Monday, July 12, 2004 - Security will decide election, candidates say:

"The president said the decision to invade Iraq followed Saddam Hussein's rejection of a U.N. Security Council demand for a 'full accounting' of his weapons programs."

How many times has Israel done the same? And the US? Saddam was not a threat. He was a bad guy. Apparently, you have to be a real asshole to keep something like Iraq in line. Just look around the region.

If we were really going after threats, we'd be in North Korea by now.

RE: Counterpunch: 9/11 signals new era for documentaries

David Macaray does a great disservice to people like Michael Moore and Al Franken, who, in contrast to Limbaugh or Coulter, actually check their facts. I dare Macaray to list the half truths of his targets on the left, as Franken does to the right in his book. Had Macaray bothered to read Al Franken's book, he'd know it's full of lists of the lies from the right (hence the title). And, if Macaray would bother to go to Michael Moore's web site, he would see an honest defense of every fact in his movie. And his defense, like Franken's book, is much more factual and less venomous than anything Ann Coulter has ever written. In the future battle of documentaries (as if it hadn't started when Jerry Falwell made a film about Clinton's supposed murders and drug trafficking), perhaps the American public will benefit from seeing which side is for truthful, honest, good-hearted debate, and which side is for lying, vicious attacks.

Touché, David Macaray.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

This is by far the best critique of Fahrenheit 9/11 I've heard. I hate Bush, I love Michael Moore, and I hope his movie helps to depose the despot who has caused so much pain in the world.

However, I did think about the things you mention on the second viewing of the movie. I think this argument that Moore could have made a more coherent argument if he'd used some of the neo-con facts you mentioned makes the most sense. The thought that he could have made it even more powerful and accurate makes me wonder if he could have convinced more conservatives and moderates to vote against Bush by following your advice.

Which brings me to this conclusion. Knowing that Moore has said he appreciates constructive criticism, I suggest you contact him about adding some of your facts to the DVD.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Yellowcake Rock Band Assaults Bush and Cheney

Joe Gross (of the band Yellowcake) states, "Since voting in my first election, I have always considered myself a Republican-leaning independent, and have never voted for a Democrat for President. In 2004, for the very first time, I will be voting a straight Democratic ticket. The Bush administration is against everything America stands for. It is anti-democracy, anti-freedom, anti-civil liberties, and anti-freedom of speech and expression. And don't think for a second that the multi-national corporations who control the administration's agenda owe one ounce of loyalty to the United States. They are destroying our wealth, world leadership, diplomacy, and quality of life as you read. An administration full of people who shirked their military duties when it was their time to serve is now sending the brave men and women in the US military, with whom I was so privileged to serve for 7 1/2 years, into harms way, under absolutely false pretenses. These same people call those who disagree with their policies unpatriotic. All they need to do to see truly unpatriotic people is to look in the mirror."

George Bush and Ken Lay are Close and Personal Friends - A BuzzFlash Reader Contribution

Kenny Who?

U.S. wants bin Laden nabbed by election

Edwards's glaring weakness

My reply to this crap:

Uh, let's see. George W Bush was Governor for 6 years in a state with the weakest governorship in the nation. His political experience before that came from whipping the religious right into a fervor for his dad, and funding cocaine cartels with his habit. John Edwards spent 6 years in the senate gaining valuable knowledge on the judiciary and intellegence committees, and is now running for a job that includes President Pro Tem of the Senate. Sounds to me like Edwards has more experience than the current occupant of the White House did before he moved in. So, when you go rattling off about "no foreign policy credentials," maybe you should mention W's shortfall in the next sentence.

But, then, fairness really isn't your agenda, is it?

Kenny Boy (or, more recently from Bush, Kenny Who?) Lay Indicted:

"Lay, a friend of President George W. Bush and a contributor to his political campaigns, has done a fairly effective job of getting across his message, that on the one hand he was relying on advisers and accountants and underlings at the company and that he was a believer in this company.''

