Monthly Archives: September 2009

Would-be guv ‘MEGa Mistake’ Whitman must be taken down

Sacramento Bee photo

Repugnican plutocrat and corporatocrat Meg Whitman, who is a billionaire, wants to buy the governorship of California with her personal fortune. Whitman had endorsed Mormon wingnut Mitt Romney in the 2008 Repugnican presidential nomination and supported the anti-gay California Prop H8. Now, she wants to decimate state services even more than current Repugnican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger already has, and she wants to reverse what the state has achieved toward staving off the likely disastrous results of climate change, putting corporate profits ahead of the well-being of the entire planet itself. (She’s dog-butt fugly, too.)

Repugnicans running for office have to have an enemy.

Otherwise, voters might correctly identify the actual enemy, which is the plutocrats, the corporatocrats, who, especially during their unbridled reign during the eight long nightmarish years of rule by the unelected BushCheneyCorp, ran the American empire to the brink of collapse.

The Repugnican candidates’ enemy could be gay men and lesbians who want equal human and civil rights. It could be Mexican immigrants striving to make better lives for themselves. It could be terrorists, real or imagined, and usually Muslim (although the unelected Bush regime seems to have milked that cow dry).

Repugnican Meg Whitman, who this week announced her candidacy for California governor, has picked a rather novel enemy: the California state worker.

Using the example of other wingnut propagandists, Whitman Orwellianly euphemistically is trying to call her planned further decimation of state services “right-sizing” instead of “downsizing.”

I have a much better, much more accurate term for what Whitman wants to do to the California state workforce: “wrong-sizing.”

Reports the Sacramento Bee:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman railed against a “selfish and arrogant” state bureaucracy Tuesday and pledged to slash the number of state workers by 40,000 in what she billed as the formal announcement of her well-financed candidacy.

The former CEO of the online auction firm eBay said in a later interview that she would achieve those payroll cuts through a hiring freeze, among other measures, and criticized instituting furloughs [which currently stand at three unpaid days a month for most state workers] as a way of avoiding layoffs.

Whitman, who didn’t list any specific department where she would cut staff, blasted what she said was the growth in “midlevel bureaucrats.” In total, Whitman proposed instituting $15 billion in permanent spending cuts in the state’s general fund budget, now $84.6 billion.

“Every year we pay more to sustain an out-of-control state bureaucracy,” Whitman told dozens of supporters in the Spanish-themed courtyard of the historic Villa del Sol retail-and-office complex [in Fullerton, Calif.] “A wasteful bureaucracy, out of touch with the needs of Californians. And a selfish and arrogant bureaucracy even in the toughest of times.”

“I’ll crack down on the overly generous benefits of state employees,” Whitman said. “And I’m deadly serious about rooting out the waste of your tax dollars.”

As a California state worker, I sure in the hell will be working against Whitman, who never has held elected office yet wants to be governor of the most populous state in the nation, and I’m hoping that Democrat Jerry Brown, who used to be the state’s governor and who now is the state’s attorney general, runs for governor.

I’m not against cutting waste in state government, but Whitman’s ploy is to try to make the California state worker into The Enemy, and that’s fucking bullshit.

Apparently Whitman’s secondary enemy is, um, the entire planet.

The Bee story continues:

Whitman also slammed business regulations that she said were driving businesses out of the state and pledged to place a moratorium as governor on implementing Assembly Bill 32, which requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 25 percent by 2020.

That comment drew a rare rebuke of a GOP gubernatorial candidate from a governor of the same party.

Aaron McLear, spokesman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, issued a statement saying the administration expects “a lot of political rhetoric” this campaign season.

“While Meg Whitman has promoted climate change for years, including a recent cruise to the Arctic with activists, she is now promising to move the state backwards by eliminating California’s landmark climate change law,” McLear said.

“Californians will ultimately decide whether we continue to move California forward with environmental policies that protect our environment and create jobs.”

Ouch.

It’s not just her fellow Repugnicans who don’t like Whitman, of course.

In the comments section of the Bee story above, commentators used such words and phrases to describe Whitman as:

  • “self-financed egomaniac”
  • “utterly disgusting human life form”
  • “hag”
  • “idiot”
  • “bzillionaire”
  • “LUNATIC”
  • “She IS a ‘special interest’!”
  • “carpetbagger”
  • “scary to say the least”
  • “crazy and panders to the radical element”
  • “nuts”
  • “fanatic”
  • “wealthy amateur”
  • “fidgety billionaire who is trying to give meaning to her post-ebay life”
  • “MEGa-Mistake”
  • “bloated sow”
  • “rich b–ch”
  • “a bully, a coward”

It’s going to be an uphill battle for the plutocratic Whitman, I believe, as not only is the nation’s first actually elected president since Bill Clinton was re-elected in 1996 a fairly popular Democrat, but current California governor Repugnican Arnold Schwarzenegger is not too popular these days in the economically crippled state (only about one in three Californians approve of his job performance), whose unemployment rate recently just exceeded 12 percent.

