Thursday, June 30, 2005

Hello. Anybody home?

If you watched Democracy Now today you will know that there is an American law or ordinance or whatever it is that makes clear that very high level individuals in the U.S. Government can be tried for war crimes whether or not they claimed to abandon the Geneva Convention. You will recall that Gonzales was concerned about this when he recommended to Bush that if we (Bush/Cheney, et al, that is) abandoned the Geneva Convention there would be less of a chance of their being held responsible for war crimes. Apparently Ashcroft had the same concern. What this means to me is that they must have been fully aware that they were about to do something that was forbidden by law (and then did it anyway). As they did not abandon the Convention with respect to Iraq (as they did for Gitmo) they could also be held accountable there as well. This is to say there is no doubt whatsoever they are presumably guilty of war crimes and could and should be held accountable. But will they be? Highly unlikely. But after they leave office they probably shouldn't travel overseas. I can't speak for you, but I am not at all pleased to know that my country is now being run by a bunch of known war criminals.

I don't really know why but for some reason I looked up on Google, Pickled Pigs' feet recipes. I think I did it to torment a friend who is horrified of even the idea of pickled pigs' feet (she exists, as far as I know, only on beef from Scottish Highlands cattle). When it came up on google it said something like "one in ten, there are 67,600 entries for pickled pigs' feet." Not being very conversant with the internet or google I was frightened by the thought there could actually be that many recipes for pickled pigs' feet. After contemplating this for a few minutes, and reeling about the room in shock, I finally asked my wife and son if this could possibly be true. They assured me it did not mean there were 67,600 actual recipes available, merely that there could be that many mentions of either pickled, pigs, or feet, etc. Being much relieved I think I may be able to sleep.

I don't think people are paying much attention to what is happening. If they were they would want to know if we plan to ever leave Iraq. They would want to know what, if anything, would happen about health insurance. They would probably want to know what was happening with energy except giving huge gifts to the oil and gas industry. They would proably be more concerend about the environment. If they were like me, however, they would still want to know how it is that a known male homosexual prostitute with no press credentials or experience was given Press passes to the White House for a year or so, and more interesting than that, why was he given passes to the White House on more than 30 occasions when there was no Press Conference scheduled? Sorry to be so single-minded about this but I really would like to know (I already know about the lies about Iraq, Social Security, Iran, and stuff like that).

We are only allowed to write one letter to the editor of our local paper once a month. I have to wait until the 12th of July. I intend to write a letter about Gannon/Guckert. Will they publish it? Will anyone give any kind of answer? Is anyone else interested? Am I unnecessarily obsessed with this? I don't care. I really want to know!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Politics as a game

Yes, I know, Bush gave a speech. Ho-hum. The same lies, distortions, meaningless and mindless doggerel that everyone knew it would be. Nothing new. Nothing whatsoever. Of course he wouldn't dare tell the truth. If he did it would go something like this:
Oil is absolutely crucial to the American economy. Without a sufficient supply of oil our country would collapse. We have to have the oil.
But we don't have enough oil to keep our economy going. We have to get it from somewhere else.
We already get it from Saudi Arabia, but not enough, and not dependable enough at the moment. Venezuela is likewise not too dependable at the moment. So what to do?
We will just have to take it from whoever else has it. And who has the most? Why, Iraq, of course. And Iraq is basically a helpless country thanks to our years of sanctions. So let's go there and take control of their oil.
We can install a puppet regime, build some permanents bases, maintain an American presence to make sure it will work, and we'll be able to control not only Iraqi oil but probably all Middle Eastern oil.
Why doesn't Bush just come right out and say this? After all it's true. And it's simple enough for the American people to undertand. Then he wouldn't have to pretend that we are trying to get our troops home. Sure, we might get some of them home but we will never give up our presence completely. As Rumsfeld says, it might take as many as 12 years. Maybe by then the oil fields will be exhausted so we won't need to stay any longer.
If he just told the truth about it he might actually get a majority of Americans to support this totally illegal, immmoral, unconstitutional and otherwise unnecessary "war." After all, it wasn't too long ago that I saw bumper stickers to the effect: "Nuke their ass and steal their gas." And others not quite so basic but also sympathetic to international crime.

Of course he can't tell the truth because it could be the case that a majority of Americans might not join in on this totally criminal enterprise. After all, they don't all own stock in Halliburton, Exxon, GE, and etc. And therefore they might not be too sympathetic to this blatant war profiteering.

So let's just let him go on pretending that we're trying to establish democracy in the Middle East, that when the Iraqis are able to defend themelves we will leave, and all the rest of the utter garbage that comes out of the mouths of Bush/Cheney and the neocons. The Bush speech was pathetic. He is now nothing more than a pathetic person strutting about the stage where he will experience his own overdue demise. He probably will escape impeachment, if only because Cheney would then become president, a fate not to be desired. Furthermore, given the constitution of the House and Senate it probably couldn't happen anyway - there are no honorable Congresspersons or Senators, or virtually none.

This brings me to the issue of politics as a game which, I believe, has developed in the past twenty or more years. Maybe more than just a game, maybe a profession. How else would you explain that James Carvelle can stay married to Mary Matalan? If they each truly believed in what they were doing for their respective parties, if they were genuinely committed to the stated aims and goals of their parties, how could they possibly get along? And how about Bill Clinton now going sailing and otherwise spending time with Bush Sr.? After what the Republicans did to him how could he possibly now be embracing them? He has now even defended Bush Jr. And what about Hillary cozying up to Newt Gingrich? How could this be?

It can be because none of these people have any genuine commitment to the American people. For them politic is merely a game. They all exist in the same surreal atmosphere of big money, corporate influence, and power seeking. They simply try to one-up each other over whether their corporation is going to get more than others. But they are all playing within the same universe. No real genuine change is going to take place. Just my lobbyists are going to get more than yours this year, not that the people are going to get more of anyting. Do you see any of them truly arguing that we should get out of Iraq? Are any of them seriously pushing for medical reform? Are they actively pushing to repeal the obscene tax breaks for the already obscenely wealthy? What are they doing for the environment? Global warming? Energy conservation? Sure, occasionally they mention these things, but what do they actually do? The answer is nothing. They do nothing. They vote themselves raises. They pontificate about this and that. But they do nothing. They all just work to maintain their position in the elite hierarchy that currently runs the country. The people be damned. Why should they all have health insurance? Why should they be entitled to a minimum wage they can actually live on? Why should the environment be protected when it interfers with profit? Why, why, why?

The current situation, and the current administration, is nothing short of disgusting, even worse than that. And when our totally moronic, lying, babbling non-president can make a speech with no merit whatsoever, and have it praised by John McCain and other Republicans, you know we have now hit absolute rock bottom.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Twelve years?

Rumsfeld has now said that the insurgency could go on for 5, 7, 8, maybe 12 years. Why not 10 years, 3 months, two weeks, five days and 11 hours? Or maybe 13 years, six months, two weeks, two days and 12 minutes? Why can't he be more precise? He wants us to believe that no one knows how long it will go on. Oh, yeah, until the Iraqi army is strong enough to take over. When will that be? No one knows. In fact, no one knows because the Bush/Cheney administration has no intention of ever leaving entirely. The plan was and still is to set up a Puppet government that will do the bidding of the U.S. This is why we are building permanent bases in Iraq, to make sure we will be able to control things if the Puppet Government doesn't behave properly. This is why there was not and is not any real exit strategy. Exiting was never a consideration.

I admit to not having a very clear idea of what this was all about. I initially overimplified by thinking they just wanted to steal Iraqi oil. Someone else recently suggested they could have bought all kinds of oil for the 300 billion we've invested (wasted) there. But the neocons didn't want to buy Iraqi oil. They might not have even wanted to steal it. What they do want is to CONTROL it. They want to be able to control not only Iraqi oil but all Middle East oil. They not only want it for themselves, they also want to be able to keep it from China, India, Russia, and others.

To this end they lied to get us into an unconstitutional, illegal, immoral and unnecessary "war." They have never told the truth about it and they continue to lie about it now. It is not going to be over in X number of years. It is not going to be over when Iraq has its own army as long as that army does not do what they are told. It might be over when the oilfields are exhausted or oil is replaced by some new energy source (not likely, of course, especially with Bush/Cheney and their heirs in charge).

It has been suggested by some that the Bush/Cheney administration should tell us the truth about Iraq. So why don't they? They can say oil is an absolutely necesary commodity if the U.S. is going to continue as it is. We cannot do without it. Others now compete for it. It is therefore in our national interest to control it. That is why we invaded a sovereign nation that was no threat to us or anyone else. We have to have the oil. That is why we have send our sons and daughters to die for it. Oil is very important for the U.S. economy and especially for the giant oil companies and others that are involved in this seeming disaster. So, you see, it's really not a disaster at all but, rather, a completely understandable and necessary enterprise. Of coure we could have, or still could, make a genuine attempt to find a better solution to the problem. But where's the profit in that?

