Saturday, August 27, 2005
3rd Podcast Is UP!
What's it about? Clips of Maher, Colmes, O'Reilly and Bush, together with my inimitable commentary that you've all grown to love so well on this blog. Questions addressed are:
Why does Bill Maher think Bush shouldn't meet with Cindy Sheehan?
Is Alan Colmes finally crossing over to the dark side?
Which talk show hosts does O'Reilly want dragged away in chains?
And did George Bush really say there's no connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11?
Just listen and find out!
(As promised in the podcast, here's a link to Bush's comment all by itself)
For those who aren't familiar with podcasts (like me until recently!), podcasts are a series of mp3 audio files that you download to your computer or portable music device (iPod or other) and then can listen to whenever you want.
Podcast software like iTunes will automatically check a podcast and download any new episodes, chapters, or whatever that podcast calls them.
iTunes is free and very easy to use. http://www.apple.com/itunes/
Alternatively, you can just manually download mp3's as new episodes become available.
Here is a direct link to the mp3 of the Maher-Colmes-O'Reilly-Bush mp3:
Here is a link to my podcast's home page: http://www.therationalradical.com/podcast.html
In iTunes, if you want to subscribe to my podcast, just click on Advanced at the top right, then choose Subscribe to Podcast, and paste in the URL http://feeds.feedburner.com/blasttheright
Jack Clark 8:55 PM [+]
Friday, August 26, 2005
Anyone who still believes that the U.S. neo-conservatives who led the drive to war in Iraq are diabolically clever geo-strategic masterminds should now consider Iran's vastly improved position vis-a-vis its U.S.-occupied neighbour. To sum it all up:
Not only did Washington knock off Tehran's arch-foe, Saddam Hussein, as well as the anti-Iranian Taliban in Afghanistan, but, with this week's completion of a new constitution that would guarantee a weak central government and substantial autonomy to much of the Shiite south, it also appears that Iran's influence in Iraq -- already on the rise after last spring's inauguration of a pro-Iranian interim government -- is set to grow further.
"The new constitution will strengthen the hand of the provincial forces in the South which are pro-Iranian," according to University of Michigan Iraq expert Juan Cole, who notes that the state structure authorised by the draft charter would amount more to a confederation than a federal system.
Moreover, Cole told IPS, the constitutional ban on any law that contravenes Islamic law will likely give Shiite clerics significant power over the state, moving Iraq much closer to the Iranian model.
In a recent colloquium for The Nation magazine, Shibley Telhami, a Middle East specialist at the Brookings Institution, noted that, 'No one in Washington would have imagined that with all the human and financial costs of the war, the United States would find itself supporting a government ... (with) close ties to Iran and that would conclude a military agreement with Tehran for the training of Iraq forces, even as nearly 140,000 U.S. troops remained on Iraq soil.' How is this all going to turn out? Will the Bushians pull a rabbit out of their hat? Or will Bush go down in history as one of our worst presidents ever?
Jack Clark 7:46 PM [+]
Despite unprecedented economic growth in recent years, the rich have become richer and the poor even poorer, says a new U.N. report that also shows women facing more hardship than men in all walks of life.Just the way the right-wingers like it and think it should be, both within countries and between nations. Besides the blatant immorality of this viewpoint, they might also consider their own (or their descendants') long-term self-interest:
..."Ignoring inequality in the pursuit of development is perilous," the report warns. "Focusing exclusively on economic growth and income generation as a development strategy is ineffective, as it leads to the accumulation of wealth by a few and deepens the poverty of many."
'Failure to address this inequality predicament will insure that social injustice and better living conditions for all people remain elusive,' he said, adding that it would lead to further social instability in the world, 'for which every one will have to pay the price'. I'm just waiting for the day -- and I sure hope I live long enough to see it -- when the poor of the earth finally say "No more" and take back the planet.
Jack Clark 7:41 PM [+]
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Chavez, a radical populist who has been voted into office repeatedly by huge majorities in his own country, controls the largest reserve of petroleum outside the Middle East.
Neither Robertson, nor former oil executives George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice, nor their buddies at Exxon/Mobil, Chevron, etc., are happy about all this.
...Unlike Exxon/Mobil and the Big Oil fat cats, who wallow in their record profits while the rest of us pay, Chavez is spreading the wealth around.
A dangerous man, indeed.
