Monday, January 31, 2005

From "Daily Negations"

Insecurity, Social January 31

He that dies pays all debts.
-- William Shakespeare, The Tempest

On January 31, 1940, law clerk Ida M. Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont, received the first monthly Social Security check (check number 00-000-0001) in accordance with the Social Security Act of 1935. Although Ms. Fuller only paid a total of $22 in Social Security taxes throughout her years of work, she lived to be 100--and therefore collected some $20,000 in benefits.


Crank up the respirator. Somebody owes me money.

This was the negation for the day as printed in Daily Negations: A Malcontent's Book of Meditations for Every Interminable Day of the Year, by Barbara Lagowski and Rick Mumma (Perigee Books, 1996).

We venture to guess that Ida Fuller wouldn't have done quite as well (or lived half as long) with Dubya's privatized Social Security.

- True Blue Liberal

Friday, January 28, 2005

"Proverbs for Paranoids, 3"

Proverbs for Paranoids, 3: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers.
--Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

Thank you [Mr. President]. Senate Democratic leaders have painted a very bleak picture of the U.S. economy. Harry Reid was talking about soup lines. And Hillary Clinton was talking about the economy being on the verge of collapse. Yet in the same breath they say that Social Security is rock solid and there's no crisis there. How are you going to work -- you've said you are going to reach out to these people -- how are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality.

How much, to continue the entry from a couple of days ago, is HE being paid to help keep us all in the dark?

-- True Blue Liberal

Thursday, January 27, 2005

A Gate out of BushWorld

Please click here and enlarge some of the drawings: The Gates.

Imagine yourself in the park (The Park) three weeks from today with Christo's river flowing above your head.

Politics? What politics? I have to remember sometimes that there is a world out there that is not all war and commerce.

- - True Blue Liberal

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

One more media whore

Proving once again that Republicans have to pay for it: Writer Backing Bush Plan Had Gotten Federal Contract (The Washington Post / 26 Jan 2005)
In 2002, syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher repeatedly defended President Bush's push for a $300 million initiative encouraging marriage as a way of strengthening families. ...
You (or at least I) always wonder how or why any columnists can be stupid enough to fall for these idiotic Bush Regime schemes ($300 million to encourage marriage??). But maybe none of them do ... as the Post article continues ...
...But Gallagher failed to mention that she had a $21,500 contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to help promote the president's proposal...

If someone in the Bush Regime were to give me $21,500 I might (MIGHT) stop referring to them as murderers and torturers.

Hint hint.

I might even start calling it "The Bush Administration" rather than a Regime.

But, as everyone on the Right will tell you, all liberal bloggers and websites are already being financially supported by George Soros and Fidel Castro (and very handsomely, if you don't mind my bragging), so never mind.
--True Blue Liberal

SpongeBob, Yellow Gay Heathen (via Mark Morford)

Click here for Mark Morford's latest: SpongeBob, Evil Gay Heathen / How sad to be a right-wing Christian in a world full of homo cartoons and scary nipples.

I really didn't want to add anything to the whole easy target of joyless fundamentalists attacking the happiest, most porous yellow fictional being on the planet, but Mark Morford, as always, does a great job of connecting the threads here to show (in his humorous & outraged way) that the connections among all these elements on the Right are far from humorous. And there was also the added appeal of his comment on the primary color tangent I went off on at one point last week. In the end of his discussion of the yellow sponge, the red and the blue make a prominent symbolic appearance, playing their customary roles as fear and hope.

"Note the connection. Note the blood-red thread of fear and dread and homophobia, the brutal irony throughout all these stories. Shrill extremist sects and small-minded leaders with too much control, saddled with self-righteous and outdated doctrines that refuse to allow the culture to progress, to laugh, to moan in joy and sticky happiness.
Note the people who look at hilarious children's cartoons and see only sinister mind control, who look at their fellow human souls and see only an army of debauched heathens, who look (reluctantly) at their own genitals and see only a gnarled clump of pain and confusion, who look up at the beautiful blue sky and see only a massive canopy of daggers."
Once again, proud to be, True BLUE Liberal (a.k.a. one of the Right's daggers)