So Mr. and Mrs. North America and all the ship at sea, now that you understand it, I hope you are satisfied with what we have done and what we need to continue doing. It's the American way.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

More flotsam

There is an ad for Zocor (Zokor?) that appears regularly on CNN. I swear that the woman speaking at one point actually says, "If you have had a heart attack or have heart problems you should talk to your doctor." I feel better already. When are they gong to do something about these totally ridiculous pharmaceutical ads that drive up the cost of drugs and are absolutely unnecessary? Probably never? You are probably right.

There is another ad that runs frequently, an ad for Toyota. It features a picture of a new and very fine Toyota plant and part of the text says something to the effect that "Toyota has created 200,000 jobs in the U.S." Now what I want to know is, if Toyota can build and enormous new plant and create 200,000 jobs in the U.S., why do so many U.S. Corporations find it necessary to move overseas? There is something about this that makes no sense whatsoever. Is Toyota paying slave wages? Do they actually have slaves? Can you manufacture cars cheaper than shirts, pants, and shoes? Please, someone, explain this to me.

There is a really find article today on Smirking Chimp by Ken Sanders of Uruknet that deals with the war crimes of Bush/Cheney et al, as well as with the question of impeachment. Everyone should read it.

I have just watched the Woody Allen movie, The Front (actually I had watched it many years ago but more or les forgotten most of it). In my TV guide this movie is listed as a comedy. It is about the blacklist and the problems writers had when they were blacklisted, not a very funny theme. Zero Mostel, in a fine performance as a blacklisted actor, eventually jumps to his death from a hotel room because he cannot find work. Woody Allen goes to jail. Ha, ha, ha. Very funny. I guess if Woody Allen appears anywhere that means it must be a comedy. Someone should investigate the meaning of "comedy" in TV guides and movie reviews.

I have just learned from our local rag (newspaper) that a majority of people in North Idaho are too fat. And quite a few are actually obese. It turns out that men are more apt to be fat than women, but women are more apt to be obese. What does this mean? It means to me that large numbers of people here have no interest either in their appearance or their health. If you live here for a time this becomes pretty obvious. No doubt our Republican controlled legislature will find a solution just as they have for education. It's just a bunch of liberal lies. Sigh!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Reunion - short story

As there is little to say today that has not already been said many times over, how about another short story.

I noticed her the moment I entered the room. She didn't belong there. She was just as beautiful as she had been twenty years before, the last time I had seen her. I took a seat at the bar and glanced around the room. The reunion was being held in the Elks Club, an attractive two-story brick building immediately across the street from what had been my home, the house now converted to an antique store. The bar was large and shaped like a horseshoe. Through an open doorway I could see the cardroom where my now long-departed father had spent most of his spare time. He rarely stayed home even when not working.
From my position at the bar I examined Rosie as if for the first time. She was as I remembered her: gorgeous, with lovely smooth light olive-brown skin, raven-black hair, a slight widow's peak, lustrous large brown eyes, slender well-formed legs, small-waisted, high-breasted, five feet two, perfectly proportioned. She was sitting with a small group of women at the far end of the dance floor, all of whom, except for Rosie, I recognized as former classmates.
The silver, lead, zinc and gold mines that surrounded our town had attracted miners from far and wide. Among them were many Irish and Italians. There were also Swedes and Norwegians, Finns and Frenchmen, English and Germans, and others as well. I do not recall any overt acts of discrimination towards anyone but there were, of course, perjoratives in everyday speech, such as "wops" and "dagos" and "shanty Irish," and others. But as these expressions were rarely hurled as insults or even used in the presence of those to whom they referred they did little to upset the prevailing ethos. Interestingly, the two categories of people most disdained were "Niggers" and “Missourians.” As no black people lived in our town this term was also not much of a problem although it was often heard. The townspeople boasted that the sun would never set again on a black person in our town and, as far as I know, it never has. Blacks and Missourians were held in contempt because both at one time or another had been brought in as strikebreakers. Once the strikes were under control the Black battalion had moved on. A few Missourians had remained to work in the mines themselves. They often found themselves in fights with the local miners whose opinions of strikebreakers were strong, unforgiving, and remarkably long lasting.
All of the twenty bar stools were occupied, all but one by men. I recognized the lone woman as an ex-cheerleader. She had been cute rather than beautiful but now sat with wrinkles and bulging eyeballs looking twice her age. The twenty years had not been kind to her. She was already drunk and desperate for attention, simultaneously pitiful and repulsive. Small groups of men stood holding their drinks, talking and laughing. The few small tables were crowded with mixed groups doing the same. I recognized most of them including two men who, like Rosie, did not belong there. They were from a nearby town, our traditional rivals. One of them, Joey Costello, had been a boxer and football player of some note. He had been short and heavy-set, now he was short and fat. Very fat. He sat at the bar like Humpty Dumpty, round as a ball. We had all called him "Mousie" although I never understood why. Decidedly not handsome, Mousie had always been popular. He was funny and very Italian, from a large family. When asked, he would tell you that he lived "three whore houses and two bars down Railroad avenue," which was, in fact, true. His father owned the buildings where these businesses flourished.
The other man was a lifetime friend of Joey's, Johnny Pechi. He, too, had been an athlete: a football, basketball and track star of sorts. He was well built, still trim, and seemed to have no interest in anything other than his previous High School athletic prowess. He was loud and obnoxious with jug ears and a noticeable gap between his front teeth. Even so, he was not really bad looking. Eavesdropping on their conversation, it became obvious they had simply invited themselves to our reunion to reminisce and drink beer.
A small local band began to play popular dance music, including songs we had danced to twenty years previously. They played badly but no one seemed to mind. Only a few people danced. Finally, emboldened by drink and still curious about Rosie, I crossed the dance floor and asked her to dance. I feared she might refuse but she smiled and rose gracefully and held out her hand.
It was a slow piece and not too loud to prevent conversation.
"Rosie," I began, "I'm surprised to see you here. I mean, you know, you weren't in our class and never had much to do with us before. So how is it you're here at the reunion?"
Rosie had attended a Catholic School rather than our Public School. The two groups of students rarely had anything to do with each other.
"I wouldn't be here if it weren't for Johnny," she said. "He wanted to come and insisted that I come too."
"Johnny? Johnny Pechi? What's he got to do with it?”
"Oh, don't you know? He's my husband."
"You're married to Johnny Pechi?" I'm sure she noticed the surprised disbelief in my voice. "No, I didn't know. I haven't been here for twenty years and I'm sorry to say I haven't kept in touch with anyone, especially since my parents died."
I was surprised, even shocked to learn that Rosie had married Johnny Pechi. But it took only a moment to realize that of course it was perfectly understandable. They were both Italian Catholics. Rosie's parents must have insisted on such a husband. Johnny Pechi was from a respectable Italian family in a nearby town. Rosie had obviously been raised for just such a marriage.
"We've been married for almost twenty years," Rosie reported, with what I interpreted as a touch of resignation.
"Do you have children?"
"No, no children." She offered no explanation.
"Are you happy?"
"Oh, yes. I guess I'm as happy as one can expect to be." She didn't sound happy.
"Isn't it strange," I continued. "I've known you all my life but didn't actually know you at all. You kids from the Academy just didn't mix with the rest of us. It was like we were from two completely separate worlds even though we all lived here together in the same small town."
"Yes, it was strange I guess. My parents raised me as a strict Catholic. They didn't encourage me to be around anyone who wasn't Catholic. But what about you? You must be married."
"Divorced!" Rosie emphasized it with disbelief.
"Unfortunately, yes. I have two children but they live with their mother."
"How awful." Rosie turned to look towards her husband.
The music stopped. I returned Rosie to where she had been sitting.
"Thank you," she said gently.
"Thank you, Rosie."
I returned to the bar and took a seat as far from the cheerleader as I could. It was an end seat and I turned away from everyone to stare at the wall. I thought about the Academy, an ugly three-story brick building sitting on one corner of an otherwise empty city block. Although there had been a small playground there was no grass. The whole area around the school was just dirt. We rarely saw any of the Nuns that ran the Academy. I think they lived on the third floor. To me they were as alien as if they had come from outer space. I knew nothing of what went on at the Academy. True, I sometimes heard the students complaining about catechism, but I had no idea what that was. Although I recognized children that attended the Academy, like Rosie, I knew little or even nothing about them.
Our Public High School, although much larger and somewhat more attractive than the Academy, was on the opposite side of town. It, too, had an absolutely bare playing field with a few broken-down swings and slides. Our football team, almost all tough miner’s sons, took pride in the fact they played on bare ground rather than grass. As the Academy kids didn't play organized sports, we rarely thought of them at all.
"Rosie, I always thought you were the most beautiful girl in town." We were dancing again. What I said was true.
"Why didn't you ever tell me?"
"How could I have? We never talked apart from saying hello."
"I know. I always wanted to talk with you. I liked you. You had such a nice smile." Rosie spoke softly but seriously. I held her closer. She did not resist.
I began to feel I had been cheated of something, that my life had been incomplete, that I had been denied something that might have been very important to me. I heard Johnny Pechi's loud braying laughter and turned to watch him. God! He's such a boor, I thought. The idea of Rosie being married to him was almost more than I could bear.
People continued to drink and talk and laugh. A few more couples appeared on the dance floor. Johnny never once danced with his wife. Indeed, he showed no interest in her whatsoever. He was intent on reliving his mostly imaginary athletic triumphs. The cheerleader was passed out at the bar. Joey had a half-dozen people in stitches with his endless outrageous stories.
Mysteriously, and without speaking of it, Rosie and I now began to dance every dance except the occasional fast ones that we sat out together.
"Rosie, you truly are beautiful. I wish I had been able to know you before. I feel like I've been cheated. And for what a silly reason. I didn't realize back then just how strange the situation was. You were an Italian and a Catholic and went to the Academy. I went to the Public School. But how absurd that we allowed that to have kept us so far apart. My family never had any bad feelings towards Italians or Catholics although I'm sure some people did. I guess your family just didn't want you to have anything to do with us.”
"Yes, you're right. My parents were strict. They thought people didn't like us because we were Italians and Catholics. They had no friends who were not just like they were. Sometimes I wish it had been different. But it doesn't matter now. It's too late to change anything." Rosie's voice was soft and she spoke with such a pensive and melancholy tone I was overcome with sadness and regret.
Rosie said little after that. Over time she moved closer and closer. Johnny was drunk and still babbling loudly about his increasingly imaginary exploits. He paid no attention to us. Through her thin cotton summer dress I could feel all of her lovely body. Her lightly perfumed hair was soft against my cheek, her hand was small and moist in mine. We became unaware of anyone or anything except each other. People began to leave. When the band at last played Auld Lang Syne we clung tightly to each other. With tears in my eyes I felt her quiet sobbing.

