At a number of lefty blogs, I have spent quite a lot of time advocating for candidates I believe will champion progressive causes. Many of you most likely know me because of my long time support for John Edwards. I have also thrown my support to great progressive candidates like Barry Welsh, Gilda Reed, Ed Fallon, Larry Kissell, Jerry Northington aka Possum and many others. Now that Edwards is no longer running for office, there has been one progressive candidate who has me energized and excited for November. He’s another son of a mill worker and his name is Jeff Merkley.
May 1, 2008 archive
May 01 2008
May 01 2008
In what can only be characterized as chutzpah on the part of the newspaper in Israel that is so far up the Junior Senator’s campaign as to be inside it has now taken to have one its regular columnists simply reprint spam and pretend it is original thinking…
May 01 2008
As a May Day gift, here are a few articles I have written you will never get to read.
But the headlines are still pretty funny:
Dick Cheney Shoots Easter Bunny in the Face
New Pope Tired of Hearing How John Paul Did Easter
Real Estate Raves All the Rage
Players Begin 26-Week Sojourn into Dark Heart of the NBA Play-Offs
U.S. State Department Declares Iraqi Civil War Uncivilized
Local Thrifty Nickel Offended By ‘Non-Serious’ Journalism
TA Got Her Position With T&A
Study Break Lasts 2 Weeks
People Trusting Brain Chemistry To Dude Who Failed Chemistry 101
Cilantro Skipped At Taco Stand
Ex-girlfriend leads the league in rebounds, assists
Elementary School Valentine’s Exchange Turns Darkly Machavallian
Fox’s New Reality Show:
“Sex with Celebrities”
Suffering from Flaccid Ratings
True Love Cost Area Man $2.99 a Minute
Lonely Hearts Club Overcrowded
Detroit to Include Rioting at Super Bowl Experience
Cheney to Ask Wizard of Oz for a Heart
Area Man Recycles Last Years New Year’s Resolutions
Remember When the USA Got Excited for the Olympics?
– see our “Forgotten Golden Era” section
Dick Explores Bush’s Secret Abilities
– page 1984, “I Spy Spying” section
Last Cigarette Smoked Five Times
Microsoft XBox 360 Crashes Christmas
Hard Candy Sales Up at Company Store
– USA Economic Section
Family Christmas Dinner Anything But Silent Night
Off-Brand Toy Received with Off-Brand Joy
Local Hooker Both a Trick and a Treat
Area Church Spook House Scary for All the Wrong Reasons
Too Many Witches Ruins Bitch’s Brew
Halloween Costume a Laundry List of Psychiatric Symptoms
Dadaist Finds Modernity Argument Surreal
Performance Artist Must Keep Reminding Crowd It’s Not a Comedy
Noise Band Quietly Applauded
“I’m an artist” Pick-up Line Proves Worthless at Cervantino
Orchestra’s Backstage Drama Better Than Onstage Play
99 Red Balloons Fly Higher and Higher
NeoCon Con Full of Cons
Horse Penis Logistics Unfortunately Lost on Area Man
Gang Member Reduced to Doing Drive-Bys on Bikes
Incompetence at Kinko’s Copied Across America
Horseless Carriages Going Back to Horses
Enormous Sigh of Relief Registered by Abused Wives Across the Land as Mexico Qualifies for another World Cup
Hotel Darfur Enters Pre-Production
Short Film Director Short on Ideas
Bar Tale Confused for Screenplay Pitch
Producer Only Produces Business Cards
– see Inquisitor’s Inside Guide to Film Funding
Trailer Completed for Unfinished Masterpiece
Badly Played Bongos Echo Relentlessly Across Canyonfor Third Consecutive Night
“Everything for $10.79 pesos Store” a Tremendous Flop
New Bar Guide “The Floors of San Miguel” an Enormous Hit
Bus Bathroom Cures Need to Pee
Midnight Taco Haunts Man All Day
Snooze Hit On Doomsday Clock
Old Dude with Car Replaced by Young Dude with Car
Ghost of Redd Foxx Visits Vicente Fox
Americas versus Chivas going to be a totally different game, next time
TV in Cantina Enters Miraculous 54th Week Stacked on Shady Milk Crate on Most Fight Prone Part of the Bar
Housing Plateau to Enter Canyon Phase
Pope to Proclaims Gottoberfest
Local Theatre Production Actually Drama Queens Out on the Town
Local Method Actor Excels During Filming of Beer Commercial
Traveling Photography Group Comes to Photograph Other Photography Groups
Area Man Leaving After Next Drink
Trial and Error Business Plan Heavy On The Errors
Dog With Three Tortas Laughing at Us All
Traffic Upgraded from Jam to Molasses
Parrot Performs Brilliantly in Bar Bet
Porn Movie Features Enormous Plot Holes
Desperate Cry for Help Disguised As Art Opening
Legislators Propose Innovative Traffic Solution:
Widen Lanes, Add More Cars
Hockey Season Passes Like a Ship in the Night
That Wasn’t Cheese
One Trick Pony Three Tricks In
Mas Inquisitor / More Inquisitor
Bad Tan Lines
Iraq Achieves Salvadorian Democracy
Fox News to Fill Vacant Supreme Court Seat
Area Man Knows Sims Neighbors Better Than Real-Life Neighbors
Cheney’s Undisclosed Secret Underground Location Revealed to be Halliburton Boardroom
Scandal Fatigue Leads to Dictator Fatigue
Lecture Series to Lecture about How to Start Lecture Series
Is it too early for Tsunami Jokes?
