Friday, September 17, 2004

Pot, meet Kettle. Kettle, Pot.

Are you freakin' kidding me? I thought I covered the Alice in Wonderland range of things in the last post. But this one tops...well, not all of them, but most of them:
President Bush (R-Bogota by way of Camp David) said Thursday that his Democratic opponent "wants to expand government" in education, health care, taxes and virtually every other area of domestic policy.
"We have a difference of philosophy in this campaign," Bush told supporters. "It's a clear difference: my opponent's programs will expand government. Our programs will expand opportunity."


Hmmmm...that's quite interesting. You see, here all along I thought it was pResident DryDrunk who had expanded the government the most of any President since LBJ. Hell, he's probably closing in on FDR! And yet, he has the temerity to accuse KERRY of wanting to increase the size of government? I'm not sure who to believe - the lying lier who says it, or the idiotic, knuckle-dragging dolts who believe it. Let's take a look at the replay, shall we?
Education: the absolutely gawdawful No Child Left Behind...yeah, either that massively increased the size of the federal government because of what it was supposed to do, or it didn't only because Asshat refused to fund it. Size Advantage: Bush

Health Care: I seem to recall a certain Medicare bill that was passed recently, with the held of a little bribery, extortion, and a complete sell-out by the AARP. Last I knew, it also massively ramped up the size of government spending, as well as effectively jamming seniors with a huge increase in the co-pays they will have to pay starting next year (that info was conveniently released on a Friday afternoon...). Size Advantage: Bush


Taxes: Well, Bush advocated abolishing the IRS and going to a national sales tax, probably because he read about it in one of his "Getting Rich for Dummies and Heirs" books, so maybe there he actually is being honest. Not really, because the corresponding increase in state and local taxes effectively wipe out any tax relief given to 98% of 'Merkins, but hey, that gub'ment strangling that Grover Norquist wants to do is one step closer... Size Advantage: Kerry


"and virtually every other area of domestic policy." Hmmm...again, that's funny, because here I thought it was the REPUBLICANS who wanted to eff with the Constitution and reach into the bedrooms and homes of every 'Merkin by banning committed relationships that happen to be gay, by banning information about condoms disseminated to those who need the info most (you horny high school kids out there), by reaching into the most intimate of family issues related to a woman controlling her own reproductive rights, by allowing a convicted felon (John Poindexter) to begin a program with the intent of creating a database large enough to hold files on EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US that would reveal every transaction we complete...I could go on for hours.
The point here, folks, is that for Incurious George to stand up and say "I'm for smaller government, for a humble foreign policy, for creating opportunities for the little man, because I feel your pain" is just plain bovine excrement. It's not even very good bullshit...it's the same stuff the republican candidate says every year, and every year people with a vested interest in voting Democratic vote for the dark side under the misguided impression that Jesus Christ was a Republican.


Way past time for sleepytime.

HCBP

Go ask Alice what the doorman said...

Aaaand, down the rabbit hole we go. Let's play dueling headlines, shall we (all apologies to an outstanding if somewhat irrascible website, Bartcop).

Headline from USA Today: Bush clear leader in poll (boy they want him elected so bad their woodies are showing...)
Headline from...well sheeeite, who'da thunk it? 5 minutes ago when I read the first of the two bizarro headlines that started this post, a headline directly under the one written above said "Kerry and Bush tied in poll." Hmmm...magically that headline is now gone, replaced by this one, touting how our Great Leader is tied with Kerry in one poll, and SLIGHTLY AHEAD IN ANOTHER!!!!! Yippeee!!! Maybe he'll give ME a nickname this time!!!! Oh he's so resolute I can hardly breath!

Well, headlines, which is it? Is Siezer Disgustus "clearly" ahead, or is he not? Better yet, any guesses which poll our lil' buddy Matty D chose to run as the big-ass font headline? Two guesses and the first one doesn't count.

More Wonderlandian stuff in the articles themselves:
USA Today:
The boost Bush received from the Republican convention has increased rather than dissipated, reshaping a race that for months has been nearly tied. Kerry is facing warnings from Democrats that his campaign is seriously off-track.


AP:
The first of two national polls by Pew, done Sept. 8-10, reflected the president's post-convention bounce. Bush was ahead of Kerry 52-40 among registered voters and by an even wider margin, 54-39, among likely voters, a narrower group. By the second poll, done Sept. 11-14, the Bush lead had evaporated, the center said Thursday. In that poll, Bush and Kerry were knotted at 46 percent among registered voters.