Whitman will need her millions in self-campaign financing in order to fend off her Repugnican rivals — already the Schwarzenegger camp is slamming her for her corporate-profits-over-even-the-survival-of-the-planet-itself “vision” of turning the Earth into something like we saw in “WALL-E” — and to fend off people like me and people like those who used the terms above to describe her, people who already amply have experienced the BushCheneyCorp “vision” that Whitman espouses, thank you, and who reject it with the totality of our being.

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Are there ANY competent journalists left?

I earned a bachelor of science in journalism, so I think that I’m qualified enough to ask that question.

Recently, former President Jimmy Carter stated what those of us Americans who are intelligent and honest and sane already knew: that much of the opposition to President Barack Obama is rooted in racism.

This is the complete text of one of the first news stories that I read on Carter’s statement, from MSNBC:

In an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, former Democratic President Jimmy Carter attributed much of the conservative opposition that President Obama is receiving to the issue of race.

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man,” Carter said.

[Carter added:] “I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way, and I’ve seen the rest of the country that share the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African-Americans.”

Carter continued, “And that racism inclination still exists. And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country.

“It’s an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply.”

OK, now Carter very most likely made his comments because the incident in which Repugnican U.S. Rep. Addison Graves (a.k.a. “Joe”) Wilson (of first-to-secede South Carolina) yelled “You lie!” at President Obama during Obama’s nationally televised address to Congress on the topic of health-care reform was still quite fresh in the national memory.

Now, nowhere in Carter’s comments do you see Carter state that anyone who opposes Obama’s health-care reform plans is actually just a racist. Carter doesn’t focus on whether or not one agrees with or opposes what the wingnuts like to call “Obamacare.”

Carter clearly states that it is the “intensely demonstrated animosity” that smells racist to him.  

Again, this is what Carter actually said: “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man.”

What Carter meant, I believe, is that it was the highly unprofessional, disrespectful, beyond-the-pale act of any U.S. representative, perhaps especially a white man from the South, yelling “You lie!” at President Obama that points to racism — not Wilson’s or anyone else’s opposition to Obama’s health-care reform plans.

Yet somehow many if not most journalists have rewritten history to indicate that Carter actually said that if you oppose Obama’s health-care reform plans, you’re a racist.

There is this, in full, from The Associated Press today:

Former President Bill Clinton says he doesn’t think racism is a principal factor in resistance to President Barack Obama’s plan for overhauling health care.

Interviewed [today] on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Clinton said “there’s no question” racism exists in some outbursts in recent months. But he also said he believes “if he were not an African-American, all of the people who were against him on health care would still be against him. They were against me, too.”

Clinton said that “I sympathize with” former President Jimmy Carter’s feeling that racism accounts for the strenuous opposition to Obama, but said “that’s not what’s driving” Obama’s critics. Clinton said: “What’s driving them is they don’t want health care.”

WTF? Who truly doesn’t want health care? Was Clinton being flippant?

I’m not sure which of them had it wrong, Bill Clinton or the AP writer — or both of them — but again: Carter never said that if you oppose Obama’s health-care reform plan then you must be a racist.

However, let’s be clear: from allegations that “B. Hussein Obama” is an “Islamofascist” sympathizer to allegations that he’s a “socialist” (oh, I wish that he were!) to allegations that he is not an American citizen, the real problem that the vast majority of those who spew forth such allegations have with Obama is that he’s not white.

And if I had to put my money on it, I’d bet that the majority of those who attend “tea parties” bitching and moaning about taxes (even though hundreds of billions of American taxpayers’ dollars have gone to the war profiteers, such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, via the bogus Vietraq War) and bitching and moaning about the “socialist” “takeover” of health care are using these issues only as fronts for the fact that they’re just pissed off that their guy, John McCainosaurus, lost the November 2008 presidential election to Obama — whether racism has been the main factor in their preference for the McCainosaurus-Palin-Quayle ticket over the Obama-Biden ticket or not.

But back to my original point: Journalists need to get it right.

“Former President Bill Clinton says he doesn’t think racism is a principal factor in resistance to President Barack Obama’s plan for overhauling health care,” the AP story above begins.

Who in the hell ever said that it was?

Certainly not Jimmy Carter.

Let’s not let the national dialogue on race and racism be shut down because we first misquote luminaries like Jimmy Carter and then attack our own misquotes — or because we allow others to do that. The national dialogue is too important for us truly patriotic Americans to allow that to happen.

Speaking of tea parties, I have to share this ’toon with you:

That ’toon is from murraythenut.com. Many (if not most…) of the ’toonist’s ’toons are just scatological, but his political ’toons are great. Here’s another:

And another:

I love Murry the Nut.

