This has been my first opportunity to read a book as heavily redacted as this. That’s okay, this edition has a lengthy afterword by progressive journalist Laura Rozen to fill in the blanks. For instance, ms. Plame’s decision to become a NOC officer in the CIA.
If you recall from the first Mission: Impossible movie, a list of NOC agents was up for grabs which would’ve released their actual names to the spy world. In a crude inversion of life imitating cinema, what Tom Cruise was trying to prevent in that movie was exactly what Scooter Libby and Vice President Dick Cheney did to Valerie Plame.
Evidently the CIA has no romance in its heart either, as her courtship and marriage to Ambassador Joseph Wilson was deemed too sensitive to declassify. I’m still trying to get it in my head how the particulars of their relationship would be damaging to US foreign relations and intelligence gathering.
I’m grateful ms. Plame wrote this book. It’s a refreshing reminder to those seeing George W. Bush in a revisionist light, that his administration was just as corrupt as the current one. That his actions regarding Iraq and the Wilsons in particular were nothing less than pure evil. And I am frustrated that no one was held to account, that what Libby and senior Bush officials did in outing ms. Plame was an act of TREASON. Read it. It’s essential.
Sudan’s Military Says It Has Taken Control And Arrested President Omar Al-Bashir
It’s about time. I’ve waited almost twenty years for that prick to either be overthrown or killed in office, the usual end for such dictators. In his thirty years in power, Omar al-Bashir is responsible for the genocide in Darfur as well as carrying on a war with his own people that only ended in 2005, ironically under the George W. Bush administration. While I’m amazed and grateful W’s people were able to bring an end to their 20-year conflict, his silence on Darfur was appalling.
The next few weeks will tell the tale on whether the overthrow of Bashir heralds real change or more of the same. Since its so-called independence in 1956, the people of the Sudan has been subjected to one military coup after another. Perhaps the infusion of young voices in the government would bring an improvement. Rescinding sharia law would also be welcome. Whether the latest coup-leaders permit any real change again will remain a wide-open question for now.
In 1935, a group of New York communists boarded a German luxury liner during a lavish sending-off party attended by celebrities, Rockefellers, and Roosevelts. Their goal: capture the swastika.
One may have noticed my mind has been on apartheid in recent blogs. One might wonder why I’m spending so much time reflecting on a regime that’s quite clearly gone. Primarily I suppose it’s because it’s an object lesson. Change is possible when the People are so fired up that the politicians have no choice, literally none, but to do the right thing.
Honestly I never expected there would be a peaceful transition in South Africa. After five decades of oppression and resistance, I fully expected apartheid could only end in civil war, and I’m probably not the only person to think so. This is one instance where I’m glad to have been proven absolutely conclusively wrong.
But there is a better reason for me to focus on that particular dead issue. Apartheid by another name was a very real institution in post-Civil War America. We know it here as Jim Crow but it was the same thing, the exact same thing. Segregation was imposed by law across the Southern United States and sanctioned by foul Supreme Court decisions to as Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). Lynchings were a shameful legacy of those hundred years before Martin Luther King Jr. and the entire Civil rights movement stood up and said “That’s enough. We’ve waited for our rights long enough. We’ve waited for you to respect our dignity long enough.”
We are facing a moral crisis whereby the Trump administration is bound and determined to wind the clock back to the 19th Century, some never-never land of white rule that doesn’t deserve to exist. Plainly with the present conservative majority on the Supreme Court we can’t count on either their good will or their good sense for the next couple of generations.
This is a time we have to stand, not just on the national stage but in our everyday life. Its tie to put aside all labels–male, female, LGBT, black and white–and treat everyone exactly the way you’d expect to be treated, with respect, dignity and plain ol’ common courtesy. Maybe it’s naïve to dream of this but what the hell, till something better comes along I’m happy to be naïve.
So, you don’t want to take your kids to have their vaccinations ’cause it isn’t in the Bible. That’s all right, there’s a lot of other useless items that are also NOT in the ‘Good Book.’ This should in no way be considered a comprehensive list; nonetheless here a few lacks I’d love to point out:
-Literacy, so you’ll actually know what’s in the f—kin’ book
-A uniform spelling system where we all agree on verb forms, spelling and grammar
-GUNS; that should please the NRA & all you supporters of the Second Amendment
-aspirin for when your kids get on your last nerve
-fresh running water
-refrigeration to preserve fresh food for days to come
-the most basic understanding of sanitation
–the most basic understanding of medicine
-Tolerance of your neighbors’ religion–oh wait, we don’t have that now, either. OK then, never mind…
-yoyos [I mean the toys, not our politicians]
-the most basic respect for your women-folk
-fire hoses, fire sprinklers or fire protection of any kind
-The Law of Gravity
-Newton’s Laws of Motion
-Einstein’s General & Special Theories of Relativity
-cell phones that allow you to nag your absent-minded children at school or from any part of the country whatsoever
Christopher f—kin’ Columbus
-George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson or any one of the Founding Fathers
-The Bill of Rights
-compasses to keep your sorry ass from being lost in the wilderness for 40 years like some people we know
-The Collected Works of William Shakespeare
-chocolate & candy
-latex stretch pants
-Bras, which depending on the person, may or may not be a blessing
I’m beginning to think this book may not have all the answers to life’s questions after all….
