Bob's Links and Rants -- Fair and Balanced

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Be sure to check out my Post 9/11 website for links to lots of stuff I care about. I have put all of my 2002 rants into a single file.

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Peace Parade Photos!

  • The World's Largest Human Peace Sign!

    Click on picture for larger version.
  • This link has lots of good photos.
  • A short video showing some of the action on the diag. Parts of the peace sign are visible.
  • Our local Fox News was impressed: Just wanted you to know that the Ann Arbor protest march was on FOX 2 six oclock news this evening. They said that 5000 people attended and that the march was a mile long. -- from an e-mail.
  • Lots of pictures!

Friday, February 07, 2003

Sorry, no blogging today! I've been finalizing stuff for our peace march tomorrow, including the peace feeder marches, the peace plane, and the world's largest human peace sign. I'm going to take the world's largest nap after this is over, then back to blogging!

PS: Check back tomorrow evening, though. Should have photos from the peace plane online!

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Cool new domain name for my blog:! Should I change the name of the blog as well? I'm open to suggestions.

By the way, your old bookmarks and links should still work, but you might want to consider changing them to the "" url. I may at some point move the blog off of my personal UM web space, but would keep the address. No change needed now, but stay tuned!

Our peace march gets some local coverage.

Excess of Evil

This is really a bad dream. George W. Bush is armed with the most potent military in history. George W. Bush is the most dangerous and wreckless leader in history. He appears willing to go ahead with his insane plans regardless...of anything. We all need to be out in the streets, insisting to Congress that they stop him, arrest him, try him, convict him.

There is nothing more important right now than to stop him. If he has his way, there is no future, only death, destruction and hatred. This is supposed to be our government. Don't let it be used to start World War III. Impeach Bush!

Australian Senate gives Howard a "no confidence vote" over his sending troops for war in Iraq.

The Nation of the Rich, By the Rich, and For the Rich
Bob Herbert's excellent op-ed today about the hopelessness among unemployed youth deserves a good rant. Fortunately, Brother Jim in California has provided one:

This editorial from NT Times kind of hit me in the gut. After listening to Colin Powell yesterday and today, and struggling to figure out what I really think is best for the World -- after all, based on all the news I've heard, Saddam is a bad guy, North Korea bad news, why not scorch a little more Earth? -- I read this, and it reminded me that our government is presiding over the rapid destruction of our country's social contract.

You would think the rich and powerful would be content with enjoying the benefits of a system in which they don't have to struggle, can be on permanent vacation, and pass on most of their wealth to their children. You would think they might even be leery of calling attention to this status quo. But I think two factors encourage many wealthy to pursue still more concentration of wealth. One is, many got wealthy simply because that was, is, and will be their true love in life -- and as they gather wealth, their power and influence increases, and they use it to increase their wealth still further. The second is about denial, about fear turning to anger, human emotions relating back to the animal "fight or flee" response. The poor threaten the self-satisfaction of the secure, well-heeled Americans; it is an annoyance that religions preach about the last among us, etc. The poor are the uninvited wedding guests, intruding on the festivities. And of course, the poor might not be friendly if the car breaks down somewhere and the cell-phone system is being flaky. So damn them, why can't those poor folks just pull themselves up by their bootstraps, like (soft cough) we people did. And of course politicians love to pander -- don't feel any concern, let alone shame: get pissed! Fewer schools and jobs; more prisons. Hit 'em while they are down -- it's become an industry.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me. Listening to Colin Powell, I was thinking: with real progress on energy efficiency, and real attempts to work with the World on environmental issues, our government could show that America is trying to help make the World a better place -- not for business, but for people. Europe would be charmed. Domestically, if our administration acknowledged the social contract, and moved to redistribute wealth and provide quality public education, and in a host of ways provided hope and opportunity rather than despair and repression, we would have real patriotism. Someday we will need "World Patriotism" -- some loyalty to all the peoples and devotion to a better future. That is what I call pursuing peace. There will be conflict, but we should pursue peace, not just with words, or tokens, but as the main agenda.

Thanks, Jim!

World's Largest Human Peace Sign? At the end of our peace march here in Ann Arbor, we're going to funnel people into a giant peace sign on the diag at the University of Michigan. Searches through the Guinness Book of World Records site, google, and a call to the Ann Arbor Library reference desk turned up no sign bigger than "a few hundred" next to the Washington Monument last October. Since we'll have a banner-towing, picture-taking airplane flying overhead, we should have some great pictures!

