This year you'll be glad to hear I scored a big personal win (tying my best) on this year's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences® Awards. 18 correct (grin), due in large part to the well-deserved 11 awards won by that film from New Zealand (with a little Hollywood coin), and yes, dears, I called Sean Penn, who fortunately made the only political statement of the evening. It is, after all, a leap-day. The fix is in!
As promised some time ago, I've enclosed what a square like me considers a pretty crass picture, but I guess it's okay, since my aunt sent it! As did M. Steiner, merci. If you find it equally offensive, please feel free to send it along to others.
I'm glad to offer the correct attribution for that so-called George Carlin essay; it's Dr. Bob Moorehead, a preacher in Seattle who resigned after allegedly molesting seventeen (!) of his male parishoners (thanks, Mike):
But onto the brutal expressions of the First Amendment that make being American almost a cosmic joke. The strike's over, the supermarkets savaged the union, so it's time to go shopping. Yeah, if you want gifts, we've got them here in the SCREED; how about the exciting GEORGE W. BUSH action figure? (thanks, Cameo):
And if you want paranoia, we got that too here in the SCREED (thanks, Jacques):
Okay, onto another tragic flare-up of Imperial Blowback; let's lay this on on Mr. Clinton's doorstep.
Haiti's Lawyer: U.S. is Arming Anti-Aristide Paramilitaries, Calls For UN Peacekeepers
By Amy Goodman and Jeremy Scahill
In case you're curious, I've read (in an old-fashioned non-forwardable newspaper format) that several leaders in this so-called rebellion in Haiti are former members of the Tonton Macoute, the personal army of "Baby Doc" that terrorized Haiti in the 1970s and 1980s. That nostalgia for Ronald Reagan is going way too far...
Can we have some good news? I wish I saved a copy of this photograph of a man in handcuffs:
Ex-Chief of Enron Pleads Not Guilty to 42 Counts
By The Associated Press
HOUSTON -- Jeffrey Skilling, the former Enron chief executive who resigned months before the company shattered in scandal, surrendered Thursday and pleaded innocent to three dozen federal charges in the company's collapse.
I've also been asked (thank you, Ms. Monde) to remind the crowd about John Kerry and George (both) Bush's tie to the frat-elite-frat Skull and Bones:
I recall from my Berkeley days the Skull and Bones "bunker", a windowless structure with an otherwise good view of the Golden Gate buried in the hill above Frat Row (Piedmont Avenue.) And we just thought they were just planning panty raids and how to smuggle hash out of French ski resorts, tsk.
How about some more good news?
Kentucky Win Gives House Democrats Hope
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - In winning a special election in conservative Kentucky, House Democrats employed a quiet, targeted campaign to turn out thousands of voters eager to "send President Bush a wake-up call," a tactic they hope to duplicate in key races this year.
And some not-good-but-good-to-support news (and I plan to see it in person):
Poor to Put 'Bushville' Tent City at NY Convention
More good news:
** Criminal probe into Halliburton **
The Pentagon opens a criminal case into claims a US company overcharged the military for oil in Iraq.
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/business/3515653.stm >
Pentagon Opens Halliburton Criminal Probe
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon said on Monday it opened a criminal investigation of fraud allegations against a unit of Vice President Dick Cheney's old company Halliburton Co. involving potential overpricing of fuel delivered to Iraq.
Another Halliburton Probe
By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenrball
Already under fire for its contracts in Iraq, the company now faces a Justice Department inquiry about business done during Dick Cheney's tenure
Cheney's Staff Focus of Probe
By Richard Sale
Federal law-enforcement officials said that they have developed hard evidence of possible criminal misconduct by two employees of Vice President Dick Cheney's office related to the unlawful exposure of a CIA officer's identity last year. The investigation, which is continuing, could lead to indictments, a Justice Department official said.
More good news (yah, right):
Gates sees end to spam in 2 years
By Floyd Norris
And yet more good news, a war on the Internet, Google vs. Yahoo:
CNN.com - Google adds 1 billion pages to search - Feb. 18, 2004*
Okay, and let's gear up for the little war we have brewing in our own lovely California...if you have an old copy of the Dead Kennedys "Rotting Fruit for Fresh Vegetables", look at the cover, because that's what happens when you piss off gays!
How about this poll (thanks, Dorothy):
Think it's not war yet?
The Battle Over Same-Sex Marriage
By Rachel Gordon
San Fransisco Chronicle
It was only his 12th day as mayor of San Francisco, but Gavin Newsom decided that night -- the very night he attended President Bush's State of the Union address in Washington, D.C. -- that he was going to defy California law.
And the jackboot (yah, I said jackboot at last) response:
Putting Bias in the Constitution
The New York Times Editorial
With his re-election campaign barely started and his conservative base already demanding tribute, President Bush proposes to radically rewrite the Constitution. The amendment he announced support for yesterday could not only keep gay couples from marrying, as he maintains, but could also threaten the basic legal protections gay Americans have won in recent years. It would inject meanspiritedness and exclusion into the document embodying our highest principles and aspirations.
I mean, don't we have RIGHTS IN THIS COUNTRY?
Publishers Face Prison For Editing Articles from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya or Cuba
The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control recently declared that American publishers cannot edit works authored in nations under trade embargoes which include Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya and Cuba.
