Thursday, March 31, 2005

. . . an alternate path toward the extinction of suvs? casting them as anti-american?

So now, according to today's Washington Post article, "An Unlikely Meeting Of the Minds ", it's patriotism that's going to give us fuel-efficient vehicles. Even diminutive right-wing nutjob Gary Bauer has signed on to this new effort! While yesterday I wrote that only ridicule could kill the SUV (rhymes with glove), today it seems like this coalition of strange bedfellows may be pointing to another form of death for those dinosaurs:

"While skeptical about links between autos and global warming, the conservatives have concluded that cutting gasoline consumption is a matter of national security [. . . ]Last week a survey sponsored by the nonpartisan Civil Society Institute in Boston found that two-thirds of Americans feel it is "patriotic" to buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle."
And of course the only way to sell anything in today's U. S. of A. is to wrap it in a flag.

True Blue Liberal

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Does W use public funds to conduct these anti-SocialSecurity rallies? If so, why is the Republican party allowed to screen access to OUR President?

Are these questions too simple? Isn't the President, once elected, a public servant of all the American people? If it's a campaign appearance being paid for by BushCheneyInc., then maybe the political operatives can have some control over the crowd makeup, but if these really are public town meetings to gauge public opinion being paid for with government funds, shouldn't every American be welcomed to hear and question their President unless they're a security threat or the hall is already overcrowded when they arrive? Even if they do happen to have a "no more blood for oil" sticker on the car that carries them there?
And if it's a political event rather than a government event, shouldn't it be bankrolled by the investment bankers and stockbrokers who will be the only ones to benefit from the gutting of Social Security rather than by those of us who are being victimized by its demolition? Am I just naïve about the current state of Twenty-First Century American Realpolitik?

Just asking,
True Blue Liberal

... or is ridicule the best way to neuter america's love for the suv? (and remember that SUV is rhymed with luv just as GOP is rhymed with flop)

Stumbled upon this interesting and heartening bit in Common Dreams today: "Unlikely Bedfellows Lobby Against U.S. Gas-Guzzlers." It's great to see the right-wing security concerns of a Robert McFarlane and friends coinciding with the left's traditional ecological concerns. Of course it makes sense for everyone, and the earth we live on, that -- if we insist on driving private vehicles -- we drive smaller, more-fuel-efficient, less-polluting private vehicles.

Do SUVs have any advantage other than their large profit margins for General Motors and Ford?
Safety? How many people now claim to be driving SUVs only to protect their children from other SUVs that are threatening to tip and roll across the highway toward them. It may be, like the foreign policy of the Bush Administration, a false sense of security, but we love our security blankets as much as Linus loved his.
Space? We have too much shit already. Our houses are too big. Our vehicles are too big. And we've grown fat to fill our spaces. You may not be able to bring home the bargain vats of Spaghettios from Wal-Mart in the trunk of a Mini or a Prius, but that may not be a bad thing. (Tall people have no excuses to drive oversized vehicles either -- I'm 6'3" and the biggest car I ever owned was a 1972 Datsun 510 wagon.)
Style? No. They are boxes.
Speed? No. They are big boxes.
Handling? Ha. Big top-heavy boxes.

As much as people remember the Gas Crisis of the seventies as the sole cause for the temporary death of full-sized sedans and station wagons of that era, I remember another cause -- Ridicule. I was in high school and college at the time, and NO ONE I know would have been caught dead driving a full-size vehicle of ANY kind. If you did, you were old, you were impotent, you were a family man or driving your grandfather's car. Let's make it clear that despite the ads featuring Kayaking and Cliff-Diving Youngsters, that SUVs are cars for soccer moms, that no real man or independent woman would EVER be caught dead driving that symbol of domesticity, whether it has a "Hemi" or not.

Small is beautiful.
Full-Size is for hearses.
True Blue Liberal

Thursday, March 24, 2005

An Army of None

or,

What if They Gave a War and Nobody Came?

More excellent news on the recruiting front from Today's Washington Post : " Army Still Behind in Recruiting". No problem. As my sign said in New York on February 15, 2003, "Draft the Bush Twins!"

And here's a relevant quote I ran across in my handwritten journal (from pre-blog days), copied from the new English translation of Finding Time Again by Marcel Proust. This is Charlus talking to Marcel about the Great War raging on their doorsteps (p. 105 of the Penguin UK paperback):
<< . . . the truth is that every morning war is declared anew. Thus those who wish to continue it are as guilty as those who started it, perhaps more so, for the latter may not perhaps have foreseen the full horror of it. >>
Imagine, an Army of None,
True Blue Liberal

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

"Culture of Lifers" Dealing in Death

Just as evil as what the Republican Congress and President are doing to the separation of judicial and legislative powers is their continuing destruction of the meanings of common English words.

