Saturday, February 24, 2007

Shut Up And Sing!

Just before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks had the unmitigated gall & temerity to say she was ashamed 'the president' was from the same state she was. The mindless outrage of the Bush rednecks and the regressive controlled media controlled was immediate and hysterical. In this case it went far beyond the pale and culminated in an organized campaign to silence and punish the group as ‘traitors’. Following an organized campaign, 70% of US radio stations refused to play their records, their albums were collected and publicly trashed or burned. In fact, the events were frighteningly and eerily reminiscent of Nazi book burnings in the ‘thirties. Unbelievable.

Even though the Dixie Chicks had performed and published the most popular country music songs in history, Redneck rants seemed to appear everywhere country music was played. Web sites controlled by secret, incognito entities orchestrated a vociferous campaign to financially ruin the group for having the actual audacity to exercise their freedom to speak. There were even death threats.

Even that Godly Gasbag the very Reverend Jerry Falwell got into the act, calling the group "French hens" who "said unacceptable things about their president"

Even after the girls tried sincerely to defuse and mitigate the controversy, to the point of making a public apology and explanation for the original comment, their attackers only increased their fury. The result should have been predictable. THESE WOMEN GOT MAD!

It is now evident the regressives miscalculated on the courage of the Dixie Chicks, and particularly Ms. Maines. The group proceeded to ignore the attacks - they really had no choice if they wanted to keep their careers - and continued their work, moving away from the country music venue. Consequently, they recently made a clean sweep of the 2007 Grammy awards, winning all 5 of the top awards. Very sweet validation of their talents by anyone’s measure - though their detractors are quick to claim ‘Hollywood’ was bound to favor them! That they are having heartburn over the Dixie Chicks’ success couldn’t be more clear.

But, that’s not all. The group also made a full length documentary movie of the episode, now being offered to the public. Ads were prepared, with certain media refusing to run the ads! NBC for example - that’s as in ‘National Broadcasting Corporation’ - claiming to be all in favor of ‘free speech’ refused to run ads for the movie, saying in writing that it `cannot accept these spots as they are disparaging to President Bush.'"

Now, NBC is attempting to ‘spin’ their blacklisting of the group by claiming they were only in the ‘opening discussions of confidential negotiations’ when the Chicks went public with the refusal to run the ads. Yeah, right.

The entire string of events was such blatant hypocrisy to me that I immediately ordered my own copy of the movie which I have now received and watched. My comment is “WOW! These women have iron guts! And, any one of the three has ten times the balls of George W. Bush our current ‘War President’. If you want to see an enlightening and uplifting movie - don’t miss this one!

Friday, February 23, 2007

"Towards a More Perfect Fascist State"

‘Muchrakers’ is the term used for those looking through garbage for dirt on others. Generally, muckrakers are looked down upon by others in the news media. But, sometimes a muckraker does turn up something of real importance. Several of the more seedy Washington, DC area newspaper reporters employ others to literally look through the garbage bins of prominent personages in the hopes of turning up an important nugget of importance.

Suppose such a find appeared today in print in one of the more ‘yellow’ yellowsheets found around the city.? A muckraker strikes pure gold hunting through cans of rubbish left for pickup outside the Karl Rove residence. Rove is normally very careful about leaving incriminating written evidence lying around so the find was a surprise. Speculation is that perhaps Rove was distracted by the possibility of molesting a teenage boy or some other similar neocon joy. Nonetheless there it was, scrawled in longhand on yellow legal paper. We quote it here in it’s imagined entirety (spelling & syntax corrected of course!) :

“Towards a More Perfect Fascist State:

I. Convince the masses - any means that works. (First, you must get your man in office!).

A. Use any group that is easily convinced - like rednecks, simpleminded, militia groups, gun owners associations, etc.

B. Get the religious crazies working for you.
(Reward groups with taxpayer grants, educational funding, etc.)

II. Use fear. Fear is a great weapon. It causes people to stop thinking rationally. If you can convince people there’s something to be afraid of and you can ‘protect’ them, you are 3/4 of the way home.

A. A common threat is good.

B. Fabricate information to introduce fear. It is helpful to ‘doctor’ intelligence information if it doesn’t fit your view.

