Biden to Peace Movement , "F%&K You!"

A Green Party friend of mine sent this to me today, just to tweak me. (I tweak my Green friends, they tweak me. But I'm right and they're wrong, and they ARE responsible for Bush being in office and all the damage he is doing, because they broke the coalition, busted the solidarity.)

ANYway, does anyone reading this weblog know Senator Biden? If so, please show him what the Greens are circulating via e-mail, and ask him to please shut up! We'd like there to be a FEW people still voting Democrat in the next election, please. Here's the message from my Green friend:
Hmm... you know, the Greens are more than willing to serve as the port in a storm for the anti-war folks. I think we'd be very happy to accommodate the millions of people Senator Biden is saying "fuck you" to.

----- Original Message -----
From: XXX - Greens
To: XXX - circulating around the internet
Sent: repeatedly
> This came my way this afternoon.
> PETER JENNINGS, ABC - A large number of people in the country are
> opposed to this [war] ... but look to members of the Democratic Party,
> particularly, to be sort of their port in a storm, their place to
> manifest their dissatisfaction.
> SENATOR JOSEPH BIDEN - They've got the wrong port. . . The decision's
> been made.
Why THANKS, Joe! F%&k you, too!


Voting Machines Story in Washington Post

The Washington Post has a voting machines story today, New Voting Systems Assailed - Computer Experts Cite Fraud Potential:
Critics of such systems say that they are vulnerable to tampering, to human error and to computer malfunctions -- and that they lack the most obvious protection, a separate, paper receipt that a voter can confirm after voting and that can be recounted if problems are suspected.
This is what we need. Call your local election officials and DEMAND they implement systems with voter-verified paper backups! Otherwise we can never really know who wins our elections. And with the voting machine companies being bought up by right wingers, it's all just too scary for me.

Update - If these companies sold machines with a voter-verifiable paper backup, (which the voter then puts into a separate ballot box for use double-checking the machine's reported vote,) these companies WOULD MAKE MORE MONEY! So how come they are working so hard to block this? How come they are sending their representatives out to lobby against this? That is suspicious all by itself - never mind that right wingers have been buying up these companies.

Update 2 - Suppose something goes wrong with a voting machine in a precinct, and all the votes stored in the machine are lost. There is some likelihood that a judge will order the election to be held again. This costs money. If the machine had printed voter-verifiable paper ballots that were placed in a ballot box, this would not be necessary. Since it could save them money, why are local election officials resisiting voter-verified paper ballots?

Are You Going To Be Drafted?

The military is sending 130,000 more troops to Iraq, and will require 200,000 or more to be stationed there for years to control the country after we take it over. The reserves and National Guard are tapped out. North Korea is acting up and the situation there could turn into a major war. The government is planning a war with Iran, probably Syria, then who knows?

Obviously we do not have enough people in the military. It won't be long now before the draft is reinstated. Think you'll be able to get out of it? Take a look at this piece from Quaker in a Basement (thanks to Thinking it Through.)
A young man -- or woman -- turning 20 this year could be in boot camp in less than two weeks. All that's needed is a single request from George W. Bush.
The draft. Don't like it? Well, did you vote? Looks like you should have. Did you vote for Bush? Looks like you made a big mistake.

It's ALL Just Propaganda and Lies!

Washington Post story, CEO Bush Takes Over Management of Message:
People close to Bush said his aides initially emphasized a hands-off approach because they wanted to insulate him from bad news and because they did not want him to appear obsessed with or emotional about the war. These aides quickly realized they had overdone it, potentially making Bush look out of touch. But his advisers have concluded that scripted remarks, rather than off-the-cuff comments, may be required in assuring that the message of the day gets delivered forcefully.
It's ALL just propaganda and lies. Learn to not listen.

Digby Nails It!

We're in a real war, not a 3-day video game -- and everyone seems surprised. The administration is desperately sending 130,000 more troops to Iraq to try to salvage the situation. They made a mistake believing the Iraqis would immediately surrender -- never mind that the CIA and everyone else was trying to tell them this wouldn't happen. The Chickenhawks overruled the military professionals who were saying more forces would be needed.

