S.M.B. - Logic and Rhetoric
Thursday, May 15, 2003

You know you wanna go and hear some hip classical music!

The PRISM Quartet, recently hailed by The New Yorker magazine as a "superb sax quartet," closes its 2002-03 concert series with an all-premieres program, featuring works written expressly for them by seven of today's most outstanding composers. The composers span four generations, from seasoned composers to young and emerging musical talent, yet for each of them, the piece written for PRISM represents their first saxophone quartet.

PRISM Saxophone Quartet
World Premieres
in New York and Philadelphia

Thursday, May 15, 2003, 7:30pm
Trinity Center for Urban Life
22nd & Spruce Streets
$15, $10 students & seniors
More information: 215-438-5282

New York:
Sunday, May 18, 2003, 7pm
Christ & St. Stephen's Church
120 W. 69th Street
between Broadway & Columbus
$10, $5 students & seniors
More information: 212-544-0738


We're currently receiving more hits from Germany than from anywhere west of the Appalachian Mountains... Hmm, western campuses must be out of school...

Tuesday, May 13, 2003


I read a really interesting blog concerning what the Democratic Party should do to free itself from corporate whoredom, you know, separate itself from big business. It referenced another blog post, you can get that link by visiting the link above. Anyway the initial discussion concerned this:

Then, let's engage in a national discussion about fixing this problem of "corporate personhood," an issue that should serve as the foundation of a coalition platform between Democrats, Greens, Independents and others. If the Democratic Party doesn't lead, if the party decides its not in its interest to solve the problem, then the Democratic Party deserves defeat. I'm hoping the Dems will instead find merit in tackling this populist issue, and thereby distinguishing itself from the Right in a meaningful way. Without this change, we're just spinning our wheels.

Here's his reply:

Political Obstacles

a) Money = power in U.S. politics these days according to a very straightforward equation. Corporations have plenty of money.

b) Unions are likely to be of no help if job or pay cuts are threatened.

c) As long as we've got Terry McAuliffe & Co. slobbering at the corporate trough, Democratic opposition will be nil. If Democrats espouse wholesale reductions in corporate privileges, we've realistically got to be willing to go through at least one entire election season, and win, without any coroporate money.

d) Conservative packing of higher U.S. courts with pro-corporation judges is going to have knock-on effects for years to come. This will be a slooow, ugly process.

While we're working on it, we'll have to deal with the...

Economic Obstacles

a) Current corporations have huge networks of business relationships with other countries and corporations located abroad. We were able to knock down the robber barons because they had nowhere else to go. Multinationals will see which way the wind is blowing and get as much of 'their' money out of the country as they can. The absence of this investment capital and productive capacity will be crushing.

b) Being free of all of those constraints by definition increases the competitiveness of corporations as currently constituted. Domestic production will suffer relative to other countries as a result.

c) Reducing our corporations' profitability will cause international investors of all stripes to pull out of U.S. assets. The stock market will go to hell. Real estate prices will dive. The dollar will go through the floor. Liquidity will be nil. Cats and dogs will live together in open co-habitation.

All of that said, (some) corporations are killing this country. Suggestions are welcome.

This is what i gotta say to that:

I think that what is centrally wrong with the way we want to achieve change is tactics and message (aka propaganda). This is what the Cons are good at, they know the vocab that convinces people to vote Republican. We can't tell folks or even corporations, 'We're taking down big business.' We can't start out with an assumption that big business is bad, we need to establish that before we can attack business with any credibility. I say before the Democrats have a chance at cutting off business, liberals INDEPENDENT of the Democratic party need to establish these businesses as unAmerican, greedy and ruthless. If progressives intend to use the Democratic Party as a vehicle for reform, there is no use in weakening it, we have to gradually equate multinational businesses with everything that democracy isn't while a progressive Democratic chorus grows strong enough to make reforms that would be easier to make if business were unpopular...

