Friday, September 30, 2005

Will the wheels finally come off?

How much worse can things get for this administration? What will come of Judy Miller's testimony? What will Fitzgerald do? What about Tom DeLay? How about Bill Frist? Then there is Abramhoff, not to mention Scooter Libby (and you have to know that if Libby is involved so is Cheney). There, I think, may be the real reason Judy Miller went to jail - to protect the Vice President of the United States. Can you believe it? I can. Then there are the questions being raised and raised again about 9/11, Sibel Edmonds, the chief procurement officer who was just jailed (I can never remember his name), the torture scandal still ongoing, the chaos in Iraq, the decline of the U.S. in the eyes of the rest of the world, the declining dollar, unemployment, lack of medical insurance for over forty million citizens, no solution for Social Security, the bungled Katrina disaster, the unprecedented national debt, the fact that the U.S., for all intents and purposes, is now owned by China and Japan, the destruction of the U.S. military, the humiliating failure of Karen Hughes to "sell America," Venezuela and Iran thumbing their noses at the U.S., civil war breaking out in Iraq, no exit strategy whatsoever (the neocons never even thought about exiting, only about controlling the oil and the region), and more. Where are the Democratic leaders? On board with the Republicans. How much longer can this go on? Is there no hope? Or can we assume that the wheels are indeed about to come off and an end to this nightmare might be in sight? Will Bush/Cheney and the neocons finally be held accountable for their unconscionable crimes against the U.S. and humanity? Don't hold your breath. As rotten as things are they may get even worse before the reality tv crowd wakes up (if they ever do).

Oh, I forgot, Bush/Cheney and their obsequious Generals keep telling us everything is going well and we are making progress. Can you believe it? I can't and don't. I am so saturated with lies I fear I will sink into the nearest mud bog (mud bogs pass for entertainment around here as no one seems to be able to either read or think). Mud bogs are not the only form of entertainment, we also have Demolition Derbys. We're not just hillbillys although our Senators might make you think so.

So, cheers.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Things are so bad I simply cannot deal with it anymore. Here is another essay to ease your mind:

I have resisted believing this for a long time. But, alas, it’s true. There really are women who believe that “shop ‘til you drop” is a serious credo. I know more than one of these women. They seem to truly believe that “he/she who has the most toys wins” is the most significant philosophical breakthrough of the century. The frightening thing is that there are apparently hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of women who subscribe to this philosophy. What is even more frightening is that a recent study indicates that teenagers are much more into shopping than their parents.
I recently had one such shopper as a house guest. While I did not mean to eavesdrop I could not help overhearing one of her phone conversations, a long distance call to her sister (who is supposed to be working but has an 800 number that can be easily abused) which went approximately as follows:
“Hi Sis. Did you go shopping?…Did you buy anything?…Oh, nice. Peach towels. They’ll go wonderfully with your kitchen. Did you see those cute little square candles?…Yeah, of course they’re on sale. I bought eight of them…Well, no, I don’t know what I’ll do with them but I just couldn’t resist. I can always give them to the girls. Oh, and they had the cutest little teacups. Bone china…Yes, yes, I know I don’t need any more teacups…but they were so cute I just couldn’t resist. Oh, and I got the most wonderful blouse. All pink with raspberry swirls all over. It’ll go wonderfully with my new skirt and shoes…I didn’t tell you? These shoes are so cute. I’m going to wear them to June’s birthday party. I also got a new sweatshirt with sequins and a lace collar and…” Not one word was exchanged between these sisters that didn’t have something to do with shopping.
One of the remarkable features about this shopping pathology is that no one buys most of this stuff just for themselves. It’s a system. Woman A buys something and gives it to woman B, knowing full well that eventually woman B will give her something in return. None of them actually need any of this stuff, it’s enough just to be able to buy it and exchange it. In this way, over time, it is possible to accumulate literally thousands of items one does not need and, indeed, cannot possibly use. This particular woman owns probably a minimum of four hundred dinner plates. She has several sets of plates, all “cute” for everyday, “classic” for special dinner parties, and then she has plates for Christmas, Easter, New Years, Valentine’ Day and Halloween. And naturally she has the napkins, glasses, cups, and miscellaneous serving dishes to match all of these.
This is a woman who never reads a newspaper other than the ads. She looks forward to the ads and if, heaven forbid, K Mart or Target or Penny’s doesn’t have an ad that day or week she feels miserable. In fact, I have had it suggested to me that perhaps it is only in my paper these ads don’t appear and why don’t I go and surreptitiously exchange my paper for the neighbor’s (which presumably, for some unknown reason might have them).
Sick. You bet. She acquires and gloats over her possessions as a miser gloats over his gold. She gives things to her friends, knowing they will reciprocate. Eventually they all end up with the same hundreds of dishes and towels and cute little figurines and wine glasses and Christmas decorations and kitchen gadgets and shoes and blouses and candlesticks and aprons and hotpads and thimbles and spoons and pitchers and earrings and whatever other little goo-gaas all the others have, but still striving for that little edge that keeps her in first place. But not so far in front as to truly antagonize her friends.
I like this woman. But I feel sorry for her at the same time. I believe her life is impoverished. She has nothing to do but shop and watch movies. She has bought into the American dream. And what a dream it is. Just get, get, get. Accumulate, accumulate accumulate. Never stop until you drop. Never mind the starving masses, the homeless, the poor and the miserable, famine and starvation. “Hey, it’s not my problem. And those people wouldn’t appreciate these things anyway.” She’s not a hypocrite. She truly believes this, just as she believes she’s an astute shopper who knows a bargain when she sees one. She will get up at five o’clock in the morning to be at a sale when she can save a dollar apiece on items she doesn’t need in the first place. The kind of woman who will tell her husband, “I saved you a thousand dollars today. This mink coat was on sale for only three thousand dollars, marked down from four thousand. “Well, yes, I know I can’t wear it here in Los Angeles. But if we go to New York again…”
Another woman friend, cut from the same pattern, a recent widow whose husband left her comfortably “well-off” moved to another state where she knows no one. She bought a house in an upscale neighborhood. When I asked her what she did, she replied, “I get up and have breakfast, then I work out for an hour and then swim. After that I go shopping.” Life styles of the well-to-do.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A brief review

Let's see. Tom DeLay, almost certainly the most corrupt Republican politician in recent history, has finally been indicted for something - conspiracy to violate election laws. Bill Frist is in trouble for almost certainly being guilty of insider trading (a la Martha Stewart). The chief procurement official (what's his name) has been indicted for lying, among other things. No one knows for sure what Fitzgerald is going to do in October but it appears that Rove, and quite likely Bolton as well, are vulnerable and may be in big trouble (in fact this Fitzgerald thing might well go up higher in the chain of command). The Republican party in Ohio is in a mess of scandal. The torture scandal is heating up and will probably lead to those higher than the poor enlisted slobs that so far have been blamed. The Abramhoff scandal is proving to lead right into the White House (remember he's DeLay's best friend).The Katrina scandal is getting worse day by day in spite of Republican attempts to blame everyone except themselves and especially Bush. Iraq is engaged in a civil war (although no one wants to admit it at the moment). The national debt is at an all time high. Bush's poll numbers are the lowest ever for a second term President. There is no exit strategy to get us out of Iraq even though it is clear that a majority of American citizens want us out of Iraq NOW. America has become despised by virtually the entire world. There are more people in poverty than ever before. There is rampant unemployment. The billions of (non-existent) dollars earmarked for rebuilding New Orleans have already been given to Bush/Cheney cronies in no-bid contracts. Laws to protect the wages of workers engaged in rebuilding have been changed to benefit the corporations' profits. Karen Hughes who has been charged with refurbishing the image of America in the Middle East is being rebuffed daily by Middle Eastern women who are much smarter than she. Condi Rice's incessant babbling seems to be ignored. Bush may or may not be back on the bottle. Cheney has disappeared under another rock someplace. Our Secretary of Defense, what's-his-name, oh, yeah, Rumsfeld, seems to be laying low somewhere or other. Democrats seem to be absent without leave. Brown, the ex head of FEMA has been exposed for the moron he is. Chertoff has so far more or less (not deservably) escaped responsibility. Homeland Security has been exposed as a total billions of dollar failure. FEMA likewise. Social Security reform has tanked. Iran is thumbing its nose at the world (and rightly so). Our nation is in the hands of an unbelievably greedy and evil band of war criminals. Israel is bombing and destroying Gaza. My feet stink and I don't love Jesus.

Other than that I think things are going pretty well. Don't you? Stay the course I say. Stay the course.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Stuff and nonsense

Somewhere in the backwaters of Pennsylvania there is some kind of trial going on that purports to pit backers of so-called "Intelligent Design" against those who believe in evolution. This has to do with parents who want ID taught in science classes alongside the theory of evolution. This is a trial that should never have happened. The judge should have simply dismissed this as frivolous. There is no comparison whatsoever between ID and the theory of evolution. None. The theory of evolution is the established scientific building block of contemporary science. ID is nothing but a folk tale with no basis in science at all. To say that evolution is "only a theory" displays such an abysmal ignorance that it does not require any response. To claim that ID is a competing "theory" is to compound that ignorance. This is not a trial, it is plain and simply a farce.

It is comforting to know that 80% of the money set aside for rebuilding New Orleans has already been given out in no-bid contracts to all of Bush/Cheney's buddies. Not content with totally ripping off the taxpayers in Iraq they are going to do it here as well. Do you hear any Democrats objecting? With a couple of exceptions do you hear Democrats objecting to anything the Republicans do? Oh, yeah, they object to not having enough troops in Iraq. Do you hear them objecting to John Roberts? Do you hear them objecting to spending more and more money in Iraq (they apparently just agreed to another 50 billion to continue the disaster that is Iraq). Crony capitalism doesn't exist merely for Republicans. There are many crony Democrats as well.