In this Hullabaloo piece, Even If They Hate Him, Digby nails it. You've got to go read the whole piece, but this here a bit of the flavor:
Merely proclaiming yourself to be "good" and Saddam "evil" is unlikely to persuade anyone but silly red-staters who carry around signs that say "W Is A Hottie." Nobody else is going to buy it. Certainly not Iraqi people who have every reason to be a teensy bit skeptical of politicians who talk and act tough. They've learned the hard way that strong men aren't particularly thrustworthy.
Now I'm going to give away the money quote, from Tom Tomorrow. Forgive me Digby, and Tom, but it's just too good not to steal. (Actually, Digby stole it, too, which is how I found it.)
We took a lot of lessons from 9/11, but it occurs to me that there's one we might have overlooked. When you attack a nation, people tend to rally around their leader --- even if they hate him.
Blogquote award to Digby and Tom Tomorrow!

Gotta Gotta Have Tax Cuts

NT Times today, Government to Cut 3,000 Airport Passenger Screeners:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Some airports will have fewer passenger screeners this spring now that the government agency that hired them last year begins shrinking its work force.

As many as 3,000 screeners, or about one in 18, could lose their jobs.
Gotta cut spending. Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta have those tax cuts! Gotta cut the workforce (which "takes money out of the economy.") Gotta, gotta give those tax cuts to the rich!


Mystery Illness (SARS) Update

MSNBC: Airlines to screen travelers for SARS
Illness spreading more quickly than thought, officials say
March 27 — According to U.S. and United Nations health officials, the mysterious respiratory illness plaguing southeast Asia has begun spreading around the world at an alarming rate, NBC News’ Robert Bazell reported Thursday. As more cases were announced, The World Health Organization called on airlines to begin screening passengers for the deadly flu-like disease.
Like we needed more to worry about.

I'll dig up some good news to post, or write something that really slams right wingers and cheers us all up, soon.

I agree with you in principal, BUT...

I think the current right wing as constituted is the wrong group to tackle this. Today's "conservative movement" is set up in a completely dictatorial fashion, not allowing dissent of any kind in their ranks, failing to bring any bad news (reality) to the top and enforcing this with severe measures. As a result they are screwing things up pretty badly.

You need look no farther than the force distribution in Iraq, AND HOW THIS HAPPENED - the governing system that the movement has brought us - to see what I am getting at. (recent WaPo article) By demanding complete ideological loyalty and punishing any smallest objection to dictates from the top, they have set up a system that can make - almost necessitates - this kind of huge, historic mistake.

Rather than get into a long analysis, just look at the diplomatic situation so far - the world has turned against us but more importantly the PEOPLE in the MIDDLE EAST have turned utterly against us. Suppose we do bring the chaos we are trying to bring to the region, hoping it will result in democracy sweeping the region. Right now that will mean fundamentalist Islamic governments across the board. It would mean governments of fanatics utterly committed to our destruction - WITH STATE POWER BACKING THEM UP. This is entirely the result of the Bush approach, which comes from the current nature of the "conservative movement."

And if you dare agree with me, think about what Rush or Norquist will do to you if they find out! Think about the kind of comments YOU make and the hate mail YOU leave for anyone who disagrees with the dictates of the "movement."

Think about what happened when the military professionals tried to disagree with the "movement conservatives" running the government.

This is a mess or the right's own making.

Astroturf Letter Alert!

In today's Palo Alto Daily News (not online) I noticed the following suspicious letter:
Over the last few weeks, tens of thousands of Americans have been coming out to support our President and our troops at a series of “Rallies for America,” held across the country from Washington D.C. to California.

Where has the media been? There’s plenty of coverage of the Socialist-led anti-war demonstrations, complete with their vanguard of radical left-wing Hollywood “actors”. But where is the coverage of these rallies of grassroots support? The silence coming from the major news media has been deafening.


You have a DUTY to report on these grassroots outpourings of support for our country... Thank you.

A quick Google search reveals:

The Times of South Mississippi

The Salt Lake Tribune

Hispanic Vista

And, of course, see the wording here - I guess they're saving money on copywriters.

"Rallies for America" is sponsored by the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, the Free Congress Foundation and others. (Is this the Clear Channel - corporate organized rallies?)

Yeah, right. "Grassroots."