Correction: The Women's rights in Kuwait story was apparently a hoax.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Speaking Truth to Power
Tom Tomorrow has a transcript from last night's "O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News (we distort, you recite). O'Reilly is talking with Jeremy Glick, whose father died in the 9/11 attack on the WTC. Jeremy signed a "Not In Our Name" ad, and O'Reilly is NOT happy about this, accusing Glick of dishonoring his father because he opposes war in Iraq and questioned the war in Afghanistan. After Glick gets in a few facts which are seldom heard on network news (and probably never on FoxNews), O'Reilly is reduced to yelling "Shut up! Shut up!" at Glick and asking his director to turn off Glick's microphone. Along with Rush Limbaugh and William Safire, O'Reilly is one of those most responsible for there still being a double-digit percentage of Americans who believe the blatant lies and deceptions coming out of the Bush administration. But when faced with the truth, well, Bill, you can't handle the truth!

Another Nuclear Threat
"North Dakota, still in its cultural infancy, cannot be trusted to responsibly handle weapons of mass destruction," French President Jacques Chirac said. "We are talking about a place that doesn't even have a Thai restaurant or movie theater that shows foreign films, but still they have the resources to build thousands of warheads. Do not believe their claims of being 'The Peace Garden State.'"

According to Chirac, North Dakota's development of nuclear arms "represents a grave threat to peaceful states the world over, none more so than its longtime neighbor and rival across the 45th Parallel, South Dakota."
-- from the Onion.

From Politics in the Zeros:
"A heart-warming story of the advances of women in achieving equality throughout the world ...

Barbara Walters did a story on gender roles in Kuwait several years before the Gulf War. She noted then that women customarily walked about 10 feet behind their husbands.

She returned to Kuwait recently and observed that the men now walked several yards behind their wives.

Ms. Walters approached one of the women and said, "This is marvellous. Can you tell the free world just what enabled women here to achieve this reversal of roles?"

"Land mines," said the Kuwaiti woman.

From CommonDreams:
Mokhiber: Ari, last week the President said, on Iraq, "you are either with us or you are with the enemy." France and Germany are clearly not with us. Why aren't they with the enemy?

Ari Fleischer:: That's not true Russell. France and Germany are with us. They just -- in the case of Germany, they have made the decision not to use military force. And in the case of France -- France is still exploring what their ultimate position will be. Clearly, they are both with us. The question is the use of military force. So, I don't think that is quite doing justice to what the President said.

As I have noted before, the letters in "Ari Fleischer" can be rearranged to spell "Fear rich lies" and "I relish farce." Fleischer denies it.

Bush-bot addresses a skeptical public:

from Red Meat. Go there if you like seriously warped humor and have a few hours to waste.

A Nation that has Lost its Way
In Pittsburgh, 109 people were recently jammed into one emergency shelter that normally holds 50 to 80 people. One homeless provider reported that he is running out of cots because his supplier, the military, needs them for a possible war against Iraq. -- from the WSWS.

So we are dragging military reservists, many of them police, firefighters, nurses, out of their comfortable beds here in the US and sending them to Kuwait and other countries surrounding Iraq, sleeping in cots that are no longer available to refugees in this country, all in order to create tens of thousands of refugees in Iraq in Bush's oil war. The ultimate aim seems to be that no one with a net worth under $1 million gets a good night's sleep.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Interesting BBC interview with Saddam Hussein.

Coverup at the UN. Not wanting to offend warmonger Colin Powell when he speaks at the UN tomorrow, UN officials have covered up a reproduction of Picasso's "Guernica," a painting which depicts the horrors of war.

The only thing that keeps the Bushies from pursuing some of their evil goals is their devotion to other evil goals: According to the NY Times, the administration will delay suing Europe for banning genetically-modified food in hopes of gaining their acquiesence in the further destruction of Iraq.

Robert B. Zoellick, the United States trade representative, had warned that the administration would decide by this week whether to sue the Europeans for what he called their "immoral" opposition to genetically modified food that was leading to starvation in the developing world.

GM food, along with Zoellick, are the really immoral things here. GM crops are a serious threat to the entire world's food supply, and even if they were safe (which they aren't), they are an attempt by Monsanto and other evil agribusinesses to privatize living organisms. In case you've missed it, the Bush administration is attempting, on every front and in every way, to destroy most of the world and control the rest of it. It's up to us to stop them.

