Monday, January 28, 2008

All You've Got Is Money

While thinking about:

• The billions of taxpayers' dollars being spent on the war, and the billions in obscene profits being made by war profiteers like Halliburton;

• The indoctrination of our children and young people into our culture of the fetishization of money;

• How greed is valorized and applauded in our society;

• The relationship between the extravagant wealth of a few and the grinding poverty of the many;

• The insulting patronization of our leaders in "trickling down" $600 apiece to us while billions are being spent in the occupation of Iraq,

I came up with this video to the music of Grand Funk Railroad's 1971 song, "All You've Got Is Money"...

I can't tell you how to run your life
To get along with one another.
Everybody knows what's wrong and what's right
But you can't trust your own brother.

Everybody wants to be your friend
All the chicks, they call you honey.
But don't trust them 'till the very end
'Cause all they're after is your money.

All they want is all your money
All they're after is your money
... is your money.

All they want is
All your money.
All they want is ...

Don't it scare you
When they take such good care of you
And all you've got is money?
Before they fool you
Please, let me school you
All you've got is money.

~ Lyrics by Mark Farner
Album: Grand Funk Railroad Survival [1971]

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bush Lied - They Died

Leading a nation to war under false pretenses is an act of treason. It is a despicably venal act when it is done for reasons of political gain and corporate profit.

Taking advantage of the selflessness, patriotism and bravery of our armed services personnel by lying to them, and to the American people, is as morally low as I can imagine anything being.

Now that two nonprofit journalism organizations have unequivocally shown that Bush and his cronies lied repeatedly to you about how and why they are spending your tax dollars and your husbands', wives', sons' and daughters' blood...

What are you going to do about that?

What are YOU going to do about that?

What are you going to DO about that?

Study: False Statements Preceded War

Jan 22, 10:14 PM (ET)


WASHINGTON (AP) - A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration's position that the world community viewed Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.

"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.

The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida," according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003."

Named in the study along with Bush were top officials of the administration during the period studied: Vice President Dick Cheney, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan.

Bush led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq's links to al-Qaida, the study found. That was second only to Powell's 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq and al-Qaida.

The center said the study was based on a database created with public statements over the two years beginning on Sept. 11, 2001, and information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches and interviews.

"The cumulative effect of these false statements - amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts - was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war," the study concluded.

"Some journalists - indeed, even some entire news organizations - have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, 'independent' validation of the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq," it said.

The News Story
On the Net:
Center For Public Integrity

Fund For Independence in Journalism


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Guns, Not Dildos?

DAME Magazine has an article online about the Troy King vs. Loretta Nall sex toys controversy in Alabama that is at once hilarious and disturbing:

Alabama vs. Dildos

A quote from the article:

While selling a handgun to a child is a trivial crime in Alabama punishable by no more than a $500 fine, violators of the dildo ban are subject to one year of prison or hard labor as well as a $10,000 fine.

In other words, Alabama lawmakers deemed that G-spot stimulators in the hands of consenting adults are more of a threat to public safety and welfare than Glock .45s in the hands of children.

"The difference is, firearms are not inherently immoral," says Rev. Dan Ireland, executive director of the Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP), a coalition of conservative Baptist preachers and activists who claim to serve as "Alabama's moral compass."

"There are moral ways and immoral ways to use a firearm," says Ireland, whose organization is clamoring for stringent enforcement of the dildo ban. "There is no moral way to use one of these devices."

Alabama's moral compass or Alabama's moralistic jackass? You make the call.

The sex toy ban, which has been in place since 1998, is supported by Alabama's conservative evangelical Christian (read: heavily Baptist) community.

"Sometimes you have to protect the public against themselves," said the good Rev. Ireland. (Or is that protect the pubic against itself?)

Note to Rev. Dan Ireland, executive director of the Alabama Citizens Action Program:

Fuck off, you obnoxious, Bible-thumping nitwit.

If you don't want to use sex toys, then don't use them. But don't tell other folks what to do in their bedrooms. Shitcan the self-righteousness.

Get a life, get some sex, or at least get an I.Q.

The good news is, Rev. Ireland plans to retire in March. The bad news is, his sucessor will undoubtedly be someone just as ignorant and probably younger and more energetic...

"The function of Theology? The recitation of the incomprehensible by the unspeakable to pick the pockets of the unthinking."

~ Robert Anton Wilson

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ron Paul Loses His Luster

What Does It Tell Us About Ron's Ability To Run The Nation, If He Can't Even Run A Newsletter Properly?

Introduction: As Jamie Kilstein has pointed out over at, it would be shocking if Ron Paul supporters realized he is an anti-abortion rights, anti-evolution wackjob, and the equally shocking fact that he's a Republican who somehow has a few ideas that don't suck (you know, like legalizing drugs, which is sadly just about all most Paulies know about him), doesn't mean that he's humanity's savior.

