Democratic Underground  


MAY 2002

Democracy, Soviet Style
May 31, 2002 · Some secrets need to be kept in name of national security, but this is a very broad category that is all too easy use as a convenient rug under which to sweep any and all potentially embarrassing dirt. There is no doubt; this particular president would more admire Kruschev than Gorbachev's glasnost. By Patrick Ennis

Flunking Econ 101
May 31, 2002 · "Conservatives" who insist that their policies are based upon "sound economic principles," conveniently ignore such fundamental economic principles as "elasticity of demand," "the declining marginal utility of money," and "external costs." By Ernest Partridge

An Interview with Mark Crispin Miller
May 30, 2002 · Mark Crispin Miller, author of The Bush Dyslexicon, took part in an exclusive online discussion on the Democratic Underground message board yesterday. This is a transcript of that discussion.

So Much for Tom Ridge
May 30, 2002 · Where is Tom Ridge? Instead of that one clear voice of a circus ringmaster directing our attention to the progression of orderly, orchestrated action, we are beset by the raucous midway feeding frenzy of carney barkers. By Sheila Samples

From Heroes to Scapegoats
May 30, 2002 · FBI agents like Kenneth Williams and Colleen Rowley should be treated as heroes, just as much as the people who brought down the plane over Pennsylvania instead of Washington DC. Instead they are being reprimanded and their reputations are being trashed. By Richard Prasad

Beyond Embarrassment
May 30, 2002 · I was under the impression that the "adults were in charge." The news of the last few days has been so mortifying and so humiliating that I cannot believe that anybody, Republican or Democrat, can stand behind George W. Bush without making faces behind his back. By W. David Jenkins III

Tom Delay for President?
I'm making a prediction. In 2004 George W. Bush will face a similar revolt from his one-time core constituency, the right-wing fundamentalist evangelicals whose Libertarian doctrine demands it rise up and clobber the Karl Rove dominated resident of the White House. By Bob Volpitto

The Story So Far
In a certain large country to the west of one place and the east of another, an ambitious group of southerners manages to convince a large minority of their fellow citizens to vote for their presidential candidate, a compliant cretin with the morals of a rabid mink. By The Staff of The Bean Magazine

Health Care at Gunpoint: Do You Trust Your Governor With Your Life?
May 29, 2002 · Unlike its more famous predecessor, the USA PATRIOT Act, Model State Emergency Health Powers Act is being introduced quietly in state legislatures around the country and would empower the governor of each state to impose draconian measures on its citizens based solely on his or her own opinion of what constitutes a health emergency. By Gloria Hayes

Ich Bin Ein Embarrassment
May 28, 2002 · This week the current resident of the White House visited the no-longer-divided city of Berlin. The purpose of his trip was to build support for his war policy, particularly an invasion of Iraq. Instead of cheering masses the city fathers marshaled ten thousand security officers to keep the German citizens away. By birdman

Patriotic Fictions
May 28, 2002 · At their best, these narratives have the power to unify us and challenge us to rise above narrow self-interest and nurture the “better angels of our nature.” Or they can stratify us with self-serving delusions that promote the selfish interests of the part above the needs of the whole. By Dwayne Eutsey

Boys of the Brass vs. Boys in the Hood
May 28, 2002 · The commander-in-chief, who has been totally obsessed with ousting Hussein danced on the international stage last week, rattling his saber, looking for the Grand Alliance, while spreading his hands and declaring innocently, "Really. I don't have a plan to attack Iraq...on my desk right now. Trust me. Really..." By Sheila Samples

With Apologies to Fyodor Dostoevsky
May 25, 2002 · My poem is called "The Attorney General"; it's a ridiculous thing, but I want to tell it to you. It is laid in Cuba, in Guantanamo, in the heady days when it seemed America had routed the Taliban, and the war to save civilization was already won. In the days when the enemies of civilization were taken to be imprisoned forever, whether judged guilty by the tribunal or not... By Rita Weinstein

Sorry to Crash the Party
May 25, 2002 · We're still out here, George. We're not sitting down, we're not shutting up, we are never going to "get over it." We may be poor and we may be disorganized, and some of us don't have the political instincts of a deranged mongoose, but even with all that going against us, we still outnumber you big time, and you've royally pissed off a lot of us. By Joseph Vecchio