There is a rumor going around that Tom DeLay may actually be charged with some form of wrongdoing. Tom DeLay? Wrongdoing? Believe it when it happens. As he is without a doubt the single most corrupt Republican in the House, and has been for years, one wonders where the ethics committee has been all this time. Oh, yeah, I forgot, they only charged him three times already with ethical violations. But nothing was done about it. Don't bet anything will be done this time.

Bush has now made his SEVENTH visit to the gulf region. I'm sure this has really helped a lot. Does he EVER do anything but photo-ops? The answer is NO. Does he somehow maintain his "base" of absolute nitwits? He seems to do so. Is there any hope of getting rid of Bush/Cheney? Apparently not. Certainly not as long as he has the Democratic leadership along with the Republican leadership on his side. To hell with the anti-war public, to hell with the facts, to hell with everything that doesn't enhance the filthy rich. Ah, corruption, synonymous with American politics.

I keep waiting for something positive to happen. Waiting, waiting, waiting. I feel like I am in Casablanca with no hope of getting out.

Monday, September 26, 2005

What would he have to do?

What, I ask you, would Bush have to do in order for the American public to simply insist that he be removed from office? He and Cheney obviously lied to Congress and the American public in order to begin an absolutely illegal and unnecessary "war." A "war" in which almost 2000 American troops have been killed and thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqis also killed. This is to say nothing of the further thousands injured and maimed for life.

He has virtually destroyed the economic stability of the United States. He entered office with an enormous surplus and in a short time converted it into the largest national debt ever. There are more people living in poverty now in the U.S. than when he came into office. There are more people without medical insurance than when he came into office. There are more unemployed.

He has destroyed America's reputation around the world. We are now despised by most of the world and considered to be more dangerous than Osama bin Laden. Even our traditional allies are coming to despise us.

He converted FEMA from an efficient and useful entity into a holding tank for political appointees with no expertise whatsoever. The Homeland Security business has been a dismal failure. The response to Hurricane Katrina was a total disaster for which Bush is almost entirely to blame.

Bush/Cheney have seen to it that enormous no-bid contracts to reconstruct New Orleans have gone to their usual buddies at Halliburton. They changed the law so that workers on construction efforts do not have to be paid decent wages, further enhancing the profits of Hallibuton and others.

Now they are suggesting that a trillion dollars worth of cuts be made in various necessary and indispensable services such as medicare, education, infrastructure, and others in order to pay for rebuilding New Orleans. They are not suggesting that tax cuts for the obscenely wealthy might be rescinded and they have apparently not given up on trying to eliminate the estate tax or making the original tax cuts permanent.

Now Bush is suggesting that the military be put in charge of disaster relief, violating for the first time the time-honored rule keeping the military out of domestic matters. This is extremely dangerous business, especially with an all volunteer army. On top of that they used highly paid mercenaries to patrol in New Orleans. And there was also an attempt to take away guns from perfectly respectable and ordinary citizens. What do you think all of this adds up to? FASCISM comes to my mind.

Make no mistake about it. This country is in deep trouble. And the only way out, the only hope, is to get rid of the Bush/Cheney administration as quickly as possible, before the damage becomes irreparable (it may already be virtually irreparable). Even this would not be enough because the Democrats for the most part are equally guilty. They, too, need to go, and be replaced by genuine Democrats that will not just go along with whatever Republicans want. The Democratic leadership is every bit as bad and corrupt as Bush/Cheney, and warmongers to boot. We absolutely do not need Hillary, Kerry, Lieberman, Biden, Pelosi, Feingold, or others who are nothing but Republicans in disguise.

The only Democratic person I can think of at the moment who might actually be a viable candidate is Al Gore, who should have been our President in the first place. The moment might be ripe to undo a terrible wrong. Does anyone believe that if Gore had been President we would be in the untenable and horrible situation we are now faced with? If so, it is past time to wake up.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

How low would it have to go?

As I was traveling I did not have much of a chance to keep up with the demonstratons in Washington D.C. Of course when I did have a chance to look at a tv there was no mention of any demonstration. Just non-stop hurricane stuff. Certainly a help to Bush/Cheney as of course it kept everyone's attention away from whatever other terrible things they could have been doing (and almost surely were doing). It gave them a perfect excuse to ignore the demonstrators. And, of course, as usual in such cases it is impossible to actually determine how many demonstrators there were. I have seen the figure "tens of thousands," 100,000, 200,000, 300,000, and 500,000. Take your pick. The police claim 100,000. They are usually very wrong and always, always underestimate. The organizers claim 500,000. They may or may not exaggerate. From the few pictures I have seen, and from what I have heard, I'd say there were a hell of a lot. More than the MSM will get away with ignoring. No doubt the picture will become more clear in the next few days.

Bush's poll ratings are at an all time low. An all time low for any President ever. I keep seeing only 40% favorable but I have also seen less that 40%. So how far do they have to go before something might actually happen. Bush/Cheney just keep on going as if there is no problem. Nixon resigned with ratings better than these. Do you suppose if the ratings went to zero they would just continue on? And no one would do anything about it, just as no one seems to be doing anything about it now (aside from the anti-war protestors, that is). If Bush/Cheney were Japanese leaders they would have committed suicide by now. If they had even a shred of decency or shame they would resign now for the good of the country. For the good of the country! I bet they laugh about that every night. They obviously have no loyalty to the constitution or the country, just to the uncommonly greedy. They will never give up power unless they are forced by such overwhelming public opposition they will have no other choice. It seems to be finally coming to that. At least I hope so.

"The public must and will be served."
William Penn

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Iraq and Vietnam

After tonight Morialekafa will not appear until Sunday the 25th. Time out for book buying and seafood.

All this talk about whether Iraq is another Vietnam. Who in the hell cares if Iraq is like Vietnam, another Vietnam, or not like another Vietnam. Iraq is a total and utter disaster in its own right. This "war" in Iraq has to be the most illegal, immoral, unconstituonal, and unnecessary crime ever perpetuated by the United States, and by virtually anyone else in history (Nazis were worse but probably only by scale). There can be no justification for what Bush/Cheney and the neocon scumbags have wrought. Thousands of deaths, more thousands of wounded, innocent women and children murdered, entire cities destroyed, toxic chemicals deposited that will last who knows how long and do even more killing. And for what? So far we haven't even managed to steal the oil. Nor have we managed to find WMD's, and we have certainly not "spread democracy" throughout the Middle East. In fact we have done nothing but committed one war crime after another. Invading a sovereign nation that was no threat to us, torturing prisoners, hiding them from the Red Cross, blatant war profiteering, violating virtually all rules of international law, lying to the American people and the world community, and probably even more. And they have no shame, no remorse, apparently no feeling whatsoever about the disaster they have brought about. Bush/Cheney and the neocons are sick people, sick, sick, sick. And anyone who continues to support them is equally sick. It is unbelievable to me that apparently there are still people who do support them. How can this be? Do we have citizens so demented they cannot even understand what is going on? Think about it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

What's what?

It appears to me that no one at the moment seems to know what is what. There are many tons of food sent by Britain to feed those in need in New Orleans and environs but it is going to be incinerated. Why? Because the Food and Drug Administration has decided (somehow) that it is not edible. This is the same food that is fed to British troops and while it may be Army rations it is certainly better than starving (well, maybe not for some of the starving). American bureaucracy in action. There seems to be absolutely no end to this unbelievable incompetence.

I had the usual monthly misfortune of attending the monthly meeting of the Democrats here where I live. Remember now, this is a small town. So during the discussion of who should become the next Chairman of our local party I learned from one older lady that the only real Democrats were those who either voted for Franklin D. Roosevelt or could remember the great depression. I resisted the temptation to point out to her that by that criterion she and I would alone qualify. Another participant suggested that only people who were born and raised here would really understand the situation and know where to get the votes. This would eliminate the above lady and I as she has only lived here for some years and originally came from New York, and I have only lived here for fifteen years, but was born and raised in another town about one hundred miles away.

It was also suggested during this meeting that if you really wanted to win votes you would have to avoid such terms as "burbot," "grizzly bears," "caribou," and "Long Canyon," as these were "trigger words" that would alienate voters. That is, those who wanted to pursue the survival of the burbot (otherwise known as ling cod), grizzly bears, caribou, or Long Canyon obviously were out of the main stream of local culture and should be shunned. People who want to preserve such places and species are known either as environmentalists or conservationists (it is not clear here what the difference is, if any). But the same person who wants to eliminate the trigger words and cater to those voters is willing to support our Democratic Candidate for Governor who is a known Conservationist. So figure.

Actually, I loathe and detest meetings of any kind. I only attend to lend support to my wife who is one of the candidates for Chairman (although I tried desperately to talk her out of this). I am absolutely convinced that every meeting I have attended throughout my (quite long) lifetime has been essentially the same. There is always the nit-picker who loves the sound of his or her own voice. There are always those who have to put in their two cents worth even though their two cents worth isn't worth anything. There is always someone who insists we are not following the proper rules and regulations for meetings. And there is also the ubiquitous practice of establishing committees to deal with issues that will therefore disappear in a absolute miasma of neglect. Committees are the answer to all questions that cannot be answered simply and directly. Anyway, we are going to have another meeting in two weeks to settle this monumental decision that could have been (and probably was) decided within the first five minutes of the previous meeting. I just love politics, don't you?