Are we all AWAKE now? Though I never like Dr. Dean that much, I do credit him for ringing a loud alarm-bell:
USATODAY.com - While losing, Dean has transformed race, politics*
Thank Howard Dean for Leading His Party Out of the Darkness
By Jon Carroll
The San Francisco Chronicle
And some credit still goes to Mr. Kucinich (thanks, Mike):
"We have people running for president who say they were fooled by George W. Bush. What a recommendation. You're running for president, and you can be fooled by George Bush." --Dennis J. Kucinich
Although, sadly, I have a tough time taking him seriously as well:
Kucinich Wins Date on 'Tonight Show' Skit
But these skittish Christian Soldiers are easily spooked:
Liberation Presidential Campaign: The Bush Camp Panics
By Fabrice Rousselot
The Democrat Kerry's Breakthrough Forces the President to Defend a Disputed Record
Yep, easily spooked, GOOD NEWS:
Kerry, Edwards Both Top Bush in Poll
Let me shift gears and just throw some big ones out now; skip this section to get to the juice, but these are some excellent essays and well worth your time.
First, one about the growing conflict between two charming virtues, greed and religious fervor:
Godliness is next to wealthiness, study finds
By Felicia R. Lee/NYT
And this article, which appeared in a recent issue of the LA Weekly, is literally THE BEST essay I've read so far about George W. Bush and the born-again Christian campaign to control American politics.
George Bush and the Treacherous Country
By Steve Erickson
I am a traitor. I’m not sure exactly when I first knew it. Of course for a long time I resisted it; I had always thought of myself as a patriot.
This essay is nearly as scary:
Subject: The despoiling of America
It's a dogpile on Bush!
Not Qualified, Not Truthful, Not Wise
By Sydney Schanberg
The Village Voice
President Bush's war in Iraq, oddly, has begun to remind me of the floating craps game in Guys and Dolls. In the classic musical, the "guys" have to keep moving the venue from one hiding place to anotherto avoid getting caught playing an illegal gambling game. The president, with much bigger stakes, keeps moving his rationale for the war (as he rolls the dice)to avoid getting caught playing with the truth.
Okay, lighten up...here's a nice site with lots of cartoons and clips of George W. Bush...including the soon-to-be-famous "Idiot Son of an Asshole" (in 11 languages!)(thanks, Geri)...click on "Animations". You'll also find some chilling video here, including one of three Iraqi soldiers being killed by a American helicopter under "Media":
And yet more...the amount of press hidden away on this family is incredible...Christine, you should have grabbed the wheel of that plane:
Bush Family Values: War, Wealth, Oil
By Kevin Phillips
The Los Angeles Times
Four generations have created an unsavory web of links that could prove an election-year Achilles' heel for the president.
And here's the straight-up questions, presented by the families of some World Trade Center victims:
The Family Steering Committee Statement and Questions Regarding the 9/11 Commission Interview with President Bush
t r u t h o u t Report
It makes you wonder...and this is so sick it is hard to believe (thanks, Jacques):
Yahoo! News - Bush, Blair Among Nobel Nominees as Deadline Looms
Bush Wins Triple Trifecta as Worst President Ever
By Harvey Wasserman
Even the staid Catholic Church is presenting a challenge to George Bush:
President's test of faith
Signs of strong support for John Kerry among Catholic voters could mean big trouble ahead for George Bush, say Albert Scardino and John Scardino
Albert Scardino and John Scardino
Tuesday February 03 2004
Because, indeed, the White House is being set up as a new religion:
The US is now in the hands of a group of extremists
Fundamentalism has spawned an ideology of American supremacy
Sunday January 25 2004
Since were all about religion in this screed, suddenly, my friend Josh would like you to know that she made the "Self-Hating Jew" list:
But George Bush doesn't just get low grades in religious understanding...he doesn't know math very well either:
Defense Budget Doesn't Include Funds For Iraq, Afghanistan
By Drew Brown
Knight Ridder Newspapers
And science was probably his worst subject:
Scientist's Group: Bush Ignores, Manipulates Research
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush's administration distorts scientific findings and seeks to manipulate experts' advice to avoid information that runs counter to its political beliefs, a private organization of scientists asserted on Wednesday.
His knowledge of ecology must be at about the second grade level:
Bush Budget Cuts Environmental Funding by 7 Pct
By Chris Baltimore
And even his friends in the Pentagon are smarter than that:
By David Stipp
The Pentagon's Weather Nightmare
The climate could change radically, and fast. That would be the mother of all national security issues. Global warming may be bad news for future generations, but let's face it, most of us spend as little time worrying about it as we did about al Qaeda before 9/11. Like the terrorists, though, the seemingly remote climate risk may hit home sooner and harder than we ever imagined. In fact, the prospect has become so real that the Pentagon's strategic planners are grappling with it.
and (thanks again, Geri):
But wait! With bad news I offer some good news (because the Fix is IN):
Solar Power Hits Suburbia
By Mark Clayton
The Christian Science Monitor
Solar Energy's Clouds Are Past
By Tom Abate
San Francisco Chronicle
Advocates say 50-year-old industry is finally in a position to heat up
Yep, because this country, very simply, needs to GET A LIFE!
Bush Budget Cuts a Variety of Programs
By Edmund L. Andrews
The New York Times
WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 The White House on Tuesday released a list of 128 government programs that it plans to cut back or eliminate, including money for drug treatment centers and secondary school counselors and modernization of the air traffic system.
And no, not the kind of life that turns US into THEM:
Richard Perle Supports Terrorism - by Justin Raimondo*
Because life is just too strange to not accept as fundamentally, absolutely, intrinsically ridiculous:
British Couple Marry in Supermarket
Vive le Screed!
01 March 2004