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"...you can know that two President Bushes have led this country into war in the Persian Gulf on false pretenses. It's no wonder the White House loves secrecy so much. The wonder is that the American people are so tolerant. It's also no surprise that some folks refer to oil as "the devil's tears."

What Rudyard Kipling popularized as the "great game" is afoot again. World demand for oil is rising, and the world supply of oil is static. It won't be many years before the situation will get sticky and hairy. The United States wants to be positioned militarily in the Persian Gulf (hence the Iraq wars) and around the Caspian Sea (hence Afghanistan). Of course, the Russians are no fools. They just opened a Russian military base about 30 miles from an American military base in the Caspian Sea area. And they are keeping their hands in the Persian Gulf area with strong relations with Iran."



Forgive me if this sounds cynical, but you ought to take note of how easily things like Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar and weapons of mass destruction just disappear from the president's speeches. You should ask why the White House won't cooperate with the independent commission, why it won't reveal the notes that went into its energy bill, and why so many other things are kept secret.

The American Revolution was not fought so that people could be passive and uninformed citizens. You can be that in a dictatorship. To be free, you must be an informed, skeptical, inquiring citizen.

posted by Resistance Is Futile, The DU Forums


One of the biggest talking points in favor of Dean has been this new bunch of young people Dean is supposed to be energizing. Oh yes, Dean is changing the world and mobilizing these throngs of young people who have never voted before They are now mesmerized, enchanted and motivated to turn the right wing tide back and sweep Democrats into office all across our fair land.

Well you know what? After last night, it's obviously a pipe dream, fantasy, delusion and pure bullshit. Where were these minions of young energized idealistic young people last night? Did they vote? Hell, they couldn't even help beat back a return to the sweatshop era in Washington state.

Dean is completely wasting the time of the Democratic Party and the country with his illusionary campaign. Dean is all smoke and mirrors with a touch of arrogance thrown in for good measure. Dean is assuring at least 8 years of Bush and probably an additional 4 - 8 years of a President Santorum.

Hopefully, the feared boogie-DLC or someone will be able to derail Dean and get us a REAL candidate that can win in November. Not some illusionist's fog.
Posted by GMan, DU Forums


The Washington Post pulls a whole series of "Boondocks" comics because they make fun of Condi Rice.

CBS, rather than edit out a few questionable scenes from its movie, "The Reagens", pulls the entire series.

So, now, those only with access to Showtime will be able to see it.

Conservatives complained that the movie was "trashy." I don't know, I haven't seen it or the script so I can't say. However, they have been plenty of "trashy" movies made about JFK but they don't seem to mind that.

Even if it was "trashy," they are under no obligation to watch it or read the Boondocks. This is proof that they are a controlling, manipulative bunch who want to decide what you read or watch.
Posted by Patr1000 on BartCop


How to Drive a Conservative Nuts

In Sparks City, Nev., during the summer, City Attorney Chet Adams, perhaps influenced by the legal challenges to the Alabama courthouse monument displaying the Ten Commandments, ordered an employee to scissor out "God" from the town's Sept. 11 "God Bless America" signs around City Hall. (Mayor Tony Armstrong, among the many baffled by the newly anonymous blessing, immediately bought more "God Bless America" signs and posted them, himself.) [Reno Gazette-Journal, 9-30-03]

In September, a British government-funded charity, Family Planning Association, distributed a cartoon booklet teaching the joys of masturbation to a target audience of 9- to 11-year-old girls. Also in September, the British teen community-service organization Connexions distributed a primer on marijuana smoking printed on a poster resembling a package of rolling papers. And the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor this semester offered another edition of its sociology course, "How to Be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation" (but its creator said "initiation" is a sociological term and does not refer to initiation of straight students). [Daily Telegraph (London), 9-27-03] [The Sun (London), 9-29-03] [Fox News, 8-18-03]