C. Shout down opposition - slam anyone who tries to get the actual truth out.

III. Use dirty tricks.

A. Blame the opposition for exactly what you are doing yourself.
(Example: say they are in control of the media!)

B. Use malicious propaganda. The truth won’t matter when you’ve won.
(See control the media below)

C. Fabricate outrageous stories about the opposition. (See the ‘truth doesn’t matter above)

D. Employ personal attacks on any opposition possible - these need not be based on fact as rumor and insinuation are often as good and sometimes even better.

E. Control the blogosphere for your side. Set up multiple ‘dummy’ sites staffed and controlled by your own operatives.

F. (For 'frig 'em!) - masquerade as the other side playing dirty tricks back on your side - insuring that they are found out of course! (This is a great, time proven tactic!)

IV. Gain control the media.

A. Encourage consolidation of media outlets under a few large companies under your control. (Not a big deal if you are in a position to dispense legislative favors!)

B. Control the media with threats against individuals - imprisonment if need be.
(Order actual imprisonment when needed - hold victim incommunicado, identity as ‘terrorist threat’, etc. This has the distinct advantage of silencing that entity.)

C. Encourage large corporations to pressure the media on your behalf.
(Use tax breaks, grants as rewards when needed. It's only taxpayers’ money after all)

D. Introduce misinformation to support your view whenever possible. Use your controlled blogosphere freely. Be lavish with the funding for this as it will pay off handsomely.

V. Guarantee continuity or your side.

A. “Dumb down” the constituency by reducing funds for public schools.
(Works hand in hand with funding religious crazies who will be promoting for your side!)

B. Control the vote counting apparatus.
(If called to account, throw up smoke screens, lay blame, excuses, etc., but importantly, accept zero responsibility. It helps to have a controllable court system!)

C. Cover up any unpleasant news for your side.

D. Blow out of proportion anything against the opposition possible. Manufacture bad news for the opposition if none available.

D. Claim the reverse of fact - i.e., ‘black is white’ tactics.

E. Constantly reiterate the threats to ‘public’ & ‘National Security’.
(Create out of whole clothe when needed)

Properly employed, the tactics above will guarantee success for your Fascist programs - even to the point of the 'huddled masses' cheering for your side!

Monday, February 12, 2007


Realizing you (NBC) do not really want feedback on policy decisions, but you do need to know there can be a cost for your improper actions, and I need to let you know the reason I will avoid anything and everything by or from or promoted by NBC in the future. You made a choice to be gutless and I am choosing to exercise my free will. Message I am sending to my mail list:

"I don't know if you were aware of or remember the flap in the 'country music' field where the Texas group "Dixie Chicks" got up and publicly said (2003, in England) they were 'ashamed' of Bush being from the same state as they. It caused a huge outcry amongst country music fans and rednecks who demanded they be punished. However, sweet vengeance came in the form of their having swept the top five grammy awards in country music - a genre which they no longer even claim!

Here's the "Dixie Chicks news:


And here's just one of the gutless wonders (NBC) who fell in line with the NeoCons' outraged venting over anyone daring to criticize 'their' president, by either banning their music or their advertisements. Unbelievable this could happen in the US of A, but since Bush took power I've witnessed a lot of 'firsts' I never thought I'd see in the country I served honorably and sacrificed for!:



My hat is off to the Dixie Chick group for having the guts to stick this out - they paid a heavy financial price since about 70% of the radio stations in the country caved in and banned them for their statement - as 'punishment'.

This just goes to show that although there is a lunatic fringe operating at large in this country these days, most of us keep trying to maintain an even keel. I sure hope someone is keeping score on outfits like NBC and their cowardly actions. I know that I personally will avoid anything connected with NBC like the plague in the future and hope you will too. They will need to do a lot of fence mending in order to rebuild any reputation with me. I'd hope they'd have the courage to 'fess up to their stupidity and offer a public apology, but very much doubt they will do so.

I'd imagine the Dixie Chick gals are on top of the world right now. Sometimes this kind of payback is just so-o-o- sweet!

(I'm going to find a way to send a copy of this to the NBC brass as well as post it to my blog at


Friday, February 02, 2007

"Christian" Dogma Vs. Reality

I've been told to start 'picking on someone my own size" and stop 'harassing a child". I'd better do that I guess before the thought police come after me. How dare I contradict a Christian anyway? After all, Christian dogma ALWAYS overrules reality every time. Just ask George W. Bush & Company!