Monday, September 19, 2005

Condi the brainless

You remember Condi's statement to the effect that "nobody thought they would crash planes into buildings" (or some approximation of that). This statement after there had been years of predictions they would do just that. This goes along with Bush's recent statement, "nobody anticipated the levees would break" (again, an approximation). But Condi has outdone herself in her maiden address to the United Nations. Consider this excerpt:

"No cause, no movement and no grievance can justify the intentional killing of innocent civilians and noncombatants. This is unnacceptable by any moral standard."

She apparently actually said this. What does she think the Bush administration has been doing in Iraq? They attacked a sovereign nation that was no threat to the U.S. and boasted that "shock and awe" would make short work of the "war." So they dropped tons of bombs, including illegal cluster bombs, that killed hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent civilians and noncombatants. They destroyed the entire city of Falluja, also killing innocent civilians and noncombatants, and it is well known that they have indiscriminately killed more innocents almost daily. How on earth could she have the gall to stand in front of the world and make such an absurd and stupid statement? You might think that someone who is supposed to be Secretary of State might actually have been aware of the total hypocrisy involved and how this would be received by others. But no, she just prattles on, apparently totally disconnected from reality just like Bush/Cheney and the others involved in this illegal, immoral, and unconstitutional "war."

It is estimated that rebuilding New Orleans will cost in the neighborhood of 200 billion dollars. Bush claims this can be done without raising taxes and, indeed, the Republicans are said to be going ahead to make previous tax breaks permanent and also eliminate the estate tax. They are also planning a large scale return to the moon and, I guess, trying to privatize the entire solar system, along with ambitions to democratize all of the as yet unknown inhabited planets. To accomplish this they are going to further cut domestic spending. Bush apparently knows as much about economics and reality as I know about astrophysics, namely, nothing. But be of good cheer, Bush is here with his sleeves rolled up and ready to vacation again soon.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

How about a new word?

Most, if not all of those who sometimes read this blog are probably unfamiliar with the name Vidkun Quisling. He was a Norwegian traitor who collaborated with the Nazis in Norway and became part of a puppet Norwegian government. Thus a new word was added to the English language - quisling. I suggest we add another new word to our language:

roviate v. to smear, slime, malign, denigrate, and attempt to destroy an opponent through the use of innuendo, rumor, slander, outright lies and any other despicable means available. Roviation works more effectively when done in collusion with major media.

There have been many examples of rovianating in recent years. Consider, for example, the cases of Al Gore, John McCain, John Kerry, Howard Dean, Joseph Wilson, and now Cindy Sheehan. There are others as well. In each case the most blatant lies and other means were used to utterly destroy the individuals involved. Remember the Swift Boat Veterans for (un)truths? How about McCain's black child? Or maybe his imprisonment for five years affected his mind? Now they are attempting to rovianate environmentalists (who are accused of being responsible for the disaster in New Orleans). This is the standard operating procedure of the Republican party designed and carried out by Karl Rove. I think rovianate should take its place along with quisling, thus making both individuals famous for becoming part of the English language while at the same time making them forever infamous and despised for what they actually did.

Confusion continues in New Orleans. The mayor insists that 180,000 people can return immediately to the city while the EPA and others say it is too dangerous for anyone to return. It is nice to know that someone is actually in charge of this terrible disaster. Perhaps George W. Bush should speak to God about it. Why do I have the sense that George W. Bush doesn't really care about New Orleans or its people aside from what it has to do with his poll ratings? Maybe because of his repeated photo-ops that portray him as a do-something guy but then the sets disappear immediately after the moment. If it is not apparent by now that this is the greatest phony image of all time we should start marketing the Brooklyn Bridge again. Apparently some 30 to 35% of Americans are so divorced from reality (along with Bush himself) there is nothing that can be done about it. I notice there are letters to the editor of our local rag suggesting that poor Bush is being unfairly criticized by "Bush-bashers" when of course he has no control over nature. I guess he also had no control over the budget which repeatedly slashed funds for flood control in New Orleans and also no control over the absolute incompetents he appointed as heads of Homeland Security and FEMA? No, Bush has no responsibility whatsoever. It was all Bill Clinton's fault. Or the mayor's or the governor's, or the people themselves for being too stupid to abandon the city in their Cadilacs and Humvees, to say nothing of their Mercedes and Jaguars. It's not all bad. The alligators and rats had a feast day. Look on the bright side.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

A great American tragedy

I might have said this before. If so, please forgive me. I think it is very important. The tragedy I have in mind is the fact that Al Gore was not allowed to become President of the United States. Whatever you may think of Gore he was clearly the most qualified person to become President ever, having served in Government all his life, being Vice-President, a former Senator, etc. He was (and is) extremely knowledgeable about the environment, technology, politics, and whatever else one might conceiveably need to know to run the country. But he was passed over in favor of an absolute know-nothing nincompoop who was chosen by our Corporate Masters including the MSM. In my opinion this was a truly great and monumental tragedy. If Gore had become President do you believe even for a moment we would be in the mess we are in now? Would he have illegally and immorally invaded Iraq? Would he have completely squandered the surplus and turned it into the greatest national debt in history? Would he have ignored the problems in New Orleans that could have been fixed for one week's expenses in Iraq? Would he have approved torture as an acceptable practice for the American Military? Would he have claimed the power to incarcerate American citizens forever with no lawyers, no charges, no evidence, and no chance to defend themelves? The anwer to all of these questions has to be a resounding NO! But President know-nothing dimwit has claimed all of these powers and has been aided and abetted by our Main Stream Media. If this is not a true tragedy I do not know what could possibly be worse.

Now notice that the Administration, having failed to completely blame everything on the mayor and Governor, are now trying to blame it all on evironmentalists. This is not new for those of you who read this blog more or less regularly. This is an idea that has been conveniently held by ultra-right loonies from the beginning. To believe this you have to believe that the Bush Administration did not cut funding for levee repairs, wetlands restoration, and disaster planning for New Orleans. Apparently they funded all of these noble projects but at every turn were frustrated by environmentalists. It turns out there were at one time some environmental challenges to levee construction. But this had to do not with improving the levees but with where the earth to do it with would come from (environmentalist did not want it to come from the wetlands). Furthermore, the levees in question were not the levees that broke. But whatever. Facts never make any difference whatsoever to Bush worshippers who are convinced he talks with God and only does the right thing (no matter how many times he has demonstrated his total incompetence). I find the continuing support for this incompetent buffoon absolutely unbelievable. But, then, I don't believe dinosaurs inhabited the earth simultaneously with humans, the earth is only about 6,000 years old, someone built an ark to save every creature on earth from the flood that created the Grand Canyon, somebody or other was swallowed and regurgitated by a whale, or that JESUS SAVES AND MOSES INVESTS. I am sick to death of bible-thumping numbskulls who pray on those more ignorant than they are. Further, if they think they are entitled to take political positions they ought to pay taxes. That would probably shut them up soon enough. Is there no sanity left whatsoever in our country?

Friday, September 16, 2005

Fast food - essay

I don't know if you saw anything about Bush's joint press conference with Putin. I only saw some excerpts on Democracy Now. I must say it was embarrassing. Bush, when left on his own without teleprompters or wires or whatever is basically hopeless. He has no idea what he is talking about. He was asked a question about where the billions would come from to rebuild New Orleans, given the expenses of the so-called "war" in Iraq. He then launched into a truly sophomoric diatribe about how bad the devastation was, how hard it would be to rebuild, how complicated and difficult it all was, how the federal government would help, how racism would not enter into it, and blah, blah, blah. He never once answered the question other than to say, "we can do it." He has no idea that we will have to borrow more billions from China and Japan. Actually, he has no idea at all. He plain and simply has no understanding of anything. He is, in truth, the dimwit in charge. But not to worry, he has appointed that paragon of virtue, that experienced administrator, that genius of genius's, that rebuilder of cities, architect of spin, political animal par excellence, our saviour, Karl Rove to take charge of the rebuilding. I guess you know what that means (heh, heh, heh).

Anyway, here is an essay to take your mind away from more serious matters:

Fast Foods

I'm not one for fast foods. Indeed, I never eat them except under extreme duress from my young son who, of course, loves them. I like slow foods. I try to explain to him that fast foods are really not good for you. He doesn't care. Understandable enough in a young child. But what about all the adults that eat this stuff? Do they really not believe what they read about fast foods? Or is it, perhaps, that they don't read. Or, like my son, do they read but just not care. If you look carefully at the denizens of these ubiquitous eateries you are led to conclude that they probably don't care. Although I firmly believe fast foods are not good for you, that is not my primary concern here. It is their apparent competition to see which one can kill us first.
Take breakfast, for example. It used to be you could get ham and eggs or bacon and eggs and hashbrowns. If you wanted anything else you had to order it special. Nowadays they advertise, "two eggs, two strips of bacon, two sausages, and pancakes all for one low price." To add one final nail for your coffin they slop a huge dab of butter right in the middle of the pancakes and also give you a pitcher of syrup. I don't know if they throw in hashbrowns or not as I've never had the nerve to order one of these bargains. It's as if bacon and eggs, or sausage and eggs, or ham and eggs, alone, all fried, are not bad enough. Now, I notice, you can often get both ham and sausage or bacon and sausage instead of just one. No doubt they are concerned with your health and want you to eat hearty.
But these breakfast places pale into insignificance when it comes to burgers. Used to be you could get a hamburger, or even a cheeseburger, and a coke. The burger was usually served with a piece of lettuce, maybe even a slice of tomato. If you wanted fries you ordered them separately. Now, depending upon which one of these places you are in, you can get not one cheeseburger, but two, along with fries and a coke for, again, one low price. Some of them have also taken to adding a couple of slices of bacon to their cheeseburgers. Not to be outdone others offer four slices. Why don't they just give you a handgun? Let you get it over with quickly.
You probably have already heard about the great coconut oil scandal at the movie theaters. That is, the popcorn cooked in coconut oil, one of the most deadly substances of all for your health. They then add insult to injury by pouring melted butter all over it (if you can afford it, that is).
I don't even want to imagine what they cook french fries in.
And that's another thing. Frying. Most of these establishments know only one way to cook - deep frying. Thus, even when you order something good for you, like seafood, it comes fried. Fried shrimp, fried scallops, fried clams, fried catfish, fried oysters, fried cod, fried fish sticks, and invariably served with the everpresent French fries. Are people crazy or what? Is this the way they eat at home? Know they nothing at all of nutrition and health, cholesterol, heart attacks, obesity, even taste?
What is perhaps the worst problem with fast food restaurants is that your children love them and love to eat this junk to the point where they won't eat anything else. Child abuse, if you ask me. And of course the world is now being taken over by fast foods. We've exported it to virtually every corner of the globe. Even the French and Italians, god bless 'em, have fallen prey to this insidious international attempt to slowly kill us off. Fine restaurants are becoming a thing of the past. Try driving anywhere in the United States and finding anything decent to eat along the freeways. There are nothing but MacDonalds, Wendy's, Taco Bells, Arby's, IHOPS, KFC's, Burger King's, Taco Times, Jack-in-the-Boxes, and more, including pizza parlors, as far as the eye can see. Oh, no! Don't let me get started on pizza.
When the absolute best meal you can hope for is at Denny's or Red Lobster or Marie Callenders, you know you are living in a culture of the absurd. I fear there is no turning back.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Murder most foul

