December 20th, 2004

Apollo 4 on column of fire

The non-linearity of the decline of American democracy

I think it important to understand that the decline of American democracy will not happen linearly, where by linearity I mean the accumulation of "pieces" of decline, which can be dealt with individually.  Here's an example of how it actually happens.  Elected officials, their appointed underlings, wicked private companies, etc., do things like miscalibrate voting machines to make John Kerry votes show up for Bush, maybe hack the central tabulators, distribute voting machines so Bushist districts get many more machines than Democratic districts, etc.  These maneuvers throw the "election" to Bush.  Outraged citizens take these things to court, but courts are reluctant to provide a remedy, even if they acknowledge the problems; for instance, a court recently rejected some "misplaced" ballots in a Washington state election, saying it was simply "too late" to include these ballots.  What do we do next?  When courts make such decisions, our normal recourse is to vote out the people whose actions in office so offend us; but how do you vote out the people who are stuffing the ballots, if they control the pinnacles of government?  You can't get them out.  They can cheat more and more boldly, while our ability to do anything about it simultaneously declines.

I would like to recommend the article "We've Been Had" by Edgar J. Steele, a right winger.  It's at http://www.serendipity.li/jsmill/bushwon.htm.  I'll note a caution, though, that the last minute swing from nice Walter Mondale to nasty Norm Coleman is not to me implausible.  There was a televised debate at the last minute, and Fritz Mondale looked and sounded old.  Moreover, Mondale was condescending in his particular way, talking to Coleman as if to a child.  I felt sick inside after watching this debate, sick as in frightened of losing.
Apollo 4 on column of fire

The approval rating of a loser

According to CNN.com:
As for Bush, 49 percent of respondents said they approved of the job the president is doing. That number is down from his November approval rating of 55 percent. Bush is the first incumbent president to have an approval rating below 50 percent one month after winning re-election.

Hmm, I wonder why that would be....
Apollo 4 on column of fire

Bush the Butcher

An ACLU press release:
FBI E-Mail Refers to [the Leader's] Order Authorizing Inhumane Interrogation Techniques

December 20, 2004

Newly Obtained FBI Records Call Defense Department’s Methods "Torture," Express Concerns Over "Cover-Up" That May Leave FBI "Holding the Bag" for Abuses

.........

The two-page e-mail that references an Executive Order states that the [Leader] directly authorized interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, the use of military dogs, and "sensory deprivation through the use of hoods, etc."...  The FBI e-mail, which was sent in May 2004 from "On Scene Commander--Baghdad" to a handful of senior FBI officials, notes that the FBI has prohibited its agents from employing the techniques that the [Leader] is said to have authorized.

Another e-mail, dated December 2003, describes an incident in which Defense Department interrogators at Guantánamo Bay impersonated FBI agents while using "torture techniques" against a detainee. The e-mail concludes "If this detainee is ever released or his story made public in any way, DOD interrogators will not be held accountable because these torture techniques were done [by] the ‘FBI’ interrogators. The FBI will [be] left holding the bag before the public."

The document also says that no "intelligence of a threat neutralization nature" was garnered by the "FBI" interrogation, and that the FBI’s Criminal Investigation Task Force (CITF) believes that the Defense Department’s actions have destroyed any chance of prosecuting the detainee. The e-mail’s author writes that he or she is documenting the incident "in order to protect the FBI."

"The methods that the Defense Department has adopted are illegal, immoral, and counterproductive," said ACLU staff attorney Jameel Jaffer. "It is astounding that these methods appear to have been adopted as a matter of policy by the highest levels of government."

By now it shouldn't be astounding.  We are being led by a deranged man who enjoys the feeling of power over the weak, the poor, and the miserable.  The weaker, the poorer and the more miserable, the more he detests them and wishes upon them pain, ruin, and death.  This is the way of the extreme narcissistic personality, for whom the downtrodden are not worthy to exist at the same time as him.