Santa Claus Detained By Homeland Security
Bush Puppet Show Cancelled
Damage Plan Could Have Used Insurance Plan
20th Anniversary of the 1984 Christmas Season”Great Cabbage Patch Doll Wars”
US Dollar Prepares to Make the Weimar Mark Look Like the Pound Sterling
Snowball Fight Snowballs Into Snowball War
New Year’s Resolution Broken At New Year’s Brunch
American Elections Sadden World, Delights Satan
Area Man Kills Wife Sloppily Hoping to Land Celebrity Trial
Snowbird Given a Snow Job
See Real Estate Section
Crackhead’s Head Cracked
Local Bathroom Just 15 Feet Too Far for Local Tourist
CBS Starts First “Reality”-based Nightly News
Baby Brothers Arms Do Not Re-attach Like Barbies
Electoral College Graduates No One
Area Man Decides to be Zorro for Fifth Year Straight
Goblin Mask Actually Not Mask at All
Happy Hour Math: 2 for 1 actually equals 8 for 4
Nadar Campaign Nearing Spinal Tap Phase
Demand for Circus Trained Freaks at All Time High Among Local Employers
Bush Promises Complete Recount to be Finished Before the End of His Next Term
Lion Settles Score with Lion Tamer
Reality Show About Making a Reality Show Planned
President declares Bush English the new American Standard,
52 English Professors on Suicide Watch, 10 Dead to Date
China Secretly Giggling at the Rest of the World
Area Paper Reduced to Roulette Based Editorship
Big Mac Attack Claims the Life of Another Gringo Tourist
Local Playwright has Player’s Block
Struggling Actor Still Excellent Waiter
US House of Representatives Votes to Abolish the US Senate
Supreme Court Excuses the House of Representatives from Duty
Bush asks the Supreme Court to Step Down
News from the Rest of the US: All Quiet on the Potomac
Sudan Enters Lovecraft-Level of Hell
Both Bushes Declared The Best 3 Year Presidents Ever,
Too Bad it’s 4 Years
Another Liberal Catholic Senator from Massachusetts with the Initials JFK Gets a Good-Old Boy From the South to Defeat the Worst Republican since Nixon
Money Laundering Voted Into NPO Bylaws
Right Angered by Wrong Righted by the Left
Inner Peace Available On-Line for $19.95
Fox News Declares War on UN
Mechanic Shop Opens Next to Town’s Tallest Tope
Golden Era Reagan Returns to Whip GW’s Butt
Chiva Cooked at Chivas Futbol Party
Ambitious Project Never Gets Past Bar Talk Phase
Bush Outsources War to the UN
Gringos to be issued Sear-Sucker Suits
Area Dog Dressed Better Than Area Man
Triple-Digit Ages in Singles Bar
‘Passion of the Christ’ to be Adapted into Novel
Bush Successfully Creates First Ever Union Between the Shi’ites and Sunnis
Peace Activist Arrested in Bar Brawl
Public Official Getting the Shaft from a Deep Throat Source
Flour vs Corn Tortilla Debate Ends in Death of Two
Tourist Fined for Lack of Frida Kahlo Memorabilia
Burro Being a Dumb Ass
Juice Stand Offers Bees in the Glass, Free of Charge
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy Extended to Tamales
China beats North Pole in Toy Production
Genetically Modified Gringos Getting Closer
Green Eggs and Ham Unfortunately Available at Tuesday Market
Shivering Uncontrollably Nowhere in the Monkey Owner’s Manual
Saddam Hussein and Manuel Noriega Share Cell; Trade Torture, Looting and Laundering Tips
Brother’s Re-Hab In Holland Proves Pointless
If No One Criticizes The President, Haven’t His Terrorists Already Won?
