Planet Waves: Quick Takes From a Mad, Mad World

There are a lot of important stories whizzing around the ether right now; below are just a few that deserve far more attention than I'm able to give them at the moment. So take a gander yourself and see what you come up with.

One of the best pieces out now is this choice morsel from Winter Patriot, who casts his cold, discerning eye on the knuckleheads and cutouts operating in the shadowlands where politics and terror make the beast with two backs: Inadequate Deception: The Impossible Plots of the Terror War. It's great stuff, done up right. Don't miss it.

Max Blumenthal peels off the pious PR wrapping to reveal the true Mike Huckabee beneath: a hateful, hate-filled apocalyptic crank, committed to brutal "ethnic cleansing" both at home and abroad, and driven by a deeply heretical identification of himself with the Godhead: The Real Mike Huckabee.

Speaking of hatemongers, Dave Neiwert has the low-down on the low-down "white power" radio gasbag, Hal Turner – who, it turns out, was an FBI stooge, fomenting hate and violence in the pay of the USA: Your Taxpayer Dollars at Work.

IOIYAC: H.illary Clinton's minions take the Rovian route to keep working-class minorities from voting in the Nevada caucuses: Tough-Guy Politics on the Vegas Strip. Progressive politics at its best! Meanwhile, Cynthia Tucker finds the Supreme Court ready to uphold the GOP's chief vote-suppression weapon: draconian "voter ID" laws. Voter ID scam is the real fraud. Gosh, could it be that powerful people in both parties don't really care for genuine democracy?

Stephen Kinzer reports on the sterling success of one of America's many benign interventions into the affairs of the lesser breeds under the law in Guatemala's Challenge, a story about the worthy but wan hope that the nation can recover the democracy that Dwight Eisenhower and his J.F. Dulles stole from them more than 50 years ago, plunging the country into a half-century of unrelenting hell, and leading to its current condition as a murderous narco-state run by criminal gangs.

Yifat Susskind asks a pertinent question about a more recent American intervention: Who is Killing the Women of Basra? The answer is clear in the article's conclusion: "The Pentagon has trained, armed, and funded the very militias that are killing the women of Basra."

The headline says it all, the story has the grim details of this continuing travesty: Halliburton Gang Rape Victim Denied Justice.

And now, another installment of This is The Way the World Works. Today, Part 9,375: Motion Ties W. Virginia Justice to Coal Executive. Cozy confabs on the Riveria between the state's highest judge and a strip-mining scam artist – while said scam artist has a $50 million lawsuit on the line before the judge. Guess which way the good jurist ruled?

RawStory relays New Yorker revelations of ubiquitous, unrestricted domestic spying in our future: US drafting plan to allow government access to any email or Web search.

Greg Palast finds a glimmer of hope in Ecuador: A Quechua Christmas Carol.

John Pilger gets straight to the point, as usual: The 'Good War' is a Bad War, centered around a talk with one of the very courageous activists of RAWA, the Afghan women's organization whose members defied the Taliban but are still forced into hiding by the Bush-backed warlords who hold sway in the occupied land.

And finally, Harold Bloom has some thoughts on the Iraq War, and the character of the nation that is waging it: "The whole thing is a scandal…a series of lies. I don’t understand the motivation for the war, but suspect the real reason for the war, which one would suspect of a country which is a third oligarchy, a third plutocracy and a third theocracy, is that it simply is a profitable machine."

That's enough to be getting on with for awhile, isn't it?