Anyway, finally, yes, Bill Clinton is correct that the wingnuts opposed health-care reform when he was president, too. That’s historical fact. However, never did a stupid white male member of Congress yell “You lie!” or anything else like that while Clinton was giving a nationally televised address to Congress.

Ask yourself why it is that nothing like that happened to Bill Clinton but happened to Barack Obama.

And finally finally, I hope that Clinton was only being facetious when he said that the opponents of Obama’s health-care reform plans don’t want health care.

Of course they want health care. It’s that the right-wing noise machine, funded by millions and millions of corporate dollars, wants the masses to believe that anything that Obama proposes that isn’t good for the corporatocrats and plutocrats is “socialist” (which means “anti-American”) and is even anti-Christian.

These plutocrats/corporatocrats and their wingnutty mouthpieces like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh wrap themselves in the American flag and in the shroud of Turin to the extent that they have convinced millions of easily duped Americans that to oppose the stupid-white-male power structure — such as to wish that health care should be available to all Americans, and that no one should profit obscenely from Americans’ pain and suffering, as is the case under the current wealth care system — is to oppose the nation and patriotism and puppies and kittens and even God and Jesus Themselves.

We, the people, elected Barack Obama as president. Those Americans who are so stupid as to support the plutocrats and corporatocrats and their cheerleaders (like Beck and Limbaugh and Fox “News”) — just like the chickens supporting Colonel Sanders — are the minority.

We, the majority, need to ignore the loud-mouthed minority, and we, the majority, need to proceed with the business that we, the majority, elected President Barack Obama to do.

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‘9’: Been there, done that

Film review

Protagonist “9” faces a “Matrix”-like foe in the watchable-enough but highly derivative animated film “9,” which bears the stamp of approval of Tim Burton, whose films “9” resembles.

Hmmm. You know, maybe I can make this film review short and sweet and just list nine movies that the Tim-Burt0n-produced movie “9” reminds me of:

  • “Edward Scissorhands” (scientist/inventor creates his own offspring)
  • The “Terminator” films (with the theme of machines taking over the planet; also, in the first “Terminator” film you think that the bad ‘bot is dead when he isn’t)
  • “The Matrix” (ditto with the machines-taking-over theme and perhaps especially the squid-like “sentinels” that resemble the bad ’bots in “9”; also, “9’s” namesake hero and “The Matrix’s” hero, Neo, are a lot alike in that they’re both post-apocalyptic saviors)
  • “Toy Story” (I think especially of that spider creature with the maimed doll’s head atop of it)
  • “Coraline” (the button and the spider themes)
  • “WALL-E” (Earth destroyed by mankind, leaving a desolate planet)
  • “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (I think especially of the character of the big lug in each film)
  • “Beetlejuice” (I seem to remember the character of Beetlejuice morphing into a serpentine creature, and there is a serpentine creature in “9” as well)
  • “James and the Giant Peach”
  • “Transformers” (OK, so I didn’t see this movie or its sequel, but Roger Ebert makes the comparison in his review of “9”)

OK, so that’s 10 films that I saw scattered within “9,” including one film that I haven’t seen (but I trust Ebert). You get my point.

“9” is watchable end-of-summer fare, to be sure, but be forewarned that you’ve already seen it all somewhere before. Yesterday I sat through much if not most of “9” making mental notes as to where I’d seen certain visual images and themes and ideas before, and that detracted from my movie-going experience.

“9,” like its rag-doll protagonists named “1” through “9” have been, has been cobbled from things borrowed. It’s technically masterful, but because it’s so damned derivative, it isn’t destined to become a classic.

My grade: B-

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‘Macaca’ redux

Associated Press photo

Repugnican monkeyshines: Above is S.R. Sidarth, the Indian-American who in August 2006 captured Repugnican U.S. Sen. George Allen of Virginia on video calling him “Macaca,” which lost Allen his Senate re-election bid and effectively ended his political career. Today, Repugnican U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, who plans to run for a U.S. Senate seat for Missouri in 2010, apparently compared President Barack Obama to a “monkey” during a speech he gave at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C. — the same gathering where last year boxes of “Obama Waffles” waffle mix were sold, replete with an Aunt-Jemima-like likeness of Obama.

In August 2006, then-U.S. Senator for Virginia George Allen, a Repugnican, of course, referred to a young American man of Indian descent as “Macaca.” In fact, Allen called the young man “Macaca” while the young man was video-recording one of Allen’s re-election campaign stump speeches. (Smart!)  

Wikipedia recounts it this way:

On August 11, 2006, at a campaign stop in Breaks, Virginia, near the Kentucky border, Allen twice used the word “macaca” to refer to [Shekar Ramanuja] Sidarth, an Indian-American, who was filming the event as a “tracker” for the opposing [Democrat Jim Webb’s] campaign.

