February 7, 2004

Saturday in the Land of the Insane

This Janet Jackson noise is SO STUPID! IT'S SO STUPID!! I'm speechless. It's one of those moments when it's hard to feel real proud of being an American. Some other countries, you must realize, are beyond the kindergarten level when it comes to breasts. Hopefully some people in other countries will realize, if they don't already, that our media images are not a true reflection of the people. They are an expression and a project of the corporate oligarchy that is trying so hard to consolidate its grip on autocratic power, just as the body politic begins to buck and writhe out of control.

So in truth the American public is not all getting very worked up over this Janet Jackson breast exposure thing. It's just what the corporate media want to talk about, as if there is nothing more pressing.

What a great time it is though! That democratic spirit is raising its head. The population that appeared stunned into inaction at the audacity of the election hijacking of 2000, is now seeing that election on the horizon, and they are getting very roused and they are grimly determined not to let 2000 play out again.

The vote machine scam is coming unraveled. So the Republican plan to make vote count adjustments where needed may be thwarted. That was a great right wing success, the use of the Florida 2000 election fraud to mandate the use of public money to force the whole country to implement the flawed machines of Mr. Diebold, who is such a dedicated Republican.

Pressure is coming down on Bush from all over. This is all pressure he created through his horrible policies, but before he was shielded from it. The barrier is cracking.

The use of fear after the spectacular 9/11 was extremely effective for a long time. The home of the first democratic revolution in modern times took on an amazing resemblance to Stalinist Russia. Bush may able to blame Clinton for a while for the failure of the government to prevent what was clearly preventable a hundred times over, but if it happens again, people may hold him responsible.

A repeat of 9/11 is seeming less viable of an option for the Bush regime and things are not looking good for George W. The teflon unpresident may finally be in trouble. With all the cards stacked in his favor, he's remained immune so far. But things are not looking good for Bush right now.

And regarding Janet Jackson, she has beautiful breasts, did anyone in the conservative establishment notice?. We have seen most of them already in her previous videos. There wasn't much left hidden. Now, we've seen another inch or so. It's not such a bad thing. Enough already with the phony outrage.

And elsewhere...

  • AP poll shows decline in Bush popularity.
  • Editorial: Madness in Texas. "Barring an unlikely last-minute intervention by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, or an only slightly more likely intervention by the federal courts, the state of Texas on Thursday will execute a man for the 'crime' of mental illness. This is not exactly news. Texas and other Southern states that continue to engage in the barbaric practice of state-sponsored killing regularly execute people who suffer from mental retardation, mental illness and other conditions that civilized states and nations long ago recognized as requiring treatment and in most cases long-term separation from society -- not punishment by death." Madison Capital Times
  • Cheney may face scrutiny over intelligence manipulations. Miami Herald
  • The British Foreign Affairs committee, a group of MPs, says that Britons are more in danger of terrorist attacks since the invasion of Iraq. BBC
  • Tenet contradicts Bush. Buzzflash
  • Gallup says US support for Iraq action declining. Gallup
  • "Mr Powell was asked by the Washington Post newspaper if he would have recommended the invasion of Iraq, had he known there were no prohibited weapons. 'I don't know, because it was the stockpile that presented the final little piece that made it more of a real and present danger,' he replied.'The absence of a stockpile changes the political calculus.'" Today, Colin Powell declined to repeat or elaborate on those remarks." ABC
  • One soldier a day is dying. Chron.com
  • From deserter to commander in chief. Capitol Hill Blue
  • David Morris: Faulty intelligence my eye. Alternet
  • A Tennessee woman is suing CBS about Janet's breast. She says the network owes her money for it. Poor thing. It must have been terribly traumatic for her. Reuters
  • Bush asked McCain to be on the intelligence investigation. KFDX

    February 10, 2004

    The Breast of Both Worlds

    In the end it the breast incident did become important, but not in the way it was yacked about on the big media. It was important because the right wing, repressive, fascist, medieval corporate state cracked the whip and Justin Timberlake did as he was told.

    Michael Powell, no doubt on orders from his daddy's boss, who is in need of something -- anything -- for a distraction from what a mess everything has become under his inept, corrupt rule, brought the hammer down on CBS, itself merely an obedient servant of the same powers that keep Bush on a short chain. CBS genuflected to the FCC and issued its edict. Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake: apologize or you can't be on the Grammys!

    Janet declined. But Justin was not about to bite the hand that feeds him. He had way too much to lose to give up his chance to perform on the Grammys. So he did exactly what he was told and gave his apology, kissed ass and demonstrated the principle that the corporate state is king and must be bowed to.

    The corrupt FCC, which has abdicated its true mission and become an agency for the co-opting of the public airways by a corporate cartel, issued its orders through a corporation that has a strangle hold on the airwaves, not because it serves the public, as it is mandated to do, but because it serves the corporate state, as represented by Michael Powell, in this case. It was a moment at which it demonstrated its power, and it was important that Timerlake be obedient, to serve as an example to the youth who idolize him. The message was: do as your told, whether it makes sense or not, whether it is based on sound principle, or merely the whim of the powerful. Keep your place.

