New bush ad

Don’t miss it — short and sweet!


Yet more proof of the Smear Boat Vet’s BS

Do you still need convincing? Oh, and while you’re there, take the poll on the right-hand sidebar. Select “John Kerry,” the next president of the United States.


Reporters Without Borders gives its Gold Medal to China

This speaks for itself.

As the Athens Olympic Games enter their final days and approach the closing ceremony, at which the Olympic flag will be handed over to the mayor of Beijing, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) today awarded China an additional gold medal – one for human rights violations.

China’s repression of dissidents, including journalists and cyber-dissidents, has not let up during these games. The People’s Republic of China is the world’s biggest prison for the press. Twenty-seven journalists and more than 60 Internet users are detained for crimes of opinion.

The leading journalist Cheng Yizhong has been detained without trial for the past five months for reporting a suspected case of SARS and the death of student while being tortured in a police station in Guangzhou. Two of his colleagues have been sentenced to six and eight years in prison for the same reason.

Journalists with the foreign media are always viewed with suspicion by the Chinese authorities and are sometimes the target of threats and violence. Police hit an Associated Press photographer and manhandled one of his colleagues from Agence France-Presse on 7 August while they were covering the xenophobic rioting that followed the Asia Cup soccer final in Beijing.

Moreover, the Chinese government has acquired a new system for monitoring mobile phone text messages in real time. This technology allows the authorities to filter messages for key words and identify those sending “reactionary” messages. The public security ministry has already been monitoring the Internet extensively and jamming some foreign radio stations.

The group is launching a new campaign to boycott the Beijing Olympics” in protest against the CCP’s efforts to stifle the free flow of information.


“Alan Colmes sinks John O’Neill’s boat”

And that’s an understatement. More like a crucifixion, and one well deserved.

From the great Media Matters site. I savored every word. I saw the program as it unfolded, and for the first time I fet a huge respect for Colmes, who often stands under Hannity’s shadow like a frightened housewife. This time he was sensational, and there was no way out — because O’Neill has been lying his ass off.

Go read the transcript and see the painful truth for yourself. No sense in my offering a snip — it simply has to be seen. (There’s a link there for the video clip, too.) See what O’Neill says and how he panics when confronted with stuff he thought no one would ever unearth. Colmes gets a big gold star.

Literally every hour brings yet another story of how putrid this entire episode has been. Christmas in Cambodia! Self-inflicted wounds! Unfit to serve! But you know, what else can bush do? Running on his “record” is impossible, as there’s nothing there except claiming Qaddafi gave up his nuclear program cuz we captured Saddam (another unabashed lie). So it’s attack, attack, attack! This was sweet, seeing the whole thing backfire.

But stay tuned, tomorrow’s another day and magician Karl Rove has many more rabbits waiting to be pulled from his hat. The worst will come literally hours before polling time; that’s a standard Rove maneuver. Be prepared for the worst; we can’t let our guard down for a single second.

Media Matters is chronicling all the ways this “self-inflicted wound” known as SBVFT is backfiring on bush. Go see the list of stories, and exult in the Smear Boat’s death by a thousand cuts, inflicted by a media they were certain would simply regurgitate Rove’s talking points. They’re still too easy on the Smear Boat Liars (Media Matters chronicles that, too) but they’re definitely getting better.

A reporter’s role is to question, referree and correct the record, not to parrot and kowtow.


New York 2004 � another Chicago 1968? God, I hope not.

There�s an interesting article by Rick Perlstein that expresses a fear I�ve been harboring for some weeks now: with all their protests and attention-winning stunts, those demonstrating in NYC next week will make a lot of trouble and seriously damage the Democrat�s chances of winning.

This is no wild theory. Perlstein echoes my thoughts to the letter, seeing next week�s protests as a potential replay of the disastrous 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. Worse yet, he wonders whether bush isn�t actually hoping for this, if not actively encouraging it. Could this be bush’s Next Big Dirty Trick? — catalyzing civil unrest so unappealing that it inspires people to flock to bush as the man of Law ‘n Order?

Things are looking good right now. Kerry handled the Smear Boat Veterans as well as he could, and reasonable people everywhere know they�ve been exposed as Republican-funded liars. Considering the ferocity of the attacks, Kerry emerged relatively unscathed, and, as predicted, bush ended up looking very bad.

The parallels between Chicago 1968 and New York 2004 are striking.

Then, as now, authorities are besotted with “less lethal” technology that’s intended to prevent disorder (back then it was Mace), but actually increases disorder by lowering the threshold at which cops are willing to use force.
Then, as now, police officials argued that the ACLU and the federal judges were putting them in danger by “tying their hands.” When the cops lose some of these battles�as they did this year, with rulings against four-sided pens for demonstrators and general searches of bags�they get more afraid. That yields itchy fingers at the triggers of less-than-lethal implements.

Then, as now: the strategic mobilization of “terrorists”�a word Mayor Richard Daley in 1968 used to describe the Black Panthers, who, some residents of the Cook County jail reported, were planning assassinations. The ever reliable FBI sent 60 extra agents, though the jailbirds had made it all up�which didn’t prevent the city from announcing the “threat” to the press afterward as ex post facto rationalization for law enforcement’s rampage.