Local Newspaper Prints Story About Local Newspaper
Dog Taco Story not so funny at Dog Taco Stand
Undercover Dragnet Yields Massive Drug Bust
Record Number of Cops Volunteer For Evidence Locker Spring Cleaning Day
May 01 2008
From the International Longshore and Warehouse Union:
“Longshore workers are standing-down on the job and standing up for America,” said ILWU International President Bob McEllrath. “We’re supporting the troops and telling politicians in Washington that it’s time to end the war in Iraq.” …
“Big foreign corporations that control global shipping aren’t loyal or accountable to any country,” said McEllrath. “For them it’s all about making money. But longshore workers are different. We’re loyal to America, and we won’t stand by while our country, our troops, and our economy are destroyed by a war that’s bankrupting us to the tune of 3 trillion dollars. It’s time to stand up, and we’re doing our part today.”
Perhaps the most significant protest against the Iraq occupation ever is receiving scant attention from the corporate media. The Los Angeles Times reports Dockworkers take May Day off, idling all West Coast ports. Notice, how LA Times headline mentions nothing about protesting the war?
Thousands of dockworkers at all 29 West Coast ports, including Los Angeles and Long Beach, took the day off work today in what their union called a protest of the war in Iraq, effectively shutting down operations at the busy complexes.
The action came two months before the contract expires between the dockworkers, represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and the Pacific Maritime Assn., which represents port operators and large shippers, many of them foreign-owned.
The Associated Press reports Arbitrator orders union to tell West Coast dockworkers they can’t skip work for war protest. The ‘man’ has ordered the workers back to work.
[Coast Arbitrator John Kagel] ordered the union that represents dockworkers at West Coast ports to tell its members they must report to work on Thursday and not take the day off to protest U.S. military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan…
Union spokesman Craig Merrilees said the union was complying with the contract, but he declined to specify whether it had taken steps to order members to report to work as the arbitrator ordered.
“The decision by members to take a day off work on May 1 to protest the war is their right under the U.S. Constitution and it’s about time that citizens stood up to tell the truth about the need to end the war,” he said.
According to Peter Cole, an associate professor of history at Western Illinois University, who wrote a guest column for the Seattle Post-Intelligence:
For those unfamiliar, the ILWU is perhaps the most militant and politicized worker organization in the nation. It operates in one of the most important sectors of the world economy — marine transport — and, thus, is in a strategic location to put peace above profits…
The ILWU is highly democratic. A caucus of more than 100 longshore workers representing every union local establishes policies for the Longshore Division. It was this caucus that voted to declare the May Day strike…
These days, such examples of worker power are increasingly rare in the U.S. The tragedy is that, historically, labor activism gave us the 40-hour workweek (and the weekend) and helped humanize the exploitative excesses of unregulated capitalism. As income inequality continues to grow in the United States, it is wise to remember how, in the past, strong unions created a larger middle class as well as a more democratic and egalitarian nation.
The ILWU strike also reminds us that unions still have an important role in public discussions beyond the workplace. As a democratic institution, the ILWU is precisely the sort of “civic society” that the Bush administration has been trying to create in Iraq. On May 1, dockworkers will speak loud and clear — end the endless war in Iraq. Other American workers who want to support our troops by bringing them home can make their voices heard by joining with the brave men and women of the ILWU and taking the day off.
A big thank you to the 60,000 ILWU members.
Four at Four continues below the fold…
May 01 2008
heatherwinds sift follicles pores
and places where memories would lie
if memory encompassed happiness
an extension of the mother
in Giger form
jettisoned repeatedly in oft ill waters
too shallow to break a fall
too acidic to nurture a result
broken glass, old doll parts, buried shoes, roof shingles, pool liner, woodchuck hole, coy dogs feeding, turkey vulture circling and more broken glass
4 hours of sleep in 48
body must not break
it’s all at stake
on summit lake
it’s all at stake today
coke bottles, knives, axes, saws, mud, flies, gasoline, diesel, 220, timbers, fuses, fire and molten dreambirds
4 hours of sleep in 48
mind must not break
it’s all at stake
on summit lake
it’s all at stake today
literal and gullible
the way I always was
slow on the uptake
narrow on the intake
rusty and need some work
penned in a rush
on radiator flush
buffed with sand and cloth
slow minds prefer slow pursuits
that’s where my baby might be
down by the river
an ole lover or three
i set her free
didn’t come back to me
didn’t even look to see
cuz I’m gullible
enough to believe
in parable and entropy
in song and singularity
in spirit sunlight and rarity
May 01 2008
One, America…..morally, financially and militarily. The last pretenses of democracy nearly destroyed as well, depending on the outcome of the next election.