In a completely unrelated story, Bush and Cheney are going to continue blaming the CIA, just like the new (Republican) Senate Report does.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Red Blue Chart

Keep an eye on this chart. Sign up for the Rasmussen Reports by e-mail. Contact the people you know in the swing states listed here. Contact people you know who know people in these swing states. Send letters to editors of papers in these states. I spend a little time at Google news everyday, looking at stories in these states. When I see something I disagree with, I send a letter. Lately, I've been defending Michael Moore a lot. Be upbeat. Be cool. Show anger but show it hasn't taken over your life (even though it may have, I understand). Bill Clinton likes to point out that in a reasoned debate, the center-left will win every time. That's why the right resorts to lies, false dichotomies, and personal attacks.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004


The Republican Goon squads were out immediately with their hypocritical criticisms of John Edwards. They say he doesn't have any experience. Hmmm. Like George W Bush didn't when he ran for President? Or Like Danny Boy Quaile? John Edwards says, "I think most people in this country actually think not having spent your whole life in politics is a good thing." That's funny, I think W said something like that too....

They attack him for being a trial lawyer, but that didn't work for Lauch Faircloth, the incumbent Republican Senator Edwards defeated in 1998. Most of Edward's cases were defending ordinary citizens who had been harmed by greedy corporations. Some of the cases, like a little girl who lost most of her intestines when she say on a pool drain with a defective cover, are heart wrenching and enough to make you want to punch any Republican who screams about tort reform and trial lawyers. I'll settle for pointing out that a General Accounting Office study said limiting malpractice suits has a negligible impact on the cost of malpractice insurance. In fact, in California, it actually helped increase rates!

Edwards has some good ideas on reforming the malpractice insurance world, starting with the insurance companies who really screw it up. Check out the Malpractice Caps section of this story in the Washington Post: Senator John Edwards on the Issues.

My favorite Edwards quote would make a good bumper sticker: "George Bush has a health care plan - pray you don't get sick."

Monday, July 05, 2004

Seafood Watch

Just a quick not on sustainable seafood: This great site lets you know what seafood is cool to eat.

Fighting for Freedom?

Letter to the LA Times:

I noticed two delusional people in the paper today. One, understandably so, who's husband was just killed in Iraq, was angry at protesters. She claimed her husband had been fighting for their freedom. The other watched the video of Nick Berg's beheading, and claimed that was enough to show us why we're at war.

To the wife I suggest she talk to the group of anti-war military families whose husbands and sons died in the war, and they will be the first to tell her that all these people are not dying while fighting for our freedom, because it turns out Iraq was no threat to our freedom. There were no weapons. There is no evidence of Al Qaeda connections. And every time Dick Cheney and George W Bush say there were, they are lying.

To the man who wants to use Nick Berg's beheading as justification, I suggest he talk to Nick Berg's father, who is furious at Bush and Cheney, and who would be the first to point out that Nick was beheaded because the lies of this administration put these thousands of soldiers and contractors in a hornets nest we didn't need to be in. Perhaps this guy needs to hear Bush administration officials saying how Saddam did not have weapons, and how containment had worked, when they first got into office.

In short, they should both go see Fahrenheit 9/11. Maybe a few moments with Lila Lipscomb, the mother who's son died in Iraq, will make them realize that they, like she once was, are wrong about this administration's reasons for war in Iraq, protesters, and fighting for freedom (like we should have done a lot more of in Afghanistan, where Bin Laden is). The freedom we are fighting for in Iraq is for Bush and his friends to make more money on the backs of soldiers and innocent Iraqis.

If those people died protecting our freedom, then how come we lost so much of it to the Patriot Act?

