Friday, October 07, 2005

I need my torture 

This story proves right at least a dozen Biteblogs in the past two years...

Bush will veto a law against torture?

The Bush administration pledged yesterday to veto legislation banning the torture of prisoners by US troops after an overwhelming and almost unprecedented revolt by loyalist congressmen.

Luckily, they've pinned him in a little, as well:

The amendment was attached to the $440 billion (£247 billion) defence spending bill and if Mr Bush vetoes the amendment, he would have to veto the entire bill. That would leave America's armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan short of cash as early as the middle of next month.

[Easy solution. Bring 'em home and Balkanize Iraq. It's going to happen anyway, get it over with and get out!]

As we've said ad nauseum before, this illegal President is condoning despicable torture in the name of "freedom". This is yet another shocking admission of his guilt. If the Republicans can force a veto (and maybe override it), then they can just as easily start impeachment proceedings.


Paradox of politics 

We all know what "red states" and "blue states" are now.

Or do we? Check out these maps!

Anecdotally, Republicans fare well in regions where voter incomes are similar (all poor or all rich, related to the previous blog). They do poorly in regions where there is massive disparity in wealth.

And yet, the policies of the Republicans encourage--nay, manufacture--disparity of wealth, allowing the wealthiest few to accumulate astonishing personal wealth.

How do they get away with it? By promoting a segregated society, in which the wealthy all live together and the poor are huddled together.

Here's the paradox. The Dems, in trying to distribute the wealth more evenly, tend to push society toward a more egalitarian one. In so doing, they create a society in which folks would then tend to vote Republican. They "win" their battle by converting voters into Republicans.

Republicans, however, do not want a true egalitarian (that is, socialist) society, and so must ever resort to segregation. Segregation in turn creates Democrats.

So, Republicans win by creating Dems, and Dems win by creating Republicans.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Whazza matta you, ey? 

The book, What's the Matter with Kansas, is definitely an example of getting the answer right. Its author, Thomas Frank, creates an interesting, personal, eminently readable tale of how the state on the leading edge of Populism a century ago has become a moribund, absurd supporter of the Republicans who systematically destroy the way of life of most of its residents. (One compelling example of the complete reversal in Kansas involves the glorious "Garden of Eden" sculptures erected in Lucas Kansas in 1906 to celebrate the Populist fight against the octopus ensnaring the earth--namely, laissez-faire capitalism. The Republican shill who gives tours there now claims the prescient sculptor anticipated Carter giving away the Panama Canal because one octopus arm reaches toward Central America!)

The bold, earnest farm workers of the Plains have all disappeared, and are replaced by the ConAgras and Monsantos, extricating massive profits (to funnel into the stock portfolios of those living in our segregated suburbs) out of cheap, immigrant/alien labor, while whole towns, counties--and perhaps even states--simply evaporate. Why? Because the Dems--Clinton a leading example, but dullards like Lieberman even more so--in de-emphasizing the economic differences between the two Parties, have allowed the Republicans to drive home a message of a "cultural war". Surely the end-game in a history of getting people to fight over symptoms, Republicans with their "narcissism of martyrdom" (a brilliantly insightful expression used by Mr. Frank) have convinced dirt poor Kansans that the "liberals" are all-powerful and are crushing their spirit, even as the Republicans steal the remaining dollars in their wallets. This "martyred majority" (another brilliant expression) controls all branches of government, but cannot stop these omnipotent (manufactured) enemies, the all-powerful, all-evil liberals (liberals whose "torture" of the poor religious right consists of sniggering at them or criticizing them in papers--at the expense of being called "femi-Nazis", "anti-Americans", "anti-Christs", or worse...hmmm).

Sounds a bit like projection? A bit like Germany claiming "Die Juden sind unser Ungluck"? It sure does. Eerie as hell. But an (actually defenseless) enemy is a necessary prop of any totalitarian regime. And "liberals" in USA 2005 are what social democrats, then communists, then Jews, were to the Hitler era in Germany.

But any Con(servative) who does not believe this tale need only look to Bush's selection to replace Sandra Day O'Connor, Harriet Miers, a moderate Republican who is either being nominated out of cronyism or out of some arrangement to keep Mr. President out of Leavenworth after his Presidency ends in disgrace. After all, he knows what's the matter with Kansas!

Bush did not select a Con to roll back Roe vs. Wade, and he does not give a jot about the Cons who voted for him in droves because of his feigned accent, feigned woodchopping, feigned interest in NASCAR, feigned sobriety, feigned poverty (one Con noted "I can't vote for Kerry, because I wouldn't want a rich man as President"!) or feigned Christianity. The Republicans are happy to snooker the poor Cons in the USA to get their votes, and then promptly ignore them while they create a new set of liberal terrors to torment them with the next times the polls open.

Anyone who has not read this book--Con, Mod or Dem--needs to correct this oversight as soon as possible. This is quite simply what's wrong with the US political system, not just Kansas.


(next, the paradox of our Politics continues...)

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