Friday, June 24, 2005


Dick the Slimy, having said the resistance in Iraq is in "its last throes," now has attempted to clarify his remark by quibbling over the definition of "throes." In the context of his remark, however, it doesn't really matter what the definition of throes is. When he said the resistance was in its last throes that cannot be construed to mean anything other than the resistance is about to come to an end - its LAST throes. Cheney has also said that Iraq is going to be a resounding success. This might have had some slight credibility if he hadn't added, "just like Afghanistan." Afghanistan is a success? He truly does inhabit a different planet from the rest of humanity. I am beginning to believe he may simply be mentally ill. But he still runs things and Bolton may still get another vote (can you believe it?).

It should also thrill all Americans to learn that after four and a half years of the Bush/Cheney administration the United States is now regarded less favorably than China. China is a communist country. So now, after all these years of communist bashing, it turns out that the vast majority of the world thinks China is a better country than the U.S. I tell you, these Republicans are something. Something else I guess. The way things are going I suspect it won't be much longer before the U.S. will be perceived as worse than the Sudan. But it's all because you got to fight terrists everywhere (except for those who make up the House and the Senate).

Speaking of the House, I guess you are aware that for the umpteenths time they have taken the time to pass a constitutional amendment recommendation against flag burning. This is apparently a truly important issue for the House as they have spent a great deal of time over it in recent years. Never mind health care, Social Security, unemployment, the obscene national debt, the energy problem, the degraded environment, etc., what is important to the House of Representatives is that someone, somewhere, somehow, someway, might actually try to burn the American flag (which, by the way, is the proper way to dispose of a no longer useful flag). I confess to feeling much safer already. Of course the Senate will have to waste some time getting rid of this utterly ridiculous attempt, and even if they didn't it would have to be passed by two thirds of the states which would, conservatively estimated, waste time forever and almost surely never happen. But what else should the House be doing? Surely not taking care of important business. Well, they might start by impeaching Bush/Cheney. Naw, that would be too obvious. We are currently living in a country that to put it politely has gone absolutely "bonkers."

Gannon/Guckert - Gannon/Guckert - Gannon/Guckert - Gannon/Guckert - Gannon/Guckert What was he doing in the White House and who was he doing it with? This scandal simply cannot be left to disappear. A known male prostitute fake reporter given passes to the White House even when there were no Press Conferences scheduled? Come on! To me this story whispers persistently, Karl Rove, Karl Rove, Karl Rove...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

What is a quagmire?

Our astute (ha ha) Secretary of Defense claimed today that Iraq has not become a quagmire. He also claimed that things are going well. The generals sitting at the same table with him seemed to agree (like, what else could they do under the circumstances)? Quagmire, according to the definition in my dictionary, refers to a bog, or an awkward situation. I guess Rummy thinks Iraq is not an awkward situation as everything seems, according to him, to be under control. When asked by Kennedy why he should not resign Rummy said he has offered to resign twice but Bush would not accept his resignation. I guess it hasn't occurred to him that he could have just resigned rather than merely offered. He could hardly expect Bush to accept his offer as Bush only does as he is told and of course Cheney would not allow anything that might look like an admission of failure. In this case abject failure.

Durbin had nothing whatsoever to apologize for. He did not compare the Bush/Cheney administrtion to nazis. He said, quite plainly, and quite simply, if you read this report (from the FBI), and if you didn't know where it came from, you might well think it had come from nazis or Stalinists, or whatever - which I believe is absolutely true. I simply do not understand why Democrats are so damned quick to back down on everything and anything. When they say something true they should stick with their position, not just capitulate. This is one quality that I believe you have to admire in Dean. He doesn't just back down, and he speaks the truth. The Republican party is demonstrably an overwhelmingly white party. That is the truth. It is also most probably true that most of the Republican politicians never did an honest day's work in their lives. Unfortunately that is probably true of most Democrats in office also. For the most part those who attain such offices were clearly priviledged to begin with. And unless you believe that politicking is an honest day's work they probably all lack credibility.

Rove seems to have stuck his foot in his mouth so now it is his turn to either apologize or what? His comment that Republicans saw 9/11 and prepared for war whereas Democrats just wanted therapy for the terrorists was so far off-base it might not even be possible for him to adequately apologize. Trying to deal with McClelland's defense makes one wonder if there is any sanity left at all in the world. There certainly is none in McClelland's head.

Just when is enough, enough?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

What more is there to say?

What more is there to say? It is perfectly obvious what has happened. Bush/Cheney went to "war" under totally false pretenses, lied to Congress and the American People, are responsible for untold numbers of deaths that could easily have been avoided, have accomplished nothing other than enriching their corporate friends, and still have no idea what the hell they are doing in Iraq (except trying to build a number of permanent bases that will be under constant attack forever, or at least until they have to be dismantled and removed). All of this for the modest cost of 300 billion dollars (oh, I forgot, it was all going to pay for itself with Iraq oil - silly me). And even though their poll ratings are approaching negative numbers they just go on telling us that everything is going well, things in Afghanistan and Iraq are just peachy-keen, we're about to "win" in a situation in which it is perfectly obvious there is no way to win.

The Gannon/Guckert scandal has apparently been successfully neutralized. I guess there is no reason anyone would want to know why a known Homosexual Prostitute with no Press credentials or experience, was allowed to attend White House Press Conferences for over a year, and was also allowed into the White House over 30 times when no Press Conference was even scheduled. What is wrong with people who might want to know about that? Is there anyone out there who can honestly argue that had this happened during the Clinton Administration we would still be hearing about it 24/7? To hush this up so completely must have required clout at the very highest levels of government. Karl Rove anyone? Who arranged these passes for Gannon/Guckert? Where was he when he was in the White House? Who was he with? What was he doing? Why was he there at all? Who was paying him? What in the hell was this all about? I'm sorry to be so persistent, BUT I WANT TO KNOW!

Frist was apparently willing to give up on the Bolton nomination, having concluded that his negotiating with Democrats would go nowhere. But I guess after a meeting with benign old Uncle Dick the Slimy he changed his mind and now wants to try a vote once again. Maybe this is better than a recess appointment, maybe not. But if the Decmocrats stand pat they will win this one big time. "Right" (remember that concept) is clearly on their side. So unless some Democrats fold, Dick the Slimy will lose. So what is the White House sitting on that is so dangerous they dare not share it with the Senate? When will Dick the Slimy be forced to realize that all power, always, does not reside in the Executive Branch?

With all branches of government now firmly in the hands of Republicans, and with no existing honorable Republicans who will place country before party, the future does not look promising. But there may still be time. The citizenry has clearly turned against these Fascist, warmongering, war-profiteering, murderous, right-wing neocon, Corporate loving, phony Christian thugs, and perhaps once again the people will win out against this outrageous attempt to emasculate us.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Bolton fiasco

What I and many others predicted happened; Bolton lost again. It was pretty clear that once the battle was joined between the Senate and the White House (really Dick the Slimy) the Senate would win. However inept and inefficient they may have been up until now they are not ready to be told by the White House what they can see and what they cannot see, when they are obviously legally entitled to see what they want. Aside from the obvious truth that Bolton is the wrong person for the job, this means there is at least a ray of light emanating from U.S. politics - namely, that Dick the Slimy has not attained full dictatorial power...yet. But do not doubt even for an instant that he will stop working at it. It is obviously the goal of the present administration to attain complete control of the U.S. government, such that they can do whatever they wish. And what they wish is, of course, to take us back to the 18th century when all wealth was in the hands of a very few and all others were merely peasants or serfs with few, if any, rights. Is that not exactly what you see happening at the moment?