For Brad in Alabama: Your darling President himself has now admitted responsibility for the disaster in New Orleans (not that he means it) so please continue to argue that it was only local and state officials that messed up so tragically. What would Bush have to do to wake you up to reality?

Well, the state of Texas went through with their murder of Frances Newton. I don't really know if she was guilty of murdering her husband and children or not. I do know that the lawyer who represented her did not call a single witness to defend her, was so incompetent he has subsequently been disbarred, there were two guns instead of one, a fact that was never investigated, and apparently a number of other serious questions as well having to do with the insurance and whatever. But never mind, Texas loves putting people to death, and does not spend much time actually trying to find out the truth of what happened. Bush, the all time executioner, even went so far as to mock one poor woman who was pleading for her life. Ah, Texas, a great place to live (as long as you are filthy rich and not poor or black).

Let's face it: John Roberts is smarter than all of our Senators put together. He faced days of questioning without batting an eye and also without revealing a single thing about his personal beliefs with respect to abortion, civil rights, privacy, and so on. There is no doubt that he is a brilliant lawyer, no doubt that he is personable, no doubt that he is fully qualified to serve on the highest court. But is he an ultra-right conservative in sheep's clothing? I think quite likely. He will apparently be confirmed because Democrats can't really do anything about it and also alibi their way out by saying it's only the next appointment that really matters. Watch them fold on that one also.

Karl Rove is in charge of cleaning up the mess in New Orleans (the PR mess, that is) so rest assured everything is in good hands (as long as he stays out of jail).

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Should we really have to ask why? Republicans did not want a 9/11 commission but finally, under pressure, gave in to one (which they then fixed). They did not want any pictures of dead bodies coming back in body bags. They did not want any investigation of Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo. They do not want any pictures of corpses in New Orleans. And now they do not want an independent investigation of what went wrong with respect to Katrina. They also do not want to release documents having to do with John Roberts, just as they have consistently resisted releasing information about many other things (Bolton, for example). Why? It should be obvious by now they have something to hide. They do not want the American public to know the truth about their dishonest, criminal, and immoral behavior. The so-called Democratic leadership just goes along with these cover-ups. Why?

I am getting totally fed up with the attention that is being given to the so-called controversy between "intelligent design" and evolution. There is no controversy. There is no debate. There is nothing to debate. Yes, evolution is a theory. The only theory with any evidence that makes sense with respect to the current existence of human and other life on the planet. Intelligent Design is not a theory. There is no evidence whatsoever for such a claim. If you choose to believe in such a notion I guess there is nothing that can be done about it. But to claim it has the same status as the theory of evolution is plain and simply nonsense, not worthy of 30 seconds of anyone's time. I repeat what I have said before: if there was intelligent design there could not possibly be any human beings, the most greedy, short-sighted, murderous, rapacious, foul-your-own-nest creatures that ever existed. They have to be absolutely the result of some quirk of random selection. No intelligence could possibly have been responsible. Anyone who believes dinosaurs and people existed simultaneously within the last 6000 years is a lunatic. Anyone who believes the Grand Canyon was a result of the "flood" is also a lunatic. Anyone who believes Katrina was sent to punish homosexuals is a lunatic. Furthermore, anyone, including the Presisent of the United States, who believes Intelligenct Design deserves to be taught along with the theory of evolution is a lunatic. We are rapidly becoming a nation of lunatics. Whatever happened to just plain common sense?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Useless words

One of the things that has always puzzled me has to do with certain essentially meaningless words. For example, "I'm sorry." If someone gets drunk and drives across the center line, hits another car head on, kills all four occupants, father, mother, and two children, and then says "I'm sorry," what conceivable good does that do? What is the point? Does saying you're sorry make any conceivable difference? Does it give any satisfaction to the victims? Does it, in fact, give any satisfaction even to the guilty party? I don't think so. I think "I'm sorry" is a totally meaningless utterance.

Another meaningless claim, more appropriate for the moment, is "I accept all responsibility." Bush has announced that if anything went wrong with the Federal Government's handling of the New Orleans disaster, he accepts the responsibility. So? So what? What if he does claim to be responsible? What does that do for anyone? Does that bring anyone back to life that was killed as a result of his incompetence and negligence? Does it make the disaster any less of a disaster? For Bush to now claim he accepts responsibility means absolutely nothing. If he really accepted responsibility he would resign or commit suicide. Bush, I am sorry to have to say, has no idea whatsoever what responsibility entails. He has been irresponsible his entire life and has been forgiven and rescued by others every time. I seriously doubt that he knew he was responsible for anything until someone told him he should say so for Public Relations. Come on, let's face the truth. George W. Bush is the most shallow, dimwitted, uninterested, ill-informed, lazy, basically useless person ever to have become President of the United States. And that is precisely how he became President. Our Corporate masters and the Republican Party decided he was exactly what they needed to further their illicit agenda. A figurehead that could be told to do and say whatever they wanted to further their plans to take over the world and all the wealth in it. He might as well bay at the moon as claim responsibility.

And speaking of irresponsibility, can there be any more irresponsible agency than the House of Representatives? Only they can start impeachment proceedings and such proceedings are long overdue. If ever there were individuals that should be impeached it would have to be (hands down) Bush and Cheney. But as there are apparently no honorable Representatives (either Republican or Democratic) they will not begin this obviously necessary step. For all intents and purposes American Democracy no longer exists. This is because of greed, the lust for power and money, the placing of personal and party gain above public responsibility. In the case of Democrats it is abandoning party for personal gain. We now have a full-blown one party system in which the Corporate elite dictate what should and will happen. Fascism is what happens when government and corporations join forces, just as Mussolini told us so many years ago.

I guess as long as there are no gay marriages and there is still hope of overturning Roe vs Wade we have nothing to worry about. Goodnight dimwits everywhere.

Monday, September 12, 2005


I am pretty old. And I have lived in the United States all of my life, sans three or four years overseas. I have never been so frightened as I am right now. If you did not see Democracy Now today you won't know what I am talking about, but I found it frightening beyond belief. Blackwater mercenaries are patrolling the streets of New Orleans. They have a green light to both arrest and kill. They are known killers with a reputation of shooting first and asking questions later. They claim they are under contract with Homeland Security.

I have always been skeptical of an all volunteer army because it seems to me such an army must in the nature of the case be more committed to who pays them than to the nation itself. I guess they still must take an oath to defend the country and uphold the constitution but the bottom line has to be who pays their salary. So having an all volunteer military is bad enough. But Blackwater mercenaries? Who do you think they have any loyalty to? As there is an overwhelming military presence in New Orleans even without the Blackwater killers, why are they there? Who actually contracted them? Why? Why could the regular army and the reserves not do a perfectly competent job? After all, there is supposed to be 40,000 of them. Why do we need professional killers? I think an all volunteer military is questionable enough. I am absolutely opposed to mercenaries of which I gather there are more and more all the time, both in Iraq and here at home. Furthermore, recent changes in the law make it possible for American troops to be involved in domestic matters for the first time in history. This is an extremely dangerous business and brings us even closer to a Fascist state. Why is this being allowed? Where are the defenders of civil rights?

Some people are already decrying one party control as if this is something that is going to happen. It has already happened! Where do you see Democrats responsibly opposing anything? The major Democrats are just "going with the flow." There is no opposition party. They are all into this corporate fascist state together. And once they have established their mercenary armies it will be all over for the rest of us. The American people had better wake up quickly and take to the streets if necessary because there is apparently no other way. Calls for impeachment or resignations will fall on deaf ears because those in power want to remain in power whatever the cost, the public be damned. Let them eat biscuits and gravy (if they are lucky)!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Iran, Osama, and New Orleans

Let's hear it for the Iranians. Better hope they get a bomb soon. Otherwise they will have no protection from a rogue nation determined to nuke 'em and steal their oil. The Bush/Cheney crazies are now changing the nuclear rules so they can make pre-emptive nuclear attacks on anyone they choose whenever they choose. They want to develop new "bunker buster" nuclear bombs. Why would they want to do this? Because they and the Israelis think there are people in the world (like Iran) who might have underground facilities to develop nuclear bombs. And as we and the Israelis have nuclear weapons we don't want anyone else to have them (they might be able to protect themselves from American pirates). Of course the fact that Pakistan and India, as well as Israel, Russia, Britain, and France, along with North Korea, have such weapons, it would obviously be unthinkable that Iran might want them. Too bad Iraq didn't have them. They might have been able to protect themselves from being raped and looted by a nation gone mad with dreams of empire. One might want to point out to the Bush/Cheney loonies that there are other countries with nuclear weapons and they might very well decide they are not going to be continually intimidated by the U.S. Are the neocons really willing to take on all the rest of the world? While Bush/Cheney and their minions might think they can control the world they may well find out the truth. "Nuke their ass and steal their gas." When I first saw that as a bumper sticker I thought it must be just some disgruntled right-winger wanting some attention. I didn't realize it was the battle cry of the neocons.

