Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Depends upon what "it" is

Well...the Bubble Boy gave his set Iraqi speech for the umpteenth time to another military audience. He doesn't dare speak to a general audience because someone might actually ask him a question he can't answer. One of those questions, I guess, is what "it" is? That is, in today's speech he apparently said that once we attain "complete victory" it will be "worth it" (I have to confess that I did not actually listen to his speech, I pick up what he apparently said by listening to reviews of what he said. If I were to actually listen to him, and have to watch him, I would almost surely become so overtaken by rage as to have a heart attack). What does he mean by this? What would complete victory entail? Is complete victory even possible against terrorists (of course not). Try to imagine what from his point of view victory in Iraq might mean. I guess it would mean that we would have successfully installed a puppet government that would do our bidding, let us control their oil, and otherwise cooperate completely with our desires in the area. Apparently he would consider this the spreading of democracy to the Middle East. Of course he doesn't care if it's a democracy or not, as long as we control their "government" (and their resources). Thus whoever is elected in Iraq has to be "our" man, otherwise I guess it would not be worth it? There is no doubt the election will be fixed and apparently we have our candidate in mind. If we lose what happens? If we win what happens? What happens in either case is that we will withdraw some troops, retain some troops, keep some troops in other parts of the Middle East, and make sure that things go our way. No one, absolutely no one, is suggesting that we will not maintain a military presence in that part of the world. While I admire Barbara Boxer, when she suggests we proclaim we will not maintain a permanent presence, I don't know if she is being serious or just naive.

How is it that everyone now is speaking about about either getting out of or staying in Iraq but no one ever mentions oil? Indeed, Hillary apparently sent out an email discussing what was wrong and needed to be done in the our country without even mentioning Iraq, let alone oil. Kerry has finally flunked out as a public speaker. Lieberman continues to shill for the President and Republicans, grandpa Rumsfeld got put in his place over torture, Spector made a fool of himself over football, and the Republican idiocy just continues.

Our senior Senator, Craig (who apparently believes we are still going to find WMD's) inserted a rider in some bill that would eliminate money for the Fish Passage Center. He claims they are biased. As it is a small group, with a small budget, and basically does nothing but count the number of salmon in the system, it is somewhat difficult to see where they might be biased (he thinks they don't know how to count right?) Actually it is much simpler than that. He represents the energy industry and they do not like having the fish counted because it might actually prove that something more needs to be done to save the salmon. Senator Craig should stick to telling us about how bad New Orleans is (as he knows even less about that than anything else). Senator Craig is an idiot and an embarrassment to the State of Idaho (but of course most Idahoans think he is wonderful).

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Watch 'n Wait: I know of people in Arizona who go out in the desert and shoot machine guns for "therapy." In The High Valley by Kenneth E. Read he describes a New Guinea leader who goes out alone and shoots a single arrow into nowhere, presumably for the same reason. Please let me know what your friend thinks the "purpose" is. If he knows he should share it with the rest of us.

I read one article today in which Bush says that when it comes to exiting Iraq he is going to listen to his generals and no one else. Then there was another article which claims that he refuses to listen to anyone, including his generals, if they say something he doesn't want to hear. Apparently the generals are afraid to say anything he doesn't want to hear as it might well be detrimental to their careers. As becoming a general is a very political thing as well as military this is understandable. This is what makes Murtha's comments so powerful - he has the ear of the generals and is obviously transmitting their beliefs and not simply his own. What they fear to say he can say for them, obviously very threatending to Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice,/et al. If I had to choose between Bush's claim that he listens to his generals and the claim that he refuses to listen to anyone who tells him anything he doesn't want to hear, I would certainly opt for the latter.

I would never compare Bush to Hitler. After all, Hitler was very successful, at least until the bitter end. Bush has consistently, predictably, invariably, overwhelmingly, single-mindedly, incompetently, almost compulsively been not successful. What they do seem to share in common, when the end is near, is the absolute refusal to accept any advice from people with an actual grasp of reality, people who could actually help them, those who want to help but are dismissed out of hand because they have to say what the Fuehrer/King/President doesn't want to hear. It is said that those around the President are terrified because no one can get through to him. He apparently is on a religious mission, knows that he has the absolute truth as well as the blessing of God, and is not going to give up no matter what. If this is true it is terrifying even beyond belief. And if he doesn't come around and drastically change course soon we will know that it is, unhappily, the truth. Also, if this is true, George W. Bush is not fit to be President of the United States.

Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for all of us unless something happens soon.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A "nefarious bastard?"

Colonel Wilkerson, Colin Powell's chief of staff for many years, has said that Cheney must have believed Iraq was a training ground for terrorists or, if not, must have been "a moron, an idiot or a nefarious bastard." I see no reason why Cheney should not be seen as all three, in addition to being a pathological liar and an all around disgusting human being. Personally, I believe he is the personification of evil.

Now Duke Cunningham, Republican of California, has pleaded guilty to taking bribes in return for corporate favors. Ney will doutless be next in spite of his lawyer's attempt to portray as a poor innocent patsy. And of course we still have DeLay and Frist on the griddle, to say nothing of Karl Rove (actually, there are so many others it is impossible to keep score).

McClellan seems to have disappeared for the past 19 days; someone has suggested into the arms of Gannon/Guckert (anyone remember him?). Odds are he is about to be replaced (if, indeed, they can find anyone foolish enough to take on such a job). Apparently some have suggested to Bush that he should fire Rumsfeld; but Bush, being Bush, refused to do so as it would be seen as an admission of failure which, of course, he could never admit.

Judith Miller seems to have had her 15 minutes of fame. Bob Woodward is being exposed for the obsequious court stenographr he has become, the MSM continues to lose out to the Internet (and deservedly so), it is too late (hopefully) for Bush to bomb al-Jazeera, and we continue to wait for the complete collapse of the Bush/Cheney fiasco. It is far better than any three ring circus but unfortunately, not entertaining.

My father told me: "when you get a big man down, don't let him up." Good advice for the present case.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Watch 'n Wait: Thank you for your comment. I have missed you for quite a while.

I am having more and more trouble with what is passed off as news, or at least what is reported on national television. I guess when a bus overturns in Santa Maria that is indeed news, but national news? I have no doubt it is news for people who live in Santa Maria but why is it worthy of being reported on what is supposed to be national news, like CNN, for example? Surely it is not the only bus crash or other similar accident in the world that day? Similarly, I find it distressing to hear that a building burned down in some other city. I mean, really, buildings burn down all the time all over the country, so why is one particular burning building featured on national news? And why, if there are multiple murders everyday in the U.S., is one singled out for not only reporting but virtually non-stop reporting? The same with the disappearance of a young woman or a child. I am not suggesting such things are unimportant. I'm sure they are of grave importance to the people involved. But how do these individual events get singled out for so much coverage while identical events receive no coverage at all - at least on national news?

The only conclusion I have been able to come to is that the MSM don't really want us to hear any truly important national or world news. If you want to hear what I would call "real news" you have to go either to sources outside the U.S. or the internet. It is perfectly obvious that the British Press, for example, contains much more real news than U.S. news sources do. The same is true of Germany, France, and most other European countries.

Critics of our news media say this is because our news sources have concluded that Americans would rather be entertained than informed. As this is so, corporations that wish to advertise do so on programs that are entertaining rather than informative. While this may be useful to corporations it is surely disastrous for a democracy that supposedly can only function with an informed electorate (which we have long since abandoned). There is also the well known (by now) fact that our MSM are owned by large corporations that are in league with the current administration and therefore act on the administrations behalf. This is a truly dangerous situation that is going to be difficult, if not impossible, to overcome. Even PBS has been usurped by the current administration. We still have Free Speech TV and Democracy Now but lacking quasi porn and soaps they have a limited audience. There is little doubt that if left unchecked the present administration will go after them as well as the internet. We must resist this at all costs!