    Someone quoted Mick Jagger as saying the torch of rock and roll had been passed to Justin Timberlake, but if this is what rock and roll has become in the age of corporate autocracy, there is little left to care about. When Justin played that Fender Rhodes on the Grammys, it was impressive. He showed he is more than a pretty boy chosen by a big record company to be a brand name recording artist. He can play the piano, and he knew what he was doing at the keyboard.

    But CBS's puritanical edict was a test, and he failed it. In the long run, it may hurt his career more than the embarrassment of the incident itself. The big guys said bow down and he bowed down, not to principles worth bowing down to, but merely to might and money. I say bow down, you bow down. So what if George Bush's lies every day are more obscene than any part of Janet Jackson's body could ever be? So what if it makes no sense? It was his time to take a stand, and he said, whatever, just don't take my fame sweepstakes away.

    He can play piano. He can sing and dance a bit. But he can't stand for anything more than that as an artist if he buckles under and lets the big network treat him like a child, if he doesn't think he has any more to stand up for than to just do as he is told, even if it is stupid, petty and hypocritical. If he doesn't think so, then why should anyone else think so?

    But there is more to stand up for. Your own personal dignity and independence, for starters. Not to allow yourself to get sucked into such an absurd, childish drama, all trumped up by a media that will do anything but face up to the major issues that are tearing the country apart.

    So it may have been a small gesture, but Janet, you stood tall and maintained your dignity. And Justin, you made all your tough hip hop posturing look a little shallow.

    Now is the time, more than ever, when rebellion is in order. This country has become far too sheeplike, and is letting itself be led to slaughter. This is the time when the real spirit of rock and roll is needed. Now there is really something to rebel against.

  • Bush quote of the day: "In my judgment, when the United States says there will be serious consequences, and if there isn't serious consequences, it creates adverse consequences." New York Times
  • According to a poll, a majority think Blair lied and want him to quit. The Scotsman
  • Bush, impersonating God, said, Saddam Hussein "was dangerous, and I'm not just going to leave him in power and trust a madman." NY Times
  • Kerry said that it appears the president "was telling the American people stories in 2002," when he insisted that Iraq had a secret arsenal of chemical and biological weapons that needed to be destroyed IOL.co
  • The Guardian: "Let's leave aside for a moment the value system of a government that can order an immediate inquiry into a bare breast and take a year to launch one into a bare-faced lie presented as a pretext for war. For there is a far more important principle at hand than the US government's calibration of indecency." Ignorance is no excuse when you push the world into war. "The politicians who authorised the war, at a time when to stand against it posed a political risk, say they were tricked. The intelligence agencies who provided the material to justify it say they were pressured or misinterpreted. The leaders who used that material to make their case for it say they were misinformed or misunderstood. And the military, of course, just follows orders. No one takes responsibility, no one has yet been held accountable ... If a country can be led to war on false pretexts and there are no substantive consequences as a result, there is something seriously wrong with both politicians and the political culture that produces them. In a democracy worthy of the name, if the machinery of government cannot call those responsible to account, civil society and the ballot box must. This war is not just killing Iraqi civilians, resistance fighters and coalition soldiers. It's murdering any pretence that we live in countries that value, let alone practice, the principle of democratic accountability. It calls into question our ability to rein in political excess and to root out state-sponsored incompetence."
  • See Democrats.com for an explanation of exactly how Bush lied to Russert about his military service.
  • The record contradicts Bush's statements about military service. Truthout (Salon)
  • Uniting to oust Bush --
  • Bush says the invasion of Iraq was necessary because Saddam could have built weapons. Yahoo
  • Bush Family Values: War, Wealth, Oil, by Kevin Phillips: "In their eyes, the economic top 1% of Americans are the ones who count. Investors and their inheritors are favored - a good explanation of why George W. Bush has cut taxes on both dividends and estates, where most of the benefit goes to the top 1%. Over the course of George H.W. Bush's career, he was close to a number of the merger kings and leveraged-buyout specialists of the 1980s who came from Oklahoma and Texas: T. Boone Pickens, Henry Kravis and Hugh Liedtke. "Little guy" economics has almost no niche in the Bush economic worldview.Debt and deficits: Whenever a Bush is president, private debt and government deficits seem to grow. Middle- and low-income Americans borrow to offset the income squeeze of recessions. The hallmark of Bush economics during both presidencies has been favoritism toward capital over workers. Federal budget deficits have soared because of a combination of upper-bracket tax favors, middle-income job shrinkage, big federal spending to hype election-year economic growth, huge defense outlays and overseas military spending for the wars in Iraq and elsewhere. Imperial hubris costs a lot of money." LA Times

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