Claiming of the title "Culture of Life" by these active defenders of and dealers in death (in Abu Ghraib, Iraqi and Afghan killing fields, and the active death rows throughout the former Confederate States of America) is even worse than their "Clear Skies" for polluters, "Healthy Forests" for clearcutters, "Peace Keepers" for [our] weapons of mass destruction, and Social Security "Reform" for those who would happily return us to the status quo ante FDR. Their contempt for everything, except money and the votes of the gullible, continues to amaze. I can no longer think of a single fucking thing that they could do that would surprise me.

Just wait until they claim that Democrats and Liberals killed Terri Schiavo (it's probably already happening on Fox and Limbaugh, but who has the stomach to check? -- not me).

Meanwhile the school killings (killings of bright young people in non-vegetative states) continue, but none of the Culture of Lifers will ever call for gun control. The hypocrisy is incredible.

True Blue Liberal

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Big Parade: On the Road to Montgomery - - March 21 1965

Here's an anniversary to celebrate. Here are demonstrators of REAL courage upon whose shoulders we stand.The Big Parade: On the Road to Montgomery, from the New York Times of March 22, 1965:
"Walk together, children, don't you get weary, and it will lead us to the promised land. And Alabama will be a new Alabama, and America will be a new America."

Friday, March 18, 2005

"Quick, call a Philologist!" (Not a sentence that one hears in English very often)

Le mot ordinateur a 50 ans. Il a été inventé par Jacques Perret, professeur de philologie latine à la Sorbonne, à la demande de la société IBM France qui trouvait que le terme employé jusqu'alors — calculateur, traduction du mot computer qui désigne toujours un ordinateur en anglais — offrait une vision réductrice des possibilités de sa nouvelle machine à traiter l'information. ...
Bonne anniversaire à l'ordinateur.
And congratulations to France once again for continuing to defend its linguistic borders against us Anglo-Saxon hordes.

True Blue Liberal

Expanding on yesterday's topic -- The Nation weighs in on the suppression of voices within the academy

Click Here: The Nation | Editorial | The Captive Mind | The Editors

You'll see that the Whiskey Bar quotes I pointed to yesterday were not evidence of an isolated attack or two on progressive, liberal, and (godforbid) leftist professors, but part of a much wider and more organized attack on the one institution (the internet is not yet an institution) in which there is still some freedom of debate:
"Not since the McCarthy era have American campuses felt such a cold breeze--make that an idiot wind. And the new campus McCarthyism is made of much the same ingredients: thuggish intimidation, the circulation of specious rumors and [ . . . ] that least venerable of American traditions, anti-intellectualism. Left-wing professors of Middle East studies pose a dangerous threat to the new McCarthyites because they dare to open minds. That used to be the mission of American education."
(I love the reference to Idiot Wind.)

Click The Nation link and read the rest.
True Blue Liberal

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Skip the Green Beer today and visit the Whiskey Bar for its Scenes from the Cultural Revolution

Nothing more needs to be added to this BRILLIANT juxtaposition of quotes from the militant cultural conservatives of Mao's China and 21st century Amerika.


The Whiskey Bar
doesn't add commentary to its well-chosen quotations, so I shouldn't either, but it is especially chilling to think about the potential destructive power of patriotic students in the hands of the ruling powers. I'm getting to be very afraid of my flag-waving and yellow-beribboned young neighbors who have been brought up to actually BELIEVE that Ronald Reagan was a great president. The Liberal media is dead (or at least playing dead). The Liberals in government are gone (or impotent and ignored by the "liberal" media). Only a few Liberal professors left in academe are still willing to quietly whisper a dissenting truth or two to our youth. So there is a SERIOUS effort afoot to demonize them, just as Marxists like Angela Davis, Eugene Genovese and Herbert Marcuse were hounded from state universities when we were young.

Sorry, I didn't mean to distract you on your way to The Bar, but I couldn't help myself.

Erin go Bragh,
True Blue Liberal

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Wolfman needed for high ceremonial office!

According to today's on-line New York Times ("Bush Throws Support Behind Wolfowitz for World Bank Post"), Paul Wolfowitz (anagram of "Wiz to Awful Pol") is replacing James D. Wolfensohn as our nominee for the presidency of the World Bank.
Some will say that this makes sense because it's a post held previously by disgraced bellicose bureaucrats (i.e., war criminals) like Robert McNamara. Some will say that the appointment of Wolfowitz to the World Bank is just to make the appointment of
Bolton to the UN look less controversial by comparison. But look at the names again; it's obvious that they're just picking World Bank Presidents in alphabetical order. Isn't there ANYone named Wolfman in the Bush Administration??