The main problem is that too many liberals assume that they can just leave their political/social/discussion circles and start political dialogues with the same assumtions and premises that all liberals make. Then we liberals draw conclusions for people, the WTO (World Trade Organization) = evil ; the IMF (International Monetary Fund) = evil ; rightwing con wingnut Furious George = bad... These are all true, but we have to let adults draw those conclusions for themselves; FIRST ya gotta let 'em know why you're pissed off about the evils of our democracy.

Nobody has to be told that a deal that kills thousands and thousands of jobs a year is a bad thing, so I would suggest connecting the dots
NAFTA = tons of jobs lost

One thing that liberals are terrible at is wrapping themselves in the flag, they never want to do it, they think the flag has cootees. Well this liberal pet peeve hurts our cause, because the American conscience and consciousness is wrapped in the flag, and it responds when it recognizes that freedom is being obstructed. If we are able to argue successfully that the Republicans are wrong for this country and that Bush is wrong for the country, it will be because we point out that:

To ban abortion is to ban a woman's freedom to command her body.

To support corrupt big businesses over other businesses does not enhance the interests of the many.

In hating campaign finance reform the cons love a system that legally allows less speech to working people than it does to wealthy people and organizations.

To support the patriot act or patriot II is to be against the constitution of the United States...

The troops under the President's command secured Iraqi oil for big oil businesses before they secured water for Iraq's people.

There's more, BUT, these are things that need to be established, not ASSUMED.



Sunday, May 11, 2003

For years the classroom has been the setting for the free expression of ideas, but two weeks ago certain ideas led to two students being taken out of class and grilled by the United States Secret Service.

It happened at Oakland High. The discussion was about the war in Iraq. That's when two students made comments about the President of the United States. While the exact wording is up for debate, the teacher didn't consider it mere criticism, but a direct threat and she called the Secret Service.

SHE WHAT?!?!?!?! That b**** needs to lose her job! Who the hell is she?!

"We don't want federal agents or police coming in our schools and interrogating our children at the whim of someone who has a hunch something might be wrong," Lopez says.

The union representing Oakland teachers requires that students be afforded legal counsel and parental guidance before they're interrogated by authorities. It's too late for the two involved in this incident, and teachers say it's something they'll carry with them for years.

"I tell you the looks on those childrens faces. I don't know if they'll say anything about anything ever again. Is that what we want? I don't think we want that," says Lopez.

She's exactly right...


State subpoenas 30 business elite on allegations insiders 'dumped' $71 million in stock

Well, well, well...Mitch Daniels resigns from his position as the Bush misadministration's budget director the day before the story breaks that he and other members of "Indiana's financial elite" are being investigated for - you got it - insider trading.

'State regulators are issuing subpeonas to a "who's who" of the Indianapolis business community over the sale of shares in IPALCO Enterprises about the time the utility company was sold in 2001. The Indiana Securities Division on Friday sent the requests for information to about 30 former IPALCO officers and directors, The Indianapolis Star has learned.

'They include former IPALCO director Mitch Daniels, who is now pResident Bush's budget director. Daniels, who sold about $1.45 million in IPALCO stock in January 2001, on Tuesday announced he is resigning the federal post, leading to speculation he will run for governor.'


House of Represenatives, at urging of National Rifle Assn, has passed bill granting gun industry nationwide immunity from virtually all lawsuits; myriad suits against gun manufacturers and dealers by almost 30 cities and municipalities as well as crime victims and their advocates would be stopped if bill passes Senate and is signed into law by Pres Bush; no other industry in nation enjoys blanket exemption from suits


Tony Blair will face the music if they can't find the weapons, that's Furious George's thanks for Blair's support, ruin his political career:

Tony Blair is facing the threat of a fresh rebellion from Labour backbenchers who are growing increasingly alarmed that the failure to uncover weapons of mass destruction in Iraq will confirm that the war was illegal.
As a 1,000-strong Anglo-American task force of inspectors prepares to search hundreds of suspicious sites, Labour MPs are demanding an inquiry to establish whether MI6 misled ministers about Iraq's weapons programme.

His remarks were echoed by the former defence minister Doug Henderson, who warned that the war would in retrospect be deemed illegal if no banned weapons were found, because the military action was taken under UN resolutions calling for Iraq to disarm.

