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Remember how Bush One's National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft used a Wall Street Journal op-ed in the run-up to the Iraq war to warn Bush Two about the perils of an invasion? At the time, many believed Scowcroft, a close collaborator of the 41st President, was acting as a proxy for his former boss.

More recently, in the first presidential debate, Scowcroft's words were thrown back at Dubya when John Kerry invoked Bush One's prescient warning (from A World Transformed, the 1998 book he wrote with Scowcroft) that "had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land."

Now, Scowcroft is back--a little more than two weeks before a highly contested election--with more tough criticism of the Bush Administration. In an interview in the October 14 Financial Times, Scowcroft bluntly criticized the President's handling of the Arab-Israeli conflict. "Sharon just has him wrapped around his little finger," Scowcroft told the Financial Times. "I think the president is mesmerized." He added: "When there is a suicide attack [followed by a reprisal] Sharon calls the president and says, 'I'm on the front line of terrorism,' and the president says, 'Yes, you are...' He [Sharon] has been nothing but trouble."

"Political language...is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind." -- George Orwell

George Orwell shaped our imagination of a future in which a propagandistic media produced a steady stream of up-is-down, right-is-wrong, war-is-peace lies in order to impose the will of a governing elite upon the subject citizenry.

Orwell reckoned this ultimate diminution of democracy would come in the year 1984. Imperfect genius that he was, the author missed the mark by twenty years. But, after watching the controversy regarding the Sinclair Broadcast Group's scheme to air the truth-impaired mockumentary Stolen Honor in an attempt to stall the momentum John Kerry's campaign gained from the presidential debates, it becomes evident that the future Orwell imagined is unfolding.

Have you noticed that when Lynne Cheney thunders about being an "indignant mother" she can't repress a smile? And when husband Dick says he's an "angry father," he's smirking?

That's because they're actually far more pleased than outraged by John Kerry's mention of their daughter's sexual orientation in the last debate. Now they have an issue to distract the country from George Bush's awful debate performances. And the media, which drank deeply from Cheney's WMD concoction, has once again swallowed his deceptions--hook, line, and sinker.

It was Dick Cheney himself, who first brought up his daughter's lesbianism in the 2000 Vice-Presidential debate when he wanted to burnish his compassionate side, a quality never noticed much before and completely absent since. When John Edwards mentioned Cheney's daughter in this year's VP debate, Cheney thanked him for his "kind words."

What did we learn about Bush from the last debate?

He doesn't believe terrorism can ever be reduced to a "nuisance," which means he believes the War of Terror will be a war without end.

Not only has he seemed to have forgotten Osama bin Laden, he has forgotten what he has said about the Al Qaeda leader, probably because he's not "that worried about him."

A star is on the rise for Death Cab for Cutie. The Seattle-based indie band's last record, Transatlanticism (Barsuk), has sold just over 184,000 copies.

Throughout the four decades of his great career--which is the same thing as saying, throughout the history of filmmaking in sub-Saharan Africa--Ousmane Sembene has switched back and forth between

Unlike news reports, theater isn't expected to stick to the facts. By nature, the form is duplicitous, built on a sandy foundation of make-believe and pretense.

Henry James is not a name that springs to mind when we think of adventure stories, prose epics or historical fiction.

While I saw Edward Teller at several scientific conferences and heard him lecture, I met him only once. It left an indelible memory. It was at the end of April 1954.

Neocons isolate State Department experts, with disastrous results.

Bush's slip in the third debate was about Osama, but his big, calculated lie last night was, as in the second debate, about the Supreme Court. Bush said he wouldn't apply a "litmus test" to any judicial appointments, and then fell silent. But in the second debate he elaborated, saying he wanted "strict constructionists." 

In evangelical circles this is code for anti-Roe judges, because the litmus test for a strict constructionist is opposition to Roe. Bush's favorite justices, Scalia and Thomas, are strict constructionists. Ginsburg and Breyer are not. If this weren't enough, Bush went on to say he wanted the kind of judge who opposes Dred Scott, the 1857 decision that extended the property rights of slave-owners.

This confused many people, as Katha Pollitt explains in the current issue of Nation. Who supports Dred Scott? Was this another one of Bush's mental lapses? Or was it a painfully awkward Republican appeal to black voters? Actually no. According to Slate, and as Pollitt elaborated, Dred Scott is also code for Roe in anti-choice circles. When Christian conservatives want to denigrate Roe, they compare it to Dred Scott.

The Christian right's comeback has been fueled by Bush Administration grants.

Why the Duelfer Report's Finding That Iraq Had No Weapons of Mass Destruction Provides Justification for Having Attacked Iraq in Order to Rid It of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Twenty months ago, when the Bush Administration was steering the country toward war in Iraq, we noted a parallel with another military misadventure, the Spanish-American War, in which Cuba and th

In the summer of 1953, the New School for Social Research hung a yellow curtain over a mural by the Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco. Orozco's transgression?

With the announcement that 50 million influenza vaccines from the British manufacturer Chiron won't be available in the United States this year because of possible contamination, the Centers for

The new Ten Commandments for Israel's national policies.

To be continued. That is, nothing was resolved during the final encounter between George W. Bush and John Kerry. The challenger certainly outperformed the t...

This essay is adapted from Margaret Morganroth
Gullette's Aged by Culture.

In November, California voters will have their first
chance in a decade to reform the state's "three strikes and you're
out" law, which has imposed cruel life sentences on thousands for
rel

Many viewers
were puzzled when, toward the end of the second debate, George W.
Bush answered a question about Supreme Court nominees by referring to
the Dred Scott case.

Every once in a while
there is good news in this troubled world, and the choice of Kenyan
environmentalist Wangari Maathai as this year's Nobel Peace
Prizewinner is one such moment.