June 13, 2005

nothing frightens me more than religion at my door

John Cale & Betsey Johnson, NYC, mid-1960s

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"1. The Bush Administration

Last week documents obtained by Greenpeace under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that the Bush administration was "heavily pressured" by energy company Exxon Mobil to reject the Kyoto Treaty on global warming - despite Exxon and the administration's claims to the contrary. During his joint press conference with British prime minister Tony Blair (more on that in a minute), Bush insisted that climate change is 'a serious long-term issue that needs to be dealt with. And my administration isn't waiting around to deal with the issue, we're acting. ... We want to know more about it. It's easier to solve a problem when you know a lot about it.'

"Oh really? Because it was also revealed last week that the Bush administration wasn't simply pressured by Exxon Mobil to reject Kyoto. Believe it or not, a White House official - who was once a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute - was discovered last week to have 'repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents.'

"So there you have it - proof that not only are big oil companies writing the Bush administration's energy policy, they also have a guy inside the White House whose job it is to fix global warming reports to their advantage. Meanwhile Americans are still paying through the nose at the pump, while energy companies are raking in higher and higher profits. So much for government "of the people, by the people, for the people" - Bush and his oil cronies have made sure that "the people" are nothing but stooges in their grand scam."

* Howard Zinn on The Scourge of Nationalism. excerpt:

"Nationalism is given a special virulence when it is blessed by Providence. Today we have a President, invading two countries in four years, who believes he gets messages from God. Our culture is permeated by a Christian fundamentalism as poisonous as that of Cotton Mather. It permits the mass murder of 'the other' with the same confidence as it accepts the death penalty for individuals convicted of crimes. A Supreme Court justice, Antonin Scalia, told an audience at the University of Chicago Divinity School, speaking of capital punishment: 'For the believing Christian, death is no big deal'"

"How many times have we heard Bush and Rumsfeld talk to the troops in Iraq, victims themselves, but also perpetrators of the deaths of thousands of Iraqis, telling them that if they die, if they return without arms or legs, or blinded, it is for 'liberty,' for 'democracy?"
"Henry David Thoreau, provoked by the war in Mexico and the nationalist fervor it produced, wrote: 'Nations! What are nations? . . . Like insects, they swarm. The historian strives in vain to make them memorable.' In our time, Kurt Vonnegut (Cat's Cradle) places nations among those unnatural abstractions he calls granfalloons, which he defines as 'a proud and meaningless association of human beings.'

"There have always been men and women in this country who have insisted that universal standards of decent human conduct apply to our nation as to others. That insistence continues today and reaches out to people all over the world. It lets them know, like the balloons sent over the countryside by the Paris Commune in 1871, that 'our interests are the same.'"

* Trailers from David Lynch films.


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