Critics suspect that Downing Street may have hyped up the intelligence reports about Iraq's banned weapons. They point to last month's resignation speech by Robin Cook, in which the former foreign secretary said: "Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of the term."

THAT WAS BRITAIN'S FOREIGN SECRETARY!!!!! Their version of Colin Powell said this, our version of Colin Powell LIED, and was probably forced to when the Bushies decided they were going in anyway!

This is how the Blair administration is lying to the British peeps:

In an interview with The Times of London, Hoon said the return of United Nations inspectors to Iraq last fall led Hussein to scatter his chemical and biological weapons in order to hide them from the inspectors, and was then unable to reassemble them for use when the conflict began.

When asked by The Times how that explanation squared with his government's assertion last fall in an official dossier on Hussein's illicit weapons that some could be ready for use within 45 minutes of an order to do so, Hoon replied, "I do not recall ever saying that. I specifically did not put a time on it."


Cirincione finds these explanations unconvincing. An illicit weapons program large enough to present the kind of threat Bush talked about could not be hidden, dispersed or destroyed just before the war started, he says. Moreover, the disappearance of such an arsenal would itself pose a huge security threat and trigger an all-out effort by U.S. forces to locate it; yet he says the search now under way for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction seems more "lackadaisical" than urgent.

"If these weapons existed at the levels the president said they did, this should be our number one priority globally, to find those weapons before others get control of them," Cirincione said. "The fact that the administration is not doing that makes me believe that they themselves don't believe the weapons exist in these numbers. They would be desperate to find them, and they're just not."

Leon Fuerth, a professor of international affairs at George Washington University who served as former Vice President Al Gore's national security adviser, says the administration's claim that the Iraqi weapons will be found in time is at odds with its pre-war assertion that it had hard intelligence about their existence. "One has to assume that if they had high-quality intelligence as to the location of these weapons, they would have steered the inspectors or elements of the U.S. military to them," he said. "One ought not to jump to conclusions ... but if the president presented the image that it would be piled high and easy to find, that hasn't happened yet."

Do they have the cajones to challenge the administration on this?


This is the quote:

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraqi regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised," the president said in a televised address to the nation from the White House.

"This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq's neighbors and against Iraq's people. The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends. And it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al-Qaida.

"The danger is clear. Using chemical, biological or - one day - nuclear weapons obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people, in our country or any other."

I told every one of you he was full of trash, that he was lying. I wanna see how far the media takes this, let's see if people actually care enough to realize they can't trust the guy...


This is from "My Daddy's Blog":

Byrd, 85, of West Virginia, is the Senate's most senior member and was one of the most outspoken critics of the Iraq war.

Dressed in a flight suit, Bush was flown onto the USS Abraham Lincoln on Thursday, his small S-3B Viking jet making a tailhook landing. The ship was near San Diego on its return from action in the Persian Gulf.

With the sea as his backdrop, Bush announced that the United States and its allies had prevailed against Saddam Hussein.

White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said Byrd's criticisms are "a disservice to the men and women of our military who deserved to be thanked in person."

"Senator Byrd did not support the president at the beginning of this, and it is no surprise that he does not support the president at the end," Fleischer said. "Senator Byrd is a patriot, but on this we disagree."

Byrd contrasted the speech with the "simple dignity" of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address during the Civil War.

"I do not begrudge his salute to America's warriors aboard the carrier Lincoln, for they have performed bravely, ... but I do question the motives of a desk-bound president who assumes the garb of a warrior for the purposes of a speech," he said.

Damn skippy! Here's some more sense for the fainthearted:

He said American blood has been shed defending Bush's policies. "This is not some made-for-TV backdrop for a campaign commercial," he said.

"To me, it is an affront to the Americans killed or injured in Iraq for the president to exploit the trappings of war for the momentary spectacle of a speech," he said.



