S.M.B. - Logic and Rhetoric
Saturday, January 18, 2003

This is what they've been reduced to. Michael Jackson's face? Let it be said that the corporate media will not leave this guy alone when he's dead. Secondly, is a report on Michael Jackson's face "investigative reporting"? Thirdly, is his face pertinent? Is Michael Jackson pertinent? Maybe the guys over at NBC ought to be investigating the corrupt, broken death row system in these United States, instead of letting college students do it for them. Why is NBC "investigating" Michael Jackson's face? He's not stealing money from investors, he's not beating confessions out of innocents, and he's not sending a couple of thousand troops to the Persian Gulf to impose "diplomatic" pressure tactics. This is too typical. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A9129-2003Jan17.html

I'm back at school, back from a long break from work, stress and class. I wonder what's going to happen across Americas campuses if President Bush announces war plans for striking Iraq and/or North Korea...

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Lieberman the vice prez seemed like a good idea, he ran as a liberal, you know, for the people over the powerful. The new Joseph Lieberman seems to have a different crusade in mind... Yahoo News reports:

"As a father and now a grandfather, I have taken on the entertainment industry for peddling sex and violence to our children -- and spoken up for parents who feel they are in competition with the popular culture to raise their children and give them the right values," Lieberman said at a Monday morning press conference in Stamford, Conn.

I truly am annoyed about this business of blaming Hollywood for society's problems and for f***ed up youths. Blame Eminem, blame Marilyn Manson, blame Jackass, blame everything but an unfair wage system that forces people to work 16 hours for less than they can live on. Why doesn't Lieberman take on the real problem? Why isn't anybody talking about social justice and broken homes in the inner city, why isn't anybody talking about the fact that 6 out of 10 Hispanic kids do not graduate from high school? I think that a national politics indifferent to the suffering of millions of homeless children, poor people and mentally ill youths is more culpable than a few puny actors and producers for the problems in our society. If 35,000 people are dropped from work by ONE FUCKING COMPANY then why is the entertainment industry responsible when the kids of those jobless people can't eat, can't get medical help, and decide to act out?! What Lieberman does not understand is that the problem is not Hollywood in and of itself, it is a system that keeps parents working while young children are alone, it is a broken foster care system, and broken school systems. I dare any politician to go and talk with just one group of single working mothers and ask them if they have a greater problem with a) an anti-poor tax code in the states, tax cuts for the rich, jobs that don't pay a living wage or give benefits, bad schools, dead beat dads, or b) modern pop culture. This very first speech of Lieberman's disqualifies him from the Presidency in my view, I can already see that he's choosing a scapegoat rather than trying to solve a problem. The thought that the death of pop culture will be a panacea for all of these social problems in American youths is utter and complete nonsense. Lieberman is simply inept. The URL is http://au.news.yahoo.com/030114/11/isya.html


The Drudge Report reports Kofi Annan putting the world into context. Annan reminds us that AIDS is a much greater threat than Iraq or any war with Iraq. It's sad that a (potential) death comparison must be made in this way, but Annan, I think, is trying to redirect the attention of the U.N. Ambassadors. I think this statement helps me appreciate that even when there's a big story, I cannot lose sight of other important things on my agenda. The URL is http://www.drudgereport.com/flash1.htm


There've been some really ugly things that've happened in this world, but a surgeon sipping the gin at work?!... Well, that borders on hilarity. Imagine the possibilities for drunken medicine in our country if this guy fights to regain his medical license and wins; and the Republicans don't want you to sue doctors for malpractice past a certain dollar amount. Now, what's to say that laser took out an eye, or part of a brain, heaven forbid, now what Mr. Republucan? The URL is http://www.newarkadvocate.com/news/stories/20030114/localnews/772258.html


How many more people have to lose their jobs? I wonder how much money K-Mart executives are making, as they are killing more stores. Perhaps the "cutting" is justified, K-Mart did file for bankruptcy last year. Let's hope this is an isolated incident, this seems fishy nevertheless... The URL is http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55191-2003Jan14.html

Monday, January 13, 2003
Ananova.com (http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_739398.html) reports that Pete Townshend has been arrested for possessing kiddie porn. Shame, shame, shame, that's some nasty stuff.

This guy is one our favorites over here, I just can't disagree with him. He brings it all together, Iraq and the Economy, courtesy Common Dreams. Representative Kucinich's anger at this administration is caused by violent love of humanity rather than hatred for Republicans, his passion is good at heart, mind and soul. Talking about him gets me preachin', so I'll stop and here's some of what he says:

For the America I envision seeks world unity instead of unilateralism. It gains its power through being the first to help, not the first to strike. It extends itself to the peoples of the world to lift their burden. It is an America, which when asked for help, dispenses bread instead of bombs, medical assistance instead of missiles, and food instead of fissile materials...
America can help protect the world. America can help save the world. But America cannot control the world, nor should we want to do so. Yet our Administration would project American power for the purpose of domination. Their National Security doctrines call for America to strike anywhere it pleases and to be the first to use nuclear weapons...
War with Iraq is wrong. But if war is prosecuted further in Iraq, we must be prepared to advance the cause of peace in this country. We must be prepared to stand up, to speak out, to organize, to march, to demand an end to the war, or to demand an end to an administration which insists on war...
We need to ask the questions: Why does America have hundreds of billions to ruin the health and take the lives of innocent people in Iraq but no money to provide health care for all Americans?
My friends, this is still your government. You have a right to have a say in how its destiny is being charted. That right derives from our very Declaration of Independence, which claimed self-governance as a basic right. Government does not just happen in Washington, DC. It is the result of a process which takes place in thousands of cities, villages and townships. It is also a process which also takes place in our hearts, which is brought to life by our love of country, and our love of each other. It is your love which enables me to carry those hopes and dreams forward. And I shall do so courageously in the days ahead. Thank you.