“Macaca” means “monkey” and is not a racial slur; it is generally used in Francophone African nations, which led to speculation that Allen may have heard the epithet from his mother, a Francophone who grew up in French-colonial Tunisia.

Allen apologized and later said that he did not know the meaning of the word. In 2008, The Washington Post speculated that, were it not for this single utterance, Allen would have been a strong candidate for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.

How calling someone with brown skin and who is a member of a race that historically has been shit and pissed upon by whitey a “monkey” is not racist escapes me. And why Allen would have used a term whose meaning he didn’t even know (but just happens to mean “monkey”) also escapes me.

Another Wikipedia entry states that the word “macaca” most definitely is a racial slur, and notes that this is what Allen said to Sidarth on that fateful August 2006 day: “This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt — Macaca, or whatever his name is. He’s with my opponent… Let’s give a welcome to Macaca here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.”

Never mind that Sidarth was born and raised in Virginia, while Allen was born and raised in California; Allen so warmly welcomed Sidarth to Virginia and to the United States nonetheless.

Welcoming an American-born-and-raised citizen to America because his or her skin is brown isn’t racist? Especially when you are a stupid white man doing the welcoming?

In any case, Allen lost the 2006 U.S. Senate election to Webb — “Allen’s re-election in the 2006 [Senate] race seemed inevitable until he was brought down by [the] video that showed him using a racial epithet when talking to [the] staffer for [Webb],” Wikipedia notes — and Allen has faded into political obscurity (where he belongs) since he called the young brown-skinned man “Macaca.”

So now, Salon.com’s War Room reports that today Repugnican U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri, yet another stupid white man, told an interesting little tale at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C.:

…And then [Blunt] told a little story about a group of British soldiers who found themselves posted in a quiet part of India in the late 19th century or the early 20th century. It was, Blunt said, a “very lush, very quiet, very peaceful, very uneventful part of India.”

So the soldiers decided, without much better to do, that they’d build a golf course in the jungle. And then the story got weird. [Quoting Blunt:]

Almost from the day the first ball was hit on this golf course something happened they didn’t anticipate: monkeys would come running out of the jungle and then grab the golf balls. And if it was in the fairway, they might throw it in the rough. And if it was in the rough, they might throw it — they might throw it back at you!

And I can point to great and long detail about how many things they tried to eliminate the monkey problem, but they never got it done.

So finally for this golf course and this golf course only, they passed a rule and the rule was, you have to play the ball where the monkey throws it. And that is the rule in Washington all the time.

Yes, you read that right: the point of the story was that like British golfers, conservatives in Washington have to play the ball where the monkey throws it.

Adds the Salon.com writer:

Blunt, who’s running for [the U.S. Senate seat for] Missouri next year, didn’t explain precisely why he chose an analogy about monkeys to illustrate the difficulties posed by the party that opposes the country’s first black president. (They both like to screw up the white man’s golf game?)

You know, you don’t refer to a non-white person as a “monkey.” To call a non-white person a “monkey” is to dehumanize him or her, is to make him or her less than human, is to make him or her into an animal.

And then once you have dehumanized, animalized, him or her, you then can justify doing whatever you want to do to him or her, such as yelling “You lie!” during his or her nationally televised address to Congress — something that you’d never do to a white president.

These racists are putting their feelers out there, are testing the waters, are seeing how far they can go.

If we let their shit pass, if we let them get away with their blatantly racist bullshit, they will up the ante to the point where one of these white supremacists screaming “You lie!” at the president during a nationally televised address to Congress will be comparatively nothing.

Those of us Americans who don’t want the racist Repugnican Party to drag us even further back to the Dark Ages than the unelected Bush regime did during its eight long years of nightmarish unelected rule have a responsibility to confront racism every single fucking time one of these racist motherfuckers thinks that he or she can get away with it.

Even if it looks borderline, we have to confront it.

A Repugnican U.S. representative from South Carolina (the first state that seceded from the Union after Abraham Lincoln’s election) yelling “You lie!” at the nation’s first black president while being nationally televised: That is an act of racism.

Addison Graves (a.k.a. “Joe”) Wilson was not simply registering his differences of opinion with the Obama administration’s health-care reform ideas, as he and his ilk have since claimed. There is a time and a place for that, and it is not during the president’s nationally televised address to Congress.

Wilson’s intent, it seems to me, was to open the door for even further racist attacks upon the nation’s first black president. 

George Allen didn’t call an Indian-American man “Macaca” — twice — and “macaca” just happens to mean “monkey.”

Roy Blunt didn’t tell a parable that ends with the moral that conservatives in Washington “have to play the ball where the monkey throws it” and not mean it as a reference to President Barack Obama.

“Conservative” these days pretty much means “white supremacist.”