There are, I guess, faint rays of hope. I know several people, who like myself no longer watch tv other than Democracy Now. And it is being reported that subscriptions to newspapers are falling off. More people are blogging and getting their news from the internet. At least some programming on MSM has become so awful that fewer people watch every year. But I guess it can never become so awful that no one will watch. Pity.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A noble mission?

I gather that the "noble cause" (which has never been defined) has now changed into the "noble mission." At least this is what Bush said in his weekly radio address. I never listen to this but I saw a reference to it somewhere. Can no one explain to our apparently brain dead president that pre-emptively attacking a sovereign nation that is no threat to us is not a noble cause? It is, in fact, a war crime, plain and simple. Torturing captives is also a war crime, as is hiding them from the Red Cross, war profiteering, the use of chemical weapons, and the indiscriminate killing of civilians. Lying to Congress and the American people to bring about an immoral and illegal "war" might not be a war crime but certainly is an impeachable offense.

Apparently Bush?Cheney think that regime change to bring about democracy is a noble mission. It, too, is a war crime. And trying to impose democracy at the barrel of a gun, if not a war crime, is certainly a useless and foolish endeavor. As we have never been told what the noble cause or mission really is, we can only speculate on what it might be in the warped brains of the neocons who conspired treasonably to bring it about. Think Israel, oil, control, power, "war president," empire, and not least of all, profit.

In our local rag, sometimes referred to as a newspaper, was a letter this morning that claimed Bush has "moral integrity," something the writers said Clinton did not have. First, whatever Clinton had or did not have has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not Bush has moral integrity. And let us consider Bush's moral integrity. As a boy he blew up live frogs for fun. As a young man he participated in at least one abortion. He used family influence to escape duty in Vietnam by getting into the Air National Guard in Texas, and then failed to live up to his obligations there. He failed in every business he attempted to be bailed out time and again by his family's wealthy friends. But he did make a fortune by participating in a scheme to con Texas taxpayers into building an expensive sports stadium which was later sold to produce private profits. He then accepted an illigetimate presidency handed to him by a corrupt Supreme Court and a second term provided by illegal and underhanded means. He then lied to Congress and the American people to start a "war" that was necessary only so he could be a "war president." And he is now lying about all of his previous lies. He has the blood of untold thousands on his hands and refused to acknowledge that he ever made a mistake. So much for moral integrity.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Counting blessings

The wheels (or snails) of justice move far too slowly for me. Is there anyone now (aside from the apparent 33% of the population who would continue to support Bush/Cheney even if they were caught in flagrante delicto with goats on the White House steps) who is unaware that Bush?Cheney and the neocons lied to bring about an illegal, unconstitutional, immoral, and unnecessary "war?" Anyone who doesn't believe they are now lying about their previous lies? A large majority now realizes that the "war" is going nowhere, was wrong, and so on. The Republican party seems to be oblivious to the fact that they are quite likely to implode and perhaps even disappear for many year to come if they don't take some action to cleanse themselves of this cancer that is threatening them. I guess nothing much happens over the Thanksgiving holiday. Perhaps things will pick up next week although we may have to wait until next year before the serious action begins.

Anyway, waiting around for something big to happen, I began to concentrate on my blessings. Living here in this little town does have fantastic advantages. For example, we have friends who raise Scottish Highlands cattle. They are raised naturally with no chemicals whatosever. Indeed, they are fed mostly on the first cutting of alfalfa (augmented with shredded apples and other such treats). Our biggest problem is trying to get the local butchers to cut 2 inch New York steaks. They seem to think anything over an inch is too much. We have other friends who raise a couple of pigs every year or two, one for themselves and one for us. Again, no chemicals, artificial feeds, or whatever. Similarly, we can get junk free lambs. We have a large garden every summer. Organic. We preserve much of our own food. We also have a farmer's market in the summer where we can find additional purely organic vegetables and fruits. We get morel mushrooms from a local picker, as well as huckleberries. We have our own apples, cherries, plums, pears, raspberries and currants. Although we do not hunt, we have friends who provide us with venison as we allow them to hunt on our land. Every summer we buy a supply of wild Alaskan salmon and halibut from a fisherman who flash freezes it and brings it here to be sold. Granted we do not get the variety we were offered in Santa Monica.

We have no earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, volcanic eruptions, or tidal waves. There are no poisonous snakes and although perhaps a poisonous spider in rare instances, not a problem. The winters are generally mild and temperatures in winter rarely go below zero. Some years we have very little snow but on rare years there can be quite a lot. In the summer it can get uncomfortably hot but usually not for more than a week or two. There is little humidity and you can always sleep comfortably at night.

This is not to say there are no problems or drawbacks here. It is two hours to the nearest airport which is a drag if you travel much. As you can't buy much of anything in town you have to drive between 30 and 90 miles to find some of the things you need. The biggest problem for us is the fact that Idaho is probably the most solidly Republican state in the union, so we are surrounded for the most part by very conservative Republicans. There is, however, a small and now very active Democratic party which helps. The local public schools are not very good but as our son is now attending the University of Washington that is a problem for us of the past (and it was a problem). Local politics are more of a nuisance than anything else. Our little community recently erected a 100 foot flagpole and hoisted a flag so oversized as to be embarrassing. I know the flag is symbolic but this one seems to be symbolic of the fact that we are more patriotic than anyone else in the state, and to me, at least, seems to symbolize that we are a community of overactive nincompoops. Oh well, one can't have everything.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Tips of icebergs

Happy Thanksgiving!

Don't forget to buy, read, and enjoy THE CHAM STONES.

Well, as you might suspect, the plot thickens, and thickens, and thickens. In an article posted on, Christopher Deliso (I do not know who he is but he seems to speak with some authority) outlines some of the people and events linked to the Plame outing. Among other things it is said that the call to Libby that alerted him to Valerie Plame definitely came from the office of John Bolton. The article goes on to name four people, all affiliated with Bolton in some way, who were most probably involved in the Plame affair: David Wurmser, Frederick Fleitz, Mark Grossman, and Eric Edelman. If there is any truth in Deliso's article it proves that the Libby indictment is truly just the tip of an iceberg, not only in terms of who were involved in the scheme to out Plame, but also in the meaning of that outing. It goes far, far beyond merely trying to punish Wilson for challenging the claims of the Bush/Cheney administration. Indeed, it might well lead into things that one would ordinarily think unthinkable.

The other iceberg-sized scandal floating around in Washington has to do with the Abramhof mess. With Scanlon agreeing to cooperate with the investigators this will surely lead eventually to Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed, and many others. And again, it may lead to things we would not believe (unless you, like me, are now prepared to believe anything of this scurrilous administration led by the greatest pack of liars ever assembled in our nation's capital).

As you may have already heard, it seems that our far from illustrious self-proclaimed "war president" apparently wanted to bomb al-Jazeera, the main Muslim news/television organization. Tony Blair talked him out of it fearing there might be too much revenge. This comes from a leaked British memo about which there is some controversy. Some claim Bush was joking (yuk yuk) but others say he was serious. As the U.S. already attacked al-Jazeera elsewhere, and an inordinate number of newspersons have apparently died at the hands of U.S. troops in Iraq, I believe Bush could well have been serious. The British government has now taken the position that if any news source prints this memo they will go to jail. Wouldn't want to make Bush look bad would we?

In another attempt to protect our fake Texas president it appears the city of Crawford (maybe the county?) hurriedly passed a new law making it illegal to camp along the roadway (for some distance, maybe 5 miles?). This law is being challenged as an infringement of free speech but it is not clear how far that might go. In the meanwhile some have already been arrrested and Cindy Sheehan hasn't even arrived there yet.

I cannot see how this administration can possibly last for another three years, nor can I see how anyone would want it to. It is just disaster as far as the eye can see.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Gadjets - essay

While we are waiting for the coming disaster, and nothing much is happening that we are hearing about, let us consider gadjets.