Ummmmm....ok. Let me spin my head back around so my eyes face the front...

An aside rant here: "Bush continues to hold a commanding lead on the question of who would do the best job of defending the country from terrorists, by 58 percent to 31 percent in the Pew poll." HELLO! ARE YOU PEOPLE NOT PAYING ATTENTION, OR ARE YOU JUST THAT FUCKING STUPID????!!!!! HE WAS THE GUY IN CHARGE WHEN WE WERE ATTACKED BY TERRORISTS, AND HE'S THE GUY WHO STARTED TWO WARS THAT WILL, IN THE END, ONLY INCREASE THE LIKLIHOOD THAT WE WILL BE ATTACKED AGAIN!!!!! HOW IN THE NAME OF ______ (insert your favorite deity here, although if you're a Shrub supporter, you're probably a fundy who really REALLY enjoyed the Christian porn that was Passion of the Christ. But I digress...) CAN YOU STILL BE UNDER THE DELUDED IMPRESSION THAT BUSH HAS REDUCED THE THREAT OF TERROR TO THIS COUNTRY?????? And fer shits' sakes, it's really those heathen libruls in New York and the Gub'ment in D.C. that's really at risk here, so why do you care anyway? It's not like Osama's got grand designs for blowing up the corn fields in Nebraska!!!!! If by "the best job defending the U.S. from terrorists" you mean who would do the best job pissing the rest of the world off and starting perpetual war, President Asshat's your man, so go right ahead. I'll be in Toronto.

whew. Back to Wonderland...

The national guard story (which I must toot my own horn about and say that I've been harping on this since before the 2000 election, but what's a 10 watt mouthpiece in a 50,000 watt world?) won't go away, but the Bushies have done a great job of shifting attention to the documents' veracity, rather than the story behind them. Here's a quote that should be on every freaking headline tomorrow:
"I think the public ought to be concerned about his preferential treatment getting in and whether he satisfied his commitment to the Air Guard. Those are the two fundamental questions," said Robert Strong, the administrative officer in charge of air operations at Guard state headquarters from early 1971 until March 1972.

Will that headline be seen? Most likely not. After all, the major news organizations are lazy two-dollar whores, the kind that just lie there and count the seconds, and as such they take their news for the day from whatever Matty says is news for the day. And of course, Matty SOOOOOO wants to be in with the Rovian crowd despite his...ummm...what is it, exactly Matt? a lifestyle, as your desparately desired friends would condescendingly refer to it?...that he takes his daily news foci from Rove.


I need a drink. And I don't even drink.

HCBP

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill!!!!!!!!!

Apologies to the crazy general in Mars Attacks (truly a waste of 2 hours of your life that you will never get back)...

I thought I was done for the night, but I just stumbled across an article that really confirms my privately held thoughts and fears...the PNAC (Project for a New American Century, or alternatively, the crazy-ass neocons who currently run the shadow government out of Dick Cheney's and Don Rumsfeld's office) is interjecting themselves into the Iran situation already. And, true to their form, they're not even subtle about it...remember, these are the guys who pushed President Clinton to invade Iraq immediately to stop the imminent danger from WMD's...in 1997! He said piss off, so they just put things on the back burner for a while until Emperor AWOL got himself appointed to the Oval Office. Anyway, they're now rattling sabres in Iran's direction, and saying, hell, if we don't start bombing the shit out of Iran, the Isrealis should and will. (Click here to read the PNAC's original manifesto: Rebuilding America's Defenses. It should be required reading for anyone who doesn't know or doesn't believe that everything happening right now in relation to our usage of military power overseas and government power domestically was already planned. Bush jr. has a "vision thing," it's just that it includes perpetual war and fear.)

If we put aside for a second the (in my opinion, false and extremely condescending, ethnocentric, and hubristic) PNAC'ers view of the world as "Us vs. Them" (wait, where have we heard that before?), just read the quotes and understand that these are the exact same arguments made regarding Iraq...simply buy a consonent from Pat Sajack, swap an N for a Q, and you're right back down the memory hole again. The language that really should raise your cockells is:
Gary Schmitt, executive director of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neo-conservative think-tank, says that with "enough intelligence and spadework", the US could "do a good job" of slowing Iran's programme for a while. But, he cautions, the Bush administration would need a "game plan" for the aftermath. That long-term approach is lacking, analysts say, and has floundered in the debate over "regime change".
Asked whether Israel would take military action if the US dithered, Mr Schmitt replied: "Absolutely. No government in Israel will let this pass ultimately."