We Americans who are not white supremacists, we Americans who form the majority who voted for Barack Obama, need to search our souls and ask ourselves if we are going to allow the white-supremacist minority to take over our nation.

P.S. Take a look at the official photos of George Allen, Addison Graves (a.k.a. “Joe”) Wilson and Roy Blunt (below, in that order):

What do they all have in common?

All three of them were born sometime from 1947 to 1952, making all three of them baby-boomer assholes, and they all are Repugnican politicians who hail from states that used to be slave states. (And, of course, they’re all stupid white men.)

Be on the lookout for men who match this profile. They’re probably motherfucking racists.

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Memo to Miss Fake Tits: Your ‘truth’ oppresses me and millions of others

Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean, smiles during a news conference ...

Reuters photo

The devil has breast implants: Former Miss California Carrie Prejean, pictured in May, believes that God chose her to be a poster bitch for homophobia. She probably believes that God wanted her to get her breast implants, too.

Carrie Prejean won’t shut the fuck up.

And why should she? Stupid people never do, while intelligent people keep silent.

Prejean now claims that God chose her to deliver her anti-same-sex-marriage answer during the 2009 Miss USA pageant. Didn’t the election-stealing, mass-murdering “President” George W. Bush also claim that God told him what to do?

We live in dangerous times when wingnuts like Bush and Prejean claim that God wants them to oppress others. All kinds of crimes, including mass murder, have been done in the names of God and Jesus by so-called “Christians” throughout history.

“I was a woman who stood up for the truth and people don’t want to admit that,” Prejean boasted yesterday at the Values Voters Summit in Washington (yes, the very same Values Voters Summit that sold “Obama Waffles” last year in which Barack Obama was portrayed like Aunt Jemima on boxes of waffle mix). “I had the courage and the bravery that a lot of people don’t have.”

Oh, yeah, it takes a whole shitload of courage and bravery to hate and to beat up upon a minority group that historically has been oppressed, even by the Nazis during the Holocaust. And it’s exactly what Jesus would do, too.

Memo to Carrie Fake Tits Prejean: I don’t give a fuck what insanity you believe. Believe that man came from dirt and that woman came from man’s rib. Believe in virgin births and believe in the coming apocalypse in which you’ll be saved because you’ve hated all the people you’ve been told to hate.

But your right to believe your insanity ends where my equal human and civil rights begin.

If you oppose same-sex marriage, then don’t marry another woman. But don’t tell me what I may and may not do based upon your dipshit, backasswards, oppressive beliefs that are much more satanic than they are Christian — that is, based upon the actual teachings of Jesus Christ as contained in black and white in the New Testament. (You know, love thy brother as thyself, do unto others only as you would have others do unto you, judge not lest ye be judged, etc., etc.)

If any entity actually is acting and talking through you, Miss Fake Tits, it sure the fuck ain’t God.

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Ted Rall: The health-care reform ‘debate,’ in a nutshell

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My brush with ACORN, circa 2001

ACORN — the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — is the community-organizing organization that the wingnuts love to hate. After all, President Barack Obama used to be a community organizer, and therefore community organizers must be demonized.

(Indeed, the McCainosaurus-Palin-Quayle ticket surreally demonized community organizers, because we all know that it’s the corporations that wuv us and it’s the community organizers who are the evil devils.)

I sought to work for the Sacramento branch of ACORN in 2001, I believe it was, maybe in 2000. Attracted by ACORN’s pro-labor, pro-poor mission, I thought that it would be great to be one of their community organizers.

However, when I looked into becoming one of ACORN’s community organizers, I was shocked to discover that ACORN, or at least the Sacramento branch of ACORN, required its community organizers to work six days a week, Monday through Saturday. And ACORN paid its community organizers a low annual salary that, when you did the math, didn’t amount to even minimum wage.

When I expressed to the Sacramento ACORN supervisor that I was shocked that the supposedly pro-labor ACORN would require its employees to work six days a week — it was the labor movement, after all, that got us the two-day weekend — and would pay them what amounted to less than minimum wage (minimum wage also was an achievement of the labor movement, I do believe), he told me that well, it was a “movement job.”

Um, yeah — a bowel movement job, as in a shit job.

So no wonder ACORN has been shrouded in scandal, with its community organizers accused of such things as falsifying voter registration cards. My guess is that they felt pressured to do so, since ACORN was giving them sub-subsistence pay.

The Associated Press reports that today the U.S. House of Representatives voted 345-75 to strip the scandal-ridden ACORN of all federal funds, and that the U.S. Senate on Monday voted 83-7 to deny ACORN funding.

However, the AP reports, “Speaker [of the House] Nancy Pelosi, in a conference call with reporters … pointed out that ACORN has many honest employees and was conducting an internal investigation, and that it was up to House-Senate negotiators to determine whether the provision to cut [ACORN’s] funding would be in the final version of the bill.”