To explain, here's an enlightening string of letters to the editor in the Juneau (Alaska) Empire recently. The oldest is on top, my own short & sweet one (I thought) is third down, and my accuser's letter is at the bottom (Students' last names omitted to protect the young):

"Who has right to stop happiness?

I'm a seventh grader at Floyd Dryden Middle School. I see that you have been discussing gay health insurance.

Well, for one, I don't think it should even be an issue. A person who is gay is a person like everyone else. For example if a man works for the state and pays for him and his wife's insurance, then why on earth is it any different for a gay man or women that works for the state? Why can't they have the same health insurance plan? I absolutely think it's so wrong that we have to go about saying gay people aren't normal or are different - because gay people are just as much a person as you and me. It's a matter of choice.

I have another issue to bring up: gay marriage. I think that it's totally fine. If you think it's not OK, because God intended man and women to get married, well you also have to think about God intended people to be happy. Who are we to say somebody can't be happy? If two gay people want to adopt kids, I think it's a good idea. If they are two loving and caring adults who can give that child a secure and safe home, then why not? I'm sure that kid will have a better life there than where they did before.


"Bible doesn't sanction same-sex marriage

I go to Floyd Dryden Middle School. I am writing a response to Jessica's letter in the Jan. 12 Juneau Empire.

I am a friend of hers, and being her friend, I feel that I should be honest. I disagree with her in most ways. I believe in God and that the Bible is His word to us. The Bible says that gay marriages are wrong. Jessica, however, said the Bible does not say that.

God does want us to be happy, but if smoking pot or doing drugs makes people happy, does that mean we should do it?

Among the scriptures that are proof of God's will is Leviticus 18:22, which says, "Do not lie with a male as you would a woman; it is an abomination." And the Bible refers to gay marriages as a vile passion, as in Romans 1:26-27.

I'm not trying to offend anyone, but everyone is entitled to his or her opinions.


"U.S. was not made a Christian nation

I commend Kelsey (Jan. 24 Juneau Empire) for having the courage of convictions to write a letter to the editor at such a tender age. We sorely need a strongly involved citizenry in our nation these days. Nevertheless, at the risk of possibly offending those who believe as Kelsey does, I also want encourage this young person to keep an open mind, and in particular to pay very close attention in civics and social studies classes.

I wish to point out that contrary to the opinions of some Christians, the United States is not a Christian nation. Ours is a country of many religions, as well as no religions, agnostics and even anti-religionists. Religion is covered in the very First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which we all treasure, that states in part: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

This means our country is a "secular" nation - meaning no religion, Christian or otherwise. So, by law it really does not matter what the Christian Bible, or any other religious belief may hold. No religion is sanctioned in our country and our citizens are free to practice whatever religion they desire, or none at all. The Bible does not apply, no matter how much any particular religion may wish that it did.

That is a fact - and is only fair to all our citizens, a great many of whom are not Christians. This was recognized by our founding fathers and boldly enshrined in that very First Amendment to our nation's Constitution.

Erik Lie-Nielsen

"Nation founded by Christians

Eric Lie-Nielson should pick on someone his own size, and stop harassing a child who stands up for our Christian United States.

I am writing in response to the letter, "U.S. was not made a Christian Nation," by Lie-Nielson. This nation was based on Christian values and I applaud Kelsey, who should write a book instead.

Remember, Benjamin Franklin who stated when he wrote a letter to the Ministry of France, "I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of truth, that God governs in the affairs of men and if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it possible that an empire can rise without his aid?"

Also, John Adams, our second president, took for serious that the Bible was the only law book in this country and that every member should regulate his conduct by the sayings of the Bible. By the way, our founding fathers said, "The right to freedom being the gift of the Almighty ... The rights of the colonist as Christians ... may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutions of the Great Law Giver and head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly and promulgated in the New Testament."

So, you see this great American Country was based and founded by Christians. Even the Muslims respect the words of Jesus Christ in the Koran. So, who is Erik Lie-Nielson to judge a child who is writing letters to the editors in such a adult way. I say to Kelsey to keep writing and God Bless Stark and our beautiful Christian United States of America.

Alfredo Velazquez

I wish I could say I appreciate Mr. Valazquez' corrections, but really, I don't. In fact, Mr. Valazquez' corrections could use some corrections of their own. For starters, Ben Franklin was not a Christian. Old Ben was a "Diest" which while 'god-fearing', is most definitely non-Christian. Several of our founding fathers were non-Christians, and don't forget that old First Amendment - the very first one, mind you which specifically says this is NOT the "Christian United States of America.

