne Division and distributed to prepare troops for Iraq.

    If U.S. soldiers, who are now acting more like peacekeepers than warriors, happen to consult the guide, they will find an odd compendium of stereotypes and gross generalizations presented as absolute fact.
    Tuesday, April 29, 2003
    Conservative news source News Max lists French companies to boycott. Who wants to counter-strike and support these companies?
    "Syria Detains, Frees 2 British Commandos who had entered the country from Iraq, detaining them for five days before releasing them, a British news agency reported Monday." Guardian/UK

    The plan envisages the reconstruction of an old pipeline, inactive since the end of the British mandate in Palestine in 1948, when the flow from Iraq's northern oilfields to Palestine was re-directed to Syria.

    It would also create an end less and easily accessible source of cheap Iraqi oil for the US guaranteed by reliable allies other than Saudi Arabia - a keystone of US foreign policy for decades and especially since 11 September 2001.

    The paper quotes Paritzky as saying that the pipeline would cut Israel's energy bill drastically - probably by more than 25 per cent - since the country is currently largely dependent on expensive imports from Russia.

    US intelligence sources confirmed to The Observer that the project has been discussed. One former senior CIA official said: 'It has long been a dream of a powerful section of the people now driving this administration [of President George W. Bush] and the war in Iraq to safeguard Israel's energy supply as well as that of the United States.
    If there is only one thing you read today, this should be it. A must read.

    George W. Bush, properly understood, represents the third and most powerful wave in the right's long-running assault on the governing order created by twentieth-century liberalism. The first wave was Ronald Reagan, whose election in 1980 allowed movement conservatives finally to attain governing power (their flame was first lit by Barry Goldwater back in 1964). Reagan unfurled many bold ideological banners for right-wing reform and established the political viability of enacting regressive tax cuts, but he accomplished very little reordering of government, much less shrinking of it. The second wave was Newt Gingrich, whose capture of the House majority in 1994 gave Republicans control of Congress for the first time in two generations. Despite some landmark victories like welfare reform, Gingrich flamed out quickly, a zealous revolutionary ineffective as legislative leader.

    George Bush II may be as shallow as he appears, but his presidency represents a far more formidable challenge than either Reagan or Gingrich. His potential does not emanate from an amiable personality (Al Gore, remember, outpolled him in 2000) or even the sky-high ratings generated by 9/11 and war. Bush's governing strength is anchored in the long, hard-driving movement of the right that now owns all three branches of the federal government. Its unified ranks allow him to govern aggressively, despite slender GOP majorities in the House and Senate and the public's general indifference to the right's domestic program.

    The movement's grand ambition--one can no longer say grandiose--is to roll back the twentieth century, quite literally. That is, defenestrate the federal government and reduce its scale and powers to a level well below what it was before the New Deal's centralization. With that accomplished, movement conservatives envision a restored society in which the prevailing values and power relationships resemble the America that existed around 1900, when William McKinley was President. Governing authority and resources are dispersed from Washington, returned to local levels and also to individuals and private institutions, most notably corporations and religious organizations. The primacy of private property rights is re-established over the shared public priorities expressed in government regulation. Above all, private wealth--both enterprises and individuals with higher incomes--are permanently insulated from the progressive claims of the graduated income tax.
    For years, Ben & Jerry's has touted liberal causes. Now there's an ice cream for conservatives.
    Star Spangled Ice Cream offers I Hate the French Vanilla, Iraqi Road, Nutty Environmentalist and Smaller Governmint.

    The ice cream is made and shipped by Baltimore ice cream maker Moxley's, although Moxley's owner Tom Washburn says his company remains neutral in political matters. "We're just hired to fill an order," Washburn said, noting he'd be happy to make ice cream for liberal causes as well.

    Star Spangled Ice Cream is the brainchild of New Jersey corporate lawyer Andrew Stein and two Washington consultants, Frank Cannon and Richard Lessner.
    Monday, April 28, 2003
    Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld rarely keeps his opinions to himself. He tends not to compromise with his enemies. And he clearly disdains the communist regime in North Korea. So it's surprising that there is no clear public record of his views on the controversial 1994 deal in which the U.S. agreed to provide North Korea with two light-water nuclear reactors in exchange for Pyongyang ending its nuclear weapons program. What's even more surprising about Rumsfeld's silence is that he sat on the board of the company that won a $200 million contract to provide the design and key components for the reactors.
    Goddamn it, which of our enemies didn't Rummy sell arms to?
    Daniele Buetti... Good Fellows - Looking For Love. Works by Daniele Buetti at Aeroplastics.
    I'm sure many others would like to join me right now in giving big thanks to John Emerson of Social Design Notes for giving the Samizdat such a cool new look: thanks, John!
    "Fundamentalism means sticking strictly to the script, which in turn means being deeply fearful of the improvised, ambiguous or indeterminate...Since writing is meaning that can be handled by anybody, any time, it is always profane and promiscuous. Meaning that has been written down is bound to be unhygienic...Fundamentalism is the paranoid condition of those who do not see that roughness is not a defect of human existence, but what makes it work."