The Night Before Baghdad, take three

I first wrote this in September, then changed some of the senators mentioned after the war resolution in October. Here I've improved some of the rhymes and added another verse at the end. I hope you like it!

The Night Before Baghdad, by Bob Goodsell
'Twas the night before Baghdad, and through the White House
Not a Bushie was thinking, not even his spouse
The war maps were hung by the table with care
In hopes that Dick Cheney soon would be there.

The prez he was nestled all snug in his bed
While visions of 2004 danced in his head
With Condi on keyboard and Colin on bass
Rummy on vocals sang "Bush won't lose face!"

When out on the south lawn there rose such a noise
It had to be Rummy's destructive war toys
But astonished we were as our startled eyes fell
On a tall bearded man riding high on a camel.

"Tell me," asked Condi, "is that a llama?"
"No, token black woman! That is Osama!"
He hopped off his camel and gathered his rifle
Clearly this was someone with whom we won't trifle.

He walked to the door and passed in front of us
He asked to be taken to the Oval Office
The Senate had some of its members in there
And when he arrived he gave them a scare.

"Out Daschle! Out Feinstein! Out Smiling Joe Lieberman!
Out Lott! Out Hatch! Out Schumer! Out Clinton!
You're self-serving pawns of the corporate swine
Selling your souls to the Bush-Cheney line.

"I wanted a war 'twixt Islam and West
You've given me everything! Thanks, you're the best!
Thanks Condi, thanks Rummy, and thanks Colin, too!
And when he wakes up, please thank W!"

He went to the warroom and smiled at the plans
"The hated Saddam is soon a dead man!
The world in turmoil will be fertile ground
For radical Islam to be spread around!"

And flipping a finger toward one and all
He laughed so hard that it shook down the wall
It made so much noise that the prez left his sack
And came down to ask "Is it time to attack?"

And back to the garden Osama did go
No chicken hawk stopped him as he walked out the do'
Not Rummy, not Condi, not one of the staff
Stopped Osama bin Laden or his terrible laugh.

Then George Bush the Senior entered the room
By reading his lips we all sensed the gloom
"You've tried your best, George, I'll give you that, son
But make no mistake: the terrorists have won."

Meanwhile in Iraq Saddam slipped away
Hed be nowhere around on the bloody next day
Hed go into hiding and show up no more
Til another dumb Bush sought another dumb war.

Monday, February 03, 2003

My friend Mike, with whom I marched in Washington on January 18, sent me the pictures he took. He's done some cool color highlighting on them, too! They're pretty big (about 600K each), but I don't have time right now to resample them down to size, so here are the links:

Ari, are you an android? How can you possibly live with yourself?

If this was a war for oil, the United States would be the one saying -- lift the sanctions -- and that way Iraq could pump oil. -- White House Liar Ari Fleischer.

Update: I should have pointed this out earlier: Iraq is pumping oil, and the US is buying it. Ari is such a liar.

George W. Bush is an absolutely horrible, corrupt, evil excuse for a human being!

Sorry. Just had to get that off my chest.

Idiot Don't Tax and Spend A Lot to Destroy the World Republicans!

President Bush sent Congress a $2.23 trillion spending plan Monday that would accelerate tax cuts to bolster the weak economy, overhaul some of the government's biggest social programs, give NASA a modest increase and shower billions of additional dollars on defense and homeland security. ``We have moved to secure the nation's safety,'' Bush proclaimed.

Even though hundreds of other government programs would be squeezed, the president projects the deficit will still hit record highs of $304 billion this year and $307 billion in 2004. Over the next five years, deficits would total $1.08 trillion.
-- from AP.

Colin Powell's son Michael and the rest of the FCC are working hard to make sure that you only have one source of information, allowing the media to concentrate down to a single giant corporation, Nazi/Soviet style. MSNBC-Disney-AOL Time Warner-Viacom-ClearChannel Corporation. The end of freedom.

Honk for Peace! I mentioned this briefly in yesterday's rant: the "honk for peace" movement is sweeping the country! Here's a picture from Boone, North Carolina:

Apparently, we were very lucky for a second time. The Columbia disintegration is a tragedy, but it could have been so much larger. The Challenger mission in 1986 was one mission away from one containing a nuclear payload which might have caused extensive radiation poisoning had it been on board. This time, it appears that no nuclear payload was onboard Columbia, but NASA and the Pentagon have plans for many such missions in the near future. Go to the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space web site for more.