By now it is perfectly obvious that Bush wanted to go to "war" with Iraq from even before he was anointed as President. Nothing could be more obvious. And nothig could be more obvious than what he has done is clearly impeachable. Indeed, I should say, impeachable many times over. It is still doubtful, however, that that happy day will come. Our democracy, what there is left of it, along with our place in the world of nations, is hanging precariously by brittle threads. The only conceivable way this can be overcome is through impeachment and a subsequent investigation of war crimes. Closing down Gitmo by itself will not do it. That is too much like the proverbial closing the barn door after the horse has already escaped. Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice/Perle/Wolfowitz, etc., etc., have to be held accountable. Nothing else will do. What these neocon lunatics have brought about, while not up to the scale of Nazi Germany, Stalin, or Pol Pot, is every bit as evil. There is no legal or moral justification whatsoever for invading a sovereign nation that was not a threat, torturing, incarcerating people for years with no charges brought against them and no right to trial, war profiteering, hiding prisoners from the Red Cross, and violating treaty after treaty, as well as making a mockery of international law and the constitution. It is inconceivable to me that anyone could think otherwise, but I guess there are still a few true believers who continue to believe that might is right, black is white, up is down, failure is success, the earth is flat, and lying is apparently good for the soul. If I had a buffalo skull I would pray to the Great Mystery for some much needed help.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Mysteries - comments and an essay

George W. Bush reportedly said on his radio program that we are in Iraq because of 9/11. Has no one told even by now that there is no connection whatsoever between Iraq and 9/11? And how is it that no one at all, including reporters, has ever challenged this absurd claim? I find this mysterious.

Similarly, Dick the Slimy has claimed that the insurgency in Iraq is "in its last throes." No one seems to have seriously challenged this utter absurdity either, at least not in any way that would be considered important. Another mystery.

Then there is our great leader, Secretary of Defense, Grandpa Rumsfeld, who has maintained consistently over the years that we do not need more troops in Iraq. This is not what many of our senior military officers have concluded or, indeed, what some of them agreed to in the first place. But Rumsfeld, having proven to be an absolute disaster as Secretary of Defense, continues in that position and is said by Bush to be doing a "superb" job. Is this not also a great mystery?

But let us go on to more serious mysteries:

Having passed the mid-century mark quite some time ago I have finally come to realize that there must be indeed a great mystery to life that I simply do not understand. How else would you explain, for example, that in more than sixty plus years of travel -- by bus, train, plane, and boat, I have never, not even once, been seated next to an attractive woman of approximately my own age or younger? In those cases where I could have chosen to sit anywhere I wanted there was never such a creature available to sit near (I assure you I would have seized the opportunity). In the remainder of cases (the vast majority) I see no reason to suppose that all transportation clerks in all of the various transportation fields were somehow in a secret conspiracy to not so seat me (I am not yet that paranoid).
Similarly, I have never understood what other people do in banks and post offices and such places. I go to the bank or post office, wait in line, get to the clerk, conduct my business. The whole thing (aside from waiting in line) takes probably at most 30 seconds. Granted traveler's checks and money orders take a bit longer but even here it doesn't take long. So what are all those people doing that I'm waiting for endlessly? Five, ten, fifteen minutes, sometimes even longer. What in the world do they do? Are they trying to make out with the tellers? Having a family meeting? Attempting to extort money? Involved in the International Banking business? Perhaps they are mistakenly waiting for something else? Like a bus? Or are their accounts so hopelessly confused that even the computer is defeated? Why can't everyone be like me? I just round off all of my checkbook entries to the next highest number so I always have more than it appears.
Furthermore, why is it I have never won anything? One would think that after six decades of entering sweepstakes contests, buying raffle tickets, lotteries, football and baseball pools, and etc., one might win something even if it was the booby prize or 500th place, anything. But no. Nothing. Don't get me wrong. I'm not merely complaining. I have a genuine scientific (if you will) interest in this matter. Not only have I not personally won anything, I don't know anyone who has won anything. Indeed, I don't know anyone who knows anyone who has won anything. But you see the problem! The odds against knowing no one who knows someone who once won something are astronomical -- or at least I think they must be. Not being a statistician I have no choice but to ponder these mysterious circumstances and consider it fate. One of the great advantages in believing in fate is simply that fate is fate. It isn't supposed to be either fair or random. It's fate. Good, clean, and straightforward. But even having accepted my fate I still can't stop wondering why I've never been seated next to an attractive woman in all these years. Fate may be just fate but it can be cruel.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Cognitive dissonance

I haven't really thought of cognitive dissonance in a long time. But reflecting on recent events I have concluded that cognitive dissonance is what I am suffering. That is, when there is a mismatch between what you are told and what you actually experience you have this strange mental situation. Perhaps the most simply example of this is Dick the Slimy's statement that the Iraqi resistance is "in its last throes." Try to reconcile that in your brain with what seems to be actually happening in Iraq.

Another example might well be the reaction of the MSM and Republicans to the Downing Street Memos. Now they are saying something like, "well, what's new about that? We all knew he was lying in the first place." Try to make sense of that. The implication is that because we were all aware he was lying in the first place we shouldn't be concerned about it. NOT CONCERNED ABOUT IT! Our President deliberately lied to bring about an illegal, unconstitutional, immoral, and unnecessary "war" in which many of our children and thousands of others perished and we are not concerned about it? What kind of warped illogic is in the minds of these people? They seem to believe that if they just ignore it, it will go away like all the rest of their scandals. After all, if we all knew he was lying before the release of the memos, why should we trouble ourselves about it now? Are you required to undergo a lobotomy when you register as a Republican?

Now it has also been revealed that not only did we lie to the British about our use of napalm, we have also done everything possible to downplay their concern over global warming. This after also learning that Cooney (I think that's his name) edited all the paperwork on global warming for the White House to make global warming seem as innocuous or unlikely as possible. Once he was found out he suddenly took a job with Exxon. Sigh.

Newt the Hypocrite has written a letter to the Senate urging them to censor Senator Durbin over remarks made by Durbin about the torture scandals. He complains, rightly so perhaps, that Guantanamo (and presumably our other torture centers) are not at all like the Nazi death camps, Stalin's gulags, Pol Pot's strocities, and so on. And of course they are not. But that is not what Durbin said. What he said was: if you were to read these reports from the FBI and others, and if you didn't know where they came from, you might well think they were written by the Nazis, etc. I think this is quite likely perfectly true. But trust the Republicans to twist everything to their advantage and by concentrating on one or more statements thereby reduce any attention to what was in fact the problem. Their criticism of Amnesty Internation is a perfect case in point. They seized on "gulag" as the only important statement and thus managed to shift attention away from the fact that the Amnesty report was most probably otherwise true. They used the same strategy with the unfortunate Dan Rather situation. The fact that what he said was true became lost in the confusion over where it came from. Given the Republicans cleverness is doing this kind of thing, and given the gullibility of their followers in believing it, it behooves Democrats to be more careful in what they say and how they say it. But this doesn't mean they shouldn't go ahead and attack, they should, but they should stand firm and defend themselves from Republican attempts to make black into white.

Friday, June 17, 2005

How much more outrage can we take?

It turns out that at the very moment Cheney insists that Guantanamo is absolutely necessary for the war on terror his company, Halliburton, has been awarded a huge multimillion dollar contract to expand the facilities there. One hundred and thirty million I believe the figure is. No conflict of interest here because we all know Cheney has assured us he no longer has any interest in the company - even though they continue to pay him in the hundreds of thousands annually. Is this not outrageous?

Tomlinson, the head of the organization to separate Public Broadcasting from any political influence, is now blatantly violating that charge and insisting that PBS become merely another arm of the Bush/Cheney administration. There is just too much liberal bias, according to Tomlinson, that needs to be countered by having more conservative programs. The Republicans have long wanted to get rid of Public Broadcasting and, while having tried and failed in the past, now think they can at least cut its funding by half - that, of course, would go a long way toward getting rid of it entirely. To do this Tomlinson has engaged in no end of illegal maneuvers to bring it about. Nothing outrageous about this I guess.

It seems that the Bush/Cheney bunch actually lied to their almost only ally (Britain) in the "war" against Iraq. They claimed they did not illegally use napalm (or a new version of that obscene weapon) in Iraq. But it turns out they did. They may have used it in Falluja as well as elsewhere. Nothing outrageous about lying to your only real ally.

When Congressman Conyers wanted to hold a session devoted to the Downing Street memo scandal the Republicans would only allow them a very small space in the basement somewhere. A room that was terribly overcrowded and designed to minimize whatever impact such a meeting might have. Not only that, they also scheduled eleven votes on important pieces of legislation for precisely the time the Conyers meeting was to take place. Again, nothing outrageous here, just good clean Republican fun. It had never occurred to me until now that Republicans would control even the assignment of rooms. I would have thought there must be an office in charge of such things. You know, like a bipartisan arrangement so that both Democrats and Repubicans could ask for space, etc. Republican paranoia and fear seems to know no bounds.

Oh, yes, the Schiavo travesty. We now know that the poor woman's brain had shrunk to half the size it should have been and in addition to that she was blind. You would think that Frist, DeLay, and others might actually apologize for their outrageous claims that she was sentient and trying to communicate, etc. But no, even her parents refuse to accept reality. Outrageous? Not for Republicans. After all, medical science is no more useful than prayer when it comes to such things.

