Friday, July 29, 2005

Planet Xena

Astronomers have not yet disclosed the name they have chosen for the new planet, if it is in fact a planet, but since it is the most far out member of the solar system...

    "Informally, the astronomers have been calling it Xena after the television series about a Greek warrior princess, which was popular when the astronomers began their systematic sweep of the sky in 2000. "Because we always wanted to name something Xena," Dr. Brown said."

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Bring It On

Bush To London Bombers: 'Bring It On'

WASHINGTON, DC—President Bush officially responded to the latest round of London transit bombings Monday, challenging terrorists to "do their worst." Said Bush, in a televised statement from the Oval Office: "The proud and resilient people of London can take anything the forces of evil and cowardice can throw at them. They will never live in fear of you. Bring it on." Prime Minister Tony Blair thanked Bush for his comments, inviting him to visit London and ride the Underground in a show of solidarity.

Devil of the Day

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Traitors?

In another echo of the McCarthy era, traitors or "terrorist helpers" are now being denounced nightly on FOX. So far O'ReilIy has come up with the ACLU, Michael Moore, Sen. Durban, Bob Herbert etc.--all the usual suspects.

I'm no patriot, but the ones causing irreversable harm to the US in the pursuit of very narrow short term self-interest such as Bush, Cheney, Halliburton, Rove et. al. are manifestly the real traitors. The damage they have done to the US is incalculable and far more than Osama bin Forgotten ever could have hoped for. Wrecking our relationship with virtually every country in the world, generating near universal contempt for America and Americans worldwide, creating an insoluble quagmire in Iraq, motivating and training new and larger generations of terrorists, breaking the back of the American economy, encouraging nuclear proliferation etc. etc.

The worst Bush & co. are doing though has nothing to do with treachery or patriotism: it is the mass murder of tens of thousands, the open establishment of a gulag system, the rehabilitation and celebration of torture, the accelerated destruction of the planet's ecosystem, the replacement of science and enlightenment principles with bronze age superstition and bronze age bigotry etc. There is no future in any of this for human beings as a species or for those species still remaining with us on this planet. There is no name that does justice to this level of depravity.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Dada Portait of Me



by Nishiki

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Lysenkoism

There are many fronts in the current regime's assault on the "reality based community." Tim Montague at Rachel's Environment and Health News has a good summary of corporate assaults on environmental and health sciences under the Bush administration--a kind of hypercapitalist Lysenkoism.

    An ill wind is gusting through the halls of science these days: faked research, suppression of unwelcome results, corruption of science advisory panels, university research falling under the influence of corporate sponsors, and many other conflicts of interest."...

    "Some 6,000 scientists including 48 Nobel laureates, 62 National Medal of Science recipients, and 135 members of the National Academy of Sciences have signed the Union of Concerned Scientists' (UCS) statement, " Restoring Scientific Integrity in Policy Making." The Bush government is certainly not the first to abuse science, but they have raised the stakes and injected ideology like no previous administration. The result is scientific advisory panels stacked with industry hacks, agencies ignoring credible panel recommendations and concerted efforts to undermine basic environmental and conservation biology science."

Faith Based Education in Britain

The recent attacks on the London transportation system have led to calls for rethinking Britain's current education and social models as they have developed under New Labour. A serious attempt to emerge from the current crisis would require not only getting out of the bloody and pointless colonial war in Iraq but a reaffirmation of the Enlightenment ideal of a secular society.

Blair's government has for some time now pursued a policy encouraging religion to the point now where a third of all state schools in Britain are religious. Despite the fact that religion has been waning in Britain for some time now, he and his cabinet have encouraged the growth of single faith schools as an antidote to the shallow consumerism and anomie encouraged his own neo-liberal policies. Tariq Ali instead calls for "a moratorium on religion"--exactly the right response: "What is required is a high quality state education system which provides the same education to rich and poor, Christian or Jewish or Muslim children." In a similar vein Polly Toynbee in The Guardian calls for the ouster of all religion from public life and a return to Enlightenment values.
    "It is time now to get serious about religion - all religion - and draw a firm line between the real world and the world of dreams. Tony Blair has taken entirely the wrong path. He has appeased, prevaricated and pretended, maybe because he is a man of faith himself, with a Catholic wife who consorts with crystals. But never was it more important to separate the state from all faiths and relegate all religion to the private - but well-regulated - sphere."

Unfortunately, the US is already headed so far in the other direction that public discussion of such issues here is not possible.

Update: 8/23 Two thirds oppose state aided faith schools

    The survey reveals that following last month's terror attacks, the majority of the public are uneasy about the proposals, with 64% agreeing that "the government should not be funding faith schools of any kind"....Keith Porteous Wood, director of the National Secular Society, said the two thirds opposed to government funding for faith schools reflected the public's unease about the growing influence of religious organisations in education.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

When Friday Comes, We'll All Call Rats Fish

Rats
By Rasputina

Very many years ago, the Bolivians were starving so,
They had rats as big as ponies there. They asked the Pope
To declare them fish.

Chorus:
We thank the Pope for granting us this wish.
When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish.
We catch them with a net, kill with the gun.
We'll call it all forgotten when we're done.

They didn't look like rats at all, but like some horrendous horse doll.
Still they had to eat this thing.
In gratitude, the Pope-they kissed his ring.

Chorus:
We'll call it all forgotten when we're done.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Devil of the Day

Talking to Myself

In the The Ruling Class, the mad Jack Gurney/Christ (Peter O'Toole) is asked how he knows he is god. His reply is classic: "Whenever I pray to god, I find I am talking to myself". Opening a blog, I find that I too am talking to myself.