Still, I glad that I refused to take that shit job with ACORN. All these years later, I seem to have been vindicated.

And it’s incredibly tragic — and criminal — that ACORN has tarnished the reputation of community organizing.

P.S. Reuters notes that since 1994, ACORN has received only about $53 million in federal funding, which, Salon.com’s War Room points out, is a teeny-tiny fraction of federal spending, even though the wingnuts won’t shut up about ACORN.

(Similarly, the “pork-barrel spending” that Repugnican John McCainosaurus wouldn’t shut up about also represents just a tiny fraction of overall federal spending, and certainly pales in comparison to the hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ dollars that have been squandered in Vietraq.)

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Bin Laden: It’s all about Israel

In the past I’ve blogged that the U.S. government’s slavish support of Israel was a reason for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and I’ve had morons tell me that I was full of it.

Hmmm. When the mastermind of 9/11 himself tells you that that was a — even the — reason, what is there to argue about?

This is from London-based Reuters, which is much more likely to report objectively on Israel than is the American-owned-and-operated Associated Press:

Dubai – Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden warned the American people over their government’s close ties with Israel in an apparently new audio tape posted on an Islamist website [today].

“The time has come for you to liberate yourselves from fear and the ideological terrorism of neo-conservatives and the Israeli lobby,” Bin Laden’s latest tape said.

“The reason for our dispute with you is your support for your ally Israel, occupying our land in Palestine.”

The message, titled “A statement to the American people,” was around 11 minutes long and was posted a few days after the eighth anniversary of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks.

Reuters was not immediately able to verify its authenticity but the website often is used by supporters of al Qaeda.

In the tape, the al Qaeda leader said there had been no real change in American policy because U.S. President Barack Obama had retained people like U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates from the administration of former President George W. Bush.

“If you think about your situation well, you will know that the White House is occupied by pressure groups,” Bin Laden said.

“Rather than fighting to liberate Iraq — as Bush claimed — it (the White House) should have been liberated.”

Analysts who study al Qaeda say the organization is under pressure from followers to strike at Israel following criticism from many Arab commentators that it has never succeeded in launching a direct attack on the Jewish state.

Increasingly frequent and belligerent mentions of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute in al Qaeda statements is an attempt to deflect such criticism, they say….

As much as I believe that the U.S. government has treated Israel, the No. 1 recipient of U.S. foreign aid, like a spoiled brat, I don’t advocate that the U.S. cut Israel off overnight.

However, for all of the American taxpayers’ dollars that flow to Israel, Israel needs to take marching orders from the United States and not vice-versa. This means that Israel doesn’t get to indiscriminately slaughter Palestinians or Lebanese or anyone else the way that the Nazis indiscriminately slaughtered the Jews.

Slaughter is slaughter, no matter who is committing it. Unfortunately, the right-wing Israelis seem to regard Arabs as animals in the same way that the Nazis regarded Jews as animals.

The Zionist grip on U.S. foreign policy has weakened at least somewhat now that the unelected Bush regime no longer is in the White House, but Bin Laden is correct that the Zionists, who contribute millions and millions of dollars to U.S. politicians, still have way too much influence in the White House and the Pentagon.

Besides Bush regime holdover Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, there is Secretary of State Billary Clinton, a huge fan of the Israel-first lobby who rakes in the Zionists’ campaign contributions.

I’ll be called anti-Semitic, but this isn’t about Judaism or the Jewish people; this is about fairness and the abuse of power by a relatively tiny group of people.

Fewer than 3 percent of Americans are Jewish, but they hold political power that is crazily disproportionate to their actual numbers, such as the fact that we have 15 U.S. senators who are Jewish and two Jewish U.S. Supreme Court justices.

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Ignore the sore losermen

This doesn’t need to be a super-long post. Really, just one phrase in a Politico news story sums it up.

Of the wingnut gathering in Washington, D.C., today, organized by the likes of corporately sponsored wingnut blowhard baby-boomer asshole Glenn Beck, Politico notes:

Conservative protesters from around the country flooded Pennsylvania Avenue [today], railing against what they called President Obama’s plan for government-run health care and Congress’s tax-and-spend policies.

Police officials declined to release a crowd estimate, but the number of protesters along the route appeared to number well into the tens of thousands. The overwhelmingly white crowd [emphasis mine] ranged widely in age, and has been orderly, with no arrests reported.

By mid-morning crowds had poured into Freedom Plaza, just blocks from the White House, for a pre-march rally to the steps of Congress.

Demonstrators held up signs reading, “Public option is the death of freedom,” “No nanny state,” and “Where’s the birth certificate?” …

So much is contained in those few paragraphs, but, of course, paramount is the phrase “the overwhelmingly white crowd.”