Unfortunately, Mr. Valazquez falls victim to the very common Christian malady of believing facts are what they say and think they are, hang a bunch of reality.

Bong Hits For Jesus, Part ??

I learned some interesting things from Will Morris, a reporter for the Juneau Empire who did the most recent story on the "Bong Hits for Jesus" case. Morris himself had spent a couple years in Asia himself as an ex-patriot (as the Frederick's are now doing) and said he hated every hour of it.

Morris had done his homework on Joseph Frederick's dad, and mentioned some facts in his article. The dad worked for the insurance company who represented the school, and they put much pressure on him to drop the initial court case. When he refused, they then demoted him to a closet job someplace, and later fired him 'for cause'. He sued them and won a settlement ($100K), but they they saw to it he was blacklisted and he was unable to find another job in over a year of looking. Eventually he was forced to take a job teaching English to rich American businessmen's children in Asia. Sadly, he and his son are now refugees from their own country - simply for sticking up for the son's civil rights.

The "Bong Hits For Jesus" case is widely recognized as laughable by observers who aren't so myopic or regressive as the Juneau District School Board. There have been many stories in the media recognizing this as a school boy stunt which literally became a FEDERAL CASE! I believe most of those board members must be feeling pretty embarrassed and chagrined by now. (Incidently, there were SOME school board members who voted against pursuing the case). But, on the other hand I am always amazed at how far repressive dogmatics will stubbornly insist on being wrong. We see an prime example of this with our president's approach to the Iraq War - another case where idiocy prevails with terrible costs for everyone.

The entire episode with the Fredericks really makes me angry. First, that the regressives on the school board have had their way in stubbornly pressing this issue to its present limits, and secondly, that big US corporations can and will so freely 'punish' someone for simply claiming their rights - and then so easily get away with it. In the meantime, the taxpayer is footing the bills!

I also believe the Juneau District School Board will get a real black eye when all the true costs are finally exposed - and I feel sure eventually much of those will be, at least if I have anything to do with it. By that time though it will be ancient history and the culprits will have slid back under their rocks. I have officially asked for an accounting, but Juneau District Superintendent Peggy Cowan claims (by letter) that they 'haven't specifically tracked the costs of the case' or words to that effect - but did admit to many thousands of dollars before Kenneth Starr got involved. Were this occur in a business setting, heads would quickly roll! Apparently you can be more casual with taxpayer's money.

I don't know what will happen in the Supreme Court (case will be heard in a few days) with its present make-up, but let's hope that the judges will actually defend constitutional rights. That's none too sure with the present make-up of the US Supreme Court, and only time will tell.

There's much truth to the adage that 'he who controls the purse, controls everything' - at least in our capitalist society it does. And, that's both the shame and the Achilles Heel of capitalism.

When capitalism runs amok and gains overweening control as it has in our country in the past few decades (since Reagan), it becomes arrogant and aggressively anti-populist - which you can see examples of everywhere you look today in the US. Individuals and personal rights are routinely subordinated to Big Money in wholesale lots. Big Money demands, gets or takes every possible tax advantage while the burden grows ever heavier on the little guy. At some point 'the people' become fed up and will seek to readjust things. Unfortunately, such readjustment is often accompanied with upheaval, civil war, revolution and much death and destruction follows. I fear we're eventually in for that in the US unless we can recapture things before it is too late. I can not remember a time in my entire life when our society was so venomously polarized. But remember, in any civil upheaval, there's never a guarantee that the 'good guys' will always prevail either. We've witnessed the opposite many, many times.

Hugo Chavez in Venezuela is perceived by many as a ray of populist hope in the western hemisphere - not that he's any choir boy himself - and that is why he is being slammed, demonized and resisted at every turn by the US, and especially by corporate interests. He is seen as a mortal danger to US and global corporate interests, just as Castro was in Cuba since the 60's.

And sadly, once again the political leaders of our country will seek to isolate, embargo and punish Chavez's Venezuela. Chavez himself may or not be affected very much if at all, but you can bet your bippy the common and poor people of Venezuela will pay terrible costs. And essentially, all for corporate hegemony in the name of 'Capitalism'.

Will democratic peoples ever wake up to the madness and the insanity of corporate control of our countries and reclaim our own destinies?

That will only happen when we become disturbed and involved enough to demand it!