Ummmm...excusethefuckoutofme?! Did this Mr. Schmitt just let the cat out o' the bag?!!! It could be wrong, but it appears to me that said Mr. Schmitt is indicating an Isreali strike is in the works. Un...freaking...real. Two wars without end just ain't enough for these chickenhawks. The hubris to think that we, the United States, should and do have some omnipotent, inherant power and right to rule the world and dictate to other countries simply what they can and can't do, should be unpalatable to people. Unfortunately, the 'Merkin sheeple are too busy buying cheap plastic crap at Wal-Mart and watching that noted "Man of the People" Bill O'Liely to know what's really going on.


Enough for now, I think I just burst a blood vessel...


HCBP



A pedantic, pontificating bastard...

Someone stop the train, I want to get off.

Maybe it's that whole cognitive dissonance thing I reference in my subtitle, maybe it's just operating on 5 hours of sleep for too many days, maybe it's just the realization that my "to-do" list tops out at around 20 or so...and that's frequently in just the next 48 hours...or maybe it's just a lack of ability to suffer purile and pedantic bullshit, but I can honestly say that I'm getting pretty burned out on some law-related things right now. I ask myself - am I truly HAPPY doing all of this, doing it because I WANT to, or doing it because that's just what you're supposed to do this time of year during your 2L experience. On the one hand, I want to cover my bases, which means submitting all the shite for a bunch of OCI firms, even if I've never heard of them or have no idea what in ______ (insert your favorite deity here)'s name differentiates that firm from any of the other multiname firms.
On the other hand, I'm so tired and sick of pretending to hang on every interviewer's every last word, nodding in slightly-open-mouthed-agreement, as if those words coming from the firm rep's mouth held the very key to life's eternal secrets (I guess Admiral Stockdale would be curious..."who are we? why are we here?"...obscure 1992 vice presidential debate reference. but i digress...). It's almost like it's this little dance...they say and do the things they are supposed to, while we the interviewees do likewise; we all dress the same, talk the same, sound the same, have the same credentials (well, more or less...some of us a little less than more I suppose), blah blah blfreakinblah. To bastardize Billy, so much sound and pithy commentary, signifying nothing. HELL, I DON'T EVEN LIKE WINE, but I end up drinking it at these gatherings, because if one doesn't have a drink in hand, then perhaps one doesn't quite "fit the mold." Well maybe that's the freakin' point! (Does anyone else find it extremely ironic that we moan about a substance abuse problem in the legal profession, yet every social event or function, within the lawschool or in an interviewing context, must be lubricated via alcohol?)

I sometimes feel like I just want to stop the merry-go-round and step off, like I want to truly go follow my heart's inclination and work to fight the Dark Side in any way I can. (I would insert a BC04 link here, but I'll be damned if I'll facilitate any additional contact to them, even if no one else reads this but me anyway) (On a side note: Star Wars DVD's coming out next week! Perhaps I can learn something from Obi-Wan's wisdom...). This is especially amplified as we close in on less than two months to go before the most historic election of my lifetime, and realistically one of the most important elections in this country's history since 1860. But at the same time, I'm also realizing that knowledge is power, and power can be dangerous to one's health and outlook on life...the more I delve into that knowledge about the dark side, the closer I come to truly reflecting it in my own way, and I reach such a point of absolute self-loathing, anger, negativity, and just plain depression that I have to tune out...handy when there are 19 other things on the "to-do" list! There's always fantasy football, I suppose, but even that's ruined by the knowledge that I at least subconsciously if not overtly root not for a particular team anymore, but only for or against certain individuals or team defenses as it where, a complete bastardization of the "fan's experience" in my opinion.

I'll stop ranting for now, but this whole OCI thing has really been educational for me in multiple ways: I've learned things about myself that I didn't know, and while some of that is beneficial, I'm not sure I like all that I learned, and I'm not sure how to repress that ugly, dark side that I sense wanting to come out and play more frequently in the last couple of weeks. I got really scared a few days ago...food just didn't sound good, and I absolutely LOVE food! WTF!!!


Laugh it up, fuzzball!
Great shot kid...now don't get cocky!

HCBP

Monday, September 13, 2004

Dude, where's my facts?

