All Ideas (that I agree with) Are On the Tablevia Marshall Repeatedly since his re-election, President Bush has said he's
willing to listen to "all ideas" about how to reform Social Security.
AND WHERE DO WE AMERICANS FIND OURSELVES NOW?
from Reuters:SENATOR ROBERT BYRD ON TUESDAY compared Republican threats to change
Senate rules to outlaw procedural hurdles that have blocked 10 of
President Bush's judicial candidates to Hitler jamming legislation
through the German Reichstag.
"Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality; he recognized
the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side," the
Democrat from West Virginia said. "Instead, he turned the law inside
out and made illegality legal."
SENATOR RICK SANTORUM of Pennsylvania, a member of the Republican
leadership, said in a statement, "SenatorBYRD'SINAPPROPRIATE REMARKS
comparing his Republican colleagues with Nazis are INEXCUSABLE."
ADL Director Abraham Foxman said: "It is HIDEOUS, outrageous
and OFFENSIVEfor Senator Byrd to suggest that the Republican Party's
tactics could in any way resemble those of Adolf HITLER and the Nazi
Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman said, "Senator Byrd's
invocation of Hitler's Germany ... isREPREHENSIBLEand beyond the
SOME COMPARISONS ARE BEYOND THE PALE? WHAT IS MORE OFFENSIVE? THE ACT OR THE RESPONSE? WHO IS BEING ASKED TO SHUT UP? WHO IS UNAMERICAN?
Bad Faith How The White House Bends the Truth About Torture with a Straight Face What follows is a sad and all too brief analysis of how the press doesn't get the story on torture and extraordinary rendition, even when one reporter dogs the question. The Heretik's sad analysis and conclusion in red.
from White House PressConference 2/28/05 with White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan
Q Has the President ever issued an order against torture of prisoners? And do we still send prisoners to Syria to be tortured?
A direct question has been asked.
MR. McCLELLAN: The President has stated publicly that we do not condone torture and that he would never authorize the use of torture. He has made that --
Stated publicly, but what about privately? Do we still send prisoners to Syria direct question unanswered
Q But has he issued an order?
The question about Syria and torture asked again.
MR. McCLELLAN: -- statement very publicly, and he's made it clear to everybody in the government that we do not torture.
He has made that statement very publicly, but what about privately. He's made it very clear to everybody that we do not torture. He has made it very clear. There is no denial in this. McClellan here sounds more like a public relations agent rather than someone addressing the press Bush says he respects.
Q Well, why do we still hear these stories then?
Another question, less direct. Grasp of the subject is tiring for the reporter. Why not ask: Scott, why have you not answered my question?
MR. McCLELLAN: If there are allegations of wrongdoing, then the President expects those allegations to be fully investigated and if there is actual wrongdoing that occurs, then people need to be held to account. The President has made that very clear.
If . . . then construction allows McClellan to sound like he is answering the question forthrightly. If the allegations, however are never acknowleged, there is no full investigation, no actual wrongdoing found, no one held to account. This is where the deceit takes place.
Q Well, do you deny that we still send prisoners to other countries to be tortured? Is that a denial?
Reporter regains strength. Direct question about extraordinary renditions.
MR. McCLELLAN: Judge Gonzales testified previously that we have an obligation not to render people to countries that we know would torture them.
Second critical point. Acknowleging an obligation is not the same as honoring the obligation.
Q He did not rule out torture.
Reporter points out the question has not been answered.
MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, David.
Press Secretary and other reporters move on. The following mainstream reporter is not interested in pursuing truth here, he is looking for access to McClellan .
Q Scott, you said this morning that for Iran . . .
The White House could not get away with this cynical strategy of divide and conquer if the press were not so willing to stand divided. Getting to the deeper truth regarding extraordinary rendition is predicated upon the White House's knowlege that the press willingly divides itself. He's done that question, I'm not following up on it. I need my own turf, my stake. So the press is complicit in its own conquest.
The reality that the White House limits its skirmishing dog fights with the press to a minimum has been acknowleged. The implications have not. So long as members of the mainstream media given access to the President in the Age of Guckert/Gannon do not press for real answers, the American people will continue to suffer the illusion that the founding principles of this country are not floundering and drowning in a sea of shame abroad.