If you're at all inspired, click the Draft Kucinich link at the left. Incidentally, when i read this speech slowly it fills me with more inspiration than listening to Joe Lieberman or Dick Gephardt or John Kerry. To see this speech in its entirety go to http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0113-05.htm. AMEN Congressman, AMEN!

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Senate Republicans are angry. "Why are they angry?", you say... Well something's even irking them about the arrogance of the President:

Republican senators gathering last Wednesday for their session-opening ''retreat'' should have been happy, blessed with a regained majority and a popular president. They were not. Instead, they complained bitterly of arrogance by the Bush administration, especially the Pentagon, in treatment of Congress along the road to war... Consequently, Warner had his colleagues' attention when he addressed Card. ''I will not tolerate,'' he boomed, ''a continuation of what's been going on the last two years.'' He cited cavalier treatment that denies information even to the venerable top Senate Republican on Armed Services... Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri next got up to tell Card that the administration had better put out more information justifying military action against Iraq as part of the war against terrorism. ''What is the connection between Iraq and al-Qaida?'' Bond asked. ''Don't worry,'' replied Card, indicating the information would come along... An old Senate Republican hand explained to me why the senators are upset: ''Rumsfeld's behavior toward senators is dismissive, barely civil, bordering on rude. He has no interest in us other than to get the money, no interest in our opinions.''

I'm sure the Republicans' pride is being challenged in a hurtful way. Where the hell were they when the Democrats were saying the same thing? These Republicans are so full of it, they let their Democratic collegues take the fall for questioning the war and the administration while they sat back and let the military buildup begin. I want to hear Sean Hannity bitchin' at the Republicans from the highest mountain top!!! The Cons should be Rushin' to bash the Senate Republicans. This is some more evidence for my future senior thesis, which will state that the Republican conscience kicks in 6 months after everybody else's... Your Chicago Sun-Times URL is http://www.suntimes.com/output/novak/cst-edt-novak13.html

http://www.itepnet.org/whopays.htm gives us the 411 and it's uglier than Quazimodo. In my home state, the "liberal" Empire State of New York, the lowest 20% of wage earners pay 12.8% of their income to the state, the top 1% pay 6.5% after federal reductions. Here we have a sales tax of over 8% and we pay tolls almost everywhere. Every kid should learn in civics that regressive sales taxes, stamp tax increases and tolls are evil, anti-middle class and evil again. I think my history book showed me that every British tax imposed between 1763 and 1775 was a regressive pro-nobility tax. I don't want to raise taxes, I actually don't want to pay them. I doubt we really need to raise taxes, we just need to collect taxes from corporations, stop bailing out the airline industry, finance industry, steel industry, oil industry and the industry industry. Is anybody pissed about the hit non-rich people take in this country's tax code? Ideally every group would pay taxes proportional to their share of wealth, but of course this doesn't happen. The rain falls on everybody, and state governments across the country think a cotton hoodie is just as good at protecting people from a tax thunder storm as a roof is. Can a government have sense when sensible people don't want anything to do with it?

In case you're interested, the Bush Administration is sending a few hundred thousand men to the Persian Gulf for a "potential" war, when can I sign up? Actually, why can't the President personally ride into Baghdad, roll over a few thousand innocents and track Saddam down in his unbreakable underground lair and shoot Saddam with a shotgun? I'm sure CNN would roll their cameras in alongside the tanks. I wonder how many Americans President Bush is willing to trade for that one rascal, Saddam; Bush has had no problem with trading thousands of innocent Afghans for only one Osama... Osama?! Hmm...Maybe a few tapes of Osama, perhaps a few lookalikes, but maybe I'm being too cynical when I think that the President has paid all of those human lives for nothing. Maybe the President is being judged too soon, he could just be Jack, from Jack and the Beanstalk, trying to convince us that innocent civilian beans will lead our path to no more terror just as soon as you plant them a couple of feet in the dirt. You should read that story, it's inspiring, especially for the people being planted to bring forth marginal stability in Afghanistan, no Osama, few Taliban leadership and more death and destruction (known in the Holy Scriptures as woes). All of this falls off the map just in time for Saddam and taxes for the rich!!! I wanna be rich, then the government will give me money, just for being rich! Has anybody heard about a possible Dennis Kucinich for President 2004 campaign? Boy that would be a nice change, second only to a resurrection of Paul Wellstone (if it could happen to Lazarus, it can happen to Paul).

I'm baptizing this blog once and for all. Hi, I'm Kalonji, an 18 year old freshman at Columbia University in New York City. I'm opinionated (to put it lightly), and am starting this venture to see if there are other people from different places around the country and the world with similar sensibilities and views on the world. I hope I'm not alone...

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