I am not a person who is now, or has ever been, "into gadjets." As we increasingly live in a gadjet minded world this makes me more and more "out of it."
For example, when I carve a turkey I want a good sharp knife and a big solid fork to hold it down, no fancy pronged carving board and electric saw that looks like it was made for cutting hedges and buzzes away like a lawnmower. Similarly, when I open a bottle of wine I want a simple old-fashioned corkscrew, one that you have to twist into the cork, not some new fangled gadjet that looks like a hypodermic needle and pumps air into the bottle. Electric can openers don't impress me one bit. Like all such gadjets they are too complicated and tend to break down. Give me one of those old crank openers for the rare occasions that I need one (cans being themselves gadjets that foul the taste and quality of whatever they contain). Fresh fruits and vegetables are "where it's at" as far as I'm concerned.
And what about those super-duper fancy one-piece things that sort of look like pliers but claim to be a single tool for doing everything from cutting your toenails to washing your car? Have you ever seen anyone use one of those things? Of course not. They are made for the "gadjet minded." When you really need a tool you probably pick up a rock or a stick, having left the gadjet you might need at home on the shelf with the rest of the junk.
Battery operated gadjets are the absolute worst. Batteries are always dead just when you need them the most. There is obviously a conspiracy to dump more and more battery driven toys and gadjets on an unsuspecting and gullible public. Who can resist a battery operated teddy bear that beats a drum. Or an electric jeep that turns cartwheels? Or whatever? Horror of horrors! Someone once gave me a battery operated shoeshine brush. Of course you still had to slap the polish on by hand - but after that, wow, you just turned on the machine and a little round brush went round and round and your shoes were "automatically" polished. That is, that's what was supposed to happen. What really happened, of course, was that the batteries ran down and/or the switch didn't work and/or the kids had left the damn thing out in the yard, or some such.
Of course all these gadjets are trivial compared to the more recent gadjet conspiracy, the gadjet to virtually replace all gadjets, the home computer. Now we are all being told that everyone needs a computer -- the elementary school child, the secondary school child, the college student, the professional and businessmen, and even the man or woman of the house. I'm sure the true gadjeteers think they have died and gone to heaven. But what, pray tell, does one need with a computer to keep track of the mundane and relatively simple everyday tasks of home life. Do you really need a computer to do grocery lists or keep track of the last time the lawn was mowed? Homemakers who need computers must certainly have much more complicated chores than I, who can keep track of everything on the fingers of my two hands. I realize this argument won't faze the dedicated gadjet minded up-to-date innovator who just has to stay on top of all the latest developments. Like my wife. She can stand openmouthed and fascinated in front of gadjets all day long - electric toothbrushes, totally impractical cheese slicers, massaging shower heads, automatic apple peelers, electric ground-warmers, automatic card-shufflers and bird feeders, fake fireplaces, and gadjets for recording how many gadjets she has.
I know now how my parents felt when the motor car swept the country and the airplane was invented, when radio became popular and television came into being, and even when bubble gum was invented. I should probably feel even more left behind. But I don't. Give me "the good old days" (whatever they might have been) and the bare necessities of life. Let my hammock swing free in the wind under the pines all by itself.
Obviously this essay was written quite some time ago. To bring it up to date one would have to consider telephones that play music and take pictures and can be carried everywhere, thus enabling their owners to be in constant communication with someone at all times. This is extremely convenient as it allows one to report on precisely what one is eating at the time of the eating, where one is sitting in the airport waiting for their plane, what they purchased within minutes of when they purchased it, what color it is, how no one else has it, their precise location on the street at the moment, and so on. I have no doubt that soon these phones will be able to wash your dog, shampoo your hair, and cut your nails while also giving you a massage. There are other gadjets nowadays so complicated I cannot even describe them. I confess to be hopelessly lost in the past when people still used bows and arrows (gadjets), spears (gadjets), flint and stone (gadjets), atlatls and boomerangs (super gadjets), and whatever. At least they didn't need batteries. But, as a fragile and helpless human being, I guess I have to say, give me gadjets or give me death.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


A friend this morning loaned me a book entitled America the Broke by Gerald J. Swanson. While I have not completely finished it there is no doubt where it is leading. America is about to go broke. Kaput. Finished. Bankrupt. Insolvent. Unable to pay its bills. Impoverished. Reduced to scavenging in garbage piles. Hungry. Sick. Ruined. Swanson says it may be not too late to save us. I wonder.

Actually, this book doesn't tell me much of which I didn't already know or suspect. However, it does it in a language so simple and direct, and in such detail as to make me want to run off into the dark night shrieking and screaming. I mean, you don't have to be very bright to know that you can't keep spending billions of dollars you don't have before you are going to be in big trouble. Borrowing billions of dollars from China and Japan to give huge tax breaks to people in the U.S. who are already so obscenely wealthy they couldn't possibly need it, and allowing giant Corporations to pay virtually no taxes at all, would not seem to be fiscally very responsible. Laying off workers, reducing benefits, outsourcing jobs, and so on, while at the same time paying CEO's several millions of dollars PER YEAR no matter how well or badly they perform would likewise not seem to be very sensible. But that is what we have been doing, especially under the Bush/Cheney administration, and there is no doubt that eventually it will bring about the downfall of the American dream (which has already become more like the American nightmare).

Meanwhile Bush/Cheney continue to insist the world is flat, the sun revolves around the earth, and there is no truth to the fact that they lied repeatedly, unconscionably, deliberately, and maliciously to drag us into a "war" that was/is completely illegal, unconstitutional, immoral, and unnecessary. The record is there. Their words were recorded for posterity. We know exactly what they said. And we also know that much of what they said was totally untrue: there was a connection between Osama bin Laden and Sadam, Sadam had WPM's, there were mobile biological labs, planes that could attack the U.S., stockpiles of terrible chemicals, and on and on. Many of these claims were based upon testimony by Iraqi defectors they knew were completely unreliable - but they used them anyway. Dick the Slimy is, of course, the great grandfather of all liars while he piously complains the democrats are making false accusations. Cheney is a liar. A serial, pathological, disgusting, unprincipled, dishonest, and, yes, reprehensible (to use his term) liar. If you don't want to believe me go look up his record for yourself. It's all there for the world to see.

Much of this disastrous situation is our own fault. How and why could we just stand by and allow these guys to continue to give tax breaks to the filthy rich while at the same time doling out billions of dollars for a completely bloated defense industry, starting a ridiculous and apparently endless "war" for no good reason (or at least for no good reason that has ever been explained)? How could we have just stood by and allowed them to worry us about gay rights and abortion instead of medical care and education, deteriorating superstructure, poverty, the environment, employment, and other pressing needs here at home? What on earth is wrong with us? And why do we not do something about it right now before it will be too late? Time IS running out. We cannot stand another three years of Bush/Cheney. They should resign or be impeached NOW before they can do completely irreparable damage to what was once our great nation. Read America the Broke and tell me how you look forward to the future.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Even more lies!

Wow! I don't think I ever heard as many lies in one day as I did today. Everyone seems to be lying at the moment (not that they haven't been lying the whole time anyway). Bush and Cheney are absolutely outraged that democrats could possibly suggest they might have lied to lead us into war. This in spite of the fact that their lies are recorded on tape for all time. Cheney especially has so many lies recorded they are virtually uncountable. Also, at the very moment Cheney was on the telly outraged about this we were being treated to an account of how it is the Pentagon and CIA have spent somewhere between 50 and 100 million dollars for the Rendon group to prepare (through propaganda and other means) for regime change in Iraq (that is, war). So the Rendon group invented the INC (Iraq national congress), picked Chalabi to be its titular head, and prepared the soil for him to replace Sadam Hussein after our "victory" in that unfortunate country. I guess spending that much money for a Public Relations group to promote a war doesn't constitute lying? Not only that, they relied upon an Iraqi defector who was found to be a liar, for justifications for the "war." Even after lie detector tests showed this guy to be dishonest they continued to quote him about Sadam's weapons of mass destruction. Then, again, after they took him to Iraq to show them the sites he claimed to exist and could not find they continued to cite him. I guess that's not lying. If it's not, it's stupid even beyond belief.

