The Execution of Private Slovik: War is a brutal business, and people are going to die. But to execute anyone, for simply not wanting to kill or be killed to me is outright murder. I could understand sending him to the stockades for a few months, but to out and out order his murder just to make an example is wrong on so many levels. Personally forcing anyone to kill or be killed is way more cowardly than what Eddie Slovik did. Slovik, at least as far as the way the movie presented him, while not being an angel, was a man of principals after he left the reformatory. He never lied about his intentions, all he wanted was a discharge. He was willing to spend time in the stockades and face contempt most likely when he got back to the states. I liked at the end of the movie after he was pronounced dead where Ned Beatty's charachter said "the bravest man here today was Eddie Slovik". War is a horrible thing that has been going on for around 5000 years, and probably will keep on for another 5000, if we as a people don't kill ourselves and our planet first.  
Robert Fisk: Unflinching, provocative, brilliantly written–a work of major importance for today’s world.  
Tickling the Body Politic: Swami Beyondananda   Swami's hilarious and pertinent live performance DVD, where he manages to touch the body politic -- appropriately -- in all its sensitive spots, and still leave 'em laughing. Perfect for in home parties for voter registration, education and inspiration - and it will still be funny long after Election Day.  
RFID, which stands for Radio Frequency IDentification, is a technology that uses computer chips smaller than a grain of sand to track items from a distance. And as this mind-blowing book explains, plans and efforts are being made now by global corporations and the U.S government to turn this advanced technology, these spychips, into a way to track our daily activities-and keep us all on Big Brother's short leash. Compiling massive amounts of research with firsthand knowledge, Spychips explains RFID technology and reveals the history and future of the master planners' strategies to imbed these trackers on everything-from postage stamps to shoes to people themselves-and spy on Americans without our knowledge or consent. It also urgently encourages consumers to take action now-to protect their privacy and civil liberties before it's too late.  
Part family comedy and part horrifying investigative reportage, Blue Vinyl can make one simultaneously laugh and shiver with fear in the same, deceptively low-key moments. Documentary filmmaker Judith Helfand, upset that her parents are re-siding their house with blue vinyl, sets out (with co-director Daniel B. Gold) to discover how vinyl is made and why, according to some scientists, it is the most hazardous of synthetic materials. Along the way, she meets industry representatives who tell her the key chemical ingredient in vinyl, chloride, is no more toxic than table salt. She also travels to Venice, Italy, to meet with families of vinyl factory workers dead or dying from chemical exposure, and she visits an intrepid, Louisiana attorney who has sued American vinyl manufacturers on behalf of severely injured former employees. The tale is grim, yet the often on-screen Helfand's approach is folksy and calm--less so when her skeptical parents reject, in several funny scenes, even empirical data about a product they find so convenient. --Tom Keogh  
The Boy with Green Hair. This movie should be seen by all, young and old, alike. Let There Be Peace!  
Fundamentalism has gotten America into a mess, but religion can once again help the country finds its soul. The Republican version of Jimmy Carter, former Missouri senator John Danforth, started an important national discussion when he criticized right-wing extremists in his party for their certainty that God was on their side. By adding his own voice to the discussion, Carter reminds us of a time when religion was tied to such virtues as humility and to such practices as soul-searching. He may not have been one of our best presidents, but he is undoubtedly one of our finest human beings.  
In their eye-opening, soul-prodding look at the excess of American society, the authors of Affluenza include two quotations that encapsulate much of the book: T.S. Eliot's line "We are the hollow men / We are the stuffed men," which opens one of this book's chapters, and a quote from a newspaper article that notes "We are a nation that shouts at a microwave oven to hurry up." If these observations make you grimace at your own ruthless consumption or sigh at the hurried pace of your life, you may already be ill. Read on.  
Although "the purchase of African Americans was outlawed many years ago," ayo writes, "black people are once again a valued and popular commodity." In her view, they appeal especially to whites who rely on their relationships with blacks as evidence of their own progressive politics or simply to inject some sorely needed "cool" into their lives. Ayo has in mind real-life versions of George Costanza, the "Seinfeld" sidekick who spent an entire episode in search of a black person whom he could pass off as his friend.  
"It is a fascinating story and a deeply moving one. And it is a story that should make people pause and think--think not only about the Germans, but also about themselves."--Ernest S. Pisko, Christian Science Monitor  
The most brilliant Action Figure ever! What better way to celebrate the man who is probably the most important thinker of the 20th century than with an action figure? Dressed for intense classroom action, this 5" tall, hard plastic Einstein Action Figure stands with a piece of chalk in his hand, poised to explain relativity or do battle with the forces of entropy. Some quality time with Albert might just inspire you and your other action figures to think a little bit more deeply. Features realistic disheveled hair.  
The basis of human nourishment is obvious: it is raw plant foods. And Nature presents this to us in abundance. Raw plant foods are simple, easy to find, fun to eat, enjoyable, contain thousands of health-giving nutrients, and conform to the biological design of the human digestive system. The sun is the source of all life and raw plant foods represent the purest form of transformed sun energy.  
Sacred cows make the best hamburger. Mark Twain Reality's Bitch, Doomsday's Child: Subscribe to Rb's Newsletter
Reality's Bitch, Doomsday's Child: Donations
5th FEBRUARY 2006

Was buried under a flurry of "ahhhhh, shit"s, this afternoon, and might have become concerned, myself...had I not looked out the window and down the road, apiece.

Doug Thompson, of Capitol Hill Blue:  I've decided to stand down for a while. Take a breather. A break from all this madness called politics. I don't know if it will be a permanent break or not. I'm tired and this tilting at windmills business is exhausting.