Thank the civil rights movement for the fact that these racist motherfuckers can’t come right out and admit publicly that the primary reason they hate President Barack Obama is that he’s half-black. First it was that Obama is a “Muslim,” because you can say “Muslim” but you can’t say “nigger.” (Again, thank the civil rights movement for that.) Then it was that Obama is a “socialist,” yet another code word for “nigger.” Now, “government-run health care” is the “n”-word code word.

And these very same wingnuts were perfectly OK with the “tax-and-spend” policy of the unelected Bush regime, which funneled hundreds of billions of American taxpayers’ dollars to war profiteers, such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, via the bogus Vietraq War. But that was OK because the “president” at that time was white and wingnutty, you see.

Anyone in his or her right might would much rather that his or her own tax dollars go to health care rather than to a bogus war that not only deplete’s the nation’s treasury — under BushCheneyCorp the federal budget deficit hit an all-time high that rivaled only the federal budget deficit under King George Bush I — but only makes his or her nation even more hated around the world and thus even more suceptible to terrorist atacks in the future. “Right mind” is the key phrase there.

What to do about the overwhelmingly white crowds of wingnutty protesters?

Ignore them, just as the crowds of protesters that protested the Bush regime’s theft of the 2000 presidential election and its subsequent launching of its illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War in March 2003 were ignored.

I was among those ignored protesters. We were ignored because it was politically possible to ignore us.

It’s even more politically possible today to simply ignore today’s wingnutty protesters, who, when you peel back the layers upon layers of their lies, are just pissed off that Barack Hussein Obama, who is half white and half black, beat the old white wingnut John McCainosaurus in November 2008, 53 percent to 46 percent, and with 365 electoral votes to a paltry 173.

Even when Al Gore beat George W. Bush in 2000, the wingnuts called those of us who opposed the blatant late-2000 theft of the White House “sore losermen.”

Yet here they are today, when the 2008 presidential election wasn’t even close, essentially protesting the fact that they lost the 2008 presidential election.

We ignore the protesters, and if they can’t get over the fact that they lost the election, we, the majority of the people, will have to help the sore losermen to get over it.

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They hate us for our intentional ignorance

File:National Park Service 9-11 Statue of Liberty and WTC fire.jpg

National Park Service photo from September 11, 2001

Whew. Another 9/11 anniversary has come and gone.

I wasn’t going to write about 9/11, although I have plenty that I could say about it. I could relate my memories of that uber-memorable day; I worked at one of Sacramento’s tallest office buildings at the time, and I remember the local and national hysteria on that and the many following days.

Most of all, what 9/11 means to me is the hysteria that followed, the belligerent jingoism that I found to be unsettling to frightening, and how the unelected Bush regime — although, we would find out in 2004, “President” Bush had received an August 6, 2001 presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” — milked 9/11 until the cow ran dry. Indeed, 9/11 served the Bush regime, like the Reichstag fire served the Third Reich, all the way to “re”-election in 2004. (The Democrats would retake Congress two years later and it’s been downhill for the Repugnicans ever since.) 

I wasn’t going to write about the 9/11 anniversary at all this year until I just read a Reuters news article on how there has been opposition to including, in the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City, scheduled to open by 2013, information on the 19 9/11 hijackers.

Apparently, originally the museum was going to display videos that 9/11 hijackers had made before the attacks to explain their motives, but this was too controversial, and so the exhibit on the hijackers will be limited to photos and written texts.

Americans don’t want to even be exposed to the other side of the story when it comes to American history.

All that Americans want to hear about Christopher Columbus, for instance, is that he “discovered” the “New” World. They don’t want to hear the part where, among other things, he enslaved natives as part of his quest for riches for the Spanish crown, and he helped to open up the “New” World to later white European exploitation, which would include, of course, the decimation of the native peoples of the entire continent and the enslavement of Africans.

Similarly, the Thanksgiving myth of the pilgrims and the natives enjoying a feast together glosses over the actual history of the genocide of the natives by the white colonizers.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Tomorrow’s American history is being made today, and if head-in-the-sand Americans have their way, the myth of 9/11 will be that the United States of America was attacked by “freedom-hating terrorists” on September 11, 2001 — the “terrorists” hated “freedom” so much that they decided to take out, in a suicide mission, the World Trade Center, the center of the capitalistic exploitation of the peoples of the world — oops, my bad; of course the WTC was the planetary center of freedom. We’re good, they’re bad, they attacked us because they’re evil, freedom-hating animals and we’re freed0m-lovin’ angels, God’s chosen, even. End of story. That is the 9/11 myth in a nutshell.

Listening to the hijackers give their reasons for their suicide mission doesn’t mean that you have to agree with what they have to say. It certainly doesn’t mean that you have to agree with what they did. But you won’t know the whole story of 9/11 until you do listen to what they had to say about what they did.