This, of course, is in addition the the obvious lies that Bush/Cheney promoted endlessly. WMD's, mobile chemical plants, aluminum tubes, relations between Sadam and Osama, and on and on. And now lies about the intelligence that everyone supposedly had (which, in fact, only Bush/Cheney had), and whatever. The lies now are coming so thick and fast you can't even keep up with them. Rumsfeld now claims he was not in favor of invading Iraq! Santorum and others want to pretend they never even heard of George W. Bush, Woodward wants us to believe he was just an innocent bystander, no one in Congress ever heard of Abramhof, things are going really well in Iraq, To "cut and run" would be cowardly and Iraq would be plunged into civil war (which it already is), our military, especially the soldiers on the ground, want to "stay the course," torture does not occur, "collateral damage" is being minimized, we have not used chemical weapons, democracy is about to be established next month with the elections, and progress is being made (by leaps and bounds?).

I repeat what I have said before: If George W. Bush and Dick (the Slimy) Cheney had even one iota of decency and respect for the United States they would resign and give us a chance to restore democracy and respect to the United States before it is far too late. There is simply no way we can survive another three years of their criminal administration. If Republicans themselves cannot see this they will self-destruct and become merely a memory of what was once a viable political entity.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A deal?

Does the Bush/Cheney administration have a deal with the terrorists? A deal such that we promise to keep providing some of our finest young prople as sacrificial lambs to be murdered there, provided the terrorists, in turn, promise not to attack us here in our (presumably helpless and unprotected homeland)? Bush/Cheney have been saying repeatedly that "we are fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here." Why fighting them there prevents them from attacking us here is not at all clear. In fact, it is utter nonsense, unless, there actually is such a deal. I don't, of course, believe there is such a deal but bring this up merely to illustrate how ridiculous a claim this really is. Actually, we are fighting them there because...because they were a threat to us and their neighbors? No, not that. Well, maybe because they had weapons of mass destruction? No, not that. Well, maybe because they might have wanted to have weapons of mass destruction some time in the future? Yeah, that's it. Oh, and yeah, they have a lot of oil that we would like to control. Besides, Sadam was a bad guy. He used to be a good guy when we provided him with chemical weapons but later he became a bad guy. When he agreed to let the weapons inspectors into his country with no restrictions on where they could inspect that was the last straw. We might have found out the Bush/Cheney administration had been lying to us the whole time and that just wouldn't do. But I forget, we had to spread democracy throughout the Middle East. That would be good, wouldn't it? Apparently the best way to spread democracy there would be to destroy it here at home. That's a good plan and it was working until that evil Congressman Murtha said we should call it off.

But you notice that even Murtha doesn't suggest that we should not retain a presence in the area. He suggests a rapid strike force, maybe based in Kuwait or at least nearby. There is just no telling what those crazy Iraqis may do with their oil if we are not there to insure they do the right thing (sell it to us at a nominal cost and in dollars rather than euros). This also doesn't say what we are to do with the billions of dollars we have spent on permanent facilities in Iraq. But, then, as Dirksen once said, "a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talking real money." It's not as if the 200 billion plus we have already spent there hasn't produced some marvelous results. A mere 8 billion just disappeared into thin air, the Iraqis still don't have decent water or electricity, and we are assured by Bush/Cheney that everything is going well.

It appears that the American people may be reaching the point where they are simply not going to put up with this any longer. The Bush/Cheney gang is starting to implode and there are at last signs of hope. But do not be surprised if some truly strange things happen soon. We might find that Lichenstein is becoming very agressive and trying to develop a bomb with the help of Luxembourg and Monaco. There may even develop fears that we are about to be invaded by creatures from outer space. This would be all the more reason for following Florida and making it legal for everyone to carry a gun. Indeed, make it mandatory that everyone must own a gun, I suggest a 50 calibre machine gun. Those are really cool. Hard to conceal, perhaps, but everyone could have one mounted on their car and one on their front porch. That should keep those terrorists at bay. But maybe they wouldn't work on creatures from outer space? This is all too confusing.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Some translations

Let us for the moment consider what some of the Bush/Cheney rhetoric actually means:

We are embarked on a "noble cause." Cindy Sheehan has asked just what is this noble cause? Bush/Cheney have not given us an answer. Apparently the noble cause was/is to (1) destroy their non-existent weapons of mass destruction, (2) save us from their imaginary buddy (who actually hated them) Osama bin Laden, (3) remove a dictatorial murderous tyrant (who was an ally who apparently outlived his usefulness), (4) spread democracy (at the point of a gun) across the Middle East, (5) prove that we are a machismo country who will not just cut and run (as we did in Somalia), and (6) whatever else the Bush/Cheney loonies want to proclaim is/was the noble cause they have not yet shared with us.

We need to "stay the course." As no "noble cause" has been offered it is not at all clear what the "course" is. As near as I can tell the course has to do with just continuing what it is we have been doing - murdering as many patriotic Iraqis as possible who do not want us occupying their country, and killing innocent civilians, women and children in the process, to demonstrate what "shock and awe" really means to the rest of the world. Oh, and also to make it clear that "war crimes" do not apply to the United States (because, after all, might makes right, and we are the only superpower in the world). There is also the fact that unending "war" is good for business. Very good.

We are going to continue the fight until we have achieved "complete victory." What is it that would constitute a "victory" in Iraq, let alone a complete one? Perhaps we could get someone to sign a surrender document? As no one represents all of the resistance (turrists) would we need each one to sign individually? Would the victory be complete if we managed to kill every last Iraqi along with the foreign fighters who are involved? Would we need surrender terms from the Saudis? How about the Iranians? There probably can't be more than 40 to 50 million of them who want us out of Iraq. Would they all agree to surrender and give us our victory? Are we to believe as Bush/Cheney assure us that everything is going well in Iraq? That victory is imminent?

Finally, there is the claim that we are "fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here." That is, if they don't try to cross two enormous oceans and try to attack us here in our stronghold, we will continue to provide them with our finest sacrificial lambs they can kill there where it is so much easier for them. That ought to placate them and keep them from attacking us here at home where we are more defenseless. I'm sorry, but fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here is the most pathetic bunch of bullshit I have ever encountered in my life.

They are now already starting to roviate Murtha, suggesting that they should investigage his ethics and relationship to his brother's business. Can you believe these bastards have the nerve to even mention the word ethics?

Question of the day: do you believe American Corporations and businesses in general really care about abortion and gay rights?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Republican nonsense

Congressman Murtha, a retired Marine Colonel, a staunch advocate for military action against Iraq, a Vietname veteran, decorated with a bronze star and two purple hearts, suggested that we should get out of Iraq as whatever we could have done there we have done and our continuing presence is simply fueling the resistance and is self defeating. From the response you might think he had actualy called for an end to the earth.

Republicans, never ones to miss a cheap shot, called for an immediate resolution on the Iraq "war." Should we withdraw from Iraq immediately, yes or no. Murtha did not suggest an immediate withdrawal, merely a withdrawal as soon as practicable. Obviously no one was going to vote for an immediate withdrawal as that would be totally ridiculous. But this stupid charade gave them a chance to embarrass Democrats which is what it was all about. It's not as if there are any more important problems facing the nation. So they managed to waste some time and take our minds off (for a moment) the real problems of this failed Republican administration. I have no idea how the vote came out. But it doesn't matter as the whole thing was a farce.

