The Friends of California Libre...

02 December 2004

President Rat Is Coming to Town

Greetings, friends,
I hope I wasn't the only one watching the MacNeill-Lehrer Report last night. They had three Canadians on to discuss the state of US-Canada relations, and to the surprise even of the interviewer (though not to me, who watched the whole thing with delight) they tore America a new asshole. Given every chance to be nice and polite, all three made the point that not only are disagreements between Canada and the US strong and irreconcilable, but that many Canadians see opposition to the US as a good thing and a point of national pride. They made even the French look weak-kneed, especially during an exchange on Iraq. When asked if the Canadians were now more likely to support our cause in Iraq, with the war a done deal, all three gave a direct "No", and then one fella gave a fifteen second accounting of all the international cooperation and goodwill that Canada has supported in direct opposition to the US, so concise and biting that it even left the ordinarily unflappable Jim Lehrer somewhat silenced.

You could almost hear them thinking, Canadians?

One thing I remember from my recent trip to Canada (and reading I did beforehand) was a constant debate about the nature of Canadian citizenship. Unlike Americans, who don't question their citizenship until they're threatened by foreigners or have a jet flown into their buildings (and not always then), Canadians love to talk about what it means to be a Canadian. More than many things, this appeals to me. We were all born human beings, male and female, and other than that, everything else is a construct that should be constantly challenged.

Maybe it is time for us, the non-Christian liberal secular humanist types, to question our citizenship:
If at First You Don't Secede
By Michelle Goldberg
Feeling they've lost any say in how the nation is run, liberals are turning to an unfamiliar philosophy: States' rights.

Some Say U.S. No Longer Feels Like Home

The impact of our recent electoral farce on the entire world demands a reckoning; are you a citizen of America or of the world? The middle ground is disappearing:
Bush’s triumph: three ends and a beginning
November 2004 represents a decisive moment in global as well as American politics that demands an urgent response from concerned citizens everywhere, says Fred Halliday.

The Christians are certainly going to make themselves known:
Of Prayer and Payback
By Debra Rosenberg and Rebecca Sinderbrand
The religious right strongly believes it helped Bush seal re-election. So what does it want in return?

Our country is being torn in pieces again; here (hopefully for the last time) are some sites compiling the many maps of the recent election to demonstrate it:
A Tale of Two Mapsby Patrick Cox

And I especially recommend this collection of "cartograms":

The implications for our urban West Coast culture are frightening (thanks, Mme. Chance):

They harken back to this secessionist novel writ in the 1970s; for those who don't know Ernest Callenbach's Ecotopia, it's a hoot, and I've been working on a rebuttal to it for the last few years:
A Virtual Ecotopia
By Kelpie Wilson
t r u t h o u t Perspective
Like many, my first thought on seeing the electoral map of November 2nd was a blue state secession. The blue left coast hanging there off of Canada looked just like Ecotopia to me.

But apparently, the Democrats as a whole are sadly learning nothing from this election (thanks, Mark):
Good piece here about how the official Democratic party apparatus keeps (cravenly) reacting to the excesses of King George:

Not that us leftist hippies are always so smart, eh?
Lava lamp left on hot stovetop explodes, killing man with flying glass

And please, please read this bit of idiocy before you pass judgment:
Store Prank Backfires; 2 Men Jailed

I mean, people are not known for their intuitive brilliance; look how many years it took the Australians to figure out this bit of common wisdom:
You're Drunk...who You Gonna Call?

ANYWAY, by request, I give you some more articles about the ascendence of President Rat, and remember your little rats for the holidays:
I Smell a Rat
By Colin Shea

Berkeley: President Comes Up Short
By Ian Hoffman
The Tri-Valley Herald
Graduate students put statistics to the test and find 'ghost' votes for Bush.

Kerry Won Ohio
By Greg Palast
In These Times
Just count the ballots at the back of the bus. Most voters in Ohio chose Kerry. Here's how the votes vanished.