The Continuing Crisis

In September, Australia's National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre identified a problem that was serious enough that it felt it had to issue a warning, mainly for partygoers in the "club" scene: There is no physiological benefit, the Centre said (and maybe a great harm), in trying to revive drug-overdosers by administering ice-cube enemas. [News Interactive (Australia), 9-24-03]

In a recent government raid on a Colombian rebel compound, authorities recovered a videotape apparently made at a Christmas party of the violent National Liberation Army (ELN) and released it to TV stations in September. Among the scenes on the tape was a mock beauty pageant featuring giddy male rebel soldiers, in bikini bottoms and with sashes across their chests, strutting along a makeshift catwalk, with tongue-in-cheek narration by a ski-masked emcee who playfully chides the contestants. Interspersed, however, were non-humorous scenes of kidnapped Colombians being held for ransom. [Reuters, 9-9-03]

*Source: News Of The Weird

Laughing himself silly over how lucky his is to have gotten out just in time, and won't have to forfeit proceeds from his new books as ill-gotten gains. His column will return whenever he's good and ready to write another one. -NBY
An educated electorate is the right-wing's worst nightmare! Learn their tricks and tactics in this enlightening slide presentation...

Volume 2, Number 11

THE RETURN OF IRONY (Original rant)
• DEMOCRACY? (Guest Rant)

"Where they create a wasteland, they call it peace."
- Publius Cornelius Tacitus

It took a weekend in New York City to help this pointy-headed liberal get inside the head of the Wal Mart Nation

By R. McGrath, NBY

School girls were everywhere. A hint of white panties flashed from beneath a perfectly too-short plaid skirt, and I was powerless to unfix my gaze. It wasn’t long before this vision was trumped by another schoolgirl approaching from the opposite direction, her gravity-defying breasts barely contained by a crisp white dress shirt tied above her tummy, a glint of city lights sparkling off her belly ring.

Two very buffed Chippendale types stepped into my line of site, and while I might normally have lept atop a NYC trash bin lest I lose the schoolgirl vision, the Chippendale guys managed to avert my attention. Their neon mod sixties mini-dresses with matching scarf headbands were unavoidable, and disturbingly stunning set against the tanned outlines of their expertly crafted bods.

That’s when the black car pulled up and Boy George stepped out. In street clothes. The irony was as inescapable as the burning-water smell wafting from the street vendors' sausage carts.

Ah, Halloween night in NYC!

"The realization that there are so many unanswered questions, and that such serious threats to our constitution as those being perpetrated by the Bush Administration and Ashcroft Justice Department, can be so easily pushed from our consciousness by a marketing-driven festival of make-believe demons...that's one big scary irony that should spook each and every one of us."

The night was warm enough to permit my wife and I and the couple we were traveling with, to club crawl unencumbered by bulky outerwear. In fact, many of the people we passed on the sidewalk appeared to be similarly unencumbered by much of anywear. The intoxicating eye-candy proved to be a sensory shock and awe as I began to forget where I was, or even what planet I was on.

In the sublime distraction of the East Village on an Aboriginal-American Summer night (ugh), I had nearly forgotten who the president was, too, and about the flaming bag of turds the fratboy prankster placed on America's doorstep.

Trick but no treat, suckers!

Just as I'd get lost in another street fantasy, Osama or Saddam would walk by, arm in arm with George W. Bush. It was one big party, everyone was having a good time so close to "Ground Zero," and W and Cheney and costumed commandos and ersatz terrorists mingled with the schoolgirls and Commander In Chief impersonator impersonators.

Halloween came and went, and Saturday would be another day. Sunny, seveny-five degree weather on November 1st...talk about a fantasyland! We wore an eighth-inch of rubber of our kicks, stopping every now and then for a Starbuck's jolt and to say "Jesus Christ! Can you believe it's November 1st?!" We hit the town that night, clubbing 'till 4:00 am, and we all crashed just as the first sunlight cast a soft glow beyond the city skyline.