I suggest we should have an immediate up or down vote on whether or not the CIA should be exempt from torturing people. Or how about an up or down vote on whether Bush/Cheney should continue to direct the "war" in Iraq. Or even whether or not they should continue in office? How about an up or down vote on whether or not the "war" in Iraq is going well?

Fitzgerald has called for a new grand jury and announced that his investigation is not over. Wheee! There are going to be good times ahead. At least depending upon your point of view. My greatest wish in life is to see Dick the Slimy indicted. No one could deserve it more. Bob Woodward is going to get more press than Judy Miller, I guess that will make him happy and help him sell more books. Now that he is no longer a reporter but now a celebrity author he needs all the publicity he can get.

Things in Washington D.C. are getting ugly. It's about time. Democrats appear to have had spine transplants. Actually what has happened is that the Republicans have finally managed to outrage just about everyone, Democrats and the population at large. "We're fed up and not going to take it any more, etc. So let us not let up on this bunch of greedy, corrupt, lying, and dishonest war criminals. Maybe our corporate masters will see that Bush/Cheney have now become too radioactive to be of any further use and will dump them like they did Nixon. The Republican party itself seems to enjoy this cancer they continue to nurture.

Does Alito support human rights, privacy, and Roe vs Wade? Do bears do it in the woods?

I leave you with the question of the day: does Dennis Hastert have a brain?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

What is it about imperialism they don't understand?

Exit strategy. Exit strategy. Exit strategy. They keep talking about this as if it is something that is somehow, someday, someway, perhaps sooner than later, perhaps not, but surely a goal to keep aiming for. Why can they not grasp the simple fact that exiting Iraq is not something that is going to happen? At least not as long as the neocons are in power, and probably not as long as anyone else is either. Get with the program! We (both Republicans and Democrats) invaded Iraq because we wanted to "change the face of the Middle East" (be able to control their oil). Some say this was really over ideology (spreading democracy), others say it was to rid Iraq of a dictator (who was no longer of any use to us), the truly naive seem to still believe it was because Sadam Hussein was a threat to the U.S. (with his two or three rubber band driven airplanes), and the truly true believers because Iraq had WMD's and were in cahoots with Osama bin Whats-his-face (who may very well be in retirement on the French Riviera for all we know - it would be just like the French wouldn't it?). I have to repeat once again: we are not going to exit Iraq. We are going to establish a puppet government that will cooperate with us and sell us their oil under our terms until such time as oil becomes irrelevant. This was the plan and this is what we are going to stick with. Oh, sure, they are going to vote in December for a democratically elected government and then we are going to leave. BELIEVE IT WHEN YOU SEE IT! But it does give the House and Senate something to pretend to argue about.

You see, it seems like Murtha, Kerry, Reid, and others (certainly not Biden, Hilary, Lieberman. McCain, etc) are really putting on the pressure for the U.S. to withdraw our troops. Have you heard anyone say publicly that the U.S. is not going to maintain a permanent force in Iraq? Anyone?

Bob Woodward, in an apparent attempt to upstage Judith Miller, has now guaranteed that the Plamegate scandal will continue indefinitely, keeping him on the front page, and perhaps influencing the Libby case. Woodward, who was at one time a first class investigative reporter, has become a celebrity of sorts, writing about those in power (who tell him how great they are in apparent confidence). In short, a toady for the White House.

And oh, yeah, ho hum. Just another war crime. It appears there is little agreement in the military about whether or not they used white phosphorus for legitimate purposes (as if there were legitimate purposes for such a thing), or whether they used it for illigetimate purposes (and, indeed, if there is any agreement among them about which might be which). Certainly the Lt. Colonels that have been interviewed don't seem to know. Not only that, they don't seem to know whether or not white phosphorous is a chemical (perhaps they have it confused with angel dust). Dropping this stuff on individual humans, combatants or not, is a war crime. So, first they denied it, and then when presented with the evidence, admitted it. But what's another war crime to this bunch?

And now we are confronted with Bush/Cheney accusing everyone but themselves of being irresponsible and unpatriotic because they are being criticized for their lies (finally). Cheney (aka Dick he Slimy), who has been the chief liar all along, spewing out claims that are/were utterly without foundation, now says that those who are criticizing him (and Bush), in addition to being unpatriotic and aiding and abetting the enemy, are "dishonest and reprehensible." I'm sorry Dick, WE NOW KNOW WHO HAS BEEN DISHONEST AND REPREHENSIBLE. Look in the mirror and start counting the days you may have left.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


It seems that Tomlinson, who recently resigned as head of Public Broadcasting, was guilty of some criminal acts. There seems to be no doubt about this. But is he going to be held accountable? The answer is almost certainly NO.

An Israeli officer was observed shooting a 13 year old Palestinian girl after she was wounded and lying helplessly on the ground. He fired shots into her head and proclaimed he was going to make sure she was finished (or words to that effect). This was observed by others. He has been exonerated. He said that if anything moves at all in a restricted zone, even a three year old, they needed to be killed. I guess Palestinian children should not be allowed to move when Israeli troops are present.

It has now been established that officers of some of the major oil companies met with Dick the Slimy with respect to the creation of our energy plan. Cheney tried successfully to keep this a secret. The oil people previously denied the meeting. They lied. As they were conveniently not under oath when they were asked about this they presumably will not be prosecuted (unless they might be for lying to Congress. I think this would be a long shot).

I was a fan of Hilary Clinton. I even contributed money to her organization. I never doubted that she was ambitious and, indeed, respected her for it. That dreadful Olson woman used to constantly harp on the fact that Hilary was ambitious. I always wanted to point out to her that being ambitious was not a crime in America, or even a behavior disorder or whatever. Olson died in a crash on 9/11 so the whole point is moot. But I must confess I would be hard pressed to support Hilary for president now that I know more about her. First of all, she was (perhaps still is) on the Board of Directors of Wal Mart. In my opinion this makes her just another corporate whore, and we certainly have enough of them. Second, she has supported the "war" in Iraq and has suggested that we should send an additional 80,000 troops for that lost cause. She has apparently indicated she did this because no woman could possibly be elected president if she was seen as soft on defense. I take this to mean she is willing to do anything to get elected and, if elected, would support our obscene military/industrial complex. Third, she has come out as an avid supporter of Israel, including support for their completely illegal wall that is stealing even more Palestinian land. I understand that no politician could survive in New York if they did not support Israel. This means to me she would continue to support our unceasing and uncritical support of an international pariah that has ignored world opinion and the U.N. far more egregiously than even Iraq. Unless someone is prepared to curb Israel and their occupation there will of course never be peace in the Middle East.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I want my mommy

I don't know if any of this is true or not. Indeed, after five years of nothing but incessant lies, one after another, how can one even tell anymore what is a lie and what is not. That, perhaps, is the beauty of the Bush/Cheney administration (if you can say they have any beauty). That is, they have lied so persistently and so outrageously one is no longer able to separate the lies from anything else (if there is anything else).

Anyway, according to Buzzflash, Rumsfeld is now taking the position that he never really wanted a war. He just wanted to play around with the military to make it more efficient and more up-to-date. As far as the "war" with Iraq goes, he just did what Bush wanted him to do. Another rat trying to leave the sinking ship.

What might be even more disturbing is that the Washington Times, a conservative magazine, reports that Bush no longer speaks with anyone much other than his mother, his wife, Condi Rice, and Karen Hughes. He apparently feels betrayed by the other senior members of his administration and is so upset he only communicates with his mother and mother surrogates. It is also reported that he might be drinking again. Like I say, I don't have any idea if any of this is true. But even if there is a grain of truth one might conclude that our "war president" is losing it big time.

It has now been revealed by none other than Bob Woodward himself that Valerie Plame's name was leaked to him at least a month before anyone else. He thinks this is unimportant and that little or no damage was done. Bob Woodward has demonstrably been shown to be nothing but a toady for the Bush administration.