You can listen to audio of the Ohio hearings at this site (thanks, Bernhard):
The Ohio Election Controversy Hearings etc:

But trust me, that angle ain't gonna fly. We are not living in the Ukraine (thank you, Grandpa Joe.) No, like the Irish in Northern Ireland, the only thing working in our favor is the inevitable death of the creaky old assholes running down the planet:
Scrooge's Nightmare
By Leonard Steinhorn
Despite Bush's election, the cranky old conservatives' days are numbered. The future belongs to middle-aged boomers and their kids, who embrace the tolerant values of the '60s.

Outside of posting another photo on (or if you're living abroad,, you can vent some of your angst hereabouts:
Dear Friend,
In recent days, we've been heartened by the activist community's determination to fix our electoral system. This is no longer about Bush and Kerry; it's about saving our democracy and ensuring free and fair elections in the future.
With that in mind, we've written a Voter Bill of Rights (see below), a list of 10 essential steps for improving our electoral system. Please SIGN and CIRCULATE it. Our goal is to send the bill to all members of congress. We also plan to use this as an organizing tool to educate and mobilize people in our struggle for electoral reform.
To sign, visit:
Thank you all for your determination in the wake of this disastrous election to set things right in the future!
With appreciation,Medea Benjamin and Chris Michael
On behalf of Global Exchange and CodePink

Let us rejoice, for when the worm turns, he eats all, even his own:
Neocons Join the Lynch Mob for 'Arrogant' Rumsfeld
By Sarah Baxter
The Times U.K.
The American defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, should be sacked, according to a growing chorus of conservative commentators who want him replaced by a figure with wider appeal.

And why not say goodbye to our own homegrown monster, our own Saddam Hussein?
'Unusual Weapons' Used in Fallujah
By Dahr Jamail
Inter Press Service
Baghdad - The U.S. military has used poison gas and other non-conventional weapons against civilians in Fallujah, eyewitnesses report.

These inhuman massacres are costing us plenty, and not just in self-respect:,13319,FL_cost_111804,00.html
Iraq War Topping $5.8 Billion A Month
United Press International

And with the ultimate arrogance, our government is still contemplating involving us in a much larger misadventure:
Report: US discussing strikes on Iran
US administration: air strikes ­ "either by the US or Israel" ­ to wipe out Iran's fledgling nuclear program would be difficult because of a lack of clear intelligence.

But there's no justice for New Yorkers:
Pakistani Soldiers Abandon Search for bin Laden
The Associated Press

Our intelligence agencies are being gutted and replaced by yes-men:
Two More Top CIA Officers Leave
The chiefs of the CIA's Europe and Far East divisions are retiring, according to a federal official, marking the latest high-level departures at the spy agency since Porter Goss took over as director at the end of September.

All the government's business, from top to bottom, will be hidden behind a veil:
Homeland Security Employees Required to Sign Secrecy Pledge
By Spencer S. Hsu
The Washington Post
Gag order raises concern on Hill.

The lay people responsible for our being informed are being killed at a high rate:
A Deadly Year for Journalists: 101 Killed So Far
By Paul Ames
The Associated Press

But don't despair! There's always hope, and my friends in Radical Reference and elsewhere will do their best to keep you informed:
Activists Crawl through Web to Untangle U.S. Secrecy
By William Fisher
Inter Press Services
New York - To combat the Bush administration's penchant for secrecy, U.S. citizens have been forced to unearth new sources for information they once read in their daily newspapers. But thanks to a few dedicated individuals and not-for-profit groups - and the Internet - such material is easier to come by than ever before.

The Canadians, natch, are giving us a little boost in this department as well:
Now everyone can spy

That's good, because this government needs spying on. It's hip-deep in the business of murder:
** US 'hurting' anti-mine campaign **
Anti-landmine activists meeting in Nairobi say the US is setting a bad example by not joining a worldwide ban.
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And the destruction of scientific research in favor of Biblical hoakum:
How George Bush Lost the Sun
By Katharine Mieszkowski
Solar power could be a source of new jobs and an answer to global warming. So why has the U.S. fallen behind other nations in developing it?

Of course, you can't expect Americans to progress in science if they don't even believe in it. The statistics in this article will shock you (thanks, Geri):
They don't believe in it.

And finally, the credit for the John Kerry picture credit goes to Sergei; the goalie Jesus, to Lucas.

Vive le screed!

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