At least we now have the beginnings of a Resolution of Inquiry, the first step toward possible impeachment. Whatever comes of this, John Conyers should go down in history as the first hero of the 21st century. And what should come of this is clearly impeachment, long overdue, perfectly obvious, and merely the first step in the very long and difficult road ahead to restore American credibility and honor in the world (if, indeed, by now that will even be possible). The enormity of the crimes is such that Americans seem unable to comprehend the situation. It is so bad that outright denial seems to be the only defense. No one wants to, or even can accept, what Bush/Cheney and their gang of international thugs has wrought. I am reminded of a great book title which is certainly appropriate here - PAST ALL DISHONOR.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Not this time!

I don't think the White House and Bush/Cheney are going to get away with more stonewalling this time. I believe (certainly hope) that things have now gone too far for Democrats and others to back down and surrender as they have been doing repeatedly up until now. The Conyers hearing has had enough publicity that even the MSM can't continue to entirely ignore it. The Bolton fiasco has still to run its course and it doesn't look too promising for Bolton. Especially as the White House is absolutely wrong on this issue - they will have to provide the information requested or Bolton will stay in limbo. And if they do provide the information Bolton will almost surely go down.

And now there is the little problem of the polls. Bush/Cheney and the Congress both are rated somewhere below Genghis Khan at the moment. I don't believe this is going to change now, no matter what stunts Karl Rove tries to pull off. I do believe the die has been cast and ultimately Bush/Cheney and their gang of criminals are on their way out. The Schiavo travesty has now been exposed, Frist has shown himself to be little more than a loonytunes doctor, DeLay is sweating blood, Bush becomes more inarticulate day by day (if that is possible), and Cheney is now exposed as truly living in a different world from the rest of us. Scott McClennan has reached the point of minus zero credibility and the senior military has now admitted what anyone with even half a brain knew a long time ago - no military victory in Iraq is possible. Our troops are suffering casualties on a daily basis and there are few willing to replace them. No one has seriously sugggested a draft as yet because if they do the whole country will probably explode in such a rage Bush/Cheney might actually be impeached. In short, things are in an incredible mess. Even worse than I could possibly describe. Aren't you glad that the adults have been in charge for the last four and a half years? Impeachment, should it actually occur (and it certainly should) would be no more than a slap on the wrist given the enormity of the crimes. Sensennbrenner (sp?) is a perfect role model for our current aspiring fascists. Will the obscenely rich ever get enough to satisfy them?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

It's about to hit the fan

Finally, at long last, something may actually happen. Conyers is starting his investigation of the Downing Street memo, et al. The Bolton nomination may resurface with an excellent possibility that he might not get confirmed. Impeachment questions are actually getting some long overdue attention. The autopsy on Schiavo confirms that she was not only brain dead but blind as well. So much for Frist's claim she was flirting with him. The Bush/Cheney/Blair/Rumsfeld/Rice/etc. lies are finally catching up with them. Things are so bad even the MSM might have to actually look into something other than Michael Jackson and Paris Hilton. Of course the Republicans think things are going so well they want to rescind the amendment making it impossible for a President to have more than two terms. THEY APPARENTLY ACTUALLY WANT TO HAVE A PERMANENT BUSH PRESIDENCY! Why not, things are going so well. If this is not evidence of obvious and serious insanity I do not know what more one might need.

Apparently five more Senators signed on to apologize for not passing anti-lynching legislation in the past. That leaves only a mere 15 who must think lynching was okay, including, as far as I can determine, our own Mike Crapo. Now, seriously, even if you secretly believe lynching Black people was fine and dandy wouldn't you have enough sense to support the anti-lynching resolution anyway? You know, you could always do it with your fingers crossed or something. And you notice the Senate did not approve a voice vote that would have exposed everyone's vote. Ah, cowardice, your name is Senator so-and-so.

The White House continues to refuse to turn over information that the Senate is legally entitled to have. It is obvious that whatever is there is serious enough to sink Bolton and embarrass the administration. But if they don't turn it over they will look really bad. So what is their solution? Insist the Democrats don't need the information anyway and are just trying to stall the proceedings. Pathetic. But with the help of their propaganda arm, the MSM, maybe they'll get away with it once again. However, I must say that for the first time in a long time I sense at least a glimmer of hope. Especially now that Dick the Slimy has assured us the resistance in Iraq is in its last throes. I wonder if he told the senior military people about it? I can't wait for tomorrow and the day after. Whee!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I guess lynching wasn't so bad

The U.S. Senate passed a non-binding resolution apologizing for the fact that for years and years they refused to pass any kind of legistlation at all prohibiting lynching, even though Congress had passed such things repeatedly. Some 5000, almost all black people, were lynched from the late 1880's up until the 1960's. I don't usually worry a whole lot about passing apologies for things that happened years ago, such as the Catholic church a few years back saying they didn't really think the Jews were responsible for killing Christ, or apologizing for not speaking out against the Nazis, or whatever.

What I found so interesting about this latest apology, however, is that of 100 Senators only 80 supported this resolution. How on earth could anyone now, in the 21st century, not support such a resolution, especially as it was non-binding? Of the 20 who did not support it, 19 were Republicans (surprise!), mostly from the south. I guess this means that southern Senators still think lynching must have been, or perhaps still is, perfectly okay. Presumably they feel sentiments about lynching are still so strong in their areas that they do not dare to suggest it might have been (or still is) about the most disgusting and horrble crime ever.

One Democrat refused to sign on, Kent Conrad of South Dakota. I guess he must be a Senator of genuine conviction. Personally, I find it hard to believe that people in South Dakota actually support lynching, but I guess Conrad knows his constituency better than I do. Or at least he thinks he does.

What really bothers me the most, however, is that Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho (my own state) didn't support this resolution. Even our other Senator, Craig, the Senator from Boise Cascade and the timber industry, somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan, must have supported it. So what is it with Crapo? As Idaho is the most Republican state in the union, and not exactly enamoured of Black people, I suppose Crapo is doing what he thinks is the best for representing his constituents. But as both Craig and Crapo are right-wing nutcases, and almost always vote in the same way for all Republican causes, I can't help but wonder what went wrong. Perhaps one of them didn't get his instructions from the White House on time, or misread them because of his eagerness to destroy Anwar as quickly as possible. Maybe because there are so few Black people in Idaho Crapo just didn't think it was important. After all, we were so busy lynching Indians back then we just didn't have much time to seek out Blacks. You just can't do everything at once, as we all know.

So, apropos of nothing, let us consider Grandpa Rumsfeld, busily destroying the U.S. military. By any objective standard whatsoever (not that Republicans understand the concept of objectivity) Rumsfeld has been a total failure as Secretary of Defense. He was wrong about what would happen in Iraq, wrong about how many troops would be needed, wrong about post-"war" requirements, wrong about how long the insurgency would last, wrong about...hell, just wrong, wrong, wrong about everything. But he is still there, still in charge of torture and war crimes, still doing what Bush has described as a superlative job, the best Secretary of Defense ever. I bet when he finally gives it up there will be 72 virgins waiting there in heaven for him. I suggest that 72 psychiatrists would be more appropriate. If you think Rumsfeld has been or is doing a fine job you need to join him in his much too late lobotomy.

Someone today said that if Bush had sex with a sheep on the White House steps and then set the animal on fire her mother would say, "he's just trying to help. Why do you hate America?" Why, indeed?

Monday, June 13, 2005


Things have now reached the point where they are so bad it is almost impossible to even comment any further. The lies and hypocrisy of the Bush/Cheney administration are so blatantly ridiculous it leaves one virtually speechless. Trying to deal with this complete mess is like baying at the moon. Iraq is an absolute disaster. Even the senior military people now concede that a military solution will not be possible. As this has been perfectly obvious for more than two years it makes you wonder just how stupid the military (and Rumsfeld) really are. Afghanistan, about which we hear very little these days, is a disastrous mess. The U.S. national debt has grown to the point where we are literally owned by the Chinese (if they decide to cash in their chips). Health care in the U.S. is a disaster and seems to be getting worse day by day. The environment suffers under the ridiculous plans for "clean air," "healthy forests," and other such totally misleading labels. Bush's poll numnbers, along with those of Congress are at all time lows but they all continue on doing business as usual as if they are unconcerned. And why should they not be unconcerned as no one seems to have the inclination to do anything about it (or if they have the inclination they don't have the power or authority they need). Those with the temerity to speak the truth, such as Howard Dean, are castigated even by their own party. I am pretty damn old and I can tell you that never in my lifetime have things sunk so low for the United States. You know the old typing exercise we used: "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country?" It has never been more true or more pertinent. If U.S. citizens don't wake up soon and see what an absolute mess Bush/Cheney have made of our country and the world it is going to be too late.