    Terry Eagleton
    --The Guardian 22 Feb. 2003
    The Better Rhetor on attempts to silence student poets in New Mexico. Note the literary allusion to Oliver Twist in the fifth line. These kids must be getting educated or something, must be time to fire the teacher.

    Bush said no child would be left behind
    And yet kids from inner-city schools
    Work on Central Avenue
    Jingling cans that read
    Please sir, may I have some more?
    They hand out diplomas like toilet paper
    And lower school standards
    Underpaid, unrespected teachers
    Are afraid of losing their jobs
    Funded by the standardized tests
    That shows our competency
    When I'm in detox. [ . . . ]
    Sunday, April 27, 2003
    "'If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything', Santorum said in an interview published on Monday by the Associated Press."

    One can admire the logical consistency of the Senator's position. Bear with me--there's actually a great insight about the nature of sexuality here, though the Senator has it inside out. The problem with the logical consistency in this case is its divorce from historical, legal & political reality, but the insight that lit up the Senator's cortex is that once you admit that sex is a pleasure removed from strictly biological processes, then anything goes. Even "man on dog," to use the solon's memorable language. Freedom is dangerous, Santorum is right in this, but he leaps to the wrong conclusion & his leap is motivated by the fear of sex as pleasure & the desire to impose state control over private behavior. It is a fear that generates all kind of emotional & thus political static, spinning fantasies of fecund welfare queens & hipster sex dens that bear no relation to reality, but rev up social anxieties & the fear of freedom. The philosophical problem is how, once sex is admitted to be pleasurable, does one prevent this from becoming a license for abuse. The answer is simple, really & mostly straightforward in practice. The key is consent. In any reasonable sense of the word consent, animals cannot consent to sex with humans; spouses married illegally & secretly cannot consent to the arrangement; children cannot consent to sex with parents; children cannot in most cases consent to sex with adults; but adults of the same gender can easily & naturally consent to sex with each other. But the Senator is right, once the state sanctions gay sexual pleasure, all sorts of freedoms might blossom. And that would be intolerable to men like Senator Santorum. Pleasure is dangerous to power.
    It's amazing how right-wing academics get a pass from critics on the old ivory tower accusation. Left-wing professors are routinely dismissed for being muddle-headed, ideologically drive, & cut off from the real world; but here we have a professional ethicist, Jean Bethke Elshtain, of the University of Chicago, who argues for an imperialist American foreign policy & who dismisses our own government's attack on civil rights as trivial praised by Paul Berman in the Pages of the New York Times Book Review. Professor Elshtain is presented as an intellectual who cuts through the soft-headed balderdash of the left. Now, I am responding to a book review, not the book itself, but if Berman's characterization of the book is accurate, I detect two problems, both logical. The first is Elshtain's characterization of "the left"--in short, her left is a caricature based on selective generalization. That is, the picture she paints of the left is convenient to her purposes. The second logical problem is endemic to academic philosophy--it is called reasoning in a vacuum. In this case the vacuum is historical. Elshtain's reasoning appears to be completely removed from a century of American foreign policy. This is the worst sort of ivory tower intellectualizing, but it's all perfectly legitimate, apparently, when it comes from the right.
    Bush lies and manipulates public and Congress
    by Carla Binion
    See link for a list of links to articles that detail the Bush administration's lies.
    Both Orwell and Aldous Huxley have written about dictatorial leaders and their methods of managing public opinion. In Brave New World Revisited, Huxley wrote that tyrants often use propaganda techniques that rely on the following. (1) Repetition of catchwords, (2) Suppression of facts the propagandist wants the public to ignore. (3) Inflaming mass fear or other strong emotional reaction for the purpose of controlling public opinion and behavior.