It had been an absolutely perfect evening. We walked much of it, took cabs when necessary, but always felt essentially safe. Most of my previous trips to the city have been for specific events or business meetings, maybe squeezing in a nice dinner before the train ride home. This trip was our first real visit to NYC since you-know-what on you-know-when.

Now, here I was, enjoying myself as if at Disney World. I was oblivious to the horrific hole in the earth nearby which will forever smolder with the stench of something very, very wrong, and of the lost screams of 2700 souls pleading only for justice.

Running into Boy George in street clothes on Halloween Night was delicious irony.

Running into the realization that there are so many unanswered questions, and that such serious threats to our constitution as those being perpetrated by the Bush Administration and Ashcroft Justice Department, can be so easily pushed from our consciousness by a marketing-driven festival of make-believe demons...that's one big scary irony that should spook each and every one of us.

Now I must admit that it has also made it much easier for me to understand how the Wal Mart Nation can continue to poll for George W. Bush at any number higher than the clearance price of Ramen noodles. Since I began getting back into editorial cartooning and publishing my rants online, I've devoted considerable time researching the topics I cover. While most of that research involves reading foreign newspapers and political sites, some of it involves watching network news. While utterly devoid of in-depth information, the networks still offer more than the average rank-and-file WMN drone takes in on any kind of regular basis.

And therein lies the problem.

To only watch network or cable news (we won't get into the Fox discussion here), or to read a newspaper, one would assume everything is actually getting better everywhere, from the economy to, surreally, the Iraq occupation. To know the truth behind the White House press releases requires time and research the average Joe just isn't likely to spend. And even that is premised on the idea that Joe should even have to dig for the truth in the first place...this is public policy we're talking about, is it not? Joe is entitled to the expectation that his government will tell the truth when it is asking for life and death sacrifices from its citizens.

So the more typical crisp, raw conditions of autumn are expected to return to NYC and New England by the time you read this. Soon,100,000 men and women will spend another particularly American holiday fighting to keep the lid on the Bush lies...Thanksgiving.

Who said Irony is dead?

Rob McGrath has over 44 years experience as an American Citizen, and has followed politics since the Watergate Hearings (more republicans, btw). Beyond that, his opinions are no more or less valid than anyone else's. Enjoy in moderation...politic responsibly.

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-- At Checkout, enter Coupon Code

While BushCo sings happy songs about America's dubious mission accomplished, the situation in the Iraqi Capitol worsens

By Renaud Girard, Le Figaro

Right now the Americans have no luck in Iraq. They’d like to see the number of western humanitarian organizations working here increase and the number of American and European journalists who daily testify to the aggravation of the security situation decrease. Now, however, exactly the reverse situation obtains. Humanitarian organizations’ personnel are leaving the country and journalists continue to arrive.

This new exodus, which recalls the one that followed the August attack on U.N. headquarters, was provoked by the booby-trapped car attack last Monday on the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation that left 12 dead, all Iraqi.

The 30 expatriates still in place who worked for the U.N. or its specialized agencies left Iraq, waiting for New York to make a final decision. Doctors Without Borders also recalled their international personnel. The ICRC delegates in Iraq left for Amman, where they must meet with officials from Geneva headquarters to evaluate the risks and design the contours of their action on the ground in the coming months. The ICRC announced that it would reduce its expatriate personnel, but had no intention of closing down its presence in Iraq.

"In a country where occupation forces have still not succeeded in pacification, organizations like the ICRC find themselves confronted with a dilemma. If they protect themselves and live “bunkerized” like the Americans of the CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority), they cut themselves off from the population and cannot, therefore, fulfill their humanitarian mission."

Situated right in center city, not far from the old Jewish Quarter of Batawin (the quasi-totality of Iraqi Jews were driven from the country in 1948), the ICRC Baghdad headquarters offers up a face of desolation. This vast villa from the fifties’ façade has been ravaged by the car bomb explosion, which was heard throughout the capital. But the famous flag imprinted with the Red Cross still flies above the debris. A huge hole the size of a small swimming pool filled with water marks the spot in the parking lot where the booby-trapped ambulance exploded.