Hugh Kaufman, with 35 years of experience in the Environmental Protection Agency, and who is an expert on toxic wastes, etc., has told The Independent that New Orleans will be too toxic to inhabit safely for at least ten years. He also said the Bush/Cheney administration is trying to cover up just how bad it really is (of course). This means that those poor souls who are put in there to clean up are going to be at risk for health problems. Will this keep Bush/Cheney from going ahead with their program? No, they will do what they did after 9/11 - claim there is no problem and let the workers just go ahead and put themselves in danger (the problems won't even become apparent until after they are out of office). Can you believe this? I can.

Now for a bit of idle speculation. Why have we not found Osama bin Laden? He has been at large for longer than it took us to win WW II. We claim we know pretty much where he is (somewhere on the Afghan/Pakistan border) but we just cannot find him. I have no real facts about this matter but I suspect the reason he has not been found and brought to justice is because WE DON'T WANT TO FIND HIM. If we did find him and not kill him outright he would probably possess a lot of embarrassing information about the U.S. He was, almost certainly, a CIA asset during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. He may well still be a CIA asset. He may have something to do with the international drug trade which Sydel Emonds knows something about but has been muzzled. He may, in fact, just be small potatoes in an international drug ring that reaches right into the U.S. government. In any case, if the U.S. truly wanted to find him they could do so. Bush, after saying we would get him "dead or alive," then changed his tune to "I am not concerned about him." Doesn't that strike anyone as odd (to say the least). If there were no further terrorist attacks anywhere I guess we could claim that bin Laden has been neutralized and therefore is no longer a problem. But are there no further terrorist attacks? Of course not. But do Bush/Cheney need more terrorist attacks to keep us living in fear and therefore supporting their plans? Of course they do. If they can't keep us living in fear they would be exposed for the absolute warmongers and war profiteers they are. Their corporate cronies in the military-industrial con-game would go out of business. The taxpayers might actually keep some of their money. Wake up America! You are being conned big time.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

How much lower does it have to go?

Bush's overall approval rating now apparently stands at either 36 or 38%, depending on where you look. But he and Cheney still go on telling their lies and acting as if nothing whatever either went wrong or is wrong. Hardly anyone has suggested they ought to resign or be impeached. No action is being taken of any kind as near as I can tell. much lower does their approval have to go before something might be done? Would it have to go all the way to zero? Further, should an administration with ratings so low even be allowed to nominate people for the Supreme Court? There ought to be a moratorium on any appointments until the status of Bush/Cheney is reviewed. The Supreme Court can continue without the addition of Roberts or another member, and ought to do so until things are much clearer in our country than they are right now.

Is anyone paying attention to just how close we are coming to martial law? Bush/Cheney tried to prevent reporters from photographing bodies in New Orleans, and only finally backed down after being threatened with a lawsuit by CNN. Reporters and photographers are reportedly not going to be allowed at Rumsfeld's idiotic 9/11 march (except perhaps in a couple of restricted locations). Where are they getting the authority to ban an independent news media from doing their job? Does not this slap you in the face with Fascism? Armed troops are patrolling New Orleans with orders to shoot to kill and people are being forcefully removed from their homes. This is happening right here in the United States of America, not some third world country. No one in positions of power or authority seem to care, certainly not Democrats who either go along with this or want to accelerate it (Hilary, for example, wants 80,000 more troops in Iraq. Biden wants more troops. Kerry and others are not opposed to what is going on, they just want to do it somewhat differently. Bush's current rational for continuing the "war" is that we have to continue to have our young people killed to "honor" the ones that have already been killed. Does no one recognize insanity when they see it?

The only Congressman to have been right all along is Dennis Kucinich, and he is the only one that has offered a plan from the very beginning to get us out of this mess. But the MSM belittled him and basically erased him from the public record. Now Feingold has at least suggested a timetable for withdrawal but, of course, is not receiving much support from anyone else in government (it will be interesting to see how much support he might get from the public at large).

The real problem at the moment is that everything moves (if it moves at all) much too slowly. Are we going to continue letting our troops get killed day by day until the next election? Are we going to allow Bush to pack the Supreme Court with ultra-right wingers? In the chaos of the moment will we let them slip through their utterly proposterous estate tax changes, drilling in ANWAR? Bush/Cheney and their right-wing neocon criminals should be stopped NOW! As no one in the House or Senate seems to be interested in taking any action (other than lip service) I guess our best hope for now is that the September 24th protest will become so overwhelmingly huge as to demand more immediate action.

The only other possibility is that our corporate masters will be forced to conclude that Bush/Cheney have become too much of an embarassment (like Nixon) and arrange for them to be removed. This would help, of course, but you can be certain they would be replaced by the next corporate sponsored individuals. Ultimately, it is going to be up to the people themselves to take back our country (if anyone can tear them away from reality TV or football long enough).

Friday, September 09, 2005

Beyond Hope

Here in North Idaho there is a small community called Hope. Somewhat pretensiously there is also an East Hope. A little further to the east is an area called Beyond Hope. This is what I think of when I see any reference to the Bush/Cheny administration. They are clearly beyond hope. There is no hope they will ever change from the evil, greedy, short-sighted, mean-spirited, uncaring, racist, self-centered, corporate sponsored collection of thieves they actually are. What they have done in Iraq and now in New Orleans is not only unconscionable but totally unforgiveable. To make matters worse they have now decreed that the American public should not even be allowed to see the extent of their crimes. Someone said the First Amendment died with New Orleans. It is. By what authority can they deny American citizens the right to know what is actually happening in their country? For all intents and purposes they have declared martial law and are being allowed to get away with it. They don't want us to see the corpses, the physical evidence of their terrible incompetence. They don't want us to know the full extent of their crimes against humanity. They apparently want to go on just killing and killing and killing until what? What on earth do they think is going to result from this madness? Certainly not a better world. They don't care. This Bush/Cheney administration cares nothing for either the country or its citizens. They only care about profits. Democrats are apparently no better. They all get their money and power from the same corporate sponsors, the people be damned. We simply have to say no to Hilary, no to McCain, no to Lieberman, no to Santorum, no to DeLay, no to further warmongering, murder, war profiteering, torture, and yes to getting the hell out of Iraq as soon as possible with the most abject apologies we can muster. And we must hold those responsible for these war and other crimes responsible. And don't give me any crap about aiding and abetting the enemy. It is this criminal administration that is aiding the enemy, creating terrorists day by day, destroying whatever credibility is left of the "American way," leading us further and further into the cesspool of history. There is absolutely no doubt where the blame for our unbelievable arrogance and stupidity lies, the Bush/Cheney administration and its neocon core. This is the cancer that is eating at our society, corrupting our politics and culture, leading us inevitably to failure and damnation. Can't we beg our corporate masters for something at least a tad more gentle, like maybe a slight increase in the minimum wage, perhaps a bit of health insurance, maybe some fresh air, clean water, a few trees here and there, freedom to go to the library without being spied upon, basic stuff like that? Perhaps, as in the case of New Orleans, the right to live at all? It is long past time to put up with this Fascist attempt to destroy our country.

"The principles of a free constitution are irrevocably lost, when the legislative power is nominated by the executive."
Edward Gibbon

Thursday, September 08, 2005

What didn't go right?

I guess, Mr. Doofus President, you might say more reasonably "what didn't go wrong? When Nancy Pelosi said to the President, face to face, you ought to fire Brown, he replied, why? Pelosi then said, because of everything that went wrong. The President reportedly replied, what didn't go right? Should anyone have to comment further on this?

Bush is responsible for merging FEMA into Homeland Security and downgrading it from a Cabinet Position to simply an element of Homeland Security. He is responsible for turning FEMA into a dumping ground for political cronies. The top three officials of FEMA are all totally without any experience in emergencies and should never have been appointed to those positions.

FEMA completely failed in their responsibilities. They were late getting organized, late getting to New Orleans, late even to recognize where there were problems that needed immediate solutions. They told their workers they had two days to get to New Orleans, and this was even after the hurricane had struck. Furthermore, they gave them two days of training essentially in Public Relations rather than emergency aid. Brown, the current head of FEMA was and is so incompetent as to beggar belief. Even so, the President says he's doing a great job. I don't know about you, but I find this frightening even beyond belief. Our fake President is so out of touch with reality he has no idea what is going on.

Bush was on vacation and couldn't be bothered to interrupt it for a minor matter like a category 4 hurricane bearing down on New Orleans, the single most important port in the United States. Cheney was vacationing in Wyoming and couldn't be bothered. Conti Rice was buying expensive shoes and taking in Spamalot. Rumsfeld, I gather, was somewhere masturbating his ego as usual. Barbara Bush was chuckling over how good it was that these otherwise poor folk were having new opportunities elsewhere. I would like to think that Bush Sr. was hiding under a chair somewhere pretending he didn't know anyone involved (but I wouldn't bet on it). Bill and Hilary Clinton were trying to figure out how to keep kissing up to the Bush's when things were obviously going so badly. Ditto Biden, Kerry, Lieberman, and others of that sick ilk.