    Huxley talks about Adolf Hitler's propaganda efforts to appeal to the emotions of the masses instead of reason. He notes that Hitler systematically exploited the German people's hidden fears and anxieties. The Bush administration has clearly exploited the American people's fears of terrorism since September 11.
    The case for invading Iraq to remove its weapons of mass destruction was based on selective use of intelligence, exaggeration, use of sources known to be discredited and outright fabrication, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

    A high-level UK source said last night that intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic were furious that briefings they gave political leaders were distorted in the rush to war with Iraq. "They ignored intelligence assessments which said Iraq was not a threat," the source said. Quoting an editorial in a Middle East newspaper which said, "Washington has to prove its case. If it does not, the world will for ever believe that it paved the road to war with lies", he added: "You can draw your own conclusions."
    I know the left-blogosphere is all over this with appropriate cynicism, but I just really wanted to scrawl LYING BASTARDS in a public place & this is the most my middle-class upbringing would allow me to do. I don't know, maybe I've got a can of spray paint in the shed.
    Al Martin story was strategic disinfo; IAO, not DHS

    by Charlotte Iserbyt

    "...Former KGB counter-intelligence chief, General Oleg Kalugin, who is a Fox News commentator, recently stated that Admiral Poindexter's Office of Information Awareness (OIA) which is involved in spying on United States citizens, had hired both General Yevgeny Primakov and General Aleksandr V. Karpos, former KGB heads, as consultants and advisors. (Primakov in addition served as Russian Prime Minister in the late nineties.)

    Al Martin, whose credibility has been questioned by a couple of readers, had previously reported that Primakov and Karpov were hired by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This information was disinformation provided by the Bush Administration to cover up the fact that Poindexter's OIA had hired Primakov and Karpov.

    When the Bush administration realized it couldn't get away with lying about the hiring of Primakov and Karpov by Poindexter's OIA, it put out out very effective disinformation to the effect that these two former Soviet spies had a relationship with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is a lie."
    Why does unelected Resident G.W. Bush hate gays? Note, I'm assuming he hates them becuase he aggressively recruits and promotes others hating them; history shows something of an ideological affinity between party heads and their subordinates.

    Just a few fucking days ago there was the Santorum mess, for which the Bushites have yet to apologize. Now we get word that the Bush occupied White House is recommending Claude Allen, a former spokesman for Jesse Helms - the man who championed the fight against MLK Day - for a position on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


    According to the May 2, 1984 Christian Science Monitor, Allen, who is Black and was then employed on Helms' North Carolina senatorial campaign, helped devise a campaign portraying Helms' opponent - sitting Governor James Hunt Jr - as an "ultraliberal" for being "tied to" to "black leaders." According to the piece, "[p]hotographs showing such leaders with Hunt become grist for the Helms campaign mill." Which is pretty fucked up on its own. But it gets worse.

    In the October 19, 1984 New York Times, Allen was reported to have charged Hunt with the unpardonable crime of having links with "the queers." Allen was reported to have apologized shortly thereafter, but that apology - its text being unavailable - seems terribly insincere in light of a later Times piece:
    Mr. Allen said he made the remark after the Hunt campaign ran television commercials saying Mr. Helms was supported by ''right-wing nuts,'' as Mr. Allen put it.

    Asked yesterday about his remark, he explained, "I said at the time that we could say the same thing about queer groups" supporting Mr. Hunt.
    Those words were recorded March 12, 1985. Sensitivity training is a many-life-long process, it seems.

    The media seems largely to have forgotten about Mr. Allen's animus toward the "queers" exrecise of their right to support whomever they want. The last article I found mentioning it was a November 18, 194 Washinton Post item on Uncle Jesse's 1984 campaign. The relevant passages:
    Helms shamelessly mined the race issue. He called Hunt a "racist" for appealing to black votes on the basis of his support of civil rights measures. His press secretary Claude Allen, a black, tried to link Hunt with "queers." Allen later apologized.

    But Helms didn't waver. On election eve, he accused Hunt of being supported by "homosexuals, the labor-union bosses and the crooks" and said he feared a large "bloc vote." What did he mean? "The black vote," Helms said.
    A man so principled that he begrudges the right of "queers" to support candidates of their choosing, and one so desirous to get along that he cannot recognize rank prejudice directed at his fellow Blacks. Such is the mind that Bush calls worthy of adjudicating matters of considerable import.

    Why didn't he just tap Instapuppet?

    Of course, this is the same rustic jackass that could mistake Arik Sharon for a "man of peace" and Dick Santorum for an "inclusive" type.

    Has it dawned on Sullivan that for all the thrill of being allowed to cozy up at the feet of power and, when nobody's looking, to sniff its hair, that he's been sold a mammoth bill of goods?

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