Friday, January 21, 2005

By the light of Gravity's Rainbow

A month ago I couldn't help quoting a passage from Moby Dick with eerie relevance to today. This morning I read this from another big encyclopedic American novel.
... Don't forget the real business of the War is buying and selling. The murdering and the violence are self-policing, and can be entrusted to non-professionals. The mass nature of wartime death is useful in many ways. It serves as spectacle, as diversion from the real movements of the War. It provides raw material to be recorded into History, so that children may be taught History as sequences of violence, battle after battle, and be more prepared for the adult world. Best of all, mass death's a stimulus to just ordinary folks, little fellows, to try 'n' grab a piece of that Pie while they're still here to gobble it up. The true war is a celebration of markets. ... [note the interesting capitalization]
--Gravity's Rainbow
(p.122 in the 1973 Bantam mass market paperback)
Thomas Pynchon didn't know about Dick Cheney & Halliburton in 1973, but he certainly catches the current tone of war as business, and war as business that can only be understood by the ex-CEOs of Halliburton & sons of privilege. The rest of us are mere pawns in their games. But I don't want to leave anyone with the impression that the preceding passage represents the dominant tone of the novel. It's as lyrical as any novel written in some passages, dense in others, and stylistically (though never intellectually or morally) silly in places like this when it lapses into song or verse:
There once was a thing called a V-2,
To pilot which you did not need to---
You just pushed a button,
And it would leave nuttin'
But stiffs and big holes and debris, too.
--Gravity's Rainbow
(p.355 in the 1973 Bantam mass market paperback)
Which is the perfect description of George the First's bloodless Gulf War I with its made-for-CNN Smart Bombs® and Patriot Missiles®.

--True Blue Liberal

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The View from Left Field

"I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve…"
--- Rush Limbaugh's immortal resignation statement from ESPN
This will be a rare, for me, entry about sports, but it's hard not to gloat when Rush's idiocy & racism are exposed so nakedly. As someone who was born and spent his first eight years in the City of Brotherly Love, I couldn't be happier to see Donovan McNabb and the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game again this coming Sunday, where not one, but both starting quarterbacks will be African Americans who got to their lofty positions not by leading their teams to victory after victory, but because, as every dittohead knows, they were artificially lifted there by that damned liberal media. Of course I'm rooting for the Eagles, but I won't make a prediction in Sunday's game (oft-burned Philadelphia sports fans sharing certain superstitions that Red Sox & Cubs fans would certainly understand). But I will predict that either Michael Vick or Donovan McNabb will easily win the Super Bowl a week (two weeks?) later, trouncing either the Irish kid leading the Patriots or the big kid with the long German name leading the Steelers. And Rush Limbaugh will take a couple of pills late on Super Bowl Sunday and curse the fact that he won't even have Janet Jackson's halftime wardrobe malfunction to fantasize about as he slips into his chemically-induced unconsciousness, or to criticize from his pulpit on Monday's radio show (does he still have a radio show?).

Bonne nuit,
True Blue Liberal

Spread the Word that THERE IS NO CRISIS (except in Iraq)

Click Here:Social Security: There Is No Crisis

"There Is No Crisis" needs to become our simple mantra as the Bush Regime ratchets up their attack on a social program that has worked well for our grandparents and parents, and will work well for us and our children too, if we keep our message strong and simple (see the entry below about the inherent argumentative strengths of the Right). They hate Social Security, to paraphrase Paul Krugman, because it works. If one social program works so well, maybe we'll want more of them, god forbid.

Please go to and add this advertisement to your blog or website:

There Is No Crisis: Protecting the Integrity of Social Security

à bientôt,
True Blue Liberal

We need a dittohead to pick the best of "The 34 Scandals of George W. Bush"

You can't read the Salon article without a subscription, but Truthout has it here: t r u t h o u t - The 34 Scandals of George W. Bush.

One of the things that you have to envy about the Right is that they seem naturally very good about getting in line and marching in [goose]step, but we liberals tend to avoid unpleasantries like marching and cheerleading and team sports and following blowhard radio hosts. So some of us are most upset about illegal wars and some of us are most upset about the suspension of constitutional rights and some of us about the rape of the environment and some of us about the reversion of the cultural clock to 1953 and some of us can't speak because of the tortures being committed in our name or are livid about the gutting of social programs to give tax breaks to billionaires. But the Right, under the leadership of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and Rupert Murdoch, can get together and climb aboard one non-issue like the "Oil for Food Scandal" and ride that Trojan Horse for all its worth in their latest attack on the United Nations.

We're not going to take down the Bush regime on war crimes charges. If it's done before the natural end of this second term that begins today, it will be done on one of these little scandals, just like Nixon was taken down for the coverup of a botched burglary rather than the bombing of Cambodia, just like Al Capone was taken down for paperwork irregularities rather than his murders.

But where's our oxycontin-addicted loudmouth to tell us which of these many scandals is the scandal that will bring down Dobeliou & his crew. Of course, tactically, nothing can be done unless Bush Junior's Spiro Agnew is removed first. As long as Cheney retains his place in the line of succession, Bush is safe from any serious attack (notice how the Republicans use unattractive Vices as presidential protection?). But this shouldn't be a problem, look at the list again and see how many of the scandals are more Dick's than George's.