Things have now become so bad they are actually laughable. If you can keep from crying. In spite of the unbelievable problems and scandals of the Bush/Cheney bunch the democrats still can't seem to get it together. Why, things are so bad here in one of our local counties, they have had to hire a professional arbitrator. What does this tell you about the future of the democratic party? Well, at least they aren't shooting each other yet.

Monday, November 14, 2005

What can they be thinking?

Senator Lindsey Graham, he of bring down Clinton fame, has sponsored an amendment that would do away with habeas corpus for the inmates of Guantanamo. This passed on a partisan basis with 5 democrats also voting in support, including, of course, Lieberman, the true wolf in sheep's clothing. How anyone can continue to believe Lieberman is a democrat is a genuine mystery to me. There were 4 other Democrats who voted with the Republicans on this totally unprecedented and unconstitutional amendment.

What this does is essentially say that the prisoners held at Guantanamo have no right to appeal their plight. That is, they can be held forever with no charges against them, no lawyers to defend them, all at the whim of the President of the United States. He, and he alone, has the power to incarcerate whoever he wishes and they are to have no recourse whatsoever. In other words he is to have absolute imperial power such that he could, if he wished, order them to be executed. They would have no right to appeal, no right to a lawyer, nothing.

What in the hell are these Senators thinking? The right to habeas corpus goes all the way back to the Magna Carta in 12l5! It is one of the most basic of principles of English and American justice. It has served us well for almost 800 years. The Supreme Court has already defended it in the case of Guantanamo prisoners. So what on earth are these Senators doing? Can they really believe that the President has the power and the right to incarcerate anyone he designates as an "enemy" for the rest of their life with absolutely no recourse to justice? None? Are these Senators actually sentient human beings or people placed on earth from other planets with no sense of justice or fair play whatsoever? If this manages to become law or precedent or whatever it will be the darkest day of our democracy. This is an absolutely vile and disgusting and unprincipled act. It simply cannot be allowed. Quite frankly, those who voted for this should be ostracized and certainly never re-elected.

And what can be their motives? What is the point of this? Why would anyone support such a terrible and unprecedented amendment? What do they gain by it? It strikes me as nothing short of ghoulish. It is well known that many, if not most, of the prisoners being held were not terrorists in the first place but simply people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, some of them accused simply for money. There are no charges. There is no reason they should be there. No one knows if any of them are guilty or not. So we are supposed to keep them in prison forever with no chance whatsoever of trying to clear themselves? If you think this is the "American way" there is something terribly wrong with you. And there is something terribly wrong with these Senators. Maybe they can plead stupidity. But I fear this goes far beyond stupidity. I simply cannot understand it, see no reason for it, know that it is entirely unfair, violates our constitution, overrides our Supreme Court, and is, in short, completely disgusting. Maybe Graham, having failed to bring down Clinton, has decided to take it out on the helpless.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Cloud cuckoo land

The world of the Bush administration clearly is cloud cuckoo land. We are now told by National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley that while we do not torture we may employ "enhanced interrogation techniques." Is it really necessary to comment further on this?

This ongoing argument about torture, if it were not so grimly serious, would have to be seen as nothing short of hilarious. We do not torture but we use enhanced interrogation techniques? We do not torture but Bush will veto for the first time an important bill if it contains restrictions on torture? McCain and others insist that torture doesn't work but at least a few others (with much less experience) insist that it does. The vote in the Senate was 90 to 9 against but Bush/Cheney insist on it anyway. The evidence is overwhelming that they lied and distorted intelligence but they continue to insist they did not. Scandals exist in this administration as far as the eye can see but they carry on as if they actually have a mandate. And, as there are apparently no honest or decent Republicans in the House, impeachment seems to be out of the question. I guess Republicans are proud to protect war criminals and liars. The fact that Bush/Cheney and the neocons are going to destroy the Republican party for years to come doesn't bother them as long as they get their obscene short term profits. They sleep comfortably at night only because they have no shame, no guilt, no concern for their country, and no shred of decency whatsoever. So Mr. and Mrs. Middle America, continue to support them as they will protect you from homosexuals and a woman't right to choose. Of course at the same time they will have their hands in your pockets driving you further and further into poverty and ill health. Gangsterism has become much more sophisticated since the days of John Dillinger and Al Capone. By the way, does anyone remember Ken Lay and Enron? And oh, have you looked at your gas and energy bills lately? Have you kept up with developments in Iraq? Stay the course. We're going to "win." Is it not obvious to everyone by now that "winning" is completely out of the question? Winning is not an option. Getting out is apparently also not an option. So wow! We'll stay the course forever. It's good for business. And what's good for business is good for Bush and Cheney. Rest assured, everything is going well.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


How is it that the discussion of Intelligent Design continues on and on even though it is an idea so lacking in merit it should be laughed out of existence? The other day we were told that even the Catholic Church had agreed about evolution. Today, however, we are told that the Pope himself has contradicted this position and come out in favor of what he describes as an "Intelligent Project." Everything was apparently created as a result of an intelligent project. As evidence for this he quotes Saint Basil the Great from the 4th century. The 4th century! I am really pleased to know that this issue was actually settled back then. And if it was settled why does it continue to occupy people now?

I guess if one wants to believe in creationism of some kind (there are literally hundreds of different creation myths to choose from) they are entitled to do so. But whatever one they choose I assure you it has nothing whatsoever to do with the theory of evolution. And I would also argue that discussing it endlessly is nothing less than an absolute waste of time and energy. You might as well go back to medieval times and argue about how many angels can dance on the heard of a pin. I wouldn't care even if they agreed that the intelligent whatsis invented evolution and then let it run its course thereafter, randomly or not.

When it comes to such things as claims that the earth is only 6000 years or so old, or that the Grand Canyon was caused by the flood, or that humans existed contemporaneously with dinosaurs, or even that dinosaurs never really existed, or there was an ark which preserved all the animals of the earth (except, maybe, the dinosaurs), or someone parted the Red Sea, was swallowed by a whale, or whatever, I have to say NONSENSE. Utter and complete nonsense. Not even worth considering. And, in fact, a danger to human beings in general. People who believe such nonsense should not be allowed to vote. I guess I wouldn't go so far as to argue they ought to be committed to asylums but I'm not so sure. And anyone who believes some notion of Intelligent Design is the equivalent of the theory of evolution is doing a great disservice to the human community. We in the modern world live by science and the scientific method. To abandon this for 4th century beliefs in unknown supernaturals is simply not acceptable. To teach children that the theory of evolution is wrong will do terrible damage to society. Of course there is nothing wrong with pointing out there are gaps and problems and unsolved mysteries with the theory, indeed, that is what we should be doing and is, in fact, what scientists are doing continually. But that is what science is about. To try to replace it with utter poppycock is a dangerous business. So please, can't we follow the example of the good citizens of Dover, Pennsylvania, and tell these fundamentalists to retreat back into the 15th century where they belong? And tell them to take Bush, Frist, and the other morons with them. Oh, happy day!

Friday, November 11, 2005

How much longer?

How much longer can this go on? Bush's favorable ratings have now fallen to 37% and seem to be still falling. Cheney's favorable ratings have reached an unbelievable 19%. It seems to me that with ratings this low and perhaps falling farther the decent thing to do would be to admit failure and resign. But, of course, Bush/Cheney have no sense of decency, no sense of shame, and apparently no sense of guilt whatsoever about having started an illegal, immoral, unconstitutional, and unnecessary war in which thousands have been killed and wounded. There is, of course, the little problem of war crimes that would probably come up if they were to resign. So what choice do they have but to go on pretending everything is going well, we are going to "win" (an absolute impossibility), they didn't lie, it's really all Clinton's fault, and etc., etc. By now virtually anyone with a brain larger than half a pea knows what happened, knows they lied us into this terrible "war," knows they stole two elections, knows they are the most corrupt and incompetent bunch of thieves ever hatched on American soil, knows they are war criminals, knows they are covering all this up shamelessly, and knows it is well past time for them to go. But as Republicans control everything and apparently are more interested in party than in justice or truth or the constitution, nothing happens. They block any and all attempts to disclose the truth even though it probably involves treason. I repeat, how much longer can this go on? Everywhere you look there is scandal: DeLay, Frist, Abramhoff, Libby, Rove, Brown, and so many others I can't even keep up. And as most of the democrats are unwilling to take any serious responsibility we can get absolutely nowhere. In all of my many years things have never been so grim and apparently hopeless. There are faint glimmerings of hope. Keep the faith. Never give up.

