June 2004

Tue Jun 01 22:17:10 PDT 2004

Back from the Coast

And so far, so good. One of the reasons I went was to see if my allergies (which by my theory are mostly caused by grass pollen) got better. They did. And while I'm not as comfortable as I was on the coast, I do feel a lot better here than in Corvallis. The transition away from the pollen-laden air happened a little south of Woodburn if I remember correctly.

Thu Jun 03 11:38:56 PDT 2004

Yet Another Reason Why I Distrust New Agers

Any movement where wealthy capitalist types are respected and prominent figures tends to give me creeps. Especially when they try to channel their skills into teaching people how to become better exploiters and feel good about it.

Fri Jun 04 11:18:28 PDT 2004

Plus Ça Change...

Clearcuts and Sucker Strips

The above was inked circa 1927. Modernize the car a little and you could run it today.

Herbert Johnson, by the way, was known in his day as a conservative political cartoonist who generally drew for the Saturday Evening Post.

Fri Jun 04 12:05:48 PDT 2004

Now That's Helpful


So kind of the water department to put that in their printed report for the benefit of those who can't see to read it. Maybe the phone company can follow up with a mailing informing its customers to pick up their phones and call the repair department as soon as they notice a loss of service.

Fri Jun 04 14:26:49 PDT 2004

Yet Another Waste

Trent Lott's latest remarks just prove once and for all that, as with Rumsfeld, his continued breathing is a waste of good oxygen.

Tue Jun 08 09:07:40 PDT 2004

Told You So

The recent Wall Street Journal article simply confirms my well-grounded suspicion that responsibility for and prior knowledge of torture goes to the very top.

Wed Jun 09 09:49:33 PDT 2004

We Interrupt the Dancing on Reagan's Grave to Bring You an Important Message

It's all related the simple matter that while the man has died, the beliefs linger on.

On the most trivial level, just look around you at the rampant deficit spending by the Bushies, massive corruption that never gets called to account, propaganda based on bald-faced big lies, and a lapdog press that never significantly questions the lies. They're all here now in a much more virulent form than they were back then.

On a more systematic level, such beliefs and movements didn't just pop out of thin air for no apparent reason. They all served the needs of a corporate/capitalist ruling elite, which wants the same thing all ruling elites have always wanted throughout history: more power. Always more power. Too much can never be enough.

People must be motivated by pandering to gut feelings like nationalism and religious fundamentalism in order to distract them from how they are being made materially worse off by the ruling class's wealth and power grabs. (And not just here in the USA: is it any coincidence that the scaling back of the welfare state in Europe has been accompanied by the rise of right-wing fringe parties, and that economic "liberalization" of India was accompanied by the rule of the Hindu nationalist BJP? I think not.)

The press, ultimately, has only limited power to stop this by bringing up inconvenient facts. That's because while bourgeois democracy has no significant formal legal restrictions on press freedom, the press depends on advertising for the vast majority of its revenue. In other words, the primary purpose of the press is to tell the lies the corporate elite pays it to tell, and (lest the media outlet be placed in financial jeopardy) any other reporting is do be done on a strictly non-interference basis to this primary goal.

So Reagan's dead. Big fucking deal. Everything that created the Reagan phenomenon is still alive and thriving.

Wed Jun 09 11:08:31 PDT 2004

This Is Creepy

And the amusing part of it is that's intended as a propaganda exercise to create a positive image of their "church". Head on over to on-line.scientology.org and follow the links down to the individual "personal" web pages. Note how eerily alike they all are. Have any doubts that Scientology is anything other than an authoritarian movement to promote robot-like conformity erased from your mind.

And apparently those responsible for the whole idea of this collection of home pages have been so brainwashed by their "church" that they're unable to recognize what an effective propaganda statement they've made against themselves.

Thu Jun 10 00:39:50 PDT 2004

Confessions of an Ex-Pyro

Hmmm. Is there really any such thing as an ex-pyro? Anyhow, apropos nothing in particular I ran across the following paragraph here. Couldn't resist a little running commentary:

The short version of this page: M-80s are illegal in the United States.
Any firecracker sold to the public in the U.S. can only have 50 milligrams or less of pyrotechnic composition in it.
A true M-80 contains much more than 50 milligrams, and is therefore illegal.
And fun as hell!
Don't buy or use M-80s, period.
They are dangerous,
No, really?!?
and they are illegal to sell, buy, possess or use in the U.S.A.
I'm sorry if reading this disappoints you, but anyone who has your best interests in mind will tell you the same thing. There is plenty of fun and excitement to be had with legal fireworks.
And there is plenty more fun and especially excitement to be had with illegal fireworks!

Disclaimer: I haven't touched the things in years, and don't plan to. I still have all ten of my fingers. I intend to keep it that way. (Pay attention: I'm not saying M-80's are legal or safe, just fun.) And I'm neither advocating you play with such things nor responsible for any adverse consequences if you do. So there.

Thu Jun 10 22:37:17 PDT 2004

Commercial Media Sometimes Does It Good

Of course, it's an alternative weekly, not the mainstream "paper of record" we're talking about, but the Portland Mercury just ran an excellent article on political prisoner Jeff "Free" Luers. They even made it the feature article of the current issue.

And yes, Free has to be considered a political prisoner. Would they have played games with his arson charges and run up the sentence to several times what rapists and wannabe murderers get if there was no political motive behind them? Get real.

Sun Jun 13 10:58:18 PDT 2004

Time to Get Conservatives off Welfare

Take a look here.

Mon Jun 14 23:56:10 PDT 2004

Those Lawless Hellions on Little Bikes

Seems as if the Zoobombers, the group that has suffered petty harassment at the hands of the cops, has been responsible for stopping a mugging and apprehending the perpetrator.

We now return you to our regularly-scheduled program of West Hills yuppies whining about a few minutes of whooping and hollering every Sunday night.

Wed Jun 16 08:58:17 PDT 2004

Tipping Their Hand

Today the mainstream media is full of much wailing and gnashing of teeth about the inhuman attack on the oil pipeline to Basra. Pity that the murdered civilians of Falluja — or for that matter Iraq as a whole — never merit much emphasis in their coverage. But it does sort of tip their hand that what really matters is access to Iraq's oil and not the lives of the Iraqis, doesn't it?

Mon Jun 21 22:03:06 PDT 2004

What he said.

Wed Jun 30 13:37:40 PDT 2004

On the So-Called "Handover" of "Power"

Suffice to say it's as phony a creation as was ever conceived. The US troops stay. Iraq will have the largest presence of US "diplomats" of any nation. I put quotes around "diplomats" because (I forget exactly where I saw the reference) some of them are there for the express purpose of issuing dictates for the various ministries of the "Iraqi" government to implement. Dictates that cannot be appealed or changed by the "Iraqi" government.

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Last updated: Tue Sep 13 16:14:08 PDT 2011