I’m going to try to say this as calmly and as rationally as I possibly can. You people are nuts.
By you I mean so-called evangelicals who believe or claim to believe that Donald J. Trump has been called of God, that he is a servant of God or worse, that he is in fact the risen Christ. I need to know where you’re getting your drugs, ‘cos it sounds like you’re on some powerful shit.
Chris Hedges says these people are not real evangelicals, that they are closer to being fascists. The distinction is of little importance since the people in question have the president’s ear.
Let’s be clear on one thing: Donald Trump was NOT ‘chosen of God’. He was chosen of by a Revolutionary War relic called the Electoral College. The sooner we’ve rid our Constitution of that foul institution, the better.
Honestly I don’t know what twisted form of illogic you’re teaching our children in your charter schools but plainly you don’t know Sacrilege when it passes your lips. i was a member of my church for 25 years. I have taught both Sunday School and Priesthood classes. I didn’t read the Bible–I studied the fuckin’ thing, so I can speak with absolute authority on the subject. And I’ll tell you, anyone associating Donald Trump with the Lord Jesus Christ has committed the greatest sacrilege.
Plainly you people have never read the Bible or you might just realize the folly you’ve been spouting. Now I may not worship Jesus, but I certainly admire him and I respect the message he tried to send into the world, a message 99.9837% of ‘American evangelicals’ have ignored in pursuit of one dumbass war in the Middle East after another. I know Jesus, my friends and I promise you, as a member of a sect that has suffered numerous vile pogroms throughout history, Jesus would never condemn an entire race as rapists and drug dealers.
There are limits to how much stupidity I am willing to tolerate, and you false evangelicals have exceeded them. I am disappointed that I live in a country incapable of differentiating between right and wrong and which refuses to accept the willful ignorance infesting religion and our body politic. I will not tolerate your hate or your sacrilege any longer.
Tumblr has chosen a peculiar form of self-inflicted hari-kari. By now we’ve all heard of their total ban on ‘adult’ material, beginning on Dec. 17, 2018. Several artists and producers I’m following have already abandoned ship. I understand what prompted this extreme action, and I’m all for banning child pornography. But these new guidelines are broad enough to boot open the door to all manner of censorship across the Internet.
I have to wonder just how stringent the censorship search program they’ll have to use is going to be. There are literally hundreds, possibly thousands of sites and posts that may not be considered family-friendly on Tumblr. That’s been its major draw. Supposing someone posts a clip of an animal nursing its young–with its NIPPLES, of course. Will that set off the klaxons?
What’ll be next? If a person’s bog is not considered pure enough…if it’s too (OHHH!!!) politically correct, whatever that means these days, do we strike down that infidel’s webpage and block his/her access to all servers? Who’s to say where this stops, IF it stops?
We’ve seen this before. From 1930 until 1968, American motion pictures were bound by the Hays Code, which placed any films and television programs under a strict regime of self-censorship. There would be no ridicule of religion, no mention of homosexuality; men were men–white, usually, bad was bad and life went on in a virtual la-la land where good people [again, white people] always win.
Another example; Fredrick Werthem’s Seduction of the Innocent, published in 1954, put forth the claim that comic books promoted juvenile delinquency, which led to an inquiry by the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, which led to publishers voluntarily neutering comics with the imposition of the Comics Code in 1954. Marvel Comics began to break down thee improbable standards in 1971 with a three-part story involving drug-addition in The Amazing Spider-Man # 96-98.
In both cases, these codes were imposed by self-righteous ideologues inflating the dangers posed by their respective mediums all out of proportion, and often distorting the facts to achieve their ends. That does not appear to be the case with Tumblr at this time, but the window of exploitation is now open.
I take hope in the fact that while we may be entering a period where we will be forced to water down our artistic impulses, the day will come when new outlets of self-expression WILL arrive. The restrictions of far-right, narrow mined goons will be loosened, most likely with the passing of this generation of vipers that is set on putting these chains on us in the first place.
Tumblr by that time is likely to be either an anamoly, a platform once popular soon to be forgotten; or it will act as a compliant tool of ‘The Establishment’ the Internet was born to resist. In either case, you can’t cork a volcano, nor will the artistic impulse be caged forever.