Gen. Omar Bradley, a hero of World War II, delivered a speech in Boston in 1948 that is remarkably appropriate for the violent and chaotic world of 2003. "The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom," he said, "power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical midgets. We know more about war than we know of peace, more about killing than we know about living." -- from Bob Herbert's NY Times column today. Interesting that 1948 was the year that George Orwell wrote 1984. How is it that they could see so clearly then where we were headed, when so few now can see where we are?

Military Academies Use Affirmative Action in Admissions
The U.S. Military Academy at West Point uses racial quotas in admitting cadets, while the Naval and Air Force academies use other affirmative action schemes similar to the ones used here at the University of Michigan, according to this NY Times article.

I support full racial equality, but I'm not a big fan of affirmative action because of the resentment it causes. I frequently talk to white people who don't seem to be overtly racist but who are upset that they or their children were denied admission to a college because of affirmative action. I also think that it addresses the issue much too late: the real problem is that so many minority students reach college age very poorly prepared due to the absurdly unequal funding of public schools. De facto racial segregation caused by white flight and sprawl has left many schools in minority areas woefully unable to afford quality teachers, materials and facilities to provide a decent education. Providing all children with a good education makes more sense than allowing unprepared students of any color in to college.

Which leads, of course, to my "on the other hand..." segment.

On the other hand, it is extremely hypocritical for the president to complain about people being admitted to college for reasons other than academic qualifications. From prep school to Yale to the Texas Air National Guard (and not being arrested for being AWOL for a year) to the board of several oil companies to owning part of the Texas Rangers to the governor's mansion in Austin to the White House, George W. Bush has gotten in solely because of his color, his wealth, and especially who his father is. He has never been even remotely qualified for any of this. You've got to have a powerful daddy to get high-paying jobs like these when the main qualification on your resume is "ignorant drunk."

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Some FBI and CIA analysts upset at Bush's claims of Iraq-al Qaeda ties: NY Times.

Report from the Front: I've been organizing publicity for our February 8 peace march here in Ann Arbor. We've got some really cool things going on, and I think it will be an exceptionally large, visible and fun march. We are formally organizing four "feeder marches" of 1/4 to 1/2 mile that will converge on the official starting point of the march. In addition, several neighborhoods are planning on walking to downtown along busy streets to get to these feeder marches, greatly increasing the visibility. We have hired an airplane for two hours before and during the march which will tow a banner AND take aerial photos! We won't have everyone in town involved in the march, but we're going to do our best to make it look that way!

Last Friday, a few of us stood at a busy intersection near campus (Packard and State) holding signs and passing out flyers. One of the signs said "Honk for Peace!", and we got lots of drivers to honk as they went by, even bus and taxi drivers! This is a really cool way to increase your visibility, and I think that's important. With so many famous people like Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, the National Council of Churches, and even Norman Schwarzkopf speaking out against the war, and the press starting to cover it, it really helps for people to know that there are lots of others out there who oppose the war. We even had several drivers of gigantic SUV's honk for peace! After 9/11, anyone who questioned Bush's tactics in Afghanistan felt like an outcast when surrounded by all of the flags and "United We Stand" signs. At least here in Ann Arbor, we're getting to the point where anyone who supports Bush is starting to feel like an outcast. I try not to be a petty person, but dang, it feels good!!!

An update on Nelson Mandela's condemnation of Bush: I watched the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather on Thursday night, and large parts of Mandela's speech, including the great "a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly" line, were played as the second story of the show. They even played the applause from the crowd! I think Dan Rather vowed after CBS' pandering support of the Afghanistan war that he wouldn't again be such a tool of the administration, and I think this is a sign of that. Let's keep building our movement so that Dan can keep his job!

Boondocks addresses the raging groundhog day controversy:

National Council of Churches Opposes War
United Methodist Bishop Melvin Talbert is featured in a new anti-war ad sponsored by the National Council of Churches. Both President Bush and Vice President Cheney are members of the United Methodist Church. The National Council of Churches consists of 36 denominations which collectively have over 140,000 local congregations and 50 million members. In addition to United Methodists, it includes the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Churcn, several Baptist and Lutheran denominations, Quakers, United Church of Christ, and many others. Not included are Catholics, but the Pope has already expressed opposition to the war. So the next time you get into a discussion about war with Iraq with a Christian who says he supports it, chances are he is disagreeing with his own church. These two web pages, the National Council of Churches home page and their list of member churches would make an excellent two-sided flyer to give to Christians who say they are supporting Bush.