Thank god for John Conyers and Howard Dean. They will have my total support from now on. There will be none for Hillary (on the board of directors of Wal Mart and just another Republican-lite). None for Kerry for the same reasons. None for the DLC which I hope will soon just disappear. And none for any Democrat like Biden who is so chicken he distances himself from the truths coming out of Dean's mouth. This current Republican administration is so foul, so bad, so disastrous, so dishonest, so criminal, so utterly incompetent, that it should collapse under its own weight, and perhaps it will. But if Democrats can't organize themselves to defeat it they will surely deserve to suffer the consequences which, I assure you, will not be pleasant. Wake up America! Man the barricades! Do something! All the evidence is in. We know exactly what has happened. There is no further excuse for inaction. If there is still 40% of Americans who support Bush/Cheney they are too stupid to worry about. Let the Rapture have them, the sooner the better. We must take back our country from these lunatic right-wingers who believe the earth was created 4000 years ago and dinosaurs never existed, the Grand Canyon was created by the flood, and Christianity is the only true religion. No more compromising with these idiots, no more giving in to Republican extremism, no more pretending that the current Republican Party is not, in fact, a criminal enterprise in the service of corporate America. The time for meaningful action is now! Support Dean. Support Conyers. Support Boxer. Support Kennedy. Support Byrd. Do not give another inch to Republicans on anything. There is no such thing as bipartisanship with this current bunch of lying dishonest hypocrites.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Am I overly obsessional, single-minded, irrational, out-of-line, unpatriotic, or otherwise delusional because I want to know about the Gannon/Guckert (apparently non-scandal) scandal?

How is it that a gay prostitute with no press credentials or experience was given repeated passes to the White House Press Conference over a period of more than a year? And how is it that he was also given passes to enter the White House on more than thirty occasions when there wasn't even a Press Conference? Like, where was he? What was he doing? Who was he seeing? Who arranged for these occasions? And why?

Why did this potential scandal totally disappear from the MSM? Imagine what would have happened if this had occurred while Clinton was President. If you can't imagine it you are too stupid to exist. If it had occurred on Clinton's watch we would still be hearing about it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on every major news program there is. If you don't think so you are in abject denial (which seems to pretty much characterize all Bush/Cheney supporters).

For this story to be so totally closed down, so totally ignored by the media, means that someone very powerful indeed is behind it. I don't believe the Press Secretary would have enough clout to bury this so completely even though I suspect he was involved in it somehow. Gannon/Guckert was an obvious shill for the administration, placed there on purpose to lob soft questions at precisely those moments when more difficult questions were threatened. He did this repeatedly for the Press Secretary and also for the President himself.

I believe only one person could have conceived of this scheme and had enough power to actually bring it about - Karl Rove. This is precisely the kind of thing Rove might easily have thought up and put into play. It is classic Rovianism. But what might the connection have been between Karl Rove and Gannon/Guckert? Does anyone know? It is pretty obvious that the major media don't want to know and won't even try to know.

I don't know. But I want to know. Indeed, I demand to know (ha ha ha), as if I have any power to demand anything of these high level criminals. But why are the Democrats letting them off the hook on this? Why are they not absolutely demanding an investigation? The Republican strategy on this and many other scandals is simply to ignore them until they fade away - and Democrats just let them get away with it time after time.

For me, at the moment, I would at least temporarily give up worrying about drilling in the arctic, the deficit, social security, the failed war in Iraq, war profiteering, torture, medicare, the Plame affair, even 9/11, etc., etc., etc., if I could only learn the truth about WHY A KNOWN HOMOSEXUAL PROSTITUTE WAS GIVEN ACCESS TO THE WHITE HOUSE REPEATEDLY AND WHAT IN THE HELL HE WAS DOING THERE!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Finally they might be getting the picture

There was an article today in the Boston Globe that suggests the Iraqi government (such as it is), with the full support of the U.S., is attempting to find a political solution to the problems in that unfortunate country. What makes this so interesting is the implicit, if not explicit admission that a military solution is just not going to be possible. This is commendable but one wonders why in the world they did not admit this two or more years ago when it was every bit as obvious as it is now. Could it be simply that our present administration simply cannot admit a mistake - ever? Think of all the lives that would have been saved had they had the courage to face the facts and admit the problem in a timely fashion. Didn't we learn this lesson in Vietnam? You cannot win a "war" when the enemy is a populace that does not want you to occupy their country - and it doesn't make any difference how many bombs you drop or innocents you kill. Of course it will be difficult to give up all that oil and control of the Middle East, which was the goal of the neocons illegal and immoral war. Will they continue to dream of establishing permanent bases in Iraq and creating a puppet government that will do their bidding? Or will they finally have to concede defeat and slink away with their tails between their legs? Let us sincerely hope it is the latter.

Now there is a smoking gun on top of a smoking gun, on top of bullets in the smoking gun, on top of a smoking cannon. Blair and Bush are not going to be able to continue to deny the truth. A new leaked British memo, having to do with a high level secret British meeting, makes it quite clear that they knew regime change was not a legitimate reason for going to "war," and therefore they had to find a way to make the "war" legal, which they then attempted to do. Unfortunately they failed to make it legal even though they have tried to pass it off as justified in one way or another. This business of the Downing Street memo and now this is not going to go away no matter how much the Administration or the MSM tries to ignore it. So, in Bush's immortal words, "bring it on."

I fail to understand why Biden keeps trying to reach a compromise with the White House over the Bolton issue. All the Democrats have to do at this point is just stand fast. They have every right to the information they seek. The White House - I should probably say Cheney - is in a genuine bind over this. If they continue to refuse the information they will look very bad indeed, and if they provide it they will probably sink Bolton for sure. So just stand pat and show some spine for a change.

Bush/Cheney poll ratings at an all time low. Congress even lower. Barring another 9/11 (and don't bet on that), look for some real changes come 2006. Maybe happy days will be here again.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Starting to finally unravel?

Mark: Sorry to have to disagree with you. Yes, the Democrats can invoke extraordinary circumstances and try to filibuster. But Republicans don't have to agree that the circumstances are extraordinary and can return to their threat to do away with the filibuster. The Democrats lost again on this deal as three of the rotten candidates have now been confirmed. I also don't agree with you about Dean. Republicans and some of the toadying Democrats can't stand to hear the truth. But hopefully it will win out in the end.

It does seem to me that finally the Bush/Cheney disaster may be starting to unravel. Bush's rating are at an all time low. There is more and more talk of impeachment, or at least an examination of the possibility. Things are so bad that Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin cut off debate about the Patriot Act in an absolutely blatant act of abuse of power.

The Bolton nomination is going to go the way of the dodo bird unless the White House provides the information the Democrats are entitled to have. This is no longer about Bolton but is now basically a contest between Dick the Slimy and the Senate. If Reid can hold the Democrats together on this they will win (but, of course, you have to watch out for Lieberman, the traitor, who at least for the moment claims he is with the Democrats on this particular issue). Too bad they can't eliminate Bolton on the obvious grounds that he is absolutely wrong for the job. But, then, Bush/Cheney are also obviously wrong for the job, unless the job is to criminally take over the rest of the world.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Wuthering - essay

Again, I am temporarily so sick of politics, and especially this absolutely dismal incompetent administration, I must seek some temporary escape. So here is another unwanted, uncollected, unfinished, and uninspired essay:

Just what is wuthering? Even among people who have actually read Wuthering Heights, how many do you suppose understand what wuthering means, or, indeed, even if there is such a word as wuthering, apart from the title? And how many people nowadays read Wuthering Heights anyway? In short, is there such a word and, if so, what does it mean? If you randomly peruse most ordinary American English dictionaries I assure you, you will not find the word wuthering. If you are persistent enough and go to the Oxford English Dictionary , or look far enough on the internet, you will learn that although there is such a word it is not well known or widely used as, for example, in “the wuther of the wind through the trees,” or “the wind wuthered wearily.” In other words it has to do with the sound of the wind in the trees and is considered part of an obscure dialect found in the moors of Yorkshire in northern England. It seems to me that a fine and suggestive word like wuthering should not be allowed to slowly disappear. I suggest it might well be apt, descriptive, and useful in a wide variety of contexts.
For example, why could one not say the weather is “wuthering” on those dark, dreary, rainy days whether the wind was blowing or not? Or let us say a mother is home while her son is out on his first date. She could be said to be “wuthering,” in this case a combination of wondering and worrying. If someone is driving joyfully in their convertible with the wind in their hair and only pleasure on their minds it might be appropriate to say they are “wuthering on down the road.” How about a person aimlessly puttering about in their garden. Could they not be said to be “wuthering?” What about a mother hovering (wuthering?) over the dinner table, concerned that her youngster may not eat heartily enough? Or a child is anxious and not very confident about a mid-term examination – he or she keeps turning answers over in their mind. Could they not be described as “wuthering?” How about all those people who seem to be endlessly wandering in the malls, indecisive and procrastinating. Why should they not be described simply as “wuthering?” Or a mother smothering her child with attention, oblivious to the child’s obvious discomfort. Smothering, wuthering. Think of two people at a football game, dressed in their warmest clothes and bundled up in blankets and ear muffs, “wuthering” down to watch the game. “Hunkering down” by itself I think is not descriptive enough for this situation. Similarly, you could be “wuthered down” in your duck blind waiting for some action. When your friends call and ask what you are doing on a rainy or snowy day you could reply, “why, I’m wuthered down watching the TV,” or “I’m wuthered down with a good book.” Of course you could be a purist and say “the wind is wuthering through the trees,” or “the wind wuthered wearily,” but who would ever say things like that nowadays? And if you did people would no doubt think you were at least eccentric if not worse. Wuthering is a word that no one uses anymore. I believe that should be changed and this beautifully descriptive word should be kept alive in the language and used widely. If young people can use “awesome” or “cool” to describe almost everything why should we older folk not be allowed to use wuthering? Indeed, I use it often (now that I know it exists). When people ask me how I am I reply that I am “wuthering.” In this particular context it describes a combination of withering and weathering.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Abandon all hope?

