Soviet Government

The big picture says the big picture: Remind me who won the cold war

Many of the salient features of Khrushchev’s government are readily recognized in our own current administration, including a slavish adherence to party unity (a rubber-stamp Congress), a complete inability to manage effectively during times of crisis (Katrina), ill-considered foreign adventures (Iraq), the subjugation of scientific knowledge to political orthodoxy (global warming, anyone?), ineptitude in fiscal strategy (the dollar risks joining the ruble as a symbol of the combination of great national strength and even greater financial weakness), the replacement of actual technical competence by blind party loyalty as the desired characteristic of all members of the ruling class (heckuvajob, Rummy!), and the abandonment of core national principles in search of selfish grabs for money and power (anyone ever hear of the Constitution?).
And Khrushchev was a boor who pretended to represent the people, but who actually used his position to gain political and financial strength though the gross corruption of the state.
Kinda makes you think, doesn’t it?

Read the rest, it’s good.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

For Earth Day the House Committee on Resources has put up an anti-environmentalist website. Seriously. Go look at your government in action.
The “Links” page points to the Pacific Research Institute, one of the far-right, Scaife, Koch, etc.-funded “conservative movement” propaganda organizations.
Another link is titled “Clinton Report” because it is a Dept. of Energy report dated 1993, just after Clinton took office (Which really means it was prepared by the Bush I admin.). It talks about all the environmental benefits of oil drilling. Heh. But they just call it “Clinton Report” because that’s how they think – these are far-right operatives who see government as a tool for propagandizing and manipulating the public.
(Through Raw Story)

Election Hopes – Quaint

I fear that all this optimism about the coming election shows a lack of understanding of what we’re dealing with. This optimism and faith in the electoral process seems to me to be, as our Attorney General said about the Geneva Conventions, “quaint.”
History doesn’t have very many examples of dishonest, corrupt, authoritarian, cultist regimes willingly handing over to others the power to remove them from office and jail them for their crimes.
Watch your backs!

Draft Gore?

Please go read Chris Bowers’Daily Kos: Draft Gore, But Only If You Mean It. He says if you want Gore to run you have to actually DO SOMETHING about it.

Draft Gore in 2008, but only do it if you mean it. Back up you words with real action. Don’t whine to me about how I or some other leadership element is keeping you down or preventing this from happening. Give over your persecution and get to it.

Have blog readers reverted back to American couch-sitters who wait around for others to do something?

Magic Act Video — How The Right-Wing Does It

There was a great magic act at the recent Progressive Roundtable convening. During the performance the magician, Al Mite TeDollar, describes the Right’s infrastructure of organizations and how they operate to move America’s politics to the right. (He told me the performance was based on these reports…) Now there’s a video available showing the performance.
Here’s Commonweal Institute’s description of the video:

Al Mite TeDollar, the Billionaire Magician, mystified attendees with his Maximizing ROI (Return On Illusion) performance at the opening reception of the Commonweal Institute’s Progressive Roundtable on March 2, 2006. Weaving magic, political satire, and economic allegories, Al demonstrated why billionaire investments in political infrastructure and legislation have yielded returns beyond the dreams of avarice. Magic was afoot, reminding the audience of the real-world misdirection and shell game operations going on all around us.
See the video (Note, this is an ‘mp4″ file which requires Apple’s QuickTime. You can download QuickTime by clicking here.)
Return on Investments display (Small PDF document)
Return on Investments references (Small PDF document)

Go watch.
PS You can contact Al Mite TeDollar for bookings here.

Democracy and Military

I happen to think that the retired generals speaking out against Bush’s war is a problem. It threatens the American principle of civilian control of the military. But this is a special time in our history. We are supposed to have other democratic controls and checks and balances in place — including Congressional and Judicial oversight, a functioning opposition and an investigatory media — that keep things from reaching the point we have reached. These have eroded to the extent that these retired Generals have been left with little choice if we are to be diverted from complete disaster.

Slow Day

We have visitors from England, and we’re taking them to the San Francisco Zoo today, so I won’t be posting anything until later. I won’t be awarding any troll hats, either.
Pick a few random blogs fro the blogroll in the left column to visit. That’s the spirit of blogging – spread the love.