Thanks Altercation for Listing Seeing the Forest

I would like to thank Eric Alterman's Altercation weblog for adding Seeing the Forest to Altercation's blogroll! Seeing the Forest will try to live up to the very high standard that Altercation continues to set for weblogs.

Seeing the Forest offers a politically neutral, non-partisan, fair and balanced viewpoint on current issues.

By the way - Eric Alterman is author of What Liberal Media? and you should buy it!

San Francisco Peace Event Friday March 28

This just came in from MoveOn:

Dear MoveOn Member,

For those Bay Area residents who are interested in peace activities, here is a message from the Agape Affinity Group, who is organizing an opportunity for people and families to participate in a safe event to express their feelings in San Francisco on Friday, March 28.
To Express Our Shock and Grief at the US War in Iraq

Join Us for a Mass Silent Funeral Procession

WHERE: San Francisco Federal Building
located on Golden Gate Avenue between Polk and Larkin Streets

WHEN: Friday, March 28 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm

This somber action will include a silent procession in front of the federal building and a candlelight vigil. Everyone is encouraged to wear black and
bring creative/artistic expressions of grief -- masks, signs, flowers, coffins, candles - all in keeping with the tone of mourning. Spread the word to make this a large and powerful response to the war.

Non-violent legal action organized by the Presente Cluster.

For more information:
contact the Agape Affinity Group
phone: (415) 701-8707
email: info@agapefn.org

Can We Win Now?

Thanks to Agonist for pointing to this excellent post at tacitus (a right-wing site) about the problems we're encountering in Iraq.


Wanna Get Scared Now?

Read this and this. India and Pakistan increasing tensions.

And this, this and this. North Korea is getting more and more provocative.

Voting Machines

I was doing some research and came across this: Election Fraud & Voting Machines at Cronus Connection. There is also a collection of resources.

Just Don't Listen

Someone I know said the other day she doesn't want a liberal talk show network to start up because it will just give Rush Limbaugh more to make fun of, and she is so tired of Limbaugh and the rest of the right's nasty insults and mocking and she just wants it to stop.

Well, I don't CARE what the right thinks. I don't CARE what the right says about us. It's just all lies and people shouldn't waste their time and energy caring about it. I don't CARE about the right's perception machine. People need to understand what it is that they do and just stop listening.

I think the way to gain back our own power and immunity to this is to let others know how the right operates. It's just all lies. The more people realize that it's just all lies, the better off they will be.

Free yourself. Stop caring what they say. It's just all lies.


skimble has lots of good stuff today, blowing up the Iraqi TV building was a war crime, government money going to cults (surprise), no charges against Enron execs, why did we invade?, and LOTS MORE. Go read.


Blog Hero - Blue Streak

I want to announce another Seeing the Forest Blog Hero award. At Blue Streak Devra writes about her new job.
In a nutshell, I'm like a Store Manager, if a store gave away services for free to poor, mentally ill, and/or homeless customers. It's good work. I'm proud of what we do. I hope I do it well.
Go leave a comment and a kudo!

Senate Democrats Vote For Huge Tax Cut!

It appears that Senate Democrats have voted FOR a $350 BILLION tax cut! I'm trying to find the exact count on this, but it appears a number of Democrats voted FOR this atrocity! WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???!!

The country has massive deficits, we are at war, programs that help the public are being slashed - and Democrats vote for another tax cut!

It looks like they got rolled again. Please read Getting Rolled.

I am completely dismayed by this. This takes away the Bush economy as a campaign issue! This takes away the deficits as a campaign issue! WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???!! Is it time to start recall campaigns to we can get some people in there who will represent US?

Update - Well, now I know what they were thinking. The person answering the phone at Senator Boxer's office portrayed this as a Democratic victory because Bush was asking for $750 billion and "only" got $350 billion. I'm thinking I should call back and demand $2 million! I sure could use the million that it appears I'll get! What a bunch of loons, thinking this is a victory!

OK I took out the comment about voting Green. No sense in that.

Update - Ruminate This agrees with me, Atrios disagrees. Obviously Ruminate is brilliant! Atrios, well... I know - HEY Atrios, give me $2 million right now! :-)

Korea - The Other Shoe

HinduStan Times: US has detected signs North Korea is preparing missile test: Envoy:
The United States has detected signs that North Korea may be preparing to test-fire a long-range missile, the top US envoy to Japan told senior ruling party lawmakers on Monday.
Yes, you have to go to news sources outside of the U.S. to get any real coverage of events.