And remember, it's Inauguration Day. Do not turn on a television today. You might turn to stone.
-- true blue liberal

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Nixon's Second Inauguration Day in 1973 -- Where were you?

Here's a relic of where I was proud to be on January 20,1973: eBay item 3952876670 (Ends Jan-22-05 11:56:04 PST) - SDS Inauguration Day Sticker 1973 Indict Gov't Genocide. Anyone else remember being around the Washington Monument on that day when the flags were turned upside down, and some were replaced with Viet Cong banners?

This year maybe I'll just sit alone in a dark room.

-- true blue liberal

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Primary (and other) Political Colors - Wikipedia explains it all for us

Click Here: Political colour - from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I went to this article in an attempt to expand on yesterday's topic. There's not much new here regarding the history of the American media's haphazard use of red and blue, but I did love the note about the light blue of the UN flag representing peace, because it's a flag color that cannot be seen against the clear sky. And ultimately that's what peace is, isn't it? The absence of flags and fighting colors.

à bientôt,
true (light) blue liberal

Monday, January 17, 2005

The Primary Colors of American Politics (Yellow)

So, according to this article from the Library of Congress Folklife Center, the yellow ribbon does stretch back farther than that AWFUL song by Tony Orlando and Dawn that was impossible to escape for a few years on pop radio and television.

But that still doesn't make its current ubiquity on the back of SUVs and minivans any less annoying.

So now yellow lives in that apolitical area of "troop support" to which both sides pay easy & meaningless lip service, but more needs to be written here about the other two primary colors of American politics. Why are we liberals now blue, when the French press still colors the Democratic areas red and the Republican areas blue, to go along with the traditional colors of the left and right used in the UK, France, and every other European country with a sense of history? Did our current red and blue division come from some television network graphics department's unhistorical (or, at least, ahistorical) decision? If so, which network? (I'm not complaining, I like being blue for a number of reasons. Red is too bellicose for me, and it doesn't go well with my complexion. I've hated the color red ever since Nancy Reagan made it her favorite.)

Even though it's Martin Luther King day and I'm off from work, I don't have time to look into this any more deeply right now. Others in the house need to use this computer.

So, see you soon,
True Blue Liberal

Friday, January 14, 2005

Libération : Affichez votre soutien à Florence Aubenas et Hussein Hanoun al-Saadi sur votre site Web

Libération : Show support for Florence Aubenas and Hussein Hanoun al-Saadi on your website or blog too: "'"

True Blue Liberal

Arundhati Roy on MLK Day : "When The Saints Go Marching Out"

"When The Saints Go Marching Out," By Arundhati Roy
"When he spoke out against the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King Jr. drew some connections that many these days shy away from making. He explicitly described the interconnections between racism, economic exploitation and war. Would he tell people today that it is right for the U.S. government to export its cruelties — its racism, its economic bullying and its war machine to poorer countries?"
This column of Arundhati Roy's is actually from a couple of years ago, and not directly related to this Monday's coming celebration, but it's well worth reading to help remember King's place in world history -- and the power of non-violent political action. She writes about the shared accomplishments of Mohandas Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, and the current state of their legacies in India, South Africa, and the United States. Are Colin & Michael Powell and Condoleeza Rice truly the inheritors of the dream?

Speaking of legacies, I always enjoy Ms. Roy's political writing, but I LOVED "The God of Small Things", and I wish the world would settle down enough so that she could write fiction again (so that we could ALL take a short break from politics and find out what artistic concerns used to feel central to us).

-- true blue liberal

Spencer Dryden - Official Press Release from

Spencer Dryden - Official Press Release
Sad to see these icons of my youth passing from natural causes.
Listen to this and relive 1968: After Bathing at Baxter's

-- true blue liberal

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Martin Luther King, Jr. (II) - "... right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant..."

The quotations of the day come from Martin Luther King's Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech at
". . .nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time - - the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts . . . "
I know that he'd prefer to be celebrating Ronald Reagan or Herbert Hoover or Warren G. Harding rather than Martin Luther King, Jr., next Monday, but wouldn't it be nice if Dobeliou could use his obligatory Presidential holiday speech to pay something other than meaningless lipservice to the man we're honoring, and to his thoughts about war and peace. Of course, this may be a lot to ask of a President who doesn't acknowledge invitations from the NAACP. And the cognitive dissonance that this would generate in a President (and ex-Governor) who has no trouble seeing violence as THE answer to all his problems would probably hit him harder than a pretzel stuck in his throat.