Just asking,
True Blue Liberal

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

"DUCKS!" by Daniel Pinkwater is Out of Print??!!!

Isn't anyone else appalled that Ducks! by Daniel Pinkwater seems to be out-of-print?

If you're not, you should be.

Have America's children ever had a greater need for a wise and wise-cracking duck to tell them the truth, to point out that "Mothers and Fathers usually lie"?

I don't think so,
True Blue Liberal

Monday, March 14, 2005

"If you can cause enough doubt on evolution, liberalism will die," sez Rev. Fox

The push to roll back the scientific revolution to pre-enlightenment days is in full swing in nineteen states according to this article in today's Washington Post:"Battle on Teaching Evolution Sharpens". "If you can cause enough doubt on evolution, liberalism will die," sez Rev. Fox (not the brilliant Redd Foxx, but the Kansas minister Terry Fox, "pastor of the largest Southern Baptist church in the Midwest, drawing 6,000 worshipers a week to his Wichita church").

True Blue Liberal sez it's time to make Inherit the Wind required viewing for every public school student (and for every captive of private and home schools). It's time to move our cultural clock forward (to 1960).

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Party Discipline & Ideological Purity

Here's an example from today's paper of the treatment of a renegade moderate Virginia Republican in the new ideologically pure John Birch Partei: Potts Faces Wrath of Virginia GOP (from the washingtonpost.com)
"Party leaders would like to see Senate Republicans [...] remove Potts from his party's caucus and strip him of his committee assignments, including the chairmanship of the Senate's Education and Health Committee. From that perch, he has led a majority of the 15-member committee in blocking some conservative social legislation from reaching the Senate floor. "
I guess their "big tent" has been folded up until the next election, when they'll find some new lie or scare tactic to attract moderate voters.

Please note that the title of this blog doesn't have the word "Democrat" in it anywhere; I am not a member of any party. I have Liberal Republicans in my family who haven't had anyone to vote for in "their" party in years, if not decades. I can't help thinking that as the national (Texas-led) Republican party finds fewer and fewer adherents in the deep blue states, there will be a real opportunity for liberals to take over what remains of the elephant carcasses in these states and revivify them with the spirit of the Radical Republicans whose Reconstruction policies were once the scourge of the ex-slave states.
In blue states with open primaries, maybe the Greens could start picking up the elephant banner and bringing it back to its original principles by running their candidates as alternatives to those bearing the Bush-DeLay-Falwell Seal of Ideological Approval. Just a suggestion. I would offer to penetrate one of these Republican covens myself, but I have this uncontrollable urge to vomit when surrounded by pasty white men in navy blue suits with flag-adorned lapels.

À bientôt,
True Blue Liberal

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Bolton falls for "... uncorroborated and admittedly speculative theories ... continuously recycled among hard-line exiles. "


"Bolton does not provide any evidence or even say who the analysts and defectors may be. His comments, however, seem to reflect those made by one analyst and one defector whose uncorroborated and admittedly speculative theories are continuously recycled among hard-line exiles."
Interesting that the "hard-line exiles" in question here are not the well-known Iraqis who deceived the Bushies into war by inventing WMD fairy tales, but the Cuban exiles who have been dying to have America try the Bay of Pigs again for the last forty-five years. So who's it going to be next? Iran? Syria? North Korea? Cuba?? China??? George Jr. and Dick (and you have to believe that it's Dickie & Donnie pulling the strings on this one) can't really be serious about presenting John R. Bolton to the United Nations as our nation's representative, can they?
That would be tantamount to telling the Chinese and the Cubans and the rest of the non-USA-USA-USA-chanting world to go fuck itself. And they couldn't be saying that, could they?

Just Asking,
True Blue Liberal

Monday, March 07, 2005

The real Captain Kangaroo would not approve of Guantanamo Kangaroo Courts (but this imposter would)

"Mr. Bolton is widely quoted as having said at a panel discussion in 1994 that 'if the U.N. secretariat building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference.' And in 1998 he dismissed a vote at the United Nations as irrelevant, saying, 'this will simply provide further evidence to many why nothing more should be paid to the U.N. system.' "
Obviously, Bush the Younger has almost as much respect for the United Nations as he does for Social Security. Is it only a coincidence that both are keystones of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's liberal legacy? -- that both are rare instances of our attempts to make our country and our world more equitable and more peaceful?

This abrasive Captain Kangaroo lookalike may have the moustache, but he does not have the dear late Captain's heart, or soul. He'll undoubtedly be confirmed without debate by all the little yes men in Congress, but he is obviously no diplomat and he is NOT MY AMBASSADOR to the world.

Just wanted to get that on the record,
True Blue Liberal