It is very tempting for me to say "abandon all hope ye who live in the United States." I might say this because as usual nothing positive seems to happen anymore. I saw one article today that suggests liberals are rethinking the filibuster compromise. A little late I would say. Democrats can't seem to understand that whenever they compromise with Republicans the Republicans win. Judge Owens was confirmed, and now Judge Brown is also confirmed, and the third one (Pryor, I think the name is) will doubtless also be confirmed. All three were previously blocked by Democrats who apparently weren't very serious about it.

The DeLay ethics investigation is apparently not going to happen for at least another year. Delay DeLay seems to be the strategy. And DeLay is going to try to shift the focus from himself onto all others who might have taken illegal trips, etc. He might even get away with it, given the fact that Republicans think sleaze is good, and if you look up sleaze in the dictionary you will no doubt see a picture of Tom (the hammer) DeLay.

Then there is Bolton. Pretty obviously the worst nominee for the UN Ambassadorship you could imagine. A bully, liar, spy, and Republican toady. But as these are virtues in the eyes of Republicans he may well survive and be confirmed. Personally I don't think so as I don't believe Dick the Slimy as attained full dictatorial power quite yet (but he is certainly on his way). Sadly, even if he is not confirmed it will not be because he is an utter sleazeball but, rather, because the Cheney administration will not give up the information the Senate is entitled to.

Zalmay Khalilzad, who will probably be the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, replacing Negroponte, has said the U.S. has not done well in convincing the Iraqis that the U.S. is not trying to control their oil and is not going to build permanent bases in their country. Imagine! Why do you suppose they are not convinced of our obviously good intentions? Why, indeed?

It never struck me before when watching Bush, probably because whenever he appears I almost immediately turn off the TV, but today I saw a brief segment when he was being interviewed with Blair and it occurred to me that the best description I could muster was "weasel." He looks and acts exactly like a weasel. Perhaps that is not surprising as he is a weasel. If not, both he and Blair are the most flagrant liars that ever lived. If they say they did not plan to attack Iraq and used their armies only as a last resort they are lying - big time. They tell the same lies over and over. Iraq was violating the UN dictates. Pardon me, they weren't. Besides which, Israel has violated far more UN dictates than Iraq ever did and nothing ever happens to them (except more and more support from the US and Britain for their immoral genocidal behavior). And don't tell me I am anti-semitic. I don't care if they are Jews or not, they have not acted honorably, not once since Israel was established.

But we can't give up all hope quite yet. I was told today that if you provide your email address to someone-or-other you will be immediately informed of the Michael Jackson decision. Oh, happy days!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I'm finally getting it

If I am not completely dumb I am certainly slow when it comes to the obvious. Today, while trying not very successfully to build a kind of special bookcase (for my wife's new online book business, Arabella Books) I had what I guess might be called an epiphany. For the past four and a half years I have been trying to understand how Republicans could consistently vote for individuals that seem so obviously unworthy. Think Ashcroft, and now Gonzalez. But the best example is John Bolton. Bolton is known to be a bully, a liar, a spy on other members of government, a man who insists on twisting intelligence to his preconceived notions, and a sort of flunky for Cheney who, for example, flew to Europe to browbeat another official so he would not be able to send Chemical Inspectors to Iraq (and thus disrupt Bush's plans to invade). These are more than mere accusations. There is considerable evidence to back them up. And everyone is aware of this, including Republicans. Now to me it would seem perfectly clear that such a person should not be made Ambassador to the United Nations (especially as he has also publicly denigrated that institution for years). But Republicans are still going to vote for him and believe they will actually get him confirmed. How can this be?

This is what came to me today for the first time (I told you I was slow). These very characteristics: bullying, lying, spying, illegality, etc. that to me are perceived as bad things, to Republicans are considered good things. They are Republican virtues. They don't care that Bolton did something illegal to stop this man from putting in Inspectors, they think it is good that he did so.

So now I get it. The values I learned as a child and growing up in the United States: honesty, fair play, decency, compassion, charity, respect for science and logic, the golden rule, respect for others, separation of church and state, country above party, etc., if turned completely upside down, represent what the Republican party has become. This is why they can confirm the Ashcrofts, Cox's, Browns, Owens's, Clarence Thomas's, Bolton's, and other such reprehensible candidates. Because they think the values these people represent are actually good. Now I understand that for Republicans evil is good, black is white, up is down, science is bad, religion is good, mindless conformity is good, all dissent is not only bad but unpatriotic, do not question authority, and we know best what is good for you
children. Just listen to your Uncle Dick (who has been wrong about absolutely everything and laughing himself all the way to the bank along with all the other corporate crooks).

Am I happy now that I have slowly come to this rather obvious realization. No. Am I happy that I apparently can do nothing about it? No. Am I happy that no one in a position of authority is doing anything about it? No. At the moment I am just not at all happy. But, then, I don't watch TV or go to the movies. I guess that's my problem.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Is anybody home day

Things have deteriorated to such an extent in the United States I believe we should seriously consider a "is anybody home day?" That is, a time for every voting age person in the United States to seriously consider or reconsider what it is they believe and what it is they have done or will do. This should be a day for those who did vote and those who did not vote. On this day I suggest that everyone of voting age should stand in front of a mirror, point a finger at their head, and say to themselves, "is anybody home?" I sadly fear that if they did this it would become apparent that for many, if not most Americans, there has been nobody home.

I believe this to be probably true because for the last four and one half years the American electorate has put up with the most outrageous lies, the most outrageous secrecy, the most outrageous attacks on the constitution, and, indeed, the most outrageous attacks on their intelligence.

It is by now entirely clear, beyond any doubt, that the Bush/Cheney administration blatantly lied to bring about a totally unnecessary, immoral, illegal, and unconstitutional "war." The legal basis for impeachment now exists beyond a doubt. But nothing happens. Nothing happens because (1) the Republicans control the House of Representative where impeachment proceedings would have to begin, and (2) if such proceedings were to actually occur it would become obvious that Democrats as well as Republicans share some responsibility for the disastrous situation in Iraq.

If the United States ever had any moral ground to stand on (dubious) it has clearly disappeared. If we ever had any meaningful good will from others that goodwill has likewise disappeared. The enormity of the war crimes committed by the Bush/Cheney administration are such that it is unlikely the U.S. can ever recover from the disaster they have brought about. It is clear that neither Republicans or Democrats intend to do anything about these terrible and unforgiveable crimes, pretending that they didn't really happen, or they were necessary, or everything will turn out for the better given more time, or things are really not as bad as they seem. In fact, things are worse than they seem. We are engaged in criminal activities on a daily basis with seemingly no way out. To get out would involve having to admit that mistakes were made. But this administration is unable and/or unwilling to admit any mistakes at all. The current situation is unfortunately as close to hopeless as it is probably possible to imagine.

If there is any hope at all it lies in the hands of the American people. Forget anything positive coming from either political party. Go to the mirror. Put your finger to your head. Ask yourself, what are we to do to get out of this terrible situation? Ask yourself, do we really want to continue being led by this band of international criminals? Do you really believe anything they say anymore? Do they have any solution to the problem? Any exit strategy? Any intention of ever exiting Iraq? Is their greed so obsessional they will just go on murdering and stealing forever? What can stop them? The answer is only the American public. We have to rise up and demand a stop to this insanity. Now! Not two years from now. Not ten years from now. Not some hypothetical moment when we have trained enough Iraqis to take over (a time that quite likely will never come as long as we continue occupying their country).

I was once put in a minor position of authority for the first time. I remember asking the man who put me there, "what can I do?" He replied, "you can do anything you want until someone tells you to stop." It is past time for the American people to tell them in no uncertain terms to stop.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Bolton nomination

The nomination of John Bolton to be Ambassador to the United Nations is so wrong and so odious as to be almost beyond belief. It is Dick (the Slimy) Cheney who wants Bolton. He now claims Bolton will be approved. The Democrats have indicated that they may not be able to stop the nomination. If Bolton is actually confirmed and Cheney gets his way you might as well simply admit that Cheney has now attained dictatorial powers and will be able to do anything he wants. This nomination is so obviously wrong-headed, so potentially disastrous for our country, so transparently designed to cause more trouble in the United Nations and the world, that it simply should not be allowed. If the Democrats cave in to this, and the Republicans vote party rather than country, I believe our democracy will truly be lost. I would never have believed there could ever be a time when there were no honorable Representatives or Senators at all. But it appears more and more likely that is the case. John Bolton is absolutely, positively, the wrong person for this position. Everyone knows it, even the Republicans, so if it goes ahead you will know that politics takes precedence over the national interest. For Republicans it seems to be party above all. Sieg Heil! For Democrats it is just more cowardly capitulation. No, that's wrong. It is not capitulation, it is cooperation. After all, both Democrats and Republicans get their money from the same corporate war chests. The American political system is totally corrupt. Keep you eye on Bolivia because that is what we may come to here at home.