I cannot believe that Bush/Cheney are going to be able to spin their way out of this. It is just too obvious an example of total incompetence. And the unfortunate, disastrous, monstrous, horrendous, sickening, vile, unconscionable, inhuman, and utterly disgusting results of their incompetence are right there on the TV screen for all to see. Oh, yeah, as usual, I don't understand that it is/was all the fault of local and state governments. FEMA is not supposed to act prior to three or four days after the state has declared an emergency? They should certainly not prepare for a disaster they know is on the way until hours and days after it occurs. But, then, what the hell, it was just a bunch of "niggers" that don't vote Republican. Now that they are gone, spread out all over nowhere and probably without the means to ever return, we can rebuild New Orleans and make it safe for wealthy white folk, after, that is, we make things better for the oil people.

After all this, according to a poll I saw today, still 40% of Americans think Bush is doing okay. Forty percent of Americans apparently have their heads up their butts so far they are beyond hope. I resist hopelessness as best I can but it is becoming increasingly difficult. Perhaps if Robertson or Falwell could offer up a prayer for decency and accountability. Naw, forget it. They wouldn't know decency or accountability if it jumped up and bit them on the ass.

Speaking of such things, if Bush/Cheney had even a semblance of either decency or shame, they would immediately resign for the good of the country. Good of the country? I bet they are doubled up with laughter at the very suggestion.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Billiard Room - short story

Morialekafa is becoming more and more a victim of comment spam. If these people knew the limited readership of this blog they would probably stop wasting their time. If it continues I will have no choice but to go to word verification, a relatively simply procedure. Anyway, as there is little more to be said at the moment about the dismal, actually abysmal, unconscionable, stupid, moronic, disgusting, racist, vicious, and basically useless response to the Hurricane disaster in New Orleans, and the Roberts hearings won't begin until monday, here is another story to pass the time.

The Billiard Room

The billiard room, at the end of the south wing of the faculty club was dingy at best, with two billiard tables and two pool tables. On two of the institutional green walls were racks for cuesticks which contained numerous inexpensive examples, mostly without tips or otherwise damaged. Beneath the two pool tables were locked drawers in which the regulars kept their private cues, mostly antiques, inlaid with ivory and mother-of-pearl. On one of the walls hung a bulletin board with polaroid pictures of the regulars bent over the tables in various idiosyncratic poses. Postcards received occasionally from traveling members were also pinned there, along with a sign that read "NO SWEARING." This was ignored, particularly by the one player towards whom it was specifically addressed. The room had not been swept or cleaned for months. Near the bulletin board was a coat rack with a locked cabinet overhead. The billiard balls were kept there along with other equipment: brushes, cue chalk, glue, coffee cups and other miscellanea. Near the coat rack stood a larger than lifesize Melanesian woodcarving with a gigantic phallus. It had not been placed there for the decor but, rather, as Wally the Elder delighted in reporting, because some of the female faculty members had objected to its being in the dining room. He referred to it as our "scrotum pole."
Wally the Elder was eighty-seven years old, a Professor of Drama, retired for the past twenty years. At the time of his retirement he had been Chairman of his department, a fact he did not allow you to easily forget. He didn't brag about it. He merely kept repeating anecdotes about it and recalling problems he had faced, not the least of which involved the virtual impossibility of letting go a black faculty member. Wally the Elder had been an actor with minor speaking roles in a number of motion pictures both before and after joining the faculty. He regaled us endlessly with tales of the famous actors and actresses he had known and worked with. He joked that most of his movies were so bad they did not even appear on late night television. His other claim to fame was the fact that his wife "had money. From timber. Up in Oregon." In short, Wally the Elder was a handsome and entertaining fellow. Everyone was fond of him. He was also the backbone of the small group that met daily over the billiard tables.
Wally the Elder was so named to distinguish him from another Wally who also frequented the billiard room. Wally the Younger was eighty-five years old, an internationally known authority in his field, with an ego to match. He was retired, but through his connections with the administration (he had been a faculty member for over forty years) managed to get himself reappointed on a year to year basis. The subject he now taught was himself. Although pompous, he played a good game, had a sense of humor, and was well liked. We joked that he would still be lecturing when they tried to fit him in his coffin.
The oldest member of the "club" was Bill, a ninety year old retired mathematics professor who, because of his failure to keep up with his field, had spent most of his pre-retirement years in administration. Astoundingly, although he had played billiards for more than fifty years, he was no better than the day he began. Fortunately he no longer played very often. And happily, the same thing was true of Rudy, a retired physicist who, although quite distinguished, was now becoming senile. We had to let him play because, after all, it was a gentleman's game, but everyone groaned inwardly when he showed up with his fly undone and his shirttail partially untucked. Rudy often forgot what he was doing when it was his turn to shoot and would have to be reminded.
Aside from these oldtimers there were few billiard players, a fact that troubled Wally the Elder who was fearful that his beloved billiard room would be closed and converted to a storeroom. This was, in fact, a genuine possibility. We all assumed that when Wally went the billiard room would likewise go. This was not unreasonable; the room was now used only for a couple of hours a day and by only those few of us who played. Aside from myself there was Alan, a professor of English and very English himself, Al, from Business Administration, who earned four times his faculty salary with his outside consulting firm and never tired of telling us about it. He also had a loud, obnoxious, and penetrating laugh. It always sounded forced even when it was not. Like myself, he was approaching retirement but not quite there. Richard was younger and also from Business Administration, a permanent Associate Professor who, Al assured us, would never make his full Professorship because, "They just don't like what he does." Richard was in a permanent state of depression and used the billiard room in an attempt to escape. He was still learning the game and showed promise. Al was terrible and, like old Bill, never improved.
Aside from the billiard players there were four retirees from Business Administration who came in regularly to play pool. Eightball. They were terrible players but had a wonderful time working out their various strategies and maneuvers. They played in pairs and changed partners everyday. Even though they never wagered on their games one would have thought they were playing for their lives. As they would use virtually any means to thwart their opponents a single game of eightball could last for an hour or longer. Gregory thought their games were so entertaining they should be televised.
Gregory was the youngest. He was "staff" rather than faculty. Although he was there frequently and participated fully he always felt out of place. This was because of Wally the Elder's repeated grumbling. "I remember when this was the Men's Faculty Club," he would grouse. "Then we had to let the women in. They used to have their own club. Now even the staff can belong. It used to be a nice quiet place where you could come and relax. Have lunch. Sit around and read. Play bridge. Play billiards. But now they rent all the rooms out for meetings and there's not a moment's peace. What business do they have renting out conference rooms to all these outside businesses that have nothing to do with the University? They're only interested in the money, that's all. This is the only room we have left and now they want to take it away. For storage! Storage! Well, they won't get away with it. I'm a past President. One of the founding members. I've still got plenty of friends...I'll..." Wally the Elder repeated this spiel at least once a week. We sympathized.
Wally the Elder's tirade would set Wally the Younger off on his. "The whole University's like that," he would begin. "All they think about now is money. Grants and money. We never should have let all those damn professional schools on the campus. Business Administration, Law, Medicine, even Nursing! What the hell does a University need with nursing? This is supposed to be a University, not a goddamn trade school! And they all get those inflated salaries. You know, get a grant and increase your salary. Most of them don't even need to do any more research. They can't even write up what they already have. Grantsmanship! It's ruining the place. People asking for grants they don't need just to augment their salaries. The Arts and Sciences budget gets cut year after year and the trade schools get more and more. It's just not right." Then he would turn apologetically to one or another of the Business Administration players: "Nothing personal, you understand."
And of course they understood. Wally the Younger, whose salary had not kept pace with more recent arrivals (through no fault of his own) had been preaching the same sermon for twenty years. There was much truth in his complaints but of course nothing would be done to change anything. The University never stopped building and never moved backwards.
Gregory, not a purist like most of us who played either billiards or eightball, would play both billiards and eightball - or nineball - or any game of pool for that matter. Unlike the others it was obvious he had learned the game in his youth and in a real pool hall. Jackson, a young and gifted Professor of Psychology, would carry his lunch everyday from the dining room to the billiard room and eat while watching the games. He seldom played but like Gregory, would play anything if asked. Unlike Gregory, he was not adept.
The only other two regulars were senior Professors of Psychology. They played only against each other and only either rack pool or nineball. They seemed to genuinely hate each other. They swore and insulted one another and argued over every conceivable detail. Left-handed Andrew was a political ultraconservative whereas his diminutive opponent, Edward, was merely a conservative. Not that their politics made any difference, they disagreed about everything. Edward (who never let you forget that he had been a Colonel) was by far the most disagreeable of the two, although he was no match for Andy when it came to swearing. A pretentious round little man with the metabolism of a hummingbird, Edward was forever rasping the tip of his cue, chalking it unnecessarily, picking lint, imaginary and otherwise, off the table, positioning himself just so before each shot, and in general making rather a fool of himself. We all marveled at their strange relationship and often had to ask them to calm down.
Such was the little informal group that used the billiard room, the members of which knew themselves to be part of what was in reality a genuine but informal old-fashioned and waspish men's club. This had not come about by design. It had just evolved that way. Perhaps devolved was a more apt description because at one time there had been a much larger membership and a much better kept room.
Females, whether faculty members or not, simply did not enter the billiard room unless they did so by mistake. In this event they would take one look and quickly leave. This surprised me as the billiard room provided a convenient short cut to the parking lot. But I can recall only one instance in which a woman passed through the room and exited out the back door. It was a exceptionally rainy day. There was no overhang over the door so water poured down directly on whomever was foolish enough to open it. We all watched as the woman made her way daintily across the room. Everyone knew what would happen. But no one said a word until the unfortunate woman was soaked, at which point everyone yelled in unison, "Surprise!" I might have suspected this of a group of children but not a group of octogenarians. Wally the Elder told me later there once had been two young faculty women who had come to play pool and had been allowed to do so. "But they didn't last," he reported seriously. "I don't know what happened to them. They just quit coming."
"My brother just entered a nursing home," Wally the Younger announced one day. "He calls it the Penultimate Arms."
Wally the Elder laughed. "We'll all be there soon. Get your war club."
The two Wallys had played each other twice a week for more than thirty years. Wally the Elder was technically the better player and knew more about the game; but it was obvious he was "getting along." He often miscued and had trouble shooting with enough force to make three and four cushion shots on the badly maintained tables. Too, Wally the Younger was almost pathologically competitive. While the Elder made jokes and enjoyed himself, mostly at his own expense, the Younger played with only one intention: to win. If one could have tallied up all the games they had played quite likely they would have been about even.
Alan and Richard began a game on the other table. Although Alan held his cuestick in an unorthodox manner and did not have a complete repertoire of shots, he was exceptionally good at the shots he did know and as a consequence won more often than not. Richard was a good loser but was getting better every week, something that could certainly not be said for the rest of us.
"Did anyone see my knife?" Wally the Elder asked. "I must have set it down when I was cleaning my pipe."
"One of the staff probably took it," Alan said in his typical superior and sardonic tone. "They like knives you know. Even little ones" (the staff was mostly Hispanic). Then, as if inspired by his comment, he continued. "Now there's what's wrong with the University. Those Ethnic Study Centers. Hispanic Studies, Afro-American Studies, Indian Studies, Asian Studies. What on earth do we need those for? They make a mockery of what a University is supposed to be. This is supposed to be a place where one pursues knowledge for its own sake, objectively, and in a scholarly manner. Those Centers do nothing of the sort. They just try to promote their own image, their own politics. There's nothing objective about them and they certainly aren't scholarly. It was a terrible mistake to have started those centers. I said so at the time. And now, heaven help us, we've even got a Women's Studies Center!" Alan's feelings on the subject were well known. There was an embarrassing silence.
"I've looked everywhere for my knife," Wally the Elder began again. "I even asked at the front desk."
"You probably just forgot where you put it again," Gregory, who was watching, growled. "You lose it all the time. Hell, you'll probably be able to hide your own Easter eggs soon." It was true that Wally was getting forgetful. He was as aware of it as the rest of us. Gregory teased him endlessly but without malice. "That reminds me of a golf joke I just heard," Gregory continued. "There was this eighty year old golfer, see. And he wanted to play in a tournament; but they wouldn't let him because he couldn't see very well. They told him, 'You always lose sight of your ball and have to look for it and hold everyone up. We don't think you ought to play.' But the old guy was determined. He kept pestering them and then finally he suggested, 'How about if I take Jones with me? He's ninety, it's true, but he can still see.' They finally gave in. So...on the first tee the old guy hit a long drive but it tailed off a little at the end. Did you see it? Did you see it? he demanded of Jones. 'I saw it,' Jones replied. Well where is it? Where'd it go? Jones paused for a moment, looked puzzled, and then said, 'I forgot.'
The room exploded with laughter. The oldtimers loved this kind of humor. Wally the Younger offered a joke that had something to do with farting in an old people's home. Everyone guffawed and went back to their games. Wally the Elder triumphed. Andy beat Edward in nine consecutive games of nineball. Edward, red-faced in frustration, anger, and embarrassment, but trying not to show it, left hurriedly but with dignity. "Couldn't happen to a nicer guy," Gregory observed.
Being midway in age between the younger players and the octogenarians I was in a comfortable position. If one of the younger players beat me I whined they were taking advantage of the elderly. If an older guy beat me I complained they shouldn't take advantage of children. Of course it was all just fun. But whenever one of the older players didn't show up when we thought we should be worried. It was true, as Gregory pointed out, that among the older guys there wasn't a single intact prostate. And it did seem like one or another of the older players was always in the hospital or visiting his doctor, or recovering from something or other or attending a funeral. When Wally the Elder, who was in better shape than most, announced that he and his wife were going to Paris for a few days, then added wistfully, "for the last time, I guess," no one spoke for several minutes.
"Well Jackson," I asked one friday, looking for a bet, "Who's going to win the big fight tonight?"
"Oh, one of the nee-groes, no doubt," he answered with obvious disinterest. Jackson, unlike Gregory who participated in virtually every sport, was totally unathletic and looked it with his soft round belly, soft hands and slack posture.
Gregory, who would bet on anything, said, "I'll take Holyfield. Ten bucks."
"You're on," I said.
Just then Edward entered carrying a bottle of wine and a glass.
"What's the celebration?" Jackson inquired.
"My Porsche just turned over 250,000 miles so I'm celebrating," Edward announced proudly in a loud voice.
"Congratulations," Wally the Younger offered. "I had a Porsche once but I didn't like it. I bought a Jaguar instead. I liked the Jaguar better...of course now I drive the Mercedes."
"I'm still driving my old Peugeot," Wally the Elder, just back from Paris, reminded us for what must have been the two thousandth time. "It runs fine. Twenty years old. Only has 37,000 miles on it and it..."
"Shoot!" ordered Gregory, who was playing him. "We know all about your Peugeot. Why don't you tell us again how you painted your house. We only heard about that everyday for six months. And stop wearing those damn white shoes when you come here. They squeak. How in the hell can anyone play billiards with you squeaking like that every time you walk around the table?"
Wally looked around the room at everyone, bowed slightly, and smiled his wonderful stage smile before taking his shot. He ran eleven points, then said, "There, Greg, match that." No matter how hard he tried, Gregory, who was every bit as competitive as Wally the Younger, could not beat the old man. It drove him crazy, much to the amusement of the rest of us.
The following Monday Wally the Elder did not appear promptly at his usual ll:30 hour. We immediately assumed the worst.
"No," Wally the Younger assured us, "I think maybe his son is visiting, and his two grandchildren. He'll be back in a day or two."
The games went on as usual but it was not the same without the old man, our "house post," as Wally the Younger had taught us to call him. When he did not show the following day Wally the Younger said he would call.
"I called and called but didn't get any answer," he reported the next day. "I'm worried."
Three days passed and there was still no word. The billiard room was rapidly taking on all the charm of a morgue. Everyone played but mostly in silence. No jokes were offered. Even Andy and Edward were subdued. Wally the Younger left abruptly even though it was his turn to play. He returned the following day, later than usual, ashen-faced and unsmiling, interrupted the eightball game long enough to open the drawer and remove his expensive antique cuestick. Without a word he broke it over his knee. He flung the two pieces into the farthest corner of the soon to be deserted storeroom.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet? I mean the there in Gertrude Stein's famous statement, "there's no there, there." Maybe we'd do better to look into Alice in Wonderland. George W. Bush said today (maybe it was yesterday) that he (himself, I gather) is going to look into "what went wrong and what went right." Please, try to control the hysterical laughter. The world's most incompetent man is going to investigate the most incompetent bunch of incompetent nincompoops ever assembled under one administration? I guess there is little doubt as to the outcome of such an investigation. It was all Bill Clinton's fault (except for the fact that it was the Mayor's fault, the Governor's fault, the fault of the stupid people who didn't evacuate the city, the fault of the stupid hurricane that didn't turn east fast enough, the fault of the stupid people who built a city below sea level in the first place, the fault of everyone on earth except for those whose fault it actually was). How would anyone have ever thought the levees would fail (except for the fact that the failure has been anticipated since 1832!). Well, folks, we have now reached the point of below zero credibility. If Bush/Cheney and their minions get away with escaping responsibility yet again you might as well make out your wills - because we will surely all be doomed.