Wikipedia, in its entry “September 11 attacks,” has a section titled “Motive.” Here the section is:

All of the fatwas [Islamic edicts] before September 11, 2001 from Osama Bin Laden have a consistent theme: U.S. troop presence in Saudi Arabia. In 1998 Bin Laden said in a fatwa: “For more than seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples.”

The attacks were consistent with the overall mission statement of al-Qaeda, as set out in a 1998 fatwa issued by Osama bin Laden, [et. al.]. This statement begins by quoting the Koran as saying, “slay the pagans wherever ye find them” and extrapolates this to conclude that it is the “duty of every Muslim” to “kill Americans anywhere.”

Bin Laden elaborated on this theme in his “Letter to America” of October 2002: “You are the worst civilization witnessed by the history of mankind: You are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah in its constitution and laws, choose to invent your own laws as you will and desire. You separate religion from your policies, contradicting the pure nature which affirms absolute authority to the Lord and your Creator.”

[I have to interject here and note that it is American wingnuts who also believe that U.S. law should be based upon woefully outdated religious texts. Theocracy is bad unless it’s “Christian” theocracy, you see.]

Many of the eventual findings of the 9/11 Commission with respect to motives have been supported by other experts. Counter-terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke explains in his 2004 book Against All Enemies that U.S. foreign policy decisions, including “confronting Moscow in Afghanistan, inserting the U.S. military in the Persian Gulf,” and “strengthening Israel as a base for a southern flank against the Soviets” contributed to al-Qaeda’s motives.

Others, such as Jason Burke, foreign correspondent for The Observer, focus on a more political aspect to the motive, stating that “bin Laden is an activist with a very clear sense of what he wants and how he hopes to achieve it. Those means may be far outside the norms of political activity […] but his agenda is a basically political one.”

A variety of scholarship has also focused on bin Laden’s overall strategy as a motive for the attacks. For instance, correspondent Peter Bergen argues that the attacks were part of a plan to cause the United States to increase its military and cultural presence in the Middle East, thereby forcing Muslims to confront the “evils” of a non-Muslim government and establish conservative Islamic governments in the region.

Michael Scott Doran, correspondent for Foreign Affairs, further emphasizes the “mythic” use of the term “spectacular” in bin Laden’s response to the attacks, explaining that he was attempting to provoke a visceral reaction in the Middle East and ensure that Muslim citizens would react as violently as possible to an increase in U.S. involvement in their region.

So it seems to be much more complicated than the overly simplistic “They hate us for our freedom.” U.S. meddling in the Middle East — in Muslim holy land — including, of course, the U.S. government’s support of Israel, the No. 1 recipient of U.S. foreign aid, seems to be the No. 1 reason that 9/11 happened.

But Americans put their fingers in their ears and sing, “La la la la la la — we can’t hear you!”

Which, of course, won’t prevent another 9/11.

In any case, I’m happy that the unelected Bush regime is gone and I’m happy that 9/11 no longer is an effective tool of fear and control, which, when you think about it, ironically is a form of domestic terrorism, only it’s treason, too, because it’s Americans terrorizing other Americans, such as with the Bush regime’s bogus color-coded terrorist-strike alerts.

I don’t miss those days, those McCarthyesque days of bogus terrorist-strike alerts and dissenters of the unelected, war-mongering Bush regime being labeled as terrorist sympathizers.

Wingnut Glenn Beck does, though; his “9/12 Project,” according to its website home page

…is designed to bring us all back to the place we were on September 12, 2001. The day after America was attacked we were not obsessed with red states, blue states, or political parties. We were united as Americans, standing together to protect the values and principles of the greatest nation ever created.

Bullshit. What he is talking about is not national unity or patriotism or anything like that, but pure, raw, Nazi-ish jingoism, which is “unity” based upon fear and ignorance and xenophobia. (In George Orwell’s 1984, the repressive rulers [“Big Brother’] use fabricated enemies and constant fabricated warfare to keep the masses terrified and thus to keep the masses in line.) And, of course, the stupid white men like Beck are to be the ones to “lead” us out of the fear that they themselves stoke at the same time.

No, I refuse to go back to Beck’s Orwellian “vision” of how “great” things were on September 12, 2001.

We had eight long years of ruination by stupid white men during the unelected reign of BushCheneyCorp.

To even more of that we need to say to the treasonous wingnuts like Beck: Over our dead bodies.

And to ensure that we don’t have another 9/11 and more post-terrorist-strike national hysteria that the wingnutty fascists like the members of BushCheneyCorp and their supporters like Beck use for their own political gain, we need to learn from history for once. Part of that history is that the other peoples of the world have hated us Americans much more for our intentional ignorance of the wrongs that our nation has done unto them than for anything like our “freedom.”

And yes, learning that history means listening to what the 9/11 hijackers had to say and jettisoning our intentional ignorance once and for all.

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