Saturday, August 9, 2008

Little Brother & The End Times

I've been fighting with the words for a review of Cory Doctorow's Little Brother since Tuesday evening when I finished reading it. My own life events and the news over the last few days however has been conspiring against me.

Sometimes the simplest explanation is best - It's one of the best damn books I've read.

I'd make Little Brother required reading in high school. Conservative jackasses and Christian fundmentalist nutjobs would have protests on the high school lawn over my class assignment. They'd accuse me and Doctorow of trying to indoctrinate children into being radical anarchists, aiding terrorists, and Hating America. Ann Coulter would claim that if any citizen needed rendition to Saudi Arabia, it'd be me. Christians would particularly decry the linking of their religious beliefs to torture by the state, condemn the mild descriptions of sex, and claim that the bad language would corrupt any child reading it. Someone would start a school board campaign in reaction so subversives could be removed from our schools. Someone would burn the principal in effigy on the front lawn. And then someone would throw a bomb.

The reason I know this is that these things happen in the book. And they're so plausible because we've seen similar books - Huckleberry Finn for instance - banned for far less.

Doctorow writes of a time not now, but close to now, where terrorism introduces an atmosphere where Americans again choose to sacrifice their rights for security, except for one teenager and some of his friends who decide to fight the system. While the author has meticulously laid out how the events in the book could happen, his characters and story have are exceptionally tight and realistic. Until now, I had been only a fan of Cory's nonfiction writing to and Make magazine, but this book is causing me to reconsider my earlier assumptions.

And even better yet - you can get Little Brother for free. Yes, free, Paradox. Hell, I'll gladly give my hardback copy to anyone who wants it.

Once you read it, you will marvel how much is already happening (h/t to Chez), and how much is waiting to come true. Little Brother rightly draws on some of the concepts for The Shock Doctrine, but instead of talking in broad terms about disaster capitalism, it focuses on what exactly is likely to happen one city in another time of American panic.

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Holding Onto Your Shit Until Everyone Else Blows Their Colon

It's no surprise all the guano came down this week in the last 24-28 hours - it's a key method of burying in plain sight, or out of plain sight, events and issues which may cause an uncomfortable uproar to the Powers That Be. The Olympics is a panacea for bad news. But Edwards will still be the topic of news conversation this weekend - A good sex scandal featuring a moralizing Democrat with pretty-boy looks will still be front-page, just maybe below the fold instead of above.

The Chinese, Russians, Georgians & the US State Department are probably drinking to John's health though. The Edwards scandal has commandeered what little oxygen is left in the US news media. The invasion of Georgia, the Georgian attempt at a little ethnic cleansing, and the further coverage of Chinese repression will virtually disappear behind headlines alleging payoffs from campaign funds, paternity, melodrama on the behalf of the Sick Cancer-Stricken Wife That Was Wronged, and other stupidity.

John Edwards, not only are you a first-class schmuck, but you also are an amoral jerk for holding out until the Friday of the Olympic Games where you hope the media attention will be somewhat diminished by the athletes. Maybe if your luck gets better, maybe the Russians will shell a house full of blind orphan children in full view of a TV crew.

Update: Interested folks might check out Jerome a Paris' deep portrait of the Georgian state of affairs. He, knowing all the actors well, can rightly call them bastards. The only person or agency I know well enough to fully rant on is Mr. Hair.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

It's True... Very, Very True

I heard on the radio about new prisons being built in Saudi Arabia to take the place of GITMO. I really thought I was hearing things but after searching the internet it's true: (my highlights)
Saudi Arabia is to build five modern prisons in the kingdom to replace US Guantanamo detention facility, a new report has revealed.
Jordanian daily quoted unnamed sources as saying that US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Saudi officials are cooperating to construct the prisons which are to replace Guantanamo and US secret prisons in Europe.

Riyadh is to spent about two billion Saudi Rials for the project which can accommodate up to 18000 inmates, they added.

Bin laden firm and with the help of German engineers will build the prisons in the Saudi cities of Mecca, Haer, Demmam, and Qasim.

The US has been under pressure due to violating individual rights in its detention camps in Europe and Guantanamo Bay.

UN human rights investigators have urged the White House to shut down the Guantanamo camp.
Does anyone else find it ironic that the U.S. is doing business with the Bin Laden family construction firm?

I guess it's a relief to know that Halliburton did not get the contract!

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In honor of the occasion

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Well, there it is

In an interview for broadcast tonight on Nightline, Edwards told ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff he did have an affair with 44-year old Rielle Hunter, but said that he did not love her.

Edwards also denied he was the father of Hunter's baby girl, Frances Quinn, although the one-time Democratic Presidential candidate said he has not taken a paternity test.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

I'm just gonna say this...

Everyone is flippin' out that Obama is not doing X and he is doing Y and he probably is not electable and what if Hillary was right and if only this or what if that and how come he is not sitting in the White House right fucking now solving problems?!?!

First of all, Chuck Todd says that a 5-6 point lead translates into something like 350 electoral votes. 350 electoral votes is really, really good.

This map is good but this one is better. Either way - Obama beats 270 in both of them. I don't care if he gets 271...just as long as it is more than McCain.

And - about those 5-6 point leads. The race is NOT a tie. And Obama's lead has been consistent and constant.

Although I did not read the earlier provided link by SoS, I got the gist of the poster being thrilled to death about Obama's ground game. The guy might have been overly creamed about registering voters, but he was not wrong about the mobilization. It is a big deal and the real deal. Not only are we registering so many new voters, the Republicans, in 26 states or so, have lost over 1.4 million registered Republicans. Remember, the polls do not reflect new voters and young people with cell phones only.

Maybe the pessimism is fueled by the trappings of a dumb ass media. Or, maybe we are all just so wounded from 7 years of the Bush Administration robbing us blind and beating us to death, perhaps the bruises are so deep that we do not believe in anything anymore. Maybe we are so used to bitching and being right about the destruction around the corner that we are incapable of dealing with anything that might be OK. Anything that might actually help this country move forward a little, heal a little, just seems like pie in the sky delusion. Don't know.

What I do know is that the other post that I was going to put up I wrote a week or so is titled "We Are So Screwed" - I just could not go there right now, again, still. I deserve to be optimistic for a minute. To feel fucking OK.

We have got to get Obama's back and start doing some of the shit for him that we all complain that he isn't doing right. We could post all of the McCain gaffes. We could outline his flips and flops and most certainly McCains absolute hypocrisy. We could even (well, the more media savvy ones) could make some very cool anti-McCain commercials. The YouTubes just right there, waiting for an upload.

Besides, I want to see this VP picked. This would just make everything right and good with the world.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"You've covered your ass"

Seven years. Hard to believe, huh?

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Holy Fuck

I thought this was a, not so much.

It's Sturgis. Did he not know that this is a topless - and sometimes bottomless - pageant?

I think he knew.

BTW...type in McCain Misogyny at YouTube. Quite a few hits.

And the polls show near even? WTF?!

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Not A Bad Idea

I'm thinking we start with the ones whom took impeachment off the table.

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