This is not the time for the "blame game." Especially as we know exactly where the blame lies. Before pointing fingers we should wait until later, after we have saved everyone and New Orleans flourishes again (and by that time Bush will no longer be President). Not only will he be retired from his "Presidency," he will also presumably be sitting on the porch of Trent Lott's new multi-million dollar mansion on the gulf sipping mint juleps with Ken Lay and others involved in this criminal conspiracy. A well deserved rest after all his really hard, hard work pretending to be President. He will no doubt have given himself the Presidential Medal of Honor for having duped the largest number of religious right-wing lunatics ever. He will have outRobertson's and outFalwell's achievements by such large margins as to become sainted (I have no doubt the Pope will agree to this).

Also by this time all those poor black people who used to live in New Orleans will be blissfully happy in Texas where the hospitality meets the sky and everyone lives happily ever after. Just ask Barbara, but don't strain her beautiful mind too much. I used to wonder whether to laugh or cry. Now I just cry. Every day. I will no doubt continue to do so until I see Bush/Cheney and the rest of the crazies held accountable for their war crimes.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Lies, damn lies, and even bigger damn lies

Where to begin? Let's see, in a poll taken after the New Orleans disaster it is claimed that 46% of the American public think the Bush administration acted properly. The MSM want us to believe that this is "not as bad as might be expected." It certainly is not as bad as I would have expected. I would have expected that anyone tuned in to reality at all would recognize utter and total incompetence when they saw it. I guess this must be the 46% who only watch reality TV. This was incompetence on a scale so huge as to be unprecedented. Republicans, predictably, say this is not a time for politics. We shouldn't politicize a national disaster. This from the same bunch of crooks and liars that have done nothing but politicize everything for the past four plus years.

