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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Bits & Pieces

1. The Corporatist Movement is Turned Back

California's Special Election resulted in some good news: a complete rejection of Arnold's attempt to remake California in his conservative image. All of the right-wing initiatives failed from Prop 73's "Parental Notification" nonsense to Prop 77's attempt to turn over redistricting to 3 unaccountable political appointees.

Progressives everywhere hail this election as a huge sucess. But is it? Granted, the outcome was exactly what the world needed, but the reality is that all we did was hold back the Corporatist Movement. No progress was made other than preventing a massive regression in society.

2. The Corporatist Movement Moves Forward

A perfect example of how, even on a day where the Corporatist War on America suffered a devastating blow, the Corporatist Movement still made strides. That's because Benedict Arnold Supervisor Aaron Peskin, elected by the people to fight the Corporatist agenda, decided to sell out and vote to allow the Home Depot project to proceed in San Francisco.

Read that: anti-competitive big box business is now in San Francisco. There is simply no rational reason to prevent Walmart's entry at this point; the day of the first Wal-Mart opening will certainly come due to Peskin's disgusting move.

The Supervisors who voted to maintain competition among local business: Tom Ammiano, Gerardo Sandoval, Chris Daly, Jake McGoldrick and Ross Mirkarimi.

The Supervisors who voted to sell out San Francisco to a massive GOP financier that will siphon dollars from our local economy: Aaron Peskin, Sophie Maxwell, Michela Alioto-Pier, Bevan Dufty, Sean Elsbernd and Fiona Ma.

The War on Corporate Evil doesn't forget. This blog, and this writer, will constantly oppose all of these Supervisors for the rest of their political careers. They have shown themselves to be traitors to our cause and tools of the mega-rich. Aaron Peskin, in particular, has lost all progressive credibility. On the other hand, the Supervisors who took a bold stand to fight big money must be honored. These courageous 5 Supervisors fought tooth and nail to keep San Francisco progressive, and I won't forget that.

3. Justifying Torture by Using Ludicrous Hypotheticals

A comment on the "torture debate" currently raging. Liberals charge that torture undermines the United States' commitment to human rights, inflames the hatreds of terrorists, and has been empircally proven not to work. Conservatives make just one counter argument, generally:

What if the United States knew of an impending terrorist attack and the only way to prevent that attack was by using torture?

The trick of this hypothetical is to create a situation where torture might seem justifiable as a way to justify any and all torture. The logically fallacy of this hypothetical is that it contemplates a situation which has never presented itself in reality.

The assumptions of this hypothetical are so ludicrous as to make the entire debate irrelevant. The hypo assumes 1) that the US knows of an impending terrorist attack, 2) that the US knows it has a suspect with information regarding the attack, 3) that the US knows it can prevent the attack using the suspect's information and 4) the suspect would only reveal such information through torture.

Torture doesn't work. Terrorists especially are willing to die for their cause and they train to resist torture. Torture has never been used to prevent an impending terrorist attack. Further, terrorist cells disperse information in such a way that no one person knows everything.

Regardless of the merits of torture, the decision to torture should not be premised upon hypotheticals that exist only in the minds of the American Enterprise Insitute. Torture is conducted on a daily basis and it has nothing to do with preventing an imminent terrorist attack. We have made the world hate us and created thousands of new terrorists.

4. Bill O'Reilly Calls for Al-Qaeda to attack San Francisco and Murder itsResidents

I endorsed, and the people affirmed, Initiative I
which simply stated that the people of San Francisco are opposed to the presence of military recruiters in our public schools given the military's homophobic, bigoted stance on gays.

In response, Bill O'Reilly advocated a terrorist attack upon San Francisco and implicitly encouraged the mass murder of innocents simply because we San Franciscans deplore bigotry. Here's the exact words from the madman himself:

Hey, you know, if you want to ban military recruiting, fine, but I'm not going to give you another nickel of federal money. You know, if I'm the president of the United States, I walk right into Union Square, I set up my little presidential podium, and I say, "Listen, citizens of San Francisco, if you vote against military recruiting, you're not going to get another nickel in federal funds. Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead."

And if Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.

That's right folks. Bill O'Reilly thinks that George W. Bush should give a speech where he tells Al-Qaeda to attack San Francisco and murder its residents simply because San Francisco doesn't hate gay people the way Texans do. O'Reilly may not have committed a crime with this statement, but he certainly harbors criminal intent. If he were a Democrat calling for Alabama to get attacked by Al Qaeda, he would already have lost his job.

5. Corporatist Republicans Refuse to Swear In Oil Executives

The Republicans, yet again, sided with their corporate donors over the rule of law. To prevent future legal actions stemming from yesterday's Senate hearing over record oil profits, the Republican Party refused to swear in oil executives so that their testimony would be under oath. 3rd quarter oil profits rose 62% to $26 billion. ExxonMobil earned nearly $10 billion in the 3rd quarter, a record for the corporation. Clearly, these executives needed to answer for these windfall profits.

Republican Sen. Ted Stevens (recently compared to the Grim Reaper on The Daily Show), said that there was no need to swear in the executives because they were already obliged to tell the truth. Gee, I guess we should just stop ever taking oaths anywhere as long as people were already obliged to tell the truth.

As a result of the Republican Party, oil executives felt free to lie at will. Again, the average American loses so that fat-cat right-wingers can win.

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