You may remember in the movie, Casablanca, there is a scene in which Claude Raines says something like "I order the wine, they give me a bill, I tear up the bill and that's that." That is not unlike my attempts to deal with our Idaho Senators, Craig and Crapo. I send them messages as to what I think they should do, they send me first an email saying they reveived my message and then a letter saying they don't care what I think. Anything I am in favor of they oppose and anything they are in favor of I am opposed. So it is a complete standoff. It has now reached the point where I no longer even open their replies as I know what they will say. In order to save the forests, at least a small part of them, I no longer even bother to send them messages about what I believe because I know they will just waste more paper and postage telling me how things are in politics. And how things are for them is whatever Bush/Cheney want. I swear they have no minds of their own, no convictions, no desire to do what might be right, no courage to opppose the administration, no visions for a better future, just the desire to maintain the corporate status quo. In short, they are as useless as the proverbial "tits on a boar."

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Me and "Butch"

Not long ago I signed something-or-other calling for the impeachment of Bush/Cheney. This was a message that was sent to our Congressman "Butch" Otter (who aspires to be the next governor of Idaho). I received a reply the other day that unfortunately I can no longer find (as I immediately threw it in the trash where it belonged). This reply was not addressed to Dr. Lew Langness. Nor to Mr. Lew Langness, nor even to Mr. Langness. It was addressed to "Lew." Thus I understand that I now have a level of intimacy with "Butch" that I certainly did not intend. I am not a stickler for such things but in this case I thought it was just a bit too patronizing. I don't recall exactly what the letter said but I do recall that the name George W. Bush was on the same page with the word "honorable." I believe it said that "Butch" didn't think George should be impeached because he had acted honorably. Now I would like to ask my new friend "Butch" to give me one example, just one, when George W. Bush has acted honorably. Was he acting honorably when as a child he blew up live frogs just for fun? How about as Governor of Texas when he executed more people than any other governor in history? All of these with only the most cursory consideration of the actual case histories? How about when he mocked a women pleading for him to spare her life? What about the abortion that he arranged for one of his early sexual adventures? How about when he failed to report the sale of stock in a timely fashion which should have got him in trouble but, of course, didn't? Oh, yeah, there was the bit about dodging Vietnam and then going AWOL even from that responsibility. This says nothing of his absolutely failed business enterprises that he had to be bailed out of by Daddy's friends. How honorably did he handle all that? Then there is the minor matter of having lied to Congress and the American people to start a so-called "war" against a small and helpless country that was no threat to the United States or anyone else? How honorable is that, "Butch?" Not only did he start such a "war" he has managed to kill and maim thousands of people including U.S. troops - in a "war" that was/is illegal, immoral, unconstitutional, and totally unnecessary. On top of that he obviously condoned torture, the hiding of prisoners from the Red Cross, shipping other prisoners to other countries where they could be tortured, holding prisoners for years without charge and without adequate opportunities to clear themselves - all war crimes. Of course this says nothing of repeated violations of election laws, the constitution, ths separation of church and state, and on and on and on. So, "Butch," I'm waiting for you to give me one example of honorable behavior on the part of George W. Bush, other than perhaps his slavishly following the dictates of the real president, Dick the Slimy. Oh, and "Butch," you won't get my vote for governor. Not even for dogcatcher.

New and even more damaging revelations about John Bolton, Cheney's hit man. I'm sticking by my prediction that Bolton won't be confirmed.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Still more flotsam

Somewhere I read today that the nipple police at at it again. Or maybe I should say still. Apparently ever since the Janet Jackson fiasco there has developed a genuine fear on the part of television people that someone, somewhere, somehow, might actually see a nipple, even if it appears behind some type of covering. Thus it is reported by, I think, Pamela Anderson, that she has actually had her nipples covered with bandages to they would be invisible. Think of that! Pamela Anderson without nipples. And then think of the lucky people who have to attach the bandages, a job I would happily volunteer for. I guess women are not supposed to have nipples. Come to think of it, I have seen the Janet Jackson tape replayed by now probably fifty or more times and I have yet to see her nipple. In fact, I've never seen her breast. While it is true that I am nearsighted I honestly believe that unless you saw the footage in slow motion and blown up considerably you would never see anything. But never mind, it must have been absolutely disgusting. There will be no nipples in future television shows. Murders, yes, arson, yes, rape yes, explosions yes, nudity yes, machine-gunning yes, torture yes, sadism yes, sexual intercourse yes, but no nipples! I am so glad I live in such a moral and upstanding country.

Speaking of moral and upstanding countries the Pentagon disclosed today that, indeed, the Koran has been mistreated, including even being urinated on. Now I'm not really certain I believe that. Would American troops who are known to have tortured and even killed prisoners, subjected them to humiliating sexual postures, attached them to electrodes, "water-boarded" them, frightened them with attack dogs, kicked and beat them, suspended them for hours in extremely uncomforable positions, and more, actually have gone so far as to have desecrated the Koran. Unbelievable. Amnesty International has the real skinny on this but Bush/Cheney say their claims are "absurd" and even "offensive." This means that Bush/Cheney have now descended to the level of 3 year olds when it comes to denial. But no doubt their "base" will buy this bullshit just like all the rest. Bush/Cheney can do no wrong. The fact that Dick the Slimy has been wrong about everything he has claimed for the last four and a half years seems to not register with the true believers. And of course by now Bush himself has no credibility whatsoever except, again, among those so mentally handicapped they shouldn't even be allowed to vote. Bush is dumb. I guess that is understandable. Cheney is evil personified. There is no excuse for that. And no excuse for the public to accept it. Someone remarked to me today in the supermarket that Cheney is the most evil person on earth. I could not dispute it.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Is it over?

I noticed this morning that Iraq disappeared from the front page of our only major newspaper. I guess this means that either the "war" there is over or at the least it is no longer of enough significance to rate front page coverage. Is that proof that Bush/Cheney are right and things are going well? Is it, as Cheney claims, "in its last throes?" Somehow I don't think so but, then, Dick the Slimy, who has been wrong about everything, without exception, said so, so it must be so. How is it that anyone can put up with this liar? In fact, most liars look honest when compared to Cheney. Indeed, it is probably an insult to liars to compare them to Cheney. we know who "Deep Throat" was/is. While I think knowing that is fine I also think that there will be no end to the question of whether or not he was/is a hero. Predictably, those who were on the Republican side think he was a villain who betrayed his party, while those on the other side think he was a hero. Why does it matter? He was a man who, for whatever motives of his own, became a whistleblower that made a significant difference in our political history, a difference for the better. Nixon, who was obviously an evil paranoid power-mad jerk had to resign, much to the benefit of the country, now looks like a saint compared to the current crop of evil jerks that are in control of our country. Our current bunch of whistleblowers, most with impeccable credentials, are simply ignored. As someone has argued, there could not be a deep throat today.

Not much is happening at the moment except no doubt behind the scenes. I can't wait until next week. I predict Bolton will not be confirmed as ambassador to the UN (I am often wrong). I think Bush has spent his capital and will have little to show for it. At last I think perhaps better days are ahead.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


I guess glaciation may be the only term one can use to describe U.S. politics in the era of Bush/Cheney and the rest of the war criminals in charge of our government these days. Nothing seems to happen. One potential scandal after another and nothing happens. It is obvious that something strange happened with respect to 9/11 that desperately needs investigation. There is the Plame affair. There is the last presidential election, especially in Ohio. There is the smoking gun memo, the torture question, the Enron disaster, the Sybil Edmonds case, the Bolton problem, etc., etc. Nothing seems to happen with respect to any of these issues/scandals/problems/questions/or whatever you want to call them. The Bush/Cheney cult of secrecy simply ignores whatever they wish to ignore. Waxman and Conyers bring up question after question but just get ignored, apparently powerless to actually force any kind of compliance. Now the question of impeachment is beginning to get some attention - but of course nothing will come of it. There won't even be an investigation. Or if there is it will be rigged just like all the others. Bush will appoint a committee of those he knows will find him innocent of any wrongdoing (he did not abuse the intelligence reports, they were just wrong), there was no involvement of upper level officers or administrators in Abu Graib (just a few low level flunkies) and so on and on. And for some reason that totally eludes me the American public just goes along with this travesty. This seems to be true even at the moment when Bush's poll numbers are so low as to be unprecedented. Apparently we have all taken leave of our collective senses.

If this is all not bad enough the senior Bush has now announced that he thinks his son, Jeb, should run for president. Can you believe it? I guess he thinks that George Dubya has been such a resounding success as president that naturally the country will fervently embrace another mafia member to be president. What world do the Bush's and Cheney's reside in?

The whole sordid situation is too much for my limited brain power to deal with. Good luck for the future for those of you who will be around to experience it. If it were up to me you'd do something about it now rather than when there may be no later.