While there is much whining in the established media complaining about the pack dog mentality of "those damn bloggers who do not check their facts," the dogged truth is that bloggers have their dogs in this fight and others do not, not so much. The mainstream media doesn't want to appear to be a wolf pack hungry for truth. Too bad. A polite dog never wins the bone.
Access to sources means more than getting to truth from the same sources. It is a sad commentary on a sad situation. Prisoners, legal and otherwise, will continue to be tortured while reporters torture themselves over how they will look to liars and thieves.
Ignorance and evil are commonplace. How many know much else about Hannah Arendt but for her succinct comment on “the banality of evil?” Evil, banal or otherwise, simple in its brutality or complex in its machinations, surrounds us now, a foul vapor that chokes the spirit. What is the role of a citiizen? How are we to respond?
The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'survive.'The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves—or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honor, truth, and principles are only literature.
Out in the open darkness descends with crushing weight. A light flickers in what looks to be a house. Best to find comfort from the chill and the dark and silence. Find it in that small house, with a small light.
Those who live small, mate small, die small. It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you.
Ours is an anonymous age. If there is a problem, let someone else deal. Nuance unneeded, details dispatched, death, destruction, and destiny await only others or those who deserve their fate. Don’t people only get what they deserve?
But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what?
I am searching now for one uppity woman. Yes. Needed now: one uppity woman. An uppity woman would confront these dragons, fight them all with a more fierce flame, send them all flameless back to their caves. I am searching now for my own Sophie Scholl.
Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn.
I have found my Sophie Scholl, but only in the pages of history. From those pages yet she speaks to me. . She is the white rose undying, even in defeat undaunted. The wisdom of a spirit withers not nor wilts.
And Sophie would look at me and say: What you would find in me you must instead find in yourself.
A brief not before continuing. All entries by The Heretik on Uppity Women were inspired by a piece by : James Wolcott.
Additional entries on Uppity Women can be found here and here (a shorter appreciation of Sophie Scholl, her brother and a friend). This piece incorporates some of the shorter appreciation.
Thanks to my friend Bad Tux for continuing the story and from whom I found Sophie's quote above. Bad Tux is a very Snarky Penguin. Visit him on his ice floe.
Thanks to Bruderhof as source of quote and white rose pic.
Putin to Bush: I'm sure you'll kick ass in the final round of Jeapordy, George. Just try not to blow us all up, okay?
NTodd has a Russian friend who says when Bush sanctimoniously lectured Putin on democracy, Putin pushed back a lot more than revealed in the White House transcript of their meetingin Constitution Hall in Bratislava Castle in Bratislava, Slovakia. Said Putin in response to Bush's belabored hectorings on Russian shortcomings as an emerging democracy:
Ch'ia by korova mychala, a tvoya molchala = Whose cow would moo, while
yours would be silent = The pot calling the kettle black.
While I don't speak Russian yet (and unless I have an exorcist, speaking in tongues moment, I never will), this may or may not be the moment NTodd's friend is talking about. Maybe not:
PRESIDENT PUTIN: First of all, what do you mean when you say, I
keep silent -- or we keep silent about this or that problem? First of
all, I'm not the minister of propaganda.
I am not, what about you, George?
Bush also made the following comments without the slightest touch of irony:
On Putin :on Iraq. He didn't kind of hedge.
Isn't kind of hedge a kind of hedge?
On how he deals with like um everything: I'm perfectly comfortable in telling you, our country is one
that safeguards human rights and human dignity, and we resolve our
disputes in a peaceful way.
Bush on the press: I think it's
important any viable democracy has got a free and active press.
On the press again : But no question, whether it be in America or anywhere else, the
sign of a healthy and vibrant society is one in where there's an active
press corps. Obviously, there has got to be constraints. There's got
to be truth. People have got to tell the truth, and if somebody
violates the truth, then those who own a particular newspaper or those
who are in charge of particular electronic station need to hold people
to account. The press -- the capacity of the press to hold people to
account also depends on their willingness to self-examine at times when
they're wrong. And that happens on occasion in America. And that's --
that's an important part of maintaining a proper relationship between
government and press.