The miserable have no other medicine
But only hope.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Proud Republicans?

Dennis Kucinich attempted to have a bipartisan investigation of WHIG (the White House Iraq Group) to see what, in fact, they might have been up to vis-a-vis bringing about the illegal, immoral, unconstitutional and unnecessary "war" with Iraq. This was voted down by a vote of 25 to 23. All Republicans were present and all voted together. A few others, mostly Democrats, were temporarily absent when the vote was called. This was apparently scheduled to take advantage of that fact. So what is it with Republicans? Are they really so proud of Bush/Cheney and the neocons lies that they wish to protect them? What are they afraid of? Are they so fearful of losing power they are willing to cover up what are probably war crimes? If the WHIG did, in fact, manufacture lies to bring about this "war" why would they not want the American people to know about it? Can they really have fallen so low? I fear the answer is yes.

Now we can apparently add still another war crime to the Bush/Cheney bunch. It appears that our troops have used white phosphorus against civilians. They claim that white phosphorus is not against the rules because it can be used to light up an area or destroy buildings and such. But it cannot be used against humans as such. But it apparently was. Although this is denied by some American military personnel it has been claimed by other military personnel. In fact, the Italians have a video that demonstrates that it was in fact used on civilians. That is, they have actual videotape of bodies destroyed by this chemical. While one Marine Lt. Colonel is testifying that it didn't happen there are actual photos showing that it did. This will do even more to enhance the U.S. image as totally dishonest and criminal in the extreme. It will certainly go a long way to "spread democracy in the Middle East."

However horrible our behavior has been in Iraq it still does not excuse further acts of humanicide (see morialekafa of 8-26-04 for a discussion of humanicide). One of the bombings in Jordan targeted a marriage party of some 300 guests. Obviously these were innocent civilians who had nothing whatsoever to do with the "war." The suicide bomber who blew them and himself up had no idea who they were or why they should be targeted. He/she could not have known precisely who was attending, whether or not they were all locals, whether or not they were somehow "enemies," and so on. It was a blatant act of humanicide that can only cause them to ultimately lose any support they may have had for such inhumane, irrelevant, and dastardly mindless behavior. This was not an example of patriots trying to defend their country from foreign occupation, but, rather, a cowardly and totally unjustified murderous attack on innocent civilians for no reasonable purpose other than that they were apparently not well protected and therefore an easy target. If I were not familiar with human history I would not believe that human beings could have fallen so low.

Doesn't it make you proud to realize you are at the apex of Intelligent design?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Gobbledy-gook - wordy and generally unintelligible jargon. Webster's.

I confess I was doubtful that such a word would actually be in the dictionary. My wife insisted it would. As usual she was right. I am very happy because what better word could one find to describe the Bush/Cheney/McClellan discourse on torture?

Bush says something like, we are fighting terrorists and we will do whatever is required to fight terrorists and whatever we do to to fight terrorists is within the law law and we do not torture. I guess he is unaware of the pictures from Abu Ghraib, the first-hand testimony of now quite a large number of witnesses, the existence of torture centers in Poland and Romania, and the existence of memos signed by Rumsfeld and himself that basically attempt to justify torture (torture by any other name is still torture). And of course there is the professional judgment of his Attorney General that torture is basically okay because the Geneva convention is "quaint." Then, of course, there is his threat to veto a massive defense budget if it includes a statement against torture (the only bill he has ever even threatened to veto). He will do this to support his vice-president, Dick the Slimy, who has actively been lobbying to exempt the CIA from any anti-torturing position such as the one sponsored by McCain and signed by 90 Senators. So, as we do not torture, we need the flexibility to do it if necessary except that we do not do it, in spite of clear evidence to the contrary. McClellan's attempt to deal with this cannot be said to have clarified the matter (indeed, McClellan has an uncany ability to convert any question whatsoever into marvelous gobbledy-gook. I guess it must be a gift). If this question about torture is not total gobbledy-gook I am a monkey's uncle. Actually I probably am a monkey's uncle in spite of what Kansas thinks about it.

Speaking of such things I hope you all noticed that all eight Republican members of the Pennsylvania school board who voted for intelligent design in science classes were defeated and replaced by Democrats who are not in favor of such nonsense. Perhaps there is justice after all, at least in Pennsylvania. I don't hold out much hope for Kansas.

Democrats did well yesterday. We captured the governerships of New Jersey and Virginia and all four of the Gropenfuehrer's pet initiatives went down to ignominous defeat. Bloomberg was re-elected Mayor of New York but mainly because Democrats voted for him (he was actually a Democrat and probably still is "in his heart" as they say). Republican spin wants you to believe this had nothing to do with Bush's dismal ratings but was just local politics. They never give up trying to put lipstick on their pigs.

It was apparently announced the other day that (l) the UN has agreed to extend the U.S. occupation of Iraq by another year and (2) the U.S. intends to keep 92,000 troops in Iraq at least until 2008. Does that make sense? Of course not, nothing this administration does make sense unless you realize that they have no intention of ever withdrawing from Iraq unless some day in the remote future Iraq runs out of oil. Even I, as stupid and out of the loop as I am, know this is true. Although it has been suggested several times they should announce plain and simply there is no U.S. intention to remain permanently in Iraq, have you ever heard them say so? Of course not. And you won't as long as Bush/Cheney and the neocons are in charge. The solution is really quite simple -- get rid of this cancer that infects our body politic and do it soon before it is too late.

The scandals of this administration are now breeding like rabbits. There may be hope. They will be roviating Reid and Fitzgerald pretty heavily but I think roviation may have peaked and will no longer be effective, especially if Rove is himself finally brought to justice.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Travel is educational - essay

Don't forget to buy and read The Cham Stones! Indeed, buy dozens of copies and give them to your friends.

Hardly anyone ever comments on this blog except for an occasional spammer. I assume this is because:
1. No one reads this blog.
2. Everyone who does read it recognizes my complete infallibility.
3. Readers think it would be beneath their dignity.

I absolutely cannot understand this so-called controversy over evolution vs utter nonsense. The only thing I can think of that even remotely hints at intelligent design is the banana. I repeat: there is no way any intelligent designer could have designed human beings as we know them. Of course he/she/it could have designed them better and they have simply degenerated because of sex and age. But if that were true they couldn't have been very well designed in the first place. What a total waste of time and effort.