RE: Turning up the heat on Michael Moore

Christopher Hitchen's point by point rebuttal, if you insist on
calling it that, is typical of right wing criticisms of Moore's movie. They call him a liar, then fail to point out a single lie. Of course Moore has a point of view, so does Hitchens, and so do you, but no one has proven anything Moore says in this move to be lie. Instead they
attack Moore himself (for his weight or his wealth), or they make assumptions about his positions on issues. For instance, Hitchens assumes that Moore is against the war in Afghanistan because he brings
up the profiteering and Unocal. I often point out the profiterring in Afghanistan, and the opium production and the ties to the Taliban the Bush had before 9-11. And yet I argue from the right that we didn't send enough troops to Afghanistan soon enough. What is contradictory about these two opinions? The same is true with Iraq. Plenty of people were for the war, Joe Lieberman comes to mind, who take issue with profiterring, poor planning, etc. Just because we criticize something
doesn't mean we're against it in principle.

If you're going to write about the movie, maybe you should have dropped the $8.50. Because you say that you don't have to see the move to know that Moore would take liberties with the facts. Hell, I'll send you ten bucks if you'll go see the movie and find one lie Moore tells in it. I dare you. Putting facts together in a way that supports your point of view is what editorialists do, as I'm sure you know.

"Michael Moore is an American who doesn't like Americans." This kind of crap is what makes me really hate you right wingers. Just because Moore, or anyone for that matter, criticizes Americans doesn't mean he hates Americans. This is the kind of idiotic conclusion that makes me, and Moore, want to speak out about how ashamed we are of people like you. Michael Moore loves Americans, as do I. Just not all Americans. To just lump everyone together in a statement like that proves that you are the one who doesn't know how to hold a reasonable debate. This is a very diverse country. When Moore speaks about the harm we've done in the world, he does it from a deep feeling of love for this country, and from a deep shame for all the bad things we have done. That is healthy and good. We all know the great things this country has done. If you look at the body of Moore's work, including his TV shows, you'd know that he has praised this country many times. He believes that he is doing us a better service by pointing out our flaws than by being a cheerleader saying everything is great.

And once again, a right winger is calling someone unpatriotic because he doesn't agree with you. I'm really getting sick of the false dichotomies you guys put forth: You're either for Bush or for the
terrorists, you're either for jobs or for the environment, you either love America or you hate America, all as if it's impossible to do both, or neither. It's the good and evil cowboy mentality that so many of us are sick of, and Michael Moore has done a creative and thoughtful job of stating how we feel in a movie. It's not that I was either laughing or crying, it's that I was doing both.

Then you say this about Moore's quote to the British: "Such thoughts presume that sadness, misery, terror and bloodshed would not have occurred were there not a United States." They do no such thing! Where the hell do you get this kind of statement? The fact is that the US has created unneccesary evil and grief in the world. Moore's not saying there would be no misery if the US didn't exist, he's saying THAT PARTICULAR misery wouldn't have existed. He's trying to apologize for the misery that we did inflict, that we are inflicting. For you to go off on such a blanket statement about what Moore's thoughts presume is ridiculous.

"...would there be more or less misery in the world without us? " Good question, but that's probably impossible to determine, and what does it have to do with Michael Moore's movie? We would be a sorry nation indeed if we went around the world plundering and profiting, while no one here questioned our behavior. Can you imagine such a world, where Fox news was the only news, and our media was nothing more than cheerleaders? Probably sounds good to you.

"The nation's history of fighting tyrants to free entire peoples, delivering humanitarian aid to places in crisis and serving as a beacon of freedom to which the world has flocked speak volumes in
favor of the latter."

Unless, of course, you're from Africa, where you would have heard Ronald Reagan support Apartheid, and where you'd be wondering where all that humanitarian aid is right about now. Or unless you were a
child in Iraq during the nineties, living under sanctions, or unless you were a slave, or a Latin American person killed by US supported death squads. Or, well, you get the idea.

"Something to contemplate while standing in line in a hot parking lot." I agree. SO, get out there and stand in line before you put your foot in your mouth any further.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

My Response to "Connect the dots when you watch 'Fahrenheit'"

MARK STEYN has resorted to the same arguments as every other critic of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9-11. Since they can't find any factual falseness, they presume to know what Michael Moore would have done had things been different, or they make contradictory positions where there are none.

