When does Orwell stop being so relevant?

James Connaughton’s job title is Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality but he states publicly that our government will “continue their partnership with the oil and gas sector” while working only with environmental organizations who are “constructive” in terms of “prioritizing domestic production.”

I don’t know if I’m disgusted at the blatant misuse of power slash violation to our environment by those entrusted to protect it or actually relieved that at least they’re finally being upfront with their objectives; which are the same as Chevron’s and the opposite of the Sierra Club’s.

War Is Hell, As It Should Be.

The latest news from Iraq has a US Marine shooting an unarmed Iraqi prisoner inside a mosque. After instant media disapproval and outrage, the incident is under investigation.

I saw an edited clip on CNN this morning and was neither shocked nor disturbed. I may be wrong on this, but, isn’t that war? You kill people. Lots of them. You face death 24 hours a day. Ostensibly within minutes of landing in Baghdad on your tour of duty, you learn to hate the enemy. A seething, animalistic, survivalist kind of mentality takes over. If it doesn’t, you’re more at risk that the next.

This––I could only imagine, for I have never served in an armed force––is normal behavior. What that soldier did, in my opinion, wasn’t wrong. He’d been shot at for days, maybe even lost a few friends along the way, and rather than calculate the possibility that the injured and unarmed man slumped over in front of him wasn’t concealing a weapon, he chose to protect himself and his fellow soldiers as efficiently as humanly possible.

What’s ultimately wrong is that he, along with every other brave, hungry, and tired US soldier beside him, is in that very position. War is fucked up. But again, that is war. This wasn’t the first time something like that happened, nor will it be the last.

The only reason that video is controversial is because it’s on video.

Take Paulette’s Advice: Shake It Out

At Jay & David’s ‘wagon circle’ the other night, Paulette recommended seeing some live music to help exorcise any demons lingering and festering from Black Tuesday, or the appropriately Euro date order, 2-11.

Apparently, a Russian punk band inspired Paulette to mimic her dog shaking out water in his fur — kickstand legs, starting at the tip of his nose, working its way through the head, neck, body, limbs and tail. The effect was less ridding her body of a cold-inducing layer of liquid and more a physical fighting off of frustration molding into despair. She felt bathed and clean afterwards, surprisingly refreshed and invigorated.

Yeah, I thought, I could really use some of that. I think I smell rot.

My Eastern European punk band took the form of Wilco last week and Blonde Redhead last night. A combined one-two punch to my sad soul. Jeff Tweedy even asked if we were “bummed about the election.” He lamented his own bummed-outness but went on to say the election was supposed to be a “political solution” while “tonight was a spiritual solution.” He asked if we understood how amazing it was to be alive and feel the human spirit. To feel the power of transcending the world for a few hours and “get our minds blown at a rock show.”

No. Show me. So they did, a head-nodding two hours later replete with a killer “Don’t Fear The Reaper” cover. Nice dude.

Am I cured? Absolutely not. I’m despondent. Frankly, I’ve been deeply hurt by this either grossly misinformed or downright malevolent country. I don’t know how to overcome it. I’m still getting used to this never-expected concept of another Bush term.

That said, a good shake is a god-send. Thanks for the advice Paulette. And for those meatballs. Good lord.

Do the debates really matter?

I hope so. In the 1st debate, the voices in Bush’s ear were telling him to scowl. In the 2nd debate, his overcompensation for the previous piss-poor performance came off as desperate and manic, tempered only by his winking at nobody in particular. In the 3rd debate, he was somewhere in between the two, but still lying at will. (See the transcript from the press conference where he brags about not being concerned with Bin Laden.)

But isn’t it disappointing that immediately afterwards the right-wing pundits laud Bush as the “clear winner”? Why can’t people have a serious debate about the debates –– is it because we’re merely mimicking them?

Dick, John. John, Dick.

In last night’s Vice Presidential debate, Dick Cheney artfully slashed John Edwards as being an ever-absent Senator – so much so that, incredibly, minutes earlier was the very first time they had met.


Fascinating that after having sat and prayed next to each other at a breakfast just a few years ago, they had no idea who the other person was.

Why Edwards didn’t call him out on this omission as well as Cheney’s bomb that he had never suggested a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda (!) is beyond me.



In the 1st presidential debate, Bush pined for Missy – an anonymous widow recently made so by the Iraq war – and expressed his burning “love” for her. Then here, he complains that OBGYNs can’t “love” their patients because of some unnamed setback.

Is Rove up to something with this language, peppering Bush’s speeches with code words meant to seep into the psyche of a voting contingent, or is Bush just saying weird shit?