Then, as now: hovering, ruthless Republican presidential campaign operatives ready to seize on any advantage to win, who suspect that arrant attempts to frame the election as a choice between George W. Bush and “chaos in the streets” will be enough, for some small margin of voters, to inch themselves to victory.

And, the most uncanny parallel of all: Events have seen to it�perhaps by Republican intention, perhaps not, it hardly matters which�that protesters this time, just like last time, have been rendered ready and eager to demonstrate, on the Sunday before the convention, in a physical location where the city has determined they may not demonstrate. Thus the stage may be set now�as it was then�for disaster.

Perlstein shrewdly points out other disturbing parallels that make me worry: could radical liberals, whom I despise as much as arch-conservative Republicans (well, almost as much) � could they turn next week into a circus that makes all liberals look dangerous? Could they be so stupid as to win major sympathy for the GOP? I�m afraid that based on their track record, I�d have to say yes, they really could be that stupid.

Let�s hope enough of them realize that creating chaos in New York will not in any way further their cause, and could tip things in the enemy�s direction.


“Deng’s dubious legacy”

China hand Jonathan Mirsky takes a look at what Deng’s changes really have meant for China.

Most of Deng’s career was marked by subservience to Mao Zedong. Unlike the Chairman, he did not routinely murder his enemies and until 1989, the national “strike hard” disciplinary campaigns that Deng oversaw did not descend into welters of blood. But there was no disciple he would not drop into political limbo. The Party’s general secretary, Hu Yaobang, and Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang were dismissed, and Zhao was placed under house arrest, where he remains, for being soft on dissidents. Deng laid on Muslims in Xinjiang and Buddhists in Tibet the same heavy hand with which he crushed the Tiananmen uprising….

There had been uprisings in more than 400 Chinese cities that spring and tens of millions of Chinese were touched by the crackdown. Its continuing central importance in China was summed up a few months ago by Jiang Yanyong, a senior doctor in Beijing’s Army Hospital 301, who daringly described (before he was made to disappear for several weeks) the reasons for the civilian carnage he treated in his hospital in the first week of June.

“A small number of leaders who supported corruption resorted to means unprecedented in the world and in China. They acted in a frenzied fashion, using tanks, machine guns and other weapons to suppress the totally unarmed students and citizens, killing hundreds of innocent students in Beijing, and injuring and crippling thousands others. Then, the authorities mobilized all types of propaganda machinery to fabricate lies and used high-handed measures to silence the people across the country.”….

And what of the Deng’s economic miracle? There are now two Chinas – the high-rolling, money-worshiping China, and the other, left-behind China, whose peasant poverty has been highlighted in several publications, of which the major one has already been suppressed. Its officials are corrupt, violent, impossible to predict and antagonistic to the slightest democratic movement: Every member of China’s tiny Democratic Party is either in jail or in exile.

This could arouse some strong arguments with the Chinese people I know, who see Deng as their savior. I don’t mean to be a wimp, but personally I am somewhere in the middle, though closer to Mirsky than to my friends.


John O’Neill told Nixon he, too, was in Cambodia!

Oh, how sweet it was to watch it! O’Neill was quivering, trying to talk his way out of it. But Colmes said he had it on tape that O’Neill said he told Nixon he was in Cambodia, though he’s sworn throughout the whole recent mess that neither he nor Kerry were ever in Cambodia. Fiasco. If his comments to Nixon weren’t seared in his memory then, they sure are now!! Revenge is sweet.

See here for details.


I survived my first day at work

Actually, it was a relief to return to the workplace. I had too much time on my hands the past few months, and it’s so easy to fuck off when you’re home without enough work to keep you busy. Luckily I have a great boss and we’re having a lot of fun. (I was actually her boss five years ago, and she hired me when she heard I was back in town.)

I feel really good, but it won’t last long. After all, bush is still president.


Singaporeans, get busy — you know, like bunnies!

This is interesting. Sinagapore’s new PM Lee is telling his people they need to increase the country’s population, so they’d better have at it.

Placed in charge of securing his city-state’s economic future in the face of growing competition from China and India, Singapore’s new prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, is calling for his citizens to be more productive – literally.

“Have a couple of children, three if you can,” Reuters quoted Lee as saying in unprepared remarks during his National Day Rally Speech last weekend.

In a country where a good job is hard to find, telling the citizens to be fruitful and multiply may strike some as a peculiar suggestion. But Singaporeans tend to do as their leaders tell them, so I suspect this will be a very busy week over there.


Dole should be ashamed of himself

I thought Bob Dole had mellowed after he became poster boy for Viagra. I thought he was less crusty, less the hatchet man and more of a human being. I totally misjudged him, and now I see he’s the same old hatchet-man he was in the 1970s. A seriously wounded veteran and war hero, Dole had led me to believe — or rather, my misplaced perception of him led me to believe — that he’d be gracious to John Kerry. And he now joins the ugly chorus of smearers and character assassins, stirring up the shit so bush can keep his hands clean. Just another source of disillusionment.