The Associated Press
Sunday, May 11, 2003; 3:09 PM

OMAHA, Neb. - Employees of a plastics plant have been told they'll need to make up the time they're off work while the plant is used as the site of a speech by President Bush on his economic and employment proposals.

The president, who has been campaigning across the country to drum up support for his tax cut and economic plan, scheduled a speech Monday at the Airlite Plastics Co.

So people are either not earning money or working on the weekend because the president wants to use their workplace as a pawn for politics... ohh jeez


From Newsweek:

May 19 issue — From the very start, one of the top U.S. priorities in Iraq has been the search for weapons of mass destruction. Weren’t WMDs supposed to be what the war was about? Even so, no one has yet produced conclusive evidence that Iraq was maintaining a nuclear, biological or chemical (NBC) arsenal.


Many people don't really care about evidence. And evidence of lies from the President, who lied us into war. Bush is not the first President of the U.S. to lie the country into war--James Polk did, William McKinley did, Franklin Roosevelt did, Lyndon Johnson did, Ronald Reagan did, George Bush did, Bill Clinton did; heck, Dubya will probably do it again! (Incedentally, this is my blog and I care, so if you care, bear with me). The Washington Post reports a fact or two:

BAGHDAD -- The group directing all known U.S. search efforts for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is winding down operations without finding proof that President Saddam Hussein kept clandestine stocks of outlawed arms, according to participants.

They have stopped their search NOT SIMPLY because there are no weapons, but specifically because there is no PROOF. According to the Oxford English Dictionary:

PROOF -- I. From PROVE v. in the sense of making good, or showing to be true.
II. That which makes good or proves a statement; evidence sufficient (or contributing) to establish a fact or produce belief in the certainty of something.

These people are leaving without any proof that Saddam Hussein kept illegal weapons. Now what was it these teams were supposed to produce?

They said they expected to find what Secretary of State Colin L. Powell described at the U.N. Security Council on Feb. 5 -- hundreds of tons of biological and chemical agents, missiles and rockets to deliver the agents, and evidence of an ongoing program to build a nuclear bomb.

I'm certain they expected to find these weapons because they trusted the President and the Secretary of State. They believed that they ought to have put on those protective suits and trudge back and forth through the hot Iraqi desert looking for weapons. But then, they discovered that they were just tools for a show, thrown in there to make the lie a little more convincing, to make a business deal a little more elaborate...

Army Col. Richard McPhee... said "We didn't have all these people in [protective] suits" for nothing, he said. But if Iraq thought of using such weapons, "there had to have been something to use. And we haven't found it. . . . Books will be written on that in the intelligence community for a long time."

Interesting he says that a few days after Bush says:

In his declaration of victory aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, President Bush said, "We've begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons, and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated."

Huh?!?! I think Georgie was a little behind in his news, that point began a few weeks ago man... Anyway, get a load of the group leader, a man in denial:

"My unit has not found chemical weapons," he said. "That's a fact. And I'm 47 years old, having a birthday in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces on a lake in the middle of Baghdad. It's surreal. The whole thing is surreal.

"Am I convinced that what we did in this fight was viable? I tell you from the bottom of my heart: We stopped Saddam Hussein in his WMD programs," he said, using the abbreviation for weapons of mass destruction. "Do I know where they are? I wish I did . . . but we will find them. Or not. I don't know. I'm being honest here."

This guy IS FOR THE WAR ANYWAY and he actually doubts that the "weapons" will be found... So what are these folks saying to themselves?

"Okay, that paradigm didn't exist," he added. "The question before was, where are Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological weapons? What is the question now? That is what we are trying to sort out."

One thing analysts must reconsider, he said, is: "What was the nature of the threat?"

That's one response, perhaps...

"I don't think we'll find anything," said Army Capt. Tom Baird, one of two deputy operations officers under McPhee. "What I see is a lot of stuff destroyed." The Defense Intelligence Agency officer, describing a "sort of a lull period" in the search, said that whatever may have been at the target sites is now "dispersed to the wind."

They're going to try to say that the weapons were destroyed by the people who looted the medicine factories and underground lairs. You betcha, that's what they're going to say.

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