Thanks to The Agonist, which is the best source for up-to-date war news!


Al Jazeera English Website

Al Jazeera now has an English-language website.

Now I'm Listening to Mike Malloy

Now I'm listening to Mike Malloy online. He plays a clip of Bush and then talks about how it's like Bush "has a feed going into his head" and "you can almost hear an audible click as the clip he was fed stops." I love this guy. He's funny. He's like a left-wing Rush!

Click this to listen online, and once you're listening bookmark it in your audio player. Just come back to this setting and you get Peter Werbe followed by Mike Malloy every day.

Listening Online

Right now I'm listening to the Peter Werbe radio show, online. It is GREAT! It is so good to listen to something like this instead of the right wing crap. You can listen online, and you'll love it! Go to his website here. Then click where it says "On The Air," which takes you to the i.e. America Radio Network website. Click Listen Live. He's been playing the Michael Moore Oscars clip all morning.

Or, just bypass all that and click this to listen online.

If you keep listening you'll hear the next show, which is the Mike Malloy show, which is also great! I highly, highly recommend it! Later, while Malloy is on, I'll write about his show, too.

Everything A Lie

In yesterday's Washington Post story, Attack Was 48 Hours Old When It 'Began':
Under the official war plan, designated "OPLAN 1003 V" and approved by the president, the war with Iraq had already begun.
When Bush went on the air in Prime Time Monday evening to give Iraq 48 hours to do what HE says or else, he was lying - the war had already begun.

It's just all lies! The right wingers have an agenda, they lay down a cover of lies and confusion, and they take advantage of the confusion to outflank us and grab what they want. Like with Iraq. We know that the idea of invading Iraq began 10 years ago, with the PNAC plan. We have learned that some of the "evidence" they used to justify the war was forged, some of the "intelligence" was really from a years-old graduate student dissertation, the aluminum tubes weren't really for atomic weapons development, etc. They just wanted this war, and they got it.

It's like the tax cuts. One day the cuts were to give "the people's money" back because there was a surplus, the next it was supposed to keep us out of recession, etc., etc. Everything they SAID was just lies. But what they DID was give a huge chunk of cash to a few rich fucks. Or it's like when Bush gives a public photo-op at some environmental project or public housing project or whatever - and then the administration guts that very program the next week. The lies for the public, covering what they are really doing. It's just all lies.

There is something to learn from this: When dealing with right wingers, it's just all lies. We're dealing with a well-funded, well-established propaganda machine, and they are good. I mean, a number of people in this crowd were tobacco marketing people -- they convinced people to kill themselves and give them their money while they were doing it! These people are good at this stuff!

The way to fight back is to realize that it is just all lies and if you get bogged down with the things they say, you're just getting yourself caught in one of those sticky insect traps.

Just reject everything they say, and only see what they DO and you'll have some power over what's going on. Realize that they are very good at lying and sowing confusion and don't let yourself get confused by listening to the words. Don't bother arguing with their words -- confront them with their ACTS!

The lies are just trees. See the forest - it's all lies, reject it all, and believe only what you actually see them DO!!!

Update - From Daily Kos today:
The US is really starting to lose the propaganda war, as everything it says turns out to be lies.

  • Saddam is dead! Ok, no he's not.
  • Iraq fired a Scud at Kuwait! Ok, no it wasn't.
  • Umm Qasr is taken! Ok, no it's not.
  • The Iraqi 51st Division surrendered en masse! Ok, not it hasn't.
  • Republican Guard commanders will surrender! Ok, no they won't.
  • Basra is taken! Ok, no it's not.
  • We found a chemical weapons factory! Ok, maybe it isn't.
  • It was Nixon's Attorney General and head of his re-election committee, Mitchell, who advised Republican insiders who were confused because they didn't understand why things said didn't match what was happening, "Watch what we do, not what we say."


    He Needs A Blog

    Here's another of what might become a regular feature at Seeing the Forest - He/She Needs A Blog. (Remember, this is how Digby's great Hullabaloo blog got started, thanks to Eschaton.)