But back to travel as educational:

Having just returned from a long automobile trip I want to report that I learned quite a lot. For example, did you know that the usual fine in the state of Idaho for driving without your seat belt is $10. However, if you are caught without the belt, and you have children under 18 in the car, the fine is $51.50. If you are caught driving with a child who is not safely buckled into a car seat the fine is $69. I just received these figures from our local Sheriff’s office. Why did I want to know this? Because I think the fines for seat belt violations are just plain weird. In the state of Washington the fine for driving without your seat belt is $101. Not $100, but precisely $101. In Oregon the fine is $94, precisely. In California the fine ranges from $80 to $91. I don’t know what circumstances make up the difference.
I’m not a big fan of state’s rights, believing as I do that if we push state’s rights too far we’d still be hanging black people, prohibiting abortions no matter what, jailing homosexuals, and even permitting death with dignity, legal marihuana and who knows what all else. I confess to not having strong feelings about states being able to enforce their own seat belt regulations. But why do they have to be so weird? How, for example, did the state of Washington decide the fine should be $101 instead of the much simpler $100? It would probably be more in the tradition of American culture if the fine was $99.99. How did they arrive at the figure of $101? Does anything over $100 make it a felony rather than merely a misdemeanor? Do you lose your right to drive or vote for a year if it’s more than $100? I confess this is beyond my comprehension. And the same thing is true for Oregon. Why $94? Why not $90 or $100 or even $95? How could they have arrived at precisely $94? Of course we all know how weird the state of California is, $80 to $91 indeed. Who makes up these rules? What kind of deliberations go into these momentous decisions? What is the process whereby these rules are invented? I have no doubt I could find out all about this but, frankly, I don’t think it would be worth the effort.
Here is one more example that probably won’t help a bit. Somewhere near San Jose there are signs that say violating the rules of the diamond lane, that is, driving with only yourself in the car and no others, the fine is $271. Wow! There’s that extra dollar again. Why on earth would they tack on an extra dollar to a fine like $270? And what is the reason or logic behind that figure in the first place? I can only imagine that after several days of serious deliberation they narrowed things down to somewhere around $270. But one of the officials involved probably wanted $270.50 and another $271.50, although why either of them would want these figures is not clear to me. Anyway, I assume that after each of them pontificated sufficiently to satisfy their egos they agreed to compromise at $271. It’s the democratic way. However, recently a man was caught with a dummy sitting in the passenger seat, not a very good dummy. He was fined $371 and no doubt deserved it. He seemed not too upset about the fine but, rather, that other motorists were laughing at him. Trying to understand the Idaho rules is far beyond my expertise but I do think $10 is quite enough, except, of course, for the $51.50 and $69 which mystifies me no end. I guess at least in the state of Idaho there is a kind of underlying logic. If you are merely risking your own life $10 is probably reasonable. If you are risking the lives of children it should cost more. But $51.50? Apparently these states have secret formulas for determining these things. I am afraid to even ask.

Monday, November 07, 2005


I believe it was Herman Goering (sp?) who said something to the effect of "when I hear the word culture I reach for my pistol." That is precisely the way I feel when I hear the word privatization. When you hear anyone talk about privatization you should immediately check to see if your wallet is safe, because it is going to cost you money. We have somehow been sold on this ridiculous idea that the private sector can do things better than the government. So now we have allowed corporations to take over virtually all aspects of our lives - for profit. The idea of the public good has simply disappeared from our lives. So oil and gas has been privatized and California has suffered immeasurabley. Pharmaceuticals have been privatized and it is obvious what they are doing to us. Health care, likewise. In the Bush/Cheney administration even things like air and water quality are being privatized, along with national parks, the military, and just about everything else. Even the food industry has been privatized so we are at the mercy of gigantic corporations who are determined to feed us genetically modified crops whether we want them or not. Transportation is also privatized and they are doing everything they can to privatize education. Perhaps the most egregious example of privatization has to do with prisons. If you have private prisons that exist to make a profit what does that mean? It means you have to keep the prisons full in order for the profit to be realized. That, in turn, means you have to make sure you have enough lawbreakers to fill the prisons. And that, in its turn, means you have to have laws that will insure enough lawbreakers as, for example, absurd laws about marihuana possession. If, for example, we were to exonerate prisoners who are incarcerated for marihuana infractions, even minor ones, the prisons would no doubt fail to produce enough profit and would then inevitably have to revert back to government control (governments, conveniently, do not have to produce profits). We are told repeatedly, daily, that privatization is good. In fact, privatization is good only if you are a corporation that is going to benefit from it. From a human point of view privatization (capitalism) is absolutely terrible. Do you really want your access to clean air and water controlled by corporations who are in it for profit? Your health care? Well, think about it. That's what you have. And of course socialism is a truly bad word here in "the greatest country on earth." Universal health care is socialism we are told every time the subject comes up. So fine, I say, let's have it as soon as possible. There is a really fine book on the subject of privatization, The Fox is in the Henhouse, by Kahn and Minnich. I highly recommend it.

Need I really comment on the absurdity of absurdities: Bush has now ordered that everyone in his administration has to have a mandatory refresher course in ethics. Closing the barn door after the horse has gone. It's not as if anyone in his administration had any ethics to begin with - if they had they wouldn't be in his administration. Oh, I forgot, Karl Rove, that paragon of ethical behavior is still in charge of the White House. I can sleep easier now.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Stuff and nonsense

Morialekafa is back! In all its (glory?). I have learned that travel is most educational. But I will tell you about that later. For the moment I wish to simply consider some of the current stuff and nonsense.

Someone wrote a piece claiming that Condi's bubble will burst before the 2008 election. This is clearly nonsense. If there even is a bubble it has to be tiny indeed. The idea that Condi could be nominated for the presidency and actually become a candidate is beyond nonsense. First of all, she might actually be in jail by then as she was/is a charter member of the White House Iraqi Group (WHIG) that lied us into this totally dreadful and unnecessary "war." Not only that, she was an abject failure as Security Advisor and as Secretary of State little more than a bad joke. If the people behind this movement (if, indeed, it seriously exists) are serious they clearly need help, psychiatric would probably be the most apt.

Someone else wrote something about how the Republicans have "lost their moral compass." This is about as nonsensical as the above. The Republicans never had any moral compass to begin with, unless, perhaps, morality is measured by the amount of money you can take from the poor and give to the rich. It is very clear that morals are not a concern of Republicans. If they were we would not be in Iraq and would certainly not be torturing people (Cheney is doing everything he can to allow the CIA to engage in this totally illegal and unconstitutional behavior). So far he has not won over McCain, but don't bet that he won't. McCain seems willing to put up with most anything in his quest for the presidency.

Now there are rumors that Washington insiders think Bush will get rid of Rove, Rumsfeld, and McClellan within a year. I can't imagine this happening unless Rove is indicted and Rumsfeld has a heart attack or something. McClellan may go as he has lost all credibiliy and can no longer function as Press Secretary. And he probably misses his pal Gannon/Guckert who seems to have mysteriously disappeared.

The DeLay saga continues with his lawyers doing everything possible to slime the prosecutor and select a judge that is likely to sell out. There can be no doubt that DeLay is guilty of far more malfeasance that he is charged with. I'd bet that if you look up corruption in a recent dictionary you would see his picture. But you have to admit, he does have chutzpa (in excess).

It appears that some members of the GOP are not entirely happy with Bush's recent nominee for the Supreme Court. I guess they will never be satisfied until Bush nominates Attila the Hun. I think they are put off by recent claims that Alito might actually be serious and fair-minded. We certainly couldn't have that!

I continue to be entertained by those who are saying "if Bush lied he should be impeached." What do they mean, "if." It is perfectly obvious that he and the neocons lied. They knew there were no WMD's and used that as an excuse for going to war anyway. They knew their sources of information were flawed and used them anyway. One of them admitted that they settled on the threat of WMD's because that was the one thing that would work to convince the American people to go to war. They knew the item about Sadam trying to get yellowcake was not true but used it anyway. They knew there was no evidence the aluminum tubes were to be used for nuclear purposes but used that anyway. They knew that Sadam was not a threat to the United States, and not even to his neighbors but claimed otherwise. What questions could possibly remain about whether or not they lied? Cheney, of course, has never done anything but lie.

Finally, I continue to be amazed by those who talk about withdrawing American troops from Iraq. Of course I think they should be withdrawn. Immediately if not sooner. But as long as the Bush/Cheney administration is in charge they will never be withdrawn. That is simply not part of the plan and never has been. Of course if they could they might withdraw a few. But an American military presence in Iraq, from their point of view, is an absolute necessity. If anyone is serious about withdrawing from Iraq they had better start by impeaching Bush/Cheney and sending them to the Hague.

"Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right."
Laurens van der Post, The Lost World of the Kalahari.