I don’t kick them out of their homes like you jerks who work in the bank

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Paleo Old masters

No one is ever going to put a name to this face. Its owner lived before writing, agriculture, or towns existed, before there were states that kept records, and long before a Greek man named Herodotus decided to write something called "history". The only reason we can be sure the people who painted in caves during the Ice Age were as human as we are – that is, they used their brains in the same way we do – is that they made art. No other animal makes art. And now the earliest art has a human face – literally.

The eye is a bold horizontal slash that connects to a downward diagonal apparently signifying a nose; below is a thinner line suggesting a mouth. These features are drawn in black on a face-shaped rocky mass in a cave near Angoulême in western France; discovered in February, the image has only now been made public after scientific testing by French archaeologists that has apparently convinced them of its authenticity and age – they claim the drawings in it were done 27,000 years ago, which makes the Vilhonneur grotto one of the oldest sites of rock art in the world, predated only by Chauvet in the Ardèche (32,410 years old) and some of the paintings at Cosquer in Bouches-du-Rhône (28,370 years old).

No other animal has members of its species try so hard to shift reality. Conservatives have done remarkabily well in in shifting public perceptions and priorities away from those things that really matter. So much so that people actually vote for policies that are not in their best interests or those of the country. On the contrary many people vote for protection against the boogie man, their imagined fears and prejudices. The images we have now are more sophiticated, but the thoughts they evoke are just as primitive. Ideals remain just that, higher aspirations that conservatives warn are elitist. The common good is to be deminished. Any benefit that goes to so many lessens the exclusivity of the I got mine mentality and if you didn't get yours, then mine increases in percieved value. The art of propaganda is the conservative legacy. 27,000 years from now no one will be able to dig it up and find out how things went terribily wrong.

Conservatives rejoyce this week as yet another cowardly comrade slipped the noose, Karl Rove Escapes Prosecution

Bush administration (and Rove) advocates will spin this news as vindication for the mastermind of George W. Bush's presidential campaigns. But there is no need for baseless speculation to conclude that Rove was involved in the leak and that the White House misled the public about his participation and broke a pledge to fire anyone who had leaked information about Valerie Wilson, the CIA officer married to former ambassador Joseph Wilson, a critic of the administration.

Here is what is known about Rove and the leak.

On July 9, 2003–three days after Joe Wilson published a New York Times op-ed piece disclosing that he had been sent to Niger by the CIA to check out the allegation that Iraq had been seeking to purchase uranium there and had reported back that such a transaction was highly unlikely–Rove confirmed to columnist Robert Novak that Joe Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. By this point in time, the White House–particularly Dick Cheney's office and Scooter Libby–had been gathering information on Wilson, his wife, and his trip for weeks. (In May and June, stories had appeared in the media quoting an unnamed ambassador who had gone to Niger and found nothing to substantiate the uranium-buying charge, which Bush had alleged in his 2003 State of the Union address.) And when Rove spoke to Novak–who had first heard about Valerie Wilson from another administration official–the White House was engaged in an effort to discredit Wilson. Cheney and others believed that if Wilson's mission to Niger could be depicted as a junket or boondoggle arranged by Wilson's wife, Wilson and his findings would be undermined. Spending a week in one of the poorest countries in the world for no pay would hardly qualify as a junket, but the White House was trying to use whatever they could.

Two days after Rove spoke to Novak and gave the columnist the confirmation he needed to proceed with a piece that would out Valerie Wilson as an undercover CIA officer working on weapons of mass destruction, Rove spoke to Matt Cooper of Time. According to an email Cooper wrote immediately after this conversation, Rove told him that Joe Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and had sent Wilson to Niger. This conversation occurred three days before the Novak article appeared.

So Rove spoke to two reporters about Valerie Wilson. Her employment status at the CIA was classified. Rove was not merely gossiping, he was disseminating secret information, whether he realized it or not.

Which begs the question, why does Rove still have a security clearance, What about that security clearance?

As DeLay Leaves, Shoddy Culture Lingers

GITTES

What's that, pal?

OTHER CUSTOMER
(indicating paper)
Nothing — you got a hell of a
way to make a living.

GITTES
– Oh? What do. you do to make
ends meet?

OTHER CUSTOMER
Mortgage Department, First National Bank.

Gittes laughs.

GITTES
Tell me, how many people a week
do you foreclose on?

OTHER CUSTOMER
We don't publish a record in the
paper, I can tell you that.

GITTES
Neither do I.

OTHER CUSTOMER
No, you have a press agent do it.

GITTES
Barney, who is this bimbo? He a
regular customer?

BARNEY
Take it easy, Jake.

GITTES
Look, pal — I make an honest
living. People don't come to
me unless they're miserable and
I help 'em out of a bad situation.
I don't kick them out of their
homes like you jerks who work in
the bank.
from the screenplay CHINATOWN by Robert Towne

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