Uh-oh. I know how he feels, but. I also know how it feels to be abandoned in a bushrovian world [and, yes, I'm slagging you, MediaWhoresOnline and A. Whitney Brown (among others). How dare you behave as though there exists a more meaningful raison d'être than that of keeping me thinking, amused, and informed)].

There are many who've come to rely upon Doug's port in this storm. He may not be as funny as people we've slagged, but he's a critical thinker, easy to agree to disagree with [and leaves no horrible aftertaste]. He's got to stay for...um...for the children! Surely he knows that he's either with us, or he's with the trrrsts.

A little over a year ago, my wife and I left Washington for good, to retire far away from the political world. I announced that I would stop writing about the sordid world in Washington.

The plot thickens...

But I didn't. I've tried to walk away from this more than once. I always come back. So this time I'm just calling it a break and taking some time off. I moved to the mountains to relax and writing about the corruption and failures of our government is anything but relaxing.

See? I wish people would Think before they scare a girl half to death. I've announced that I'm going to stop talking and writing about the sordid world, a passel o' times! So, I know whereof he speaks. He moves to the mountains, I leave the country [or remain in-country, honing my nearly flawless impression of an agoraphobic]. He ain't goin' anywhere, and he admits as much. So, settle down, everybody.

As an American I shudder at the consequences of the damage inflicted on America by the current system of government and the dominance of politics.  Party loyalty has replaced loyalty to country. This is true for both Republicans and Democrats. Both parties place allegiance to party dogma ahead of what is best for the nation and neither party, in my opinion, is fit to govern.

But too many Americans, sadly, are followers who cannot function unless they allow someone else to do their thinking for them. They must have a political or philosophical despot to tell them what to do. Sadly, the truth cannot be found in the words of either Rush Limbaugh or Al Franken. It lies somewhere in the middle, ready to be embraced by independent thought but lost in the mire of partisan extremism.

Here, we disagree. Rush Limbaugh and Al Franken are no more "political creatures" than they are "party loyalists" or "partisan extremists." Both are devoted to their careers and their bank accounts. Just like Colin Powell, and the rest of los gay cabalyahoos [my new favorite word].

Were there mo' money, greater fame, and easier access to pharmaceuticals in "liberal demagoguery" than in "conservative hate-mongering," Rush would jump the fence faster'n you can say, "free oxy!" Were there more money, fame, book deals, and jokes which write themselves in a Kerry presidency than in a continued Bush residency, Franken would never have told everyone to put their pants on and go home, only hours into Coup II. He would have been a leader in the fight for full investigations and recounts. Just as, were there more money, fame, book deals, and speaking engagements in retirement than in the military...oh, wait. That's right. Colin chose to carry [toxic] water because he wasn't quite ready to give up the [delusion he had] power. And he knows the money, book deals, and speeches will be waiting for him, whenever he gets there. His bread's buttered on both sides! The man loves butter. And, apparently, we the people love men who love butter. No, this isn't about politics and parties. It's about inflated egos, insatiable greed, passionate aggression, and infernal idiocy.

I've been writing about the foibles, corruption and misdeeds of politicians for more than 40 years but the system we have today is worse than ever. I'm no longer sure that trying to educate a deaf audience through journalism is worth the time or the effort. So I'm going to take the time to rest and consider other options. Capitol Hill Blue will continue with others who still believe it is the role of a journalist to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. If there is a better way, maybe I can find it. If not, maybe I will be back.

Here's my guess:  resting is nice, but it gets old, after a while. Considering other options is always exciting, and allows one a new focus. A really good option or two makes it possible to forget [temporarily] about stunning coups and extraordinary renditions and uninformed citizenry and corporate malfeasance and even goddamn pieces of paper.

Contact "with others who still believe it is the role of a journalist to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" is made warily, and best kept to a minimum during the initial withdrawal. One wants to know but one doesn't. One cares, but wishes one didn't [and insists to oneself one soon won't. For real, this time].

Next begins the phase where one tells oneself one can do no more, and that it's okay to try no more. One isn't responsible for the fate of the world [and, were it even possible to save a people from themselves, "who made me the Jello Sheriff of the nation?" one asks].

Not too many phases later [having had all that time for Rest & Consideration], one begins to fear that maybe people who do nothing because they're tired of doing nothing else are not all that different from people who do nothing because they're too lazy to do anything at all. Ouch. Nahhhhh...can't be.

Soon, unfortunately, synchronicity starts lobbing grenades into one's path and lobes. An "all that is necessary for evil to flourish," here, an "our lives begin to end the day we become silent," there...a niggling question or two about what America might have become had the people one most admires decided to take their balls and go home. Then one wonders what will become of America if everyone gets tired and goes fishin'.

Reality's cluster bomb scatters constant reminders that "the powers that be" be enjoyin' one's self-imposed silence. "Another one bites the dust!" One worries that maybe a lot of "good Germans" were really just tired Germans. One feels queasy, and begins to have trouble sleeping. One conveniently hears about a particularly egregious and unconscionable act [and we all know those only come along once or twice an hour, these days]. One decides a few comments wouldn't hurt. Then one admits a little article is probably mandatory.

We'll see.

And we'll keep your seat warm...Rb [who'll bet he's just making a battery run.]

 http://tinyurl.com/bjtko click for best laid plans

What the 'Left Behind' Series Really Means   19th DECEMBER 2005

Fetishizing of the End Times as a spectacular gore-fest visited upon on the unbelievers is nothing new. But the sheer number of people gleefully enjoying the spectacle of their own blackest magical thinking made manifest by mass media is new. Or at least the media aspect is new. It reinforces the major appeal of these beliefs, the appeal being (to restate the obvious) that they get to pass judgment on everyone who disagrees with them, and then watch God kick the living snot out of them. It doesn’t get any better than that.


Eating CEOs for Breakfast Since 1994


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