A Bush in the China Shop
May 24, 2002 · After passing by several blocks of mostly boarded-up or otherwise deserted-looking storefronts, I chanced upon a business that might have just what I was looking for -- Patriotic Pete's Porcelain Emporium. The outside of the shop was bedecked in American flags of all types and materials. By Art Bushwald

Confidential Memo from Kenny Boy to Georgie Boy: "Welcome to the Club!"
May 24, 2002 · Dear Georgie: I thought I was the only guy facing a political/ethical firing squad. But you have topped me, my lad. The "I" word is beginning to be brought out of mothballs. Unless something major happens (another terrorist attack would help out a lot), you're about to join Bubba in the impeachment well. By Bernard Weiner

Our Pride and Our Glory
May 23, 2002 · Military tribunals have been used before, we are told, and were even used by that greatest of all Americans, George Washington himself. To those who have been swayed by this appeal to history it may come as a surprise to learn that during the first great attack on the United States - the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 - George Washington explicitly and firmly rejected the use of military tribunals. By Joseph Wayne Gadway

The Switch Brigade
May 23, 2002 · There are senior Americans I like to refer to as the "Switch Brigade." They are thoughtful, dignified and their experience in life has taught them to be very wary of characters like "W" and his gang. And, although they would never resort to rants and obscenities when referring to Dubya, they would secretly love to take him behind the barn, armed with a switch. A very large switch. By W. David Jenkins III

A Non-Traditional Hijacking
May 22, 2002 · National Security Adviser Condi Rice, looking eerily like a bobble-head doll with a stretched spring, spent about 45 minutes last Thursday telling the nation that, while the Bush administration had advance warning of significant terrorist activity involving hijacked airliners, they failed to recognize that these events would be "non-traditional." By Warren Pease

Start With Ashcroft
May 22, 2002 · Sen. Hillary Clinton, Jonathan Alter and Michael Ruppert have all brought up John Ashcroft's name recently. If I have any luck, concerned Americans who pay any attention to this essay might start to bring Ashcroft's name up daily and angrily as well. By Fritz Lamour

The Bush Legacy: An Historical Footnote
May 21, 2002 · Okay, to all you folks who thought Bush was a great guy, someone you'd like to schmooze with over the fence, have a beer with, and voted for him on that basis: it's really very simple - is that a good reason to vote for someone for President of the most powerful country in the world? By punpirate

A Beginner's Guide to Presidential Troubleshooting
May 21, 2002 · Of course every President runs into problems from time to time. With the proper troubleshooting techniques, however, the implications of bungles and screw-ups can be kept to a minimum. By birdman

Amateur Hour
May 21, 2002 · It has been quite a long time since I have seen such a spectacular display of political incompetence on the part of both parties, simultaneously. As such, the credibility of the entire political landscape - something that Bush could have avoided by keeping his nose held high, like Clinton would have attempted to do - is being further diminished. By Jeremiah Bourque

Now is the Time to Ask Questions
May 18, 2002 · As the Middle East crisis continues, the nation's right-wing pundits have been asking questions about the administration's lack of moral clarity in its War on Terrorism. They are not wrong - there is a distinct lack of moral clarity in the White House - but they are trying to find it in the wrong place. They should start by looking at the months leading up to September 11th. By Kevin Raybould (kcr)

An Unfair Trade
May 18, 2002 · It is time for all citizens of this country to stand as one in the face of George Bush and his minions. It is time for all of us to rise and demand answers and complete disclosure. By Bridget Gibson

Paint Bush as the Incompetent Slacker He Is
May 18, 2002 · What most of the recent news stories fail to point out is the incredible fact that in the month that Bush was supposedly warned of impending terrorist attacks, he was on a month-long vacation at his Texas retreat. Let me put it this way: Bush fiddled while the World Trade Center burned. By Jackson Thoreau

Why Didn't Bush Warn the Airlines?
May 17, 2002 · The White House has now confirmed that Bush was briefed last August about the possibility that bin Laden and his operatives were planning to hijack several U.S. commercial airliners. What did he do with that information and why didn't he tell the airlines? By Richard J. Roman

Reality Check III
May 17, 2002 · If September 11th had been nothing more than a gorgeous late summer day even the most staunch Republicans would by now be realizing that George W Bush would be in mortal danger of having One Termer stamped on his resume. By Michael Shannon