Of course the Rove attack and spin machine went immediately into action. Anything to absolve Bush and his minions from responsibility. First they tried arguing that they couldn't do anything because the Governor of Louisiana hadn't claimed an emergency. She had, as early as the 28th. Bush also claimed no one would have predicted the levees might fail. False as false can be. It has been predicted for years they might fail in a big hurricane. Bush also claimed that the poor unfortunates in the Dome were given one and perhaps two meals at one point. A lie so blatant that someone actually said "it doesn't get more bald faced than that." It would be impossible at this time to actually identify all the lies being told by the Bush Republicans. But that is just business as usual for them.

They can lie all they want but the truth is not hard to come by. FEMA was effectively castrated and placed under (what is supposed to be Homeland Security). The head of FEMA turns out to be a failed, and fired, director of some Arabian Horse outfit. He was apparently picked because he had been a roomate of whoever picked him. He was totally without experience with disaster relief. The head of Homeland Security, Chertoff, turns out to be such a dismal failure he has already been asked if he intends to resign (of course no one in the Bush administration ever resigns as none of them ever makes a mistake). In virtually any other major country in the world the entire administation would resign in shame. In Japan they would all have committed suicide by now. If there was still such a country as the United States of America these people would undoubtedly be impeached. But as we are now the Fascist Republic of Utter Hogwash without a single honorable member of Congress that will never happen. Democrats have become simply "fellow travelers." Witness the Clintons constantly sucking up to Republicans. I wonder how long it will be before Clinton, McCain, Lieberman, and others of that ilk actually begin kissing Bush's hand.

Rove and his henchmen can try to spin this all they want but it is now perfectly clear to the entire world just how hopelessly incompetent the Bush/Cheney administration is, not only with respect to the "war" in Iraq but also with respect to internal affairs as well. They should all be made to spend four days in the fouled Dome with no food and water and then admit to being guilty as charged.

"I beheld the wretch -- the miserable monster whom I had created."
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley - Frankenstein

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The efficacy of prayer

See, prayer really does work. Pat Robertson prayed that someone on the Supreme Court would die and his prayer was answered. Wow! I'm impressed. I do hope, however, that his prayers (which he doubtless has) about Chavez being assassinated will not be answered. That's the funny thing about prayers, you never know. Of course with Robertson you always know, once a sleazeball always a sleazeball.

Oh, yes, the levees. It has been known for many years that the levees in New Orleans were insufficient to protect the city from anything more than a category 3 hurricane. For years and years their requests for funds to fix the problem have fallen on deaf Congressional and Presidential ears. There is no doubt about this. Just as there is no doubt that Bush and Co. slashed budget requests in the last four years, partly, at least, to fund their absurd and illegal "war" in Iraq. But what the hell, it was only one of the greatest cities on earth (Hastert, the ex wresting coach, thinks we should just bulldoze the ruins and forget about it). And why not, it was inhabited mostly by poor black people who don't vote Republican. The rich people who escaped unscathed will be able to settle in the ritzy new communities that will spring up around Trent Lott's new house (you know, the one Bush says he will sit on the porch with Lott). No doubt they will discuss the tragedy of Strom Thurmond's career over mint juleps served to them by "darkies." That is, if they are not in jail by then for war crimes and other criminal actions.

Bush is now trying to compare his "war" in Iraq with WWII. His resolve with that of FDR. If this is not the most deceitful, absurd, pathetic, false, improper, ridiculous, far-fetched, stupid attempt to fool all of the people all of the time, I don't know what is. Bush is a fool. A stupid know-nothing fool who has led the nation into the most terrible foreign policy blunder in the history of the United States. He and his band of murderous thugs are closer to destroying our democracy than anyone else in our history. And now he has displayed his total incompetence for all the world to see. New Orleans, victim of an unprecedented natural disaster, is also the victim of an even greater social and political disaster. George W. Bush is guilty of criminal incompetence as well as guilty of unforgivable war crimes. Will his father and corporate masters get him of the hook once more? Stay tuned.

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Let's hear it for idiocy

I am still trying to recover from last night when I was told that the reason New Orleans disappeared into "Lake George" was because of environmentalists. Their argument, such as it was, claims that environmentalists blocked any attempts to strengthen or improve the dikes, etc. I guess this must mean that every time money was requestead by the Corps of Engineers and others it was granted but it could never be spent because of environmentalists complaints. This seem to totally ignore the known facts that the requests for money were always drastically reduced and plans to strengthen the levees had to be shelved. Similarly, they argued that in any disaster it always takes at least three days to bring relief. Ignore the facts that they were warned well in advance there would be a disaster and in fact did not provide any substantial aid until after four days, and in some cases even longer. They were able to provide aid in Indonesia within 48 hours, and Indonesia is on the other side of the earth. What troubles me the most about this is that these people, who seemed to be otherwise reasonably well educated people, actually believed this nonsense. This interpretation of what happened in New Orleans is so preposterous as to drive any normal person insane. I have always known that there were anti-environmentalists, and I have always know they were not very rational, but I have to admit I was stunned to hear from this couple that the demise of New Orleans was the result of environmentalists and that developers had no role in destroying the wetlands that traditionally protected the city.

After trying to digest the abovementioned absurd claims I read today on Smirking Chimp about the "Young Earth Theory." There are people who actually believe that dinosaurs were created at the same time as people, approximatly 6000 year ago. They were, according to these people, vegetarians in the Garden of Eden until after Adam and Eve sinned when they began eating flesh. They base these beliefs on Genesis and apparently are serious about it. So...they are buying various tourist sites that feature fake dinosaurs and using them to promote their creationist beliefs.

I have never been able to understand how anyone could possibly support Bush/Cheney, the most incredible liars in the history of the U.S. I certainly could never understand how people could believe that Bush talked to God (or was it the other way around). Bush has to be the greatest phony ever foisted on the American public, stumbling and bumbling and incompetent beyond belief. But they still support him. How can that be? Well, consider the two examples above. If people can believe utter nonsense like that, of course they can believe in Bush. I repeat what I have said previously, people that stupid should not be allowed to vote. You have to have a driver's license to drive, a license for guns, and such things, why should you not have a license to vote? You should have to display at least some semblance of contact with reality. As it is now the insane can vote, at least some criminals can vote, illiterates can vote, large numbers of people who pay no attention until voting day, vote, and so on. Even right wing Republicans who have no minds at all are allowed to vote. There ought to be a basic course in democracy (Democracy 101) that everyone who wants to vote should be required to take. And voting should be mandatory for every citizen of the U.S.

My wife is currently the acting head of the local Democratic Party. Her attempt to become the de facto head of the party is being challenged because she is suspected of being (hold your breath) an environmentalist (which she sort of is). Thus I fantasize about waiting until everyone is present at the next meeting and then entering before her shouting something to the effect of: "The environmentalist is coming! The environmentalist is coming! Either lock you doors or flee for your lives. Flee to the cities as the forests will be too dangerous. She will want to save the caribou, the grizzly bears and the burbot and has other subversive, communist plans in her agenda. She personally shot down the city's marvelous plan for a pulp mill fifteen years before she ever even heard of our city. So beware! Beware! She might even be sympathetic to Cindy Sheehan. She might even be in cahoots with the UN black helicopters hovering at the Canadian Border to come in and steal your lawn chairs." She apparently has two opponents, one who has never attended a meeting of Democrats (and may not even know he has been suggested) and another who modestly suggested himself. They are concerned that the local Democratic Party has moved too far to the "left." As so far the local Democratic Party hasn't moved at all, this is a bit of a mystery. But it is all so sick I can't go on.

There is an old gambler's saying: "If you can't beat it, don't knock it."

Friday, September 02, 2005

Damn environmentalists

I was very surprised to learn at a dinner party this evening that the loss of New Orleans was caused by environmentalists. It seems that every time the administration wanted to construct or improve levees they were prevented from doing so by environmentalists. According to this couple, doing anything to the levees would have dire environmental consequences and therefore nothing could be done. And oh, by the way, the disappearance of the wetlands that might have protected the city had nothing to do with development - it was all a result of just natural erosion. Was I being cowardly by refusing to talk with them about this? Or should I have totally disrupted the dinner party by shouting, screaming, yelling, cursing, and perhaps even engaging in physical violence?

You should understand that this followed after a meeting last night in which people were attacking an environmental group about which they know nothing. NOTHING! Their ignorance is so profound as to be astonishing. They have these myths they continue to tell each other year after year that have absolutely no basis in fact. They could without very much effort easily learn about this group, all they would have to do is look it up on the web, but they don't have to do that because they believe they already know the truth. Dumb bastards is too generous a term for these people.

There is obviously a good deal of outrage over the New Orleans situation. Outrage on the one hand over the slowness of responding to the disaster, and on the other over having diverted funds from New Orleans needs to the "war" in Iraq. There seems to be little doubt that this happened. When the Corps of Engineers requested 208 million dollars they received 10 million and so on. It has been known for years that the levees were highly vulnerable and for years the problem has been neglected, moreso under the Bush/Cheney administration than previously. Of course they will never admit to this, just like they never admit to anything. Watch them try to blame it on Clinton. That same Clinton that now refuses to criticize them and is embarking once again with George Bush Sr. on a fund raising trip to aid the victims. Why should private money have to be used to overcome a disaster that should have been prepared for and funded by taxpayer dollars? According to Bush/Cheney the administration has no responsibility for such things, especially when the money has to go into their immoral and disgusting "war" in Iraq.

And do not forget Bush's immortal claim that "no one expected the levees to give way." Of course not after many many years of research into that very problem. This claim is right up there with Condi Rice's "no one thought they would use planes to attack buildings. Please, I beg of you, how much longer do we have to put up with this absolutely incompetent, lying, dishonest, immoral, greedy, stupid, miserable bunch of crooks. Is there just no limit to the gullibility of the American public? What is wrong with people who can still claim to support this bunch of lunatics?

We are all still just infants in increasingly decaying bodies.
Mel Firestone