As Kilstein put it, "Seriously, Ron Paul-9/11 truthers, I know you're mad at your parents (even though they still send you money), but have you looked at Ron Paul's record? He is fucking crazy! For people with so much goddamn time on their hands, you could fucking Google search a speech, or two. For fuck's sake!"

But on a more serious note...

Mother Jones Magazine's MoJo Blog by Josh Harkinson

With results in from New Hampshire, the wild and pervasive fantasies surrounding the Paul campaign should finally be laid to rest. For months Paul supporters have swamped the comments section of this and pretty much every other major blog with the idea that his poll numbers were vastly underreported, either due to a media conspiracy, or the fact that his young, cell-phone-wielding supporters weren't counted in typical phone polls. I've pointed out that Dean supporters made pretty much the same, baseless case in 2004, and it's now clear that nothing has changed since then: In Iowa, Paul won 10 percent of the vote (phone polls had given him 9 percent) and in New Hampshire he won 7.6 percent (phone polls had given him 6 to 10 percent). In short, the Ron Paul myth should be about as dead as the decomposed remains of Guy Fawkes.

Of course, if New Hampshire voters hadn't written him off, Paul would have self-destructed anyway. As I pointed out back in mid-November, Paul has too many cozy ties with racists to ever survive the scrutiny heaped on front-runners. Yesterday The New Republic revealed those racist ties to be stronger than anyone realized. The Atlantic (where Andrew Sullivan had endorsed Paul) responded with an apologia arguing that fringe idealists are naturally predisposed to tolerate the repulsive views of those with whom they share shards of common ground. It's an interesting idea that doesn't excuse anything. At the very minimum, Paul was grossly negligent in allowing a newsletter chocked full of racist diatribes to be published for decades under his name.

What worries me the most about Paul's meltdown is not that it will discredit Paul, but that it will discredit some of the more noble elements of the movement that surrounds him. As I noted in my recent feature on Paul, the movement, and not the candidate, is the real revolution. Just look at the way Paul supporters have challenged the Republican orthodoxies on Iraq and the Patriot Act from within the Party.

Coy to the possibility of running on a third-party ticket, Paul told the Washington Post last week that he has "no intention" of mounting an independent bid, but also left the door open, adding: "We'll see if the supporters keep sending the money. But right now, our focus is on Feb. 5th."

An independent Paul bid would certainly be interesting. Maybe it would suck away some anti-war votes from Democrats, or, in the event that Barack Obama ends up as the Democratic nominee, maybe it would suck away some bigot votes from the Republican. Either way, a Paul bid is looking like an increasingly dangerous idea for libertarians. He has carried them into the mainstream like nobody before, but now that they are almost there, is he really the best guy to represent them? At some point, it might be time for the Ron Paul Revolution to say "no" to Dr. No.

~ Josh Harkinson

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Troy King Owns Alabama? Bullshit!

I learned an interesting thing today, from the office of the Alabama Attorney General...

You may remember Troy King; he's the guy who, despite being the top law enforcement official in Alabama, somehow finds the time to obsess over what you may be doing in the privacy of your bedroom.

People of my political persuasion -- or is it just people who think the Attorney General is an idiot? -- aren't welcome in Alabama, at least if you believe AG King's office. To quote the news story, "King spokesman Chris Bence said the West Coast is a good fit for Elliott. 'Outside the state is the best place for him,' Bence said."

Sounds about a half-goosestep from "You come back heah, you in a heap o'trouble, BOY."

Oh, please.

I guess ol' Troy and his sidekick "Makes You Wince" Bence have decided they own the damn place. Grant a little power to a little mind, and this is what you get, folks...

The attorney general, "a thin-skinned little man," as the Alabama press has called him, is a short-of-intellect, big-of-ego-and-ambition politician in the old-fashioned Southern demagogue tradition, and has made a career based on people's fears and prejudices.

You know what I mean -- of the two types of politicians, one who appeals to our higher natures, and one who appeals to our dark sides, he's definitely the second type.

I'm already way too familiar with that type of politician, and have been for most of my life.

When I was only six years old, my uncle, eight-term Congressman Carl Elliott (from the old 7th District in Alabama) ran for Governor of the state against Lurleen Wallace, who was running as proxy for her racist demagogue husband, George.

Even now, almost 42 years later, I can remember how Uncle Carl's campaign against the forces of fear and racism opened my young eyes to a side of human nature that isn't so pretty. The defaced campaign billboards... the literature ripped up and thrown back at campaign workers... the bomb threats at his speeches. It was an intense initiation for a six-year-old, and I never forgot how it feels to confront ignorance and prejudice.

Uncle Carl was eventually vindicated -- 25 years later -- when he won the very first John F. Kennedy Profiles In Courage Award.