MARK STEYN points out some presumed inconsistency between saying there were financial reasons for installing Karzai in Afghanistan, and saying we sent in too few troops too late. Many of us who were against the Iraq war may not agree with Michael Moore on every point, in fact many of us argue from the right that we blew it in Afghanistan by not putting enough troops in soon enough. The fact that Michael Moore mentions that point, and that Bush, the Taliban, Karzai, and Unocal all had profit motives for doing Afghanistan, are not contradictory. In fact, it would be reasonable to assume that doing a half-assed job in Afghanistan actually helped the war profiteers by leaving the country in chaos, leaving mercenaries (sorry, private security forces) to make a fortune cleaning up the mess. For MARK STEYN to presume Michael Moore was against the Afghanistan war proves that he's digging for something, anything to criticize, where there is nothing. Perhaps Moore, like most Americans, really wishes we had caught Bin Laden, and, like most Americans, would like to know why we went in three months late with so few troops. To presume that because Moore points out the profit motives in Afghanistan means he was against going to war there proves how whacked out the right wing has become in this country.

MARK STEYN then leaves the movie and criticizes something Moore wrote after 9/11 (what's the matter, not enough to criticize in the movie?), when Moore merely mentioned that there were rumors that F-16's were seen trailing hijacked planes. This is a typical right-wing argument against Moore that is hilarious. Since their petty critiques of the movie are so thin, they go after Moore (often for his weight or his money, as if being a rich liberal was a contradiction), and then they presume what Moore's movie would be about had something different happened. This is a ridiculous argument. Anyone who's ever paid any attention to Michael Moore knows he's going to go after the red meat.

Assuming that the planes had been shot down, it would be rather easy
for Bush to prove (unlike WMD or Hussein/Al Qaida ties) that they were going to crash into buildings. Even Michael Moore would agree that it would be right to save the greater number of lives, and to suggest that he wouldn't is disgusting and sad. While I'm loathe to assume what Moore might have done, it would be more reasonable to suggest that he would have focused more on the unjustified, poorly planned, ill-timed, and exceedingly expensive war in Iraq.

Almost as disgusting is for MARK STEYN to ridicule those of us who
actually find it funny to make fun of the president. We're scared and worried and we need a good laugh. But MARK STEYN thinks it's wrong for us to laugh at W. MARK STEYN goes beyond making fun of us, he calls us snobs. Wow. I looked around my theater in an x-urb of Los Angeles that is very Republican and working class, and I saw a bunch of red necks laughing from the gut. I saw working class people hiss with disgust when Bush, in his tuxedo, calls the haves and the have-mores his base.

Do we need to look any further than the Bush family to find the true

Contrary to MARK STEYN's morally superior certainty, Moore does not
blame everything on Bush. There are plenty of times where he points
out that the Democrats did nothing to stop him, or even to question
him. Advisors from spit-haired Wolfowitz to no-good-targets-in-Afghanistan Rumsfeld are criticized. However, if there is a Grand Universal Theory at work, it is that the Buck stops with Bush. He's in charge. Therefore, he can take credit for the successes and take blame for the failures.

Finally, I really have a problem with this:

"But the trouble with "Fahrenheit 9/11" is that you don't come away
mad at the Saudis or America's useless bureaucracy, you come away mad at Bush -- or, if not mad, feeling snobbishly superior to him. And, if feeling snobbishly superior to the president isn't your bag, what's left is an incoherent bore."

Many Americans have come away from F-9/11 mad at the Saudis AND Bush,and especially mad at the Bush family relationship with the Saudis. Why does it have to be one or another? Because this is how right wingers argue. They lie about false choices between jobs and the environment, supporting the president or the terrorists, loving
America or hating it... You're either with us or against us...