One, Iraq, in just about every way a nation can be destroyed.
You have served your masters well, terrorizing and destabilizing the nation with the second largest remaining oil reserve on the planet, taking it’s oil off the market to help spiral crude to record prices…. AND record obscene profits for the Oil Corporations. Firing the opening shot in the Resource Wars. All while fending off any attempts to address the Climate Crisis that keeps your Masters rolling in money. And you only had to kill a million people to do it! So far.
All while accomplishing the largest transfer of wealth in history from America’s poor and middle class to the upper 1% of the wealthiest Americans. Our Ruling Class.
And turning America from the symbol of human rights and freedom…into a Torture State. That spies on it’s own citizens to terrorize them into passivity.
That’s a hell of a mission you’ve got there in the crotch of your flight suit. Way to screw the entire world for the sole benefit of your peeps, the Ruling Class.
May 01 2008
You’ve read, of course, the New York Times story from last week, yes? The one about how retired military officers were paid by the Pentagon to sell the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq by spewing administration propaganda to the “news” media?
It was a breathtaking and horrifying account of the lengths this administration will go to to lie to the American public so that certain people (not you and me) can get richer, and the level of disgrace that certain members of the military are willing to bring upon the uniform by prostituting themselves for an illegal war that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars.
As I read the article, I thought of a snippet from a book I had read and re-read in high school:
[I]n the early 1960s, an interviewer was trying to get Ernest Hemingway to identify the characteristics required for a person to be a ‘great writer’. As the interviewer offered a list of various possibilities, Hemingway disparaged each in sequence. Finally, frustrated, the interviewer asked, ‘Isn’t there any one essential ingredient that you can identify?’ Hemingway replied, ‘Yes, there is. In order to be a great writer a person must have a built-in, shockproof crap detector.’
May 01 2008
cross posted from The Dream Antilles
Today, May 1, 2008, in addition to everything else is Law Day in the United States:
Fifty years ago President Eisenhower proclaimed the first Law Day a “day of national dedication to the principle of government under law.” The ABA [the American Bar Association] invites you to celebrate this enduring principle during the 50th anniversary of Law Day.
Law Day 2008 will explore the meaning of the rule of law, fostering public understanding of the rule of law through discussion of its role in a free society.
The Rule of Law. How interesting that the Bush Administration would today inform us that one of the functions of law is to keep certain laws secret from the public. Don’t bang your head on the desk. You read that properly. On Law Day the Bush Administration announced that it could enact laws and keep them a secret from you. That’s in your very own best interest, of course.
Join me in the Irony Corner.
May 01 2008
May 1, 2003, is another day of infamy for the Bush administration and America. In the kind of staged bravado dictators relish, George W. Bush donned a flight suit, pretended to fly, and then used an aircraft carrier as the backdrop for a speech to declare the mission in Iraq accomplished. Every cable news channel carried the event live as if history were somehow being made. It is time to look back at five years of accomplishments in Iraq.
May 01 2008
Liberals are coming to a country near you!
Well, perhaps not liberals in the sense that you and I consider them, but certainly liberal thinking is progressing in our Caribbean Island neighbor.
Cuba’s President Raul Castro says nearly all death sentences are to be commuted to prison terms of between 30 years and life.
It is the latest in a series of liberalising measures. Mr Castro said the decision was humanitarian and not due to international pressure.
Three people charged with terrorism will stay on death row for the time being. Their cases will be reviewed.
While Cuba plans to keep the option of the death penalty on their statute book, this is a very promising move by the Raul Castro administration towards joining the 21st Century in the arena of human rights improvements.
I’m not saying that Cuba is all of a sudden a world leader in promoting Human Rights, but this does bode well as a beginning.
May 01 2008
Cross-Ranted from The Wild Wild Left, my wild little blog!
I don’t know if you know or not, but the US and Canada have been fighting for quite a while about lumber. It appears that the U.S. has been import overtaxing the hell out of Canadian lumber for a while now and are about to lose another ruling at the World Court for a NAFTA violation about it.
Parts of the deal include:
* Import duties of $4 billion the U.S. charged Canadian companies since 2002 will be returned. But the U.S. keeps $1 billion.
* A seven-year term, with a possible two-year extension.
* A ban on the U.S. launching new trade actions.
* Restrictions on Canadian exports will kick in if prices fall too far.
* Neutral trade arbitrators will provide final and binding settlements of disputes.
Instead they gave it all back to Canada with a Billion Dollar return condition; a billion dollar congressional bypass play.
Guess what the Bushinistas did with that Billion Dollars?