Well, let me acquaint you with the facts, Mr. Attorney General King: There are a lot more people like me who are still IN Alabama and who ain't goin' ANYWHERE. You and your right-wing nutjob cronies don't own the state. Get used to it. And get used to the fact that they are all going to vote your ignorant ass out of office in 2010.

If you want to send a sex toy to Mr. King, here's his address:

Office of the Attorney General
Alabama State House
11 South Union Street, Third Floor
Montgomery, AL 36130

Here's the original news article from the Tuscaloosa News:

Published Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Former resident mocks AG's sex-toy stance via YouTube

By Dana Beyerle
Montgomery Bureau Chief

MONTGOMERY | With an Internet connection and a little YouTube know-how, anyone can ridicule a high-ranking public official.

Attorney General Troy King found that out Tuesday.

Alabama native and writer Steve Elliott, who now lives in Washington state, posted a video on site mocking King for defending a state law prohibiting sex toys in Alabama.

"That's what I'm trying to do, make him look ridiculous, because that's how he's making the state of Alabama look," Elliott said Tuesday.

The 30-second video is a montage that uses King's singing "duet" with the late Johnny Cash as a soundtrack. The video includes an image of Cash making an offensive hand gesture.

The Mobile Press-Register reported Sunday that King created a CD last year in which he added his vocals to a little-known recording by Cash of the song "My Elusive Dreams," which was never released. King distributed about 25 copies of his recording as a Christmas gift, the Press-Register reported.

Elliott said he was inspired to create the YouTube video after reading a blog written by one-time third-party gubernatorial candidate and marijuana advocate Loretta Nall, in which she described sending King an inflatable pig sex aid last year.

"He is required to uphold the laws of Alabama but he's mis-prioritizing the law and should not try to gain so much publicity," Nall said Tuesday.

Nall's blog recounted King's efforts to enforce the sex toy ban, and asked people to mail sex toys to King's office. The Press-Register first wrote about Nall's sex toy campaign last year.

Elliott said he was embarrassed for Alabama after reading Nall's blog entries about King.

"It makes me mad when some ambitious politician makes the state look ridiculous in the eyes of the state and the nation," he said. "They need to keep their laws off our bodies."

Elliott said he grew up in Franklin County and lived in Alabama for 39 years before moving to the West Coast nine years ago. He served a year in a California jail for assault, which he said was self-defense.

Elliott said new technology enables anyone to bypass traditional media.

"YouTube represents the democratization of mass media," Elliott said. "Anyone with a Web camera and a fast Internet connection can post information on the Internet. We're seeing rules of the game changing and they're not totally written yet."

King spokesman Chris Bence said the West Coast is a good fit for Elliott. "Outside the state is the best place for him," Bence said.

As for Nall's proposed mail-in campaign, Bence said the only sex toy mailed to King's office was the inflatable pig.

Nall, who ran for governor in 2006 on the Libertarian ticket, said she blogs about King because of his stance on issues important to her. "He's probably my arch-enemy in the state of Alabama in the times I've worked on drug policy and prison reform," she said.

Former resident mocks AG's sex toy stance via YouTube

Here's the video in question:

And here are Loretta Nall's thoughts on the Tuscaloosa News article:

Troy King Must Go!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Alabama Attorney General Troy King's Elusive Dreams

This is a quick slideshow I was "inspired" to create after hearing Alabama Attorney General Troy King's unholy caterwauling in his "stirring" rendition of "My Elusive Dreams," which was brought to my attention by Loretta Nall.

After Alabama Attorney General King (a right-wing nutjob) suggested the Alabama Legislature toughen anti-sex toys laws (yes, that's what the chief law enforcement officer in Alabama is spending his time on), former Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Nall started a "Sex Toys For Troy" movement on the Internet...

Folks are sending the Attorney General sex toys in the hopes that AG King will loosen up a bit and maybe -- just maybe? -- concentrate on REAL crime.

The 30-second audio sample features Alabama Attorney General Troy King singing a "duet" with the late Johnny Cash. The song, "My Elusive Dreams," previously recorded by Tammy Wynette and David Houston and was recorded by Johnny Cash in 1984, according to liner notes included with the CD that King sent to friends. The song was written by Curly Putnam and legendary country music songwriter and producer Billy Sherrill. Sherrill and King met in 2007 at a birthday party for George Jones and the producer later sent a copy of Cash's version of "My Elusive Dreams" to the attorney general. In November, King, some friends and musicians wrote additional lyrics, according to the notes provided with the CD. He sang the new lyrics and the chorus, which a producer added to the Cash recording to become a duet.

Loretta Nall: Mating Howler Monkeys Sound Better

Alabama Attorney General Troy King Records 'Duet' With Johnny Cash

"If I had my life to live over, I'd make all the same mistakes, only sooner."

~ Tallulah Bankhead