Chavez has instituted a massive series of programs in Venezuela to benefit the poor majority in health care, nutrition, housing, education, and the like. Chavez is doing just what the right-wingers would like us to forget that Jesus in Matthew commanded us to do: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give drink to the thirsty, etc. The example of using a country's resources to help the people of that country -- as opposed to swelling the already-obscene profits of US and other multinationals -- is why the Bushians must take action against Chavez.PS: I just love Chavez's recent offer:
Chavez Offers Cheap Gas to Poor in U.S.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, popular with the poor at home, offered on Tuesday to help needy Americans with cheap supplies of gasoline. I can see the steam rising from Dick Cheney's collar.
"We want to sell gasoline and heating fuel directly to poor communities in the United States," the populist leader told reporters...
Chavez said Venezuela could supply gasoline to Americans at half the price they now pay if intermediaries who "speculated ... and exploited consumers" were cut out.
Jack Clark 8:38 PM [+]
To the Editor:
In "Left Behind" (Op-Ed, Aug. 17), Thomas Lynch eloquently decries the president's lack of remorse. If the president feels no remorse about the lies he told to get us into Iraq, then is it far-fetched to suggest that he feels no remorse about the armor deficit that is killing so many of our soldiers and marines there?
Otherwise, he'd pick up the phone, knock a few heads together and break the bureaucratic logjam that's causing the problem.
Remorseless, he feels no imperative to do so.
Waltham, Mass., Aug. 17, 2005
This letter-writer is, as the British say, spot on. A lack of remorse is a hallmark of a sociopath. And the fact that right-wingers are, indeed, sociopaths is the subject of my second podcast, "Right-Wing BTK Killers." You can choose among three ways to listen to this second podcast:
Direct link to the mp3
Link to podcast home page
Subscribe to the Podcast: To subscribe, you need a program like iTunes, which is free and very easy to use! In iTunes, just click on Advanced at the top right, then choose Subscribe to Podcast, and paste in the URL
Jack Clark 2:16 PM [+]
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Nations where fewer people attend church tend to be more generous in their support for development in poor countries than those where church attendance is much greater, according to the third annual edition of the 'Commitment to Development Index (CDI)', published this week in Foreign Policy magazine. This isn't surprising, because so many churches and church leaders are just practicing right-wing pseudo-Chrisitianity, which is more akin to devil-worship than anything Christ ever taught. And of course, much of our giving is phony anyway, being undercut by our other actions:
The Index, a joint project of Washington-based Foreign Policy and the Center for Global Development (CGD), found that Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, and Norway retained their top rankings among wealthy countries for their helpfulness to poor countries from last year. Italy, Ireland, Greece and Japan were the least helpful of the 21 countries ranked by the Index.
[T]he U.S. Treasury last year imposed nearly two billion dollars in tariffs on imports from the four countries that were most affected by the tsunami -- India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand -- twice the 900 million dollars in relief aid approved by the U.S. Congress for the same countries last May. And don't let the right-wing lie machine fool ya by its drumbeat of "Oh, our private charity aid is where we give, not thru the government."
While the United States was the most generous in terms of its private giving -- citizens gave an average of six cents a day to private charities that financed overseas aid -- U.S. ODA averaged only 15 cents per day per person, bringing the total to 21 cents/day/person. By contrast, Denmark, the leading aid-giver, spent an average of 90 cents/day/person, 89 cents of which came from the government and only one cent from private sources. So we're still one of the most stingy countries.
Jack Clark 3:15 PM [+]
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested on-air that American operatives assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to stop his country from becoming "a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism." That Robertson is still allowed as a guest on the mainstream media is the perfect proof of where the mainstream media is.
"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Robertson said Monday on the Christian Broadcast Network's "The 700 Club."
..."We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator," he continued. "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."
..."You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson said. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."
And I love this "a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism." Yup, atheistic communists and Muslim extremists are certainly a likely combination.
Just so you don't think Robertson's comment was an aberration:
Robertson has made controversial statements in the past. In October 2003, he suggested that the State Department be blown up with a nuclear device. He has also said that feminism encourages women to 'kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.'Finally, look at this picture of Robertson from ultra-right-wing Newsmax.com:
Does he not look like a creature with an ugly, ugly soul? Like a creature from Hell?