An interesting tidbit related to two failed "wars" on abstract nouns: drugs and terra. It seems that the DEA has created a nifty museum exhibition tying the international drug market and terra together, perhaps a piggyback on those Super Bowl ads a few years ago. Ok, fine, let's acknowledge that Columbia is infested with both narcotrafficking and terra, and that opium/heroin currently (and formerly) pours out of impoverished areas of the "Stans" (Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.) However, the disingenuous argument the government makes shows up as follows:
But it also makes a more controversial link between terrorism and the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The exhibit includes a large display of debris collected from both sites. The exhibit does not specifically tie the attacks to drug trafficking, but it uses the events to explain how terrorists use the drug trade as one of several methods to fund attacks. It cites U.S. intelligence linking the Taliban in Afghanistan, and by extension its thriving heroin economy, to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

The last highlighted sentence is simply incorrect and false. There WAS no "thriving heroin economy" under the Taliban. For all of their nasty, repressive attitudes (uhh...towards women, Buddah statutes and everyone else who didn't share their 12th Century world view), the Taliban also did not tolerate drug use and production. They irradicated the poppy production throughout the country in a simple way: they burned down the crops and killed the farmers. Effective drug control policy, if not necessarily respective of due process. During the period that the Taliban were in control of Afghanistan, their portion of the world's heroin production was effectively nil.

However: today is a different story. Since we deposed the Taliban (officially, at least), they no longer have the ability to wage their own effective war on poppies, while the puppet Karzai admininistration turns a blind eye to the resumption of poppy production on a massive scale. The heroin pipeline running out of Afghanistan is resurrected and kickin', thanks in extremely large part to the putative war on terra.

So it's true: one CAN get by with a little help from one's friends...
It's a dishonest, and yet completely intentional, mistatement that the government makes, but then again, that's par for the course with the BFEE.

HCBP

A clerkship reflection

Today at work I was given the task to read a motion to suppress evidence, and check the authorities cited as support to suppress all the evidence in a given case. Rather routine, ordinary stuff I suppose, involving a Terry stop situation, but I was pleasantly supprised to see a confluence between my evidence class material, Con law issues from class, and journal editing, as my current journal assignment involves an analysis of a 2004 SCOTUS case about the "poisoned fruit" of evidence obtained illegally, and the admissibility of such evidence. Although I still don't feel like I have a COMPLETE grasp of the topic, I was able to provide my supervising attorney with some substantive analysis (including noticing where the motion cited particular cases to support the defendant's stance while leaving out particularly salient details that make the authority of those cases to this case much less persuasive), and when she asked pointed, specific questions, I was able to respond somewhat intelligently.

A small step, but another indication that I actually might have a clue of what I'm doing, even if it does take me a while to get there!


HCBP

Sunday, September 12, 2004

More Iran...

Drip.
Great. Let's start issuing ultimatums. Again. Since the rest of the world sees how well THAT worked out for everyone involved.

Drip. Imagine that - a neocon making threats regarding the U.S. in the middle east.
US undersecretary of State John Bolton, speaking briefly to reporters before meeting Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, said "President [George W.] Bush is determined to try and find a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the problem of Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. But we are determined that they are not going to achieve a nuclear weapons capability."

Right. Since we are the world's arbitor. Although it never even existed, the "humble foreign policy" of Governor Bush is obliterated by this statement from Bolton. Imagine the absolute outrage if China (to pull the most probable next global empire out of the hat) were to say "We would love to find a peaceful and diplomatic solution the problem of the United State's quest to place military installations on the moon, but we are determined that they will not be successful in that venture." I'm sure Rush would be a real big fan of that.

Drip.
The headline here is the kicker: "U.S. refuses to rule out Iran attack." Great. Now we get to see if the rest of the global class has been paying attention to our lessons and lectures on the virtues and necessity of preemptive warfare. No need to actually have any proof that you're being threatened, kids, just a simple vague feeling is good enough to justify a preemptive strike. Yippeee!!!

Drip. Click here to scan the other 573 stories currently indexed on Google about Iran and the "growing concern" about their nuke-u-ler dreams.

I am not fooled by the Iranians' claims that they only want nuke-u-ler power for peaceful electricity generating purposes: yeah, I want the semester to be over and it's only because I like February in Columbus. However, just like in the lead up to Iraq, if there's a right way to do diplomacy, and a wrong way, the Bush Crime Family and their associates will choose the wrong way every time, and other people's blood will be spilt for it. However, slowly but surely, we shift our attention to Iran, in the very same way we did with Iraq.

Tehran and Washington, sittin' in a tree...
sh-out-i-n-g...
first comes sanctions,
then comes threats,
then comes nuke-u-ler warnings and an invasion...

Four more years, or two more months...we have a choice to make, and the choice is simple: more war or less war. Period.


HCBP