In Baghdad, the symbolic weight of the attack against the ICRC- for Iraqis as well as the foreign community- was enormous. This organization, which has never departed from its political neutrality, has always worked in Iraq. Whether during the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988), the first Gulf War (1991), or this most recent American intervention, the ICRC has always stayed to help Iraqi families, notably to give them information about prisoners of war.

In a country where occupation forces have still not succeeded in pacification, organizations like the ICRC find themselves confronted with a dilemma. If they protect themselves and live “bunkerized” like the Americans of the CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority), they cut themselves off from the population and cannot, therefore, fulfill their humanitarian mission. But if they give up trying to protect themselves, they expose their Iraqi and foreign personnel to the risks of terrorist attacks.

Whether they come from former Ba’athists or militant international Islamists infiltrated from abroad, the attacks against American forces have grown in intensity during recent days. They presently exceed thirty a day.


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When Smirky is finally tossed out the door next November, will your only memorabilia be a faded old pink slip?

RMcG Fund raising Central

Hey, the numbers don't lie! This isn't a Diebold voting machine...my site is getting a lot more traffic recently, and I sure could use some help keeping it updated. Much needed software and hardware upgrades, and some Starburst Jelly Beans every now and then...that's all I ask. Please consider a donation to this site!

I mentioned in a previous issue that I was going to be offering original artwork with you donation. I am still doing that, but the time it takes to set up the pages has been more than I have available.

If you are interested in giving one of my original signed cartoons to your favorite political junkie, please e-mail me and indicate the title of the cartoon (or the issue title). I'll let you know if it is available, how much of it is available (some are complete, detailed ink drawings...others are rough, minimal linework), and framing and shipping options, and finally, prices.

If you'd prefer to just make a donation, you may certainly do so. Any donation over $35 will get you signed, hi-res printout of any cartoon, suitable for framing; just e-mail me your PayPal or Amazon confirmation number, your mailing address, and what cartoon you'd like.

Get my original sketches and ink drawings with your donation to NBY!

For some of the cartoons, at some donation levels, I am going to offer fancy framing, like this mock-up at right. The original, signed ink drawing, matted and displayed alongside a high resolution, full color print of the finished cartoon

You can consider it a donation, or just an outright sale...for a matted, framed, signed piece such as this one, the first donation over $500 takes it. If you like image, but not the price, consider a signed edition for $225.

Keep in mind, prices will vary. Some of these cartoons have three or four work-up drawings and pencil sketches. These are negotiable, and options can be discussed if you would like to send an inquiry. Unframed, raw sketches are available, too, for you to take to your favorite framer. Gallery and agent inquiries are welcome, too! - RMcG

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If we are to think that democracy in Iraq is an attainable goal - or even a goal at all - it would be best to see if we have a democracy at home first.

By "Iconoclast555," on The Titty Board

Of course, the US system is not a true democracy. It is a mixed system between autocracy (the executive), oligarchy (the legislative), and a sprinkling of democratic traits (referendums on the state level, election of representatives/executive that purportedly represent the interests of the electorate).

We have this system because our "founding fathers" knew their Polybius, Plutarch, Aristotle and other classical writers. Without modern precedents they could only rely on ancient experience - which they weren't too far removed from with regards to technology or even social development. The system of checks and balances that they created were set up to counteract the "devolved" forms of the three different socio-political systems. To whit:

Democracy devolves into mob rule
Autocracy devolves into tyranny
Aristocracy devolves into oligarchy

The ancients, as the colonials of the 18th century, were divided between a few educated people, a mass of uneducated people (the mob) and the slaves. Thus the natural devolution of each system and its replacement by another.