Jack Clark 2:56 PM [+]
New Podcast Up
I posted my second postcast, "Right-Wing BTK Killers". How are right-wingers like the BTK killer? Take a listen! (Be prepared to hear a short clip of Rush Limbaugh in all his sociopathic glory)
Direct link to mp3
Link to Podcast Feed
iTunes software to subscribe to the Podcast Feed (After you install iTunes 4.9, go to Advanced on the very top, and click Subscribe to Podcast, then paste in the URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/blasttheright)
Jack Clark 1:34 PM [+]
Monday, August 22, 2005
As President Bush prepared to hit the road this week to bolster public support for his policies in Iraq, a senior Republican senator said Sunday that the United States needed to craft an exit strategy because its continued presence had created a potential Vietnam.When a right-winger starts calling you names for saying what Sen. Hagel did, point out to the right-winger that Republican Sen. Hagel said what you just did. Then watch the right-winger either deny Hagel said it, or change the subject.
"We should start figuring out how we get out of there," Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said on ABC's "This Week." "I think our involvement there has destabilized the Middle East. And the longer we stay there, I think the further destabilization will occur."
Jack Clark 8:15 PM [+]
In the Democratic Party's weekly radio address over the weekend, former senator Max Cleland said that 'it's time for a strategy to win in Iraq or a strategy to get out.' This is a good point to remember when listening to certain politicians who are being billed as opposing the Iraq war.
Cleland's statement may have been focus-group tested, but it amounts to another permutation of what Martin Luther King Jr. called 'the madness of militarism.' All the talk about the urgent need for a strategy to win in Iraq amounts to approval for more U.S. leadership in mass slaughter. And the United States government does not need a 'strategy' to get out of Iraq any more than a killer needs a strategy to stop killing.
Jack Clark 8:06 PM [+]
Buy beleaguered, overworked White House aides enough drinks and they tell a sordid tale of an administration under siege, beset by bitter staff infighting and led by a man whose mood swings suggest paranoia bordering on schizophrenia. If you look at Bush on TV, the times when he doesn't looked drugged to complacency, he does appear to be struggling mightily to withhold an explosive outburst.
They describe a President whose public persona masks an angry, obscenity-spouting man who berates staff, unleashes tirades against those who disagree with him and ends meetings in the Oval Office with “get out of here!”
...“There’s real concern in the West Wing that the President is losing it,” a high-level aide told me recently.
Jack Clark 7:35 PM [+]
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Cindy Sheehan just wrote this:
One thing I haven't noticed or become aware of though is an increased number of pro-war, pro-Bush people on the other side of the fence enlisting to go and fight George Bush's war for imperialism and insatiable greed. The pro-peace side has gotten off their apathetic butts to be warriors for peace and justice. Where are the pro-war people? Everyday at Camp Casey we have a couple of anti-peace people on the other side of the road holding up signs that remind me that 'Freedom isn't Free' but I don't see them putting their money where their mouths are. I don't think they are willing to pay even a small down payment for freedom by sacrificing their own blood or the flesh of their children. I still challenge them to go to Iraq and let another soldier come home. Perhaps a soldier that is on his/her third tour of duty, or one that has been stop-lossed after serving his/her country nobly and selflessly, only to be held hostage in Iraq by power mad hypocrites who have a long history of avoiding putting their own skin in the game.You tell 'em, Cindy! Right-wing pro-war chickenhawks are the most despicable vermin on the face of the earth.
Jack Clark 10:04 PM [+]
In case you missed this last week:
An official investigation was reported Tuesday to have directly contradicted the police account of the killing of a young Brazilian man after the bombing attempts in London on July 21, including the assertion that he had been fleeing officers when he was shot.There you have it: NO bulky jacket, NO fleeing, NO vaulting a turnstile. Nice to see that the British police sometimes lie as well as American ones sometimes do. Has a Bushian infiltrated Scotland yard?
...At the time, the police said Mr. Menezes wore a bulky jacket on a hot day, began running from officers despite commands to halt, vaulted the ticket turnstile and ran stumbling onto the subway train.
On Tuesday, however, a news report on British television said an inquiry led by the Independent Police Complaints Commission had contradicted every one of those points. The report said that the officers had misidentified Mr. Menezes as one of the failed July 21 attackers and that he was killed even though he walked into the subway station wearing a light denim jacket, did not vault the turnstile and was sitting on the train when the officers moved in.
Jack Clark 9:59 PM [+]