Hitchens' Hatchet Job
May 16, 2002 · On reading Mr. Hitchens' recent review of David Brock's book, I was struck by three things: the sloppy, unprofessional manner in which Mr Hitchens attempted to perform a hatchet job on the book, that his unsubstantiated attack was a self-serving diatribe against a book that cast him personally in a non-flattering light, and that The Nation would really be vastly more credible without him. By Noel O'Connor

The Meaning of Victory
May 16, 2002 · Even if we defeat the Republicans in November, the sad truth is that all our initial victory would give us is the freedom to actually get on with the work instead of standing on the sidelines watching the fanatics wreak havoc with the world. But if our history has shown us anything, it's shown us that we excel at rebounding. By Joe Vecchio

Hail to the Jock
May 15, 2002 · The country and the world should demand a higher priority than jockdom from a President. Energy, trade, environment, taxation, transportation, terrorism - hold on with those briefings books, the President's in the gym. By Joseph Arrieta

May 15, 2002 · Who is the greater madman? He who believes in controlling others, or he who believes in freedom from the control of others? Which is the greater madness, and the greater sanity? From which is liberation the most necessary: from control, or from freedom? By Jeremiah Bourque

A Letter to European Friends: Why is America Behaving This Way?
May 14, 2002 · Dear Jacqueline and Wolfgang, you say that as Europeans, you can't figure out why the U.S. is "rampaging around the globe, behaving like an arrogant bully." So, while we're waiting for the attack-on-Iraq shoe to drop, let me try to offer a few perspectives that put the current U.S. government's actions into an understandable context. By Bernard Weiner

Real Bushmen Don't Cry
May 14, 2002 · America has come a long way since George Muskie was forced from the 1972 presidential race by a forged letter from Nixon's dirty tricks department that got him so mad he cried during the New Hampshire primary. Now, television news has turned us into such a nation of weepers that it's perfectly okay if a fellow wears his feelings mushy side out. By Jerome Doolittle

Them That's Got Shall Get
May 14, 2002 · The major tenet of "liberation theology" was that God supposedly reserved a "preferential option for the poor." In essence, it meant that God cares more for the desperate and outcast than for the ones who oppress or ignore them. I don't know whether or not that's true, but when I consider how the world really works, I kind of think it ought to be. By William R. King

The Age Of Tactics
May 11, 2002 · To go beyond the Age of Tactics, "the Left" has to come up with a coherent idea of what it wants to be, and why. It used to be that this could be taken for granted. I don't think that's a good idea anymore. By Jeremiah Bourque

What Would Edmund Do?
May 11, 2002 · The seeds of modern conservatism were planted in the eighteenth century by Edmund Burke. But conservatives today have betrayed their own principles to such a degree that they are no longer recognizable as conservatives. Or, more accurately, the philosophy of conservatism has been hijacked by pretenders. By Chris Christensen

God Bless Bermuda
May 11, 2002 · Let's take a glance at what happens when a company moves to Bermuda. They still can sell products in America, their offices still have all the benefits of security provided by the American law enforcement agencies, the American court system, and the U.S. Military. They can still do every single thing they could do before the move, except... By Brian Balta

Terror Hits the Midwest
May 10, 2002 · A series of pipe bombs were set off in rural Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Texas and most recently Indiana. In total, there have been 20 pipe bombs in these five states, and six people have been hurt. Questions abound. By Richard Prasad

The Unfair Litmus Test
May 10, 2002 · The Democratic party prides itself on being a "big tent" that appeals to everyone interested in progressive causes. Individuals within the party need to be unified in our ultimate goal. Differences over specific policy should not determine who is welcome in the party and who is not. By J. Carlos Jiacinto

The Perils of Poor David Horowitz
May 9, 2002 · It certainly appears that every week David's loyal readers just can't wait click onto Davids website or pull up Salon Magazine to see just how badly their hero has been treated this week by the cabal of elitist liberals who've conspired to silence him. Like a soap opera the plot always follows a very predictable line. By birdman

The Neighbors are Whispering
May 9, 2002 · This pleasant, soft spoken woman was from Switzerland. She and her family have been here for two-and-a-half years and she was shocked that an American was against W. She honestly believed that we all loved the guy. By W. David Jenkins III