"In the days of Adlai the true issues were at least available for those with the curiosity and the understanding. Today, in the internet age, the websites of even the most "iconoclastic" candidates are bereft of substance. Nader, Dean, Kucinich - all of them spout soundbites where they actually have the wherewithal to spell things out (websites). But they don't."

The founding fathers, and especially the conservatives, were fans of autocracy and aristocracy (see Hamilton). Thus, for the greatest part of our history, we have been ruled by a distinct class - one that saw fit to get their hands dirty by shaking hands with the plebs in exchange for votes, but nevertheless wholly distinct from the mass of the citizens. Few "new men" broke into this "ubberclass".

The American experiment was close to avoiding one of the principal reasons why checks and balances were deemed necessary - a universally educated and well-informed electorate. When this took place however, the "ubberclass" did its best to halt a move towards democratization - through repression, propaganda and indoctrination.

It is important to note that this ocurred precisely when the "ubberclass" had shifted from the land-owning "aristocracy" and even the capitalist robber-barrons into the hands of virtually faceless corporations.

The founding fathers didn't forsee - couldn't have foreseen - the creation of a state within the state, based on corporations.

So where does this leave us?

It leaves us further away from the utopia of a true democracy, with a largely ignorant and even brainwashed electorate, electing one representative or another of one special interest group or another. It leaves us not voting for OUR representatives, but voting in a cross-purposed popularity contest where the true issues aren't even aired.

Sure, demagoguery has always been a constant in any political system, but in the days of Adlai the true issues were at least available for those with the curiosity and the understanding. Today, in the internet age, the websites of even the most "iconoclastic" candidates are bereft of substance. Nader, Dean, Kucinich - all of them spout soundbites where they actually have the wherewithal to spell things out (websites). But they don't.

America is about as "dumbified" as can be maintained in a technological society. The level of ignorance seen amongst the majority of people is mindboggling. Education has been cut to the core and indoctrination has become the norm.

Needless to say, I blame the corporate-funded and corporate-ruled Right for most of this, but the incompetence or acquiescence of the American Left is as much to blame - at least regarding sins of ommssion.

Now we have "beacons of conservatism" such as Coulter trying to recupe the memory of our most evil manipulator, McCarthy. Now we have a bungling and criminal president (Reagan) made into an icon. Audiences no longer applaud but scream like Vandals or Visigoths, and conservatives don't see anything wrong with unabashedly biased sources of "information".

IOW, democracy in the US is bankrupt, corrupt and corrupting, no longer a battleground for ideals and ideology but a bidding ground for special interest.

National interest has been replaced by special interest. The objective of government is no longer the "pursuit of happiness" for the people, but a "free market" in the pursuit of profit

This is key - profit by those who "have" is now the objective of government. Poverty, health, even nutrition are no longer important - especially if they somehow get in the way of profits.

So, what can we expect for Iraq? An erstwhile ally (Saddam's Iraq) turned into an enemy, attacked on the flimsiest of illegal pretexts, occupied in the face of strenuous and increasing opposition ... for the sake of ... oil, Israel, corporate interests.

What kind of democracy can we bequeath to these people? If they follow our example we will virtually guarantee the increased popularity of revolutionary terrorists - because the stype of status quo that we are interested in creating and maintaining can only maintain fundamental social injustices.

Hell, we have them at home, and it has become anathema to mention them.

That is, if we can even believe that suddenly, after dozens of anti-democratic coups supported by our government around the world, our almost monothematic pursuit of the defense of corporate interest over basic human interests (human rights, self-determination, etc.), our paranoia regarding any system that might endanger US corporate holdings - we will somehow say: "Here! Here's your democracy. You're free to do what you wish. Nationalize oil or not! Ally yourself with whomever you like!"

It ain't going to happen, especially after we force a loan on an unrepresentative interim government.

So let's cut the crap for once and for all. No more PC blurbs designed for the unquestioning plebian masses.

And take all those damned conservative mantras, so often used (before elections) and discarded (after elections) by conservative leaders, and stick them where the sun don't shine.

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