I can assure you that the folks here are constantly trying to hold
me to account for decisions I make and how I make decisions. I'm
comfortable with that. It's part of the checks and balances of a
Finally I find it interesting that when Bush is in the most formal occasions with foreign leaders, he always refers to them by their first names. Vladimir, this, Vladimir, that. While it makes him sound like the two of them are such good buds, it also makes it sound like Bush thinks Putin is his houseboy.
Bush's homie Putin (Vlad, can I call you Vlad?) sounds like he isn't playing that game.
The world needs more uppity women, women who see the evil in the world and have the courage to poke the devil in the eye. James Wolcott writes often of the plight of the "ice queen" and "castrating bitches" of the world. But The Heretik says if it takes a challenging cut or two to change the world for the better, let the balls drop where they may. February 22, 1943 is the seventysecond anniversay of the death of Sophie Scholl, a lifetime away. Here let her story live a moment longer.
Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, Christoph Probst note: Hans wears the Wehrmacht uniform.
ON FEBRUARY 22, 1943, SOPHIA MAGDALENA SCHOLL, HANS FRITZ SCHOLL, AND CHRISTOPH HERMANN PROBST FACED DOWN THE MACHINE OF DEATH IN NAZI GERMANY FOR THE LAST TIME. IN LOSING THEIR LIVES, THEY RECLAIMED A SMALL PART OF THE SOUL OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE.
Distributing The White Rose Letters in opposition to a monstrous Nazi regime in leaflet form, the Scholls and Probst challenged evil in a battle, a part of a seemingly endless war. They did not
succumb to their fears, but pressed on in a fight impossible to win in
fact, but one they knew must be won in spirit.
All of them brave, Sophie was perhaps most courageous in the face of
the court, in the face of death. To the illegally constituted court
that convicted her, she spoke in a strong voice words without a
wavering, she spoke with a simple vision and wisdom courage alights on
the brave: SOMEBODY, AFTER ALL, HAD TO MAKE A START. WHAT WE WROTE AND SAID IS
ALSO BELIEVED BY MANY OTHERS. THEY JUST DON'T DARE TO EXPRESS
THEMSELVES AS WE DID.
For their courage in seeing the corruption of evil that corrodes the human spirit, for fighting a battle that could not be won that day, Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, and Chrstoph Probst were murdered by the Nazis on February 22, 1943.
Fuck, yeah! Leonardo? The Aviator? The reason to give Scorcese the Oscar for Best Director this year is for what he did twentyfive years ago? Hey, that shit happens all the time. The guy just kicks ass,fucking ass. Musical. Documentary. Raging Bull. A Number 1, Top of the Heap. Nuff Effing Said.
WARNING: Objects That Appear Straight On May Actually Tilt To The Right As reported in from all the usual sources in the Free Republic of Blogostan (3 martini, AmericaBlog, Daily Kos Kossack Imp of the Perverse, Digby, and Crown Prince Atrios himself), Karl Rove has sent out another Kill Order. From the people who brought you the Swift Boat Veterans and other infamies, it's time to kill the messenger again.
Shoot the grandparents! Get the geezers in a shotgun blast that mixes fact with fiction! Do those old bastards and bastardettes think they have any right to comment on Medicare legislation or on that abominationTom Scully? AARP commenting on prescription drug prices? And not agreeing with us? We'll give them a bitter pill to swallow!
To the boats, Swift Boat Veterans, to the boats! Another target has been found! Smear them! Smear them! Smear the queers! Smear the queers and the geezers now!
02/19/05 --United for Peace of Pierce County (WA) - -Scott
Ritter, appearing with journalist Dahr Jamail yesterday in Washington
State, dropped two shocking bombshells in a talk delivered to a packed
house in Olympia’s Capitol Theater. The ex-Marine turned UNSCOM weapons
inspector said that George W. Bush has "signed off" on plans to bomb
Iran in June 2005, and claimed the U.S. manipulated the results of the
recent Jan. 30 elections in Iraq.
New War Slogan Another Front in the War on Everything (tm)