A Pastoral Letter to the President
May 8, 2002 · When you were running for office you stated that Jesus Christ was your favorite philosopher. You have made a point of proclaiming your Christian faith. As a Pastor and fellow United Methodist I need to ask you: Do you know what the values and vision of Jesus are? By Rev. Rich Lang

A Democracy at War: Farewell, Ernie Pyle
May 8, 2002 · Why is it that this administration and the military want to shroud this war in secrecy? It certainly is not to keep from offending the sensibilities of Americans. Ernie Pyle has shown that the American people can handle the graphic, horrendous accounts that are the staple of war. By Christian Dewar

Waiting For The River To Catch Fire
May 7, 2002 · In our day the river is our political system. It's an ugly and polluted river, and while we certainly talk about it, loudly and quietly, intelligently and idiotically, we really don't seem to want to do anything about it. By Joseph Vecchio

Forgive U.S. Our Trespasses: A Letter to My Friends Abroad
May 7, 2002 · The debasement of the American democracy in the November 2000 election, and the decrees and policies of the illegitimate administration which have followed, are both a national and an international tragedy. We are joined in a common cause to contain and then to repair the damage. By Ernest Partridge

The Contra Government
May 7, 2002 · How does one describe a government that is intent upon the destruction of "government?" The word contrarian comes to mind because it is for all intents and purposes, an anti-government movement within the government. By Bridget Gibson

All Lies, All the Time
May 4, 9:00AM · What happens when the press and the government function as two arms of the same creature? The same thing that was feared in the classic case of the police state: the voice of the press becomes corrupted. By Richard Mynick aka RichM

How to Beat Ashcroft's FBI at its Own Game
May 4, 9:00AM · If we study what the real American patriots - not those Bush-Cheney-Ashcroft thieves and hypocrites - have done to combat intimidation and suppression, we can beat these suckers at their own game. By Jackson Thoreau

Book Review - Spin Cycle by Howard Kurtz
May 4, 9:00AM · The sick draw of Spin Cycle is that it's simply a day to day account of non-stop crisis management and all the petty little offenses involved in the front lines of a character war. By johnny_red

Seasons of Protest: Lessons from A20
May 3, 9:00AM · Based on eyewitness reports from the massive demonstrations in DC and San Francisco on April 20 (those published in the independent media, anyway), something spectacular happened in America. By Dwayne Eutsey

A Peek Inside Colin Powell's Personal Diary
May 3, 9:00AM · If I jump now, with Karen Hughes just having left and with Democratic darts starting to hit the Administration's weak spots, it'll look bad. Like I'm deserting a ship that's started leaking badly. By Bernard Weiner

It's the Petroleum, Stupid!
May 3, 9:00AM · In what will hopefully prove to be the final two years of President Bush's term occupying the White House, we will undoubtedly witness him being accused of many things. In all likelihood, being an environmentalist is not one of them. By politicsgrl

Black Hole of Black Gold
May 2, 9:00AM · When it comes down to it, everything in Middle East politics is of secondary importance to the business of oil. By Michael Shannon

Everday Low Morals
May 2, 9:00AM · It's an advertising gimmick with a long pedigree: use your employees to create a "just plain folks" image for your otherwise soulless corporate behemoth. By Jeff Ritchie

...But Only When Those Responsible Are Identified
May 2, 9:00AM · On September 15, 62% of Americans favored military strikes, "but only when those responsible are identified." So why did the media report that 90% of Americans favored unconditional war? By Margie Burns

Cynical Reality
May 2, 9:00AM · So George W Bush is now an advocate for expanding mental health coverage. The informed reader will understand my cynicism. In my humble opinion, this is both a cynical political maneuver and a covert inside business deal. By R. B. Ham

Drug Policy Conundrum
May 1, 9:00AM · Non-violent drug users are deemed guilty by association for the actions of drug traffickers overseas. The message might not ring so hollow if gas consumers were likewise taken to task for providing financial support to terrorism. By Monica_L

Texas Justice: Capital Punishment and the Delk Case
May 1, 9:00AM · The fact that Delk's execution was allowed to proceed represents a three-pronged failure on the part of Texas' death penalty system. By Steven W. Hawkins

The Flip Side of the Energy Bill
May 1, 9:00AM · While Democrats were in a celebratory mood for defeating the ANWR drilling provision, as they should be, the defeat of drilling does not tell the whole story. By Richard Prasad

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