But we can think about Martin's words, and think about how we can make them, and him, a part of our lives. The one good thing about Bush Jr. (and the only good thing about Bush Jr.) is that he will single-handedly bring back all that was best about the nineteen sixties.
"I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. I believe that even amid today's motor bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men. I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive good will proclaimed the rule of the land. "And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid." I still believe that We Shall overcome! " ---Oslo, Norway, 10 December 1964
-- true blue liberal

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Martin Luther King, Jr.: "... We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.. "

Martin Luther King, Jr. : Click here for more MLK quotes on war and peace
"And the leaders of the world today talk eloquently about peace. Every time we drop our bombs in North Vietnam, President Johnson talks eloquently about peace. What is the problem? They are talking about peace as a distant goal, as an end we seek, but one day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means. All of this is saying that, in the final analysis, means and ends must cohere because the end is preexistent in the means, and ultimately destructive means cannot bring about constructive ends."
--Martin Luther King, Jr., 'A Christmas Sermon' 24 Dec 1967
It's a crime that we have to endure Dobeliou's coronation festivities on the same week when we should be celebrating and learning from America's greatest apostle of nonviolence.

What would his judgement be about these current dark days? Let's spend Monday really thinking about his legacy, and how far we've deviated from it.

- - true blue liberal


<< Look at what we're talking about. Consider the breezy way we Americans--Americans!--are debating the pros and cons of torture. Marvel at our moral bankruptcy. The liberal argument against torture used to be that it was wrong. Now it's that it doesn't work.>>
Please read the whole column, as hard as it is to face the facts about what is being done in our names. Even Abu Ghraib in all its horror is only a small piece of, and ultimately a distraction from, all the larger systemic issues at work here. Are we really talking about locking people up FOR LIFE with no trial? We'll be paying them, or their survivors, reparations in ten years. And we'll be bemoaning the fact that so many of us became "good Germans". Remember the concern about good Germans? Maybe I'm aware of it because I'm a middle-aged tall blondish white male American with 1 wife, 1 child, 2 cars and a big house. I could be mistaken for a Republican, or worse. At six am this morning at the local kwik-e-mart across from my train station, the local nut walked past me (you have a local nut, don't you?), glanced up and sang "In Heaven there is no Beer" vit a Cherman akzent and gave me a Sieg Heil salute, with a smile on his face. But I'm aware that's my outward appearance and I smiled back. But it's also the reason that I will NOT fly or display a flag, or go to work without a peace symbol and "No To Empire" pins on my bag, and why the Kerry bumpersticker will not come off my car in the Bush era, and why I started this small on-line drive to take back the word liberal and display it with pride
right after election day. I am still shocked that the American people, the "Good Americans", gave these murderers and torturers their vote of confidence on November 2.

Accept the results with good humor and go along with the flow?
- True Blue Liberal

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Get your $7,000 seats for Dobeliou's Coronation!

Click here to see for yourself: Inauguration of the U.S. President, January 20, 2005 With these ticket prices (from $6,950 to $3,500 to sit, and from $695 to $195 to stand three blocks away?), I don't think many non-Republicans will be attending. Plus, I've signed the pledge not to spend anything on coronation day, and you should too.

true blue liberal

The Republican Party splinters from within

APP.COM - Veterans' groups decry Smith ouster. They're purging committees and getting rid of any moderates who dare to speak out for "liberal" causes (like VETERANS' benefits) and they're going to start overstepping just like the Newt did a decade ago. Veterans, like seniors, are generally well aware of when their interests are being trampled in the interests of party discipline and ideological purity. And Chris Smith is no moderate Northeastern Republican like Jeffords or Chaffee or Bloomberg or even a Spector or Whitman. He's an anti-choice conservative. It's not that he's not a conservative Republican. He's just not Neanderthal enough in the eyes of the current cowboys in charge. The current extreme-right Republican Party is now in danger of losing the Northeast as completely as the civil-rights-era Democratic Party lost the racist South, and I couldn't be happier.

à bientôt,
True Blue Liberal

Friday, January 07, 2005

Viewer Sues NBC Over Rat-Eating 'Fear Factor' (

Viewer Sues NBC Over Rat-Eating 'Fear Factor' (
CLEVELAND, January 7 -- A viewer is suing NBC for $2.5 million, contending that he threw up because of a "Fear Factor" episode in which contestants ate rats whipped in a blender.....
So, what I want to know, is may I sue the networks the next time they give free air time to the Texas Theocrat occupying the White House? His face and voice do evil things to my gastro-intestinal system.

Just asking.

à bientôt,
True Blue Liberal