I do not feel superior to Bush. My kids have almost no chance of going to Yale and I'll probably never be worth millions. But again, why can't we feel mad AND snobbishly superior? Or, if feeling snobbishly superior isn't my bag, why can't I just be scared of him? Or disgusted by him? Or pity for his simple-mindedness? Or thankful to him for organizing the left wing in this country that no one else ever could have?

As for the useless bureaucracy, well, it seems that many of the useless bureaucrats were trying to tell us there was a threat while Bush was on vacation and Ashcroft was telling his FBI he didn't want to hear anymore about Al Qaeda. I haven't heard any Bush lovers like MARK STEYN calling Michael Moore a liar over these facts.

If you can't attack his movie on the points (like how can the soldiers ever trust us again), you risk looking as stupid and yes, as snobbish, as MARK STEYN.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Cheney Unrelenting on War Policy

Here's my letter to the LA Times regarding their story about Cheney's insanity today:

Your headline should read "Cheney Unrelenting in Personal Search for Insanity." His grasp of reality has deteriorated to beyond spin, and it's high time for a Pulitzer Prize winning news organization to call him to task. For instance, you made no attempt to point out that he was disingenuous at best, and outright lying at worst, when he said "Consider for a moment how matters stood at the time when President [sic] Bush and I were sworn into office on Jan. 20th, 2001. Terrorists were on the offensive around the world, emboldened by many years of unanswered attacks. Repeatedly they had struck America with little cost or consequence."

I think The Times should point out the truth here. Not only did Bill Clinton retaliate for attacks on American interests, but he was criticized by Cheney and his friends for "wagging the dog" when he did. At the very time in question, Republicans had Bill a little tied up with an impeachment proceeding. If Cheney and his right wing nut friends were so worried about defending American interests, perhaps they should have dropped their witch hunt over a sexual indiscretion.

Furthermore, if Cheney wants to find non-responses to terror attacks on Americans, he need look no farther than Ronald Reagan's response to the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983. At that time, Congressman Cheney didn't have a lot of whining to do when Reagan's response was to withdraw from Lebanon, thereby proving to the terrorists that they could achieve their goals (getting Americans out of their country) by committing terrorists acts against them.

If Dick Cheney bothered to read Dick Clark's book, he'd know that Bill Clinton did plenty to combat terrorism, including actually chairing meetings on terrorism, snatching terrorists, stopping terrorist plots, and prosecuting those who actually committed terrorism, like the bombing of the World Trade Center.

The Times needs to serve their subscribers by printing the truth along side Cheney's lies, especially if he is going to continue these maniacal rants.

Web Page For Kerry

John Kerry's Web site has unveiled a great package of new tools you can use to help send Bush back to Crawford. Every volunteer gets their own web page at Kerry's site to help organize your effort. Here's mine.

Perhaps the most powerful tool is the speak out feature, which organizes weekly local media campigns, coordinating efforts to get the truth out to local media. I urge you all to sign up and get a page now. Let me know when you do and I'll link to it from here.


Over 300,000 people entered the workforce last month. Only 112,000 jobs were created. And Bush tells us that's strong job growth. Here's the part of the story not everyone might have read: "In a separate report, the Labor Department said Friday that factory employment declined by 11,000 jobs in June after increasing by 75,000 in the previous four months."

Hey, W, all these jobs you're giving us suck! Limbaugh and all his ditto asses will call me a whiner for this, but you're damn right I'm going to whine when you spit in my hand and call it mint jelly. "They're jobs!" resident ditto head Mark Luther said on Al Franken's show. Hey, Mark, you want any of those jobs? How good are you at flipping burgers or changing bed pans? Hell, I'd pay to see Rush change a bed pan.

I got a new John Kerry hat yesterday. Best baseball cap I ever owned. Union made in America. Guess where some of the Bush-Cheney gear is made? Burma. That's right. Bush banned imports from Burma, because of their civil rights record, and then broke his own law.