    Thumb sent the following. It's good.
    A right winger posted this: "My simple definition of the left and the right. The left wants MOST of your money and will decide for you where it will be spent. The right wants you to decide where it's going to be spent since it's you who earned it to begin with."

    My response:

    Uggh! Sophomoric propaganda.

    There’s been this tendency throughout our millennia of human development that the wealth of any given group accumulates to a very small percentage of the population, where it stays, and subsequently nepotism then creates the ruling class whose mission inevitably isn't to provide for the common good but to insure this caste system remain in place (starting wars has historically been a common means -- not only does it rally a disgruntled population around you but you get to steal the wealth of another nation at the same time. Win win). It's called an aristocracy. For the last 1,500 years its instrument of civil control, and moral justification for the ensuing barbarism, has been the Church. Because the Church had this bad habit of ordering the torturing and killing of those that didn't subscribe to their narrow view of Christianity (on the minutia of doctrine Protestants and Catholics have been taking turns slaughtering each other for 400 years alone, and don't even get me started on the Crusades . . . or the witch hunts) people fled to this new world called America. But it wasn't just the freedom from religious persecution that drove people to America but to escape from the aristocracies of Europe as well. It's why we formed a Republic and created this grand experiment called Democracy.

    The fly in the ointment was exposed by the late 19th century when American industrialists discovered that they could become the modern equivalency of an aristocracy: a plutocracy -- a distinction without a difference. At the turn of the century the vitality of our democracy (helped along by the Teapot Dome scandal something so common today that it barely breaks the news any longer) was able to create a tax system that prevented us from becoming simply a modern version of Europe's aristocracy. Because of this tax money being spent on the public good, through dedicated public works and education, we generated the world's most vibrant economy. Because of that, even though the top tax rate was 90%, we didn’t lack for creating more millionaires than any other country. We were all much wealthier both because of how many people were spending money and because as a meritocracy it truly was the best and the brightest that rose to the top of our institutions.

    This class warfare disguised as populism by millionaire corporate leaders, their purchased politicians and wholly owned media outlets (which, short of the Internet is almost total) is a battle that's been slowly losing ground for 30 years now, and not the least of it is because of simplistic propaganda like your simile. If it were honest it would say, "The left wants to support the public good (schools, training, police, fireman, veterans, infrastructure (physical and virtual), the elderly (social security - medicare), libraries, environmental protections, national parks, unemployment/medical insurance, intellectual exploration (from space to alternative energy to medical research), international outreach, arts [hey, that's us], music . . .) and the right wants you to think you're keeping your money because they don't believe in paying for the [potentially] greatest society in the history of humankind, because they don’t believe our ability to create our own wealth has any relationship to the health of our public institutions.

    If you don’t believe this is the case then explain to me how all of those things I just listed as "public good" have been cut or underfunded, including THIS after the first day of the invasion, and then, the Republicans just this week passed another $800 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans.

    (Malcome Forbes used to say, "I earned my money the old fashioned way, I inherited it.")

    Only through the strength of our society do I have the opportunity to earn my money, build my little empire as it were, in the first place. I pay my taxes and I don’t bitch about it because I'm grateful to be an American. I'd say that if someone doesn’t like it they can go to another country but it seems that our wealthiest corporations have already done that at least a PO box in Bermuda so that they don't have to pay any taxes. Yeah, real good Americans, we wouldn’t want to make them pay for anything because, as you say, they earned it, right?

    We have the lowest tax rates in the industrialized world and I’m proud to be a contributing member of this great nation. I just wish the Right felt the same way.

    Oh, and here's a real link if you want an intelligent discussion of the relationship between taxes and a healthy economy.
    Good stuff, Thumb! Keep it up.


    It seemed that every time I have turned on the radio or TV news this weekend they are reporting how much Bush is on top of things, how he is getting reports from the front, having meetings, etc. Of course, this emphasis is just propaganda to counteract the damage done should the public understand the implications of Bush taking off on his weekly vacation immediately upon launching a war. They wouldn't be spending time and energy reporting ANY of this if he were in the White House because they wouldn't need to be trying to convince the public that it's a good thing that the President doesn't like to do his job.

    Seeing the amount of energy they are expending defending the President's laziness, wouldn't it be more productive if he could have stayed on the job just this one weekend, and that energy utilized to some productive end? Also, there would be some time for us to hear some real news.